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Border Schollie (Border Collie & Schnauzer Mix): Info, Pictures, Facts, Traits

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Border schnollie close up

Height: 18 – 25 inches
Weight: 30 – 50 pounds
Lifespan: 10 – 16 years
Colors: Grey, black, brown, tan, white
Suitable for: Families that want a loving, alert and active dog
Temperament: Loyal, Loving, Protective, Friendly, Playful, Alert, Energetic

The Border Schnollie is a hybrid dog breed that’s a Border Collie Schnauzer mix. They are a very intelligent breed and are known to make excellent family pets because they are loving, playful, energetic, and lively. They are protective and can be a little overprotective, and they don’t tend to do well when left alone for long periods.

The Border Collie parent breed is an English herding dog that comes from older breeds like the Welsh sheepdog and the Highland Collie. The Border is renowned for his excellent herding skills. He is intelligent, diligent, and gets on with his work effectively and efficiently. He can be taught almost any number of commands and, once he’s finished his work, he is just as happy heading home to spend time with the family.

The Schnauzer is German in origin and was bred as a rat catcher. He is also a very intelligent dog, although this history as a ratter means that he still has a high prey drive. This can cause problems for families with rodent pets and it tends to mean that the Schnauzer needs to be walked on a leash, whereas the Collie benefits from being allowed to run free.

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Border Schnollie Puppies – Before You Get One…


3 Little-Known Facts About Border Schnollie

1. The Border Schnollie Has Herding Tendencies

The Border Collie is widely considered one of the best herding dogs in the world. He will gracefully work the fields, rounding up sheep. Where there are no sheep for him to herd, he will round up smaller animals including ducks and geese. If you have small children, you can expect a Border to try rounding them up into a pack, too, and he will even exhibit these tendencies with adults.

Woe betide you if you leave the house as a pack and try separating while you’re out. This can cause agitation with a Collie. The Border Schnollie may not be quite as prone to herding as the purebred Collie, but you should expect similar interactions. Cats, kids, adults, and any other animals, are likely to find themselves being gently herded into a small area.

2. The Border Schnollie Is Very Energetic

Another characteristic of the Border Collie is that they have seemingly endless energy. They will run the fields all day, often with very little rest, and they are permanently alert to their handlers’ calls. As a family pet, this means that you can take them out on a long and vigorous walk and, by the time you get home, they will be ready to play and keep the kids entertained for hours.

Once that’s finished, they may well want to go on another walk in the fields. You will need to find unique ways to tire your Schnollie out, and the breed is highly adept at dog agility and other physical exercises and classes.

3. The Schnauzer Is Built for Ratting

The Schnauzer was also a highly sought-after breed. Rather than herding, though, his main task was to hunt and catch rats and other vermin. His whiskers mat together when they get wet, and this prevented the dog from getting injured if he was bitten by his prey, which was commonplace. He also has a keen sense of smell thanks to his snout, and the name Schnauzer comes from the German word “schnauze,” which means nose.

Today, the Schnauzer is still used for the same purpose around the world and he is especially popular on farms, as well as being a common family pet. Even when crossed with the Collie, you should expect some of his rat hunting prey drive to remain. This means that he should be walked on a leash. It also means that if you have cats or especially rodents, the Border Schnollie might not be the best fit for your home.

The Parent Breeds of Border Schollie
Image Credit: Jumpstory

Temperament & Intelligence of the Border Schnollie 🧠

The Border Schnollie is a bright and intelligent dog. In fact, the Border Collie parent breed is widely considered to be the most intelligent dog breed, regularly used for shows. This pooch is protective over the people that he deems to be family, and he will form a close bond with any family members. He is usually good with children, but his prey drive means that he might not be suitable for life with cats or other small animals. He will usually mix well with other dogs, whether they are at the park or in the home.

The Border Schnollie can become anxious if he is left alone for a long period of time, and he will need a lot of physical and mental stimulation. As such, he is not considered the best breed for those families that go out to work all day long.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

The Border Schnollie loves to please his owners. He may believe he has done something wrong if he is left for too long, which can lead to separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is not only hell for your dogs, but can be hell for your furniture, floors, and your home. If you do work all day, you should at least ensure that somebody can visit the dog throughout the day.

Although the Schnollie will deeply love his family, he may not be trusting of new faces. He is unlikely to be aggressive, but he will be wary of strangers. This is his protective instinct, and it can be difficult to overcome, although early socialization will go some way to help ensure that your dog is friendlier with new faces.

This breed is considered an excellent family dog. He won’t necessarily bond with a single person but will form unique bonds with every member of the family unit. He is also very good with children because he is patient and tolerant, and because he will love anybody that is willing to spend time and play with him.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

The herding instincts of the Border Schnollie are not the only thing you need to consider if you have other pets. The Schnauzer is a rat catcher, and he retains a lot of his prey instinct. This means that he will have a tendency to try and sniff out and catch small animals. If you have rats or other rodent pets, you will need to keep them in a separate area of the house, and you should never leave your rat out of the cage around the dog.

As is true with most breeds, if you introduce your Schnollie to cats and other animals when they are still a puppy, they should form a close bond with the animal and they can create strong familial ties, even with cats. However, even if your Schnollie gets on well with an existing cat, it does not mean that introducing them to a new kitten will be an easy task. Take things slowly, be calm, and always be watchful when making the introduction.

