German Shepherd Collie Mix Breed: The Shollie Complete Guide

Not all dogs are created equal. Mixed breeds are often undervalued because they don’t have the same level of pedigree as their pure-bred parents. Interestingly, this is one of many reasons that pushed designer breeds into existence.

The world isn’t perfect, but it’s gradually changing in a positive direction. For dog breeding, society is already starting to recognize mixed breeds to have the same level of hierarchy as purebreds.

One perfect example of this is the German Shepherd Collie mix. Born from two family-friendly dogs, this breed– also known as the “Shollie”—is starting to gain popularity for its strong similarity with one of its parent breeds.

German Shepherd Collie Mix Characteristics

  • Adaptability: 60%
  • Affection Level: 40%
  • Apartment Friendly: 40%
  • Barking Tendencies: 60%
  • Cat Friendly: 20%
  • Child Friendly: 40%
  • Dog Friendly: 40%
  • Exercise Need: 80%
  • Grooming Needs: 80%
  • Health Issues: 80%
  • Intelligence: 100%
  • Playfulness: 80%

german shepherd collie mix on a bridge

German Shepherd Border Collie Mix Highlights

  • Shollies have a closer resemblance to their German Shepherd parent than the Border collie. They can even pass as a purebred, except for their droopy ears and less hairy tails.
  • This crossbred canine has a straight and dense coat. Colors vary from tan, brown, yellow, white, or black. Pure black and pure white are the rarest of all.
  • The Shollie mix weighs between 75 and 80 pounds. It is considered a medium-large breed with an average height of roughly 53 to 73 centimeters.
  • Like other mixed breeds, there isn’t any record of the exact origin—except that they are bred from two herding dogs.
  • Its German Shepherd parent is lauded as the finest working dog ever to exist, while the Border collie is known to originate from the Anglo-Scottish border.
  • An average Shollie weighing 75 pounds need more than 2,000 calories a day while a bigger-but-less active 80-pound one only requires 1,600.
  • Its recommended diet can be calculated depending on its size, weight, activities, and place of residence.
  • A German Shepherd Collie crossbreed has a lifespan of 13 to 15 years.
  • Some of the major health concerns that owners of this breed noted include epilepsy, OCD, and hip dysplasia. They are also moderately prone to obesity.
  • This mixed breed requires 12 miles of walk in a week and at least 60 minutes of activity per day.
  • A Shollie sheds twice a year and requires regular brushing to keep its coat smooth and shiny. It requires daily fur brushing to avoid unwanted shedding and matting.
  • It has sensitive skin underneath its fur, which is why it is recommended to give the German Shepherd Collie mix breed a bath only when necessary and using a gentle dog shampoo.
  • A German Shepherd Collie mix has an average of 4 to 6 puppies born in a single litter. However, it can also be a product of superfecundation, a pregnancy involving two sire dogs.
  • They cost less than its purebred parents, with the price set at $900 at most. Other annual expenses needed for raising this designer pup is roughly around $1,000.
  • Shollies are less popular than other German Shepherd breeds, but it has been acknowledged by the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA) and the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC).

Meet the Adorable Shollie

Meet the Shollie, a crossbreed from born from a German shepherd and Border collie. Like other mixed breeds born from a German shepherd, this animal is categorized as a large dog.

Here’s a comparison of the Shollie’s purebred parents: the German shepherd and the Border collie.


Most of these dogs take much of their looks from their German shepherd parent, particularly their deep and expressive eyes, cuddly thick fur, and athletic build. In fact, to the untrained eye, a Shollie mix can pass as a purebred rather than a designer dog.

The difference lies with its tail and ears. To determine if your dog is a mixed breed rather than a pure German shepherd, you can check if it has a less bushy tail and slightly floppy ears—these are characteristics that this dog got from its Border collie parent.

As for their coat, they may sport a short to medium fur with tan, black, brown, white, cream, yellow, or a combination of any of these colors, depending on their DNA composition. While it is possible, a Shollie with pure white or pure black fur is very rare.

