"Red Dog" made more than $20 million at the box office and an entire nation fell in love with the cheeky, larger than life personality of Red Dog.
Based on a true story, the award winning Aussie movie tells the tale of a loyal Kelpie who travels thousands of kilometres from the mining town of Dampier in search of his beloved master.
The blockbuster sparked a surge in the sale of Kelpies as family pets but according to Dr Hugh Wirth, President of the RSPCA, Kelpies aren't suited to suburban backyards.More stories from Today Tonight
He blames the movies success for the number of Kelpies abandoned by families who can't handle the highly active breed and their strong personality.
"They had a theatrical dog trainer work on that dog for months before the film was actually shot. If I buy a Kelpie automatically it'll do the same thing. Well the truth is it won't", Dr Wirth said.
Real life canine star, Koko, worked with trainer Luke Hura for a year and a half before filming began. He has grasped about 30 different commands.
Dr Wirth says it doesn't take long for new Kelpie owners to find out they've bitten off more than they can chew.
"About 10 months after purchase of these puppies, which by the way is still going on, that's the time when people who made the wrong choice, didn't do their homework, bought on impulse, they dump the dog because they no longer like it. The person to blame is the two-legged owner!" Dr Wirth said.
"A Kelpie would run 50 or 60kms a day if you were doing a lot of work, there's no doubt. Normally I'd work two dogs not four but we're showing off today!" said Paul McPhail who runs Beloka Kelpie Stud Farm.
Paul says their workplace, their office, is the great outdoors.
"What I love about Kelpies is I can send a Kelpie and they will work it out themselves, they've just got that ability to say oh there's boss what does he want", Paul said.
Paul's Kelpie pups sell for around $700 each and he reforms older Kelpies who have developed behavioural problems.
Paul's kelpie "Red" featured in the box office smash. “He was the old dog right at the end", Paul said.
"He's an iconic Australian character. I really liked the film, I thought it depicted the Kelpie quite well -- that's what they're like. Kelpies are strong minded, active dogs that think they know it all", Paul said.
Since the movie, Paul says "There was certainly a lot more people interested in buying Kelpie pups and there's a huge cute factor here isn't there?" he said.
But while he may look cute now, his new owner will need to remember the level of commitment required to look after him because the sad fact is hundreds of thousands of dogs are dumped every year.
"They do grow up to be work dogs, they are working dogs and they do need owners that can handle them. I don't have a problem with them going to the city as long as they love them and have discipline for them and exercise them", Paul said.
There are no sheep in this suburban backyard, but owner, Neil MacLeod believes Kelpies like Bob and Pip can live happily in the city and not go barking mad.
"You need to take them for a walk twice a day and you really need to get that energy out of the system. These are three year old Kelpies, they are at their peak, a lot of energy", Neil said.
"They're very driven dogs if they believe they're pack leader, you're in trouble", he added.
With half a million animals dumped at RSPCA shelters last year and almost 20,000 dogs put down, Dr Wirth warns people to do their research to ensure they select the right dog for their family -- and not be influenced by movies and advertising.
Paul says he makes sure any city slickers that want a Kelpie know exactly what they're getting into.
"You're the boss, you're the one that says how it is", Paul said.
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