The work that Border Collies do may seem different from the type of work that we see German Shepherds do. One thing’s for sure, the combination of these two makes a superb designer dog.
Also called the Shollie, this mixed breed is beautifully agile and athletic. Is this the pooch you’re hoping to add to your home? Let’s find out!
Facts about the origin of the Shollie
The purpose of creating this crossbreed is to make the ultimate large dog that has it all. A canine with agility and athleticism, as well as traits of being playful and protective that still has a driving force. The German Shepherd Collie didn’t disappoint.
For us to understand this designer pooch better, we should get to know the parental breeds.
The loyal German Shepherd (GSD)
We often see the modern German Shepherd doing police work, but as their name implies, they’re also herders.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) described GSDs as confident, smart, and courageous. They’re also always grabbing the 2nd spot for the most popular dog breeds!
German Shepherds were created during the 19th century to be the ultimate guide or herding canine who’s also agile and smart.
GSDs were used to working outside in a cold climate. With the weather like that and the damp conditions, this breed had the work ethic and stamina to handle it. During the two World Wars, they proved how useful they are as supply carrying dogs, sentries, messengers, and rescuers.
Shepherd dogs are not only affectionate and hardworking, but they’re also protective of their families.
The impeccable Border Collie (Borders)
The Border Collie is still great at the purpose they are bred for – protecting and herding livestock.
Sheepdogs like Borders have been around for centuries, but they got popular by the 1800s due to their efficiency at their job.
Although they were used to herd cattle and sheep around the borders of Scotland and England, the Border Collie is the smartest dog breed nowadays.
Not only do they work on ranches and farms, but they’re also faithful and lovable companions in family homes. They also excel in canine sports and agility rings.
Gathering all that information about the parents would already give you an idea of how their hybrid offspring is going to turn out – outstanding!
What does the German Shepherd & Border Collie mix look like?
With a stocky build, Shollies tend to look more like their German Shepherd parent. You’ll notice it from their colored brows.
They have eyes that are shaped like almonds with an intelligent and intense expression. Shollies definitely got that from the Border Collie’s gaze called “the eye”.
Eye color can be brown, amber, hazel, brown, and blue.
They may have slightly floppy or perky ears, and their tail is less bushy if you compare it to German Shepherds.
Coat and colors of the German Shepherd Collie
Both Borders and Shepherds have a double coat, and their mixed-breed offspring will likely inherit it.
They have a medium to long-length coat that is straight and dense. It’s noticeably thicker during the winter season. And if you’re wondering if the Shollie is hypoallergenic, they are NOT. They shed quite heavily, especially during spring, to remove that winter coat.
For colors, they have varying shades, too. Although they’re mostly bi-colored, many will have tan-colored fur like German Shepherds. This mix is also available in black, sable, red, merle, cream, brindle, and many more.
White Border Collie-German Shepherd crosses are available, but they’re very rare.
How big does a German Shepherd & Border Collie mix get?
The size of the Shollie would be under the medium to the large range for dogs. They have an average height of 22 to 29 inches (56 to 74 cm) and a weight of 45 to 80 pounds (20 to 36 kg).
Female Border German Shepherd mixes are 22 to 25 inches (56 to 64 cm)27 to 29 inches (69 to 74 cm) tall, and males are slightly bigger and stand between 27 to 29 inches (69 to 74 cm).
If they’re not with an owner who has a ranch or a farm, then it’s also suitable to live in a house with a spacious yard that’s enclosed with a high fence to avoid it from escaping if something catches its attention.
Personality and characteristics of a Border German Shepherd
Owners who have experience in handling dogs under the herding breed would love this mix as a working or family companion. Shollies are driven yet affectionate. They are such gentle dogs that thrive when they’re surrounded by their favorite humans and are included in activities.
Even if the German Shepherd Border Collie mix is an excellent family pet, be wary of their size, high energy level, strength, and protective nature.
They’d love to interact with kids and other pets, but they do need supervision whenever they’re around the little ones.
But watch this video of a kid teaching her Shollie puppy some tricks! Proper training and handling can do wonders.
There’s also a possibility that this hybrid can get aloof when it comes to strangers. It can easily be fixed with socialization and introducing your Shollie to different places, people, and even noises.
Don’t worry since the German Shepherd Border Collie mix is not yappy. They won’t bark unless they’re alerting you.
This designer dog is very easy to train and can serve as an amazing guard dog. Start teaching your dog house rules, tricks, and tasks while he’s still a puppy. It will help reduce behavioral issues. Due to its defensive instincts, training will help avoid aggressive tendencies.
