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Gollie (Golden Retriever & Collie Mix) Info, Pictures, Traits, Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Gollie (Golden Retriever & Collie Mix)

Height: 22–26 inches
Weight: 55–75 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Colors: Black, white, brown, sable, blue, gold
Suitable for: Active families or singles, households with a large yard
Temperament: Loving, loyal, friendly, playful, intelligent, energetic

When it comes to playful, friendly dogs, few breeds can outmatch the Gollie. A cross between the lovable, affable Golden Retriever and the intelligent, capable Border Collie, Gollies are the perfect family companion. They’re gentle, loving, and loyal, and they’re even easy to train, making them great choices for first-time dog owners.

At home, your Gollie will often cuddle up for a nice snuggle session on the couch while you read or watch TV. But don’t expect it to be calm and relaxed all the time. These are high-energy dogs; the offspring of two working dogs with tons of endurance, energy, and athleticism. You’ll need to provide an outlet for that energy; about 60 minutes each day.

When you’re not actively exercising your Gollie, it’s still going to need plenty of space to roam, explore, and let off steam. These are naturally curious dogs and they need ample space to explore and be active.

Gollies are great partners for active people who like to take on long walks, hikes, or runs. Your Gollie will always be happy to accompany you, and it’s a great way to bond with your canine while providing the exercise it needs.

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Gollie Puppies


The Gollie may not be the most popular or well-known breed, but both parent breeds are. Border Collies and Golden Retrievers are two of the most loved dog breeds and they’re cherished family members to many. Moreover, they’re both pure breeds that are used in shows and competitions, boosting their value to some incredible heights.

While you can still purchase Collies and Golden Retrievers without going broke, they will still have quite the price tag. Both parents of the Gollie are highly valued, which can raise the cost of Gollies as well. However, Gollies are a designer breed, so they’re not recognized by governing bodies like the AKC, so they’re not nearly as valuable as either parent. This also means that many breeders won’t devote the time to breeding Gollies since they’re just not worth as much monetarily.

If you want to add a Gollie to your family, your best bet is to skip the breeders entirely and search the local shelters instead. You can often find Gollies available for adoption and the cost is considerably less than if you purchased one from a breeder.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Gollie

1. They’re Not Great Guard Dogs

Gollies are super friendly and loving, but they’re not the most watchful or wary. If you’re looking for a guard dog or watchdog for your household, you’ll want to look elsewhere.

While your Gollie might be alert, it likely won’t offer more than a few barks at the sign of an intruder. More likely, your Gollie will offer the uninvited guest some love and kisses! Unless you want to invite your intruders inside, a Gollie isn’t the best dog for keeping watch.

2. They Can be a Bit Smelly

Many dogs don’t need bathing very often and over-bathing can even be detrimental to their coats. But the Gollie requires a bit more bathing than other dog breeds.

They’re known to be a bit smelly, though this is mostly because they spend a lot of time outside exploring. But all that long hair can also be the culprit. It can pick up dirt and debris and they get stuck to your Gollie’s coat. Regular bathing can help to combat any bad smells and ensure your Gollie is always fresh and odor-free for your next snuggle session!

3. Both Parents Originated in Scotland

Collies originated in Scotland where they were used for herding sheep. They became wildly popular after Queen Victoria fell in love with the breed during a visit to the Scottish highlands in 1860.

Golden Retrievers have a similar backstory. They also come from Scotland, though they were used as hunting and retrieving dogs. Over time, they even developed webbed feet and water-repellent coats to help with retrieving waterfowl.

The parent breeds of the Gollie
Image Credit: Left – engeline80, Pixabay | Right – TheOtherKev, Pixabay

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Gollie 🧠

Gollies are one of the most friendly and playful dogs you could ever meet. They have the good-natured demeanor of a Golden Retriever with the cleverness and intelligence of a Border Collie. They’re loving dogs that want to be a part of everything you do so they can feel like they’re an important member of the family.

You’ll often get your Gollie to curl up beside you for a movie, but they’ll spend just as much time rambunctiously running around the backyard since they have nearly limitless energy to expend. These dogs love to please. They want to do whatever will make their people happy. This makes them easy to train and a pleasure to keep around.

Unlike many breeds, Gollies aren’t particularly needy when it comes to affection. They want your love and attention, but they won’t pressure you to get it. They’re low-key and relaxed most of the time, even though they have tons of energy when it’s time to get physical!

Are Gollies Good for Families? 🏡

Gollies make excellent dogs for families. They’re so friendly and loving that they’re a joy for every member of the family. Plus, they bond closely with everyone, so no one feels left out. Because this breed needs so much exercise, families are the perfect fit. Each person can play with the dog and ensure that your Gollie gets plenty of physical activity and attention.