On average, these dogs weigh between 75 and 80 pounds upon reaching adulthood. Males reach a standing height of 68 to 73 centimeters while females go between 53 and 63 centimeters. Because of their size, Shollies are quite popular among pet owners who want dogs that are built for hunting.

Despite this, German shepherd and collie mixed breeds remain as a popular choice for families because of its agreeable temperament and extremely easy trainability.

German Shepherd Border Collie Crossbreed: A History

While the world is indeed changing, the fact remains that mixed breed dogs still get less exposure compared to purebred ones. Because of this, crossbred pups aren’t properly recognized and monitored as they should be in order to determine their exact origins.

Now, some dog enthusiasts are trying to pinpoint how the Shollie emerged, but to no avail.

Faced with this dilemma, what we decided to do instead is to try to uncover the history of a mixed-breed canine’s parents to get a picture of how they came to be.

Famously known as the “ultimate herding dog,” the origin of the German shepherd goes centuries back. In 1908, this large-sized canine got its official recognition from the American Kennel Club after German officer Max von Stephanitz refined the standards for its breed.

Before the German Shepherd’s recognition, von Stephanitz was already a lover of these friendly beasts. After coming across the gentle giant, he decided that it was breed worthy of the moniker of being the “ultimate working” dog since it is intelligent, can easily be trained, and hardworking.

Appearance-wise, von Stephanitz also adored how this dog had a close resemblance to the physical traits of wolves, particularly its pointy ears, gray fur, and a powerful stance.

Meanwhile, the emergence of Border collies can be traced back when the Romans stayed in Britain. According to official records, this dog breed originated from the Anglo-Scottish border, which is why it has “border” in its name.

The term “Border Collie” was first used by International Sheep Dog Society Secretary James Reid in 1915. Eight decades later, the American Kennel Club recognized this herding canine as official purebred canines in 1995.

Like the German shepherd, Border collies are herding dogs known for their earnest desire to work for humans and wittiness doing so. In that aspect, the Shollie’s parents have almost the same attributes, making it an excellent companion for farmers, shepherds, and homeowners.

Are German Shepherd Collie Mix Breeds Trainable?

Definitely. In fact, they are very clever, active, and outgoing dogs.

On top of that, these crossbreeds are extremely dedicated to serving humans, which is probably due to their genetic makeup.

As the offspring of two of the most popular herding dogs known today, Shollies are also easy-to-train and are very happy to learn doggy chores to get around the house. It is probably one of the main reasons why pet lovers prefer this crossbreed over others.

However, it is important to note that the German shepherd collie mix is not recommended for families living in apartments or small, enclosed spaces. This is because this breed needs a lot of room to grow and run around to burn their energies at the end of the day.

Are They Family Dogs? The Shollie’s Temperament

If you often have guests in your house, it is wise to train your Shollie to be accustomed to strangers to prevent it from getting aggressive around new people. While they don’t bark without reason, these dogs tend to howl when they feel potential dangers around them.

Fortunately, you can hone this particular trait to your advantage. To do this, you can have your dog trained with the skill of differentiating a potential intruder from a harmless visitor. Raising pups around many people and smaller animals will also help with the aggression later.

On the other hand, it is important to take these dogs seriously when they start barking at someone after undergoing temperament training. They are protective of their brood, so this must mean that they feel an unfavorable change in their environment or danger lurking around.

That aside, these crossbred dogs are very friendly, making them one of the ideal choices for first-time pet owners. Some people may not agree with this statement though.

Even so, we firmly believe that its high energy level, passion for play, and seemingly insatiable thirst for cuddles makes a Shollie an effective instrument to ease up people who are new to having furry pals around.

That is, of course, on top of the fact that they do well in times of misfortune. They have the intelligence, the energy, and the willpower necessary to pull you out of trouble when the need arises. For us, that extreme sense of loyalty and love is the best thing a man’s best friend can offer humans.

There are also certain chores that your dog can help you with, which means keeping them in the house won’t be much of a bother either. All you need to do is commit to proper dog training. Having a regular routine with your pet can also do wonders.

