The Shollie: A Guide to the Border Collie Mixed with German Shepher

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.

The result is a Collie mixed breed dog who’s intelligent, agile, and highly 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 typical 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 needing 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, with the qualities of an excellent working dog and a loyal companion.

The Appearance of The Shollie

Since this dog is a crossbreed, its appearance depends on the characteristics it has inherited from its 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 a pure breed than a crossbreed.

This dog has a beautiful coat similar to GSD’s, 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 who inherited the Collies parent coat, resulting in a bi-colored coat.
  • Height and weight –The Shollie is a large or medium-sized dog. If your pup takes after the GSD, they 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 like his parent breed. This medium-sized coat may have a soft undercoat if the dog 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 dog 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 most intelligent 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 lively. Both the GSD and the Border Collie have lots of vigor. The former is a dog who loves lots of activity, making 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 an excellent 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 devoted. 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 they are low maintenance and very trainable.

Exercise Requirements

Your Shollie is not a couch potato. They require lots of physical activity and exercise to keep them happy.  Make sure you walk your puppy at least two times a day, and you play with them for 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 early 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.

If you’re up for the challenge, grooming your Shollie yourself is a great way to bond and can save loads on grooming fees over the long run. If you’re looking for beginner grooming tips and advice on dog grooming tools and equipment, check out FurDooz.com for reliable information.

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 regularly clean their ears to prevent ear infections. The lifespan of the Shepherd Collie Mix is between 10 and 17 years, just like their parent breed.

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 puppy 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. This Border Collie mixed with German Shepherd makes an excellent working dog and guard dog.  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 breed dogs, check out BarkFriend.com

Should I Get a Shollie?

Choosing whether or not to get a Shollie really comes down to several factors. So, before purchasing a Shollie of your own to add to the family, ask yourself the following questions.

Where Do You Live?

Since a Shollie is a larger and more energetic dog breed, they require space to move around and thrive. This means an apartment is probably not the best environment. Instead, they will do best in a home with a large backyard where they can get all the exercise and playtime they need.

If you have a home with a smaller yard, you will find that you have to make regular trips to your local dog park to keep your Shollie happy and entertained.

What Kind of Lifestyle Do You Lead?

Do you have an active lifestyle? Shollies require a good amount of exercise – at least two hours of exercise each day. If you don’t have the time or energy to do this, then a Shollie may not be the ideal dog breed for you. You need to have the energy and time to walk your dog each day. If you can’t and aren’t active enough to keep up with your Shollie’s lifestyle and energetic temperament, your Shollie will suffer.

Do You Spend Time Outdoors?

How much time do you spend outdoors? Since Shollies are also very social animals, they can become depressed and anxious when they spend a good portion of their time alone. Shollies shouldn’t be left at home alone for several hours at a time. So, is there someone at home who can keep the Shollie company? Or will he be left on his own for several hours while everyone is working?

Do You Have the Time to Train Your Shollie?

Since Shollies are eager to learn and very intelligent dogs, it is easy for a dog owner to train them. However, they are also working dogs, so mental stimulation is important and keeps them occupied. When you train a Shollie, it isn’t just about their behavior. Shollies need to be occupied and entertained. If you don’t have the time to do this or are unwilling to do so, then a Shollie is not the right dog for you.

Where Do You Live?

If you live in a hotter climate, your Shollie may overheat because of its thick double coat. So, if you live in a warmer climate, you need to have the time and energy to use making sure that your Shollie stays cool during these warmer times of the year.

Are You Allergic?

Shollies are big shedders, so if you suffer from allergies or asthma, they may not be the best dog breed for you to consider. Either way, you want to make sure to have a good vacuum cleaner on hand to help clean up the dog hair that will undoubtedly stick to the surfaces of your home.

Can You Afford a Border Collie Mixed With German Shepherd?

Finally, can you afford a Collie mixed breed? No matter which dog breed you own, they can become expensive. The cost for the dog food can begin to add up, and then you have to throw in veterinarian visits, pet insurance, dog toys, dog beds, and other essentials your dog will need.

Within your first year of dog ownership, it should be no surprise that you can end up spending over a thousand dollars. Make sure you can afford a new dog and budget accordingly.

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.