Your Callicoma Kelpie

If you think you would like to own a Callicoma kelpie, please contact me. Puppies, and sometimes older dogs, are available to approved homes.

This page will give you info on what to expect, what I have done so far with your puppy, and what you will need to do if you take home a Callicoma kelpie. You can read right down the page, or click on any of the topics listed below to jump straight to that topic.

 The Natural Diet

 Socialising and Stimulation











 Picking Up Your Puppy 

My dogs (including your puppy) are fed on a strict natural food diet. I avoid feeding commercial canned or dry food and any food with artificial colours, flavours, preservatives etc. I also do not use any chemicals (flea rinses etc) unless absolutely necessary. There are usually natural alternatives to most chemical treatments.

My young dogs are now fifth and sixth generation of being raised in this way, and I find it keeps them incredibly healthy, reduces vet bills as well as reducing worms, fleas etc.

I have included information about your puppy’s diet and some general information which I hope you find useful.

If you have any problem (however small) once you have taken your puppy home please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Please keep in touch, I am always interested to hear of the progress of dogs I have bred. I hope your Callicoma kelpie brings you many years of pleasure and loyal companionship.

Aus Ch Callicoma Merlot PT ET - "Merlot" - 9 weeks old

The Natural Diet

There are so many reasons why I don’t believe it is a good idea to feed commercial canned or dry food to dogs. You can read the following books to find out why:

  • Give Your Dog a Bone by Dr Ian Billinghurst – excellent book – I recommend all dog owners read this.
  • Grow Your Pups with Bones by Dr Ian Billinghurst
  • The Barf Diet by Dr Ian Billinghurst
  • Let’s Have Healthy Dogs by Helen Cramer
  • Raw Meaty Bones by Dr Tom Lonsdale
  • Dr Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Heath for Dogs and Cats by Dr Richard Pitcairn.

Basically I will summarise by saying:

  1. They are all cooked – dogs can’t cook and dogs have evolved for thousands of years eating raw food.
  2. They have preservatives, colours, fillers etc added – all of which have been implicated in poor health, allergies, cancer etc.
  3. Most are made of the cheapest ingredients the manufacturers can get hold of eg dead, dying, diseased animals that aren’t suitable for human consumption, rancid oils etc.

Wild dogs kill the prey and the first thing they eat is the gut content, ie munched up veges, seeds etc. Then they eat the muscle meat, offal and bones, including skin and all. To feed a dog naturally you need to try and mimic this.

For years (until early 1999) I fed my dogs a home made raw diet as per Ian Billinghurst’s books. I had no problem with this diet, except that it took me over an hour each week to prepare the meals for the week. I would rather be training my dogs than making their dinner. In early 1999 I found out about a product called "Vets All Natural". It is made by a vet in Melbourne and consists of air dried fruits and veges, grains and garlic, kelp, lecithin, vitamin C and many other things. You mix the mixture with water and soak for 24hrs, then mix with your choice of raw meat. Information is provided on the pack as to how exactly to make it up and you will get a detailed folder with more information on feeding your puppy. I will give you a 1kg pack of this with your puppy. If you wish to continue feeding the "Vets All Natural" to your puppy it is available through Callicoma Kelpies and Pet Supplies or direct from the Vets All Natural company in Melbourne.

If you do not wish to keep feeding this mix to your puppy, you should still make up the packet of mix (ie 1kg mix with 1L of water, soak for 24 hrs, then 3 kg of meat – you can freeze this in portions each suitable for a few days) and gradually introduce your puppy’s new food by mixing it with the "Vets All Natural" Mix. I use beef mince or chunks, roo mince or chunks and chicken mince (made from carcasses and necks which includes the bones). I feed my adult dogs the "Vets All Natural" mix in the morning and RAW meaty bones at night. They get RAW meaty bones every night. They have RAW lamb flaps, roo tails, lamb necks, chicken necks, chicken frames, whole fish and turkey necks. I also give my dogs large marrow bones occasionally to gnaw on. Do not be tempted to give your dog cooked bones as they splinter and can become lodged in your dog’s stomach, intestine or bowel. Until about 4 months old my puppies get fed the "Vets All Natural" mix morning and lunch or early afternoon, and bones in the evening.

