Learn about the German Shepherd Border Collie Mix aka the Shollie

german shepherd border collie mixThe German Shepherd Border Collie mix is a great combination of breeds. This large working dog takes all the positive traits from both the German Shepherd and Border Collie and as a result, it is extremely intelligent and full of energy.

This crossbreed has adopted its high energy levels and playfulness from the Border collie and its natural sense of protectiveness from the German Shepherd. Their appearance can differ depending on the dominant breed they were crossed with.

Border Collie German Shepherd Mix Appearance

Usually, the German shepherd Border collie mix looks more like a purebred German shepherd rather than a Border collie with its tan colored coat and black saddle, and it is often mistaken as a full-bred German shepherd.

Its tail resembles a Border collie’s, which is typically less bushy than that of a purebred German shepherd. The most distinctive feature of this dog is its slightly floppy ears on a German shepherds face.

The coat is noticeably hairier than that of a German shepherd; however, its large and muscular body is typical of a purebred.

This mixed-breed dog has been dubbed a hardworking dog and is known to be one of the most industrious working dog breeds.

Shollie Infographic

Border Collie German Shepherd Mix History

Before you can even talk about the Border Collie German Shepherd mix history, You first need to take a look at the history of the Border Collie and the German Shepherd.

The origin of the Border Collie breed is quite unknown, but we do know that this breed was extremely popular and found in Scotland. The Border Collie was bred to protect and herd livestock on big farms. This breed is still very prominent in this type of job today.

The Border Collie was fully recognized by the American Kennel Club in the late 90s.

The German Shepherds history dates back to Germany. The German Shepherd is also a working dog breed that is able to help its owners with a variety of different jobs.

German Shepherds have also done a lot of different herding jobs with animals as well. The American Kennel Club recognized this breed in the early 1900s.

So it is not known when these two purebred breeds were bred together, but they have been gaining popularity!

German Shepherd Border Collie Mix Temperament

The German Shepherd Border collie mix is a gentle dog with people it is familiar with. Its Border Collie side is evident through its fun-loving nature and energy. This is a dog that likes to interact with humans, especially children.

Its German Shepherd side is responsible for its protective and instinctive nature. While this dog can be very loving and affectionate, it can also be protective of its owners, and it is known to bark a lot when strangers approach.

german shepherd border collie mixGerman Shepherd Border Collie Mix Size

The average German shepherd Border collie mix stands at about 27-29 inches (68-73cm) for males and 21-25 inches (53-63cm) for females.

This mixed breed is more likely to take its weight from the German Shepherd and could weigh up to 75-80lbs (34-37kg) when fully grown.

Shollie Health Problems

This mixed breed tends to have fewer health problems than full breed dogs; however, it is possible that they inherit genetic diseases from their parents.

Both the Border collie and the German Shepherd dogs are prone to hip dysplasia and deafness, which are two traits that are likely to be passed onto a German Shepherd Border Collie mix.

Border Collie dogs are also prone to epilepsy; however, there is no evidence that this genetic disorder is passed onto the mixed breed.

Anyone looking to purchase a German shepherd Border Collie mix should check with reputable breeders and examine the breeding stock.

This mixed breed will typically give birth to a litter of 4-6 puppies. This dog has an average life expectancy of 13-15 years.

Shollie Living Conditions

As this is a big dog with lots of energy, small enclosed living conditions are not ideal. This dog takes up a lot of space, and due to its high energy levels, it needs to have space to run freely on a daily basis.

A large fenced backyard is ideal for this dog so it can play and run around at its own free will. As it has a hunting nature, it is likely that this dog will chase anything that moves from squirrels to cats and even birds.

Shollie Exercise

This large dog is full of energy and likes to run and play. It needs to be exercised twice a day and let off the leash in a large grassy area to run around.

This mixed breed is highly intelligent as the Border Collie is the most intelligent breed of dogs with the German Shepherd coming in closely behind.

It is easy to teach these dog tricks and a good way of exercising this agile dog is to play fetch.

German Shepherd Border collie Mix

German Shepherd Border Collie Mix Feeding

This mixed dog breed is a medium-sized dog that needs around a cup and a half of high-quality dog food a day. You can choose to mix in wet food with your dog food if you like.

