The German Shepherd Border Collie mix, also known as the Shollie, is a beautiful cross between the Border Collie dog and the German Shepherd. These two smart herding dog breeds are agile and athletic, with a tendency to be protective towards their families.
Border Collie and German Shepherd mix puppies can make highly loyal and trainable family members. The crossbreed has adopted its playfulness and high energy levels from the Border Collie side of the mix and its natural sense of protectiveness and loyalty from the German Shepherd.
The appearance of these mixed dogs varies depending on the dominant breed they were crossed with. As with most other designer dogs, you can’t really tell for sure what you are going to get. But that is the fun part, isn’t it?
If you are interested in knowing more about this awesome match in the dog world, read on and discover everything you need. In this article, we will cover the Shollie’s appearance, its grooming and feeding needs, health problems, as well as exercise requirements. So, let’s begin!
Shollie breed highlights
Photo from: @ta_ta_tatum
• Shollies are crossbreed dogs. They are not purebred pups like their Border Collie or German Shepherd parents.
• The main colors of the German Collie’s coat are brown, golden, black, and white. Usually, it is a mix of two or more colors.
• This mixed breed is considered a heavy shedder, so you will need to set aside time and effort for daily brushing sessions.
• The German Shepherd Border Collie mix is a dog that demands a lot of exercise. Ideally, your pup should get over an hour of exercise a day split into a couple of sessions. If you have access to a large dog park or live near open fields, these will be ideal playgrounds for your Shollie.
• This crossbreed is a great match with kids. You can expect the dog to take on a protective role while also enjoying playtime with the kids in its household. But, you must still supervise play sessions between kids and dogs.
• The Shollie is also known for being smart. Add fetch and agility-based tasks into the mix to keep your pup mentally stimulated and satisfied.
Border Collie mix with German Shepherd: appearance
Before we dive into details, here is a quick summary table of the breed:
|Height||Male: 21 to 29 inches
Female: 17 to 24 inches
|Weight||Male: 70 to 80 pounds (45 to 60 pounds if it leans more on the Border Collie parent side)
Female: 65 to 75 pounds (45 to 60 pounds if it inherits more of the Border Collie genes)
|Coat type||Medium to long, dense, straight in texture|
|Coat color||Brown, fawn, white, sable, black, or a combination of any two or three|
|Amount of shedding||Heavy|
|Eye color||Hazel, blue, brown, amber|
|Ears||Triangular and large; may be floppy depending on which parent takes after|
|Temperament||Affectionate, energetic, protective, loyal, aloof, playful, highly intelligent, aggressive, easy to train|
|Lifespan||Ten to fifteen years (can reach seventeen in ideal conditions)|
|Breed recognition||DRA (Dog Registry of America, Inc.), ACHC (American Canine Hybrid Club)|
In most cases, the German Shepherd Border Collie mix will look more like a purebred German Shepherd rather than a purebred Border Collie with its black saddle and tan-colored coat. This is why these dogs are often mistaken as full-bred German Shepherds.
Its tail, however, resembles a Border Collie’s, which is typically less bushy than that of a purebred GSD. The most distinctive feature of these mixed breed beauties is their slightly floppy ears on a German Shepherd’s face.
The Shollie’s large and muscular build is typical of a GSD; however, its coat is noticeably fluffier than that of a purebred dog of this breed.
These pups may inherit the Border Collie’s medium-length coat or the German Shepherd’s medium-length double coat, or it may come with anything in between! This crossbreed has been labeled a hardworking canine and is known to be one of the most industrious working dogs around.
German Shepherd Border Collie mix: parent breeds
The loyal German Shepherd
Most of the time, we see modern German Shepherd dogs doing police and military work, but as their name suggests, they are also herding dogs.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) describes these pups as smart, courageous, and confident. They are also always in second place when it comes to the most popular dog breeds in the world!
These majestic dogs are one of the most loyal and protective breeds you will come across. The only downside of these pups is that they tend to bark and howl quite a lot, but it’s nothing that can’t be handled with proper training and socialization.
