The concept for DeHaro's Kelpies came into being
26 years ago. One of the things we had in common was our love and
admiration for working stock dogs. We didn't know it at the time,
but we were actually planning a lifetime of dedication to an extraordinary
breed known as the Australian Kelpie.
We moved to the Willamette River Valley of Oregon
in 1991 and became full-time sheep ranchers with a starter flock
of Coopworth sheep. The flock has grown into a commercial lamb operation,
and we have been able to manage it almost exclusively through the
use of working Kelpies who are indispensable to the everyday maintenance
of the livestock. We have also been able to lend a hand to our neighbors
with cattle work.
We now maintain a breeding kennel based on the
Karrawarra line of working Kelpies that was originated in Australia
by Tony Parsons, continuing on his fifty plus years of experience
in producing sound, trainable dogs for the pastoral industry down
On two separate occasions we have traveled extensively
in Australia visiting Kelpie Studs, Sheep and Cattle Stations, attending
Trials, and looking at dogs. We have imported several dogs that
we felt would enhance our breeding program.
Our dogs have gone all over the United States,
Canada, and as far away as Argentina, to cattle and sheep ranchers
who have discovered how handy a good stock dog can be. Many of them
have come back to us again for their next dog, and we feel fortunate
to have earned their trust and respect.
Rick has conducted numerous clinics and seminars
to help people train their stock dogs for ranch and trial work.
He is a Stock Dog Trial Judge, travels regularly nation wide to
preside at cow and sheep dog trials, and has participated as a competitor
in that sport for many years.
Because of our dedication to the Kelpie, we have
made it a policy to not place pups in other than working homes.
The desire to work is so deeply ingrained in these dogs - to deny
them the opportunity to satisfy that need, is, in our view, inhumane.
We have heard horror stories of Kelpies that ended up working ants,
birds, school buses, and joggers out of frustrated instincts. We
have turned down many Kelpie seekers who wanted an agility/obedience/companion
dog. Good people - just not the right place for a workaholic Kelpie.
Not that a Kelpie does not make an excellent companion - they are
typically sweet-tempered and affectionate and highly intelligent,
just not the right dog for the family pet.
As you peruse the photos and pedigrees listing
those dogs actively being bred - you will notice that we choose
not to make extravagant claims about this or that dog's attributes.
We feel it is sufficient to say that each dog is selected according
to certain criteria.
- Soundness - both mental and physical
- Performance in the field
Simple. We feel that if you are interested in
any given dog or bitch, the best way to obtain more information
is to give us a call, which we invite you to do. CONTACT
Lionel Fletcher, in writing about his Kelpie, Skipper, says:
"Reliability is more valuable then mere
ability, and I know that in the service of God and man, to be
faithful when no one is watching, when no one is expecting it,
when no one will know if we fail, and when no one is praising,
is perhaps the greatest virtue of all."