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Shollie (German Shepherd & Border Collie Mix): Pictures, Guide, Info, & Care!

Written by: Oliver Jones

Last Updated on May 3, 2024 by Dogster Team

german shepherd and border collie mix breed

Shollie (German Shepherd & Border Collie Mix): Pictures, Guide, Info, & Care!

German Shepherd and Border Collie mixes are commonly called Shollies. Shollies are incredibly playful dogs that are protective of their owners and owners’ children. They are well suited to those who love to get out of the house. They prefer to run around outside rather than enjoy a lazy day at home since they can get stir-crazy.

Breed Overview


21–29 inches


60–80 pounds


10 –15 years


White, Black, Golden, Brown

Suitable for:

Families, those leading an active life


Loyal, protective, loving, playful, energetic, smart

Shollies are a hybrid of a purebred German Shepherd and a purebred Border Collie. They can display characteristics of both of their parents, especially in terms of loyalty and intelligence. The German Shepherd has origins in the 19th century in Germany. Though originally bred for herding livestock and sheep, their primary vocational track today seems to be in military and police forces.

Border Collies come from a region in Scotland near the border of England, hence the name “Border” Collie. These dogs are used in many parts of the world, even to this day, to herd sheep. They are well-reputed as one of the most intelligent breeds. Stanley Coren states they are the most intelligent and places German Shepherds in the number 3 spot. The devoted nature and intelligence of the German Shepherd and the Border Collie are inherited by their Shollies.

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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German Shepherd Collie Mix Puppies

If you’re looking for a German Shepherd Collie mix through a breeder, make sure to ask all of the necessary questions to be sure that they are ethically breeding the pups. If you check with your local humane society or animal shelter, you may find a few Shollies who are looking for a home.

When you bring a Shollie home, it’s best to have all the essentials beforehand, such as high-quality puppy food, treats, toys, a dog bed, blankets, and a puppy collar. Since Shollies are energetic, be prepared for a lot of playtime and training sessions.

Image Credit: Left-  Pixabay| Right – Lucia Horvath Photography, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the German Shepherd Collie Mix

In addition to being among the most energetic of dogs, the Shollie is also incredibly intelligent. German Shepherds are well known for their skills in search and rescue operations and security services. They can also sniff out drugs and explosive devices.  Border Collies are also incredibly bright and spirited and require regular mental stimulation.

You cannot coop up your Shollie for too long. They need regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. In addition to daily walks and play sessions, you can play hide and seek or organize a scavenger hunt. Stimulating games are vital for working dogs, and since their parents are athletic, Shollies often excel at canine sports.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Shollies are great family companions, but they prefer their inner circle. They are generally cautious and protective when strangers are around and can be slow to warm up to unfamiliar faces. They do well around children in general, but you should still keep an eye on their play since they like to roughhouse.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽 

Around other dogs, Shollies can be territorial and aggressive but not out of control. Since they are playful, some naturally energetic behavior can be mistaken for fighting. If they’re puppies when raised around other pets, they can tolerate them.


Things to Know When Owning a German Shepherd Collie Mix:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

You need to know what kind of food is best for Shollies. Many dog owners, by default, feed their pets dry food, which is okay if it’s a high-quality formula designed for active breeds. You can also give them a combination of wet and dry food and occasional treats. Depending on their size and energy level, they may eat up to 3 cups or more of dry food every day. However, your vet can help you determine the correct portions and recommend nutritious brands.

Exercise 🐕

If you’re the type of person who has always had a difficult time finding someone who can keep pace with you, then look no further! The Shollie is sure to match or exceed your energy level. They’ll need at least 1½ hours of daily exercise. Whether walking, letting them run in a dog park, or playing fetch, you need to make sure that they get fresh air and exercise.

Since the Shollie’s parents are working dogs, they love to run and need a large fenced-in yard to roam freely.

Training 🎾

Their combination of loyalty and intelligence helps them form attachments and learn commands from their owners. One of the best parts of their personality also doubles as a challenge in training them: their energy level. They can be noisy pups, but you can reduce their barking and their instinct to herd with consistent training.

Shollies are more suitable for experienced dog owners who are used to training energetic canines, and it’s best to start their training when they’re young.

Grooming ✂️

Shollies shed quite a bit throughout the year. If you want to make sure that their coat shines and is healthy, brush every day. Unless they wear them down more by running on hard pavement, make sure that you trim them every couple of weeks. Checking their ears regularly is also crucial to prevent infections and determine when they need to be cleaned.

To keep their teeth healthy, Shollies need to have their teeth brushed at least a few times a week. Taking your pup to the groomer about once a month is a great way to ensure that you are covering all your bases when it comes to hygiene.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Shollies are usually very healthy. Their potential health issues include digestive problems and joint issues like hip dysplasia, which are both inherited from the Border Collie and German Shepherd. Given that the average life expectancy of a medium-sized dog is around 11 years, the Shollie’s longevity is impressive, especially given that they can weigh up to 80 pounds (larger dogs tend to live shorter lives). Some Shollies can live 15 years or more.

Minor Conditions
  • Bloat
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Eye problems
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Pancreatic acinar atrophy (PAA)
  • Epilepsy
  • Osteochondritis dissecans

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Male vs. Female

In general, the male Shollies are larger than the females. Some males can be more aggressive and energetic, even into older age. The females mature faster, just like other dog breeds. However, if you spay or neuter your pup, they’re less likely to display undesirable behaviors, like marking.

3 Little-Known Facts About the German Shepherd Collie Mix

1. They Are Star Athletes

Not only is the Shollie cute, but they’re also athletic. Whether the sport is weight-pulling or Canicross, your Shollie is sure to be focused on winning!

2. Shollies Can Take After Either Parent

As a crossbreed, the Shollie comes from the German Shepherd and the Border Collie. Some Shollies are larger and resemble the German Shepherd, while the others resemble the Collie and are smaller—even as little as 40 pounds! However, most of them resemble the German Shepherd. In addition to the size differences, Shollies can have a wide array of patterns and colors.

3. Shollies Need Space

If you are living in an apartment but are dead set on getting a Shollie, you need to pack your things and move to a bigger house. They need space to run around. If they are cooped up for too long, they can start trouble and destroy your house. Let these pups run, and they’ll thank you for it!


Final Thoughts

If you are the type of person who can’t sit still and needs a lot of activity to keep from going crazy, a German Shepherd Border Collie mix might be right for you. You need to set aside a decent amount of time while they are still pups to train them. But it will pay off in the end when you and your family enjoy fun years with your Shollie. They’ll be sure to keep you on your toes and amplify the excitement of any of your excursions, whether to the grocery store or the beach.

There are lots more German Shepherd Mixes in our guide! Or, you might be interested in these great Border Collie names!

Featured Image Credit: MR Foto, Shutterstock

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