German Shepherds, or German Shedders as they are sometimes referred to, come with a thick and dense double coat. They can also come in several coat colors, including:
Both male and female dogs of this breed can be wonderful family pets. They might exhibit some aggression towards unfamiliar people they deem a threat, but if trained properly, a single command will put them at ease.
The impeccable Border Collie
Border Collie dogs are still great at what they were bred for – herding and protecting livestock. Sheepdogs similar to Border Collies have been around for centuries, but their popularity skyrocketed in the 1800s due to their efficiency at their job.
Even though these pups were used to herd livestock around the border of England and Scotland, nowadays, they are mostly household pets, and they are considered the smartest breed in the whole of dogdom.
Border Collies absolutely love swimming and almost every activity that involves water. They are agile, smart, and always looking for the next task to accomplish.
These sheepdogs also come with a thick double coat that can be rough or smooth. But, regardless of the length, you can be sure that it will shed.
Border collies can come in many different colors and combinations, including:
• Blue and white
• Black and white
• Sable merle
• Saddleback sable
• Red merle
Neither male nor female Border Collies are particularly aggressive; however, any dog can be aggressive if not given proper training and socialization.
German Shepherd and Border Collie mix: grooming requirements
Photo from: @kennelteamies
Your Border Collie GSD mix will be a large, heavy-coated, and high-maintenance dog. As a future owner, you should be ready to have a lot on your hands when grooming this designer dog. They are, after all, heavy shedders, making it hard for owners to clean up while trying to keep their coats healthy at the same time.
As it grows older, your GSD Border Collie mix will shed more frequently, so you must brush its fur daily to remove dead hair and dander. Brushing also helps to remove the mats and tangles from your dog’s coat.
Here are some of the most recommended grooming supplies that will help you maintain the coat of the Border Collie mixed with German Shepherd:
• Slicker brush
These brushes are a great tool for removing mats and tangles on long-haired canines. The slicker brush can save you time when brushing the coat of your Shollie compared to regular combs.
Before using a slicker brush, you will probably notice that your mixed breed pooch has a lot of tangled hair. A good detangler will help you untangle the designer dog’s mats and help you weave through its coat using a slicker brush.
• Dematting sprays
The detanglers mentioned above can harm your GSD Border Collie mix if the tangles are too tight to brush through. So, the best way to tackle this issue is to use dematting sprays to relax and soften the hair, making it easier to untangle the knots.
If you notice that there are a lot of tangles on your designer dog’s coat, you can use a pair of scissors instead of taking your pooch to a grooming salon. As an owner, you must resort to this option if the tangles are hard to remove to the point where even detanglers don’t help.
• Conditioner and shampoo
The German Shepherd Border Collie cross has a sensitive coat and skin, which is why it is important for owners to find a high-quality conditioner and shampoo for this hybrid pup’s bath time. You should try to avoid buying shampoo based on the odor or the low price. Also, you should be aware of its skin and coat type to find the oils and special ingredients that will be beneficial for your Shollie.
• Grooming wipes
The Border Collie mixed with German Shepherd is an outgoing and energetic pooch that will certainly be dirty when it finishes playing outside the house. Wet wipes are vital for dog owners that want to prevent grass, dirt, and mud from entering their residence. When it’s time to call your active pup inside the house, you can give your Shollie a quick wipe, especially on the paws.
• Microfiber towel
Towels that people use daily do not absorb all of the water on a canine. Because of its heavy, thick, double coat, your GSD Border Collie cross will probably be dripping wet despite a heavy rinsing.
On the other hand, microfiber towels can help remove all the excess water off a Shollie much better than human towels can.
GSD Border Collie mix: health problems
Photo from: @roma_the_shollie
There aren’t many health issues or diseases that can affect a dog of this breed, but as an owner, you must be aware of the parent breeds’ medical history to confirm that their offspring won’t inherit any health problems.
Your German Shepherd Border Collie mix will be generally healthy. Nevertheless, you should be on the lookout for the following health conditions and symptoms:
• Elbow and hip dysplasia
Elbow and hip dysplasia are common ailments for both the Border Collie and the German Shepherd breed, so it makes sense that their offspring has a chance of inheriting this health condition.
