The Highly Intelligent German Shepherd Border Collie Mix
The German Shepherd Border Collie mix is a beautiful combination of two highly sought-after purebred dogs.
Often referred to as a Shollie, this is a large, working dog that is intelligent and full of energy. They have an innate sense of protectiveness but are also loving dogs that may be a great addition to your family.
Before deciding whether or not a German Shepherd Border Collie mix is right for you, it is important to learn about Shollies so you can have accurate expectations.
Let’s review this hybrid’s history, appearance, grooming needs, temperament, and other important information to help you make your decision.
What Is A German Shepherd Border Collie Mix
Over the past twenty years, designer dogs such as these have grown in popularity. While you can never guarantee the traits of the offspring of two purebred dogs, both German Shepherds and Collies are energetic herding dogs, so you can assume these traits will be evident in a Shollie. To learn what else might be in this hybrid mix, it is helpful to acknowledge the history of their parents.
German Shepherds were originally bred in Germany to be athletic herding dogs. Due to their intelligence, these Shepherds ended up being popular working dogs in the military and police.
German Shepherds are still working dogs, but they are also wonderful family dogs, especially when they get the attention, exercise, and socialization that they need.
The Border Collie was originally used as a sheepdog near the border of England and Scotland, which is where he got his name. These herding dogs are intelligent enough to read cues and follow commands simply from sounds and hand signals.
Collies are quick learners, energetic, and aware of their surroundings. They need a lot of mental and physical exercise to remain happy. Like the German Shepherd, it is important to provide early socialization and training for Collies to prevent behavioral issues down the line.
What Does A Border Collie German Shepherd Mix Look Like?
A Collie Shepherd can have a variety of physical traits, depending on the appearance of his parents.
Usually, the Collie Shepherd looks more like a purebred German Shepherd instead of a Border Collie, due to its tan coat and black saddle. His tail favors that of a Border Collie’s, in that it is usually less bushy than a purebred German Shepherd’s tail.
The most distinctive feature of a Shollie dog is its moderately floppy ears and its German Shepherd-like face. Their coats are thicker than a purebred German Shepherd’s, but their bodies tend to be equally as large and muscular.
Some other colors that might appear on this dog include cream, black, sable, white, brown, and yellow.
The German Shepherd Border Collie Mix
How Big Will A German Shepherd Collie Mix Get?
The average adult Shollie stands around 27 to 29 inches tall for males and 21 to 25 inches tall for females. This hybrid breed usually gets its weight from the German Shepherd side of his family and can weigh up to 80 pounds when fully grown.
Grooming Your Border Collie Shepherd Mix
These dogs are moderate shedders and have an increase in shedding during the spring.
If you can, it’s best to brush these dogs every day to eliminate excess hair and decrease the amount of hair you find in your house. Brushing your dog on a regular basis will also help you bond with him.
Shollies only need bathing if they have had a particularly dirty day. Overbathing these dogs can strip their skin of its natural oils, so it is best to bathe only as needed.
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When you do give your dog a bath, make sure that you are using a gentle shampoo that was manufactured specifically for dogs. Human shampoo can be too harsh on a dog’s skin and lead to irritation.
Brush your dog’s teeth at least three times per week, if not every day. Dental health is important in dogs just as it is in humans.
Because these dogs are so active, they will wear down their own nails on the ground, but still, keep an eye on their nails to determine if they need to be clipped.
Because their ears tend to be a bit floppy, it is important to wipe them clean every week so they don’t develop an ear infection.
Temperament of A Collie Shepherd Mix
These smart dogs are also industrious, full of energy, and protective of their families.
They may be untrusting of strangers at times, but these dogs are fun and playful with familiar people. They are loving and affectionate, so they crave a lot of attention from their families.
These dogs love to get a lot of exercise and they love being able to learn new things, so they are typically motivated during training.
To avoid bad behavior, it is best to have a yard where your Shollie can run around and play. You definitely want to avoid restricting this dog’s movement by tying him up or putting him in a small cage.
Letting him run free will help your dog expend energy and prevent boredom. They also love to do tricks and play games to stay mentally engaged and challenged.
