Belgium's first working kelpies stud

    Breeding for quality kelpies of traditional Australian lines

  • The type of Working Kelpies I go for

    Traditional paddock lines for minimal stress on stock

    Paddock lines are back

    the traditional stockdog for grazing work

    Working Kelpies have evolved with the needs of the (Australian) market. The original Kelpies were very versatile working dogs doing the work in the open as well as at home. Changing working needs have been in favor of yarddogs, assisting stockbreeders on the station to handle stock in yards, handling races, shearing sheds, selecting, loading and unloading stock in and out the trailer, aso aso. Special aspects of the versatile old lines were selected for the modern jobs: very alert dogs with lots of forcing power, race skills like backing/ topknotting/ turning back underneat the sheep, blocking stock in holding pens, heel bite, etc etc. These dogs should also be very responsive to the commands of their handlers. The use of bikes and helicopters for mustering work, was in its turn detrimental to the lines of dogs that had so long served in the vast open lands, often working out of sight to bring stock back to a specific place.
    With the rise and growing succes of yard trialling in the second half of the 20th century, this kind of yard skills turned out to be (part of the) basic skills for a Working Kelpie. Some genuine breeders and handlers combined both yard skills and the traditional mustering skills into so called 'utility lines'.

    Tony Parsons describes in his books how hard it was to preserve the old lines of paddock dogs, especially from the mid of the 20iest century on. He has promoted these lines, herited from some great top old handlers such as Frank Scanlon, Jack Goodfellow, Athol Butler, aso.


    With the growing interest for a low stress approach to stock, came back the interest for these old lines that have been preserved through studs like Glenville, Karrawarra, Riana, Rockybar, and a few others that often used breeding material form these old lines.
    Top breeders/handlers of utility lines also used these old lines to restore good outruns and intelligent approach in their top competition (utility) dogs.

    Young dog in training . Assisted by older dog.

    Dogs for grazing projects in Europe

    Looking for dogs that do the job for modern European graziers

    Since a couple of decennia there has grown a need for dogs that do the old grazing job. With the rise of ecological grazing in support of more biodiversity came the need for dogs that can handle such herds of sheep/cattle/other stock very well.

    Depending on the local regions there still are traditional breeds for local shepherds. But Border Collies have been the major choice in the first large grazing projects.
    Kelpies came to Europe, maybe first as an exotic new breed, especially the lines of Australian Kelpies, known in the stockworld as ShowKelpies. But this interest for just "an unknown breed of special and highly talented dog" turned quickly into the use of these genuine stockdogs for the real work ! Now more than 25 years later, Working Kelpies have found their place in most European countries as working companions on many a farm and/or ecological grazing flock.

    Here in Europe, there is very few farms that really need the pure yard lines. And to spend well the big money for importing a genuine Working dog from DownUnder, one is better off to look for a dog that really fills your needs ! This has led some European shepherds to introduce different top lines of Working Kelpies. Many of these imports went back to top utility lines in Australia, such as Milburn, Karana, Avenpart, Capree ... Only little by little, with the growing knowledge about working lines, the interest growed for the 'old lines' as preserved by studs such as Karrawarra, Riana, ...

    Flank work by Karmala Bindi as a younger dog.

    Traditional paddock lines with a splash of modern utility dogs

    Low stress workers that can handle stubborn stock

    The problem with these 'old lines' was that they often were bred for handling very flighty sheep, on large paddocks only. So the risk that you go for a smart dog that is a tad too soft for our European breeds of sheep, was a real one. In my years I have had such dogs, as well as more yard oriented dogs that were rather hard on my kind of sheep.
    That made me decide to go for the old lines with a splash of modern utility in them. Or just find out one that was bred old style but has all the guts to handle stubborn stock correctly in difficult situations. Through my contacts with breeders/handlers that promote low stress stockhandling I have given up my interest for backing and other pure yardwork, as it is a kind of skills I very seldom use. On the other hand, my dogs that assist me most of the time with grazing work, also have to (un-)load stock as well as they have to fill a pen, a race aso aso ...

    My actual dogs essentially go back to Riana and Karrawarra genetics. I have imported dogs from Karmala and Bamba. I kept 1 good dog from my older breeding that is a mix of modern utility lines (Boanong Buster and Capree Poppy aso., in their background).

