Foundation Dogs

 The start of the Riana Kelpies were these initial purchases

                   Woombi Silver x Newton Gem- Red and Tan male (Skipper)skipper.jpg

Scanlons Rover x McGraths Judy – Cream female (Judy)


We later purchased a cream bitch Tammy II, who was a daughter of Kanimbla Darby from a Woombi Silver x Newton Gem bitch.


These foundation dogs had a female tail line tracing back to Scanlons Dell. The only exception being Scanlons Rover who traced to Currawang Black Dawn  .

We have kept our dogs pure and without input from outside sources. Have been able to maintain and improve our working kelpies to the highest standards. By breeding the best to the best and heavy culling, our Kelpies are recognised world wide. A prepotent line that breeds on and preserves the unique stock handling abilities of the foundation Kelpies . That was unique to the early working strains such as Woombi, Scanlon, Newton, Kanimbla, Currawang, etc.

We have never had to compensatory mate, as we started with the best available and have been able to keep them at the highest standard with our breeding program.

Introduction to Riana Kelpie Stud web site

The dogs that I have mentioned in this website, as well as many others I have owned and not mentioned. Would all come out around onto the leading point of the mob. (I would only be using one lead dog at any time) Skipper was born in 1955, the rest of the dogs I have mentioned were bred by me. These individual dogs were born and worked at varying times over the last 53 years that I have had my Kelpies.

It is a grand sight to watch a good shepherd dog with the right sort of eye. Put itself in position, crouching or laying down, waiting for the leaders of the mob to feed up to them on dusk. The wildest wether concentrates more on feeding than anything else at this time of day.

The dogs that I have had since 1955 have an amazing natural ability and instinct. To see them work when shepherding stock, using their own brain without command is special and hard to describe. The sheep will feed up within a few yards of the watching dog. When they notice the dog, some will test the dog to see if he is weak and will give ground. Some of the sheep will even stand with their head in the air, holding it high and stamping a front foot before turning around and moving off. The dog will then move around onto another point of the feeding mob and do the same thing again.

The dogs seem to know or they soon learn that you are not taking the mob anywhere. That where the mob is now is where the mob will be soon yarded up for the night as soon as darkness falls.

Skipper, Dodger, Cash, Sage, Bronco, Don, Gamble, etc would go into the water in the lead of the mob of sheep, having a swim or drink while they could. Then come out around the mob, well off the sheep. As once the sheep had a good drink, being late in the afternoon. They would really start to forage. Eating as much as they could before darkness. The best drovers had their stock out at daybreak and did not put them away until the sun had set. So the stock could take full advantage of any available feed.

Two young dogs that I have here now have that extra know how when shepherding sheep that are of the Collinsville type. These sheep are, as some people would say wild and mad, but I have found them to be a pleasure to work and handle. Just like Brahman cattle that are also very intelligent. You need a very good lead dog to handle both of them and the type Kelpie we have here is always signed on to their work. They are usually out on the wing of a mob ready to get into position and stop anything before it becomes trouble. They use their brains, soon learning to guide and balance a large feeding mob. But still allowing the mob to spread out so they can feed, just like they do in a large paddock.

The type of Kelpie we select and keep have a calming effect on their stock when working them . As these dogs are always signed on and watching their stock. Not hustling and bustling the mob all the time. Most Kelpies today seem to have lost most of the class and attributes that stockmen valued so much.

The modern thinking is to only have and breed from what they believe are strong dogs. There are quite a number of people looking for dogs they term heading dogs, but not true heading dogs (whatever that might mean) You have to work the modern dog by command, continually. As these dogs are moving their stock all the time. Unless you call them off or in behind you or tie them up out of the road. But these dogs are said to have power and strength. I believe that most of the dogs being bred are actually becoming weak and ineffective.

I hope that you the reader will enjoy the following records of my dogs and at least the details will not become lost in time forever like so many of our early breeders.

Dog Descriptions

Heading ability-We only keep dogs that head cleanly and fully. With a free eye that  sees and controls the whole mob of stock being worked.

Cast– Is related closely to the heading ability. When young these dogs can from keenness and intense desire come around their stock rather closely. But with time and proper handling that teaches them to relax and develops their sense of power while working. The casting ability starts to come to the fore.

Working style– The way in which we work stock is very different to the majority . We do not have side commands and expect our dogs to think for themselves a lot more than most handlers would allow. As we can leave our dogs with stock and go away knowing full well they will still be there with their stock when we come back.

Cover– All our dogs cover completely and fully while working a mob or a single sheep. We do not keep anything else. Concentrating fully on the job at all times.

Temperament– The desire to do what we ask and the will to continue working, even when it starts to really hurt. Is the test of a sound temperament. During the working day there are many things that test the dogs temperament, such as heat, burrs, distance, availability of water and fatigue. Also the wildness of the stock being worked and the type of terrain. The normal knocks and bumps received clearly show how determined the dog is to complete the job.

Constitution– Working dogs need to be of sound constitution to stand up to constant work. If any dog can maintain its condition and thrive while undergoing the stress and strain of everyday work, when it is fit and mature then it is likely to breed the type of progeny we are looking for. Without constitution it does not matter how a dog works as without it that dog can not finish a job. It is up to the handler to judge when the dog needs a rest to stop it from overheating etc.

Breeding ability-all the dogs we keep have a similar style of working stock. The only broken in dogs we keep as breeders are those that are capable of reproducing progeny of similar quality and working ability. Those that are prepotent. To find these prepotent breeders requires trial mating based on judgement. Basically all our dogs are progeny tested as part of the selection process.

Strength– Our dogs can perform any stock job that we ask of them. From working singles to a large mob and weak or strong. In paddock or yards. They must have the will and determination to control their stock under all conditions.

Dog Namegeneral descriptions will all be similar, as the type of dogs and bitches we keep to work and breed from are so alike. So descriptions will be so close with only a little extra about opportunity and constitution of individuals. Dogs that do not head cleanly and properly are never retained or bred from in the Riana Kelpie Stud. We do not keep or distribute our culls, preferring to keep and only sell the best of our Kelpies.