This mixed breed needs at least 25% of your dog’s food needs to be protein. So make sure depending on the brand that there is a significant source of protein in the food such as chicken, fish, or beef.

Many people who have dog breeds that are strong working dogs like a lot of natural food made at home and sometimes a raw diet.

German Shepherd Border Collie Mix Training

The German Shepherd Border Collie mix is a very trainable dog. If you have ever owned a German Shepherd then you will know just how intelligent this breed is. Start training your puppy early to get them used to it.

When you train your dog early, this will reduce the chance of aggression in your dog. Start off with potty training with your dog.

Make sure to praise your dog with training is done correctly. You can reward your dog with treats.

What Colors Do They Come In?

There are a few different color options that your dog might come in, they include:

  • Tan
  • Black
  • Brown
  • Golden
  • White
  • Brindle
  • Mixes of two colors

Border Collie German Shepherd Mix Life Span

You can expect this mixed breed to live between ten and fifteen years. This is quite an average life span. Your dog can indeed live much longer, it will all depend on your dog’s health.

The life span of this mixed breed will closely resemble the life span of the parent breeds. That is why there is a five-year range in between the numbers because you never really know.


Border Collie German Shepherd Mix Puppies

Mixed breeds are typically cheaper than purebred dogs. This mixed breed dog costs around $500 to $950. Of course, there will be some fluctuation in price depending on the breeder.

Make sure when you are looking to purchase a puppy that you have interviewed the breeder, and you feel comfortable buying a puppy from them.

Do not forget you will have to add in the cost of the supplies your dog will need, such as food, toys, leash, collar, and even yearly vet bills.

Sometimes you can find breed-specific rescues that you can adopt a dog for a cheaper price!

german shepherd border collie mixShollie Grooming

These dogs shed their coats twice a year; however, due to the long nature of their coats, they need to be brushed twice weekly.

Their coats are shiny and need constant brushing to maintain its shine.

Extra care needs to be taken when the undercoat is shedding as this dog has particularly sensitive skin. Only bathe this dog when necessary.

Shollie Suitability

This mixed breed can be a perfect family dog as it is known to be both affectionate and protective. However, with its high energy levels and playful nature, sometimes they can be a little rough.

It is necessary to socialize these dogs well, slowly introducing them to familiar people. As they are easy to train, socializing should not be an issue.

This dog needs a lot of attention, and it is recommended to have someone close to the dog most of the time.

Both the German Shepherd and Border Collie are dogs with hunting and herding natures, therefore this mixed breed would also suit farmers and hunters who are looking for reliable working dogs.

Close Relatives of the Border Collie German Shepherd Mix

There are a few breeds that closely resemble the German Shepherd Border Collie Mix, they are:

45 thoughts on “Learn about the German Shepherd Border Collie Mix aka the Shollie”

  1. My Border Collie/German Shepherd was with me 15yrs 5mth and was my best friend in all my life. He was always happy and playful with an amazing nature. I trusted him with my life, he loved people especially babies. He loved company and followed me everywhere, I loved him so much and don’t think I will ever get over him.
    I have had him individually cremated and when I die my wish is to have his ashes, lead and collar buried with me, I will never leave him, God love him.

    • I just lost my german shepard border collie. Onc
      e in a life time dog your description of your dog is ex
      actly word for word was my dog im a way bet
      ter person because he was in my
      life love jeff

    • I have a border collie/german shepherd mix. I really have never had a better dog and friend. When I read your post, I was deeply touched, and really, even cried. I can feel what you must have felt for your dog as I feel the same for mine! I wish you well…and I know that there is no dog who will ever to be replace yours, so what else can I say? Just wrote to wish you and your dog well wherever Great Spirit may find you.

  2. I had a german sheppard cross collie called oscar he was the best dog you could ask for he was poisoned and sadly passed away he was not only a dog but my best friend

  3. I have a collie German shepherd mix. Cassie is the most incredible dog I’ve ever owned. I grew up with a few different types of dogs. Cassie is the first of my own and I could not have asked for a better or more loyal companion. Although she takes up the majority of my bed (.lol)… I absolutely love her. When I got her I was not told that she had seizures, I honestly don’t believe her previous family noticed but we have worked in ways to find her triggers and keeping any stressors down. I would not trade her for the world. She is my best friend.

