A German Shepherd Border Collie Mix, or a Shollie as people sometimes call the breed, is what you get when you mix two of the most intelligent dogs in the world – the German Shepherd and the Border Collie.
Although a mixed breed, the Shollie showcases the type of traits anyone should admire in a family dog. Not only are these dogs incredibly smart but they are also very energetic, eager to please, and bound to understand things that other dogs might not.
Having said that, know that these dogs require constant mental stimulation on account of their intelligence, which means that they require an environment in which they are not only permitted but encouraged to take initiative on their own accord.
Table of Contents
- What Is A Border Collie German Shepherd Mix?
- Border Collie German Shepherd Mix Personality & Temperament
- Caring For A Collie German Shepherd Mix
- Quick Breed Summary Table
What Is A Border Collie German Shepherd Mix?
To put it bluntly, a Border Collie German Shepherd Mix is what you get when you combined two of the best herding dog breeds in the world – the Border Collie and the German Shepherd. Seeing how smart and capable these purebred dogs are, any crossbred between the two is bound to showcase the same characteristics.
Because each of these breeds is certified by Kennel Clubs around the world, you can expect a breed between the two to be healthy and dependable with no long-term issues to consider. Even so, the Border Collie German Shepherd Mix is not certified by the AKC because it is a crossbreed.
Even so, the Border Collie German Shepherd Mix stands out as one of the most intelligent and trainable dogs in the world. This is a dog that loves being around people and following commands on account of its wits, energy levels, and affectionate behavior.
Given the size of the parent breeds, the Border Collie German Shepherd Mix is also a rather large dog, with a weight that can reach 80 lbs or more. Even so, they usually inherit their size from one of the parents, it just happens that they take after the Shepherd more often.
On a related note, the Shollie looks a lot more like a Shepherd than a Collie, the only noticeable differences being the floppy ears and the Collie tail. Other than that, know that puppies can differ quite a lot from one another based on more than genetic heritage.
Height & Weight
Seeing how these dogs tend to take after the Shepherd side of the mix, most Border Collie German Shepherd Mixes will resemble the Shepherd in both size and weight. This way, you can expect a Shollie to reach 21 to 27 inches in height.
These dogs can weigh between 70 to 80 lbs or more depending on the diet and lifestyle. More often than not, the males grow taller and heavier than the females but as we said, the dog’s exercise levels and protein intake also play a major role in their physical development.
Coat & Colors
Most Shollies have a straight, dense, medium coat similar to that of the parent breeds. Even so, when they take after the Shepherd, they can boast a double coat that’s both thicker and longer than that of Shollies that take after the Collie side of the mix.
Keep in mind that the Shoillies who inherit the Shepherd coat will need a lot more grooming during the cold season as they shed more during that time. Obviously, their double coat helps them withstand colder temperatures better, a trait that makes these Shollies more suited for roaming the outdoors.
In regards to color, know that the Border Collie German Shepherd Mix comes in a solid tan color with black patching and points more often than not. If, however, they inherit their coat from the Collie side of the mix, the pups can exhibit virtually any mixture of colors.
Border Collie German Shepherd Mix Personality & Temperament
Because of how intelligent and well-behaved most Collies and Shepherds are, you can expect the Shollie to bolster the same characteristic traits. These dogs are known to be not only tolerant of people but also very affectionate toward them.
Unless something goes woefully wrong during the pup’s early training, you should have a calm, loyal, and affectionate Shollie by the time it reaches adulthood. Interestingly enough, these dogs tend to form strong bonds with children, probably because of their herding heritage.
Bear in mind that these dogs always need something to do, a purpose of sorts. Failing to provide the dog with an activity that’s equally challenging and satisfying will result in the dog becoming increasingly stressed and disobedient, which reflects poorly on the breed’s heritage.
Border Collie German Shepherd Mix Behavior
These dogs love being outdoors and will jump at every opportunity to go outside, even if it’s for work rather than play. They can spend hours just running and roaming about and care very little about the weather as long as they get to spend time outdoors.
Due to how incredibly smart these dogs are, you have to stimulate the dog mentally as well as physically as often as you can. Failing to do so will result in the dog becoming apathetic and stressed, which doesn’t bode well with the dog’s inherent need to please.
Now, because of how intuitive they are, Shollies tend to figure out people’s intentions before they get a chance to act them out. This is a trait that both the Shepherd and the Collie possess, which explains why people have traditionally been using them for herding jobs.
Border Collie German Shepherd Mix Temperament
When properly socialized from an early age, these dogs get along with everyone and rarely showcase any aggressive behavior under normal circumstances. They do, however, have a very protective nature, and they will not hesitate to go to extreme lengths in order to protect their owners.
