- Height: Up to 24 inches
- Weight: 50-75 lb
- Lifespan: 12-15 years
- Group: not applicable
- Best Suited For: service dogs, families with children, houses with yards, farms, active singles
- Temperament: Friendly, watchful, eager, loving
- Comparable Breeds: Golden Retriever, Collie
Gollie pups bring together the best of both worlds: the sweet, playful disposition of Golden Retriever with the Collie’s intelligence and obedient nature. Blending together these two breeds means you’ll be getting an adorable dog who is full of energy even when they are well into their senior years.
Mild-mannered and patient, Gollies are known to be great family dogs, which isn’t too surprising considering Golden Retrievers are some of the most popular family pooches around. A Gollie’s soft mouth, used long ago to gently carry their master’s prey in their mouth without damaging the goods, is also perfect when playing with kids of any age. Their eagerness to please comes from their Golden Retriever side, but they also take from their Collie parents by being excellent watchdogs to protect their home and the ones they love. However, they will do this with a mere couple of barks and little else. As soon as the stranger makes themselves known, they are more likely to die of a Gollie’s incessant kisses than their bites!
The Gollie are wonderful family pets who will lick every member of your family from head to toe if you let them.
Designer dog breeds are becoming more popular as breeders purposely match two different breeds to create a new one that has both of their characteristics – the Gollie is yet another example of this. While not much is known about the Gollie’s origin, we do know about how the Collie and Golden Retriever’s past.
Collies originated from Scotland, where they were used as farm sheepdogs – that is to say that they used to herd the sheep to wherever they needed to go. When Queen Victoria visited the Scottish highlands in 1860, she fell in love with the breed and their popularity grew until they made their way to the United States. Today, Collies are mostly used as companion dogs as well as service dogs who work not only with the disabled but also with the police and armed forces.
Interestingly enough, the Golden Retriever also originated in Scotland. However, they were used mostly to hunt and retrieve small animals during hunting trips rather than herding animals like the Collie. They even developed water-repellent oats and webbed feet to help them retriever waterfowl. Today, they are one of the most popular family-friendly dogs around.
Food / Diet
The Gollie is a rather high-energy dog, so we recommend purchasing a dry, high-quality kibble to give them the necessary vitamins and nutrients they need to be active for as many years as they can – 2 1/2 to 3 cups divided between two meals should be enough. They also have a tendency to get a little chubbier than other dogs, so be careful not to overfeed them or give them too many treats.
Gollies are always full of energy from the moment they learn how to walk to well into their older years, so getting plenty of outdoor time is essential.
The Gollie’s eagerness to please will make them an excellent pooch to train. They listen well to commands and will most likely catch on to performing commands and tricks faster than most dogs who require a lot of repetition. Always reward the good behavior with a small treat (or even a piece of their kibble), and you’ll get the Gollie on the right track to roll over, sit and fetch in no time.
A medium to large-sized dog, the Gollie will weigh 50-75 pounds.
Temperament / Behavior
Gollies are wonderful family pets who will lick every member of your family from head to toe if you let them. They are great with kids who are very tolerant of their grubby hands digging into their fur or just laying on top of them (which, due to their long, soft fur, probably mimics a super-soft pillow!). Should your child decide to stick their hands in this dog’s mouth, they will most likely do nothing (thanks to their soft mouth) or begin licking them to death.
Gollies are protective of their family members and so they will let out the occasional bark or two to newcomers or when they hear a knock at the door. But rather than be wary of them, Gollies will no doubt trot right up to the stranger and after a sniff or two, become their new best friend.
Not unlike Golden Retrievers, this designer dog breed also makes for an excellent service dog because of their friendly nature and ease of training. They can easily be taught to pick items up, open doors and anything else they need to do for a disabled person, veteran or retired senior. This also makes them great dogs to have in the police or armed forces, serving as courier dogs and sentries.
Common Health Problems
Both the Collie and Golden Retriever are prone so some serious health issues. Common ailments that affect the Golden Retriever include cataracts, elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, skin allergies and heart disease. Collies can suffer from Progressive Retinal Atrophy, gastric torsion neutropenia, dermatomyositis and arthritis. Both breeds are susceptible to hip dysplasia. Knowing the signs of these conditions is key to getting them to the veterinarian as soon as possible to diagnose and treat the issue.
The Gollie can live anywhere from 12 to 15 years.
These dogs are always full of energy from the moment they learn how to walk to well into their older years, so getting plenty of outdoor time is essential. While they have a moderate tolerance to living in apartment, a larger home is recommended. If you don’t have a fenced yard to set your Gollie loose and let them have some fun in the sun, be sure to take them on daily walks with plenty of playtime in between. If you socialize them when they are puppies, they will be absolute joys to take to the dog park to interact with all their four-legged friends.
Gollies listen well to commands and will most likely catch on to performing tricks faster than most dogs.
The Gollie is not recognized by the American Kennel Club, as it is considered to be a hybrid breed. However, this breed is recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), the Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC), Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA), International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR, which recognizes this breed as a Golden Collie) and Designer Breed Registry (DBR).
Expect this dog breed to shed regularly, so daily grooming is required to keep as much fur out of your home as possible. Groom them outside so the wind can carry those stray hairs out of sight and out of mind. The length varies, but it is usually relatively long and can come in a variety of different colors such as black, brown, cream, golden, white, yellow and can come in two colors (black and tan) or even tricolors. Should your Gollie love to run around in the dirt, be sure to up the amount of baths per month however if they mostly stay out a trouble, one bath per 2-3 months should be just fine.
As with all small pups, always be watchful when small children are playing with them to ensure the dog’s well-being.
Photo credit: E Hoffmann/Bigstock; SFA Design/BIgstock; UTurnPix/Bigstock