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German Koolie – wikiFido-Dog Breeds, Rescues
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Coolie pup bred by Ida Parmer.
For many years the “Coolie” has been known as the “German
Coolie”. Many generations of people believed the Coolie was a
German bred dog. There is much controversy concerning the time and origin of development of the Coolie breed. The Coolie breed
was selectively bred from various herding bred dogs for the purpose of working livestock.
In May 2006, Mike Bryant, Chair, Australian Shepherd Club of America, Stockdog Committee stated that the German Coolie was added to the list of ASCA-accepted herding breeds.
Excerpts from ancestral research
A few references to the “German Coolie,” “German Koolie” or
“German Collie” appear in various letters and articles in working
dog magazines and in a few books.
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The Koolie and the Smithfield
exist in Australia to this day as working dogs, not recognized by
the bench show authorities (there is, however, a breed club for the
Koolie). With regard to the Koolie, the dog was “German” in that it
was popular in an area of Australia where there were many German
settlers who used this dog, much as the Australian Shepherd is
“Basque” due to Basque sheepherders using it in the American
West, rather than these breeds having their principal origin with
dogs brought from Germany or the Basque country. Photos of
Koolies and Smithfields show strong resemblance to the Australian
Shepherd in overall form and color, although Koolie’s can also be
shorthaired and prick-eared (as were many early Aussie’s) and
Smithfields can have Beardie-like coats. Linda Rorem
Captain James Cook’s First Fleet (1770) landed in Port Jackson
(now Sydney), Australia with convicts and their guards, together
with food and provisions for starting up their new lives in the
colonies. Among the livestock transported on these ships were
dogs (presumably herding dogs/‘collie’ types), 44 sheep, 4 mares,
2 stallions, 4 cows, 1 bull, 1 bull calf, and 19 goats.
The ‘collie’ dogs of these early pioneers were the ancestors of the
Australian Koolie, the Kelpie and Australian Cattle Dog. The early
pioneers required a big, strong dog for mustering and moving
huge herds of cattle and so the Koolie evolved from the crossing of
German and British ‘collies’ with British Smithfields. The resultant
offspring produced dogs with shorter legs capable of working on
the cattle and sheep trucks and were referred to as either
Australian Koolie’s or German Koolie’s (often spelt Coulie or Coolie
which could have arisen from the derogatory term ‘coolie’, used to
refer to immigrant workers in Australia, or to the accent that the
Germans placed on the word ‘Collie’). German immigrants
favoured the south of the continent and in that area these working
collies were referred to as German Koolie’s.
Unfortunately the Koolie, like its Smithfield descendants, did not
adapt well to the intense heat of the Australian outback as they
were too large and cumbersome, and their vociferous nature was
not conducive to their work. Iris Combe and Pat Hutchinson
Physical Description and Size
Sizes range from 16 inches to 23 inches at the shoulder and 35 to 50 pounds in weight. Physical appearance depends on their evironment and the stockmen’s needs. Coolies that are specifically used for herding cattle in rugged large open terrain tend to have longer legs and heavier bones with solid frames. Coolies that are specifically used for herding sheep, or that are used for loading trucks and in yards tend to be smaller, lighter framed with leaner bodies. Smooth coats are preferred over the long coated dogs. The ears can be dropped or pricked, pricked being preferred by most. The Coolie come in any color except brindle. The merle coloration is preferred by most.
See also German Coolie Pictures for more photos.
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Coolies have impeccable work ethics, unsurpassed biddability and superior temperaments. They are a versatile breed and excel at any task that is set before them, rather it be herding sheep, goats, pigs, cattle, buffalo; in the sports arena; Search and Rescue; or just being a companion.
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Most Coolies are known to love water. If there is a body of water, the Coolie can usually be found swimming. Bathing is necessary for these water-loving dogs as many water-borne diseases can be found in many lakes, rivers, creeks and ponds. The short coated Coolies are more wash and wear, whereas the longer coated ones require brushing to avoid mats in their coat.
A good quality dog food, whether it be dry kibble or canned food is sufficient for this active breed.
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Health Issues and Life Expectancy
Coolies are known for being vigorously healthy dogs with no known conditions that affect them as a breed. They are tough, strong and possess excellent stamina and endurance. Some Coolies have been known to live into their 20’s, while the normal life expectancy is 10 to 15 years.
Australian Coolie Council
German Coolie Club of America
The Coolie Registry
The German Coolie Forum
The Coolie Forum
Wikipedia – German Coolie