The hips and legs of a Shollie will deteriorate as it grows older, which can lead to difficulty walking or complete paralysis. Your designer pooch might experience these problems at an earlier rate depending on its lifestyle and activity level.
• Ear problems
Both of your Border Collie GSD mix’s parent breeds are very susceptible to ear problems. In some cases, owners forget to look after their dog’s ears, which leads to infection and ultimately the loss of hearing. The puppy may also be born deaf if one of its parents already has hearing problems.
Border Collies are widely known for their tendency to suffer from epilepsy more than most other dog breeds. Your GSD Border Collie mix may inherit this health condition as well. This condition occurs when the dog experiences episodic seizures. Also, the unusual brain activity often results in sudden changes in the dog’s movement.
• Von Willebrand’s Disease
Von Willebrand’s Disease happens when a Border Collie German Shepherd mix excessively bleeds from small injuries. This severe bleeding disorder is a life-threatening condition and should be treated immediately. Fortunately, it is a rare disease in canines, so the chances of your designer dog suffering from it are low.
• Degenerative myelopathy
If you notice that your Shollie is starting to walk funny on its hind legs, you might be looking at a symptom of degenerative myelopathy. DM is a severe spinal condition that results in progressive paralysis of the legs, mostly because of the dog’s massive frame. Sadly, this disease currently has no cure.
Irresponsible backyard breeders and puppy mills are the most likely reasons for most of the health problems of a German Shepherd Border Collie mix. As an owner, you must make sure that you are adopting or buying a healthy puppy from a reputable breeder to avoid dealing with a sickly puppy for the rest of its life.
Border Collie German Shepherd cross: food requirements
Photo from: @thelifeoflexi16
Your GSD BC mix will require around three cups of dry dog food per day, depending on its lifestyle and activity level. If your hybrid pooch is exhausted from a more intense training session than usual, you can go for four cups a day. The cost of the dry dog food required daily is around $1.50 to $1.90, so feeding your Shollie will be approximately $39 to $52 a month.
Diabetes and bloat are two main health concerns when it comes to feeding your BC German Shepherd mix, as both parent breeds are also known to suffer from these ailments. Because of this, it is essential to avoid overfeeding this crossbreed and prevent nutritional imbalances.
Do not let your pooch overpower you to the food stack or let it deceive you with its big round eyes. You should also keep in mind that you need to search for the best large breed dry dog food instead of dry food for small dogs.
Whichever brand you choose to buy, make sure to steer away from the worst quality dry dog food. Your pup’s food must include joint supplements because the German Shepherd Border Collie mix and other large breeds are prone to hip dysplasia and other joint issues. To tackle this problem, give your dog kibble that is rich in calcium from puppyhood.
Owners of this crossbreed must also be strict with giving their dogs human food because some may be hazardous to them. Luckily, not all human foods are dangerous for our canine companions, and some are even beneficial to them. Here are some human foods you can safely share with your pooch:
• Jasmine rice
• Fig newtons
The need for minerals and vitamins changes as your furry friend gets older, and even the best puppy food brand won’t fit the requirements of middle-aged and senior doggos. Dogs that have entered their golden years will maintain a healthy condition only if fed the right amount of the proper senior dog dry food.
Your Shollie’s diet must also contain a moderate amount of calories to avoid obesity, which is another common problem for large and giant dog breeds. The food you choose for your pup must also have large kibble to avoid letting it eat too quickly, which can lead to life-threatening conditions like bloat.
Here are some of the most popular large breed dog foods in the US:
• Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
This food brand is perfect for your GSD Border Collie mix because it is packed with ingredients rich in antioxidants like blueberries, sweet potato, kelp, and carrots. Deboned chicken is also one of its main ingredients, and this brand comes without any soy, wheat, or corn.
