Mum and son ( Honey and Bosco) in the bicky bin. Caught Ya red pawed.!
Many free immigrants to settle in South Australia were German farmers who settled predominantly, but not exclusively, in the Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills and Southern Hills areas.
Apparently in short time these farmers favored the Koolie (Coolie) dog as they were for the most part less troublesome, but most importantly could/would safely work any stock from skitty sheep to gaggles of flighty geese, or in fact whatever needed moving from here to there. Many of these dogs naturally found their way to the outback but apparently it was primarily the areas mentioned that the breed developed originally, in South Australia.
At this time in our country's infancy, there were also many immigrants of Chinese origin who ventured here willing to do the servile work, taking on the lowly, grotty, menial, labouring tasks, thus allowing the gold prospectors and land holders to get on with the business of forging their fortunes in this new land downunder.
It is considered apparent that our Koolie's ancestors also shared the role of foundation stock for QLD Heelers, but our Koolies in general do not have 'heeling' tendencies, also called 'grip' (biting the heels of stock) bred in purposefully to Heelers ( hence the name) with outcross to Dingo.
Personally I love the 'no bite' factor of my Koolies, but in dealing with certain stock heeling does have it's place. Have to say if a 1000k water buffalo or huge wild boar was aiming at me I'd really appreciate having a dog that could take it's mind off me by grabbing it's heels. But, as I don't live in water buffalo or wild pig country it's a non issue. Don't want or need bite.
While South Australia was a bustling hub for free settler farmers and 'Coolie' dogs, it is inevitable that these dogs evolved across Australia with infusions of differing bloodlines and no doubt outcrosses along the way, so population and genetic variations would logically be expected.
Menial workers were known as 'Coolies' ( we've all seen the typical Coolie hat worn by peasant farmers) a colloquial Chinese term for peasant, odd jobber, roustabout or unskilled labourer, although regrettably the term was also used to describe menial workers from many parts of the globe, not only Chinese, who were willing, or perhaps for other poor individuals, not so willing and in fact slaves, to be the primary toilers for landed gentry.
So, the dog that willingly took on the tough work, that never complained, lived on scraps day after day and yet still 'smiled' at the sight of the master, was then referred to as 'the German's Coolie' or, in other words, the German's lackey, serf, dog's body etc. The spelling has been altered in recent times to Koolie because of constant confusion between Coolie and Collie, but some wish to retain the old spelling which is their right.
Koolies are absolutely unsurpassed as far as I am concerned for delight of nature, ease of training and intelligent company.
All breeds have their pros and cons, but good Koolies, bred for brains and temperament, as most are, have no cons! Well, none that have overly irked me, and I can be quite irkable to be honest.
Those who just don't care will breed whatever to whatever, and so whatever is what they'll l keep coming up with. To my horror I have in recent times seen sale ads for Koolie X pit bull, Lab, etc.etc. Today, that just will not do. We are now better educated in the treatment of animals. We need to put that knowledge to better use I strongly believe.
However they came here and however they were created to me Koolies are the most wonderful breed of dog that I've ever owned or known. I've owned and known many.
Many may not be aware but not all Koolies have merle speckled coats and are not the only dog breed to exhibit this coat pattern.
While most do associate the merle colour pattern as a Koolie characteristic, (it's one trait but not exclusively) a solid coloured black, red, or brown Koolie is every bit as much a Koolie as the mottled one. It's what's inside that counts, and Koolies do have that very noticeable and undeniable inner difference. Koolies really do Rock!
THIS IS WHY AUSSIE KOOLIES ROCK!
Kirby Reaves (Montego Koolies Dogzblogz member) I've found my boy has a very different work style to other herding breeds - every person that meets him says he's very interesting to work with.
They're intelligent beyond belief and their ability to work through problems to find a solution or a different way to do something is quite phenomenal. They like being involved in everything and will give
anything a go - they might not love it, but they'll do it because it makes you happy. I've never had a dog that's been so in tune with me, he's my world and I wouldn't change him for anything
Koolie or Coolie, take your pick. In times past, this breed of dog was referred to as a German Coolie, implying that the breed hailed from that country. This I have been assured by many an old stockman is totally untrue. The referrence in fact was German's Coolie. Some wish to stay with the old ways, some want to take the modern approach. Whether Coolie or Koolie, it's still the same beautiful dog.
When Australia was first settled by immigrant farmers, the initial working dogs here were those brought from Britain with fleets of livestock and has already been dicussed at length online, but, in my humble opinion, gleaned from those who should know, most important of all, was the arrival of the Welsh (Blue) Collie.
Welsh Collies may look just like a blue merle Border Collie, but are actually a breed apart. Many believe, and as the 'old guys' told me, it is the Welsh Collie that is the true seed of todays Koolie's, naturally, with addition of other breeds along the way as would be expected. But without written records there are naturally those who's opinions will differ.
This is Milo, Jon Hunt's beautiful girl.
Trish Ryan's beautiful boy Sonny when he was just a baby. He's a very big boy now.
Is that furball a sleepy Raven?
This lovely girl is Lilly owned by Nicole Johnson and is from Honey's very first litter 2007
Rhonda Rees and Cavin Osborne are loving family now to beautiful Ruby. I think you may be very spoilt Ruby.
The Rogers family of S.A. celebrate doggy Birthdays. You are one spoilt and much loved boy Mac.
ps. Mac has won awards at Puppy School too.
Photos above. As example, this handsome dog on the right is a Welsh Blue Collie (as can be seen on Doglovers website) on the left is Honey's sire, a modern Koolie, and may I add just as handsome. He appears black but is actually a very dark merle, quite obvious ITF.
The undeniable similarity of type suggests to my eye at least, that it is a lot more than probable these two breeds are genetically linked. I'd be willing to put money on it!
Both breeds also show the same innate variations ie. coat type and length, merle ,
genial nature etc. etc.(ie. some are smooth coated, some longer, some ears fold, some pricked etc.etc.)
Beautiful Patch, such a handsome boy initially named Tembo after an African Elephant.
Handsome Chase passed his puppy school exam.
I state once again, I am no expert on this subject, just an interested party who has picked up
snippets of information from a number of old timers who informed me that they had known and or worked with this breed in earlier times.
Some of these charming old stockmen I had the great privilege to meet and speak with in 1960's would have been referring to their personal experiences with Koolies ranging back to late 1800's. One lovely guy was a sprightly 94 when I met him and I had the great privilege to speak with him on this subject. That's just amazing to think of now. At the time the significance eluded me I think. I am open and very hopeful of receiving constructive input.
Must be playtime at Montego.