Border Collie German Shepherd- Everything You Need to Know

Border Collie German Shepherd is a lovely cross between a purebred German Shepherd and a purebred Border Collie. German Shepherds had their origin in the 19th century, Germany, used basically for herding livestock and sheep, and later on in military activities. Border Collies come from Scotland, the border of England, from where the dogs take their name. Border Collies are also good at search and rescue, military training. However, these dogs are used for herding sheep even today in some parts of the world.

The agility of Border Collie and the obedient nature of the German Shepherd makes the Shollies a perfect dog for family and other athletic purposes such as military, policing, and search-rescue. In addition, the Border Collie – German Shepherd has taken the traits of playfulness and liveliness from Border Collies and a sense of guarding and loyalty from the German Shepherd. The appearance varies, depending on the dominant parent gene. They come in brown, golden, black, and white or a combination of these. They are high–energy dogs and prefer an equally energetic owner who can spend time for their exercise needs.

Border Collie German Shepherd Pros and Cons 

Pros Cons
They are very kind and affectionate with familySince they are large dogs, they are unsuitable for houses with small children
They are very healthy, so you need not often take them to vets.Not hypoallergenic
They are brilliant and easily trainableNot suitable for apartment living since they are active and need a lot of space.

Border Collie German Shepherd Basic Information 

  • Name: Border Collie German Shepherd
  • Height: 17 – 29 inches
  • Weight: 65 – 80 pounds
  • Coat: Medium to long, dense, straight in texture
  • Color: Brown, fawn, white, sable, black, or a combination of these
  • Energy: High
  • Activities: Walking, agility training, running, obedience training, swimming
  • Group: Mixed breed
  • Barking Level: Medium
  • Shedding Level: Heavy
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Litter Size: 4 – 10 puppies
  • Life Span: 10 – 15 years
  • Other names: Shollie, German Shepherd Border Collie

Border Collie German Shepherd: A Comparison

FeaturesBorder CollieGerman Shepherd
HeightMale: 19-22 inches, Female: 18-21 inchesMale: 24-26 inches, Female: 22-24 inches
WeightMale: 30-45 pounds, Female: 27-42 poundsMale: 65-90 pounds, Female: 50-70 pounds
GroupPastoral Dogs (Herding Dogs)Herding
Breed TypePurebredPurebred
Children CompatibilityHighHigh
Family CompatibilityHighHigh
Pets CompatibilityMediumMedium
Barking LevelLow to mediumLow to medium
Shedding LevelMediumHigh
Grooming NeedsMediumAverage
Overall HealthMedium to highHigh
Complication in BreedingNoNo
Exercise NeedsHighHigh
ActivitiesWalking, running, and agility trainingAgility training, obedience training, and swimming
Litter Size4-8 puppies6-10 puppies
Life Span12-15 years12-14 years
Other NamesScottish SheepDog, Welsh SheepDog, and English SheepDogAlsatian Wolf Dog, Berger Allemand and Deutscher Schäferhund

Border Collie German Shepherd Personality

Border Collie German Shepherd weighs about 65 – 80 pounds and stands 21 to 27 inches tall. He has a sturdy, muscular build and a face appropriate to his body size. The eyes of the Shollies are round in shape that come in brown, hazel, blue, amber. He has a black snout, two large, triangular, floppy ears, a long, dense, fluffier, double coat, straight texture, and white markings. The coat color comes in black, brown, fawn, white, sable, or a combination of all these. 

German Shepherd Border Collies are known for agility training, and so they have a gait that is always ready to run. Mostly the appearance of Border Collie German Shepherd Mix matches a purebred German Shepherd with its tan-colored coat and black markings at the back. Their legs are strong, aiding them to perform all physical tasks smoothly. In addition, thanks to their Border Collie genes, they have a luxuriant bushy tail.