• Wellness Core Dog Food
This dog food is filled with nutritious ingredients for large breeds and is beneficial for the Border Collie mixed with German Shepherd because it has all the nutrition it requires. Wellness Core Dog
Food contains salmon meal, deboned whitefish, and deboned chicken, which gives it a delicious flavor! It also includes flaxseed, an excellent source of omega-three fatty acids, and provides the necessary probiotics your Shollie needs.
• Dog For Dog Food
This amazing food brand contains minerals and vitamins to give your GSD Border Collie mix the nutrition it needs for its daily activities. It is a whole-grain-based dog food that contains glucosamine, which helps keep the dog’s joints healthy. If you are on a tight budget, you might find this product very appealing.
• Eukanuba Adult Dry Dog Food
Chicken is the main source of protein in this dry dog food brand, which is good for your German Collie mix. The food is packed with vitamins and minerals that help prevent nutrient deficiency as well as glucosamine and chondroitin, which are excellent for joint health.
• Eagle Pack Natural
As a German Shepherd BC mix owner, you might want to feed your dog only organic food. Eagle Pack Natural contains only natural ingredients with no preservatives or artificial colors. It also comes with a number of probiotic strains to keep your dog’s digestive system healthy.
Thinking about your furry friend’s diet means that you are aware of how important it is for its health. Keeping the worst kinds of dry dog food away from your Shollie’s stomach is the first step towards healthy and balanced nutrition.
There are a plethora of great choices for our canine companions out there, and it is up to us to find them!
Border Collie mix with German Shepherd: exercise requirements
Photo from: @that.dogguy
The Border Collie German Shepherd mix is known for being one of the most energetic mixed breed dogs around. Both of its parent breeds have a very high activity level, so their offspring do not do well indoors and need a lot of space for playing, running, and jumping around.
You must understand that this crossbreed has a very strong work ethic, and you must commit your time to engage it in all sorts of activities. If you fail to provide one of these pups with both physical and mental stimulation, you risk it becoming bored and engaging in destructive behavior.
In severe cases, the dog will become timid and aggressive if deprived of mental and physical activity. The daily exercise requirement for these pups is around sixty minutes of playing and running outside of the house.
If you succeed in raising a German Collie as an independent and calm canine, two hours of separate walks daily can fulfill its needs. Aside from walking and running, here are some great ideas for activities with your four-legged companion:
3. Obstacle course
4. Retrieval tasks like fetch
5. Owners chasing an unleashed dog
6. Agility training
8. Yard play
9. Weave poles
10. Hunting for dog food
There is a chance that your Border Collie mixed with a German Shepherd dog will remain energetic at home even after a long day of activities. So, here are some indoor activities that can help you tackle this problem:
• Toy fetching
• Tug of war
• Interactive games like hide-and-seek or toy-hiding
The Border Collie German Shepherd mix breed is quite energetic, but you must be aware of the conditions that these hybrid dogs are playing in. Overheating and over-exhaustion may lead to life-threatening conditions if left unchecked. If you are having a hard time scheduling your dog’s activities, hiring a dog walker might come in handy.
Border Collie mixed with German Shepherd: training
Photo from: @that.dogguy
These doggies are quite intelligent and love to seek attention from their owners. Their eagerness to please their masters gives them the willingness to learn and listen to everything they have to say.
As a Shollie owner, you will need to gain its trust during the early stages of its life, making it crucial to train this loving dog while still a puppy. You must teach your BC German Shepherd mix how to control its energetic and playful behavior.
To accomplish this, you must teach them the proper commands that order them to stay still, sit, or stop. A fully grown dog of this breed can trip over small furniture and appliances inside your home if it doesn’t know how to behave indoors.
These designer dogs can also cause injuries to small children when allowed to be rowdy inside the house. To avoid these scenarios, you must be patient with teaching your Shollie puppy until it knows to obey specific commands.
These intelligent canines will need a lot of physical and mental training to stay healthy and maintain a relationship with their owners. Obedience training will help sharpen their mental capacity and socialization skills.
If you have other pets in your household, it is vital to introduce them to avoid letting the aggressive tendency of the German Shepherd Border Collie mix rise.
