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Shollie (German Shepherd & Border Collie Mix): Info, Pictures, Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Shollie Dog Breed Info

Height: 21-29 inches
Weight: 70-80 pounds
Lifespan: 13-15 years
Colors: Black, white, red, brown, grey
Suitable for: Highly active owners, families with children
Temperament: Protective, loyal, energetic, loving, smart, parental, active

Shollies are a cross between two very popular dog breeds: the German Shepherd and the Border Collie.

Tall and lean, the Shollie is a big breed with a lot of physical needs. They’re extremely active and energetic, requiring lots of physical activity. As such, they’re poor choices for apartments and will do best in a house with plenty of space for them to run around and release energy.

More than just physical activity, your Shollie will need a lot of mental stimulation as well. These dogs are very intelligent and need to be engaged or their behavior can become destructive.

Perfect for families, this breed takes on a natural protector role. They’re great with children, automatically guarding them as if the child was their offspring. Strong bonds are formed with those children, creating lifelong bonds between pet and person.

Whether you live in a rural setting or a city, you’ll want to be aware that Shollies  often wander. They like to explore, but that may get them into trouble if they get too far from home!Divider 1

Shollie Puppies


You can usually expect crossbred dogs like the Shollie to be considerably less expensive than purebreds. However, the Shollie is a very popular pet, and so are both parents. Since all of these pups are highly desired as working dogs and house pets alike, Shollies tend to be pricier than other mixed-breed dogs.

When purchasing a Shollie from a breeder, it’s important that you know about the parents and the conditions that the dogs are raised in. It’s best if you can meet the parents and get a chance to see what your dog might be like when it grows up. Seeing the parents will also let you know if they have any health conditions that you should be concerned about. Also, ensure that the puppies and parents are all being raised in clean conditions. If the dogs aren’t happy and well cared for at the breeder’s, then you might be better off finding a breeder who takes better care of their animals.

Of course, you can always opt to adopt instead. If you look around at local shelters, you may find a Shollie available. It’s always a bit of a guessing game when you adopt, but you’ll be giving a puppy another chance at a great life with you.

Parent Breeds of the Shollie
Image Credit: Jumpstory

3 Little-Known Facts About the Shollie

1. Shollies Tend to Take More After the German Shepherd

It’s generally quite difficult to predict what traits mixed-breed puppies might display. Most of the time, they can display traits from either parent, so it’s kind of like a lottery, guessing which parent your puppy might take after more.

But it’s a bit different for the Shollie. This breed tends to take a lot of its physical characteristics from the German Shepherd, causing them to often look very similar to purebred Shepherds. They’ll generally display the same colors, body shape, and even ears as a German Shepherd, with only a few cues coming from the Border Collie side of the family.

2. Working Is in Their Genes

Both parents of the Shollie are well-renowned for their incredible working abilities.

German Shepherds are trained for use with police and militaries around the world, and the Border Collie is one of the best herding dogs in the business.

Naturally, Shollies have the built-in need to be engaged since that working dog blood is leftover in their genes. This is why they need so much physical activity and mental stimulation. If you can give your Shollie a daily task or job to perform, it can go a long way toward keeping them happy and sane, helping you to avoid the destructive behavior they display when they get bored.

3. They’re Excellent at Dog Sports

As you might expect, their impressive physicality makes the Shollie excellent at all dog sports. Whether it’s just playing fetch or you want to take your Shollie through dog agility courses, they learn quickly and excel at pretty much all physical activities. In fact, your Shollie can probably outperform you several times over!

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Shollie 🧠

It’s hard to overstate the intelligence of this breed. The offspring of two highly intelligent working dogs, the Shollie has inherited the smarts from both sides of the family. Moreover, this breed also inherited the physical needs of both parents, so you’ll need to keep them engaged both physically and mentally.