Friendliness Overview

Affectionate with familyMedium to high
Friendly with petsMedium
Friendly with kidsMedium to high
Friendly with strangersLow to medium

Adaptability Overview

Adapts well to apartment LivingLow
Good to new ownersLow to medium
Sensitivity levelMedium
Tolerates being aloneLow to medium
Tolerates cold weatherMedium to high
Tolerates Hot WeatherMedium to high

Border Collie German Shepherd Temperament

Shollies are intelligent dog breeds, and so they are chosen for police, military, and service purposes. They are very protective, tenacious, and faithful, so they make a lovely family dog. They are friendly and can go well with kids. They are high in adaptability, and they are good with novice owners. Since they love their owners, it will be effortless for the pet parents to train them. Unfortunately, they cannot be left alone for extended periods since they may face separation anxiety issues. In addition, the herding instincts and high energy levels of Border Collies and German Shepherds can make them destructive. Thus, keep your Shollies engaged with activities.

Border Collie German Shepherd Training

Shollies are generally dogs that are ready to please their owners. This makes them learn and obey their owners. Pet parents are supposed to spend time with their puppies and train them during their early stages to follow the commands, and the training sessions will go smoothly. Pet owners should monitor and focus their energy and playfulness. 

Provide training on how to conduct indoors, as Shollies should not hurt themselves, cause injuries to small children and other pet animals. Early socialization is vital to avoid this. Like other dogs, Border Collie German Shepherd needs positive reinforcement to keep them encouraged during training sessions. Train them not to chew, bite or nip. Also, they tend to be mouthy.

Trainability Overview

Easy to trainMedium to high
IntelligentMedium to high
Potential for mouthinessMedium
Prey driveMedium
Tendency to bark or howlMedium
Wanderlust potentialMedium to high

Border Collie German Shepherd Exercise Needs

Border Collie German Shepherd is a very active and energetic dog. It is always an outdoorsy type of dog. Shollies should always be given some activities. A bored dog is a destructive dog. Physical and mental stimulation is vital for Shollies; otherwise, they will become timid and aggressive. A daily exercise schedules about sixty minutes of physical activities. An independent Shollie can be given two hours of separate walk every day which is enough. Some outdoor activities to keep them engaged are as follows:

  • Yard Play
  • Frisbee
  • Obstacle Course
  • Retrieval tasks like fetch and come.
  • Hunting dog food or toys
  • Weave Poles
  • Hiking
  • Chase
  • Agility training
  • Flyball
  • Tracking

Some indoor activity ideas are:

  • Toy Fetch
  • Tug of War
  • Hide and Seek

Pet parents should be aware that German Shepherd Border Collie should not be left to play for long hours as this can cause them to get over – exhausted and overheat, which may be life-threatening.

Exercise Needs Overview

Energy levelHigh
IntensityMedium to high
Exercise NeedsMedium to high
Potential for playfulnessMedium to high

Border Collie German Shepherd Grooming

It is essential to brush Shollie’s thick coat twice weekly to prevent shedding, tangling, and matting. As they grow, they will shed even more heavily, and you will have to invest a lot in grooming their coat. A slicker brush, detangler, and dematting sprays will make the job easy. Shollies don’t drool. So, that they don’t have a strong dog odor and needn’t be bathed quite often. While bathing, use a hypoallergenic shampoo. 

Though Shollies are not prone to dental issues, it is always recommended to brush their teeth thrice a week to reduce any dental problems in the future. Check their ears and eyes for any infections. Cut their nails regularly.

Grooming Overview

Amount of SheddingMedium to high
Drooling PotentiaLow to medium
Easy to GroomMedium

Border Collie German Shepherd Health

Though Border Collie German Shepherds are generally healthy, some dogs exhibit diseases or illnesses acquired from parental breeds. So, it is always better to check for any conditions before adopting or bringing a Border Collie – German Shepherd home. However, Border Collie-German Shepherd dogs can experience bloat, a sudden and life-threatening abdomen swelling called Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus. Shollies are healthy but may inherit some health issues from the parent breeds. A Shollie suffers from the following health issues:.

Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition from a German Shepherd in which the thigh bone would not fit into the hip joints. X-ray screening for hip dysplasia can be done in the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. It is challenging to breed dogs with hip dysplasia. Do not buy a puppy without asking the breeder for proof that the parents have been tested and are hip dysplasia-free.