  • What We Do

    My dogs are my companions in all kinds of stockwork

    Gathering sheep

    the basic work

    The most evident work for my dogs is to find and gather all sheep that run in a specific area. This can be a simple outrun in a small grassland, as well as searching for stock in heather, moorland or the steeps of a sandhill, filled with wood and difficult undergrowth. The dogs seem to know very well each of these grazing blocks and where to find the sheep.
    Gathering jobs can vary from very small (10 -15 sheep) to real flocks (over 250 ewe/lambs)


    See Karmala Bindi & Kessels Does on YouTube, gathering a flock out of a difficult steep. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ngBbdyKuIc>

    To hold sheep grazing on unfenced land

    for more advanced dogs

    Part of the time, I have the sheep grazing on small lands, to clear unfenced grassland, or herbs and scrub. The dogs have learned, out of experience and my support, to guide the flock with almost no commands. They allow sheep to graze, just keeping them within non-marked borders. This can take for the whole afternoon.
    Each year, we do a lot of grazing around fruit- and wineyards. The dogs have learned to keep the sheep out of the orchards and very seldom need any command for this. Karmala Charlie is a crack in this !


    See my dogs on YouTube in a grazing job: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbG6ROfNxC4>


    Enjoy the heading work of my dogs when we are grazing the unfenced top of a sandhill : <https://youtu.be/X0ogJs3HtuM>


    Replacing stock

    short and long distance walks with stock

    The sheep normally stay for a couple of days up to 3 weeks on one place. Then we bring them to new paddocks. Somtimes this is just the adjacent land. But often this is long distance walking. We try to avoid traffic, but that often is just impossible. If we have longer distances to do with risks of traffic, I often ask a second partner to walk with me and the dogs.
    For each walk I use several dogs. Most often I have Karmala Bindi or Bamba Clyde (or a daughter out of both!) as my lead dog, and Kessels(BM) Does and Karmala Charlie on flanks and the rear of the flock. When I have young dogs, I allow one at a time to join in. I try to not command them, except for avoiding problems. So, the young dogs learn through working experiences, based on their natural instincts. BTW.: to complete their development,   I organise more specific training/work situations for these youngsters.

    See Charlie and Does helping me to leave their home paddock for an afternoon walking and grazing: <https://youtu.be/zNVDBeeUJXA>

    More video's: <https://youtu.be/ZfpZFzlFktM> and <https://youtu.be/QNWsllNfVo8>

    Yard jobs

    dogs helping while controlling stock and other sheephandling

    My dogs often help to pen sheep, hold them in the corner of a corral, guide them through smaller pens and into a drenching race, load or unload sheep in/out of a trailer, in or out of a barn .... This is all part of the job, but some of this is more occasional, surely not day after day.
    I have a few dogs that use backing but most don't or are just not trained to do so. Some use barking easily, nose- and/or heelbite, bouncing forwards, ... and then others just don't use some of these skills. Some dogs are better for yardwork than others, but all my dogs can handle sheep in the yards and hold them.
    When I am in a hurry, I use the kind of dogs that are best for a specific job. When I have more time, I introduce dogs to jobs they are less experienced in. That's my way of "learning on the job" ...

    See Karmala Charlie on YouTube, bringing and loading a small mob of lambs that are recently weaned: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdZHDkJEUkI>

    See young Kessels(BM) Suki on YouTube in a training situation handling lambs in a stable. Suki is a strong dog but lacks a bit direct impact. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mpudyD05kA>

  • The males

    sires to KesselKelpie pups

    Karmala Charlie

    Import B/t, born 06/01/2011 WKC reg. Hips: normal, good stability. Ellbows ok

    Tracker the Chief X Riana DeltaDown
    75% Riana genetics, with several top workers in his pedigree. Via his father, he brings in some Puds Signature genetics. Bred by Jan Lowing at Karmala Stud, Qld, Australia.

    Charlie is my dog for all jobs. He is smart and displays alot of strenght/presence over his stock. He has never been beaten by any of my though sheepbreeds ! Has a good feel for to go to the heads or not and great work on the rear and flanks. He works upright on his feet and rather seldom he uses eye. This upright work makes him faster on the right spot to handle sheep. He positions very well and is happy to have direct impact on stock. During grazing work, he allows the sheep to graze within what he knows as the borders of that piece of land.
    He can be a bit overly keen and when he fires up, he might lack a bit of a natural stop. But, he replies very well on commands in stressy situations. Over the years he has learned to build up several levels of pressure very well, and then give relief as stock reply to this pressure & position he displays. If necessary he uses bark. He showed some backing as a young dog but I never trained that.
    He is my main dog for grazing, walking, loading trailers, penning, holding stock during shearing, etc. etc.
    He has a strong mind and surely decides for himself how to work out a problem, but over the years he has turned into a great working mate. Even if he behaves a bit macho, he is quite a sensitive dog !
    As he turned a bit older, he became a very good dog to drive flocks by walking up and back the flanks and controlling the rear of that flock. Also, on some specific grazing projects, when we come back after months he just knows all the difficult places where sheep might tend to break out. He thinks/acts just a couple of steps ahead and stands there allready before anything might happen!

