Are you considering adding a four-legged friend to your family? Let’s dive into the world of the Border Collie German Shepherd Mix puppy, a unique and captivating hybrid. This breed, often referred to as the “Shollie,” combines the best of two highly intelligent and active dogs.
You might be wondering, what makes the Shollie so special? This article will reveal why this mix could be the perfect companion for your active lifestyle.
From their energetic nature to their loyal disposition, Shollies are more than just pets; they’re lifelong companions that bring a blend of joy, intelligence, and protective instincts into your home.
But it’s not all play and no work; owning a Shollie comes with its own set of challenges and responsibilities. We’ll explore everything from their unique personality traits to their specific care needs, ensuring you’re fully equipped to welcome this dynamic breed.
So, if you’re ready for an adventure with a furry partner, read on to discover why the Border Collie German Shepherd Mix might just be your perfect match.
Table of Contents
- Size: The breed is large.
- Height: Males stand between 21 to 29 inches tall. Females are usually 18 to 24 inches in height.
- Weight: Males typically weigh 70 to 80 pounds.
- Coat Type: Medium to long in length.
- Coat Color: Colors include brown, black, fawn, sable, and white.
- Temperament: They are energetic, affectionate, loyal, and protective, but can be aloof and aggressive. They are also playful, highly intelligent, and generally easy to train.
- Shedding: They are heavy shedders.
- Life Expectancy: Lifespan ranges from 10 to 15 years, and up to 17 years with optimal health care.
- Hypoallergenic: No.
- Kid-Friendly: Yes, they are generally good with children.
- New Owner Friendly: Yes, suitable for first-time dog owners.
- Breed Recognition: Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA), American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC).
What is a Shollie?
The Shollie is a unique crossbreed, born from the pairing of a German Shepherd and a Border Collie. Renowned as a designer dog breed, the Shollie boasts an athletic build and is brimming with energy.
Unlike purebred dogs, Shollies can be quite unpredictable in appearance and temperament, often varying significantly even among siblings. This diversity stems from the blend of traits inherited from their distinct parent breeds.
Shollie: History Of The Breed
The German Shepherd collie mix or Shollie is part of a growing trend of designer breeds, which began gaining popularity with the creation of breeds like the Labradoodle. These breeds are often crosses of two purebred dogs, in this case, the German Shepherd and Border Collie.
The concept of designer breed emerged from the desire to blend the desirable traits of two purebreds, sometimes aiming for hypoallergenic qualities or a particular aesthetic appeal, like the teddy bear-like appearance seen in many Doodle breeds.
The Shollie is a product of this trend, though the exact origins and intentions behind its creation remain a bit of a mystery.
Border Collie History
The Border Collie, a medium-sized and highly energetic breed, originates from the border region between Scotland and France. Its lineage includes the ancient Roman sheepherding dogs and the Viking’s Spitz-type herders.
Renowned for their remarkable intelligence, they are considered the brightest among all dog breeds. Their history includes participation in informal sheepherding competitions in the 1800s, and they have consistently excelled in official sheepdog trials since the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Capable of covering over 50 miles in a day, their rough, shaggy coats and distinctive white markings, which make them easier to spot in the dark, were essential for their outdoor herding tasks.
The Border Collie gained global popularity, especially in Great Britain, and were later introduced to America where they were recognized for their obedience.
By 1940, the North American Sheepdog Society was established to preserve and promote this breed, which has been impressing generations with its smartness, energy, and eagerness to please.
They were recognized by the American Kennel Club as purebred in 1995.
German Shepherd History
The German Shepherd breed owes its development to one man, Max Emil Friedrich von Stephanitz, and his vision in the mid-19th century.
As a cavalry officer in Germany, von Stephanitz was captivated by the local sheep herding dogs’ intelligence and responsiveness but was concerned about their declining numbers. In response, he purchased a large estate near Grafath in Bavaria and began his quest to create a formal breed.
The foundation of this breed was Hektor Linksrhein, a four-year-old dog with a wolf-like appearance and outstanding intelligence and character, whom von Stephanitz acquired in 1899 and renamed Horand von Grafrath.
This dog became the sire of many offspring, with virtually every German Shepherd today tracing back to him.
Von Stephanitz’s breeding program focused on cultivating both beauty and brains, resulting in a breed known for its handsomeness, intelligence, obedience, loyalty, and affectionate nature.
This comprehensive breeding approach transformed the German Shepherd dog from a sheepherding dog into a versatile breed, excelling in various service roles, including police and military work, while maintaining its reputation as a reliable and capable breed.
Their adaptability and trainability were key factors in their widespread use and recognition by the American Kennel Club as purebred in 1908.
The Shollie is a large dog breed with an average weight of up to 80 pounds.