Elbow Dysplasia: This is a heritable disease common to large-sized dog breeds. It’s caused by different growth rates of the three bones that make up the dog’s elbow, causing joint loosening. This can lead to painful lameness. Your vet may recommend medication to control the pain or even surgery to correct the problem.

Allergies: Canines like Border Collies and German Shepherds are usually allergic to various substances, from pollen to chemicals like shampoos or dog-body wash, since they are hyperactive and keep roaming. If your Shollie is licking his paws or rubbing his face, get him checked by your vet immediately. 

Epilepsy: An inherited condition from Border Collies, it is of three types—reactive, secondary, and primary or idiopathic epilepsy. Reactive seizures are caused by the brains’ reaction to metabolic problems like low blood sugar, toxin, or organ failure. Secondary attacks are due to a brain tumor, trauma, or stroke. If the above condition is not present, the disease is primary or idiopathic epilepsy. The signs of seizures begin as early as six months and three years of age. A long-term prognosis for dogs with idiopathic epilepsy is common.

Hypothyroidism: An abnormality in the thyroid gland secretion can cause this condition. It holds responsibility for medical disorders like epilepsy, alopecia, obesity, lethargy, hyperpigmentation, pyoderma, and other skin-related diseases. A proper diet and medication helps treat this issue.

Osteochondrosis of Knees and Shoulders is the condition of improper cartilage growth in the elbow, knees, and shoulder joints. The stiffness of the joints makes it unable to move or bend its elbows and knees. Osteochondrosis can be detected in puppies as early as four to nine months. Overfeeding of formulas causes this disease.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy: An eye disorder that causes blindness from the loss of photoreceptors at the back of the eyes. It can be detected earlier; a very later stage is blindness. Dogs with this condition can survive for several years since they have other senses to compensate.

Collie Eye Anomalies: This genetic condition seen in Border Collies causes eye issues and blindness in the mixed breed puppies too. Collie eye anomalies occur when the dog turns two years old. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for this anomaly. The disorders include:

  • Choroidal Hypoplasia: This is an abnormal growth of choroids.
  • Coloboma: This is a flaw in the optic disc of the eyes.
  • Staphyloma: Thinning down of sclera 
  • Retinal detachment.

Cerebellar Abiotrophy: It is an inherited neurological disease that affects certain dog breeds like Brittany Spaniel, Kerry Blue Terrier, and Rough-coated collies. Symptoms include goose-stepping, falling, muscle tremors, and being unable to nurse, to mention a few. 

Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis are inherited disorders especially seen in Border Collies and its mixed breed puppies that cause neurodegenerative lysosomal disease. It is seen in cats, dogs, sheep, goats, humans, and cattle. The condition can show symptoms like change in gait, posture, muscle twitching, and even cause premature death.

Deafness: A genetic disorder seen in Collies. There is every possibility that the mixed breed pup inherits deafness disorder.

Anesthesia Sensitivity: Some Border Collies are sensitive to anesthesia. Hence before you adopt a Shollie, it is better to check with the breeder and inform your vet accordingly.

Degenerative Myelopathy: This is a progressive spinal cord disorder. It affects the part of the cord that takes information to the brain regarding the hind legs. Dogs with this disorder behave as they don’t know their back legs and cannot move them well—the disease leads to a situation where the dog cannot move. There is no cure, so the dog is left to rest. However, in a few cases, the condition is related to a deficiency of vitamin E or B12. Vitamin supplements might help treat this disorder.

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency: Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is a pancreatic genetic disease in which the cells that produce digestive enzymes are damaged. As a result, the dog cannot digest and consume food. The first signs are gas, weight loss, loss of appetite, and change in stools. Next, the dog becomes lean and very hungry. Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency is diagnosed with a simple blood test, and treatment is simple as the pancreatic enzymes are added to the dog’s food. With proper medication guidance, most dogs recover.

