These two giant dogs make the smart, protective, and intelligent Shollie. Both the German Shepherd and the Border Collie are fantastic sheepherders that protect livestock. Often compared to one another, these two working dogs make one of the hardiest and well-trained breeds around.
Border Collies and German Shepherds are some of the greatest working dogs and are often seen in police enforcement and rescue missions. Border Collies are especially kind sheepherders that would instead stare a sheep down then bite, while Shepherds military background makes them more like sergeants. Shepherds will intimidate the sheep until the backdown.
Highly trainable and perfect for first-time dog owners who want a big dog, the Shollie can be easily socialized with other animals. If your puppy is more like their Border Collie parent, they will be less stubborn and will accept you as Alpha almost instantly.
Shollies are natural work dogs and love large, open spaces with places to run and lots of animals around. These dogs need a job to do, or they’ll find one to do. Are these hardworking, lovable balls of joy suitable for your family? In this guide, we’ll take you thought the daily lives of the Shollie.
Parent Breed History
We are going to jump in and evaluate the history of both breeds, just so you have an overview of what kind of mix you have put together when you blend the german shepherd dog with a border collie. It’s a potent mix of energy and working enthusiasm.
These two breeds are exceptionally compatible and have minimal negatives in regards to personality traits, with one exception being their restlessness if they aren’t farmhands. They will be your loyal companion if you manage to sustain their boredom.
Being a designer dog works well for many breeds. It works especially well for the German Shepherd breed, because they’re prone to many health problems. Keep in mind that not all designer dogs have to completely purebred, as some crosses require a less even split. Let’s dive in and take a look at what you can expect.
German Shepherd Overview
German Shepherds are an extremely popular breed, largely due to their intelligence. They are well known for their work ethic, and are often used in military and police exercises. They are also popular as trauma dogs, guide dogs and also used in search & rescue missions. They are fearless, and will protect their family with vigor. They are highly athletic and active, making them a perfect companion for an active family.
This breed requires exercise or working jobs to keep them busy. You’ll need to carve out at least 60 minutes a day to keep them tired out, otherwise you’ll be buying new furniture and household goods as your GSD tears them apart with pent up energy. They can be lap dogs and love their family. They are highly protective of children, so early socialization and training is recommended.
These dogs are heavy shedders, so be prepared to clean up lots of dog hair around the house. You’ll want to stay on top of grooming regularly, and make sure you are using a deshedding tool like the ShedMonster or Furminator to keep hair shedding down. This is especially important in the summertime when they shed their coats.
If you want a loyal friend for life, the Shepherd is the dog for you, just make sure to train them every day. They’re a large breed and can weigh upwards to 80 pounds for a male. They are short-lived like most big dogs, and may only live until 10. They also come in many different colors coats, some of which are controversial. A jet black coat is somewhat common, and keep in mind that like the Border Collie, some GSDs have furry coats.
Border Collie Overview
Known as the world’s best herding dog, Border Collies were bred for farm work around the border between England and Scotland. Farmers specially bred their own breeds of dogs to tend to their flock around a hilly area. They are often mistaken for Aussies.
Queen Victoria adored the Border Collie. When the sheepdog trials began in 1876, sheep were brought to London for a demonstration. The Border Collie acted as a herder, and soon after this, two separate breeds of Collie were bred. One was the primary working breed, while the other was more domestic.
Border Collies usually have a black and white coat, but you can also see them in red and white. They are often thought of as being the smartest breed in the world next to Poodles and German Shepherds. Their intelligence makes them easy to train, but you’ll need to keep up with their high activity level. Collies will want to herd you, your cat, bicycles and moving cars, so be prepared for that.
They also have what is known as “the stare.” Collies will stare whatever they’re trying to herd down until they move. If you’re okay with them forcing their will on you, you’ll have a loyal, hardworking and fun-loving dog that only wants to please you. They are long-lived at about 14 years and weight anywhere from 30 to 45 pounds. Because border collies are intelligent, they are often crossed with breeds like the labrador to create other “designer dogs.”