My dogs also get raw offal (liver, kidney, heart etc) about once a week, a raw egg every few days, cottage cheese or natural yoghurt mixed into their food about once a week, and canned fish in the natural oil (such as "no frills" mackerel or sardines) about once a week. These are all mixed into their "Vets All Natural" mix.

Yes, my dogs regularly get raw whole fish - bones, guts, scales and all - the key is to feed it RAW.

Please don’t allow your puppy to put on excess weight – you should be able to feel his/her ribs but not see them. Excess weight, especially in a young dog, can cause many problems in later life. If your puppy is putting on too much weight, mix some veges or brown rice into their food to bulk it out, whilst not containing too many calories. If I have excess veges in the fridge I often chop it up in the food processor/blender and mix them in with the next batch of "Vets All Natural" I make up. Also left over rice or pasta often goes in (but I do not specifically cook this for them).

After 4 months of age your puppy should have a half day fast once a week, ie no breakfast on that day, to rest his/her digestive system. This is more like how a wild dog would eat – they can’t catch prey twice a day every day. My adult dogs actually don’t usually get breakfast on the weekends.

I also add apple cider vinegar to my dog’s food. They get 5ml added to their breakfast each day. You can also add it to their drinking water, just put in 5ml for every 1L of water. Apple cider vinegar does many things – it gives them a nice coat, it repels fleas, it acidifies their system and reduces internal parasites and digestive upsets. It is anti bacterial, anti fungal and boosts their immune system. It is also helpful for arthritis and other joint problems and allergies.

You will find your dog will not have "dog’s breathe" and will not have major flea or worm problems when on this diet. You will also notice that they do small, solid, often chalky white poos when on this diet (much better for picking up in the back yard). Your dog may even appear constipated, but this is more natural than the "steaming heaps" left by so many dogs today.

Socialising and Stimulation

I think it is very important to have a well adjusted, socialised dog that is used to being handled by lots of different people. This is important for obedience and showing and just as important (probably more so) for a family pet. Callicoma puppies are given "Early Neurological Stimulation". This is a series of exercises developed by the US Army for their dogs. It involves performing these exercises on the puppies every day from 3 days old until 16 days old – the time when their brain is learning about everything. It is believed you can actually influence their brain at this stage and make them smarter, more able to cope with stress and develop a stronger immune system.

After this time my puppies are handled all over by many people including children. I do not have children myself, but your Callicoma puppy will have been played with and led around by a number of children whilst in my care. I have clipped their nails, looked in their mouths, handled their ears, tails, etc. all through their early development so that they have become used to these things. They have also had many trips in the car, ever since they were only weeks old, and most Callicoma puppies do not get car sick due to this.

Callicoma Kelpies love all their family - both children and adults - Callicoma Carina - and her "brother" Max

Aus Ch Callicoma Merlot ET PT and his "brother" Patrick

Callicoma Sapphire and her "brother" Noah

Callicoma Thistle and his "sister" Charli

Your Callicoma puppy has also met many other dogs. Socialisation with dogs is very important to avoid fear and aggression with other dogs. Your Callicoma puppy has been socialised with other puppies and also suitable adult dogs.

This puppy picnic had 8 kelpie babies, 10 beagle babies, a cattle dog and a German shepherd. With all my breeder friends I can usually organise a get together like this with similar aged babies.

As my puppies spend a fair bit of time in my house they have experienced vacuum cleaners, and other household noise that often frightens young puppies. Whilst all of the socialisation I have described above has been beneficial to your puppy you should not discontinue it now. If possible continue socialisation with other (appropriate) dogs, people, kids, crowds, push bikes etc. Your puppy will not be fully covered by its vaccination until 2 weeks after the 10 week injection so until that time you should avoid putting your puppy down on the ground in parks and other places where lots of dogs have been. I suggest socialisation at a puppy preschool or with friend’s vaccinated dogs at your, or their, house.