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus: Commonly called bloat, a life-threatening disease that affects large, deep-chested dogs like German Shepherds, especially if fed one large meal a day, eat fast, drink large volumes of water after meal, and exercise vigorously after eating. Bloat occurs when the stomach is swollen due to pressure with gas or air and then twists. The dog cannot vomit to get rid of the excessive air in their stomach, and the average remit of blood to the heart is impeded. Blood pressure falls, and the dog goes into shock. Without prompt medical attention, the dog can expire. Suspect bloat if your dog has a swollen abdomen, is drooling excessively, and retching without throwing up. They also may be restless, lethargic, depressed, and weak with a rapid heart rate. It’s crucial to get your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

Elbow Hygroma: An elbow hygroma is a fluid-filled (usually yellow to red) swelling occurring over the elbow joint. This problem is more commonly seen in short-haired, large breed dogs such as German shepherds, Labrador retrievers, mastiffs, and Great Danes. These dogs frequently lay on hard surfaces, such as tile, hardwood floors, or concrete which repeatedly causes minor trauma to the dog’s thin skin over a bony prominence. They can grow about two inches in diameter. Regardless of size, hygroma is generally non-painful. However, your dog may experience pain and discomfort if allowed to become large enough to the point of ulceration and abscessing. Your dog will probably not show any signs of illness or distress unless the hygroma becomes infected.

Bleeding Disorders: The German Shepherd and its mixed breeds are prone to bleeding disorders. After conducting several diagnostic tests, the surgery is performed depending on the type.

Hyperadrenocorticism: It is caused by the malfunction of adrenal glands that produce excessive steroid hormones. The condition develops gradually and may be ignored, but one should be aware of the symptoms to prevent necessary damage. Symptoms include increased appetite, drinking, and urinating than usual.

Cancer: The German Shepherd and its mixed breeds have a higher life expectancy than other breeds, so they are prone to cancer as they grow older. Cancer can be cured by surgical removal of tumors and chemotherapy. However, it is essential not to ignore the symptoms and diagnose them earlier.

Anal Gland Problems: The area around the anus becomes inflamed or develops sores. The German Shepherd and its mixed breeds are more prone to this long-term disease. Symptoms include constipation, bleeding, licking of the area, straining or apparent pain when defecating, and smelly discharge around the rectum. Treatment includes lifelong medications and surgery.

Diabetes: Diabetes mellitus is a common disease among dogs. In diabetes, the dogs cannot metabolize blood sugar, causing increased drinking, eating, urination, and weight loss. Treatment includes medication and insulin injection.

Cataracts: It is a common cause of blindness in older Shollies. The lens of the eyes becomes cloudy and opaque. Treatment might require surgery for good results.

Pannus: It is a disease in which the inflammatory cells penetrate the cornea (the clear part of the eye) and darken when exposed to ultraviolet rays, causing blindness.

Von Willebrand’s Disease: A hereditary blood disorder that conflicts with its clot ability. The chief symptom is excessive bleeding after injury or surgery. Other symptoms include nosebleeds, bleeding gums, or bleeding in the intestines or stomach. Unfortunately, there is no proper treatment for this condition, and a blood transfusion from normal canines’ blood is the only treatment. 

Dental Disease: It affects 80% of pets by the age of two. Tartar builds up on the teeth, infects the gums and roots, and in extreme cases causes loss of teeth and damages the kidneys.

Infections: Shollies are prone to bacterial and viral diseases such as rabies, parvo, and distemper. The viral infection can be prevented by vaccination based on the dog’s age.

Parasites: Shollies can be infested with worms, bugs, fleas, and ticks that can get into their systems through unclean water, contaminated soil, or bitten by an infected mosquito. It can also be transmitted to you and your family. Symptoms include discomfort, pain, and even death.

Obesity: It is a significant health condition in German Shepherds. Excess weight can cause joint problems, back pain, digestive disorders, and heart disease. The best way to prevent this lifestyle disease is a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Spay or Neuter: The ovaries or uterus in females is removed, and in the neuter, the testicles of the male dogs are released. It is done to eliminate the possibility of pregnancy or fathering unwanted puppies and decrease the likelihood of certain types of cancer. 

