The German Shepherd Collie mix, also known as the Collie Shepherd mix is a large mixed breed between a German shepherd parent and a Border collie parent. This post is written to help you find out what you can expect when you bring this cross breed home.
Where does the breed come from?
German Shepherd Collie mix or ‘Shollies’ as they are lovingly called are basically designer dogs. They have become increasingly popular over the last two to three decades. There are no established details about how, when and why this cross was made.
It’s not easy to determine how the ‘mix dog’ would look like when a German shepherd and a Border collie are cross-bred. However the result is greatly decided by the dominant ‘appearance gene.’ To know what you can expect in ‘Shollies,’ have a quick look at the history and traits of the purebred German shepherd and the Border collie.
The German shepherd
Towards the end of the 19th century, a cavalry officer from Germany decided to breed a superior herding dog. The German shepherd is strong, intelligent and athletic in every sense. He excels as a guard dog and can be used for police and military work.
An important thing to remember is that German shepherd is a lovable family dog. He loves to be around his owners who give him the exercise (physical and mental stimulation) he needs. The dog can be trained easily and is extremely protective about its owner.
The Border collie
The Border collie comes from the region what is now called Great Britain. He is a great learner and is quite athletic and intelligent. Interestingly Collies are always in search of physical and mental exercise that would make them happy.
Shollies – Temperament
There are several common patterns when it comes to how the German shepherd would look and behave in your home.
Shollies are energetic, intelligent, hard working and protective. They are playful with their owners and prefer to show their loving, caring and affectionate side. However, they can be aloof and wary of strangers. Thanks to their parents, the German shepherd collie mix cross breeds have high activity requirements and prefer to play around. They require at least 2 long walks daily to stay active and healthy.
This mix breed is very protective of its owner and other family members. They do everything possible to prevent them from harm. Your dog will get aggressive and start barking when they sense danger or stranger around anyone they care for. But you don’t have to worry about aggression or excessive barking when there’s no real threat or danger.
German shepherds are one of the hardest working dogs and this trait can be seen in the mix breed off springs. In fact Shollies are an excellent choice if you want to bring a hard working hard home.*
*Remember that Shollies are capable, intelligent and energetic, but they won’t be as good as their purebred parent when it comes to getting the job done fairly quickly.
The German shepherd Collie Mix is absolutely adorable and loves to have fun around people it is familiar with. This gentle and loving dog is good around children; however you should always supervise the interaction.
This mix breed is fairly easy to train, thanks to its intelligent parents. In fact, it would be a breeze for you to teach it fun tricks every now and then.
It is recommended that you train and socialize your pet the moment you bring it home so that he learns not to chase small pets and kids or get too aggressive. In addition, you have to use positive reinforcement, not harsh techniques during training. Shollies can be very stubborn if they are punished or scolded. On the other hand appreciation; treats, and rewards will make the training process easier and your pet will be trained quicker too.
Because Shollies come from highly energetic parents, they are very active and more importantly, not suited to apartment living. You need to have lots of space in your home where your pet can run around and play.
If you decide to take your German shepherd collie mix out for a walk, make sure you use a strong leash. Remember, Shollies need an active owner who can accompany them for walks and jogs. And this is why your pet would become bored if he is not physically and mentally stimulated.
German shepherd Border collie Mix Appearance
The dog has a large, strong muscular body and a lean build much like its German shepherd parent. On average, male Shollies weigh around 75 to 80 pounds and stand about 22 to 29 inches tall.
Coat and Grooming
Shollies usually have a short to medium coat that looks quite similar to its German shepherd parent. The color is mostly tan with a hint of black saddle. Other commonly seen coat colors include black, white, brown, cream and yellow. In the majority of cases, Shollies lean more towards the German shepherd than the Collie.
Because the coat color is strikingly similar, most people confuse between the mix dog and the purebred German shepherd. If you talk about thickness of coat, the cross breed has a thicker coat when compared to the pure bred German shepherd parent.
Shollies are a moderate shedder and they will do some seasonal shedding too. You can brush them daily since their coat is thick to keep it soft, smooth and shiny. Give your pet a bath when he needs it, but never go overboard as they have fairly sensitive skin. Also, brush his teeth once a day and clip his nails when they get too long. Examine your pet’s skin and look for signs of redness, rashes and infections. You need to check the ears and clean them once a week, but make sure you don’t insert anything inside it.
Shollies can be trained and socialized as early as possible to improve how they get along with kids, and other pets. They can be a little aggressive (because of their energetic nature) and this is why they should never be left unsupervised with young children. If Shollies are not trained, they will try to chase smaller pets and even people.
This mix breed dog doesn’t bark excessively, however he will let you know of a potential threat or an intruder by barking.
Feeding and Nutrition
German shepherd collie mix, aka Shollies are large dogs and like to remain active. So if you plan on bringing them home, plan on feeding them high-quality dry dog food at least twice every day. Though the pet does well in all climates, they prefer to stay in places with cold conditions.
Unlike purebreds, mix breeds have fewer health issues but some medical conditions can be passed on from the parents to the offspring.
German shepherds are notorious for hip dysplasia and ear problems during their lifetimes and these conditions can be seen in German Shepherd Border Collie Mix dogs. If ear infections are left unattended, they could lead to complete loss of hearing. What’s worse is that in some cases, the mix breed dog can be born deaf. Another common health conditions shepherd collie mix is known to suffer from more commonly than other mix breeds is epilepsy.
Keeping your pet restricted to small area or tied to something that limits their movements is not a good idea. An ideal home for German Shepherd Border Collie Mix dogs would be a place with a large fenced backyard where your pet can get all the daily physical activity and exercise it needs.
Shollies in Summary:
The bottom line is that Shollies are excellent family dogs and you should have no problems if your pet is properly trained and socialized. In fact, they can be one of the friendliest and playful dogs you’ve ever seen.
German shepherd Border collie Mix Dogs – Highlights at a Glance
- Average height: 22 to 29 inches
- Average weight: 75 to 80 pounds
- Coat type: Short to medium length,
- Coat appearance: silky and smooth
- Coat colors: Tan with little bit black saddle, black, brown, white, cream or yellow
- Grooming Needs: Moderate to high
- Shedding: Seasonal, plus moderate
- Brushing requirements: Daily
- Very sensitive to touch: Yes
- Excessive barking: Rare
- Good tolerance to heat and cold: Yes
- Good pet: Yes with socialization and training
- Safe for children: Moderate, need socialization and training
- Good with other Dogs: Moderate , socialization is needed
- Good with other Pets? Moderate, may try to chase smaller pets like cats, dogs, hamsters and rabbits
- Suitable for apartment? No, Shollies require a lot of room
- Suitable for first time dog owners? Not really – the owner needs experience in handling energetic, sensitive pets
- Training: fairly easy, quick learner
- Exercise Needs: Fairly high
- Tendency to gain weight: Moderate
- Major Health Concerns: hip dysplasia, eye problems, epilepsy, bloat, Degenerative Myelopathy and Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency.
- Allergies: There’s a possibility
- Average Life Span: 13 to 15 years