The Border Collie German Shepherd Mix, or Shollie, is a cross between the guardian German Shepherd Dog and herding Border Collie. They are around 25 inches tall, weigh about 70lbs and live into their teens. Shollies are intelligent working dogs, with very athletic and agile characters who although trainable need a lot of attention and exercise. German Shepherd Border Collie mix adults make loyal, protective watchdogs who are affectionate to their families but wary of strangers. Today we’ll look at the breed traits, characteristics, behavior and personality you can expect from this hybrid cross. And help you to to decide whether an energetic Border Collie German Shepherd puppy is the right fit for your family.
- What is a Shollie?
- Border Collie German Shepherd origins
- Border Collie German Shepherd mix coats and colors
- Grooming, shedding and dog allergies
- How big are Border Collie German Shepherd mix adults?
- Are Border Collie German Shepherd mixes friendly?
- Border Collie German Shepherd mix breeders and puppies
Border Collie German Shepherd mix breeds are great with older kids and children in their families, but need lots of socialization to happily accept people they don’t know well into the home.
What is a Border Collie German Shepherd Mix?
The Border Collie German Shepherd mix is either a dog with a Border Collie parent and a German Shepherd parent, or a second or third generation mix of the two. They are known as Shollies or German Shollies, and are smart, lively and loyal dogs.
- Popularity: Rare
- Weight: 50-90lbs
- Temperament: Loyal, affectionate, protective
- Activity level: High
Where did the German Shepherd Border Collie mix come from?
Border Collie German Shepherd mixes are a result of crossing a purebred GSD with a purebred Border Collie. So their history is the combined history of those two breeds! Based on their heritage, it may be assumed that the hybrid was the result of a desire for the ultimate large dog. One that has athletic ability, agility and a protective yet playful nature.
Much like Shollies, the Border Collie’s true origins are unknown. But it’s thought that they first came into prominence in Scotland. There, early Collies were bred to do much the same thing that they do today. Herd and protect livestock.
Sheepdogs such as the Border Collie have been in existence for centuries. Although the American Kennel Club (AKC) didn’t formally recognize the breed until 1995. Modern Border Collies are still excellent working dogs, especially on ranches. But you’ll also find them in the dog agility ring or as beloved family pets.
Another herding breed, the German Shepherd Dog (GSD) was bred in Europe. Formed to create the ultimate herding or guide dog. In a climate where working outside often meant braving cold weather and damp conditions, the Shepherd dog had to be tough.
The GSD eventually became a refined herding breed known for its stamina and work ethic. The AKC formally recognized the breed in 1908. Later, Shepherds became associated with military, police, and service work. All sectors in which you can find them working in today.
Border Collie German Shepherd Mix Height and Weight
The German Shepherd and Collie mix has the potential to be a medium or large-sized dog.
If the pup takes after its GSD parent, then it may mature to somewhere between 80 and 90 pounds. If she takes after her Border Collie parent, then she may only get to about 40 pounds or so. Most pups will fall somewhere in between.
You can expect German Shepherd Collie crosses to reach roughly 22-24 inches at the shoulder.
German Shepherd Border Collie Mix Appearance
When it comes to hybrid dogs, you really can’t predict with certainty how they will look. Nor what color (or length) their coats will be. The only clue that you’ll have is their parents’ appearance. Along with the standard colors that are associated with the parent breeds.
Adding another level of possibility is the fact that hybrids may look like a mix of their parents. Or they make look more closely like one parent’s breed than the other parent’s breed.
If a Shollie inherits his GSD parent’s genes more so than his Border Collie parent’s, then he may have the Shepherd’s signature solid coat and black points.
If they inherit their Collie parent’s coat, then their coat may be one of 17 colors. Including black, blue, blue merle, brindle, red, sable, the “traditional” black and white coat, etc. With the above points in mind, it’s pretty safe to say that Shollies are very likely to be bicolored. Beyond that, it’s very much a case of wait and see!
Collie German Shepherd Mix Coat
A Border Collie German Shepherd Mix may inherit the German Shepherd’s medium-length double coat. This is a soft undercoat is below a rough top coat. Or they may inherit the Border Collie’s medium-length coat. Or it may come out somewhere in between!
The breeder should have a good idea of how your pup’s individual coat will turn out by the time you bring her home at eight weeks.
Border Collie German Shepherd Mix Grooming
No matter which parent it resembles more, a Shollie will require weekly brushing. These needs will increase when seasonal shedding occurs. They are likely to be fairly high shedding dogs, so you’ll need to invest in a good quality animal hair vacuum cleaner.
Are Shollies Hypoallergenic?
This is a high shedding dog, that will leave fur and dander around your home. They are unfortunately not suitable pets for a home with human dog allergy sufferers.
German Shepherd Collie Mix Temperament
As with any mixed breed, it’s difficult to say exactly how the offspring of two purebred dogs will turn out in terms of looks, health and temperament.
Bringing a hybrid dog into your home, especially a large one such as the German Shepherd x Border Collie? It’s important to determine his potential suitability as a member of your family.
You’ll want to look at the temperaments of the hybrid pup’s parents as well as the parent breeds’ general temperaments as a whole.
Are German Shepherd Mixes Aggressive?
As we mentioned earlier, German Shepherds are often found in the police and military sectors. This line of work has made the breed a bit notorious for being aggressive, and unfairly so. German Shepherds should not all be viewed as aggressive dogs.
