If you’re interested in owning a mixed breed dog, you may want to consider the intelligent, beautiful German Shepherd Collie mix, which is sometimes referred to as a Shollie. With high energy and plenty of smarts, it’s easy to see why this hybrid dog has become quite popular. These fun loving dogs can be a great addition to your active family. However, before you decide to choose these hybrid dogs, take a closer look at their history, temperament, appearance, health concerns, and grooming requirements.
Origin and History
While it’s thought that the German Shepherd Collie mix was probably created in the last couple of decades, no one is quite sure when the hybrid was first created. It’s also unclear who, where, and why it was created. Although we don’t know a lot about the Shollie history, we do know a bit more about the history of the parent breeds, which can be helpful.
The Collie was originally bred to be a working dog that helped drive and herd various types of livestock to market. Although it’s not clear when exactly the breed was created, it’s thought that the breed showed up with the Romans when they arrived at the British Isles around 2,000 years ago. The breed as we know it today probably had its origins in Northern England and Scotland. It wasn’t until the 19th century that breeders and dog fanciers began to keep records on the breed. In the 1870s, the first Collies showed up within the United States, and in 1886, the Collie Clue of America was first formed. Later the rough collie would become extremely popular in the United States when a collie was chosen to be the star of the well-known “Lassie” movies.
Started in Germany, the German Shepherd was specifically developed for help with sheep herding back in the 1800s. Later in 1899, the German Shepherd Dog Club of Germany would get its start. Later, in 1913, after these dogs were imported to the United States, the German Shepherd Dog Club of America was first started. Throughout the first and second World Wars, German Shepherds were largely used by the military to perform a variety of different tasks. These dogs became particularly popular within the United States after World War II, since some soldiers brought these dogs home with them after the war was over.
Your German Shepherd Collie mix will be a large dog, weighing in at between 70 and 80 pounds. The males usually range between 27 and 29 inches tall, while the females usually stand at between 21 and 25 inches tall. These dogs have beautiful, thick, long coats, and the coats usually shed twice a year. The Shollie can come in many different colors, such as light brown, brown and white, golden, and black and white. However, in many cases, they have the black and brown markings that the German Shepherd coat usually has.
German Shepherd Collie Mix Temperament
Since both the Collie and the German Shepherd are extremely intelligent, you can be sure that your German Shepherd Collie mix is going to be a very smart dog that is eager to learn. These dogs are very protective of the people they love, but they show great gentleness with their family members, making them excellent dogs for the family. Shollie dogs have a loving nature, but they are full of energy, so they need to be in a home where they get enough attention and exercise. These dogs won’t do well in an apartment environment. They need to have plenty of room to run and play, and you’ll want to make sure they get a couple of walks or runs each day to use up all that energy.
Your German Shepherd Collie mix will have a long, thick coat, so you will need to brush them regularly. They shed twice each year, and during shedding times, you’ll need to make sure that you brush them every day. These dogs can be bathed as needed and they shouldn’t be over-bathed. Usually these dogs will wear down their nails on their own, but if they don’t, you’ll want to have their nails trimmed by a groomer from time to time. Their teeth should be brushed regularly and their ears should be cleaned and checked for problems weekly.
The German Shepherd Collie mix is extremely smart, so these dogs do well in working roles. They are excellent in work that requires quick obedience, such as military work or police work.
Collies usually live longer than German Shepherds, but you can probably expect your German Shepherd Collie mix to have an average life expectancy of somewhere between 10 and 15 years. In most cases, hybrid dogs are healthier than both of the parent breeds and have fewer health concerns. However, they do have the potential to end up with some of the health issues of the parents. Some potential health concerns that may affect the German Shepherd Collie mix include:
- Mitral dysplasia
- Tricuspid dysplasia
- Immune mediated thrombocytopenia
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Aortic stenosis
- Pituitary dwarfism
- Footpad disorders
- Myasthenia gravis
- Persistent right aortic arch
- Cushing’s disease
- Glycogen storage disease
- Nasal cavity tumors
- Cherry eye
- Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency
- Hip dysplasia
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Congenital ectopic ureters
- Elbow luxation
- Skin disorders
- Immune mediated hemolytic anemia
- Eye and eyelid disorders
- Congenital deafness