Affectionately called the Gollie, the Golden Retriever Border Collie Mix, sometimes known as a Golden Collie or Coltriever, is a mixed dog breed that combines intelligence, affection, and vigor. As a working dog, they tend to be playful buddies and yet pack a lot of cleverness, making them ideal for various professions and as home pets.
Are you curious about this breed? Let’s find out more about the Golden Retriever Border Collie and what makes them stand out from other crossbred dogs. We’ve put together an informative article to detail the history, appearance, temperament, health, and other aspects of the Gollie.
All dogs, including crossbred and hybrid dogs, have traits and specific needs to help them grow strong, healthy, and happy. We hope that this article will help you ultimately decide whether the Golden Retriever Border Collie is the dog for you (or not).
Meet the Parents
The parents of the Gollie are the sought-after Golden Retriever and the Border Collie. Here’s a history lesson of the two breeds:
Perhaps you’ve heard about the Golden Retriever even if you’re new to keeping dogs. These hunting companions were originally used to retrieve downed game but nowadays, they serve as assistants, rescue dogs, therapy dogs, and eventually, home pets.
Being one of the oldest dogs in history (dating back to the 1900s), the Golden Retriever was conceptualized and bred for Lord Tweedmouth from the Tweed water spaniel. The AKC recognized this breed older than most dog breeds out there – as early as 1925! The breed eventually became a hit in the 70s and has won the hearts of American homes ever since.
Yet another old-time favorite, the Border Collie has been around Scotland and England, specifically in Northumberland, giving its name (since that place is the border of the two aforementioned places). Queen Victoria was rumored to adore this breed a lot, which hints at its ancient roots.
Compared to the Golden Retriever, the Border Collie was meant to herd sheep and other livestock. This best explains the intelligence of the breed and thus, they were eventually made to become working dogs. With that said, they also make great family pets when properly socialized and trained.
Creation of the Gollie
Around the 80s, the Gollie’s popularity rose to the scene when designer dogs were starting to become a hit. As with nearly all designer dog breeds, there’s not much information about the Gollie’s history.
Combining two popular breeds, the Gollie turned out to be caring and loving dogs that have a passion for work. Like many designer dog breeds, the Coltrriever is not AKC-recognized so looking for breeders is a challenge.
Height: 19 to 24 inches
Weight: 45 to 75 pounds
A Golden Retriever Collie mix falls to the large breed category so they are usually okay for most families. However, keep this in mind if you have very young children or family members who tend to be scared of big dogs. Like with most breeds, you’ll find the female Gollie smaller than the males.
A Gollie will have a combination of coats or a dominant one. Among the colors that could appear in your puppy include gold, yellow, black, white, tan brown, and red. This assortment stems from the wide genetics of the Golden Retriever.
Their coat will have a wavy texture and have a medium length. This makes the Gollie an ideal pet for nearly all seasons (but you should still protect them from the elements to avoid getting sick). How a Gollie’s coat will look like depends on what their parents looked like.
Temperament and Behavior
So, how is the Gollie like? Let’s find out its key personality points:
A chill dog
You will find the Coltrriever an easy-going dog yet filled with love and passion. When you are chilling in front of the TV, they will most likely chill along with you. Moreover, due to their genetics stemming from the Golden Retriever, they might become extremely friendly – even towards strangers or intruders, so they might not pass for a guard dog.
An outdoor companion
Due to being a mixed breed, the Gollie is an outdoor-loving companion so be sure to prepare lots of time devoted to exercising them (or playing with them outdoors). They should be physically and mentally stimulated so that they will not get bored or destructive.
A good way to do this is to prepare an obstacle course for them – even just one that’s built inside your home. If you don’t have the time and skills to do so, you may also opt for mind-bending and stimulating dog toys to keep them busy, especially if you can’t always take them outside.
A slightly clingy dog
As with most high-energy breeds, always reserve time to bond with your Gollie and make sure they aren’t left alone for a long time. If you live in an apartment, this might not be the best choice unless you can spend a longer time with them through daily walks or jogging.
Another temperament issue to know about when it comes to the Colltriever is the clingy attitude. If you don’t put healthy boundaries with your dog, they will most likely become a problem.
Even though we mentioned above that Gollies don’t make great guard dogs, they could still become alert and bark at people they don’t know. This depends on how many Border Collie genes they have.
A smart dog
Gollies are known for high intelligence so they will do well with agility training. If you socialize them at a young age, you’ll find them easy to train and will follow most commands that you teach them. As with most dogs, always use positive reinforcements to avoid causing them to break down.
A shy puppy
There is a tendency for a Gollie to become socially-awkward at their younger age and that’s when early socialization comes in handy. Make sure they get plenty of outdoor exposure and meet different people to avoid or lessen this antisocial tendency. This will make them easier to train and pet not just for their owners but also for other people, especially if you intend it to be a family dog.
