King Shepherd Dog Breed Health, Temperament, Training, Feeding and Grooming - PetGuide (2023)

King Shepherd Dog Breed Health, Temperament, Training, Feeding and Grooming - PetGuide (1)

About King Shepherd


90-150 lb


10-11 years


not applicable

Best Suited For

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Singles and families with children and other pets living in a house with a yard


Intelligent, eager to please, energetic, protective, loyal, loving, playful

Comparable Breeds

German Shepherd, Shiloh Shepherd


25-29 inches

King Shepherd Dog Breed Health, Temperament, Training, Feeding and Grooming - PetGuide (2)

King Shepherd Basics

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Are you in search of a big dog that will always be at your side, ready to protect you and love you forever? Then look no further than the King Shepherd, which is the attractive combination of the German Shepherd and the Shiloh Shepherd. These regal-looking canines are fiercely loyal to their owners, and while they are quite protective of them, they are not aggressive. Intelligent and sweet, King Shepherd is suitable for families with children, or other pets in the household- as long as they are socialized on time.

Combining the intelligence, confident demeanor, and the well-adjusted personality of the parental breeds into one, King Shepherd has a lot to offer to a variety of prospective owners. If you are looking for a kind and strong companion for your children, this hybrid can fulfill that role. Want a devoted, affectionate companion for yourself? No problem! In addition to being a loyal and loving pet, King Shepherd also excels in working positions. These Shepherds make great search and rescue dogs, police dogs, and guide dogs- they’re smart and highly trainable.

There’s no doubt that King Shepherd is an overachiever- it seems like these dogs do great in all aspects. But, these dogs do have special requirements, and you should learn more about them before introducing one to your family. To find out more about these stunning dogs, read on!

Intelligent and sweet, King Shepherd is suitable for families with children, or other pets in the household


King Shepherd Dog Breed Health, Temperament, Training, Feeding and Grooming - PetGuide (3)

Usually, when it comes to designer dogs, there’s not much to go on from. A good chunk of the popular hybrid breeds also existed before they were dubbed ‘designer dogs’, but in the form of accidentally produced mixed litters of purebred dogs. This makes it hard to know about the origin of the breed in most cases- but King Shepherd is different.

A breed that’s unique in all of its aspects, King Shepherd is a designer dog breed from the United States. When these dogs were developed, there was a clear goal and strategy on how to best achieve it through selective crossbreeding. American breeders David Turkheimer and Shelley Watts-Cross first developed the breed in the 1990s.

The original intent of the breeder duo was to produce a German Shepherd mix that would possess far fewer genetic health issues and at the same time elevate the best qualities of the breed to an even higher level. Knowing what we know about German Shepherds, it’s clear that this task wasn’t an easy one- but King Shepherd owners all over the worlds seem to think that their pets do fill those big shoes. And a more detailed look into the pedigree of these dogs reveals a lot about why this is the case- a refined breeding process made the King Shepherd breed what it is today.


King Shepherd is a cross between a purebred German Shepherd Dog and Shiloh Shepherd. The Shiloh Shepherd is a hybrid breed itself, developed by crossing German Shepherds to Alaskan Malamutes. So, in a sense, King Shepherd is two thirds a German Shepherd and one third an Alaskan Malamute, but the process was a bit more complex than that. To achieve the desired traits and looks, Turkheimer and Watts-Cross also used longhaired German Shepherds from European lines. In addition to influencing the look of their coat, these European-bred dogs also minimized the risk of diseases that come with highly inbred lines.

The impressive crossbreed offspring that was the result of these efforts quickly won over many hearts in the world of canine lovers. Unfortunately, despite the breed’s many amazing qualities, King Shepherd is not recognized by the American Kennel Club or any of the major international canine organizations. The newness and rarity of these dogs definitely play a role in that- hopefully, this will change in the near future. Until then, though, King Shepherd puppies won’t have official pedigree papers.

Food / Diet

To keep your dog in the best shape possible, purchase a high quality canine-appropriate food that doesn’t contain artificial ingredients. There are a variety of brands that you can choose from, and you can even talk to your veterinarian about feeding your dog a raw diet or a homemade diet instead.

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If you are going to feed your King Shepherd a dry dog food, you can give him anywhere from 3-4 cups of food every day, but split this amount up into at least two meals. Your dog may need more or less food depending upon his age and activity level, so always talk to your veterinarian if you have any questions.

If you plan on adding wet dog food into your King Shepherd’s diet, it’s a good idea to reduce the amount of dry food that you’re feeding. In this way, your dog will still get the nutrition that he needs without overeating and gaining too much weight along the way.

