The most common colours in this breed are black and brown. The Kelpie may also be grey and beige, and black or brown with distinctly lighter areas on specific parts of its body. A commonly recognised list of acceptable colours in the Australian Kelpie are black, chocolate brown, red, smoke blue, fawn, black and tan, and red and tan. Two other colours which exist, but are not accepted with FCI or ANKC breed standards
for the Australian Kelpie, are fawn and tan, and blue and tan.
Yet another variant is a cream colour appearing in different shades. Genetically it is the same colour as in the yellow Labrador Retriever. This colour is very unusual in the Working Kelpie and even less common in the Australian Kelpie, since this colour also is not approved according to the breed standards.
Sometimes there is confusion when a litter of puppies have colours which neither of their parents have. However, what seems to be random acts of nature, actually follows strict laws. It is all about genetics, the science of hereditary. On the following pages you may read about the different colours appearing in both the Australian Kelpie and the Working Kelpie, and also about the heritability of these colours. If the text just says “Kelpie” it includes both breeds.