Keep in mind that they make great guard dogs and are likely to bark at any perceived threat if they get to close to the dog’s comfort zone. Luckily enough, these dogs are smart enough to understand that there’s no real danger if you take the time to introduce them to whomever or whatever was causing them to be anxious.
Is A Collie German Shepherd Mix A Good Family Dog?
No doubt about it! These dogs make exemplary family dogs on account of their friendly personality and protective behavior. They rarely if ever exhibit aggressive behavior, less so around children and family members, especially around those that the dog perceives as vulnerable.
Seeing how these dogs have traditionally been used for herding purposes, they tend to develop strong bonds with small children and will go to extreme lengths to protect vulnerable family members from any type of harm, be it other dogs, people, or environmental threats.
That said, try to understand that these are powerful dogs and that they need to be properly socialized from an early age if they are to behave themselves in a proper manner. So to avoid any potential mishaps, try to supervise them around small children until they get used to their presence.
Caring For A Collie German Shepherd Mix
These dogs require quite a lot of care and attention if they are to behave like the wonderful family dogs that they were bred to be. This implies a bit of effort on your part because even if the dog’s genes recommend it as an excellent family dog, you still need to train them to obey commands and behave themselves around people.
In regards to grooming and nutrition, these dogs require extensive attention during their first few years as both diet and exercise are essential in their development. They also need plenty of stimulation, both physical and mental.
Being the active dogs that they are, Shollies need lots of exercise on a daily basis. In fact, these dogs are so active that all you need to do is to let them out of the house. Chances are that they will occupy themselves somehow, either by looking for a plaything or simply by running around.
As often as you can, use running and chasing routines as part of their training. Due to their history as herding dogs, they love to perform these types of activities and will welcome the chance to do anything productive enough to get your attention and approval.
Grooming & Shedding
The Shollie can either inherit the coat from the Shepherd part of the mix or the Collie side. Depending on that fact the pups can either have a long, double coat as the Shepherd or a medium coat akin to the Border Collie.
If the pups have a double coat of hair, then the Shollie will require regular grooming on a weekly basis, even more so during the winter when the shedding intensifies. If you can, have the dog professionally groomed at least once or twice a year, it really helps long-term.
Because of how sociable and affectionate these dogs are, you should transform your grooming sessions into a bonding experience early on. The pups seem to love the attention and that will translate in an increased standard of loyalty as the dog grows.
Feeding & Diet
For the most part, a Collie German Shepherd Mix requires an average of one and a half cups of dry food per serving, which should be twice a day. The exact amount, of course, may differ according to the dog’s activity levels, age, and overall health.
It seems that dry food is somewhat easier to digest by Shollies on account of its high protein contents. If you can, avoid foods that contain too much dye, rendered fats, corn, or wheat gluten because of the health concerns they raise.
Known Health Problems
While the parent breeds are generally quite healthy, the hybrid Shollie can sometimes develop issues particular to mixed breeds. These issues are more likely to develop as the dog ages, especially if the dog’s diet changes dramatically during that time.
One thing to remember is that they can sometimes have eye problems, so make sure to do a proper checkup for the pup’s eyes as soon as you get it. Other than that, always check the dog’s ears for signs of ear infections because some Shollies can sometimes have them because of genetic predispositions.
How To Train A Caring For A Collie German Shepherd Mix
As we previously said, both the parent breeds are renowned for their intelligence, so a hybrid between the two is bound to be remarkably smart. This makes the whole training process a lot easier overall, especially if you have previous experience training dogs.
Being the food-focused dogs that they are, it is best that you involve food rewards as an incentive for obedience and desired behavior. Also remember that these dogs need a lot of mental stimulation on account of their smarts, so try not to neglect your dog’s need for attention for too long.
Quick Breed Summary Table
|Size||21 to 27 inches|
|Weight||70 to 80 lbs|
|Lifespan||13 to 15 years|
|Color||Variety of colors depending on parent genes|
|Coat||Double coat on the side of the Shepherd or medium length on the side of the Collie|
|Shedding & Grooming||Heavy shedding during spring and fall if they have a double coat|
|Temperament||Loyal, caring, highly energetic, yet easily bored|
|With Other Pets||Great with other pets if properly introduced|
|People Skills||Amazing people skills, overly protective of family members|
|With Children||Good with children but should be supervised around the smaller ones|
|Exercise Needs||Daily exercise required|
|Food||Dry food advised, but any food should do as long as it has a high protein content|
|Known Health Problems||Ear infections, eye problems|
All Things Considered
When you look at it as someone who wants a companion, I guess you could do worse than a Collie German Shepherd Mix. The real strength of these dogs, however, lays in their remarkable intelligence, obedience, loyalty, and affectionate character.
If you’re looking for a family dog then look no further. The Shollie makes for an excellent family dog by most accounts, one that loves pleasing its owners at all times. This is the type of dog that never backs down from a challenge and you will find it very pleasant to have around long-term.