Because King Shepherds are highly intelligent, training your pet will be a pleasure.


Because King Shepherds are highly intelligent, training your pet will be a pleasure. Your dog will be eager to follow your commands in order to please you, especially if you use a positive, consistent, and firm approach. Start training your King Shepherd from an early age to ensure your dog will learn all of the rules and will grow up to be a fantastic family pet.


A large to giant-sized breed, the King Shepherd weighs between 90 and 150 pounds.


King Shepherd Dog Breed Health, Temperament, Training, Feeding and Grooming - PetGuide (4)

King Shepherds are hard working canines that have a wonderful personality. They are loyal, loving, and protective. And if you’re hoping to introduce a dog who will get along well with your kids and other pets, the King Shepherd will not disappoint.

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If you want a watchdog, the King Shepherd is a great choice, but these pooches are also kind, playful, and gentle with those they love.

Common Health Problems

As is the case with all other hybrid canine breeds, the King Shepherd might be susceptible to the health conditions that commonly affect its parent breeds. However, hybrid dogs can be surprisingly healthy and hardy, and you simply can’t predict an individual dog’s long-term health. Therefore, being aware of what to look out for, and working closely with your vet, will ensure you are able to give your pet the best care possible.

King Shepherds may be prone to conditions that include Von Willebrand’s disease, hypothyroidism, joint dysplasia, eye issues, degenerative myelopathy, allergies, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, thrombopathia, and bloat.

Life Expectancy

The King Shepherd has an average lifespan of 10 to 11 years.

Exercise Requirements

Because the King Shepherd is a large breed, you will need to find time to exercise your dog every day. These canines thrive on physical and mental stimulation, and they have a lot of energy. They do best in homes with yards where they can run around and play off-leash, and they should have toys to play with while they are indoors as well.

Use a combination of games, training, and outdoor activities to keep your King Shepherd active and healthy. Going for jogs or long walks, as well as hiking or bicycling, are great options. The key is to ensure your dog gets enough exercise to release his energy so he doesn’t become restless and potentially destructive. If you are not an active person, the King Shepherd isn’t the best choice for your lifestyle.

King Shepherds are hard working canines that have a wonderful personality.

Recognized Clubs

The King Shepherd is recognized by the American King Shepherd Club (AKSC), the American Pet Registry, Inc. (APRI), the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA), the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA), the Eastern Rare Breed Dog Club (ERBDC), the States Kennel Club (SKC), and the World Wide Kennel Club (WWKC).


Because these dogs shed quite a bit, you will have to brush their coat several times a week- if not daily. Regular brushing will help keep the coat smooth, clean, and healthy, and it can help minimize shedding to keep as much fur off of your furniture as possible.


You should treat your King Shepherd puppy with care, as they can get hurt easily while they are small. Supervise any time that your puppy spends playing with small children.

Training and socializing your puppy from a young age will help him grow up to be a confident adult dog who is comfortable around a variety of people and animals. These smart dogs will enjoy training, so take advantage of that to teach your dog how to behave and do tricks.

Photo credit: Campbell/Flickr; Val/Flickr; Wigzi Pets/Flickr

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What is the temperament of a King Shepherd? ›

Despite their large stature and somewhat imposing appearance, King Shepherds are usually very friendly. These dogs are usually very calm and sweet with their owners. King Shepherds are also loyal and protective of their family members—but not aggressive—making them the perfect pet for the right owners.

What are the standards for King Shepherds? ›

SIZE The minimum height for males is 27 inches, at the highest point of the shoulder blade, with an ideal height of 29 inches or more preferred. For females the minimum height is 25 inches, at the aforementioned point, with an ideal height of 27 inches or more preferred.

What two breeds make a King Shepherd? ›

The King Shepherd is a combination of several possible breeds but must include the German Shepherd. Most often, they are blended with the Alaskan Malamute and/or Great Pyrenees, and some older lines trace back to the Akita.

What is the life expectancy of a King Shepherd dog? ›

King Shepherds can live a generally healthy life of up to 11 years on average. While breeders have worked hard to eliminate health risks that are present in German Shepherds, there are still a few conditions that this breed is prone to. The most common health conditions to be aware of include: Hip and elbow dysplasia.

Are king shepherds calmer than German shepherds? ›

While it will always depend on the way a dog is raised or trained, most king shepherds are more docile and loving when compared to the protective nature of German shepherds. In contrast, German shepherds are ideal watchdogs and protectors.

