German Shepherd Mix

Canis lupus

Last updated: January 15, 2023
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
©

These German shepherd mixes require a lot of mental stimulation; if they don't get it, they can become destructive.

German Shepherd Mix Scientific Classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Mammalia
Order
Carnivora
Family
Canidae
Genus
Canis
Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

German Shepherd Mix Locations

German Shepherd Mix Locations

German Shepherd Mix Facts

Name Of Young
Puppy
Group Behavior
  • Social
Fun Fact
These German shepherd mixes require a lot of mental stimulation; if they don't get it, they can become destructive.
Gestation Period
58-68 days
Litter Size
5-9 puppies
Diet
Omnivore
Lifestyle
  • Diurnal
Common Name
Shollie
Origin
United States

German Shepherd Mix Physical Characteristics

Color
  • Brown
  • Black
  • White
  • Tan
Skin Type
Fur
Height
21-29 inches
Age of Sexual Maturity
6-9 months
Age of Weaning
6 weeks
Aggression
Medium

German Shepherd Mix as a Pet:

General Health
Energy Level
Shedability
Trainability
Intelligence
Tendency to Chew
Size
Family and kid friendliness
Yappiness / Barking
Moderate
Separation Anxiety
High
Preferred Temperature
Average climate
Exercise Needs
High
Friendly With Other Dogs
High
Pure bred cost to own
$450-$950
Dog group
Non-sporting
Male weight
60-80 lbs
Female weight
60-80 lbs

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German Shepherds are largely considered some of the most intelligent, lovable, and loyal canines in the world. Due to their fierce loyalty and athletic frame, they make ideal guard dogs. However, most people keep them as companions because of their love for people and children.

While it’s hard to beat the German shepherd in looks and personality, some great mixes are available. By crossbreeding these dogs, you can create a hybrid with specific traits and eliminate some of the health concerns plaguing the German shepherd.

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This article will focus on the shollie (German shepherd and collie mix), but first, take a look at some other popular German shepherd mixes.

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Types of German Shepherd Mixes

German shepherds are adorable, especially with their large ears! However, when combining them with other breeds often creates something even more special. So, here are three of the most popular German shepherd mixes:

Siberian Shepherd (Siberian Husky and German Shepherd Mix)

Siberian shepherd puppy
Siberian shepherds are s combination of a Siberian Husky and a German Shepherd.

©kitty/Shutterstock.com

Siberian shepherds could inherit traits from either parent, so yes, they can have those icy blue eyes, but it really is the luck of the draw. However, traits they always tend to inherit are an athletic build and playful nature. Furthermore, these dogs are also hard workers and thrive when they have a job to keep them busy.

Shepkita (German Shepherd and Akita)

Shepkita isolated
Shepkitas are a cross between an Akita and a German shepherd.

©Eric Isselee/Shutterstock.com

Health and Entertainment for your German Shepherd Mix

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The shepkita is a combination of a Siberian husky and a German shepherd. This breed is an ideal family pet due to its high tolerance and patience threshold. Therefore, they are perfect companions for young children. However, training might be a challenge, thanks to their stubborn streak. But, the shepkita is still very loving and attentive.

Shug (German Shepherd and Pug Mix)

Shug in the snow
Shugs are a cross between a German shepherd and a pug.

©Brandin/Shutterstock.com

One of the most adorable dog breeds out there is the pug. Combining these two dogs results in an athletic, intelligent, and cute hybrid. They are perfect for owners looking for an easy-to-train and alert guard dog. However, when it comes to size, the shug could go either way. While they will never be as small as the pug, they rarely grow to the size of a German shepherd, which means this hybrid is usually a medium-sized dog.

