The Shollie: A Guide to the Border Collie German Shepherd Mix

Image Credit: DogTime

The Border Collie German Shepherd Mix, otherwise known as the Shollie, is a crossbreed of two of the most intelligent herding dog breeds: the German Shepherd and the Border Collie.

By Guest Blogger, Jackie Brown

The result is a dog who’s intelligent, agile, and extremely loyal. If you’re wondering if the Shollie is the right dog for you, here’s everything you need to know about this energetic dog breed.

Origin of the German Shepherd Border Collie Mix

The origin of the Shollie is unknown. However, it is believed that the cross was made to get a large dog.

The Border German Shepherd mix results from crossing a pure German Shepherd Dog (GSD) with a pure Border Collie

The GSD is the ultimate guard dog. It’s sturdy and has admirable stamina and work ethic. This large herding dog is also common in the military and police work. The Border Collie is often bred as a herding dog. This is an excellent working dog, and you’ll mostly find him protecting livestock in large ranches. This dog is also a favorite for families in need of a loyal guard dog.

Crossbreeding these two dog breeds usually results in a dog that can be double the average size Border Collie, weighing around 80 pounds, and with the qualities of an excellent working dog but also a loyal companion.

The Appearance of The Shollie

Since this dog is a crossbreed, his appearance depends on the characteristics it has inherited from the parents. However, most of the Shollies’ appearance tends to lean more towards the GSD. The German Shepherd Border Collie mix has a striking look more like that of a pure breed than of a crossbreed.

This dog has a beautiful coat similar to that of GSD, an athletic body, and very bright eyes. They inherit their floppy ears and the almost hairless tail from their Collie parents. 

  • Coat color – Most of these dog coats are tan colored with black points. It is also not uncommon to find a Shollie that has inherited the Collies parent coat, which results in a bi-colored coat.
  • Height and weight –The Shollie is a large or medium-sized dog. If your pup takes after the GSD, he or she will weigh between 80 and 90 pounds when mature. If she inherited the Border Collie genes, she would weigh around 40 pounds. You may also find that your pup falls in between the given weights. The German Shepherd Collie mix height is about 22 to 27 inches.
  • Coat – Your pup will have a straight dense coat just like his parents. This medium-sized coat may have a soft undercoat if the pup takes after his GSD parent

Temperament Of the German Shepherd Collie Mix

The temperament of the Shollie will be a mix of their two purebred parents. Nevertheless, some personality characteristics are expected in every German Shepherd Collie Mix, including:

  • Intelligent – The GSD is the preferred military and police dog due to its intelligence. Border Collies are also known as some of the smartest dogs around. Thus, you should expect your Shepherd Collie Mix to be brilliant. This also makes them wonderful working dogs as they love to do tasks that stimulate their active minds.
  • Energetic – It’s easy to see why your Shollie is so energetic. Both the GSD and the Border Collie have lots of vigor. The former is a dog who loves lots of activity which makes him an excellent working dog. The Collie is kept as a farmhand due to his tenacity. The mix of these two dog breeds results in a dog with lots of energy.
  • Loyal and protective –The Shepherd Collie is a great guard dog. They have a great instinct to protect and guard those they love. They are also easy to train, which is why they make wonderful guard dogs.  This dog is also friendly to family members and other animals, so you don’t have to worry that he will attack your other pets in your home.
  • Affectionate and easy to train – The GSD and the Border Collie are known to be affectionate. It’s no wonder that your Shollie will love to snuggle next to you and not be able to get enough attention from you. The Shollie is also very friendly for first-time owners as he or she is low maintenance and very trainable.

Exercise Requirements

Your Shollie is not a couch potato. He or she requires lots of physical activity and exercises to keep them happy.  Make sure you walk your pooch at least two times a day, and you play with them at least two hours daily. Exercise also maintains your dog weight, which is essential in dogs prone to hip dysplasia. 

While indoors, you can engage your Shollie in some games, puzzles, and other tasks that exercise him mentally. Agility training for this dog is also recommended as it helps the dog burn off steam and stimulates your pup emotionally. If your German Shepherd Collie mix is a working dog, the better as this keeps him busy and his mind active.

If you live on a farm, ensure you have a fenced backyard to prevent your pup from going out often. Pet lovers who live in apartments are discouraged from getting the Shollie unless they are ready to keep up with their active lifestyles. 

A Collie Shepherd Mix also needs to be trained and socialized at an early age if you want him to be more sociable.  If you leave your intelligent and active dog alone for too long, he will engage in destructive behavior such as chewing on furniture or excessive barking.

Grooming Needs

If your dog has a double coat, you will expect lots of shedding during the Spring and fall months. Even if your dog takes after their Collie parent, expect lots of shedding. 

You’ll need to brush your dog’s coat weekly. If your dog has a double coat, you may need to take them for professional grooming, especially during the shedding season. This prevents matting and keeps the coat looking good.

Health Issues and Lifespan of the Shollie

Hip dysplasia is a condition common in both the GSDs and Border Collies, which makes it a likely condition in your Shollie. The Shepherd Collie Mix is also prone to eye problems. Ensure you also regularly clean their ears to prevent ear infections. The lifespan of the Shepherd Collie Mix is between 10 and 17 years, just like their parents.

Getting a Shollie

If you decide to buy a dog rather than rescue, make sure to get your dog from a reputable breeder as this will ensure you get a healthy pup. Ensure your pup is genetically tested, or your seller has checkup certificates of the pup’s parents so that you are well aware of the health issues to expect from your dog.

Also, make sure you also get an AKC certification that shows both parents are purebred dogs. Check that the pup’s flea treatment, vaccinations, and deworming are up to date. A Border German Shepherd Mix pup will cost between $450 and $950, but you can also adopt one from your nearest animal shelter at a more affordable price.

The Shollie is an intelligent and very active dog. They make excellent working dogs and guard dogs.  If you can keep up with this dog’s high energy needs, don’t hesitate to get yourself this loyal and affectionate companion. 

For info on other pure and mixed breeds, check out BarkFriend.com

about the author

I’m Jackie, dog trainer, author, and former editor of numerous pet magazines, including Dog World, Natural Dog, Puppies 101, Kittens 101, and the Popular Cats Series.

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