For starters, police and military dogs are highly trained and intelligent animals. They will only “sic the bad guy” when given the cue to do so by their handler.
Secondly, Shepherds have been bred to be very loyal to their owners and their home. With proper training and socialization with other dogs and strangers from an early age, you can often prevent a fiercely loyal personality from rearing its ugly head in a GSD pup.
Border Collie German Shepherd Mix Personality
Similarly to GSDs, Border Collies are extremely intelligent and highly trainable dogs.
However, they are also similar to GSDs in that they have a working mindset and aren’t always “down with the kids,” so to speak. They will protect their home and their owner fiercely. But this behavior can be prevented with the early-onset training and socialization.
Furthermore, Border Collies are naturally very inquisitive dogs who do not enjoy sitting without a job to do or a game to play.
This can sometimes result in destructive behavior. Especially if a Collie is kept cooped up and without toys or other enrichment activities.
With all of this in mind, it is likely that a German Shepherd Collie mix will need to be kept as a working or sporting dog. Unless you will be able to exercise him frequently and provide him with things to keep his busy brain focused.
You’ll also need to have plenty of time to devote to training and socializing a Collie Shepherd if you want him or her to show a more sociable side.
Although a hybrid puppy may be an equal mix of its purebred parents. There is also the possibility that the puppy will take after one parent more so than the other. You’ll want to be prepared to handle a situation like that, as well.
Shepherd Collie Mix Health
Any type of dog, purebred or hybrid, may be afflicted with inherited or age-related health conditions. Such as hip or elbow dysplasia, eye diseases, allergies, and skin irritations.
German Shepherd and Border Collie mixes, however, are particularly prone to the conditions that their parent breeds often develop.
One thing to note is that both German Shepherds and Border Collies are both prone to hip dysplasia. So Shollies may be especially at risk of developing this condition. We’ll get into how you can prevent or decrease the severity of hip dysplasia in the next section.
If you’re looking for a breeder to obtain a puppy, be sure to find one who uses genetic testing on their breeding stock. This can help to determine what health problems their offspring may be afflicted with.
Additionally, be sure that the breeding stock have good hip scores.
Border Collie German Shepherd Mix Exercise
Since Border Collie German Shepherd Mix dogs are especially prone to hip dysplasia, you must ensure that your Shollie’s weight is maintained. This means that you’ll have to plan for daily walks, play time, and off-leash exercise, if your dog isn’t in work.
Additionally, since both Border Collies and German Shepherd Dogs are high-energy breeds that like to be mentally stimulated, it’s best that they are not cooped up for many hours at a time.
This mixed breed is not a good candidate for apartment living, small homes, or home without yards.
How Long Do Shepherd Collie Mixes Live?
A mixed breed dog typically has the same life span as its parent breeds.
Therefore, you can expect a Shollie to live to be somewhere between 10 and 15 years, although some Border Collies have been known to make it to age 17.
Is a Border Collie German Shepherd Mix a Good Family Dog?
Shollies can make great family pets for active homes that are interested in positive reinforcement training. However, before bringing a Border Collie German Shepherd Mix into your family, it’s important to consider a few things about this breed.
For starters, Shollies are medium- to large-sized working dogs that have pretty high exercise requirements. You won’t be able to keep one in a small apartment or house with no place to self-exercise.
Weight gain is especially concerning for this hybrid, as it is prone to developing hip dysplasia. Genetic testing of parent stock can help you identify if a puppy that you’re planning to purchase could be especially at risk of developing this disease.
Collie Shepherd mix dogs also have a nose for mischief when they don’t have a job. They need to have something to occupy their intelligent minds, or they may turn your home into a giant chew toy!
Additionally, Border Collie German Shepherd mix breed pups may have a German Shepherd’s double-coat or a Border Collie’s flowing and luxurious coat, both of which require weekly brushing, more so if it’s shedding season.
Furthermore, Shollies may not be the most suitable breed for a household with young children and/or lots of other dogs.
Both German Shepherds and Border Collies are known for their working personalities and incredibly loyal natures, a combination that isn’t always beneficial, especially when other people “invade” the dog’s home.
Buying or Adopting a Border Collie mixed with German Shepherd
Since purebred dogs are often the focus of breeders, it may be more likely that you’ll find Shepherd Collie mix puppies available for adoption at a local animal shelter or humane society. Adopting a dog is generally a fairly inexpensive process.
However, if you do find a breeder who specializes in designer dogs like these, then know that your cost will increase with the value that is placed on the parent stock. A Shollie obtained from a breeder may range in price from about $450-$500 on up to $1,000 or more.
Border Collie German Shepherd Mix Puppies
There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding whether to bring a Shollie puppy into your home. Does that mean that Shollies shouldn’t be kept as family dogs? Absolutely not!
If you get a Shollie puppy, their naturally intelligent and highly trainable nature means that you can socialize it to other animals and people. You can also work with it on obedience so that its “guarding” tendency is toned down by the time it reaches adulthood.
Make sure you meet both parents and are happy with their temperaments and health tests carried out by the breeder. Socialize your pup thoroughly and you could end up with a wonderful companion for many years to come.
Still Not Sure?
Why not consider the GSD or Collie instead? And did you know there are a range of increasingly common German Shepherd mix breed dogs arriving on the scene too? Here are some other dogs you might be interested in:
- German Shepherd Dog
- Border Collie
- German Shepherd Lab Mix
- Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix
- German Shepherd Husky Mix
- Labradoodle Labrador Mix