As with most designer dogs, the origin of this breed is unknown. They were likely bred together to make the ultimate working dog, and they succeeded. Most mixed breeds originated around that time and became popular in the late ’90s, early 2000’s.
If there is a more intelligent dog than the Shollie, we haven’t heard of them! Shollies will surprise you on how quick they are to train. Although German Shepherds love children, Border Collies are suspicious of them. The Shollie takes from their Border Collie parent, but if they’re properly socialized and are taken in as part of the herd, they’ll love them.
Shollies are curious by nature and love to check out new sights, sounds, and people by sniffing them out. If they don’t have a job to do, they might take out their frustration on your furniture. Make sure you’re able to exercise them frequently, or you’ll have a delinquent on your hands. You could house a Shollie in an apartment, but make sure you take them outside for at least an hour a day.
The Shollie won’t steer you wrong when it comes to intelligence and hard work. If you can handle this pups activity level as well as their tendency to herd, they are loving and compassionate. Make sure to play with them frequently, so they don’t get bored.
Appearance & Grooming
The German Shepherd Border Collie mix can either be a medium-sized dog or a large one; it depends on which parent they take after more. The large variant will be around 80 to 90 pounds, while the medium-sized variant will be significantly smaller at 40 pounds. It’s best to have a larger place to accommodate their potential growth. They are usually tall at 15-24 inches.
The color of the Shollie depends on their parent. They could have the German Shepherd colors, or they may have the Border Collie looks. Black, blue, brindle, blue merle, sable, brindle, or black and white are all possible options. They could be bi-colored or tri-colored and rarely pure colored.
Shollies aren’t considered hypoallergenic because they shed quite a lot throughout the year. You should brush them at least once a day, though twice is preferred to keep their coat healthy and without mats. Take your Shollie to a professional groomer every month to keep their fur trimmed.
Pay attention to their ears and their nails as well. You’ll want to see if their ears have no odor, moisture, or dirt buildup because that could indicate infection. Trim your puppy’s nails every two to three weeks.
Have we mentioned that the Shollie is intelligent yet? They are incredibly easy to train because they’re so smart, no matter who they take after. Shollies will see you as Alpha immediately and will be happy to receive directions from their favorite human. They’re also easy to socialize and love to run and play at dog parks meeting new people and dogs.
Positive reinforcement is the best method with any dog. Do not try to slap them or scold them when they do something wrong as your pup will grow to resent you and make them harder to train. Giving them treats or toys for a job well done will train them up fast.
Obedience training should be done as soon as they’re puppies so they can tell the difference between what you consider right or wrong. Dogs look up to their alphas for guidance and are less likely to disobey if they see you as an authority.
Most large dogs are easy to train to pee outside due to their more massive than the average bladder. They can also handle being alone for a longer than average between potty breaks. Take care to socialize them when they’re young, so they will grow to trust people.
Exercise & Living Conditions
The German Shepherd Border Collie Mix doesn’t do well cooped up inside for long periods of time. You should take them out as frequently as possible, so they don’t get bored and tear your house apart. They are highly stimulated and need at least an hour per day of playtime.
When they’re tuckered out, they become the ultimate lap dog and loves to lounge on the couch with you. They genuinely want nothing more than to relax with their favorite humans. Although apartments living is okay, they would much prefer large backyards and big spaces.
Shollies will do fine outside for long periods of time. They are working dogs, after all! We always recommend not to leave them outside overnight, because they could get sick. Always get your pup a nice warm place to stay – preferably in the bed beside you.
Common health problems for any large breed are hip and elbow dysplasia, allergies, eye diseases, and skin irritations. These won’t be an issue when they’re young, but keep an eye on them as they get older. Make sure to keep the weight off, so they don’t get potential health problems or bloat.
Hip dysplasia is likely to run in the family because both breeds are prone to this. As mentioned, keeping their weight off will keep this at bay for a while, but it’s also a good idea to feed them supplements or food that strengthens their joint.