As they’re sweet canines, use positive reinforcement. Punishing and scolding may even make Shollies stubborn.
Step up the training and join canine sports such as flyball, obedience, agility, and herding trials.
Taking care of Border Collie German Shepherd mix
Bath your Shollie dog at least twice a month or only when needed to avoid drying your dog’s skin with his shampoo. With a double coat that can be long, it needs to be brushed daily. The more frequent you groom your pet, you’d be able to get the shedding under control.
Brush his teeth every day and clean your pet’s ears with a damp cloth to wipe out the dirt. For nails, clip when you notice it’s too long. It’s painful and uncomfortable for them.
Diet a Border Collie German Shepherd mix should have
Whether you decide to feed your designer dog dry kibbles or wet food, you should be concerned about the amount you’re feeding him.
Always consider factors such as his age, size, and activity level. There are times where you have to think about his health conditions, such as allergies.
It’s okay to mix dry and wet food, but on average, this hybrid needs 1,300 calories daily. They need 12.5 g of protein per kg of its bodyweight. For fat, a puppy’s diet should have 8% until it matures (at least 18 months old), then reduce it to 5%.
Feeding your pet raw food or BARF is a good choice, too. It consists of unprocessed meats, eggs, dairy, bones, vegetables, and fruit.
Did you know that you can use feeding time for mental stimulation? There are a lot of interactive feeders, puzzles, or toys where your pooch can look for kibbles or his favorite treats.
Exercise for your Shollie mix
With the energy level of the German Shepherd and the Border Collie, expect the same for their hybrid offspring. This crossbreed requires at least 120 minutes of exercise a day.
Go beyond the usual walk or jog in the park to avoid your dog from getting bored.
It’s best if you can give your German Shepherd-Collie cross off-leash playtime. You can also bond with him by playing fetch, catch frisbees, and swim.
Mixing up activities will help keep your pet stay alert and sharp while keeping his health and temperament in check.
Potential health problems of the GSD-Border Collie cross
Crossbreeds are generally healthier compared to their purebred parents, but it’s still possible that the Shollie may inherit some genetic ailments from Borders and German Shepherds.
The illnesses that the Border Collie German Shepherd mix are susceptible to are eye problems such as Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA), deafness, and epilepsy.
Avoid all these with proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle so your Shollie can enjoy their breed’s life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. Some can even live up to 17 years!
Buying your own Border Collie German Shepherd mix
Expect to pay between $475 to $1,000 for a Shollie puppy. But make sure you’re buying a healthy puppy from a responsible breeder.
Get all the information you can about the German Shepherd and Border Collie parents, as well as their crossbreed puppies. Ask to visit so you can see where the dogs’ environment and reaction. While you’re there, ask to see their health records, too.
German Shepherd Border Collie mix breeders
Mixed breeds often come from breeders of purebred GSDs and Borders. Check out their websites and see if there are Border Collie mixes and German Shepherd mixes available:
- Nadelhaus German Shepherds (California)
- Mittelwest German Shepherds (Illinois)
- Nightshades Border Collies (Kansas)
- Rising Sun Farm Border Collies (Minnesota)
Adopting/rescuing a Border Collie & German Shepherd mix
Whenever someone decides to get a dog to add to their family, it’s always better to adopt or rescue a puppy or an adult pet.
Adoption fees are around $175 to $200, so not only will you be giving a canine another chance to be loved, but you’d also be saving a lot of money.
There are a lot of Border German Shepherd Collies who may be what your home is looking for. You can browse the puppies and adult dogs on Puppy Finder.
Shollies – is this the right crossbreed for you?
This mixed breed is extremely energetic and playful, so if you want to get this dog, you should love being outdoors and enjoys being active. You can only call it a “right match” if you have the same enthusiasm and energy as your canine buddy.
You should also have a home that’s spacious with a fenced yard for the Shollie to run around freely. If not, make sure you have the time to take him out for his daily exercise.
This hardworking mix is also suitable for those who want a canine as their companion for different jobs.
If you or anyone in the family have pet allergies, or no one has experience in handling a working or herding dog, then we advise you to reconsider and take a look at other Border Collie mixes.
What do you think of the German Shepherd Border Collie mix? Tell us your opinion and stories by commenting on the box below.
Cess is a seasoned dog enthusiast and expert in the field of canine care. With over 5 years of experience in the Pet Industry, she is a go-to resource for dog owners seeking expert guidance.
As the Head of Content Writing at Border Collie Health, Cess shares her extensive knowledge through informative articles and practical tips. Beyond her professional role, she actively volunteers at local shelters and enjoys participating in dog-related events.