He looks exactly like a German Shepherd, and he even acts like one. Yet, he isn’t a German Shepherd.
This best fits the definition of a German Shepherd Border Collie mix, a hybrid dog that is half German shepherd half Border Collie.
This lovely mixed breed has skyrocketed to popularity due to its interesting appearance, bright eyes and an adorable demeanor.
Here is everything you need to know about this enigmatic breed!
Table of Contents
The German shepherd collie hybrid is quite a large dog with an average weight of 80 pounds and a height of up to 29 inches tall.
It is very easy to mistake this breed for a purebred German shepherd. This is because the thick coat, the piercing eyes and the stocky, muscular body are all quite identical to the German shepherd.
Then again, one can always identify the German shepherd collie mix by observing the girth of the tail and the drooping of the ears. This breed has a less bushy tail and ears that are a wee bit floppy.
Regardless of the actual size and weight, these dogs have a tendency to take after the German Shepherd in terms of appearance rather than the Collie. Their coat can vary from short to medium and come in different colors including white, tan, sable, yellow, black, cream and brown.
The white German Shepherd Border collie mix is a rare dog, as is the black German Shepherd Collie mix.
The striking tan and black coats are also important points of difference that set apart the Border collie German shepherd mix from their parents.
Despite their heavy body frame, this breed carries the reputation of being workaholics, working relentlessly at the task given and not stopping until the work is completed to satisfaction. Their remarkable ability to finish off daily tasks with ease makes them one of the most industrious dog breeds.
It is essential to understand the lineage of the parents first, in order to ascertain the desirable traits of a particular German Shepherd Collie mix. The hybrid may not be a perfect 50-50 cross always.
The fact is that breeders cross multiple generations. Although it may be tough to figure out the intricate genetic makeup, knowing the parental lineage can go a long way in understanding the traits of this hybrid.
image source: Pinterest
GERMAN SHEPHERD BORDER COLLIE MIX SIZE
The standard German shepherd collie mix grows up to a height of 27-29 inches for males and 22-25 inches for females. When it comes to weight, this mixed breed takes after one of its parents, i.e the German shepherd and weighs up to 34-37 kg in the adult stage.
The height and body weight dimensions make the German shepherd collie mix a tad more majestic to behold. Its moderate size makes it a great choice for people who wish for all the traits of a hunting dog.
THE BORDER COLLIE GERMAN SHEPHERD MIX AT A GLANCE….
#1 – Average weight: 70-80 pounds
#2 – Average height: 21-29 inches
#3 – Coat Type: Short to medium in length and silky, smooth in texture
#4 – Degree of hypoallergenicity: Nil, because this hybrid is superior to both its parents and thus, not at all susceptible to allergens afflicting the parents.
#5 – Grooming Needs: As compared to long-coated dog breeds, the Collie German definitely needs a lesser amount of grooming and maintenance.
#6 – Shedding: Shedding is moderate and seasonal. Frequent shedding may be mitigated by regular brushing.
#7 – Tolerance to Solitude: Low to moderate. Like other dog breeds, the Collie Shepherd doesn’t like to stay alone, however, it’s a bit more tolerant to loneliness than the teacup breeds.
#8 – Brushing Requirements: Daily or at least every alternate day.
#9 – Tendency to Bark: These dogs rarely bark and a barking Collie Shepherd should be taken seriously, as this display of aggressiveness denotes an unfavorable change in the outer/inner environment.
#10 – Tolerance to Cold: Good. Surprisingly enough, the Collie Shepherd tolerates the cold very well. That is because of its protective undercoat, which insulates the body and prevents the escape of heat.
#11 – Tolerance to Heat: Good.
#12 – Good Family Pet? If socialized well, they are great with children. The Collie Shepherd gets full marks for its adorable appearance and docile demeanor. These attributes make it a great family pet too.
#13 – Compatibility with Dogs: Moderate. This can improve with early socialization and proper training. Genetic makeup also matters.
#14 – Compatibility with Other Pets: Moderate. The Collie Shepherd has latent hunting instincts that surface whenever they are around younger pets. Thus, they have a tendency to chase smaller pets.