Health Overview

General HealthMedium
Potential for WeightMedium to high
SizeMedium to high

Border Collie German Shepherd Diet and Nutrition

The Shollies should be fed three cups of high-quality dry dog food divided into two meals. If your Border Collie German Shepherd is tired due to intensive training sessions, then you can serve them four cups. The kibble you provide your dog should be rich in calcium to keep them away from conditions like hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. Pet parents should take proper care not to feed their furry friends with human foods, as some may be toxic to dogs. However, there are some human foods you can safely feed your dogs: 

The requirement for minerals and vitamins changes as your dogs get older. Your Shollie’s diet should contain a medium amount of calories to avoid obesity.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
This food brand is a perfect food for your Border Collie German Shepherd, as this has deboned chicken as one of the main ingredients and is packed with ingredients like Sweet Potatoes, Blueberries, Carrots, and Kelp and has no soy, wheat, or corn.

Wellness Core Dog Food
This dog food contains nutrients that are required for your Shollie. It has deboned white fish, salmon meal, deboned chicken, and flax seeds, an excellent source of omega-three fatty acids.

You can also choose other brands of dry dog foods but ensure that they are high quality.

Border Collie German Shepherd Living Condition

Shollies make great family companions. They have moderate to high resistance to both cold and hot climatic conditions. They are not ideal for apartment living as they need a lot of space to play around. Shollies are not suitable for families with small children. They are very protective and can sense anything strange around you.

Adding a Border Collie German Shepherd to Your Family

Things to Remember Before Breeding Border Collie German Shepherd

  • Shollies are easy to train due to their intelligence.
  • They shed very heavily.
  • They are not suitable for a family with little children since they can hurt them.
  • Ensure you meet the parents and check for their health tests, temperaments.
  • Early socialization can give you a lovely companion for a lifetime.

Cost of a Border Collie German Shepherd Puppy

The cost of a Border Collie German Shepherd is $450 – $950. Depending upon the breeder, the cost may vary. 

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Other Border Collie Mixes

  • Afghan Collie
  • Border Malamute Collie
  • Ski-Border
  • Border Heeler
  • Border-Aussie
  • Border Beagle
  • Bordernese
  • Border Collie Britt
  • Border Collie Cocker
  • Bodacion
  • English Borsetter Collie
  • Border Springer
  • Giant Border Schnollie
  • Golden Border Retriever
  • Border Collie Pyrenees
  • Italian Border Greyollie
  • Border Jack
  • Border Stack
  • Borador
  • Border Collie Lakeland
  • Miniature Border Schnollie
  • Border Newfie
  • Border Collie Pit
  • Border Point
  • Border Pom
  • Bordoodle
  • Border Collie Bernard
  • Border Schnollie
  • Border Sheepdog
  • Border Collie Bull Staffy
  • Standard Border Schnollie
  • Borgi

Other German Shepherd Mixes

  • Airedale Shepherd
  • Akita Shepherd
  • Alaskan Shepherd
  • American Bulldog Shepherd
  • German Anatolian Shepherd
  • Cattle Shepherd
  • German Australian Shepherd
  • Basset Shepherd
  • Beagle Shepherd
  • German Malinois
  • Tervard
  • Euro Mountain Sheparnese
  • Boxer Shepherd
  • Bullmastiff Shepherd
  • Chow Shepherd
  • Shollie
  • Corman Shepherd
  • Doberman Shepherd
  • Spanierd
  • Frenchie Shepherd
  • Dane Shepherd
  • Germanees
  • Greyhound Shepherd
  • Golden Shepherd
  • German Sheprador
  • Sheptese
  • Mastiff Shepherd
  • Min Pin Shepherd
  • Native American Village Dog
  • New Shep
  • Patterdale Shepherd
  • Shepherd Pit
  • Shug
  • Redbone Shepherd
  • Rhodesian Shepherd
  • Rottie Shepherd
  • Saint Shepherd
  • Shepherd Pei
  • Sheltie Shepherd
  • Gerberian Shepsky
  • Shepadoodle
  • Weimshepherd
  • German Yorkie Shepherd

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