Another idea is to swim with your pup to get some exercise. Not only will it tired them out faster, but the water takes all the pressure off their joints. Doggy braces are also an option, but I guarantee your pup won’t like them too much!
Big dogs require a lot of nutrition! Make sure their diet mostly consists of protein and fats with low carbs. It’s better to give them natural or organic food for optimal health. You can also give them whole foods like vegetables and meat if you’d like.
3 cups a day on average is the vets’ recommendation, though you should pay more attention to the calories in the food rather than the amount given. The average price to feed your Shollie will be around $30-$50. Feed them multiple times a day and with smaller portions to lessen the likelihood of bloat.
As Family Pets
Shollies are one of the best working dogs you can find, but are these hard-working herding dogs the right fit for your growing family?
- The Shollie is an intelligent, loving, and loyal breed.
- They are fond of herding people and animals.
- They may be temperamental with children but will warm up to them.
- They are unlikely to bike, and would instead stare down their competitors.
- They require a lot of room with a large backyard.
- Don’t think about adopting this breed if you live in a small apartment or condo.
- Grooming requirements are high, and they need to be brushed at least once a day.
- They will also need to be professionally groomed to manage their coat.
- Expect to deshed your home with a grooming tool quite frequently to manage hair.
- Shollies shed a lot – so expect to bring out the vacuum all the time to clean up their hair!
- Playful, active, and a high herding behavior they’ll want your attention at all times.
- Don’t let them get bored, or they might damage your property.
- A soft-hearted hard-worker is just one of the ways to describe this breed.
- They have the instinct to protect you and the family, and they head nudge to prove it.
- For a medium to large dog, they have few health problems with the exception of hip dysplasia.
- Watch that their weight stays at a healthy number, so they avoid heart and lung problems.
- Ask for the papers of the parents to get a genetic overview of your pup’s health.
- This is also great for determining the temperament of the puppy as well.
What do you think? Is the Shollie the right match for you? Keep reading below on how to find one!
Breeders & Puppy Prices
Both the German Shepherd and the Border Collie are very popular dogs, so finding a breeder is going to be no issue for you. Although Shollies aren’t as common as their parents, I can guarantee there’s a breeder in metropolitan areas.
A well-bred Shollie with cost you $475 to $950, which is pretty pricey for the size of the dog. The cheaper pups will likely not have papers for their breeding dogs, while the higher priced ones will.
Shollies are not known for having health issues except with their hips and are relatively healthy, though. If you aren’t interested in buying from a breeder, searching for a rescue in your area is another option. Contact your local German Shepherd and Border Collie clubs for local breeders and rescues.
Both the Border Collie and German Shepherd are popular breeds and are likely to be found at shelters. This is because their owners weren’t prepared to take care of them. This is why we don’t recommend big dogs for first-time owners, as they require a lot of care and patience. The Border Collie, German Shepherd, and Shollie, although easy to train still needs a lot of attention. Only take them on if you’re prepared for that.
Although you won’t know the parents of the dogs, you’ll be giving them a much-needed home. Make sure to train them up as soon as possible, so they respond well to you. Here are some great resources that may provide an opportunity to rescue a Shollie. Check out the All Shepherd Rescue and Come Bye Border Collies for some possible pups.
The intelligent german shepherd border collie mix needs a kind home that will take care of their activity needs. Make sure to take them out frequently for a run. I cannot stress enough that you have to give them a lot of attention, as neglect will spell trouble for you and the other people in your household. Shollies are one of the few large dogs we’d recommend to first-time owners because of their easy trainability. They will warm up to you very quickly.
If you’re looking for a working dog that will herd your sheep or cattle, look no further than the Shollie or Collie. They are incredibly reliable dogs that love to work and keep occupied. They do the best on farms and large patches of land. If you have all of this, getting a Shollie is a no brainer. Living in the city with a Shollie definitely isn’t impossible; just pay attention to their needs, and you’ll have a faithful companion for life.