#15 – Good Apartment Dweller? No. The Collie Shepherd mix needs room to run, stretch and be his unabashed self. Thus, these dogs do not perform well in crammed up places.
#16 – Good Pet for Novice Dog Owner? Moderately good. This hybrid needs an owner with considerable experience in handling touchy and overly active dogs.
#17 – Trainability meter: Very easy to train. They adept well to rigorous training sessions and learn up tricks super fast.
#18 – Exercise Needs: High. Collie Shepherds are brimming with abundant energy and need an outlet to work it all out.
#19 – Tendency to Get Overweight: Moderate.
#20 – Major Health Issues: Epilepsy, OCD, obesity, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, degenerative myelopathy, eye problems and joint dysplasia.
#21 – Lifespan: The German shepherd border collie mix life expectancy is 13-15 years.
#22 – Average Puppy Price: $475-$900. It is advisable to purchase border collie and German shepherd mix puppies from an authorized breeder only. A German shepherd border collie mix adoption can cost you a minimum of $200.
#23 – Average Non-Medical Expense Annually: $500-$600
#24 – Average Medical Expense Annually: $485-$650
BORDER COLLIE SHEPHERD MIX ORIGIN
The Shepherd Collie, also known as the Shollie is best described as a hybrid between two remarkably intelligent and smart hunting dogs.
In modern culture, Shepherd collies are also referred to as designer dogs, a term used to define dogs that result from the crossing of two purebred dogs. There is something exciting about designer dogs, in the sense that you never know what you are signing up for.
With purebred dogs, we can still the expect to make true predictions on the size, temperament, health status and overall suitability, but designer dogs are almost always a surprise.
The Shollie is one of the smartest dog breeds, yet no one knows why this cross was made and who made it in the first place. After all, everything just comes down to monetary profits, but hopefully, there is more thought to it in some cases.
While nothing is for sure when it comes to the exact type of traits inherited by the parents, considering the nature of the parental purebreds, you can comfortably expect the Shollie to be nothing short of energetic and reliable.
To understand better what else may be a part of this hybrid, take a look at the history as well as temperament of the Border Collie, as well as the German shepherd.
As this is a large dog with abundant energy levels, small, space-constrained living areas are not ideal.
Collie shepherds take up quite a lot of space and need an extra bit more to run around freely on a regular basis. A large courtyard or a fenced backyard is perfect for this dog so that it can exercise, run and play around at his free will.
Due to its hunting nature, Collie shepherds love to chase anything that catches their eye- right from squirrels and cats to birds and butterflies.
Collie Shepherd mix dogs are extremely alert and protective. Thus they make wonderful house pets and loyal watch guards to a family. Their incredible protective nature makes them wary of new sights/sounds and cause them to bark incessantly when threatened.
Barking generally continues till the threat has passed. Their excessive energy levels render them perfect for farms with lots of animals that need to be protected from predators, as well as houses with big families. These dogs are superb at guarding the territory and do not stop before fighting away the intruder.
Image Source: Instagram/ares_the_pup
Known for its affectionate and protective nature, this mixed breed is a great hit with families and dog enthusiasts alike. With that being said, its unending energy levels and overly active nature can create a few problems in daily life.
They may come across as too strong on smaller pets or toddlers dwelling in the house, initially. However, with gradual socialization, this too passes away. It always helps to introduce them slowly to familiar people while using positive reinforcements like tasty treats or soothing words simultaneously.
Being obedient and easy to train, socializing shouldn’t be a daunting task. Shepherd Collie dogs need a great deal of attention and affection at all times. Hence, it is recommended to have a family member close to the dog when the owner is away or busy.
Since the breed’s parents, the Border Collie and the German shepherd are dogs with herding and hunting natures, this mixed breed is undoubtedly a sensible choice for farmers, hunters and practically every individual looking for reliable and obedient working dogs.
In fact, they can be trained in many creative ways to adopt a sombre and responsible behavior when the leash is on for serious activities, and transform into their usual playful self once the leash is off.
GERMAN SHEPHERD TEMPERAMENT
The German Shepherd first came into public view at the end of the 19th century. The emergence of this breed may be credited to a German cavalry officer who decided to breed a hunting dog that was superior to all other existing breeds in every way.
