The German Shepherd Border Collie mix puppy is the best canine for active people who love spending time outside!
This type of canine can be called Shollie and German Collie, too. It’s considered one of the best dogs for families that need additional protection.
However, the Shollie isn’t just a guard dog. This doggie is also one of the sweetest cuddlers that’ll seek attention from all family members every second while it’s awake.
If you’re looking for a fiercely devoted and obedient canine that you can count on in any situation, the German Shepherd Border Collie mix is the perfect pet for you.
Without further ado, it’s time to discover all the details about this beautiful hybrid breed that’ll win your heart over!
Border Collie Mixed With German Shepherd: Detailed Analysis
Photo from: @ta_ta_tatum
What is a Shollie?
A Shollie is a descendant of a very interesting duo: the German Shepherd and the Border Collie.
This is a designer dog breed with an athletic body and high energy levels.
Even though they’re “designed,” Shollies can be pretty unpredictable. Generally, most crossbred canines aren’t always faithful copies of their purebred ancestors.
Every dog is an individual, and some canines might resemble their parents more than others, especially if the parents are of different breeds.
The origin of this breed might not be precisely known in terms of the exact time the first Shollie was born, but there are some interesting facts about the Shollie’s ancestry.
GSD & Border Collie mix: History
A German Shepherd Border Collie mix is generally considered as a newer, designer breed that still hasn’t had a chance to enter history, but surely will in the future.
However, the original breeds that were used for crossbreeding have a rich past as herding dogs. Both Border Collies and GSDs have herding ancestors that were bred and raised in Europe.
Border collies were typically in charge of sheep in Scotland and England. These dogs were so popular as sheepdogs that England decided to export them to other countries.
It didn’t take long until these canines became popular worldwide. People were generally amazed by their intelligence and loyalness, which were best represented by their obedience to their owner’s commands.
It’s not difficult to guess that GSDs come from Germany. These dogs were used as shepherd canines that were in charge of keeping livestock safe from all sorts of predators.
However, this dog breed has later become recognized as a very serious and obedient canine that’s agile and extremely intelligent, making it the perfect candidate for the police and army forces.
The Shollie seems to be a dream come true for all dog enthusiasts who prefer athletic, agile, and smart doggies that are great protectors as well.
The Border Collie is a canine meant to keep livestock safe from predators and other dangers that are waiting outside. These dogs have been popular for centuries as herding canines, but their popularity soared in the 1800s.
Border Collies are still in demand, but for different reasons than before. Instead of being sheep wards, these dogs are nowadays popular as house pets.
They love outdoor activities, especially those that include water, which is why these dogs love summer and warm areas.
However, that can be quite a challenge for them since they have double coats that might be too thick for hot weather.
This is one of the main reasons why they love to swim; to cool themselves and to accomplish other challenges as well.
Having a double coat is a guarantee for shedding. This also applies to all of the Border Collie crossbreeds, especially those that inherit its genes.
These dogs have beautiful coats that can be found in different colors such as:
• Black and white
• Red merle
• Sable merle
• Blue and white
• Saddleback sable
These dogs are brilliant, which can be seen through their speed of learning new things. Most people are surprised to see how fast a Border Collie takes command and fulfills it.
The Border Collie is considered an excellent dog for families with young children. They’ll take great care of the whole family, and ensure everyone’s safety.
Although they’re well-mannered, keep in mind that any dog can become aggressive or develop unfriendly behavior if they’re not trained or treated in the right way.
A dog’s behavior is quite often a reaction to human actions.
GSDs are lovely animals and excellent watchdogs that found their place in military and police forces.
The German Shepherd is one of the canines that are capable of completing various tasks. As the name suggests, they were herding dogs throughout history.
Most of them don’t have to protect livestock today, but they serve as fantastic family and home guardians.
German Shepherds are extremely intelligent, meaning that they acquire new commands and skills in a faster way than most other canines.
Most people would describe this dog as a big and serious canine. However, they can turn into big pups in no time, especially when you give them cuddles and treats.
On the other hand, GSDs are bold, fearless, and always ready for action. They require a lot of daily activities, and enjoy spending time outside, which can be time well spent for the whole family!