Border Schnollie lying down tongue
Image: kanashi, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Border Schnollie:

The Border Schnollie combines two high octane and intelligent dogs. As such, you should expect an equally energetic, playful, working breed. When he’s finished rounding up the kids, your Schnollie will be happy to play outside for hours.

In terms of appearance, the Schnollie may look more like his Collie or his Schnauzer parent. He will usually have a body that is similar to that of the Schnauzer parent but with the markings and coloring of the Border Collie. As such, his fur will normally be on the wiry side, and he may well have the distinctive whiskers around his mouth. Expect soulful and intelligent eyes, floppy ears, and a muscular dog that is capable of surprising shows of strength and agility.

Most Schnollies exhibit the wiry coat of their Schnauzer parent. This is a double-layer coat, which effectively protects against both heat and cold. Your dog should not be sensitive to extreme cold or extreme heat, which makes him a great companion whatever the weather.

The Schnollie is an excellent family pet, but there are some things you need to know before you invest time and money in bringing one into your family.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Expect to feed your new dog between one and one and a half cups of good quality dry food every day, preferably split over two meals. Because of the high intensity of the breed, you should look for foods that are suitable for working and high-energy dogs.

These tend to have higher protein than other and general foods. Protein is essential for all dogs. It is especially important for puppies because it aids in the growth of muscle. It is also important for working dogs because it helps maintain muscle. As your dog reaches its latter years, you will want to find a food that has been formulated for senior working dogs. These foods still contain higher protein content than some standard foods, but less than foods for active dogs.

Exercise 🐕

Both parent breeds are high energy dogs, so you should expect the same from your hybrid. He will have the energy to burn, and even when you think you’ve worn him out, he will probably have the capability to keep going and going. If you enjoy hiking, take him with you. If you run, look for a suitable harness: your Schnollie will love the extra exercise and it is highly unlikely that you will be able to outrun or outlast him.

He will also enjoy time in the water, so be prepared for a muddy dog if you let him off the lead around lakes or puddles. Swimming can tire dogs out a lot quicker than walking or running, though, so this is a good choice of physical exercise.

As well as physically tiring your dog out, you will need to provide him with a lot of mental stimulation. Collies and Schnauzers are intelligent dogs and they enjoy using their brain to figure out problems. Find some method of training or activity that will enable him to flex his brain as well as his legs.

Both breeds perform well at agility and other physical classes and these combine both physical and mental activities that will entertain your dog and keep him in the best shape possible.

Training 🦮

As well as agility classes, you should take your Schnollie to puppy classes when he is young. This will help teach him that strangers are not to be feared, and it will make it easier when you want to introduce him to new people later in life. Puppy classes are especially beneficial because they offer a safe and welcoming environment in which your dog can learn to deal with new situations.

Again, both parent breeds are known for their intelligence. In fact, the Collie is widely believed to be the most intelligent of all dog breeds, and they can quickly learn dozens of new commands. The Schnauzer is almost as intelligent, although he can be a little more stubborn.

These qualities make it possible to train the Border Schnollie, but it also means that they will be learning new habits and behaviors themselves if you are consistent in your training.

Border schnollie running
Image: kanashi, Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

The Schnauzer is often described as being hypoallergenic because they do not shed a lot of hair. In contrast, the Collie sheds a lot of hair and often. Depending on which parent breed’s fur is dominant, you could have a heavy shedder or one that never sheds. Most often, you will enjoy a mix of these two traits. Weekly brushing will be necessary to remove dead hair and to prevent matting and knotting of the fur. You should only bathe your dog when absolutely necessary, and neither parent breed is known for having an overtly doggy smell, although they will enjoy jumping in muddy water.

If your dog does take after the Schnauzer side of his family, he will need a little more grooming. In particular, his facial hair will require regular brushing and you may need to trim his beard for him to prevent it from getting matted. You may also need to wash his face after meals to prevent food from getting stuck and to avoid staining.

Brush your dog’s teeth three times a week at the very least, ideally daily. Clip their nails when you can hear them scraping on hard floors, and check their ears for mites and dirt, especially if they do enjoy a swim in the local lake.

Health and Conditions ❤️

The Border Schnollie is a hardy dog and has a life expectancy of up to 16 years. He is generally considered to be a healthy breed, but there are some conditions to which he is more susceptible. Look for signs of the following conditions and seek veterinary assistance if he displays any symptoms.

Minor Conditions
  • Cataracts
Serious Conditions
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Pancreatitis
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Collie eye anomaly

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Male vs Female

There will always be debate over whether male or female dogs are better. Some argue that females are easier to house train than males and are more attentive to their owners. Male dogs are generally considered to be more independent and aloof. Other than this, the female of the Border Schnollie will be a little smaller than the male Border Schnollie, although only usually by a couple of inches and a few pounds.

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Final Thoughts

The Border Schnollie is a hybrid breed that combines the incredibly energetic and intelligent Border Collie with the loving and accepting Schnauzer. The end result is a bundle of high-octane energy that is always ready to play, has a tendency to try and herd small animals and small children, but that will have more than enough love for every family member. Be prepared to go on walks. A lot of walks. Offer mental stimulation, potentially through training and agility classes, and take your Schnollie to puppy classes when he is still young in order that he will become a well-adjusted dog that is good with strangers.

Featured Image Credit: kanashi, Shutterstock

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