Training the Golden Retriever Collie Mix
If you want to effectively train your Gollie, the best way to do so is to begin obedience training during puppyhood. Since this dog breed may have clingy tendencies due to the Border Collie genes, it might develop herding behavior, which can be corrected with proper socialization and training.
Due to the intelligence gained from its parents, the Golden Retriever Collie Mix is typically trainable, especially when it comes to agility. Since they are open to different kinds of activities, make sure you create variations on your training schedule so that your dog doesn’t feel bored.
Caring for a Gollie
To maintain the health of your Golden Retriever Collie Mix, here’s a guide on feeding, exercising, and grooming this crossbreed:
A Gollie should have a lot of protein and fats in their daily meals. Added vitamins, minerals, and healthy carbohydrates are also going to help them to grow strong and healthy. Always find quality dog food and avoid brands that have too many fillers.
The Collie Retriever Mix has a big tendency to get bloated so always schedule your feeding. If you can’t always keep track of this, you may want to have an automatic dog feeder or dispenser, which has a timed or scheduled feeding mechanism.
As a large breed, the Gollie should be fed 4 times a day when they’re still puppies and use a slow transition to avoid digestive problems when moving to a different dog food brand (or formula).
When exercising your Golden Collie, building your obstacle courses at home will surely put a smile on their face. About 60 minutes of exercise a day is recommended for them since they are a vigorous and active breed.
If your dog gets bored with your routine, try mixing up your schedules and changing games as you see fit. You can also buy mind-stimulating games to help keep them busy if there are days you can’t take them outside to play (such as a rainy or snowy day).
Gollies are highly-shedding dogs so they are not the type you might consider if you have allergies or asthma. During the shedding season, prepare your cleaning tools and maintain a regular brushing and bathing schedule to avoid tangles and mats while also lessening the pet dander around the house.
A daily brush will help lessen the shedding but feel free to brush more than you should if the shedding season makes them drop more fur around the house.
Bathing should be done 1 to 2 times a month or as necessary to avoid drying out your dog’s skin. As with most dog breeds, you should use dog-specific shampoo. You can change the bathing frequency if your Gollie tends to go outside more often.
Due to the high likelihood of ear infections, a Gollie’s ears should be checked and cleaned as needed. Don’t hesitate to take them to the vet if you suspect that your dog has ear infections.
Aside from ear cleaning, other grooming activities, such as nail trimming and brushing teeth are important in your dog’s daily regimen. Trimming their nails should be done at least every 4 to 6 weeks or as needed.
It also helps if you start the grooming routines as early as puppyhood to avoid difficulty training them when they get older. After all, dogs could get scared of trimmers.
Health and Problems
A Gollie is susceptible to the following health conditions:
- cataracts and other eye problems
- hip dysplasia
- elbow dysplasia
- ear infections
- pigmentary uveitis
- dog cancer
- heart conditions
These conditions mostly come from their parents so you should ask your breeder or shelter/rescue about the health history of the dog before you take them home. In this way, you’ll know how to prevent or lessen the likelihood that your four-legged friend will have such health problems.
A good range of 12 to 15 years is the life expectancy of the Golden Collie. If you always consider weight management, proper training, healthy boundaries, plenty of exercises, and dedicated time bonding with the dog, your Gollie will most likely live longer than you think they should.
Is the Gollie a Family-Friendly Breed?
Yes, Gollies are generally good with kids and are affectionate with family members. Since they might become clingy when not trained properly, make sure that you establish healthy boundaries and discipline your dogs in the right way.
When playing with kids, always supervise them to avoid any untoward incident with your dog. With that said, you should also instruct and educate your children on the proper approach to a dog.
With that said, when it comes to other dogs and strangers, however, they might have some problems if you don’t socialize them early on. As we keep mentioning above, early socialization will lessen such awkwardness.
Finding a Golden Retriever Border Collie Mix
As with most designer breeds, the Gollie can either be adopted or obtained from a trusted breeder:
Looking for breeders
A Golden Collie is on the less expensive side of designer and mixed breeds, which makes them quite popular. Nonetheless, when looking for a breeder, always consider knowing the health history and meeting the parents to feel assured that your puppy is on the right track.
Adopt from shelters
Fortunately, there are a plethora of shelters that have Gollies in the United States. If you can’t easily find one, you may try contacting your local, regional, or national pet organization(s) for more information.
In the long run, the Gollie or Golden Collie will be a great dog for families and even if you live alone. They love to learn new tricks and will be loyal companions for life. Whether you’re new to keeping dogs or if you’ve trained a couple of canines in the past, the Golden Retriever Border Collie Mix is a great crossbreed to have.