Some of the tasks you can have them do include fetching items, opening and closing of doors, taking out the trash, and so much more. These skills will make them better companions and may even leave them happier.

Playtime is also quite a great experience with Shollies since they are docile creatures. Still, they can be quite rough when they start to get carried away at times, so it’d be best to keep babies and toddlers out of their way. Children should also be held under adult supervision when playing with these crossbreeds.

Border Collie German Shepard Mix Required Nutrition and Diet

The general rule on dog nutrition is to determine their calorie intake based on their body size, whereas they need an average of 30 calories for every pound of their body weight.

Some Shollies have relatively big builds because of their German shepherd lineage. Some are a tad smaller, but they are still at least 50 centimeters in height and weigh at least 75 pounds. It means that the crossbreed will need more food than smaller dogs.

Taking this into consideration, a 75-pound Shollie may need at least 2,250 calories of dry dog food, beef, lamb, chicken, and pork meat—or varying combinations of these—every single day. It is also worth noting that these dogs may need to be fed at least twice a day.

Some Shollie owners reported that their pets consume three cups of high-quality dog food daily, which can cost between $40 and $50 a month. It’s kind of steep, but there are cheaper alternatives that can provide good quality nutrition.

However, this computation may be altered because other aspects need to be factored in. This is because things like metabolism, activity, and place of residence can change the way your dog’s body works.

For example, giant dogs, like the German shepherd, have a slower metabolism than smaller ones. This factor brings down the daily calorie requirement to about 20 calories per pound of body weight. It would mean a Shollie weighing 80 pounds may only need 1,600 calories per day.

After adjusting the computation accordingly, you should be able to compute for the required nourishment of your German shepherd collie mix. Make sure to offer your dog a balanced diet to avoid health problems and obesity.

German Shepherd Collie Mix Health and Care

A German shepherd collie crossbreed has a lifespan of 13 to 15 years when given proper care and nourishment. Even so, there are still instances when they are exposed to certain medical risks.

While mixed-breed dogs are less prone to illnesses than their purebred parents, some still inherit medical conditions. For Shollies, the most common major problem is hip dysplasia, especially since both Border collie and German shepherd breeds are prone to it.

Some of these crossbred pups also have epilepsy, a condition characterized by the following symptoms:

Before the seizure, your dog may become…

  • unsteady;
  • dazed; and
  • confused.

After that, your furry pal will…

  • collapse;
  • experience uncontrollable jerking motions;
  • drool or chomp involuntarily;
  • chew on his tongue; and
  • have foams coming out of his mouth.

Aside from this, a Shollie may also experience osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), a disease involving the cartilage and is more common in bigger dog breeds. Other medical conditions you should watch out for include degenerative myelopathy, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and ear infection.

On top of that, these crossbred dogs are at moderate risk of being overweight to the point of obesity. Fortunately, this can be easily avoided by allowing it to have enough physical activity to burn the calories he consumed and store in his relatively large body.

As far as average exercise is concerned, Shollies need about 60 minutes of workout a day and up to 12 miles to walk in a week. It is also not recommended to keep this breed tied up as it would limit their movement and activity.

Because it is born from the Border collie bloodline, a Shollie may also be at risk of acquiring the collie eye anomaly (CEA)— a condition which can lead to blindness in dogs.

While it is most common in collies, this medical issue can also manifest in other breeds, including Australian shepherds and Shetland sheepdogs.

Its symptoms vary from one dog to another. It can be detected as early as 5 to 8 weeks from birth but there is still no cure. The only silver lining in this scenario is that it very rarely leads to vision loss for dogs diagnosed with this condition.

Recommended Grooming

While they have thick and bushy fur, they are considered moderate shedders. Depending on your opinion about constant brushing, these crossbred dogs are known to be relatively easy to care for as they only experience seasonal shedding twice a year, at most.

However, some pet owners tend to shy away from Shollies for their thick and straight fur that can get matted and tangled. Unlike other furry mixed breeds, German shepherd collie mix dogs should be brushed regularly to maintain the natural smoothness and shine of their coat.

