If you decide to have a designer dog breed instead of a purebred dog, you must find out as much as possible to determine if it is the right option for you. Designer dog breeds usually have a combination of the physical traits and characteristics of both parent breeds. While many of the traits they inherit are appealing, they can sometimes inherit some less desirable characteristics. One designer dog breed that shares traits from both parents is the Shollie, and here are 20 things that you might not know about the Shollie to help you decide if it is the best designer breed for you.
1. One Parent is a German Shepherd
One of the purebred parents of a Shollie is the German Shepherd. As its name suggests, this dog breed originates in Germany, and it is also known as an Alsatian. Originally, German Shepherds were bred in the 1800sfor the sole purpose of sheep herding. However, they have since taken on multiple working roles. They are one of the preferred breeds for police and military dogs due to their size, intelligence, and excellent sense of smell.
2. The Other Parent is a Border Collie
The Shollie’s other purebred parent is the Border Collie. Like the German Shepherd, Border Collies were also bred to support agricultural work, such as sheep and cattle herding. They were given their name because they originate from the area surrounding the border between England and Scotland. To this day, the Border Collie is the favored breed of farmers in the UK who need working dogs. However, they are also a popular companion breed amongst those who do not live on farms.
3. Shollies Are Not Recognized by the American Kennel Club
Although both the German Shepherd and the Border Collie are breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), this organization does not recognize the Shollie as an official breed. It is because the Shollie is a designer breed that they do not accept the breed onto their register. Due to the lack of recognition, Shollies cannot enter any competitions or events hosted by the AKC. Over time, the AKC has begun to accept some designer breeds, so it is possible that they may include Shollies in the future.
4. It is Recognized by the Dog Registry of America
While Shollies are not recognized by the American Kennel Club, it does not mean that other organizations do not recognize them. One organization that recognizes the Shollie as a breed is the Dog Registry of America. Shollies are also recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club. Therefore, you can register your Shollie with these organizations, and your dog can take part in any events or competitions they host.
5. Their Appearance is More Like a German Shepherd Than a Border Collie
Designer dog breeds usually have a good mix of the physical traits of both parent breeds. However, Pet Gear Lab says that is not the case with the Shollie. This designer breed inherits most of its physical traits from the German Shepherd parent, so its appearance is similar to that of a German Shepherd with very few physical traits inherited from the Border Collie parent. One difference between the Shollie and a German Shepherd is that the Shollie usually has a less bushy tail than a German Shepherd.
6. They Are a Medium-Large Dog Breed
The Shollie is classed as a medium-large dog. The height of a Shollie can vary depending on the genes they inherit from the parent breed. However, they tend to veer more towards the German Shepherd’s height, which is the larger of the parent breeds. For some dog breeds, gender can also impact the height of the dog, but that is not the case with Shollies. Both male and female Shollies will grow to a height of between 21-inches and 29-inches.
7. A Shollie Can Weigh Up to 80 Pounds
A Shollie’s weight can also vary, and it depends on many factors. These include the physical traits the dog inherits, its diet, and its activity levels. To make sure your dog stays within a healthy weight range, you should make sure they eat a healthy and balanced diet and that you exercise your dog regularly. If you do not feed your Shollie a healthy diet or make sure it gets enough exercise, there is an increased risk of obesity. In turn, this can increase the risk of serious health conditions, including diabetes, heart conditions, and joint problems. One factor that can impact some breeds’ healthy weight range is gender, but there is no difference in the weight ranges of male and female Shollies. Most Shollies weigh between 70 pounds and 80 pounds.
8. They Are Highly Intelligent Dogs
German Shepherds and Border Collies are two of the most intelligent dog breeds. One positive characteristic that is passed from both parents to a Shollie is intelligence. Their intelligence means that they are easy to train, and you can teach them a wide range of tricks and skills.
9. The Shollie is Also an Affectionate and Loyal Breed
Intelligence is not the only trait that makes a Shollie a fantastic pet. Once your Shollie has got to know its family, you will find that it is very loyal. They are an affectionate breed that enjoys spending time with their humans, and they appreciate lots of interaction and stroking. The Shollie is also fiercely protective of its home and family, so they make excellent guard or watchdogs.
10. They Are Suitable for Various Working Roles
Both German Shepherds and Border Collies are excellent working dogs due to their hardy nature and intelligence. As the Shollie is also an intelligent and hardy breed, it also means they are suitable for a wide range of working roles in various sectors, including security, military, emergency services, and agriculture.
