King Shepherd – Full Breed Profile

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Are you a German Shepherd fan? If so, you will love King Shepherd, an equally powerful and fascinating breed. This article provides all information that you need on this breed.
Dog Breed Group:
Hybrid Dogs
25 to 31 inches
75 to 150 pounds
Life Span:
10 to 11 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

King Shepherd is one of the most recent breeds created.

This shepherd dog was developed in the 1990s by Shelley Watts-Cross and David Turkheimer in the States.

They had one goal – to create a dog similar to a German Shepherd in appearance, but larger.

The result was King Shepherd, a powerful dog that resembles the well-known German Shepherd a lot.

King Shepherd is confident, muscular, and calm. King Shepherds are friendly dogs who tend to be reserved toward strangers.

They can perform a variety of tasks, from guarding, to personal protection, to therapy work.

Like with any dog proper socialization and early training is a must if you want a well-behaved dog.

This is even more needed when the dog is large and powerful physically, as King Shepherd is.

Quick Facts

Real name: King Shepherd
Origin: United States
Breed type: Hybrid Dogs
Weight: 75 to 150 pounds
Height: 25 to 31 inches
Lifespan: 10 – 11 years
Litter Size: 6 to 10 puppies
Color: Wide range of acceptable colors
Coat: Two coat varieties: coarse-haired, which is straight, and longhaired, which is light and wavy

King Shepherd History

What is the first image that comes to your mind when you hear the term ‘designer dogs?’

You are probably fast to think about the small size, white dogs who are carried around in big purses, right?

Although this is common, the truth is that they can be massive as well.

The big and powerful King Shepherd is a ‘designer breed’ as well. They are large and rugged-looking.

This breed was created sometime during the 1990s when breeders wanted to introduce the world to a new breed.

Their goal was to create a powerful breed like a German Shepherd, but with fewer health issues than the famous German Shepherd.

David Turkheimer and Shelley Watts-Cross are the breeders responsible for creating powerful King Shepherd.

Initially, they first bred a German Shepherd with a Shiloh Shepherd.

Shiloh Shepherd is another hybrid breed that is a mix between German Shepherd and Alaskan Malamute.

To get that long-haired look they wanted in breed, they had to involve long-haired German Shepherds from European lineages.

European lineages only add up to the appearance of the breed. This addition enabled long and beautiful coats and boosted genetic variation.

As such, their risk of certain genetic issues was significantly reduced.

Since this is a relatively new breed, they’re yet to be recognized by the American Kennel Club.

However, they are recognized by other respective bodies, such as American Rare Breed Association (ARBA) and World Wide Kennel Club (WWKC).

Other smaller organizations also recognized this breed, although they’re not so frequently seen in American homes today.

King Shepherd Physical Appearance

King Shepherd is a big and powerful dog. This is a large breed with strong bones and deep chests. They stand between 25 to 31 inches and can weigh up to 150 pounds.

Females are usually smaller than males, although they have a similar life span, regardless of sex.

These dogs are well-muscled and slightly longer than tall. Their skull is well-defined with a square shape and a well-balanced square muzzle.

Underjaw is strong, their eyes are almond-shaped, and they always have a very keen expression.

Ears are large and triangular, like in German Shepherds. They are always carried erect and open to the front.

Edges of the ears are heavily furred, while the nose is black and large in color.

Their coat is quite similar to those in German Shepher, which means one thing for sure – shedding will be often.

German Shepherd is known as one of the heaviest shedders in the canine world.

King Shepherds tend to have heavy and dense medium-length coats, with a feathering appearance. Is a King Shepherd bigger than a German Shepherd?

Let’s see what the numbers have to say:

  • German Shepherd: height is 1 foot, 10 inches to 2 feet, 2 inches tall at the shoulder; weight is between 75 to 95 pounds
  • King Shepherd: height is 25 to 31 inches; weight is between 75 to 150 pounds

So… Which is a bigger King Shepherd or a German Shepherd? It is fair to say that King Shepherd is slightly bigger than a German Shepherd.