He wanted to produce a dog that was not only adept at herding, but also intelligent and agile.
To accomplish this objective, he used a wolfish looking dog as parent to create the much famed breed: German Shepherd.
This happened around the time when herding dogs were less in demand. So, in order to make good use of this breed, he trained him for military and police work. Needless to say, the German Shepherd perform superbly at it.
In wars, he was used as a guard, messenger, sentry, aide, rescuer, as well as supply carrying dog. His competence, loyalty, intelligence and bravery impressed his allies.
At present, he is used for many jobs like drug detection, bomb detection, herding, search and rescue, and disability aid, to name a few.
He is also a wonderful family dog, provided he is given the right kind of household. He needs active owners who don’t mind giving him his daily dose of mental and physical stimulation. Aloof in the beginning, he doesn’t take much time to let his guard down and make friends with guests.
Being protective and sensitive, he has a tendency to suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for prolonged periods of time.
BORDER COLLIE TEMPERAMENT
The Border Collie originated from Britain and was extensively used as a sheepdog in the land where England meets Scotland. That explains its name.
This breed is mainly known for its exceptional herding abilities and it performed so wonderfully in sheep trails during the 1800s, that Queen Victoria became their fan and loved having one of them around her palatial house.
Border Collie is one of those breeds that is sensitive to strange sights/sounds/smells and can read cues and follow instructions just from whistles and hand signals. Despite being an old dog in Britain, he didn’t received recognition from the American Kennel Club until the year, 1995.
Apart from being a quick learner, the Border Collie is energetic, hardworking and alert. He prefers staying busy all the time and hates staying alone.
He needs plenty of exercise and mental challenges to stay occupied and happy. His obstinate nature can come in the way of training initially, but with time and positive reinforcements, he becomes very obedient indeed. Without early training and socialization, he might get fearful and attempt to ward off pets and children at the slightest hint of trouble.
Image source: Instagram/ares_the_pup
GERMAN SHEPHERD BORDER COLLIE MIX TEMPERAMENT
Hardworking, energetic, fun loving and affectionate would be a few adjectives to describe the normal German shepherd border collie cross.
Their attentive nature makes them dependable watchdogs, while their gentle attitude is amenable to stringent training methods. However, this loving and cuddly pet can transform into a threatening and snarling animal within a jiffy of sensing a threat.
These dogs are naturally instinctive and take their own sweet time to mingle with outsiders and visitors. Early socialization can help speed up this process though.
Being very obedient and intelligent, it’s not tough to train them. Training should be imparted to control the extreme territorial instinct and destructive nipping habits.
The Collie Shepherd should be trained at a young age, as their stubborn nature makes them difficult to train when they get older.
Positive reinforcements are more helpful than shock collars and punishments. These dogs are highly focused and this attribute helps them during the stealth mode when they sense a threat in the vicinity.
Due to their boundless energy, Shepherd Collies need a minimum of two hours of outdoor activity daily, in the form of walks, jogs, games or exercises.
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DECODING THE PERSONALITY OF GERMAN BORDER COLLIE MIX
Like plenty of modern hybrid dogs that have not been officially recognized by the major canine registry organizations, details about the Collie shepherd’s temperament and personality traits are not as definitive as the purebred dogs.
However, you can still take a glance at the behavioral metrics of the parental breeds of this dogs to achieve a better estimation of certain traits.
For example, the desire to herd and hunt is ingrained in the Shollie’s DNA. This, we know, because his parents, the GSD and the Border Collie are both almost legendary for their drive and work ethics. While the German shepherd is famed for its excellence as military, guide and police dog, the Border Collie is believed to be an elite herding dog, adept at controlling things and handling complex situations with his intense stare, smartness and a strong stance.
The collective intelligence of both the breeds also carries over to the Shollie, creating a remarkably competent and bright dog with a knack for following instructions exceptionally well. In other words, the Shepherd collie is easy and even delightful to train.
The Shepherd Collie tends to take after the German shepherd in terms of protectiveness towards his owner and family. His naturally suspicious streak causes him to be wary and even aloof to strangers. However, it doesn’t take too much time and trouble to coax him to get his guard down and be his playful self around trusted loved ones. This personality trait paired with his occasional bark, makes the Shollie excellent as a watchdog.