  4. I have a german shepherd/border collie mix-he is neurotic but, I love him…he will be 10 in October. He has the body of a shepherd and the marking of a collie-striking really…but the whining and barking is exhausting. I got him a friend to help calm him-it backfired-he made her scared of things-ack! Gotta love em…He has a nice fully fenced yard to run in, which he does, I try to walk him but can’t get more than a few houses away before he starts bucking and pulling/dragging to go home…so instead I just let him explore (pee) in the front yard as a big adventure. He is a big fence/gate guarder and acts like he is going to kill people-until I open the gate and introduce him…my poor visitors! Nemo is all over them and them whips his butt into their face to scratch, “no Nemo, they don’t want to scratch you butt, go lay down!” What an adventure! ;O)

  5. I have a German Shepherd/ Border Collie mix. Cleo was at a shelter on death row and was rescued. She is a sweet girl with lots of energy. She is the perfect playing companion for my 2 Labradors. She walks on the leash like a perfect lady, trains very easily, and has so much love to give. Since her beginning of life was difficult she does not have any guarding tendencies, but she also looks more like a Border Collie with her white head and chest. Its hard to believe someone would have given up such a perfect lady. The mix of these two breeds makes the perfect dog.

  6. I have 2 German Shepherd/Border collie, there names are Lilac (female) and Jay (male).
    I was the one that breeded them, there father was a German Shepherd named Blue ( all brown) and there mother was a border collie named Faithful ( White, with Grey and Black spotts. Lilac is a great comapanion, she is always by your side. Jay on the other hand is always running away to meet the neibors dog, Chloe, she is a American Shepherd. Both Lilac and Jay, have the senses of there mother Faithful. Both of them get there size and high jumping skills from there father Blue. Lilac is a grey white and black. size about 23 in. Jay is black and white about 28 in. I love them both the same. I couldn’t as for anything more. (accept a bigger yard -_-)

  7. I recently had to put my 15yr old Border Collie “Tassy”, to sleep. She was my best friend and spent her entire life by my side. We had lots of fun together and she was a tri-color, Black, White and Red. She was the Alpha to my other border collie, Dudley, who is 16 Years old.
    Dudley is somewhat active, but has really slowed down with Tassy absence.
    I just notice in the Tulsa World today an ad with German Sheppard/Border collie mix and was curious about that mixture,
    I would appreciate other dog lovers comments.

  8. Just got Hanley a couple of months ago. He is almost 4 months old and is on track to be the best dog I have ever had! LOTS of digging, but sweet temperament, smart and easily trained – except the digging, haha. Loves people, including children, and is very social with other dogs. This is very nice since my last dog HATED other dogs and it made it a hassle to walk him or go do parts. You will not regret getting this mix!

  9. My German Shepard and collie mix’s name is Katie. She is 7 months old and this describes her to a “T”. She is sooo hyper and I recently discovered she is epileptic.

  10. Our GSD x collie is called Brandy just over a year old, loves going to training and has started her agility training, very quick to pick up ideas and has a great attitude to life. She can be difficult to recall if she gets to play with other dogs but gets the idea eventually. Gets on with the cat when their not chasing each other. would recommend this cross breed to anyone.

    • there a great dog i have a 7 m old female. who is now bigger then are 7 yr old red nose pit i found mine on craigs list

  11. I have an absolutely wonderful border-shepherd mix named Vinnie who is 2.5 years old. Everyone asks me how to get a clone of him, and since he isn’t fixed all I need is a girlfriend or wife for him. I live in SW New Hampshire and actively looking for a mate. If anyone is interested in creating a well-natured, healthy, and beautiful litter – please contact me at arebegualco AT gmail DOT com.

  12. I have two dogs of this mix. Both were adopted as their previous owners were unable to handle their energy levels. Jake just turned 14 and Bella just turned 2. I must say you have left out a lot of information. There are a lot of variances in this mix of breed. There are long haired border collies, short haired border collies, standard German shepherds, white German shepherds, long haired German shepherds and pure black German shepherds. There are quite a few black and white of this breed mix, I own two! Bella has a feathered double coat and weighs 24 kilo with a shepherd shape and flop ears. Jake has a thick long double coat and weighs 26 kilo and collie set with shepherd ears. There is no such thing as a reputable breeder of this mix and most are accidental litters or found in pounds/shelters. I would suggest anyone researching this mix and the person who wrote this article look up border collie x German shepherd mix dogs on Facebook to get better info. These dogs are honestly one of the best dogs you will ever have the pleasure of owning.

  13. I have had dogs of various breeds for most of my life. A little over a year ago we were looking for German Shepard puppies and stumbled upon a rescue center that had a 6 month old Shepard Border Collie Mix. Smokey has turned out to be hands down the best dog I have ever owned. Extremely intelligent, affectionate, and gentle, but with a big enough bark and 90 pound frame to give strangers pause. I have never been so close to a dog, or any animal for that matter. My wife and I are only hoping cloning becomes commonplace and affordable before he passes away, so that we can spend the rest of our lives with him. If you are looking for a good companion for your family or just yourself, this is the breed to go with.

  14. We just got our Border-Shepard mix, 3 months ago). She is, hands down, the best girl I’ve ever had. She slept through the night, from day one. By day 2 she was potty trained, by day 3 she was shaking. I’m blown away! This has been the norm and she has been heeling, catching, staying, fetching, shaking, sitting pretty – and now responding to gestures/signs, instead of commands), at the age of 5 months old, without any formal training. I’m astounded, truly. This mix just seems to want to please and play. She’s got the coloring of a Border, but the tall ears and body and soft, medium length coat of a Shepard. She’s gorgeous! I will say, she is on track to be a big girl– at 4 months she was 38 lbs, now at 5 months, she’s 45… I’m thinking we’ll have a 60 pounder on our hands, before we know it. We haven’t had any problem with chewing, socialization or aggression– just the opposite. She loves all people and is incredibly intuitive and friendly with other dogs and little children. We’re starting agility training with her, this week– I think it’s going to be a blast!

    We named her Ripley The Wonder Dog, jokingly, after having her for about a week– I think we chose the perfect name, for this Wonder Dog!

  15. My German Shepard x collie is called pukka he is 8 a very good guard dog and great with my two girls he is very protective over them
    He’s also fab with other dogs too I couldn’t ask for a better dog he has everything in one apart from being a little mental is anyone else’s hyperactive constantly and talks to u back ?

  16. My wife just brought home a border collie German shepherd mix puppy from work yesterday. A surprise seeing as we already have three dogs upon her arrival… but we won’t let dogs get sent to the pound for being born. She is almost for months old and I’m very happy with what I’ve read. Honestly, it must have been fate because I’m working on getting my own cattle rather than just working other people’s. So far she’s a bit overwhelmed with there being three other dogs (the Doxie is her size but my red nose hound mix and my pure red nose are shoo much bigger) and my three sons (oldest is 7and twins are 5 and all balls of energy) but she is adjusting faster than I anticipated. Within the next six weeks she will be introduced to her training regiment and hope she is as good as yours were/are. Looking forward to another amazing friend and adopted daughter! (Yes my dogs are my fury little children that i got to pick… )

  17. I currently have a Border Collie German shepherd mix named Anja, she’s 9 months old, and already a genius. She has german shepherd looks with border collie colring, She listens perfectly, and is extremely attentive/protective. She’s not a big fan of strangers, but gets along very well with other dogs, as long as they aren’t in her yard. I’ve got a ranch, so she spends all day chasing rabbits, and digging holes. My first dog ever was a border collie/austrailian shepherd mix, and they are very similar. Quite possibly the perfect dog.

  18. My border collie German shepherd mix leans for on the border collie side. She is great with kids and will run after anything that comes close. My neighbors have told me that she barks at anyone who passes while I am gone (I have her on the line when I leave.) I wouldn’t trade her for anything….except a lifetime supply of dark chocolate…..or coffee……

  19. We have a 2 year old shepherd/collie mix named Phil. He has been a great addition to our family and is well loved by all. He likes to play with our two cats that he shares the house with, and outside he goes out of his way to meet new friends both dogs, cats and people. He is beautiful and very good and we have had no problems. He is a great friend to have and we all feel very safe and secure with Phil.

  20. I really enjoyed the comments on the Sheperd/Collie Mix. They seem to be a very good natured family dog and that is exactly what I am looking for. When I was a little girl my dad got me and my sister each a puppy of this mixed breed, but soon after we got them we had to give them up for adoption because our Lanlord wouldn’t let us keep them. This past March I had to put my 10 year old MinPin down because of illness and I have been grieving since, but now I am ready for another dog. I would like to get a
    Sheperd/Collie mix, so if anyone knows where I can get in contact with a breeder I sure would appreciate it! I would even be happy with an older dog 1-2yrs old. Hoping to be a dog owner again very soon! Thank you so much! Marilyn 🙂

  21. Max, our Border Collie x German Shepherd mix, had to be put to sleep after 16 years and 9 months. I terribly miss him, I had him since I was 9 years old and he was like a little furry brother to me. We did so many things together and I always liked to show him new things, though he was always suspicious of this one toy car that moved by itself. 😀 He loved to eat snow when it has freshly fallen, and loved Spekulatius, those Christmas cookies they sell in Germany or a shared ice cream or wiener. When he was excited, he vibrated. He was also a bit whiny though, sometimes all through the night, and barked whenever we got out to play with him. Surprisingly, he was well trained to not bark in the house to not disturb the neighbors, but once outside, the party began.
    We also went sledding with him, and took him on boat tour. He liked to pull our sleds, but with older age, when he wasn’t able to walk because of his failing hind legs, we took it upon ourselves to help him walk, and he trusted us so much. I knitted socks for him so that he would not hurt his hind legs when he dragged them on concrete and mended the socks every time they had holes so that he can use them for the next time he went out.

    He basically looked like a German Shepherd puppy, with floppy ears and warm light brown eyes. I never liked brown as an eye color, but he made me change my mind about that, his were the most beautiful I have ever seen. I still cannot believe I will never see him again.

  22. I just got my son one yesterday as an early xmas day gift and they love each other already. My son named him Rudolph because he got him as a present for xmas. The puppy is almost 2 months on the 22nd i can’t wait to see their bond after reading this article!!!

    • Hi cindale,
      Your description of your new puppy sounds like you may have one of the brothers of our new pup. We got her from Camden on the 22nd December when she just turned 2 months old. Would love to hear how your puppy is doing if infact they are siblings?!

  23. We have a German Shepard / Collie cross that was rescued from a native reserve near here. The pound gets a lot of them because frankly the natives are over run with dogs running everywhere. And they are not all GS/C they also have husky’s and a couple other mid-large size northern breads, so he might be a little husky. But he’s been an absolutely great dog so far absolutely as described above. Barky when the neighbors come home or there is a rabbit in the yard, his battery died in his collar once and he just went next door to play with the kids at the before and after care (my son goes there so there was no worries), loves tummy rubs and is extremely social with other dogs. But if he sees a bunny of leash he is gone until he looses it. He comes right back after a good run though.

    We adopted him as a pup but he was a pound dog. We have no regrets we aren’t caught up on having a pure bred. And he did agility training and was one of the best in every class he took. The only trick we can’t get him to do is roll over, don’t know why he always rights himself the way he came. But he will roll over for tummy rubs.

    Oh and we have 2 cats, and he’s best friends with both. When they go outside, they all go outside and hunt mice together. They even wrestle together and he’s never hurt either one even though he’s 7 times bigger.

    I have to admit the cats are better mousers. The little one is the best, and she’ll bring the dog a live mouse and give it to him. He just barks and paws at it he doesn’t know what to do. Eventually the little demon cat dispatches the poor mouse and drops it at the door as a present. Oh well I hate mice in the house so mousers are good.

    And we loose a lot less cats to coyotes with this dog around. He’s a good hand and the family loves him.

  24. I currently have a German Shepherd and collie mix and she is about 8 months old. This describes her to a T. We rescued her from a shelter last September. She is such a good girl!

  25. I have a 2 yo German shep/collie called Rufus and this article describes him to the T!! He’s a member of my family and is quite popular in our area. He does bark a lot when he meets a stranger but within about 2 mins he’s over joyed with their presence. Such an intelligent dog who loves nothing more than bolting up the fields after crows.

  26. I recently had to put my collie cross down and have been looking for a new family member. I love shepherds and have been interested in the shepherd collie mix but cant seem to find a breeder. Anyone know of one in Ontario Canada?