Pros and Cons of Owning a German Shepherd Mix

ProsCons
Shollies are fiercely loyal to their ownersCan become unsettled if they are not stimulated enough
They are an intelligent breedSuffers from separation anxiety if left alone, which can result in destructive behavior
Does not bark a lot and is easily trainedNot suited to apartment living, and can wonder if allowed

The Best Dog Food for a German Shepherd Mix

Feeding your shollie high-quality dog food is essential. However, people don’t know that most kibble is filled with grain and carbs that are not good for your dog’s health. So instead, feeding them a protein-rich option is ideal. But this does not mean you have to opt for a raw diet; there is kibble that contains high amounts of protein. For example, when looking at the ingredient label, if meat is not the first ingredient listed, it is not a protein-rich dog food. Additionally, you can add supplements to their diet or small bits of chicken, lamb, beef, or fish.

German Shepherd Mix Size and Weight

This German shepherd mix can widely vary in weight and size, as they can take after either parent. Therefore their height ranges from 21 to 29 inches, and they can weigh between 60 to 80 pounds.

A beautiful old, German Shepherd - Border Collie Mix breed dog, Shollie, is sitting outside in the deciduous forest, listening with his ears perked up.
A beautiful shollie is sitting outside in the deciduous forest, listening with his ears perked up.

©Christin Lola/Shutterstock.com

German Shepherd Mix Common Health Issues

While the shollie is relatively healthy, it is possible to inherit some hereditary conditions from either parent breed. But since it is the perfect combination of both breeds, it is hard to say what disease it might be susceptible to. However, in most cases, shollies are healthier than their parents, but it is always best to be on the lookout for the following conditions:

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Hip and elbow dysplasia is common in both the German shepherd and the collie. This disease occurs when the hip or elbow socket forms abnormally and the joint doesn’t fit into it properly, causing the ligaments to weaken. Unfortunately, this is very painful for your pup and will continue to wear and tear, especially in an active dog. Eventually, one or both hips degenerate, causing more pain and limiting mobility. Sadly, even if caught early, it still leads to other complications like osteoarthritis, arthritis, and severe pain.

Symptoms of hip dysplasia include appearing stiff when trying to stand up or while walking, reluctance to get up when called, and a change in their usual walking style. Unfortunately, this condition can occur in the puppy stage or later in life as they age.

Unfortunately, there is no way to cure hip dysplasia in dogs, but it is manageable by using anti-inflammatories prescribed by a vet. In addition, owners need to keep their pooches from jumping up on them or the furniture. Instead, buy or build a ramp for your shollie. Furthermore, slipping or falling can also cause extensive damage to their hips, so maybe put some carpet on your wood or tile flooring to avoid any accidents.

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat)

Bloat often occurs in large, deep-chested dogs and is usually passed on to their hybrid offspring. So, if your shollie likes to gobble large amounts of food and drinks water immediately afterward, you need to find a way to stop them. Additionally, eating too close to exercising can also cause this condition. You can deter your pup from eating too quickly with a slow-feeding dog bowl or only feeding small quantities throughout the day. Gastric dilatation-volvulus is caused by excess gas, fluid, and foam buildup in the stomach. Unfortunately, if the dog cannot pass this gas, the stomach starts to twist, which reduces blood flow to the rest of the body, including the heart, and is fatal.

Symptoms of this condition include a bloated stomach and unproductive retching as the dog cannot pass the gas and excess food in its stomach. Additionally, your German shepherd mix might become listless and uncomfortable, and their heart rate will accelerate. Getting them to a vet as soon as possible is crucial when this happens.

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI)

Another genetic disease seen in these crossbreeds is exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, where insufficient enzymes are produced in the pancreas, causing food absorption and digestion to be compromised as a result.

This condition’s symptoms include deterioration, lack of appetite, change in stool consistency, weight loss, and excess gas. However, you can only identify this condition via blood tests, and it can be cured with replacement enzyme food supplements.

Shollie can also be prone to other health issues, including:

  • Epilepsy
  • Eye problems like cataracts and collie eye anomaly
  • Skin allergies that cause itchiness

Life Expectancy

Shollies can live long and healthy lives if cared for properly. In fact, this hybrid has a lifespan of 10 to 15 years!