Conversely, the Shepherd collie borrows heavily from the Border Collie’s abundant enthusiasm and inclination towards receiving attention constantly. This invariably causes him to crave for company and be a part of every little thing you are engaged in- especially if it’s something that involves getting off the sofa and running around. The good news is that, you can always train him to fetch a newspaper or your comfy slippers.
A Shepherd Collie mix has short to medium dual coat and is thus, considered to be a moderate shedder.
Their coat is long and hence need to be looked after well. Constant brushing is important to maintain its shine. Extra care should be taken during the period when the undercoat is shedding, because this dog has a highly sensitive skin.
Due to the presence of a protective undercoat, Shollies are tolerant to the cold and perform well outdoors regardless of the prevailing weather. As their coat lacks a generous input of essential oils, you should bathe him only when necessary. Ideally, it’s best to limit bathing to twice a month.
He sheds his coat twice every year. While you will still have to sweep up after him in the shedding season, you won’t need to break out the vacuum every once in awhile like you would with other dog breeds.
With that said, a Shollie’s coat does need its share of daily brushing, especially during the shedding season. Brushing is a simple, quick and cheap way of making sure your beloved Shollie’s coat stays healthy and shiny.
Image Source: Pinterest
Shepherd Collies are moderate shedders and have a tendency to shed on a seasonal basis.
It is advisable to brush the coat daily during the shedding season. A regular brushing regime coupled to an adequate diet plan is essential to keep him healthy and shiny round the year.
Brushing helps to remove loose hair and dirt that has build up from outdoor play sessions. This keeps the coat glowing and underlying skin healthy.
Bathing should be done only when necessary, as excessive application of canine shampoo and water can have an adverse affect by stripping off the natural oils in the skin.
A subtle canine shampoo does a good job of keeping his fur smooth and shiny. Apart from coat upkeep, you need to take utmost care of his teeth, making sure to brush them at least once every day.
His nails too will need to be clipped whenever they grow too long. You will understand when his nails get long by looking out for a sharp clicking sound produced from walking around.
Last but not the least, the German shepherd border collie mix ears will need to be cleaned every once a week. You can just use a damp cloth to gently wipe the parts that are visible; do not insert sharp objects or cleaning devices in them.
Grooming is not enough to ensure the optimal health and texture of a Shollie’s coat. You also need to provide him with a regular supply of high quality meals. This will help him maintain a robust health and develop into a spectacular looking dog.
Regular visits to the vet are mandatory to make sure all the vaccination shots are administered in time.
As the Collie Shepherd is extra energetic, it’s important to provide him with a daily dose of outdoor exercise in the form of walks, jogs, constructive games or outdoor activities. When indoors, he should be kept busy with lots of chewing toys.
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As mentioned before, Collie shepherds are full of energy and love running around to work off all that undying energy.
They need to be exercised at least twice a day. You cannot keep him on leash all day along and expect him to stay inactive.
You will have to let off that leash every once in a while to ensure he gets sufficient time to play, stretch and exercise in an open, grassy area.
This mixed breed is extremely intelligent, as it inherits the high intellect of the Border Collie and the trainability of German Shepherds.
While Border collies are famous as the most intelligent breed of dogs, the German shepherds run a close second. It is easy to teach this hybrid tricks. Teaching him tricks is a great way of exercising his body in order to improve his agility and hunting skills. A game of fetch, a quick run in the backyard and a small chase after the flying birds all do wonders to shape his personality and help him grow up to be a well rounded dog.
The exercise needs of Collie shepherds are so intense that these dogs tend to seek solace in destructive behavioral patterns such as nipping on furniture, books and wires, or snapping at the children or smaller pets residing in the house.
Collie shepherds also hate being left alone for long periods of time. Thus, it is advisable to spend as much time with them as possible, otherwise they may develop separation anxiety from a young age.
HOW ACTIVE DO COLLIE SHEPHERDS NEED TO BE?