    As a sire Charlie is a dog to enhance strength over bitches with good working skills but who could use some extra direct impact on stock (f.ex.: due to a bit too much eye)
    See Charlie at his best with very young lambs. <https://youtu.be/iCz06qPK8Cw>
    See Charlie in very different jobs, on different other places in this website.

    Bamba Clyde

    Import R/t, born 2013 WKC reg. Hips B/B Ellbows normal

    Riana Leo X Falcon Ash.
    Clyde arrived sept. 2016 in Belgium, aged 3.5 yrs. He is very much a heading dog in the Riana tradition. Bred at Bamba Stud, by Ben Hoare. He goes back to 100% Riana dogs, when you look 4 generations back.
    He is a very cautious worker, who reads the sheep minds very well. He is not the same top level strength as my Charlie but with experience and growing confidence he manages very well to handle every thoug sheep, as a group as well as an individual. He solves the problem rather through smart position, bouncing back, bark and persistence .

    His main working style is based on heading instinct. If let at his own decision, he will stay on the lead of a mob all day, except for if he sees he is needed to help at the rear or the flank of the mob. He is very good at gathering when the flock spreads too wide, or block the mob so not to pass a line that I have explained him to be the ultimate grazing point. He is a great dog for grazing all afternoons.

    He delivers his sheep perfectly at your feet with no more pressure than needed. Great at "rolling" sheep into a pen or a smaller doorway or a trailer. He uses little eye but also heelbite and little nosebite (in self-defence situations). He showed natural backing in the draft race or to get behind sheep in a filled trailer. But we might need to train that a bit more so to make that more functional.
    As he arrived, he was not ready to handle some of our tough European sheep breeds, but he has learned well to bounce back often with a short bark. After 8 mths at my place, he showed quite more direct impact on stock. On the other side he shows dedication and nerve controll in tough situations and is always searching for to solve the problems he is confronted with. Clyde can handle extreme flighty sheep very well without problems.
    He has a great personality. Cool around other dogs and humans, compliant and happy to be around. As all my Kelpies, he likes to find out for himself how to approach a task.

    Late july- early november 2018, I have lent Clyde to Nanouk Dognies, to assist her during her summer campaign in the French Vercors (southern Alps). Clyde joined her team to replace 2 other dogs with serious limping problems and Nanouk only had two youngsters to do the job. As soon as he arrived, he was able to assist Nanouks 2 young dogs to handle 2000 though sheep in the high mountain on very rocky land ! See Clyde taking the lead of this flock, while Kessels(BM) Belle works rear and flanks:<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgENlRL73CY&feature=share>

    Clyde is a sire that adds skill, heading instinct and nice personality in a mating with strong working bitches.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OayqGH9myhM This shows Clyde as a young adult with his breeder in Australia.

  • The (older) bitches

    I think that bitches are the cornerstone of a breeding plan! Aside their 50% of chromosomes, they add mitrochondrial DNA and all their first care before and even more after birthing while caring for the young pups.

    Karmala Bindi

    Import B/t Born 25/10/2006 WKC reg.

    One hip hurt, other ok. Ellbows ok

    Karmala Spike X Karrawarra Gift IV
    A medium large bitch. Gentle to any human. Determined towards any stock. Works more upright but can use eye on a small mob. Absolute calm approach to stock. Great 'guiding dog'.

    My first working kelpie that works in a "low stress way" ! Has always been (from young to old) a great dog for me, who has very much influenced my own approach to handle sheep. Can perform in any job I have. In the yards, she backs if necessary but prefers to work on the ground. Although she is far from weak, she is not my strongest dog (presence), but she has a determination and the smartness to move any mob or just a stubborn single. I used her often as a leading dog when we do long distance walks.
    At the age of 3 years, she hurted one of her hips due to being butted by a ram. It seems to have disturbed her motivation to allow any sire to mount her. So in the end I used some extra help to get her pregnany. As she turned 12y. she developed light arthrosis on that hip and I retired her as a full working dog. At old age now she is still a great help for me when I train my young dogs !