GSDs have been highly ranked on the list of the most popular canines in the USA and in the world for several years.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes this dog breed as purebred canines, but only under certain circumstances regarding the colors and patterns of their coats.
These canines are covered with a thick double coat, making summer their least favorite season.
They’re known as heavy shedders, so you’ll have to get used to finding hair all over your place, especially on the sofa, bed, or carpet.
When it comes to the colors, various shades decorate the beautiful double coat of this interesting dog breed, such as:
• Black and Tan
• Red and Black
A mixed breed of this canine might inherit one or more colors from this list, but they don’t have to be necessarily displayed. Some dogs are simply carriers of specific genes that remain inactive throughout their lives.
German Shepherds are great family pets and will quickly become your best furry friends. Of course, practice makes perfect – with proper training, your pet will be ready to socialize even with people who are outside your family.
However, keep in mind that they might show hostility towards strangers, especially when their owner isn’t around.
Physical Characteristics of a Shollie
Photo from: @kennelteamies
Physically, this mixed breed reminds more of its German Shepherd ancestor than the Border Collie parent. The coat colors might even confuse you by thinking it’s a purebred GSD instead of a cross between two breeds.
However, when you start noticing details, you’ll see that the mixed-breed dog has more limped ears and a not so fluffy tail (similar to Border Collies).
If you thought that Border Collies and German Shepherds have fluffy coats, you’d quickly change your mind after seeing the Shollie.
This canine shares the same colors as the GSD, but the coat hair is significantly more prolonged and fluffier.
Still, some crossbred doggies might have a medium-length coat that is inherited from the Border Collie breed, depending on the gene that a crossbred puppy receives.
The Shollie is definitely more on the German Shepherd’s side, with its muscular structure and a strong body frame when it comes to its general appearance.
These canines are considered relatively large and sturdy, which is why they stand as one of the best working dog breeds.
GSDs are generally taller than Border Collies. They can go up to 28 inches, while the maximum height of Collies doesn’t exceed 22 inches.
However, even the smallest Shollie will be at least 20 inches tall, which means the height is more on the German Shepherd’s side.
These doggies might be big, but they’re very playful. However, sometimes they’re not aware of their size, so they might accidentally hurt younger kids or older people by jumping on them or running around their feet.
Coat colors and types
The German Shepherd Border Collie mix is characteristic of the various coat shades that include brown, fawn, white, sable, golden, black, liver, blue, and other colors.
These coat hues are usually combined in beautiful mosaic patterns that make this mixed-breed even more beautiful!
The majority of Shollies have double coats – a mushy undercoat and a more wiry outercoat that protects their body from the cold. This type of coat is typical for Shepherds, which were also used as working dogs.
These canines are known as heavy shedders, so be prepared to vacuum every day or even more often, especially if you’re prone to allergies.
The best solution for this issue is regular brushing of the coat hair. By regular, I mean every day (two days max). If you brush your pet frequently, you’ll remove excess hair from the coat, which would end up on your sofa, carpet, bed, etc.
Also, since they have a denser coat, the Shollies’ hair can get tangled easily, so if you skip a day or two on brushing, you might not be able to brush your doggie anymore (just kidding, but it’ll be tricky).
There are some very useful products for grooming that might help you tame the luxurious coat of your Shollie, such as:
• Slicker brush – This brush will become your best friend and the daily companion of you and your furry friend. This type of brush makes it a lot easier to manage your pet’s coat hair than any other comb or brush.
• Grooming wipes – These wipes are great first-hand help, especially when you’re outside with your doggie. The Shollie’s parent breeds are very energetic and enjoy outdoor activities; therefore, be prepared for a very active puppy that’ll prefer to spend time outside.
• Shampoo and a conditioner – These are basic necessities in grooming. The mixed breed of the GSD and the Border Collie generally has highly delicate skin and coat hair, which is why you should go with high-quality shampoo and conditioner to make it look healthier and shinier, rather than less expensive ones. You can try some nourishing hair oils, too.