Collie shepherds are hybrids of two dogs that are innately enthusiastic and active. Thus, naturally then, they will be energetic and driven as well. Their undying energy and motivated nature has been exploited for several human activities, to the likes of search and rescue operations, cadaver hunting, herding farm animals as well as guarding homes, to name a few. Thus, considering his attributes, it would be right to say that this dog is not likely to live a happy life in a small, enclosed setting such as an apartment.
He needs plenty of room to stretch, run and play around, and he also needs a yard.
Be prepared, your Shollie will probably spend his day chasing the birds, squirrels and everything else that catches his eye in the backyard. His hyperactive nature demands frequent long walks and jogs, so a few hours of play time in the nearby dog park is a must.
Fresh air and sunlight do wonders to his excited spirit as he feels one with the nature. Because he adores running around, you can tug him along as your exercise buddy during those boring morning walks on a chilly weather.
Teaching him games and tricks early on is a great way to keep him mentally distracted. The saying that “empty mind is the devil’s den” was probably coined keeping the Shepherd collie in mind, as this breed tends to display agitation and destructive behavior when bored. Also, freedom is as important to him as fresh air to breathe.
Therefore, you can expect to keep him on leash the entire day. It is recommended to find a suitable place where he can be let off the leash in order to run about at will. This dog needs an active owner who adores the outdoors and adventures as much as him.
If he is under exercised and mentally bored, he will eventually wither and all those lovely personality traits that so define a Shepherd Collie will never get the chance to shine through.
TRAINABILITY: HOW EASY ARE SHOLLIES TO TRAIN?
Shepherd Collies are highly trainable dogs. They can handle tough training sessions and perform well even when you pace up the intensity of exercises. Their obedient nature makes them easy to train. You won’t need to invest in a lot of training classes or dog trainers, provided you adopt a Shollie of a balanced temperament.
These dogs are ever ready to please and lap up praise like candy, so positive reinforcements are enough to do the job. It is essential to remember that Shepherd collies can get out of hand if they are not trained and socialized from an early age.
Teaching polite behavior with the help of dog training commands, a leash and a generous helping of treats can go a long way in keeping them from chasing small pets and children. These dogs need to learn not to play too rough and the best way they can do so is by getting familiar and respectful of their surroundings.
Overall, Shepherd collies with their bright eyes, intelligence and motivated nature are a delight during training. It is fine to cuddle him and shower him with tons of affection, but you should also ensure to establish yourself as the pack leader by segregating his living area from your bed and being firm whenever necessary.
Harsh training is a big no, as this will bring out his stubborn attitude and cause him to retreat into a lonely corner- a behavior that stems from his overly sensitive nature.
The best way is to use a balanced combination of rewards, praises and training commands so that he learns easily and needs fewer repetitions to understand the ABCs of proper canine behavior.
Shepherd Collie is quite a demanding dog when it comes to food. The most preferable type of dog food for them is premium brand dry kibble.
You can expect him to eat up to 4 cups of dry kibble every day. This amount can be spread over the course of 2-3 meals.
Remember, it’s best not to go cheap on dog food, as there are umpteen health benefits paired to the good stuff. Truth be told, the price of food can be quite a big expenditure for this dog, especially if you decide to stick with the high-fiber, high-quality dog food. Yet, you shouldn’t compromise on the food department.
COMPATIBILITY WITH CHILDREN
Shepherd Collies are moderately compatible with children. Due to their harsh nature, they can seem a bit too rough around young children. Hence, they need to supervised while playing with toddlers and small kids.
Additionally, children should be taught not to tease the dog too much, else what will result is a spurt of violence.
With socialization and training, it is possible to mellow down this dog and modify their behavior so that they get along better with kids, pets, as well as other dogs in the house.
Shepherd collies that have not been raised and socialized well grow up to be misbehaved dogs who get aggressive at the slightest trigger and try their best to overpower other creatures in their vicinity.
Being a hybrid, the Shepherd Collie is superior to both its parents in terms of health. It has a lesser tendency of developing the health problems typical to purebred dogs.
Even if ailments do occur, the symptoms are largely minimal and the intensity, low. However, some cases of hybrids also tend to inherit genetic diseases from both their parents, and particularly those health issues that are common to the GSD and Border Collie.