In terms of cleanliness, bathing a Shollie is recommended only when necessary. It is also important to use gentle, hypoallergenic shampoos since they have sensitive skin underneath their dense coat. Doing so will help avoid redness and irritation which can cost more than buying a good dog shampoo.

Aside from its fur, it is also important to maintain its canine pearly whites. Like most animals, brushing their teeth on a daily basis can help prevent plaque and keep your Shollie smiling carefreely.

You should also make sure that their nails remain at a safe length. It is for your safety as these crossbred dogs love snuggling their owners. Also, check if its ears are free from foreign particles—be it small objects or insects—to avoid irritation and inflammation. Make sure to check regularly.

If you find something is stuck inside your dog’s inner ear, never try to remove it on your own. Inserting anything inside your dog’s ear will only make it worse. Instead, seek a vet and have him look at your furry pal immediately.

German Shepherd Border Collie Mix Puppies

When breeding purebred German shepherd and Border collie parents, it is possible for you to have around 4 to 6 puppies in one litter. Interestingly, a litter of pups doesn’t necessarily have only one father.

Breeding one dam with two male pure-breed dogs can yield more remarkable results. This is called superfecundation.

This multi-syllable word refers to the emergence of designer breed puppies born with pure breed siblings in a single litter. It occurs when the female purebred dog mates with two different purebred males: one of similar breed and the other of another breed.

Shollies, for example, can become products of superfecundation born with purebred German shepherd or Border collie siblings. It will all depend on the pedigree of their parents.

Most superfecundation pregnancies happen when the dam escapes from its house while still into “estrus”—or “in heat.” This can occur before or after mating with a male dog that her owner intended for her.

The thing is, a male dog’s sperm remains viable in the female’s reproductive tract for as long as seven days. It means that the dam doesn’t need to be ovulating during the time of mating for it to conceive.

Its estrus hormones may also be sniffed out by male dogs, which explains why they still approach her with the intent of reproduction even if she already mated with another.

While this is a fascinating scenario, there are only very few breeders that intentionally do so.

That is because the risk is high for the female dog if the sire of her pups has a size mismatched body—or head, in case of bulldogs or big-headed canine. When that happens, her body may not be able to carry the pups that are bigger than what she is built for.

Shollie Crossbreed Price

If you’re looking for a new pet, it is important to consider the expense you’re about to take on. Upfront, you’ll have to pay for the pet as well as the papers that need to be processed upon adoption.

A puppy’s price can be determined based on several factors, including:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Color
  • Size
  • Bloodline
  • Champion background
  • Pedigree

In the United States, Shollie puppies are sold at a price range of $475 to $900. While designer pups are starting to gain popularity, they still don’t hold a candle to purebreds in terms of valuation.

With that said, you can buy a German shepherd collie mix at a slightly cheaper price tag than its purebred parents which are priced at $1,000 each.

Aside from paying for your new furry family member, you’ll also have to consider other expenses involved in raising a shollie pup, as listed below:

  • Adoption Fee – at least $200
  • Annual Non-Medical Expense – $500 to $600 on average
  • Annual Medical Expense – $485 to $650 on average

Breed Organizations

While the AKC has yet to give its acknowledgment of this crossbreed, the German shepherd collie mix is already officially recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC) and the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA).


As a large-sized breed, a German Shepherd collie mix requires ample training to avoid aggression. Even so, there is no question that this crossbreed is a great family pet that can bring new life to an otherwise dull home.

Since shollies are friendly and playful, they are guaranteed to become your child’s best friend and companion. Their energy gives them the capacity to go the extra mile in helping out at home– especially during situations where it matters.

This crossbreed may not have the same pedigree as its parents, but the German Shepherd collie mix offers the same love and loyalty their lineage have been known for.

About the author

Sarah Andrews

Hi I'm Sarah, dog lover and blogger. I was born into a dog-loving family and have been a proud doggy mommy ever since I can remember. I love sharing my dog knowledge and love being an active part of the dog-loving community.