Of course your puppy will have been whelped in the house and will have spent a lot of time getting used to things in the house - all the others have too!! Ch. Oatland Chieftan ET and Ch. Callicoma Cosmic love the lounge


Your Callicoma puppy will also be socialised with other animals - cats, horses, and even roos, as you can see above.

Callicoma puppies also get to play on many surfaces, have things to climb in/over/on and with. As I want my own dogs to excel at agility, they learn to play on equipment that might move is brightly coloured etc from very young dogs. This is their play area where they spend the day time from 4 or 5 weeks old. 

Callicoma Tim Tam 6 weeks old


If you follow a natural diet strictly you are unlikely to have problems with worms. I only chemically worm my adult dogs a couple of times a year and samples taken from them are always worm free. My bitches in pup are wormed more frequently and my puppies are kept regularly wormed as this is a time when worm problems will occur. Your Callicoma puppy has been wormed every two weeks with Drontal Allwormer or equivalent. You should continue worming your puppy every two weeks until it is 12 weeks old and then every month until it is 6 months old. After that it is recommended that dogs are wormed every three months, but as I said before, mine are only wormed every six months. If you add extra garlic to your dog’s diet and also pumpkin seeds that have been smashed up in the food processor their worms will be naturally reduced. Whenever I cut open a pumpkin I smash up the seeds and mix in with my dog’s food the next day. Pumpkin seeds contain a natural substance that kills worms.

Picking up your dog’s dropping and keeping him/her free of fleas (which carry tapeworms) will also reduce worms.


As the name implies – these worms do not live in the dog’s digestive system. Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes and travel through the dog’s bloodstream to lodge in the heart where they can do enormous damage. Heartworm is a problem in northern NSW where I live due to our warm subtropical climate and high mosquito population.

Prevention is important as heartworm is often fatal and the treatment sometimes attempted can also be dangerous to the dog. Heartworm tablets prevent heartworm developing. You can get daily heartworm tablets or monthly tablets (see your vet or also available from Callicoma Kelpies & Pet Supplies). I give my dogs the once monthly heartworm tablets - Valuheart. I know of no failsafe natural means of prevention. You should start giving your puppy heartworm tablets before your puppy is four months old; that is the age I start all mine on their monthly tablets. Some people ask me about the annual heartworm injection - I do not use this as I have heard of many dogs having a bad reaction after that injection, and it is much more expensive than using the Valuheart tablets.


Your Callicoma puppy has had his/her temporary vaccination at 6 weeks. If you are getting your puppy from me at 10 weeks or older then he/she will also have had a second vaccination that will cover him/her for twelve months. It is recommended that you revaccinate dogs every twelve months. There is some evidence that dogs do not need to be revaccinated every year, but that the vaccination actually lasts 2 - 3 years or even longer. Due to the risk with all vaccinations I have chosen to vaccinate less frequently, and my dogs are now vaccinated as puppies, and at 1 year and then every 2-3 years after that. You can also choose to have your puppy titre tested to check their level of immunity rather than automaticall vaccinating without knowing whether they need it - many vets are now offering this.


You will find that if you keep your puppy on a natural diet you will have little problem with fleas. If you live in a warm climate (as I do) and your dogs come into contact with lots of other dogs you may need to use a flea preventative. I use Comfortis tablets, and although the pack states that it needs to be reapplied every month, I find that I only need to reapply it approximately every three months (or earlier if I see a flea). I attribute this to a natural diet rather than to them not coming in contact with fleas as my dogs attend shows, trials and training regularly, as well as occasionally staying in boarding kennels so they do come in contact with fleas, but they never become a problem. Flea treatments, are available from Callicoma Kelpies & Pet Supplies, at a price much cheaper than your vet or pet shop.


Your Callicoma puppy will be registered with Dogs NSW. The puppy will be registered in my name. You should transfer the puppy into your name by completing all details on the back of the registration papers and sending to Dogs NSW or your state's equivalent.

You will also need to register your puppy with your local council at 6 month of age. There is now a one off lifetime registration fee (in NSW) of $150 for non desexed dogs and $45 for desexed dogs. They will also require proof that your puppy is microchipped – which he/she will be. You are also supposed to leave a collar with identification tag on your dog. You should have your puppy’s name, address and phone number engraved on a disk and attach it to the collar.

Callicoma Rockwell - 8 weeks


Your Callicoma puppy is microchipped. Whether or not microchipping is required by law in your state it is nice to know your puppy is always able to be identified and you will be contacted if he is lost. The details are currently registered with the NSW Companion Animal Register in my name. I will notify the register that the puppy has changed owners, using the form we will have completed when you got your puppy. (If your puppy has been flown to you I will have completed the form and signed in your place).

It is important that every time you move you change the details on the Animal Register as I hear of quite a few dogs that are microchipped and are scanned in the pound but the owners are not able to be traced. You can download a form for changing address details from

If you are from a state other than NSW, I highly recommend you put your dog on the Australasian Animal Register, which is an Australiawide database, and can be checked in all states when a dog gets lost. The NSW Companion Animal Register can only be checked by NSW vets and councils, so not much use to you in another state. The Australasian Animal Register charges $10 to record your puppy’s microchip number on their database (or $8 if you register online). They can be contacted on 02 9704 1450 or at Locked Bag 4317, Sydney Olympic Park, NSW, 2127 or . You may ask why I do not put your pup directly on the Australasian Animal Register. The reason is I legally have to put them on the NSW register, and if I chose to also add the number on the AAR you would still have an $8 charge to transfer the pup in to your name. But please add the number once you get your pup if you are from a state other than NSW!


I recommend that all dogs and bitches that are not going to be used for showing be desexed. It is your choice, but a desexed dog attracts a lower registration fee, is less likely to roam (males) and will not come into season (females). Also desexed dogs have a lower incidence of mammary and testicular/prostate cancer. There is a down side and that is (at the moment) you cannot show a desexed dog. I do not agree with this rule as it is encouraging people to leave dogs intact which results in accidental matings, and the problems described above, but I am in no position to change it. I desex my dogs that are not used for breeding or showing.


Kelpies are very active dogs. As you would know they were bred to work all day. The show bred kelpies are less active than the working bred kelpies, but still require quite some exercise. A young puppy (up to 4 months) will get enough exercise running in the back yard, after that you will have to gradually increase his/her exercise. I leave my dogs together to run all day in my large backyard. That gives them some exercise. Once they are over 9 months I also take them out tied to my bike (with a Springer or WalkyDog) for 15 - 30 minutes about once a week (gradually increased to this level). (WalkyDogs are available from Callicoma Kelpies & Pet Supplies. I also obedience train them, or do agility with them for 10 minutes or so each day to keep their minds active. I truly believe that a tired dog is a well behaved dog. I teach obedience and most problems I see stem from lack of exercise.

Callicoma Tremolo - "Milo"- 6 weeks


Kelpies are intelligent dogs. If you do not keep their minds as well as their bodies active they will find their own things to do (usually described as misbehaviour). I recommend obedience training for all dogs and particularly kelpies. Please contact me if you would like me to look up a suitable obedience club in your area. I train my dogs and trial in obedience, agility and tracking. Kelpies are good at all of these and enjoy all.

All training of my dogs is done without force or check chains. They are trained in their plain collars, using food treats and the principles of positive reinforcement, ie reward the correct behaviour. After watching my bitches with puppies I only correct my dogs with a growl. Bitches will growl at puppies and hold them to the ground if they do something really bad, and then release them and forgive them. Kelpies are not a breed you can continually punish or correct. They will give up on the bad behaviour but also give up on any relationship with you.