For example, both these dogs are susceptible to deafness and hip dysplasia, the two traits that are likely to be inherited by their hybrid, i.e the German Shepherd collie mix.
While Border collies are also susceptible to epilepsy, there is no evidence at present to know whether this trait carries over to the hybrid. Other health problems commonly afflicting the Shollie are OCD, degenerative myelopathy, allergies, excorine pancreatic insufficiency, as well as eye problems after a certain age.
Anyone looking to own a Shollie should check with licensed German shepherd border collie mix breeders, and take care to examine the breeding stock for genetic disorders. Shepherd collies are expected to give birth to a litter of 5-6 Border collie German shepherd mix puppies. Anything less than that is supposed to be an anomaly.
Overall, the health status is robust enough to support a life expectancy of 15 years.
Image Source: Pinterest
COSTS INVOLVED IN OWNING A GERMAN COLLIE MIX
A Shepherd Collie pup will cost you around $475 to $1000 at present, but the price range may change from time to time, depending upon the popularity of these dogs, as well as the location from where you choose to make the purchase.
Needless to say, the price tag decreases if you decide to adopt an adult Shollie dog instead.
Generally, the adoption fees is not more than $175 for a Shollie puppy. As is the case with every other pet, you have to be careful of the costs that his maintenance may incur the moment you welcome him to your house. You will have to ensure that you’ve plenty of room in your budget to accommodate registration costs, food, bedding, toys, vet visits and other essentials. In case, you lack a reputable breeder nearby, you will have to brace up for the shipping costs as well.
Here is a breakdown of the costs involved in raising a German Shepherd Collie mix dog:
# – Collar, crate and leash: $160-$220.
# – Recurring Medical Costs: Diagnostic exams, vaccinations, vet visits, heartworm prevention, as well as topical flea/tick preventive cure may go up to $600 annually.
# – Annual Non-Medical Expenses: Food, toys, licensing, treats and training costs will border around $500-$600.
# – Health Insurance: Insurance coverage will vary. Some policies do cover spaying, vaccinations, check ups and shots. However, you should be prepared to shell out an extra $300 annually for micro chipping, and medical tests of advanced nature. Annual deductible differs depending on the policy.
# – Food: The price of food forms an indispensable and sizable portion of expenditure. Expect to pay around $1200 annually for high-quality canine food, like dry kibble.
# – Other Initial Medical Costs: Deworming, basic blood tests and micro chipping may cost you around $300.
IS A GERMAN BORDER COLLIE MIX THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR ME?
You should never adopt or buy a dog simply by judging from his looks. It’s compulsory to get a strong understanding of the collective makeup of his personality before welcoming him into your home. Skipping this vital step will end up make your life miserable.
Even though the Shepherd Collie is a relatively new breed, there is still enough information to help you decide whether this mixed breed is the right choice for you. While making this decision, do remember, that both you and another being’s wellness is at stake.
For example, if we go by the parental breeds alone, it wouldn’t be wrong to conclude that the Shollie is an active breed that is totally alien to the term “couch potato”. This enthusiastic and motivated dog needs oodles of exercise to stay happy and lively. Ideally, you will have to provide him with his daily dose of walks or jogs.
Even so, exercise won’t be sufficient to burn off his infinite vigor. This dog will require a lot of space in your home and occasional trips to the backyard for burning off all that energy, else he may have to channel his need to expend energy through destructive mischief. In other words, if you’re an apartment dweller, don’t even think of owning this pooch.
Since the Shepherd Collie is very smart, you will have to provide him with ways to exercise his brainpower indoors. This is one dog that loves puzzle toys, chewing toys, command-based ventures and pretty much anything that requires him to utilize his working dog instincts.
If you are all set to take up the challenge of owning a motivated dog that matches your energy level, and even your wits (occasionally), then the German Shepherd Border Collie mix is the perfect breed to bring home. Your friends, family and the skeptics that frown at hybrids will be convinced of the fact that you own a purebred, but you will always know the truth. And it doesn’t even matter because this breed has every trait and trick up its alley to surpass its parental breeds. After all, that is what really matters at the end of the day.
Finally here is a cool video for adorable Border Collie GSD Mix: