A German Shepherd Border Collie Mix is one of the best canine hybrids you can get. They are intelligent, loyal, and highly energetic. Learn all about their traits, temperament, health, maintenance requirements and how to train them.
What happens when you mix a German Shepherd with a Border Collie? What you get is a powerhouse!
The agility, massive strength and aggression that come with a German Shepherd mixed with the intelligence, energy and stunning looks of the Border collie give you a formidable work of art. The hybrid is a complete package.
The hybrid goes by various names, the most popular one being “Shollie”, a simple derivation of the words “Shepherd” and “Collie”, see what we did there?
Now let’s get to the good stuff. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about the renowned German Shepherd and Border Collie Mix.
The mix breed is quite classy looking and popular. They easily blend into any environment they find themselves.
A brief history of the German Shepherd Border Collie Mix would enable us to understand their temperament a bit better.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- 1 What is the history of the German Shepherd Border Collie Mix?
- 2 How do German Shepherd Border Collie Mix look?
- 3 Temperament and personality
- 4 Training a German Shepherd Border Collie mix
- 5 How long do German Shepherd Border Collie mixes live?
- 6 How do I buy a German Shepherd Border Collie Mix puppy?
- 7 Grooming your German Shepherd border collie
- 8 Make your German Shepherd Border Collie Mix a workout partner
- 9 How much money would I spend on a Shollie?
- 10 Is the German Shepherd Border collie a good fit for you?
What is the history of the German Shepherd Border Collie Mix?
A lot of hybrid canines are the product of incidence and just come out looking better than their parents. That being said, it is necessary to understand the history behind the pure breeds responsible for the hybrids.
For the Shollie, the history of the German Shepherd and the Border Collie are relevant in order to understand their personalities.
The German Shepherd
As you may have guessed this breed was popularized in Germany and was used as a herd’s dog in the early period of the 1900s. As herd’s watchers, these dogs were tasked with watching over large flocks of sheep and ensuring that none strays off.
German Shepherds were massive in size, strong and aggressive so they played their role as guard dogs for flocks of sheep pretty well. As a matter of fact, they played the guard role so well that the police took interest in the intelligence and trainability of this breed.
The German Shepherd is used today as guard dogs and mission dog in the military, making them one of the most valuable dog breeds in existence, recognized by the American Kennel club since 1908.
The value of the German Shepherd breed has skyrocketed since then.
The Border Collie
This breed is also recognized for its history as a watchdog for herds of sheep. The Collie had an agility and stamina that allowed it to command herds.
It is a shortcoming if didn’t mention their high intelligence and cognitive capabilities. Yes, Collies are the smartest dog breeds in the world.
They were only just recognized in 1995 by the American kennel club, and till date, they have been very significant in the canine world.
How do German Shepherd Border Collie Mix look?
It is not very difficult to picture how the hybrid looks. They simply pick various physical traits from their parents such as a nice well-cushioned mass of fur, other characteristics may vary.
Some Shollies are difficult to differentiate from a German Shepherd especially for mixes that take up more of their Shepherd parent’s genes, possessing a sizable amount of coat covering.
There are a few physical traits that may help you to easily identify Shollies, including:
Size – a shollie can either be medium in size or quite large, depending on how the parents look. They can weigh as much as 45-80 lbs with a height between 22-24 inches.
Color – a lot of people go “oh the Shepherd is brown in color and the collie is black, so we are looking at a half of both colors for the hybrid”. This isn’t quite true. A German Shepherd Border Collie Mix can come with any of about 17 different colors and even more.
The bi-color mix can be just about any combination inclusive of red, black, white, blue, sable, merle, brown, and others.
Coat – the thickness of their coat depends on which parent they take after the most, the Shepherd has a thicker fur coat.
Temperament and personality
It may be a bit of a stretch trying to predict the personality of a puppy before it attains maturity, this could always be influenced.
However, there are traits that can never be washed off by location, owner’s influence and so on. Traits that have been passed down for generations and are peculiar to specific dog breeds.
In order to get a grasp of what the personality of the Shollie would be like we should first take a look at its parent’s traits.
Both German Shepherd and Border Collies lead an extremely active lifestyle. They like to run around and play, very energetic and intelligent. They can easily be trained to do tricks and they love challenges.
When it comes to being aggressive, this is most unlikely as both dogs are neither aggressive nor temperamental.
The rumors are that German Shepherds are pretty aggressive with strangers. This depends on training as well, knowing that dogs are generally very loyal and protective of their owners. This doesn’t necessarily make them a threat.
They can be quite playful and energetic; this is something to keep in mind.
Training a German Shepherd Border Collie mix
Shollies are a delight to have around the house. They are high spirited, playful and can be a handful sometimes.
They tend to bark a lot. If you are the peace-and-quiet loving type, you may need to work on commands that would make them stop barking instantly as the first line of training.