Each Shollie puppy displays unique traits inherited from its parents, often resembling the German Shepherd more with their muscular build. You can typically spot them as crossbreeds by their floppy ears and distinct Collie tails.
While their appearance varies, Shollies are notably strong and possess high stamina, making them ideal for tasks like herding.
Height and Weight
Shollies usually mirror the size of the German Shepherd parent, standing about 21 to 29 inches tall and weighing approximately 70 to 80 pounds when fully grown.
However, if they take after the Border Collie parent more, they might be shorter and lighter, as Border Collies generally weigh around 40 pounds.
Coat Colors and Patterns
The coat of a Shollie is often a solid tan with black patching and points. There is a chance of inheriting the diverse coat colors of the Collie parent, resulting in a variety of over ten different colors, including white, black, blue merle, red, and sable.
Here are some common coat colors and patterns in Shollies:
- Black and Tan: This remains a classic pattern, with a dominant black body and tan markings, typical of the German Shepherd influence.
- Sable: A mixture of dark and light hairs, creating a shaded effect, is common in both parent breeds.
- Merle: A pattern unique to their Border Collie lineage, featuring dark blotches on a lighter background.
- Solid Black: While rare, the all-black coat is a striking representation of the German Shepherd’s influence.
- White and Black: This contrasting color scheme, often in a pattern reminiscent of the Border Collie, is also common.
- Solid Tan with Black: A probable coat color, with solid tan and black patching and points, is indicative of their mixed heritage.
- Multicolored: Considering the Border Collie’s varied color palette, Shollies could also exhibit a mix of over ten different colors including white, blue merle, red, and sable.
Shollies have a straight, dense, medium-length coat. If they resemble their German Shepherd parent more, they will have a double coat, which is thicker, especially in colder months. This double coat is advantageous for working dogs in cold climates.
Shollies inherit high energy levels and intelligence from both the German Shepherd and Border Collie, making them both challenging and rewarding to live with.
Typical Behavioral Traits
- Energetic and Playful: They require ample exercise and mental stimulation.
- Intelligent and Trainable: Quick learners, they excel in obedience and agility.
- Protective Nature: Loyal and protective, they make excellent watchdogs.
- Affectionate with Family: They form strong bonds and are loving towards their family.
- Cautious with Strangers: Initially wary, they need proper socialization to be comfortable around new people.
The collie shepherd is a highly energetic crossbreed, requiring substantial mental and physical activities to stay healthy and happy.
According to Wag Walking, these dogs need about 60 minutes of outdoor exercise daily, including running and playing. For more independent dogs, 2 hours of walks split over the day can suffice. However, without sufficient exercise, they may become bored and destructive.
Here are some recommended activities for your collie shepherd mix:
- Hunting for Dog Food
- Weave Poles
- Obstacle Courses
- Retrieval Tasks like Fetch
- Owners Chasing the Free Dog
- Agility Training
- Yard Play
For indoor activities, consider:
- Tug of War
- Dancing with the dog
- Interactive Games like Hide-and-Seek
- Toy Fetching
Always monitor your dog for signs of over-exhaustion or overheating. A dog walker might be helpful if you cannot meet these exercise requirements.
How to Train a German Shepherd Border Collie Mix
Training a Shollie, an intelligent dog and eager-to-please breed, should start in puppyhood. Here’s a step-by-step guide for basic training commands:
- Build Trust: Gaining the dog’s trust early on is crucial for effective training.
- Command Training: Teach basic commands such as ‘sit’, ‘stay’, and ‘stop’ to control its playful and energetic nature, especially indoors.
- Obedience Training: This not only sharpens their mental capacity but also improves social skills.
- Socialization: Introduce the dog to other pets in the house to prevent aggressive behavior.
- Positive Reinforcement: Use treats and praises to encourage the dog during training.
- Consistent Practice: Regularly reinforce commands to ensure the dog behaves well indoors and avoids causing accidental harm, especially to children.
Remember, patience and consistency are key in training this intelligent breed.
Shollies are large dogs with a heavy coat that requires a lot of attention during grooming. They are known to shed significantly, so regular grooming is crucial to maintain their coat’s health and manage shedding.
As they age, their shedding increases, making it even more important for owners to brush their fur daily. This helps remove dead hair and dander and also prevents tangles in their long hair.
Essential Grooming Tools and Their Uses
- Slicker Brush: This is an effective tool for removing tangles and mats in dog hair. It’s more efficient than regular combs, saving time and effort during grooming sessions.
- Detanglers: Before using a slicker brush, it’s often necessary to address the numerous tangles in Shollie’s hair. Detanglers help in loosening these mats, making it easier to brush through the coat.
- Dematting Sprays: In cases where mats are too tight you can use de-matting sprays to soften them making it easier to untangle knots without hurting the dog.