• Microfiber towels – Regular towels that humans use aren’t suitable for double-coated pooches because they can’t absorb all the water like microfiber towels. Therefore, if you want to avoid a soaking wet dog running around the house, just get a microfiber towel instead of a regular one.
• Detanglers – Tangled hair is nothing new when it comes to Border Collies and their crossbreed. If you’re planning to get a Shollie, you’ll need something to help you detangle its hair. A fine detangler will be a great preparation for the slicker brush, so don’t be afraid to use it on a daily basis.
• Dematting spray – Unfortunately, sometimes detanglers just aren’t enough to break those knots that might appear on your dog’s coat. The main point of the dematting spray is to help your dog’s coat hair when the detangler can’t.
• Professional grooming – Grooming your dog at home is a less expensive option, and it’s good enough to keep your pet clean and healthy. However, even if you could take scissors and get rid of the persistent hair knots, sometimes you just need to let a professional take care of your pooch. Make sure to take your doggie to a professional dog salon at least once or twice a year.
Photo from: @roma_the_shollie
As I mentioned before, both parents of the Shollie have incredibly high energy levels, a high level of intelligence, a protective attitude, and obedient behaviors towards their owners and family.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that Shollies share the same or similar characteristics, depending on the genes they inherit from their parents.
The majority of German Shepherd Border Collie crossbreeds require various indoor and outdoor activities, and practice.
These dogs are easily trainable, but they do require quite a lot of work. However, instead of thinking about outdoor time as an obligation, you can turn it into a set of fun activities for the whole family.
Camping, hiking, and long walks will benefit you in many ways, including the quality time spent with your loved ones.
A Border Collie mixed with a German Shepherd generally results in a very energetic pup that is fiercely loyal, and a big fan of kids and other dogs.
However, they can get pretty mad as well, although most people would agree they look rather adorable. Shollies aren’t fond of new faces around the property, and might need some time to get to know anyone outside the family.
Socialization skills can be significantly improved with proper training and practice, so don’t neglect this important factor.
These canines can be friendly to everyone; all it takes is a will to train them in the right way and offer them maximum comfort during their stay at the house.
I can say without any doubt that these doggies are near-perfect canines that will be your best friend and your guardian all at once.
Health issues of the German Shepherd Border Collie Mix
Photo from: @that.dogguy
This type of canine has excellent health, and that’s just one of the reasons why they’re pretty high in demand.
Although these dogs tend to live a happy life without any disease, in most cases, there are certain illnesses that have been recorded more often among this breed.
On the other hand, some of these health conditions are inherited. Therefore, if you notice any of the symptoms related to the health problems mentioned below, it’s best to contact a vet as soon as possible:
• Degenerative myelopathy – This health condition can make your dog’s life quite difficult just because of its size. Large dogs have much more issues than smaller ones, including leg paralysis, which is a result of a grave spinal problem. Unfortunately, the medical profession hasn’t found any successful treatment.
• Hip Dysplasia – This is probably one of the most common health issues among all dog breeds, which is why I had to add it to this list. There’s no guarantee your pet will develop any symptom, but there are high chances for this, especially as it grows older. The best way to try and avoid such happenings is to do regular checkups at the vet’s office (this might not end the problem, but it will slow it down significantly).
• Elbow Dysplasia – One of the main reasons why I decided to separate this condition from the one above (although they practically share the same description) is because I think that most people tend to neglect the elbows, concentrating solely on the hips.
• Von Willebrand’s illness – This disease has an unusual name, but it’s quite known among shepherds. Essentially, this disease causes life-threatening bleeding from minor wounds. However, this is a rare occurrence even among Shollies, so there’s no need to fear this disease in advance.
• Epilepsy – This is another quite common health issue, especially among Shepherds and Border Collies. The designer breed can acquire this condition from its parents, resulting in a series of seizures that can also cause sudden changes in the canine’s behavior.
• Ear infection – I’ve got to admit that ears hurt quite a lot, whether it is an infection or anything else related to this part of the body. Dogs feel a similar amount of pain, especially when it comes to ear infections, that might further develop into hearing loss if not treated in time. It’s essential to notice that some of these canines are actually deaf from birth due to their parents’ ear issues.