The hybrid mix is very loyal and protective, some might say territorial. This characteristic becomes more prominent when you isolate them in spaces. They become anti-social and see every new face as a threat. This would make them act out whenever a visitor comes around.
“My dog hates having people come around the house. It just starts barking and pulling at its leash, and I don’t know what to do”
If this is you, there are ways to solve this problem.
Ensure that you take your dog for walks, let them meet strange new faces every day like at the park, grocery store, long busy road, etc., which leads to the vet. This would enable your dog to gain a more sociable behavior and wear out the excessively protective conduct.
If you would prefer to keep your dog in crates or kennels, make sure that you give them the proper crate training, as well as obedience, leash training, and all other forms.
There are so many tricks and commands that you can teach them, either on your own with the use of guides or through a qualified trainer.
How long do German Shepherd Border Collie mixes live?
Most times the lifespan of a dog is relative, depending on lifestyle, nutrition, genetic susceptibility, and others.
Shollies in general, live up to 10-15 years and in some cases 17 years, however, there are a couple of health risks that come knocking at a certain age. These diseases include:
- Skin and Eye Conditions – this can be caused by age, parasites, the environment, and other unfavorable conditions.
- Joint Problems – joint related issues such as arthritis can be caused by old age.
- Hip Dysplasia – lack of adequate exercise can lead to this condition. It mainly affects the hind legs leading to severe pain, discomfort, bad posture, and inability to walk.
- Allergies – these are caused by allergen which is commonly from parasites like fleas, environmental allergens such as pollen, grass, fabrics, dust, and food allergens which cause coughing, sneezing, irritation, vomiting, inflammation, itchiness, and other symptoms.
To ensure your dog lives up to the maximum age, you should assure they get adequate exercise, monitor their feeding and their environment, take them to see the veterinarian as often as necessary for early diagnosis of possible health issues.
How do I buy a German Shepherd Border Collie Mix puppy?
Shollie puppies are absolutely gorgeous! If you are yet to see one up close, Don’t! Unless you are ready to own one because you might just find yourself going home with a new friend on impulse.
The first step to buying a Shollie puppy is to find a breeder.
Do not! I repeat, do not buy Shollie puppies from a roadside corner and then bring them home to your family.
Ensure that the breeder is highly reputable and has detailed information on the parents of the puppies. It may be a bit expensive to buy from a renowned breeder but that will save you an entire headache related to health and mental condition in the future.
Grooming your German Shepherd border collie
Shollies shed a lot! This shedding comes at a specific season. When they come, get the dog kit ready, because you will have your hands full, literally with fur!
A lot of combing and trimming is required at the shedding season as the German Shepherd gene provides just about enough fur to keep you busy all week. Although this varies on which parent your puppy takes after on a higher percentage.
The mix breed works best for families that do not have any form of allergic disposition to fur. As well as a family that has a well laid out schedule taking turns to groom the dog.
Make your German Shepherd Border Collie Mix a workout partner
It’s interesting how you can own a dog that contributes to making you live a healthier lifestyle.
Of course, this is only possible when you leverage on its abilities and decide to make your dog a wingman.
Shollies are known to be quite frisky with a surge of enthusiasm and athleticism that is simply magnificent to watch.
A good way to channel this energy would be taking your dog to parks with obstacle courses, also indulge them in a game of Frisbee or go-fetch.
There are great advantages from working out with your dog, these include:
- Strengthens muscles
- Helps improve social life and prevents aggression
- Helps you bond with your “beastie”
- Long runs boost your immune system and prevent diseases related to obesity, diabetes and arthritis
- Prevents or reduces possibilities of age-prone dementia in older dogs
How much money would I spend on a Shollie?
It is usually a good idea to have a rough estimate of how much you are probably going to spend on owning a German Shepherd Border Collie Mix.
There is the cost price itself and then the variable cost which includes maintenance, feeding, health care, and others.
The cost price for a Shollie pup varies from $475 to $950. This price depends on dealers, age of the pup, and popular trend of this breed. Among other costs, you may create an estimate for registration, vet cost, purchasing healthy dog food and dog kennel.
As feeding is a continuous expenditure you would need to create a plan that allows you predict the feeding budget of your dog. For example, 2 bowls of kibble daily and perhaps any other source of nutrient that you may want to throw in.
Ensure that your dog is well fed to avoid nutritional imbalance and other secondary problems that may arise.
Is the German Shepherd Border collie a good fit for you?
This is the big question, isn’t it?
The hybrid is a mix of two very energetic, intelligent and loyal dog breeds.
They come with a lot of playfulness and love to socialize. They love being the center of attention and can be quite protective.
If you are the energetic type, that loves going for runs and have a bit of time on your hands, or perhaps you have kids that love dogs then a German Shepherd Border Collie mix is perfect for you.
In the end, you may have brought home a very significant missing piece that would bring some good family fun and laughter into the home; so why not? Just go for it.
Have you had experiences raising a Shollie? Share your experience with us by commenting below.