- Scissors: For particularly stubborn tangles, scissors may be required. However, caution is advised as dogs can be uneasy around sharp objects. This should be a last resort if detanglers are ineffective.
- Conditioner and Shampoo: Given the sensitivity of the Shollie’s skin and coat, choosing the right shampoo and conditioner is vital. It’s important to select products based on their coat type and skin needs, rather than just the scent or price.
- Grooming Wipes: These are essential for quick clean-ups, especially for active Shollies returning from outdoor play. They help prevent mud and dirt from being tracked inside, particularly useful for cleaning their paws.
- Microfiber Towel: A regular human towel might not be sufficient for a Shollie’s heavy coat. Microfiber towels are more effective in absorbing water and drying their coat after a bath.
Nail Clippers and Ear Cleaner remain vital tools as well. Nail clippers keep their nails at a healthy length, and ear cleaner is essential for preventing ear infections, a common problem in many dog breeds.
The Shollie generally has excellent health, which contributes to a longer lifespan compared to many large breeds. They are designer dogs, meaning they are less prone to illnesses, though it’s still crucial to pay attention to any early symptoms of diseases.
The Shollie can live up to an impressive 15 years, a remarkable age for large dogs, especially with proper care.
Lifespan Comparison with Parent Breeds
|Border Collie||12-15 years|
|German Shepherd||9-13 years|
|Shollie||Up to 15 years|
Is a Border Collie German Shepherd Mix a Good Family Dog?
Shollies inherit their herding and protective instincts from both the Border Collie and the German Shepherd, making them excellent family dogs. They are particularly suited for active families and are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and affectionate nature.
Shollies enjoy being around their human family and are territorial, which can be beneficial for protecting children from strangers. Their intelligence and the fact that both parent breeds are known to be friendly towards new owners make Shollies relatively easy to train, even for first-time dog owners.
Tips for Socializing Shollies with Family and Other Pets
- Early Socialization: It’s important to introduce Shollies to a variety of people and other pets early in their life to develop their social skills.
- Positive Reinforcement: Encourage good behavior with treats and praise.
- Regular Playtime: Engaging in play helps them bond with family members and other pets.
- Training Classes: These are beneficial for learning social skills and enhancing their training.
- Supervised Interactions: This is crucial, especially when they are around children and other animals, due to their protective nature.
Nutrition and Food
A balanced diet is vital for healthy dogs, especially considering their size and high energy levels.
Shollie needs about 3 cups/day of dry dog food, but this can increase to 4 cups if they’ve had an exceptionally active day.
It’s crucial to avoid overfeeding to prevent health issues like bloat and diabetes, which this breed is prone to due to its parentage.
Dog food must be carefully chosen to suit their needs. It should include joint supplements to prevent common ailments in large breeds like hip dysplasia. Since the nutritional needs change as the dog ages, it’s important to choose the right food for each life stage, from puppy to senior.
The food should have a moderate calorie count to prevent obesity and have a large kibble size to slow down eating and reduce the risk of bloat.
Here are some recommended dog food brands for Shollies:
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula: Rich in antioxidants and free from wheat, soy, or corn.
- Wellness Core Dog Food: Contains high-quality proteins and omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed.
- Dog For Dog Food: Affordable option with vitamins, minerals, and glucosamine for joint health.
- EUKANUBA Adult Dry Dog Food: Budget-friendly with nutrients essential for large breeds.
- Eagle Pack Natural: Organic food with no artificial colors or preservatives.
- Pro Plan Focus Weight Management Large Dog Breed: Targets specific health issues like bloating or joint problems.
- BLUE Wilderness High Protein Grain Free: Includes joint and probiotic supplements, and antioxidant-rich ingredients.
- NUTRO ULTRA Adult: Offers a balance of fiber sources for mobility and digestive health.
Consulting with a vet for the best food choice for your dog is always advisable, especially when considering specific health needs or diet changes.
Weekly feeding schedule with diet types:
|Monday – Sunday||Dry Dog Food (e.g., Wellness Core, Blue Buffalo)||3-4 cups/day|
|Daily||Supplements (e.g., Joint Health, Probiotics)||As recommended|
Note: Adjust quantities based on activity level and consult with a veterinarian for specific dietary needs and changes.
Shollie, generally enjoys good health but is susceptible to certain conditions, mostly inherited from its parent breeds. Owners should be vigilant for symptoms and ensure regular veterinary check-ups.
Here’s an updated list of common health issues to watch for:
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: This condition affects the joints and is common in both parent breeds, potentially causing pain and mobility issues. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and veterinary screenings can help manage this condition.
- Ear Infections: Shollies are prone to ear issues, including infections and potential hearing loss, particularly if one parent breed has hearing problems. Regular cleaning of the ears is essential for preventing infections.
