The Links History & Founders


(07) 3397 2000

Keith & Coralie Kirkpatrick (Sean’s parents) are the owners and founding members of The Links Pet Centre. Unfortunately, Keith passed away in 2011 succeeded by his wife Coralie. Read more about his life and history below.


Keith Kirkpatrick

ONE of Ipswich’s and Australia’s most respected and loved dog trainers has passed away, leaving a lifetime legacy of inspiration and challenge to anyone who aspires to emulate him. Keith Edmund Kirkpatrick, 72, was the owner of The Links Pet Motel at Goodna, and enriched the lives of people and their dogs who had the privilege to be associated with him. He dedicated his entire life to the training of dogs and helping people have a closer relationship with their dog, and was considered one of Australia’s top trainers by his peers.

Mr Kirkpatrick owned and trained his first dog in general obedience in 1954, when he was 15. His father, William Kirkpatrick, owned fishing trawlers and pearl shell luggers, so Mr Kirkpatrick became a boat-builder and finished his five-year apprenticeship in 1959.

His apprenticeship was followed by National Service and in 1960, at the age of 21, the RAAF needed a boat builder. This opened the door for Mr Kirkpatrick to gain entry to 2AD Detachment B Neutral Bay Sydney, servicing PT crash boats and studying naval architecture. Within three months he made contact with Jack Goldstein, who was involved in the supply of dogs for Richmond Air Base and was considered the best Australia could offer. He then purchased a German Shepherd dog named Khan.

Mr Kirkpatrick sat for the qualifying exam and his interest grew from being a part-time trainer into a profession, which lasted until his passing on September 16.

In 1970 at the age of 31, Mr Kirkpatrick and his wife Coralie arrived in Brisbane and bought acreage at Gumdale. In 1974, he formed Cherokee Farm Pty Ltd, and it became an established dog training centre known as The Links Pet Motel at Goodna.

He then started classes on a Sunday morning and eventually had more than 100 people and their dogs attending. From this evolved an eight-week course, which many other establishments have since copied. Mr Kirkpatrick was the first to have live-in training, which proved to be a big success and still is today.

He trained dogs for Jamie Dunn, Jackie McDonald, Michael Beattie, financier Noel Whittaker and Mike Doohan, to name a few. He supplied dogs to Movie World and a trained German Shepherd for Paramount Pictures.

The ABC did a show, Boot Camp For Dogs, with Mr Beattie and his dog, where two film producers followed their progress. He was also president of the German Shepherd Dog Club of Queensland for many years, forming the German Shepherd Dog Demonstration Team. This team was always thoroughly enjoyed by the crowds, with dogs going through the fire hoops a favourite with all family members.

Mr Kirkpatrick leaves behind his wife Coralie, son Sean, daughter-in-law Barbara and granddaughter Katherine.

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