    Kessels(BM) Does

    B/t Born 29/10/2009 WKC reg. hips A/A and ellbows ok

    Devonairs Torka X Noonbarra Betje

    Does is another special dog. Medium large and of a more robust build, she is a sweet silent and absolutely calm worker. Via her grandmother (Boanong Tracy) she brings in old Karrawarra genes, well expressed in her approach on stock : wide outrun and distant controll to bring sheep. Leads a mob with as minimal impact as necessary. She adapts her rate of strenght all the time to what is needed in a given situation. So, if needed she keeps distance or just comes very close depending the situation! Good heading instinct. During grazing jobs, she allows the sheep to eat for hours, as far as they stay within the chosen area. She seems to know perfectly what is their ultimate border and turns the sheep when they graze near that point. She has absolutely no problem to concentrate on such a flock for the whole afternoon.

    Great holding dog in yards. She is my best dog to get sheep, in a controlled way, out of a well filled trailer or barn. She can display a lot of strength on tough sheep, using a functional heel bite, but essentially she gives all sheep enough chances to reply without any physical contact. She has plenty of eye but is not sticky. She moves any number, any type of sheep with ease. I also love her calm approach towards any job. She is a great bitch to allow young dogs to do the job, while she just observes and intervenes when really necessary !

    Here is Does (red collar) with one of her daughters, Kessels Suki (by Boanong Keli): <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBt03t8GzvI> Suki is a very good dog, but lacks a bit of direct impact. With this kind of tough sheep especially with lambs at their feet, dogs with lots of eye have a hard job to do !

    See two young pups out of a Karmala Charlie X Kessels(BM) Does litter on YouTube in its early meetings with stock: Kessels(BM) Boj:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxfI4doHPbw 

    and Kessels(BM) Flebbke: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Mm3atZ0jE4>

  • Next generation bitches

    Dogs that made the grade to join my working team and might become breeding projects

    Kessels(BM) Tinka

    19/12/2016 Bamba Clyde X Karmala Bindi

    Very strong and determined no nonsense worker in the Riana/Karmala style of working dogs. She chooses for the heading position by instinct, which is very normal, if you see both her parents work. But when she sees the need to work the rear or a flank, she does so, when she is the only dog on duty. When working in a team, she absolutely chooses for he heading position.

    Strong minded, but highly sensitive youngster. Quite dominant over her sheep. Works merely upright but can use eye/style on a few. As she is growing adult now, and when working alone, she displays more and more calm controlled work. She is very much a paddock dog, but she can handle though sheep in thight situations with no problem.

    At age 18mths old, she started to join the team for environmental grazing for a couple of afternoons per week, the whole summer long. She showed she will become a very good dog for this kind of work, just as her mother did ! This means, she can settle down and allow the sheep to graze over longer times, while positioning herself so the flock remains on the same spot for more than an hour.

    She now is learning to take correct initiative without orders, only based on my own behaving as the shepherd that organises the whole working day. This means, she is learning now (at age 23 months) to gain self controll (over her own working instincts) so to better co-operate with me and the other dogs. I prefer the dogs to grow into effective workers, very naturally and give them the time needed to integrate the new working principles in their own ways of thinking, feeling and behaving. This asks for more time to grow into a decent worker, but it pays off very well in the years after !

    See young Tinka on YouTube: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EatVPfdXF2A> and <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMzL8Y_0pNA >

    Shepherds(NL) Nell

    19/12/2016 Karmala Clyde X Kessels(BM) Gem

    A very gently, curious and responsive young bitch. Develops well into a nice strong youngster, that shows quite some self confidence but is happy to be around me.
    Grows into quite a larger dog than her mother.

    Hoera(BM) Loebke

    19/12/2018 (Allstates Boy X Tracker Bling

    Too young to give introduction.

  • New litter?


    I am not th a commercial breeder. I happen to have a litter when I need offspring myself.

    I have not bred that much dogs in the past ! Only when I previewed the need for future workers for my own and placed the rest near a few friends. I think the kind of Working Kelpie I want to breed and work with, is not the kind of dogs to be placed as a pet in a dogsports home or even not just a starting hobby handler.
    From 2019 on, I plan to breed an eventual litter every year. I'll try to keep more pups and start/test them at at 8months of age. There surely will be some top pups between them, but I can't keep them all.

