The Koolie is an excellent example of the tough and reliable working dogs that have been produced over the course of decades and decades as well as in some cases, centuries and centuries. On the whole, interested individuals can expect the Koolie to be an intelligent companion who needs a fair amount of space to do their best, but if they can meet that condition, they can count on their Koolie to be a friendly, versatile dog with much to give them. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about the Koolie:
1. Australian, Not German
Sometimes, the Koolie is called either the Australian Koolie or the German Coolie. It is important to note that the latter is a misnomer because the Koolie is very much an Australian dog.
2. Name Might Have Come from a Mispronunciation
The exact origins of the Koolie’s name are unclear. However, there has been some speculation that it comes from a mispronunciation of “collie” by German immigrants to South Australia, with the result that it came out as “coolie.”
3. Descended from Collies
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Koolie comes from collies. To be exact, it is believed that the Koolie comes from dogs that were imported from the British Isles in the 19th century. Unfortunately, the records are far from being comprehensive, meaning that there is still a fair amount of confusion over the exact manner in which the Koolie came into existence.
4. Breeding Has Been Haphazard
The breeding process for the Koolie has been rather haphazard for most of its existence. This is because the guidelines can be summed up as whatever the dog owner believed would result in the more capable dog. As a result, the breeding of the Koolie often consisted of the best working dog being bred with the second best working dog that could be found in the local region.
5. Shows Enormous Variation
As a result, it is no wonder that the Koolie actually encompasses a wide range of dogs with a fair amount of variation to them instead of dogs that all look the same. In fact, different Koolies from different regions of Australia have different appearances, which is why in some cases, experts can glean some insight into a particular dog’s background by taking a look at its appearance for telltale clues. With that said, this process is far from being 100 percent accurate, meaning that interested individuals might want to avoid putting too much stock into it.
6. Adapted for Local Use
Naturally, the variation of the Koolie is often intended to help the dogs of a particular region do a better job handling the particular circumstances of said region. For example, the Koolie from northern Queensland tends to be taller and more agile, which are meant to enable them to keep on going for miles and miles. Meanwhile, Koolies from the Hunter Valley are thicker and lower to the ground, which help them flush cattle out of both gullies and thick vegetation.
Since the Koolie is a working dog, it should come as no surprise to learn that it has been bred for intelligence. However, interested individuals need to know that they will need to handle a Koolie with a sure and steady hand if they want to get the most out of the dog. If they manage to provide that, they can count on a dog that is not just capable but also quite good at adapting themselves to the situation at hand instead of being left bewildered by changing circumstances.
On a related note, Koolies tend to be hard workers with a huge streak of enthusiasm to them as well. This is helped by the fact that they are hardy animals, meaning that they can keep going when other dog breeds might give up.
9. Not Particularly Aggressive
By nature, the Koolie is not a particularly aggressive dog breed, which makes sense because they weren’t used as guard dogs but rather as cattle herders. With that said, they are quite capable of learning to show dominance, which is a valuable trait for their intended line of work.
10. Few Health Problems
Generally speaking, the Koolie has a big enough gene pool that most members of the dog breeds should be relatively healthy in that regard. However, it is possible for merle-merle pairings to produce white puppies that might be blind as well as deaf, which is why merle-solid pairings are so much more commonplace.