Interview with Kim Frazier, Breeder of Walkabout Australian Kelpies and Rat Terriers
Where do I live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
Kim Frazier: I live in White City, Oregon. I have had Australian Kelpies and Kelpie X for 13 years. We also show and breed Rat Terriers. We wanted to bring the true Australian Kelpie (show line) to the US.
We imported our male ANKC Australian Kelpie Wingdair Gday Thundr Downunder (aka Boomer) in 2016. We have been breeding dogs since 2017.
What is my kennel name? How many dogs do I currently keep?
Kim Frazier: Our kennel name is Walkabout Australian Kelpies and Rat Terriers. We currently have three Australian Kelpies and seven Rat Terriers.
Which show dogs from the past have been my noteworthy winners?
Kim Frazier: Wingdari Gday Thundr Downunder has multiple BIS Open and Group 2 and 3 wins. He earned 15 AKC, AHBA, and ASCA Herding titles and multiple High in Trial titles in seven months in the paddock.
Which have been my most influential sires and dams?
Kim Frazier: We currently only have a breeding pair and one bred-by puppy. We had our first Australian Kelpie litter last summer and just had our second this spring. Wingdari Gday Thundr Downunder and Dalalyn Black Valkyrie are both BIS Open winners in very limited showing.
Can I talk a bit about my facilities? Where are my puppies whelped? How are they raised?
Kim Frazier: Our puppies are whelped and raised in our home on 10 acres. We have a fenced lawn area with a covered concrete play area. We take great pride in hand-raising and interacting with the puppies daily. Our Australian Kelpies are also raised with our Rat Terrier puppies and all play together in a pack as they are growing.
Am I working with my breed’s parent club to gain full AKC recognition for my breed?
Kim Frazier: We are such a new breed that we haven’t got a parent club yet. We will be working toward that in the very near future. Right now, there are only about 38 recorded Australian Kelpies in the US with AKC.
What is my “process” for selecting Show Puppies? Performance Puppies?
Kim Frazier: We assess the puppies as they grow for structure, temperament, and overall appearance for the show ring, and for that biddability needed for Agility and Herding. We are just starting to see our first litter hit the ring and performance events. We have a couple that will be entering Herding and Agility, and several that are in the breed ring and doing Barn Hunt, and some will be doing Dock Diving, Obedience, and Rally.
Are there any health-related concerns in my breed? Any special nutritional needs?
Kim Frazier: Australian Kelpies are generally a very healthy breed. We test for Cerebellar Abiotrophy (CA), Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA), DM, Heart, Hips, and Intestinal Lactose Malabsorption (ILM). The CA test is a new test that is currently only available by submitting DNA to Dog Breeding Science in Australia. This is a huge breakthrough for our Kelpies here in the US and worldwide. We feed our dogs a high-nutrient kibble, plus fresh bones, vegetables, and probiotics. They get lots of exercise running on our 10 acres and herding our resident wild turkeys.
Do I think my breed is supported by a sufficient number of preservation breeders?
Kim Frazier: We are currently the only kennel breeding show line AKC Australian Kelpies in the US that I know of. We will be importing additional puppies from Australia to complement our current breeding dogs. It is a journey that we are just beginning.
Is my breed well suited to be a family dog? Who are the best candidates to own my breed?
Kim Frazier: The Australian Kelpie has a very even temperament that is well suited for an active family. They do have an “off switch” and can be a couch potato if need be, as long as they get regular exercise and mental stimulation. Australian Kelpies are eager to do any outdoor activity and are extremely smart, and they get along with pretty much everyone. They are a very happy breed with a cheeky smile.
If I could share a comment or two with judges of my breed, what would I like to say to them?
Kim Frazier: The judges that I’ve encountered have been very excited about the entrance of the Australian Kelpie into AKC. They have had nothing but good things to say about our dogs and the quality that we’ve imported. We are excited to see how the judges react to our first litter that’s just hitting the ring this year.
Do I have any words of wisdom to pass along to newer breeders?
Kim Frazier: Unfortunately, for new breeders it will require an enormous amount of dedication, as the breeding stock will need to be imported either in actual dogs or frozen semen. We will be working closely with our clients to help them select top breeding stock for importation into the US.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing thing I’ve ever experienced with one of my dogs?
Kim Frazier: Walkabout Australian Kelpies is dedicated to bringing this wonderful breed to the US for everyone to enjoy their wonderful, cheeky attitude and to find their best mate.