    So, after long discussions I have decided to only sell the few of them to (semi-)professional homes and just let them go at a (small) shepherd's price ! Quality and shepherds support above quantity (or money)!

    So it might happen that I have an occasional youngster that is very ok to go to a working home. Just ask if you are looking for something like that.


    Nothing for sale at this moment.

    There is a chance for a litter in 2019: Karmala Charlie X Kessels(BM) Tinka. This should give very strong, smart pups with a very high potential for paddock work and be able to do all works in yards, up- or unload a trailer, aso. This combination will lower a bit the pure heading instinct in favor for working the rear and flanks naturally. But, the eventual pup will be a very explicite heading dog too.

    Depending on her development, and finding the right sire, there surely will come a litter from Kessels(BM) Loebeke in the future.

  • Where I come from

    Living with stockdogs is a lifelong learning experience !

    Noonbarra Keppe  1999 - 2007

    Short history

    I did it my way !

    1993. I buy a small number of Hebridean sheep to clean up the back yard.

    1995. I start environmental grazing, my first stockdog is a decent Border Collie.

    1999. Noonbarra Keppe. I had discussions with Steven Bilson for two years until he found me this great dog. The pain-in-the-ass-pup turned out to be a marvellous working partner that converted me definitely to Working Kelpies.

    New imports came from Noonbarra I breed my first litters from Noonbarra Crom and Noonbarra Betje.

    2003 & 2004. I attended clinics with Michael Johnson ( New South Wales). These clinics made me aware I still have a terrible lot to learn before I can call myself a decent handler! Michael tells me I need a big sticker on my mouth, just to shut it and the dog can learn and decide for itself! (a life long lesson for me! )


    2007. Karmala Bindi came and amazed me with her natural working skills as a heading dog that appears to work on the sheep’s minds rather than just forcing them to move. This opens a completely different approach in handling stock and dogs becoming more working partners (rather than forcing assistants). During another clinic by Mary McCrabb (Avenpart Kelpies, New South Wales), she explains me that Bindi is a very “classy” bitch.


    2011. Through emailing Jan Lowing (Karmala Stud Queensland) I came into contact with David Hart (Tracker Kelpies Queensland). David at that time forming a great team with Sean Barrett, came several times to Europe (2013; 2015; 2017) to conduct clinics that I attended. I once again feel like I am starting from zero and understand I have so much to learn. That's where I was introduced in the background information as well as the dayly practice of LowStress StockHandling !

    Karmala Charlie is another special dog I have from Jan Lowing. It will take a couple of years yet for us two, to finally find a tremendous positive partnership.

    2012. Bill & Marg Scott came to my place when he visited Europe. Bill confirms a lot of the knowledge I have gained from the Aussie clinics.

    2016 I was lucky to join a clinic, organised by the WKC-Netherlands, by Rex Hocking (Wahspool Kelpies, South Australia).


    2015. I fully retire as a researcher/trainer of school teachers and can now finally invest all my time in my environmental grazing projects. I run 180 ewes (+ their lambs) on very different projects with several dogs to help me.


  • The Blog

    Sorry this page is for later. I plan to write some stories about earlier times and dogs and how I learned by falling and getting up more than once.

    There are no published blog posts yet.
  • Contact

    Patrick Stubbe

    I was a professional teachers trainer, educational researcher and worked all my professional life in support of schools that teach socially depriviated children and youngsters. I was an active member of an international New Schools movement (Freinet's Modern School Movement).
    I retired in 2015 for to invest all my free time in grazing projects and to care about my sheep and dogs. This is a work I started as a hobby and a contribution to environmental projects in my regio. I don't have much land myself, but I graze many hectares for different environmental projects in my regio (around Louvain-Aarschot in Belgium).
    I earn a little money via selling sheep. But no subventions untill now. All I can strive for is to cover most of my costs. This grazing work doesn't make someone financially rich, but for me it adds a worthfull social dimension to my interest in working with animals.
    I am open to support enthousiasts who start in the same kind of work.
    I don't want to be a commercial breeder for I strive for quality above quantity.

    Since autumn of 2017 I am a founding member of "Vereniging voor Ecologische Begrazers" (VEB) (english: association of ecological graziers) in Flanders-Belgium. We try to organise, support and defend everybody who works with grazing animals and has the intention to support the development of biodiversity. We also try to enhance communications with the land owners, environmentalists, and anybody who offers land to be grazed.

    Find me

    Email: patrick.stubbe@pandora.be
    GSM: 0032 499 369 424

    Home: 0032 (0)16 25 99 20


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