The appearance and personality of a mixed breed dog is a bit tricky to predict. It mostly depends on which parent it will take after, and in what proportion. Which is why responsible dog breeders only recommend the crossing of any 2 breeds that are closest to each other in terms of size, temperament, personality, history, and overall health.
The offspring born as a result of this is bound to borrow traits from both parents, though the proportion cannot be determined. Since both, the Collie and Shepherd are herding dogs, their offspring is, as expected, protective, athletic, and a little reserved.
To be able to determine the personality of a crossbreed, one needs to be acquainted with the traits of both parents. Introducing, the German Shepherd and the Border Collie.
► GSDs carry a stellar reputation of being among the world's best working dogs. You'll find large numbers of these dogs serving in the army, police force, anti-terrorism squads, anti-narcotic squads, SAR operations, and as therapy dogs.
► Once they're familiar with their family, they are instinctively drawn to children, and are known to be very gentle and protective, being natural herders.
► GS dogs are extremely loyal to their family, and perform very well as guards. They never think twice before leaping to their family's rescue during perilous situations.
► Their high level of intelligence, coupled with their eagerness to learn makes them easy to train; however the training needs to be efficient and persistent, as these smart dogs can easily get the better of you.
► They have an air of maturity and sobriety, and lack the goofiness of some smaller breeds. That said, they are very playful and athletic, and love spending time in the outdoors.
► A dog with this level of intelligence and physical strength needs a lot of exercise―both mental and physical.
► Border Collies were originally bred to be farmhands, which should tell you a lot about their temperament. These dogs tend to be tenacious, hardworking, and possess high levels of energy.
► Collies are herders by instinct, and are thus very disciplined. Living with a family, they exhibit the same qualities, and therefore, should only be allowed to interact with older and more responsible children.
► Collies need a lot of exercise, and a regular walk does not suffice. Though not too big in size, these dogs thrive in the outdoors, and should not be left in the house (especially not in an apartment) for extended hours.
► These dogs are happiest when they have a 'job' to do, therefore, it is necessary to keep them occupied for most part of the day.
► They can get very cranky and destructive if left alone for long periods in enclosed spaces. Thus, Collies are not meant to be apartment dogs for professionals.
► Overall, Collies are healthy, athletic, loving, and highly intelligent. They are a bit suspicious to begin with, but bond really well once they begin to trust an individual.
► This particular breed has no dearth of energy, they're bursting with enthusiasm at all times, considering that they get this quality from both parents.
► Your Collie-Shepherd is most likely to pick discipline from the former, and a protective instinct from the latter.
► This dog is bound to be very sharp, possessing a keen sense of intelligence, as both parents are known to be on top of their game, be it guarding, herding, or SAR operations.
► Your dog will need to be socialized since puppyhood, as she will tend to be a bit suspicious of strangers. She will look up to a human as her pack leader, so this member needs to be firm and efficient.
► If you already have other small pets or are planning to get one, you have to train your Collie-Shepherd mix to interact with them. Collies are not too fond of having other small animals too close to them, and may try to overpower them. Therefore, proper training and socialization is of utmost importance since puppyhood.
► This dog loves to play―this includes running, climbing, and of course, playing fetch. It is a great pet for people who love the outdoors and have a large yard for the dog to roam around. Their energy levels are extremely high, so be prepared to spend a good couple of hours in the morning and evening to exhaust them.
► Being born of intelligent parents, this crossbreed also requires a lot of mental stimulation. Therefore, engage him with an interesting game like a treasure hunt to keep him occupied. Boredom does not bode well with this dog, and he will get seriously cranky.
► Describing their appearance can be tricky, as mentioned earlier, as they can take after any parent when it comes to physical characteristics. In most cases, these dogs tend to look more like the German Shepherd, with the characteristic tan coat with the black saddle. However, they may inherit the Collie's floppy, furry ears, which gives them a much softer look than the rather serious-looking Shepherd.