Over the last year, I’ve had several people either tell me how beautiful Lola the Destroyer is or offer to buy her. I get it, she is a beautiful dog. She has some of the best features of both her breeds (Collie & German Shepherd).
When she was younger, everyone thought she was a pure German Shepherd. She had all the dominate black markings of a German Shepherd and a crisp tan color to go with it. However, as she grew up, she lost most of the black and grew a reddish coat with some white, blond, and black here and there (her tail is still a tale-tell sign of the German Shepherd in her).
She’s a medium sized dog, more the height of a collie than a German Shepherd. She’s sixty pounds, which is a good size for her height, but it’s almost all muscle. We’ve tried to put a little more fat one her at the vet’s request because her hip bones are not nearly padded enough. It’s bad enough that she doesn’t like to sit. She’ll do it on the couch or in a chair, but on the floor or outside, she prefers to lay down.
For me, the surprising part really is the number of people that ask if she’s for sale. She isn’t, just FYI. I could have sold her more than two dozen times in the last 13 months. I always tell people that no, she isn’t for sale and that she isn’t a purebred anything. Most people can guess the German Shepherd bloodline, but I have to tell them about the collie. This has never dissuaded anyone from trying to buy her.
But it also made me realize there is a market for dogs like Lola. Both collies and German shepherds have good traits and bad traits. Lola is my proof of it. I buy her toys, mostly plushies, because that’s what she likes, but she is incredibly destructive. Of course, both collies and German shepherds are destructive dogs in general. Having “games” for her helps, not just physical activities, but treat dispensers that she has to figure out; mazes, the bottle spin, the cups in the paws, etc. Most of the time, I can just fill those bad boys with plain old dog food and she’ll play with until it’s empty and then want to play some more. When she gets full, she will continue to dispense the stuff out of it and just not eat it (which is kind of a pain in the ass).
She has the protective instincts of both dogs and the gentle nature of both. During the day, she is a different dog than she is at night. During the day, if someone she knows comes up to me, she’s fine. If someone she doesn’t know comes up to me, she becomes very protective. However, at night, if it isn’t my SO, mom, nephews, nieces, or great nephew, the person better acknowledge her as knowing her. Best example; my neighbor pets her and they generally get along. He came home late one night and I had Lola outside. He got out of his car and Lola went into protective mode. She was barking, growling, and snarling at him. Once he said “Hi Lola,” she stopped. She still watched him walk into his house. She knew exactly who it was, but because he had come home so much later than normal and I was outside with her, her instincts were to protect me in case he turned out to be a threat.
Her herding instincts are strong. We have a friend who has a toddler. Lola loved playing with him the one time she met him, but she also made sure that he stayed within a small area. If he started trying to wander out of that circle, she would begin to move around him, nudging him back to where she thought he belonged (which was surprisingly close to mommy and daddy). My nephew has a goldendoodle. The first couple of times, Nani the Goldendoodle was here with Jude the Great Nephew, Lola would herd Nani away from the baby. Now that she understands Nani isn’t a threat to Jude, she’s fine with Nani being around him. But that took a handful of visits.
She loves children. I do mean loves them. She would rather play with a four year old child than any dog. They can pull on her, tug on her, poke her, smother her, bite her, and she just takes it, usually while licking them. She has also figured out that Jude laughs when she gently rubs her front teeth along the soles of his feet and his fingers. She doesn’t bite and she doesn’t put the appendage beyond her lps, but she makes this cute little face and acts like she’s nibbling on him. The first couple of times it happened, I was a little worried. Collies have been known to be biters, especially when they are jealous of the attention they aren’t getting. However, once I started to really watch what she was doing, because it usually made Jude laugh, I realized she had found a way to tickle him. She seems to understand that his laughing means he’s happy. The other day, he managed to grab her eyelid and pull. I expected that to not go over well, she doesn’t like to let me brush her for heaven’s sake and he was literally pulling her eyelid away from her eye. But she just leaned in and started licking his neck. Jude will even reach out for her sometimes. That makes her very happy.
What was the point? Oh, yes, Lola is intelligent, protective, loyal, medium sized (but she can outmatch dogs twice her size), and beautiful. It makes me wonder if there is actually a niche for a collie/German shepherd hybrid, like a Goldendoodle or a Peekapoo or a Puggle. Of course, that bloodline won’t start with her. She’s been spayed, because I have no desire to deal with difficult pregnancies that result in horrible things happening to the mommy dog. However, with the number of people trying to buy her, I think a hybrid of these two breeds would sell well…