Border Collie German Shepherd Mix Owner’s Guide
Have you ever heard of a Shollie? Can you guess what it is? This is a dog that’s a mix between a German Shepherd and a Border Collie!
In this article, we’ll take a look at the Shollie, the characteristics and temperament of these dogs and more. Let’s get started!
What is a Border Collie German Shepherd Mix?
A Border Collie German Shepherd mix is a wonderful dog that loves to be with their family. This is a dog that forms close, loving, devoted bonds to their families, and takes a proactive role in keeping their family safe. You may hear them called Border Collie German Shepherd mixes, or more commonly called Shollies.
However, these dogs are also highly intelligent and playful! If you adopt a Shollie, expect a high-energy dog that’s extremely playful. In fact, these dogs aren’t well adapted to living in an apartment. The best home situation for a Shollie is a house with a large fenced yard, where they can run and play off some of their energy.
Shollies are the result of breeding a purebred Border Collie with a purebred German Shepherd. These are large dogs that are known for the agility and for being great athletes. They’re also quite playful and protective at the same time.
The Shollie’s German Shepherd parent comes from a breed that likes to work hard. German Shepherds are used as police dogs, service & therapy dogs, and more. At one time these working dogs were also used as herding dogs on farms.
German Shepherds are known for being confident, courageous and smart dogs. In fact, they’re the 2nd most popular dog breed.
On the other side, the Shollie’s Border Collie parent also comes from a breed that likes to work hard. This is because Border Collies were specifically bred to herd and protect cattle. While these dogs are still found working on farms today, they’ve also become family companions who are known for their love and loyalty.
The result of breeding these two beautiful working dogs is the Shollie!
Characteristics of a Shollie
Shollies usually tend to more closely resemble their German Shepherd parent. They may have eyes that come in brown, amber, hazel or even blue. And you may find that some Shollies have floppy ears, or a less bushy tail than their Border Collie parent.
When it comes to their coat, a Shollie has a double coat like their Border Collie and German Shepherd parents. Their coat tends to be medium to long and is straight and dense. You’ll find the coat becomes much thicker in the winter. These dogs do shed quite a bit, especially in the Spring and Fall, which are prime shedding seasons for many dogs.
Shollies come in various colors, too. They may be bi-colored, with black and tan fur like their German Shepherd parent. Or they may even come in black, sable, merle, brindle, red, cream and more. And once in a very rare while, a Shollie comes in all white.
Border Collie German Shepherd mixes are considered to be large dogs, and usually weight anywhere from 45 to 80 lbs. They stand about 22 to 29 inches tall. And Shollies have an average lifespan of 10-15 years.
When it comes to temperament, you’ll find that a Shollie can be a mix between being the protector of the family and a loving, affectionate companion. These sweet-natured dogs are highly intelligent, and for this reason they need a lot of mental stimulation each day.
Shollies are great around children, but as with other dog breeds, never leave them and your kids unattended. They’re also friendly but can be somewhat aloof to strangers. And remember these dogs can also have a very strong protective streak. For this reason, it’s important that a Shollie be socialized from a young age.
These dogs are also highly energetic; if they don’t receive the right amount of exercise, they can easily become bored, which can lead to some destructive behaviors.
German Shepherd Border Collie mixes are usually very healthy dogs, but they can be prone to certain health issues including:
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- Collie eye anomaly
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Osteochondritis dissecans
- Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
Border Collie German Shepherd Mix Care
These dogs need a lot of exercise—we can’t stress that enough. They should have at least one hour of exercise a day. This can be split up over two exercise sessions; however, they will enjoy the stimulation of a long walk, playtime at the dog park, etc.
The Shollie should be brushed once a week, but otherwise they just need to see the vet at regular intervals for checkups.
When it comes to feeding your Shollie, he will need food that’s especially geared for large dogs that have high energy levels. Their diet should give them the right number of calories, without weight gain. And remember your sweet Shollie will need plenty of exercise to stay physically and mentally fit.
Shollies are adaptable to the climate, but they are usually the happiest in climates that are somewhat cooler. They are prone to overheating in hot, humid weather, so be sure to keep your fur baby indoors with an air conditioner or fans turned on. If he must be outside, ensure he has plenty of shade and fresh water available at all times. In winter, your Shollie may appreciate a doggie cot when it gets really cold outside.
Training a Shollie
Because these beautiful dogs are highly intelligent and trainable, they thrive when positive reinforcement training methods are used, along with reward-based training.
Because they thrive on praise, be sure to encourage the behavior you want from your Shollie. Praise him and give him a high value treat as a reward. Then have him repeat the exercise. You should never use punishment when training your Shollie, as this does not work and could result in unwanted behaviors.
Shollies are great family dogs who are affectionate, smart, and loyal. They will keep you, your family and home safe, while they enjoy spending time with everyone in the family.