Basic tips – never ever punish your dog after calling him/her to come to you, no matter how angry you are. If you punish a dog when it comes to you, even if he has been naughty, or you will find that next time you call he/she will wisely refuse to come at all.

Encourage your puppy to develop good habits right from the start. Don’t allow behaviour you aren’t prepared to tolerate in an adult dog (eg. if you don’t want him to come in the house as an adult – don’t let him do it as a puppy).

Your Callicoma puppy will come back when called "puppy, puppy, puppy" in a high pitched voice. You should start calling the same, with your puppy’s new name and the word you will use to call them back interspersed in between eg "puppy, puppy, puppy, Leica (or name) come, puppy, puppy, puppy", and gradually drop the "puppy, puppy, puppy". This way they will learn to come back when called Leica (for attention) come.


As Callicoma puppies are raised within the family, and spend quite a bit of time in our house, your puppy will already have begun housetraining. Remember to put your puppy outside after he/she wakes up and immediately after each meal. Praise your puppy when you see him/her going in the correct place. If your puppy goes to the toilet in the house, do not get mad at him/her and DO NOT be tempted to "wipe their nose in it". This will only teach them to fear you and will they will not relate that to the feeling of a full bladder. Just reprimand yourself for not being careful enough. Puppies do not like to soil their own house, but can easily accidentally learn to go in the wrong place.

Yes, kelpies love being lap dogs - NJK NK Int. Ch. Callicoma Katies Blush, in Holland, asleep on Margreet's lap.

Picking up your puppy

Your puppy can not leave here until he/she is at least 8 weeks old. This is something I can not change as is a requirement all registered breeders have to follow. It is there for a very good reason - the puppies learn lots of doggy body language from their litter mates and particularly from their mother in those last few weeks. They learn to respect what a growl means, and they learn that no one will play with you if you are too bossy or too rough. I belive it is very important that all puppies stay with their litter mates and preferably also with their mother until they are 8 weeks old. Of course some mothers will have had enugh of the babies by then, but mostly my girls will keep feeding their pups and checking on them a few times a day right until they leave.

We will work out a time that is suitable for you to collect your puppy. If your puppy is flying to you see below. When you come to collect your puppy please bring a towel or blanket - some sort of bedding that we can rub over mum before you leave. That way he/she can have the scent of mum to sleep with for a few nights when first alone.

Please allow an hour here to go through all the information I need to tell you and to sign all paperwork.

To travel home in the car your puppy is safest in a crate. Most Callicoma puppies will sleep soundly in the car when travelling as they had had so many car trips. Your puppy will weigh around 5kg. Do not bring a cat crate as it will be too small.

You can purchase a suitable crate (which your puppy can then use as a bed at night) from Callicoma Kelpies & Pet Supplies. I am happy to sell these crates to my puppy buyers at cost price. This is the type of crate your puppy will have been used to travelling in.

If I am flying your puppy to you I will advise you of flight costs and we will arrange a mutually suitable date and time. Your puppy will fly in one of the crates pictured above. You can choose to hire a crate from the shipping company I use, or purchase one from me. You will find the purchase price (when getting it cost from me) is only about $10 more than the hire price, and then you have a crate for your puppy to travel home in and to sleep in. If the crate is of no further use to you then by all means use a hire one. I just like to let people know all available options. If your puppy is flying internationally you do not have an option of hire - the shipping cost will include a crate from the shipping company.

Please take water and a bowl to the airport as your puppy will have been without a drink for many hours. (puppies on international flights will have been given water, but not those on domestic). I will place a blanket in the crate with your puppy which will have been rubbed all over mum, so take the blanket with you when you take your puppy. Even if it has been weed on (or worse) just cut that bit off and let your puppy sleep with the blanket for a few nights.

When I send you flight details I will also advise on pick up place and any other information you need. Please note you will need photo id when collecting your puppy.

Any other questions? Just ask!