German shepherd Border collie mix

German Shepherd Border Collie MixIf you’re looking for a super-intelligent, high-energy dog that will work and play as hard as you. Then the German shepherd border collie mix may be your perfect match. Whether you want to compete in agility, obedience, or want an enthusiastic running partner, the German Shepherd border collie mix or ‘Shollie’ is a willing companion with an impressive work ethic.

So, what makes this crossbreed perfect for an active lifestyle that offers plenty of exercise and mental stimulation? Delving into the history of the parent breeds offers valuable insight into the temperament and character of mixed breed dogs. The German Shepherd border collie mix is no exception.

Breed history

Understanding the job that your dog was originally bred to do is key to choosing a dog that fits into your lifestyle or one that is unhappy and frustrated in your home. Breed history can provide useful clues as to your dog’s energy levels, training requirements, sociability, and much more.

So, what about the German Shepherd border collie mix?

The German Shepherd

German Shepherds are working dogs and were originally used for herding and guarding sheep. Compared with many dogs, the German shepherd has a relatively short history that can be traced back to 1899.

Selectively bred to produce the ultimate herding dog. The German Shepherd dog was developed to be athletic, intelligent, and loyal. Versatile and capable, the German Shepherd’s role diversified with the decline in need of herding dogs. Used in police work, the military, as a guard dog, rescuer, and guide, the German Shepherd, excels in all.


The Border Collie

Ancestors of the modern border collie have been around for centuries. Herding dogs were invaluable to shepherds and farmers, especially with widely dispersed sheep on difficult terrain. The most accomplished herders were bred and eventually diversified into different types of ‘collie,’ which comes from a Scottish dialect word for sheepdogs.

These collies became the forerunners of what was to become the Welsh Collie, Scotch Collie, northern sheepdogs, and Border collie. (Due to the location of its origins along the Anglo-Scottish border)

Exceptionally smart, athletic, and seemingly inexhaustible the border collie is a sensitive workaholic that is never the less affectionate.


Border collie German Shepherd mix appearance

It’s never easy to predict the appearance of a cross-breed dog. Genetics are rarely simple, which means that your Shollie could look very different from any another. However, certain assumptions about size, weight, and coat type are possible and present examples of Shollies can provide a good idea of color and appearance.

The Shepherd collie mix is a medium to large dog resembling the German shepherd more than the border collie. Weighing in at around sixty to eighty pounds, the Shollies coat can be short to medium in length and is double layered. The outer coat is either silky or rough, and the undercoat soft and fluffy.

Although Shollies are often black and tan like their German Shepherd parent, there is also the possibility of patches of other colors, including cream, white, yellow, sable, blue, and brown. These variations often result in a dog that is tricolor with facial markings.

Collie German Shepherd mix temperament

With two such intelligent parent dog breeds, it stands to reason that the German Shepherd Collie mix is a very smart dog. Energetic, driven, and industrious, the German Shepherd Border Collie mix is enthusiastic, affectionate, and playful.

As herding is in their nature, care in a family home with tiny children is needed. The Border Collie has been known to nip stubborn sheep to get them moving, and this trait can be carried over to the Shollie and its family.

German shepherd Border collie mix at its best Affectionate, loyal, obedient and ready for any adventure whether physical or mental

With a naturally high prey drive and love of exercise, early training is essential for the collie shepherd mix, especially a good recall that will prevent problems when out and about.

Loyal and willing to please the Shollie can nonetheless get attached strongly to one family member. With the German Shepherd’s desire to protect, everyone must develop a healthy relationship with the Shollie.  This socialization will ensure a well-rounded dog that is a productive and happy family member.

The Shollie has a love of learning that’s second to none. If you choose to open your home to the German Shepherd Border Collie mix, you must meet both the physical and mental needs of the dog.

German shepherd Border collie mix at its worse A highly driven dog that bores easily is destructive, overprotective and anxious

Affectionate and devoted, the Shollie is a perfect partner for an active and energetic household. However, bored or under-stimulated dog will find their own entertainment. This can lead to behavior problems, including chewing, barking, nipping, and obsessive type conduct.

German shepherd Border collie mix exercise

With two energetic and hard-working dog breeds as parents. It goes without saying that your Shollie puppy will be a very active dog. The border collie, in particular, needs more exercise than most other dogs and has been bred with the stamina to work all day long.

Combined with both parent’s intelligence, the Shollie is not the dog for you if you like relaxing Sundays on the couch. Needing at least two hours of exercise a day with at least as much mental stimulation, the Shollie is a dog that demands time.

If you work long hours or can’t commit to the demands of the breed, both of you would be much happier if you choose a different dog breed.

German shepherd Border collie mix grooming

Both the German Shepherd and border collie have a double coat. The advantage of two layers means that your dog will stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Bred to be hardy and work in all conditions, the parent dog’s coats need regular maintenance to keep them clean and tangle-free.

While the German Shepherds coat is straight, it needs a lot of brushing. German shepherds shed continually and ‘blow their coats twice a year. Border collies have a rough or smooth double coat with feathering on the chest, legs, and belly. These feathered areas need extra attention to prevent tangles that can become painfully knotted.

Expect your Shollie to have a double coat of medium length that needs to be brushed three to four times a week and every day when they blow their coat in spring and autumn. Although border collies are medium shedders, German shepherds are heavy shedders, and your Shollie may inherit their German Shepherd coat. Invest in a good brush or shedding tool to keep your Shollies coat in the best condition.

German shepherd Border collie mix health

Despite the belief that crossbreed dogs are healthier than pure breeds, it’s not necessarily true. Understanding the most common health conditions that affect the parent breeds can prepare you for possible issues later in your dog’s life.

Although this list of health problems may look a little scary, a healthy Shollie will keep you company and entertained for twelve to fifteen years.

German shepherd Border collie mix highlights

The Shollie is a lovely, loyal and playful dog with a keen interest in learning and energy to spare. If you can provide the right outlet for their physical and mental needs, you will have a devoted and gentle friend for life. Easy to train, eager to please, and an affectionate family pet, the Shollie could be the perfect dog for you if you’re as energetic as they are.