For more comparison on these two breeds use this compare dog breeds tool.

This tool should also help you realize which is better German Shepherd or King Shepherd for your lifestyle.

The coat color may vary, and go from red, black, brown, fawn, or sable.

The coat is also a combination of two or more of these colors. As a common rule, King Shepherd will inherit the coat color of the German Shepherd parent.

Docked tails are common, while the paws are round and short. Overall, King Shepherd gives the appearance of a powerful and well-designed dog.

King Shepherd Personality

King Shepherds are confident dogs. This is something that no one can argue with. They are strong and independent, and they know how to fit in any environment.

King Shepherds are far from being shy dogs, but they will be wary of strangers just a bit.

They will be highly affectionate and gentle with their family members.

Still, their interaction with smaller children and other dogs should be closely observed.

Children should be educated on how to behave around dogs safely, and why they should respect their space, habits, and bodies.

Dogs shouldn’t ever be pulled for their tails, or ears, or touched when eating or drinking.

It’s also important for a dog not to be disturbed while resting or sleeping in his space, such as a crate.

King Shepherds are loving, loyal, and calm dogs who love to be next to their humans.

They are hard workers, and they love when there is a job to be done.

These large dogs cannot move away from their shepherd instincts, so make sure that walks are always on a leash. This way you will keep everyone safe and your King Sheperd well-behaved.

King Shepherds are easier to praise, which is why training sessions should be fun and well-structured. This breed will be highly protective of their property, people, and children.

Are King Shepherds As Smart As German Shepherds?

It is well-known that German Shepherd is one of the smartest dog breeds alive.

As a mix of German Shepherd, King Shepherd is an equally intelligent breed.

These dogs are versatile and can do several different jobs. Plus, they get along nicely with other dogs which makes them great pack addition.

Overall – What is the temperament of a King Shepherd? King Shepherds should be calm, loyal, and friendly dogs toward people and other animals.

This large dog should have a strong need to protect when is his, which makes him a great protection dog.

They should be protective, but never aggressive. Still, they are not recommended for first time dog owners, but only for experienced dog owners, who know their way around large dogs.

Living With King Shepherd – What To Expect

Having a large size dog comes with many perks, including more love.

Large-size dogs are great for protection, keeping possible intruders away, and overall providing that feeling of security.

Large dogs also tend to take in more space and demand more investment when it comes to dog nutritional and veterinarian bills along the way.

Large size dogs also take more living space.

To keep the dog happy and healthy, you need to think about his space.

He needs to have enough space to chill, move around, and run – this is why the backyard is great for active dogs, such as King Shepherd.

Simply said, your King Shepherd will need space. This isn’t a breed for small apartments and extremely busy city areas, even if you have a larger living space.

To keep your King Shepherd happy and active, you should provide a big backyard or a bigger nearby park for dogs.

King Shepherd Training

Just like German Shepherds, King Shepherds are highly intelligent dogs.

As such they will enjoy spending time with humans, having a job to do, and being awarded treats afterward.

Dogs love being busy, and mental stimulation is important to them. To nurture these needs providing regular training is a great way to do so.

Make training sessions regular, fun, and engaging. Make sure that you pack the best treats.

The biggest issue with highly intelligent dog breeds is that they tend to become bored easily.

As such, it’s crucial to keep training interesting.

Training starts as soon as you bring your King Shepherd home. Dogs are more than capable of mastering basic commands at eight weeks of age.

Use that period to introduce early socialization, proper training structure, and the best treats. No dog should ever be trained via negative training methods.

Always choose to practice positive reinforcement methods to keep your dog mentally happy and physically fit.

Never use negative training methods to force dogs to do something. This applies to dogs of any size and breed.

If you feel like you need additional support during the training process, think about hiring a dog trainer. This way you will let your dog learn from an experienced handler.

Plus, you can always attend classes together. This can be a fun and engaging activity to do together, and bond even further.

King Shepherd Exercise Needs

Large-size dogs are usually packed with huge energy levels. This breed is no exception.

