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Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021


A cross of the Border Collie and the German Shepherd is known as a German Shepherd Collie Mix, a German Shepherd Border Collie mix or a Shollie. She is a large dog often used as a working dog with a life span of 13 to 15 years. She has a number of talents including hunting, agility, obedience, guard dog, watchdog, and herding. She is intelligent, enthusiastic and very energetic, and coming from two working purebreds she needs an active family to be happy and healthy as a family dog.

Here is the Shollie at a Glance
Average height 21 to 29 inches
Average weight 70 to 80 pounds
Coat type Short to medium length, silky and smooth
Hypoallergenic? No
Grooming Needs Moderate to high
Shedding Moderate plus seasonal shedding
Brushing Daily
Touchiness Very sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Low to moderate
Barking Rare
Tolerance to Heat Good to very good
Tolerance to Cold Very good
Good Family Pet? Good to very good with socialization
Good with Children? Moderate – can be good with early socialization and if raised with them
Good with other Dogs? Moderate – again socialization is needed
Good with other Pets? Moderate – may try to chase them
A roamer or Wanderer? Low
A Good Apartment Dweller? No, needs room
Good Pet for new Owner? Low to moderate, really needs an owner with experience in handling sensitive and high energy dogs
Trainability Very easy to train, will learn quickly
Exercise Needs High – she has a lot of energy
Tendency to get Fat Moderate
Major Health Concerns Epilepsy, OCD, bloat, Degenerative Myelopathy, Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
Other Health Concerns Joint dysplasia, allergies, eye problems
Life Span 13 to 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $475 – $950
Average Annual Medical Expense $485 – $600
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $500 – $600

Where does the German Shepherd Collie Mix come from?

These hybrids are also known as designer dogs and are something that have grown in popularity over the last two decades. In most cases there are not yet any details known about who and why a cross was made. Sometimes it just comes down to money, but hopefully in some cases there is more thought to it. While nothing is guaranteed when it comes to what traits the offspring will inherit from the parents, with both parents being energetic and herding dogs you can expect those to be present in the Shollie. To get to know what else might be in the mix take a look at the history and traits of the the German Shepherd and the Border Collie.

The German Shepherd

At the end of the 19th century heading into the 20th century a German cavalry officer decided to breed a herding dog that was superior in every way. He wanted a dog who was not just the best at herding, but was also athletic and intelligent. He saw a wolfish looking dog which he liked and he founded a breed using that dog. This was when the need for herding dogs was actually on the decline though so rather than see his dog become something less he got him into military and police work. And the German Shepherd excelled at it. In both wars he was used as a messenger, guard, sentry, first aid, rescuer and supply carrying dog. His bravery, intelligence, capability and loyalty so impressed the allies he was taken back with them.

Today he is used for a number of jobs, drug detection, military work such as bomb detection, guiding the blind, search and rescue, and herding still to name but a few. But he is also a great family dog if he is in the right kind of family. He needs active owners who will give him the mental and physical stimulation he needs. He is aloof with strangers but friendly and affectionate with those he knows, and even loving with family. He is protective and intelligent and trains easily. He can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone too long.

The Border Collie

The Border Collie comes from what is now Britain and was used as a sheepdog in the area where England borders with Scotland, hence the name. He is a great herding dog and performed so well in sheep trials in the mid to late 1800s that Queen Victoria became quite enamored of them. He was and still is so sensitive he can read cues and follow commands just from different whistles and hand signals. While he is a very old dog in Britain, he was not recognized by the American Kennel Club until 1995.

He is a very quick learner, very intelligent, energetic, alert and hardworking. He needs to be doing something all the time, he needs a lot of exercise and mental challenges presented to him to keep him happy. He can be obstinate and independent if not handled in a positive but firm manner. Without early socialization and training he can be fearful, and he will try to chase and herd other pets (and possibly children) without it too.