How to Train A Shepherd Collie Mix
These highly intelligent dogs are eager to please their owners. Because of this, the Shollie can be easy to train.
However, it is critical to train and socialize your dog as soon as you add him to your family. Slacking on doing so could have negative consequences.
Shollies have herding instincts, so if they aren’t properly socialized and trained as puppies, these instincts may surface. If this happens, you might catch your dog attempting to herd smaller pets or even children.
Make sure that you are gentle but firm during your training. This will ensure that your Shollie sees you as the family’s pack leader, and he will follow your lead accordingly. If you are unable to do this, your dog may try to establish himself as your family’s leader.
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Finally, be sure to be consistent with your training. If you don’t want your dog to sleep in your bed, that means you never let him in your bed.
You can’t decide one night every now and then that you want to allow it for a “special occasion” and forbid it all other nights. Your dog will not know the difference between these circumstances and he won’t know that he is not allowed on the bed.
Is a Collie German Shepherd Mix a Good Family Dog?
This hybrid breed can be an ideal family dog because it is affectionate and protective.
However, because they have a lot of energy and are playful by nature, sometimes these dogs may be a bit rough. Because of this, you will want to socialize your dog by slowly introducing him to people with whom you often come in contact.
These dogs are talented guard dogs and will alert you if there is any sign of danger around your house. But he will not bark needlessly, so you don’t have to worry about having a loud dog for no reason.
He can be very gentle around small children, as long as you teach your children how to properly handle the dog. You should always supervise time spent between your dog and your kids.
These dogs require a great amount of attention, so it is best if there is someone living in your house who stays home for the majority of the day.
Both of the parent breeds of this hybrid are dogs with natural hunting and herding tendencies, which means this is a suitably mixed breed for farmers and hunters who want a reliable working dog.
Keeping your dog restricted to small space or limiting their movement is not a good idea for this breed. An ideal home would have a large fenced-in yard where your dog can get all of the exercise he needs.
Health Concerns for the German Shepherd Border Collie Mix
Mixed breeds have fewer health concerns than purebreds, but some medical conditions can still be passed on to these dogs.
German shepherds are commonly affected by hip dysplasia and ear infections, which both can be seen in German Shepherd Border Collie mixes.
If your dog’s ear infection is left untreated, it could lead to hearing loss. Because of this, you will want to keep an eye out for any sign of infection during your dog’s life.
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Another possible health concern for Shepherd Collie mixes is the prevalence of epilepsy. These seizures can be as simple as a twitch or as severe as uncontrollable shaking, and they can last for under a minute or several minutes.
After having a seizure, your dog could appear to be disoriented, unsteady, or temporarily blind. After the age of 6, the incidence of seizures greatly decreases.
How Much Is A German Shepherd Border Collie Mix Puppy?
German Shepherd Border Collie Mix puppies usually cost between $475 and $950.
This price range may fluctuate if the hybrid becomes more popular. As with any dog, you should be aware of the other costs involved once you bring him home.
You have to consider registration costs, vet appointments, toys, a bed, and food. You can expect your yearly non-medical expenses to be between $500 and $600 and your yearly medical expenses to be between $485 and $650.
Where to Buy A German Shepherd Border Collie Mix
Collie mixed puppies should be bought from a reputable breeder. If you see puppies that are under $300, you should be wary of the living conditions in which those dogs have been raised.
Look online for some local breeders who will invite you to their homes to introduce you to the puppies. Make sure that you buy from someone who has a full health history of their dogs and the parents of the dogs.
You also want to be able to get the sense that the breeder cares about the dog’s future and therefore asks you questions about your home environment and schedule.
Avoid working with breeders who do not give their dogs enough freedom to run around and who are unfamiliar with their dogs’ background.
Is this the breed for you?
Shollies are wonderful family dogs, and with proper training and socialization, you shouldn’t run into any problems with this pet.
Shollies can be extremely friendly and playful, which makes them an ideal companion.
Make sure to find a reputable breeder who cares for their dogs to ensure that you get a healthy and friendly pet who will fit right into your family.
Like many others, you may find this dog to be the friendliest breed that you ever have.