Positive reinforcement is the best way of keeping any dog engaged during training sessions. Your Shollie will gladly respond to your commands if it knows that it will be rewarded with treats, pets, and praise for a job well done.
Border Collie GSD mix and families
Photo from: @kennelteamies
Both parent breeds of this awesome mix are known for being great sheepdogs, which means their offspring will have protective and herding instincts as well. One of GSD’s best traits is that it can adapt to any living condition, including cold weather.
German Shepherds quickly became the favorite dogs for police, military, and service work due to their easy-to-train nature and high intelligence levels. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the breed as purebred in 1908.
On the other side of the parenting mix, we have the Border Collie, who has a lot of traits in common with the German Shepherd breed. The Border Collie is an intelligent herding breed that later became a widely loved household pet because of its faithfulness to its owner. Despite their long history, the AKC only recognized the breed as purebred in 1995.
The German Shepherd Border Collie mix is a tenacious, protective, and dedicated family dog. These pups love to attract the attention of their owners and show affection towards all family members.
This amazing crossbreed became so popular that some people regularly mistake it for a purebred instead of a designer breed. Most first-time owners will have no problem training one of these doggies, considering that both the GSD and Border Collie are also new-owner friendly.
These dogs adore being around their owners, making them one of the best dogs you could wish for your family. They will thrive alongside an owner with an active lifestyle. They will help protect your children from unfamiliar people due to their territorial tendency towards their human pack.
German Shepherd Border Collie mix puppies
Photo from: @ta_ta_tatum
The price of a German Shepherd can be anywhere between $400 and $1900, while a Border Collie can be found at around $600 to $800. By looking at these figures, we can put the price of a
Border Collie German Shepherd mix puppy between $475 and $900.
If you don’t know where to start your search for one of these cuties, here is a list of breeders that might have one or two Shollies at their disposal:
• Lancaster Puppies in Columbus, OH.
• Rising Sun Farm in Stacy, MN.
• Greenfield Puppies in Columbia, PA.
How to buy this designer dog
When buying a puppy of any breed, the most important thing is to look for a reputable breeder. This will greatly improve your chances of finding a puppy in good health. At the same time, you are doing your part in preventing bad breeding practices and puppy mills.
The breeder should allow you to interact with both of the puppy’s parents or at least the mother. Since both of your puppy’s parents should be purebred dogs, you can ask for AKC certification.
Also, make sure you ask for health clearances for the parents as well, including hip scores and eye checks.
Be sure to check whether or not the puppies are up to date with deworming and flea treatment and the necessary vaccinations. If a breeder is desperate to sell you their puppies, you should see this as a red flag.
Most reputable breeders will want to make sure that their doggies go to the right homes. A responsible breeder will ask you lots of questions about your lifestyle and may even require pictures of your home environment. Feel free to ask a lot of questions back.
If you wish to have a working dog, find a breeder that uses working dogs for breeding stock. This means that they are breeding for the type of temperament required in working dogs rather than companion animals.
Should you get a Shollie for your family?
Photo from: @416vega
We hope that our German Shepherd Border Collie mix guide has helped you figure out whether this breed is the right choice for you. However, if you are still on the fence, here are the main pros and cons of a Shollie.
Three reasons why you shouldn’t get a Shollie:
1. Size problems
The Border Collie German Shepherd cross is a gigantic hybrid dog. It can overpower young children while engaging in friendly play. As an owner, you must remember to keep a close watch on your children when they are interacting with this designer dog to avoid accidental injuries. Even though the Shollie is highly intelligent, it may not be able to tell if it is causing harm during playtime.
2. Crossing breeds risks
Both the Border Collie and the large German Shepherd are known for being great family pets, making the possibility of crossbreeding these two purebred dogs highly appealing. The process, however, can have detrimental effects on their offspring if done without any precautions. Puppy mills often try to take advantage of the popularity of certain designer dogs without thinking about the dogs’ health.
3. Very active dog
Owners of this majestic cross can expect a wildly energetic canine by merely looking at the energy levels of the parent breeds alone. Those living in small houses or apartments will have a hard time living with this designer dog because it tends to knock over furniture and other items around the house. The German Shepherd mixed with Border Collie is better suited for a house with a fenced backyard to have the space it needs to exhaust its energy.