- Epilepsy (according to American Kennel Club): This neurological disorder, more common in the Border Collie breed, can lead to seizures. Monitoring by a vet and medication can help manage this condition.
- Degenerative Myelopathy: A serious spinal condition that can cause progressive paralysis of the legs. While there’s no cure, early detection and supportive care are important.
- Von Willebrand Disease: According to the Animal Health Diagnostic Center, Von Willebrand Disease is a rare but severe bleeding disorder that can be life-threatening. It occurs when the dog excessively bleeds from minor injuries.
It’s also important to note that the health of a Shollie can be significantly affected by the practices of the breeder. To avoid health issues, it’s recommended to adopt from reputable breeders who have prioritized the health of the puppies.
German Shepherd Border Collie Mix Puppies for Sale
The cost of Shollie can range significantly based on several factors. According to Alpha Paw, a healthy Shollie puppy might cost potential owners anywhere from $475 to $900.
The price can be influenced by the following:
- Parent Breeds’ Cost: The individual cost of the parent breeds impacts the price of the mix.
- Bloodline and Pedigree: Puppies from award-winning or purebred lines, including those from the German Shepherd or Border Collie, tend to be more expensive.
- Breeder Reputation: Breeders who are well-reputed and invest in the health and well-being of their dogs usually charge more.
- Location: Prices can also vary based on the breeder’s location and local demand for the breed.
- Health Screenings: Puppies that have undergone thorough health screenings are often priced higher.
When seeking a reputable breeder, here’s a checklist to consider:
- Health Clearances: Verify that the breeder provides health clearances for both parent breeds.
- Breeding Practices: Ethical breeders focus on the health and temperament of the puppies.
- Facility Inspection: Visit the breeding facility to assess the living conditions.
- References: Ask for references from past buyers or veterinarians.
- Post-Adoption Support: A good breeder will offer guidance and support after the adoption.
Remember, while cost is a factor, the long-term health and temperament of the puppy are crucial. Opting for a puppy from a reputable breeder can ensure a healthier and happier pet.
Other German Shepherd Border Collie Crossbreeds/Hybrid Dogs
While the Shollie, is a popular choice, there are many other mixed-breed dogs that might be a better fit depending on your lifestyle. It’s important to research and select a breed that aligns with your living conditions and activity level.
The most popular mixed-breed dog includes:
- German Shepherd Beagle Mix
- Blue Heeler German Shepherd Mix
- Great Pyrenees German Shepherd Mix
- German Shepherd Lab Mix
- Doberman German Shepherd Mix
- Shepadoodle (GSD x Poodle)
- German Shepherd Australian Shepherd Mix
- German Shepherd Pitbull Mix
- Labrashepherd (GSD x Labrador)
- Shollie (GSD x Border Collie)
- Shepweiler (GSD x Rottweiler)
- Golden Shepherd (GSD x Golden Retriever)
- German Shepherd Malamute Mix
- German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix
- German Shepherd Boxer Mix
- German Shepherd Chow Mix
- Great Dane German Shepherd Mix
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Shollies Bark a Lot?
Shollies don’t typically bark without reason. They can be trained to bark only when necessary, like when someone unfamiliar is near your home. However, if a Shollie barks excessively for no apparent reason, it could be a sign of a health issue.
Are Shollies Aggressive?
Shollies tend to be cautious around strangers. They are very loyal and protective of their family, but they are not naturally aggressive or violent. They might not be overly friendly towards people they don’t know well.
Are Shollies Easy to Train?
Shollies are usually easy to train because both parent breeds, Border Collies and German Shepherds, are known for their intelligence and eagerness to learn.
They respond well to training and often pick up new commands quickly. This mix inherits the smart and cooperative nature of its parent breeds, making them relatively easy to train.
Are German Shepherd Border Collie Mixes Good Dogs?
Yes, Shollies make excellent pets. They are intelligent, trainable, and have a friendly disposition. These dogs are very energetic and need plenty of exercise, as well as love and attention. Raising a Shollie requires time and effort, but their companionship is often worth it.
In summary, the Border Collie German Shepherd mix, or Shollie, is a remarkable breed that combines intelligence, energy, and loyalty. They require regular exercise, mental stimulation, and consistent training.
Their grooming needs are moderate, and they can be prone to certain health issues, so regular veterinary care is important.
For potential owners, it’s crucial to understand the commitment involved in raising a Shollie. They thrive in active households where they can be part of the family activities.
With the right care and training, a Shollie can be a wonderful addition to your family, offering companionship, protection, and endless fun.
Remember, choosing a furry friend is a long-term commitment, so make sure a Shollie aligns with your lifestyle and family dynamics.