Australian Kelpie history begins, of course, in Australia--though the Kelpie's origin (and its name) can be traced back to Scotland. In the early nineteenth century, Australian farmers began importing Collies from Scotland and Britain because of the breed's great reputation for herding livestock. As the years passed, the farmers began crossbreeding the Collies with other dogs (and even the occasional Dingo), supposedly to develop a breed that would be able to supervise livestock with little supervision.
This crossbreeding continued for several decades, until in the 1870s a Scottish man named George Robertson sold a black and tan pup named Kelpie to a man named Jack Gleeson--and this is supposedly where the Australian Kelpie breed lineage begins. Accounts vary as to whether Robertson or Gleason named the dog; a "Kelpie" is also the name of a legendary magical water creature that was said to inhabit the lochs in Scotland. In any case, the name stuck, and the original Kelpie dog (later known as "Gleeson's Kelpie") produced offspring known as Kelpie's Pups (or simply Kelpies) that excelled in Australian dog trials in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. By the early 1900s, the Kelpie breed was firmly established across Australia, and as the breed was exported to other nations in Europe and North America during the twentieth century, it became known as the Australian Kelpie.
One of the earliest Kelpies was an all-black dog named Barb (called so after a famous Australian racehorse); hence, all the black dogs of this breed are referred to as Barb Kelpies. Another famous moniker in Australia is Red Cloud Kelpies, which describes dogs that are reddish or brown; supposedly the "red cloud" refers to the dust produced in the arid Western Australian regions.