More importantly, Gollies are great with kids. They are very tolerant dogs that don’t mind the roughhousing that often accompanies young children. This is partially because they were bred and trained to gently retrieve waterfowl for hunters without damaging the prey in their mouths.

Do Gollies Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Gollies are a social dog that does well with other dogs. If socialized early, they can even do well with cats and other pets. They don’t have a strong prey drive, even though they were used for hunting originally. It’s important for retrievers not to have a strong prey drive. If they did, they might eat the prey they’re retrieving before returning it to the hunter!

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Things to Know When Owning a Gollie:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Gollie is a high-energy breed, but they’re not too large. This means they only need a moderate amount of food; in the vicinity of three cups per day.

They do well on high-quality dry dog food, particularly one that’s high in protein. Because they’re so active, your Gollie would do well on dog food that’s specifically formulated for active dogs.

Exercise 🐕

Gollies are pretty high-maintenance when it comes to exercise. They’re extremely active, high-energy dogs and they need a lot of physical activity to release all that energy. You can expect to spend at least one hour each day providing physical activity for your Gollie. This can be in the form of brisk walks, jogs, playtime, agility training, or whatever activity suits you.

Gollies are great activity partners. Instead of blocking out time for dog exercise, you can just bring your Gollie along when you exercise. These dogs are perfect for anyone who loves to jog, hike, run, or even bike. Take your Gollie along and you can both get in all the exercise you need at the same time while improving and strengthening your bond.

Training 🦮

Gollies are a highly intelligent breed, but not all smart dogs are easy to train. Luckily, the Gollie also has a strong drive to please its owners. They’re also the offspring of two working dogs, so training and obedience are in their genes.

Compared to most breeds, Gollies are a pleasure to train. They take well to instruction, and with a little positive reinforcement, they do very well at obedience commands. They learn quickly and are driven to do each job well. These dogs are even a great option for individuals who have no experience with dog training.

Image By: Sponner, Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

Gollies are high-maintenance when it comes to grooming. They have long, luscious coats and shed constantly! That thick fur will pile up all over your home in short order. To prevent this, you’ll need to brush your Gollie every day. This will help prevent matting, reduce shedding, remove dead hair, and even help clear dirt from your dog’s coat.

Gollies love to swim; it’s part of their Golden Retriever heritage. But this can contribute to their odors. You’ll want to bathe your Gollie regularly, at least once each month, maybe more often.

As with all breeds, your Gollie will need regular teeth brushing and cleaning of its ears as well. And don’t forget the nails! They need to be trimmed regularly as well.

Health Conditions ❤️

One of the reasons that designer dogs have become so popular recently is that it’s thought that you can reduce the number of health problems that a breed is susceptible to by crossing them with another breed that’s not susceptible to the same health issues. This creates healthier dogs with longer lifespans and a higher quality of living.

The Gollie is one such designer dog. Though both parents have quite a few health concerns to look out for, the Gollie is generally considered to be pretty hardy and healthy. Still, there are a few health conditions that are worth watching out for.

  • Cataracts: When your dog’s eye develops a spot that’s cloudy and opaque, it’s a cataract. These can range in severity from mild to full-on blindness.
  • Dermatomyositis: This is an inherited disease that causes dramatic inflammation of blood vessels, muscles, and skin. It only affects Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs, and mixes of these breeds.
  • Elbow dysplasia: This is a malformation of the elbow joint. It can cause pain, loss of movement, arthritis, and even lameness.
  • Epilepsy: This is the most common neurological disorder in dogs. It can cause seizures just like it does in humans, but there is no seizure classification system available for canines.

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Male vs. Female

Temperamentally, male and female Gollies are quite similar. Males can sometimes be a bit more dominant and territorial, but this is often stopped when the dog is neutered or reaches maturity.

Physically, males tend to be larger. Females are generally 22–24 inches and weigh 55–65 pounds. Males can be a bit bigger, reaching a height of 26 inches and a weight of around 75 pounds.

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Final Thoughts: Gollies

If you’re looking for a loving family companion that’s easy to train and will get along with just about everyone, then the Gollie is definitely a breed to consider. They’re about as friendly as a dog can get and they’re smart enough to make them easy to train.

Don’t forget, your Gollie will need tons of exercise! If your family isn’t very active and you prefer to stay inside watching TV, then the Gollie won’t be a great fit. But if you spend afternoons hiking trails and jogging the streets, your Gollie will be happy to accompany you every time as your new workout partner!

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