German Shepherd Mix Temperament

Shollies are very similar to their parents as they are incredibly energetic and highly intelligent. In addition, they inherit the German shepherd’s acute sense of smell, making them perfect candidates for police or security services. Their sharp minds inherited from the collie make them easy to train but a pain to keep busy. These dogs require a lot of mental stimulation; if they don’t get it, they can become destructive. Additionally, they need just as much physical stimulation as they are highly active dogs. Besides their daily walks, interactive games like fetch or a scavenger hunt will suffice.

How to Take Care of a German Shepherd Mix

Taking care of your shollie can be time-consuming, as they require regular grooming, exercise, and attention. So, if you are hardly ever home, this is not the German shepherd mix for you.

Grooming

The shollie is a heavy shedder throughout most of the year. So, to ensure their coat remains healthy and soft, they need a good brush at least once a day, but if you can squeeze another grooming session in each day, it would be beneficial.

Bathing should only be an option when they are filthy or really stinky, as you don’t want to wash their natural oils away, which keeps their skin moisturized and healthy.

Lastly, owners need to take their shollies to a professional to get their nails clipped, and ears cleaned every three months. Unfortunately, doing it yourself could be harmful to your furry friend.

Training

Shollies are the perfect students to train because they are intelligent and eager to please their owners. Teaching them new commands and tricks will be a breeze! Additionally, they will learn even faster with a little bit of positive reinforcement. But, owners must refrain from yelling or using punishments during training, as the shollie responds negatively to these dated techniques.

Exercise

Shollies, like their parents, have copious amounts of energy and will need a lot of exercise to keep them busy and healthy. They need at least 2 hours of active play, walking, running, or hiking daily to meet their high-energy needs. So, they will need two walks a day minimum, which means this isn’t the best dog for seniors who are inactive individuals. Instead, they need a family who loves being outdoors and staying active.

Puppies

This German shepherd mix can have 5 to 9 puppies per litter. These adorable pups are a handful and full of mischief, so if you do not have time to supervise them, your house might end up looking like a warzone. It might be hard to find a shollie breeder in your area, as there are not many of them, so you can try enquiring with German shepherd or collie rescues, as they sometimes save these hybrids.

German Shepherd Mix and Children

The Shollie is an excellent companion for children. These hybrids are fiercely protective of their loved ones but enjoy playing and goofing around with the kids. However, they need early socialization and training if they are around many children and other animals.

German Shepherd Mix Cost

The cost of a shollie varies from $450 to $950, depending on its pedigree, breeder, and location. Always ensure to use a reputable breeder, as puppy mills and pet stores do not screen for hereditary diseases, and chances are high that your pup will be sickly.

Dogs similar to the German Shepherd Mix

  • Lucy
  • Nova
  • Bailey
  • Lola
  • Daisy
  • Charlie
  • Jax
  • Thor
  • Leo
  • Milo
  • Lily
  • Jack
  • Ace
  • Buddy

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About the Author

I am a 33-year-old creative and professional writer from South Africa. Wildlife is one of my greatest passions and led me to become the writer I am today. I was very blessed to work with an abundance of wildlife (mainly big cats) and captured my unique experiences in writing. But I wanted to take it further, and I ventured into the freelancing world. Now, I get to spend my days writing about animals; what could be better?

German Shepherd Mix FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is the best German Shepherd mix?

Shollies (German shepherd and collie mix) are very similar to their parents as they are incredibly energetic and highly intelligent. In addition, they inherit the German shepherd’s acute sense of smell, making them perfect candidates for police or security services. Their sharp minds inherited from the collie make them easy to train but a pain to keep busy.

Is a German Shepard a good family pet?

Yes, while they might seem intimidating, these dogs are actually loving, affectionate, and devoted to their loved ones.

Are German Shepherds OK to be left alone?

German Shepherds should not be on their own for more than 8 hours a day.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Sources
  1. Pet Keen, Available here: https://petkeen.com/german-shepherd-mixes/
  2. Hepper, Available here: https://www.hepper.com/shollie/

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