11. Shollies Are Very Active Dogs
Both German Shepherds and Border Collies have high energy levels, and this means they are both active dogs. The energy levels and activity needs are traits that the Shollie inherits from both parents. Therefore, your Shollie will need a lot of exercise, which will involve you taking them for a long walk every day. Ideally, they need an hour or more of exercise each day. It is a big commitment on your part, in terms of both time and effort. If you cannot commit the time or effort to walk your dog every day, then a Shollie is not the breed for you.
12. They Need a Varied Exercise Routine
Although long walks are an essential element of your Shollie’s exercise routine, it is vital to include a wide range of other activities. Remember, the routine not only needs to meet their physical needs but also to give them mental stimulation and fun. Some of the activities that most Shollies love include swimming, ball games, and agility training. Try to add as much variety to their routine as possible.
13. Early Training is Essential
Although training Shollies is usually easy due to their intelligence inherited from both parent breeds, it is essential that training starts early. One negative characteristic that a Shollie may inherit from its German Shepherd parent is a tendency for aggression. It is a trait that you should discourage from the start. Early training that includes socialization with both people and animals can help to reduce the risk of your Shollie becoming aggressive.
14. The Shollie Is Known to Shed
One of the negative traits of Shollies is that they are known to shed. Therefore, you will need to groom your Shollie regularly to get rid of excess hair and to help your dog maintain a healthy coat and skin. It is recommended that you brush your Shollie every day. Due to their shedding, the Shollie is not the best option for those who suffer from allergies. The shedding also means you will need to clean the dog hair from around your home regularly. If you do not mind the cleaning, do not have allergies, and are willing to commit to a daily grooming routine, then the shedding is not an issue.
15. Most Have a Tan and Black Coat
In most cases, a Shollie will have a tan and black coat similar to that of a standard German Shepherd. However, there are other colors of Shollie available. Some other color variations you may find include white, cream, yellow, brown, or black. Many have two colors in their coat. In most cases, their coat is medium length, but there are some Shollies with shorter or longer hair. Usually, a Shollie has a black nose, but their eye color can vary.
16. The Shollie Is Not Suitable for Apartment-Living
The size and physical needs of the Shollie mean they are not ideally suited to life in an apartment. They need space to run around and play, and most apartments do not have sufficient space to allow a Shollie to exercise properly. The best environment for this dog breed is a home with a large garden or land surrounding the property, as this will help them to fulfill their daily exercise quota and allow them to have lots of fun running around.
17. Shollies Are Good Family Pets
If you have children in your household, it is vital that you carefully consider the breed you choose to make sure you opt for one that is good with children. According to Wag Walking, Shollies are a good option for families with older children due to their affectionate, loyal, protective, and playful nature. However, they are not necessarily suitable for households with small children. Due to their size and energy levels, they can unintentionally knock over or injure younger children. If you have small children and decide to get a Shollie, you should supervise their early interactions carefully and spend time making sure both the dog and the children understand the boundaries.
18. The Shollie Usually Gets Along Well with Other Animals
It is equally as crucial that you carefully consider your choice of dog breed if you already have animals living in your home. While some breeds get along well with other animals, other dogs are better-suited to being the only pet in the household. Fortunately, most Shollies get along well with other dogs, and most are also happy to live with animals of other species. However, it is always best to supervise early interactions with any animals, just to be on the safe side. Also, you have a better chance of Shollie living in harmony with other animals if you include socialization in their training from an early age.
19. There Are Some Health Conditions Associated with This Dog Breed
It is difficult to predict whether a dog will remain healthy throughout their life, and there are many conditions that occur for no known reason. However, the genetic makeup of a dog can mean they are more likely to develop certain conditions, especially if the conditions are known to affect one of the parent breeds of the designer breed. Some conditions linked to Shollies include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and bloat, says Dog Time. The Shollie is prone to overheating in hot weather. Therefore, you should make sure your dog has a shaded place to lie in hot weather, and always ensure they have plenty of fresh water.
20. Shollies Can Live for Up to 15 Years
Typically, a Shollie will live for between 12 and 15 years. However, the lifespan of a Shollie can vary from one dog to the next. To improve the chances of your Shollie living a full and happy life, you should make sure they eat a healthy diet and get enough exercise to meet their physical needs. You should also take them for regular check-ups, especially if you notice any symptoms that are out of the ordinary.