Three reasons why you should get a Shollie:
1. Affectionate creatures
Your German Shepherd Border Collie mix will love to snuggle and attract your attention whenever it can. It will continuously urge its family to throw the ball for it to catch and retrieve. Your pooch will regularly lie on its back and give you a hint that it wants a belly rub. We guarantee you won’t have any problems loving this dog.
2. Fewer visits to the vet
Crossbreeding will always come with health issues. Fortunately, the Border Collie German Shepherd cross is generally healthy compared to some other hybrid dogs. You can expect your German Shepherd Border Collie mix to live up to fifteen years without any illnesses or diseases if it comes from a reputable breeder. Despite being healthy, this designer dog will eventually suffer from age-related health conditions.
3. Intelligent dogs
Police and military forces have been using the German Shepherd breed for tasks that an average person would find difficult to perform. On the other hand, Border Collies are working dogs known for being the smartest and most comfortable dog breeds to train. The combination of these two straight-A students will give owners a brilliant and easy-to-train puppy.
Other German Shepherd and Border Collie mixes
Photo from: @the_life_of_dory
Figuring out which dog breed aligns with your lifestyle is one of the most important decisions you can make. Thousands of canines are abandoned or put up for adoption every year because their owners were irresponsible and didn’t do their research. This results in people choosing a breed that doesn’t fit their lifestyle.
If you are not sure that the German Shepherd Border Collie mix is right for you, don’t worry! There are plenty of other mixes around that might be the perfect choice for you and your family.
We have conducted in-depth research into the most popular GSD mixes in America:
• Labrador Retriever / German Shepherd mix
• Pitbull / German Shepherd mix
• Poodle / German Shepherd mix
• Rottweiler / German Shepherd mix
• Cane Corso / German Shepherd mix
• Great Dane / German Shepherd mix
• Great Pyrenees / German Shepherd mix
• Mastiff / German Shepherd mix
• Alaskan Malamute / German Shepherd mix
• Shiba Inu / German Shepherd mix
• Australian Shepherd / German Shepherd mix
• Beagle / German Shepherd mix
• Bullmastiff / German Shepherd mix
• Blue Heeler / German Shepherd mix
• Golden Retriever / German Shepherd mix
• Doberman / German Shepherd mix
• Boxer / German Shepherd mix
• Chow Chow / German Shepherd mix
• Siberian Husky / German Shepherd mix
• Pug / German Shepherd mix
• Corgi / German Shepherd mix
If none of these crossbreed pups rocks your boat, you can check out our list of dogs that look like German Shepherds and find your next furry bestie there.
The best and most popular Border Collie mixes are the following:
• Corgi / Border Collie mix
• Doberman / Border Collie mix
• Poodle / Border Collie mix
• Jack Russell Terrier / Border Collie mix
• Mastiff / Border Collie mix
• Rottweiler / Border Collie mix
• Pitbull / Border Collie mix
• Alaskan Malamute / Border Collie mix
• Siberian Husky / Border Collie mix
• Cocker Spaniel / Border Collie mix
• Newfoundland / Border Collie mix
• Golden Retriever / Border Collie mix
Photo from: @_black_sequoia_
The German Shepherd Border Collie mix is best suited to owners who are fit and active and who are able to provide the high levels of stimulation and exercise that their dog needs.
For this dog, it would be ideal to have an owner who is home most of the day or one who has the time to work the dog. Keep in mind that a fenced-in backyard is a must for this crossbreed because of their high energy levels.
Border Collie German Shepherd mix dogs are loving, playful, and loyal dogs that will always want to bask in their owner’s attention. They will need lots of time dedicated to playtime, fetch, walks, the doggy park, and other forms of exercise.
Keeping one of these awesome dogs stimulated mentally will be a lot of work, but it will be a rewarding experience. Training them to do tricks and taking them to agility classes will be a wonderful way of bonding with your pup.