More than just a smart dog, these are incredibly loyal family members. They bond very strongly with their people, especially children.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Because they bond so closely with the children of their family, Shollies make perfect family pets. Once bonded with a child, they’ll take on the role of protector and parent. You may even see your Shollie herding your children to keep them within its protective range. This makes them perfect as guard dogs, helping to keep the whole family safe.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Shollies can get along well with other pets, but you’ll need to socialize them early on. Especially when it comes to small pets, the prey drive of the Shollie can become an issue. But if you start socializing them early and all the time, then Shollies can get along well with pets of all kinds.

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Things to Know When Owning a Shollie:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Like other large dogs, the Shollie is going to eat a lot. Three cups of high-quality dry dog food each day is about the average and will suffice for most Shollies.

But be careful not to overfeed them. They’ll often eat whatever food is available, even if they’re not hungry. By monitoring their intake, you can avoid overfeeding and help keep health concerns like obesity at bay.

Exercise 🐕

Few dog breeds have greater physical needs than the Shollie. You’re going to need plenty of time to devote to exercising this dog — at least an hour each day.

Furthermore, you’ll need to provide them with plenty of room to roam and run during the day so they can release the excess energy. If you don’t provide ample engagement, exercise, and space for your Shollie, then you’ll likely end up with a destructive dog displaying undesirable traits.

Training 🦮

Because they’re bred from two working dogs, Shollies are exceptionally good at learning commands. They can be easily taught all sorts of commands and tricks. They’ll learn them quickly with a little positive reinforcement.

Refrain from using punishments or negative reinforcement when training Shollies. They want to please their person and will work to do so, but negative forms of reinforcement will not go over well with this breed.

Grooming ✂️

If you’re looking for a dog with minimal upkeep, then you’re not looking for a Shollie. This dog has a thick coat that’s constantly shedding. You’ll need to brush your Shollie every day to remove the dead hair and prevent it from building up. Twice a year, the shedding will increase even more.

You’ll also need to bathe your Shollie occasionally, but not too often. Over bathing can result in a reduction of the natural oils that keep their skin and fur healthy.

At least Shollies aren’t known to drool!

Health and Conditions ❤️

When you mix two breeds to create a designer dog like the Shollie, you can reduce the risk of some health concerns common to either breed. That doesn’t mean you’ll eliminate those risks, but it can lessen the chances of developing certain conditions.

Still, there are some conditions common to the German Shepherd and Border Collie that are worth watching out for if you get a Shollie.

One serious condition they can suffer from is hip dysplasia. When your dog’s hip forms improperly at the end of the femur and doesn’t fit properly into the hip socket, it can cause debilitating pain and reduced movement. This condition is known as hip dysplasia, and it’s one of the more common afflictions that dogs face.

Generally confined to larger dogs, this disease can drastically decrease your dog’s quality of life. It also gets worse with age, and unfortunately, there is no cure. However, there are ways to treat and manage the condition if it’s caught early enough.

Elbow dysplasia is the name given to a set of conditions that affect the front legs of some dogs. You’ll notice it when the dog starts limping, and it will eventually result in lameness.

Minor Conditions
  • Elbow dysplasia
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia

Divider 5Male vs. Female

Shollies tend to follow the normal pattern of most dog breeds where the females are a bit smaller and lighter than the males. Likewise, male Shollies tend to display more aggression and territorial behaviors than female Shollies, who tend to be more friendly and affectionate in general.

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Final Thoughts

Highly intelligent and just as energetic, the Shollie is a wonderful dog that can make a perfect pet for active families. But if you’re not active, then you won’t be a good match. This dog needs daily exercise of at least an hour, plus plenty of space to run and have fun. If you can’t keep up with these needs, your Shollie could end up destructive and high-strung.

Natural protectors, Shollies are great guard dogs and will naturally bond with children, taking on the role of parent. They’re loving and loyal with all members of the family and can even be great with other pets if socialized early on.

This breed has a lot of needs, from physical activity to daily grooming. They’re not a good fit for first-time dog owners or anyone who isn’t going to be able to give their dog a lot of attention. But if you can meet these requirements, then a Shollie can be an excellent partner, friend, and beloved family member.

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Featured Image Credit: 825545, Pixabay

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