• Obesity – This might not be a classical health condition, but it affects a significant number of Shollies. If the canine has a poor diet or doesn’t have enough activities to spend its energy, the dog will start gaining weight and might easily become obese. Therefore, it’s crucial to find a balance in its food intake, which can be based on proteins instead of carbohydrates.
All of the diseases and conditions mentioned above are just possible issues that a Shollie might have during its life.
However, these dogs are a designer breed, which means they have lower chances of becoming sick. Still, it’s better to intervene during the early stage of any illness and notice the symptoms in time.
Generally, these dogs are considered to have excellent health, with one of the most extended lifespans among bigger canines.
The German Shepherd Border Collie mix can live up to 15 years of age, which is an amazing number for people who don’t take enough care of their own lives.
Photo from: @_black_sequoia_
Bloating and diabetes are two common conditions that appear among German Shepherds and Border Collies, and are two of the high risks for their crossbreed, the Shollie.
If the diet isn’t well-balanced, then there is a great chance that a Shollie will end up with at least one of these two, which might be just the initial phase of more severe conditions.
Overfeeding is one of the cardinal errors that owners make with full meals and treats. The majority of dog owners admit that they feel sorry for their pets and give in to feeding them more just because of their sad look or puppy face.
However, overeating isn’t necessarily caused by your pup’s big appetite. Sometimes, your pet might ask for more food because the meal you’re providing it with doesn’t contain all of the nutrients your doggie needs.
That’s why you need to make sure to use dry food for big dogs rather than dry dog food for younger pups or smaller breeds.
Also, make sure to do the research and find out which dog food you should rather avoid. The Shollie puppy will need joint supplements as well because of their high activity level, as well as their inherited hip dysplasia.
Kibble is filled with calcium and other beneficial supplements, which is why this food should be one of the top choices from your pet’s early puppyhood.
There’s a common misconception about feeding canines human food. Of course, not every food is forbidden, but there are some things that might be hazardous for your pet, so it would be better to steer away from that kind of food and stick with dog food.
Foods that you can share with your doggie are:
Your doggie’s needs for vitamins and other nutrients change as it ages, which is why you need to change its dog food. Your pet might be used to a particular type of food, but if it’s food for pups, of course, it won’t satisfy the needs of an adult dog.
Older canines can stay healthy only if they get the required amount of nutrients that are found in dog food for seniors.
Carbohydrates shouldn’t be forbidden, but they should be controlled. Your furry friend will also require a certain amount of calories in every meal, but this amount should stay low to medium in order to avoid excessive weight gain.
Both German Shepherd dogs and Border Collies have similar issues, so it’s no surprise that their descendants are prone to obesity.
There are plenty of high-quality dog foods in the USA for large canines, and some of the most popular are:
1. Iams Large Breed Dog Food.
- This adult dog food is formulated to support the nutritional needs of large breed dogs.
- Features real farm-raised chicken as the first ingredient.
- Premium-sourced protein helps your pooch maintain strong muscles.
- Formulated to provide bone and join support—important for active large-breed dogs.
This type of dog food includes real chicken raised on farms, along with other nutrients, prebiotics, fibers, proteins, etc.
Your pet’s digestive system is safe with this food, and it fulfills all the requirements and needs of your adult canine.
This food doesn’t contain any artificial ingredients or aromas, so you can be sure your doggie is getting only the best!
The Border Collie German Shepherd mix has increased activity levels; therefore, they need food for champs!
This brand offers other kinds of dog food as well, depending on the nutritional needs of your furry friend.
2. Wellness CORE Dry Dog Food.
- Specially formulated to be packed with 100% poultry-free protein.
- Fortified with omega fatty acids, antioxidants, glucosamine, probiotics, taurine, vitamins and minerals.
- Crafted using carefully chosen ingredients that include premium proteins, fruits and veggies.
- Developed without any meat by-products, fillers, corn, soy, wheat-gluten or artificial preservatives, colors or flavors.
What’s better after a lot of exercise than high-protein food? This brand has come up with amazing food filled with nutritious superfoods like wholesome grains, seafood (whitefish, salmon, herring), flaxseed, and other ingredients.
This brand claims that all of the ingredients from their food are natural and well-balanced.
The best thing about Wellness’s food is that it comes in grain and non-grain versions for doggies that are food sensitive.
Proteins are crucial for muscles and an overall body frame, and there’s no better way to get them than from fresh meat kibbles.
If you’re looking for food filled with antioxidants, probiotics, omega fatty acids, and other nutrients, Wellness dog food is the perfect food!
3. Instinct Grain-Free Dry Dog Food.
- Cage-free chicken is the first ingredient for high animal protein to support strong, lean muscles.
- Features 70% real animal ingredients and nutritious oils, plus 30% fruits, vegetables and other wholesome ingredients.
- Never contains any grain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, by-product meal, artificial colors or preservatives.
- Guaranteed levels of live, natural probiotics, natural omegas and antioxidants to support digestive health, healthy skin and coat, and immune health.
This type of food is perfect for purebred dogs, as well as for mixed breeds that are sensitive to grain.
The ingredients list reveals a great number of nutritious goodies like prebiotics, omega 3 acids, proteins, etc.
However, you should be careful with the usage of grain-free dog food. Most vets agree that this type of food should be given only to canines that are allergic to grains or have a food intolerance (reduced tolerance to certain ingredients).
Therefore, before you start feeding your pet with Instinct dog food, make sure that it’s okay and confirmed by an expert.
This brand claims that its product is packed with proteins because the kibble is covered with freeze raw.
If you’re wondering how much food your dog will need daily, three cups of dry food might be just the right measure.
Of course, the measure will also depend on the size of your pooch, daily activities, and food requirements.
Exercise and training
Photo from: @that.dogguy
A well-balanced diet is a good start, but in order to keep your hybrid dog healthy and happy, you’ll have to think of a significant number of daily activities and incorporate a lot of exercises appropriate for its age, weight, and physical fitness.
The German Shepherd and Border Collie’s parents are highly active and energetic, so don’t expect anything less from their mixed breed.
Family trips, hiking, playtime in dog parks, and other outdoor activities are essential. Still, you have to take into consideration that the German Shepherd mixed dogs have a solid work ethic. This means your pet will require more time during training (without pressure) and a variety of different exercises, even during obedience training.
In case you’re wondering why it’s important to keep your furry friend wholeheartedly engaged during training, the answer is quite simple.
If your pet doesn’t receive enough mental stimulation during practice, whether it is physical or psychological training, destructive behavior and negative emotions will be the most likely outcome.
Of course, you don’t have to train your dog day and night – two to three hours of daily activities like walks or training in the yard/dog park will be just fine (it’ll benefit you as well).
This way, you’re going to help your pet become the best dog it can be!
If you don’t have any idea about how to spend time outside with your furry friend, or you just want to add something new to your routine, here are some activities you can do together:
• Obstacle course
• Hunting for (dog) food
• Playing fetch
• Weave poles
• Hide and seek
• Chasing your dog without a leash, and others
Understandably, you won’t have the time or the chance to get your pet outside every day. If you’re not able to spend any time outside, there are some things you can do even inside.
For example, you can make an obstacle course in one room or throughout the house. Pillows, old books, brooms, boxes… everything can serve as an obstacle for your own course. I guarantee you’ll have great fun as well!
However, if you’re playing inside, there are some things you should take special care of. First of all, as you may already know, your pet has a significant amount of energy that turns into heat during training.
Make sure that your dog has enough rest time during practice/playtime and that the room he’s in has good ventilation and fresh air (you can simply open your window for a few minutes now and then).
If you don’t have enough time for all these activities, you can always hire a dog walker or a person who’ll take care of your pup when you’re not around.
A Shollie as a family dog
Photo from: @kennelteamies
Both Collies and Shepherds have a long history of being remarkable parts of society, whether it is as herding dogs or as family guardians.
According to the parent’s breed history, Shollies will most likely be a great choice for families, especially as guard dogs.
These intelligent dogs are able to serve their owners as protectors, but they’re also ready to cuddle and play whenever you want.
A lot of first-time owners don’t have any problem with these hybrid dogs, and most owners in general don’t even notice any significant difference between purebreds and the hybrid breed.
These canines love attention, which is why they’re the perfect fit for families with young children.
Of course, owning this dog or any dog for that matter can be a double-edged sword. Check out some of the most common pros and cons of owning a German Shepherd Border Collie mix puppy:
Good health – Although mixed breeds usually have more health issues than purebreds, that doesn’t seem to be the case with Shollies. If you get it from a trustworthy breeder, of course, there are high chances that your pet will live without any illness or harmful condition.
Lovely nature – These canines will keep your family members safe, but they’ll also lay down to cuddle every chance they get! Shollies love attention and socializing with the family. They’ll be good to strangers as well, but only after they examine your behavior towards those people.
Intelligence –GSDs are a great addition to police and army forces because of their agility and intelligence. However, Shollies aren’t far behind either! These canines are among the smartest pooches with strong muscle frames, which makes them perfect additions to these forces.
Overly active – Shollies are very active canines with extremely high energy levels. These pups require a lot of space for their indoor and outdoor activities. Those who live in flats or houses with less room might find the German Shepherd Border Collie mix canine to be too challenging to retain. Therefore, if you’re not able to provide enough room for this canine, you might consider getting a smaller dog.
Size – The size is closely related to the activity level issue for one thing, and that is space. Shollies are massive canines, and they need quite a lot of space. Also, these pooches love to play, especially with kids, but you need to be careful during playtime as your pet might accidentally hurt your kiddo because of its size. Keep in mind that dogs aren’t aware of their size, and try to explain that to your children as well.
Crossbreed issues – Even though this is a hybrid dog with generally good health, there is no guarantee that crossbreeding won’t go wrong, especially if it’s not done properly. Unfortunately, some people prefer quantity over quality so they can sell as many puppies as possible. That’s why it’s essential to find a reputable breeder who takes care of their dogs’ health more than their profit.
German Shepherd Border Collie puppy price
Photo from: @ta_ta_tatum
A Shollie will cost you between $450 and $950, depending on the origin and health of both the parents and the puppy.
This isn’t an exaggerated price, considering that purebred GSDs and Collies cost up to $1900.
A trustworthy breeder is your best guarantee that you’re getting a healthy German Collie pup. Unfortunately, although they’re designer breeds, many Shollies can be found in dog rescue centers. Therefore, you might consider adopting a canine.
If you’re getting a pet from a breeder, make sure that you receive all medical documentation, including health certificates, vaccination cards, and others.
Also, a good breeder will let you see the parents of the pup you’re getting. You can also ask to see the parents’ certificates in case you want further confirmation of your pup’s health and overall condition.
Other German Shepherd Border Collie crossbreeds
Photo from: @the_life_of_dory
Shollies are great companions and good-quality canines, but, of course, they’re not the only crossbreed of Shepherds and Collies.
If you’re still indecisive about a Shollie, you might find one of these mixes even more interesting:
• Australian Shepherd & German Shepherd
• Husky & Border Collie
• Great Dane & GSD
• Corgi & Border Collie
• Blue Heeler & GSD
• Poodle & Border Collie
• Golden Retriever & Border Collie
• Beagle & GSD
• Boxer & Border Collie
• Pug & GSD, etc.
These are popular crossbreeds of German Shepherds and Border Collies, although there are a lot more that are far less popular.
Essentially, every dog can be crossbred with another type of canine; however, keep in mind that some combinations might have a negative effect on the puppy, its behavior, and its overall health (for example, Poodles and Rottweilers).
Photo from: @416vega
I hope I have helped you discover more details about the German Shepherd Border Collie mixed canines!
If you decide to get one, just go for it as they’re considered one of the best designer breeds for families.
This type of canine is perfect for physically active people who love to walk, train, and spend time outside.
If you’re planning to get a Shollie, you’ll need a lot of space inside and outside the house. A big yard or a dog park near your home is a necessity for a Shollie’s overall health.
It won’t be easy to keep a Shollie stimulated all the time, but positive reinforcement and various exercises might keep your doggie happy and satisfied.
You’ll need to spend a lot of time with your pet, but that’ll also be a great way to strengthen the bond between the two of you!
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