  27. We had a Border Collie / German Shepherd mix named Sunny. He was a male and lived almost 16 years (died 12-30-14 and I still grieve for him). He was supposedly 3/4 Border Collie and 1/4 German Shepherd. He weighed about 60 lbs when he was in his prime years. His coloration was mostly like a brown border collie, but he had a bit of German Shepherd coloration in his face and very bushy tail.

    My sons grew up with Sunny and he was the best family dog you could ask for. He was good-natured but strong-willed too. He was most obedient his whole life and was super agile and nimble when he was in his prime. He would bark at strangers coming into the yard/driveway but would quickly stop when he saw they were not a threat. Sunny loved to ride in my truck and in my boat. He was terrified of thunderstorms and guns.

    Late in life, he become mostly deaf. A large mast cell tumor was surgically removed at 13 years, but it came back and others developed which finally caused us to have to have him euthanized. We loved him like a family member. Well, he WAS a family member.

    If I ever get another dog, I hope I can find a mix just like Sunny.

  28. Looking for my newest best friend. My last dog Maggie was a Border Collie/German shepherd Mix can anyone tell me where I can possibly find a female Border Collie/German shepherd Mix puppy. (preferably a female) I keep trying the rescues but they are horrible at getting back to you.

    Any help is appreciated.


  29. Hans – the most intelligent, loyal, loving dog I have ever had. 12 years old now and still in great shape can run all day. Loves children and other dogs. Dont know if I would get another dog after he is gone as he is irreplaceable. This breed is the ultimate

  30. My Golden German Shepherd Border Collie Mix was the best dog ever!!! Protective, intelligent, loving. Incredible dog!!!! I’m so glad she lived until she was 18 years old, I wish she was still here! Miss my Mitzi. Everyone thought she was part Golden Retriever, but, I know her mother was a German Shepherd, and her father was a Tan Border Collie.

  31. I rescued a Shepherd Collie mix a couple years ago. The shelter had named her Chelsie, and we felt that it fit her perfectly so we never changed it. She’s almost 6.5 years old, and every description above matches Cheslie exactly. My family has had several dogs before, and none of them have been as much of a joy as Chelsie. Normally I wouldn’t post in a dog forum, but for those who are considering this breed, they are absolutely wonderful. You would not regret it. Chelsie has genuinely become a best friend, and I recently registered her as an Emotional Support Animal (ESA). Rescuing her was the best decision I’ve made. This dog has genuinely made my life better. She helps keep me on a schedule. If I sleep in too late, she has no problem waking me up to let her outside and/or feed her in the morning. Hands down an amazing mixed breed that will make the perfect addition to your family.

    Here are some highlights about this breed:

    – Very friendly/playful breed
    – Great with kids
    – Will bark at strangers (initially – but petting/introductions usually help stop the barking)
    – These dogs need to be brushed regularly with a heavy duty brush (e.g., ferminator) to avoid a hair overload in the home.
    – This breed might occasionally roam about the house at night to check on family members
    – Loves to run…a lot (exercise/walking is a must)
    – Enjoys being with his/her owner often
    – Anxiety is easily treated with Valerian Root supplement (e.g., Pet Calm Oil)
    – Will most likely destroy any wimpy chew toy; heavy duty toys are a must
    – You may have to moisturize their paw pads eventually (they can get pretty dried out and cracked from running/weather changes)
    – I highly recommend complete doggy vitamin and probiotic supplements for optimal digestion and joint/hip protection (hip dysphasia is common in this breed over time)
    – Super intelligent dog breed (the smartest and most intuitive dog I’ve ever come across)
    – They love cuddling, belly rubs, and butt scratches
    – They take big poops….often. Keep that in mind when walking barefoot in your yard.
    – They drink A LOT of water. Be prepared to constantly fill the water bowl.
    – Be careful on hot summer days to avoid severe heat exhaustion in your pup.
    – They’re usually protective of his/her people and home, but would never bite (unless it’s a rabbit or rodent they’re chasing).
    – These dogs go through food quickly. Definitely invest in large bags of food.
    – Very easy to train
    – Great breed for an emotional support animal.
    – These dogs are big (75-80 lbs once full grown; Chelsie is 72.6 lbs and I thought she was above
    – Commin sizes for harnesses will typically range from L to XL


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