The German Shepherd Collie Mix is as you would expect intelligent, energetic, driven, protective and industrious. She can be playful and fun with her family but she is wary of strangers. She does have an affectionate and loving side and she loves all the attention she can get. She is very enthusiastic especially when it is time to go out and play or go for a run and she likes to be part of any family activity that is going on too. Be warned sometimes she does have a stubborn side to her especially if she leans more towards the Collie!

What does a German Shepherd Collie Mix look like

The German Shepherd Collie Mix is a large dog weighing 70 to 80 pounds and standing 21 to 29 inches tall. In the majority of cases this dog will lean more towards the German Shepherd in looks than the Collie and can often be mistaken for a young purebred. She has a less bushy tail than the German Shepherd though and has ears that are a little floppy. Her coat can be short to medium, silky and smooth and colors include cream, black, tan, sable, white, yellow and brown.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the German Shepherd Collie Mix need to be?

She comes from two dogs with a lot of drive and energy so naturally she is very active too. She is not suited to living in an apartment, she needs room in the home and she needs a yard. Be prepared your dog is likely going to chase birds squirrels and whatever else is in the back yard! She will need a couple of long walks or jogs, some play time in the dog park and so on. Find a place she can be let off the leash so she can run. Teach her games and tricks to keep her mentally challenged too. She needs an active family or owner who loves the outdoors as much as she does. If she is under exercised and not mentally stimulated she can become bored and act out.

How easy is she to train?

She should be socialized and trained from the moment you get her so that she is less likely to herd and chase small pets and children, and she learns not to play too rough. She is intelligent, loves to learn, well motivated and happy when training. She needs you to establish yourself as pack leader by being firm and you need to use positive techniques not harsh ones. Harsh training will bring out her stubborn nature as she is very sensitive. Using praise, treats, rewards she will then learn very easily and will likely need less repetitions so will learn quicker too.

Living with a German Shepherd Collie Mix

How much grooming is needed?

She is a moderate shedder and will do some seasonal shedding too. She should be brushed daily when the shedding is particularly heavy to keep her coat shiny. If her undercoat is shedding take care as her skin can be more sensitive. Give her a bath when she needs it, over bathing her can adversely affect the natural oils in her skin. Her teeth will need brushing once a day, her nails will need clipping when they get too long, and her ears will need cleaning once a week. Just wipe clean the parts you can see, do not insert anything in them.

What is she like with children and other animals?

She should be socialized and trained to make a more rounded dog and to improve how she gets on with kids, pets and other dogs. She can be a little rough sometimes when playing because of her energetic nature so she should be supervised when with young children. Unless she has been raised with them or socialized properly she will tend to try to overpower and chase other pets.

General information

She is a good watchdog, she will let you know of an intruder by barking and she will protect her family, Otherwise her barking is rare. She will need 3 to 4 cups of high quality dry dog food each day, and it should be fed to her in at least two meals. She is good in most climates though does a little better in cold climates that very hot.

Health Concerns

While it is true that most mixed breeds have less health issues than purebreds there are still possible conditions the parents are prone to that can be passed on to the offspring. They include Epilepsy, OCD, bloat, Degenerative Myelopathy, Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency, joint dysplasia, allergies and eye problems.

Costs involved in owning a German Shepherd Collie Mix

A puppy will cost somewhere between $475 to $950 at the moment, but that might change if their popularity increases, or from one location to another. A collar, leash, crate will be about $160 to $220. Medical tests, micro chipping, spaying will be about $290 to $340. Annual medical costs for shots, check ups, flea prevention, pet insurance and so on will be about $485 – $600. Annual non-medical expenses for food, treats, toys, training and licensing will be about $500 – $600.


Looking for a Shollie Puppy Name? Let select one from our list!

This is a special dog, she will be dedicated to the family and become a valued and loved family member. She will need you to give her enough physical and mental exercise though and do not underestimate the value of early socialization and training.

Top German Shepherd Mixes

Featured Image Credit: Christin Lola, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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