After all, King Shepherd comes with German Shepherd genes, and everyone knows that this is one of the fittest breeds alive.

Have you heard that saying – a tired dog is a happy dog? If yes, you know that dogs who are not exercised properly tend to become bored.

When bored, dogs can do the goofiest things.

In most cases, they will show massive signs of destructive behavior that will strongly affect your relationship.

How much exercise does King Shepherd needs? King Shepherds need one to two hours of medium-intensity exercise on daily basis. This should be limited to 20 to 30 minutes if your King Shepherd is a puppy.

Overall, this breed is packed with energy and they thrive on the right mental stimulation and physical movement.

King Shepherd isn’t as active as Border Collie Mix Lab for example, but they will need weekly around 14 miles of walking, and 60 minutes of walk every day.

German Shepherds are known for having joint issues later on in life, and similar problems may appear in King Shepherd, as well.

This is why regular exercise is even more important when you are dealing with this breed.

Provide walks, jogging, and swimming if your King Shepherd is up for it. If you are heading on hikes, make sure that prepare your King Shepherd properly.

If your King Shepherd is just a puppy make sure that you know how to train him.

Talk to your veterinarian about the best exercises for your puppy. You don’t want to support any addicts or joint-related issues.

King Shepherd Grooming

King Shepherd will take your time when it comes to grooming.

After all, they are German Shepherd relatives, and every dog lover knows that German Shepherds are notorious when it comes to shedding.

Should you expect the same from your King Shepherd?

To know this, you should learn first about King Shepherd’s coat and how it’s designed.

King Shepherd has highly water-resistant and as such should be brushed regularly.

If you are not interested in regular brushing and it’s too much for you, King Shepherd isn’t the breed for you.

This breed will demand a fair amount of grooming, and you should be ready to answer that need.

Have the right grooming tools to keep that coat fresh, clean, and shiny. Use brushing time to connect with your dog and bond more. While brushing always search for any sign of skin infection and fleas.

Prevention is the best you can do to keep your dog’s health optimal.

Although this breed has a weather-resistant coat, you should force bathing.

Dogs have different skin opposite than humans and don’t require as much bathing as humans do.

When bathing make sure that you are using dog-friendly shampoo.

The rest is basic care. Learn how to clean a dog’s ears and search for any sign of an ear infection.

Check gums regularly and eyes. Promote teeth health by providing food that makes teeth stronger.

Prevention is the key when it comes to longevity in both dogs and humans. Make sure that you provide the necessary vaccines and regular veterinarian check-ups.

When owning this breed, everyday vacuuming and hair cleaning are a reality, so get used to it. It may be hard, but it will be worth it!

King Shepherd Health

Everyone can have some sort of health issues during life, both humans and animals.

Dogs are no exception, and King Shepherds are proof of this.

Overall, this is a healthy breed, but they may develop certain conditions along the way.

If treated right, feed properly, and exercised daily, this breed can live over 10 years on average.

Like many other mix-breeds, the popular King Shepherd may be prone to certain health issues.

This is a hybrid breed, which means that their genletics may protect them from certain disorders, but also can make them prone to certain conditions.

Still, it’s important to know about potential health problems, so you can protect your King Shepherd.

Here are some health problems that may affect your King Shepherd:

Where to buy King Shepherd? When it comes to buying King Shepherds puppies you should be careful.

Like with any other dog breed, you should aim to find reputable and responsible dog breeders. This is even more important when you want a rare breed, such as King Shepherd.

Always start with trusted clubs and check for breeders there. In this case, check the American King Shepherd Club.

How much is a King Shepherd? For King Shepherd puppies you can expect to pay $1,500 and $2,500. Bear in mind that prices will always change based on pedigree and availability.

King Shepherd – Conclusion

Before you welcome King Shepherd to your home, make sure that you’re truly ready to get a dog. Moreover, be more than 100% that you want this specific breed.

If you are not a big fan of regular and longer brushing then this breed isn’t for you.

On the other hand, if you are up for a large-size dog who isn’t afraid to protect you when needed, but still wants cuddles King Shepherd is definitely for you.

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