Are king shepherds good for first time owners? ›

King shepherds are good dogs for new owners. We recommend King shepherds for new dog owners because of their calm temperament, lack of barking, and intelligence. These dogs are smart enough to learn most tricks quickly, and they don't have aggressive tendencies or the desire to bark at everything they see.

What do you feed a King Shepherd? ›

A raw food diet aims to replicate what dogs evolved to eat in the wild. As such, meat, bone, offal and a small amount of plant ingredients are all important ingredients in the diet of a King Shepherd, each adding highly beneficial vitamins and minerals to meal times.

Can king shepherds be AKC registered? ›

The king shepherd was bred nearly 90 years after the German shepherd was first recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1908. The AKC still doesn't recognize the king shepherd as a purebred dog.

Are king shepherds good protection dogs? ›

King Shepherd Temperament

They do have a natural protective streak and can be easily trained to do protection and guarding work, but due to their friendly nature and stable temperaments, they are equally talented as therapy dogs.

What is the most holy dog breed? ›

About the Breed

The Tibetan Terrier, 'Holy Dog of Tibet,' is an ancient watchdog and companion long associated with Buddhist monasteries.

How do you tell if my dog is a King Shepherd? ›

The head of a King Shepherd should be proportionate to their body, and you should also notice that, between their eyes, their head is fairly wide. Examine the dog's ears. King Shepherds should have medium-sized, high-set, thick, pointed ears that have a base which is relatively wide.

What is the strongest Shepherd dog? ›

"The Kangal Shepherd is a Turkish breed of dog that is known for its large size and impressive strength. With a bite force of 743 PSI, this breed is the undisputed king of the canine world when it comes to raw power.

What is the top speed of a King Shepherd? ›

Top Speed: 45 mph

A highly energetic breed, it comes as no surprise that their legs can carry them as fast as 45 miles per hour.

How much money does a King Shepherd cost? ›

King Shepherd litters are usually between six and ten King Shepherd puppies. They sell in the USA for between $1500 and $2500. With this kind of investment, you want to make sure you're dealing with a reputable breeder as they sure don't come cheap!

Is a King Shepherd bigger than a wolf? ›

King Shepherd vs Wolf: Weight

King Shepherd males are 110 to 145 pounds, with King Shepherd females between 80 and 110 pounds. Male wolves in Alaska often weigh between 100 and 110 pounds as adults, while females tend to be smaller at around 90 pounds.

What is the smartest shepherd? ›

Australian Shepherds are known to be one of the most intelligent dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club, and are renown for their obedience, agility, and excellence in herding and other active sports.

What is the calmest German Shepherd? ›

West-German Working Line

This breed makes for excellent pets because they tend to stay calm around new people and animals. That means they are fairly easy to train and are usually very receptive to the process.

Which is bigger a King Shepherd or a Shiloh shepherd? ›

King Shepherd males must be at least 27 inches tall at the shoulders and King's Shepherd females should be 25 inches tall at the shoulders. Shiloh Shepherds The minimal height at the withers for females is 26 inches and for males, it is 28 inches.

Do German shepherds pick one owner? ›

German Shepherds will generally attach themselves to one person in the family, but they can still be a good family dog. Although they have their fair share of behavioral issues, these generally stem from a lack of leadership on the part of their pet parents.

What is a king German shepherds bite force? ›

German Shepherd (238 PSI)

The German Shepherd's strong bite is vital because of its powerful jaw and muscular build. German Shepherds are also known for their loyalty, intelligence, and trainability.

Do king shepherds have a high prey drive? ›

As a shepherd breed, these dogs don't have a particularly pronounced prey drive. So, with the right socialization, they can even get along with cats and other pets.

What foods do German Shepherds love? ›

German shepherds eat high-quality commercial dog food, a variety of meats such as chicken, well-cooked pork, beef, and eggs, and plants like vegetables and grains. German shepherds are not very picky about the foods that they eat. In fact, it's fair to say that many dogs of this breed are motivated by food.

What is shepherd favorite food? ›

German Shepherd dogs most enjoy and like to eat chicken, fish, beef, dry dog food (granules), eggs, carrot, and turkey.

Does AKC certified mean purebred? ›

The American Kennel Club, a not-for-profit organization, is the nation's oldest, largest, and most esteemed purebred dog registry. The AKC Mission Statement: The American Kennel Club is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its Registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function.

What is the smartest dog? ›

1. Border collie. According to The Intelligence of Dogs, which ranks 131 dog breeds in terms of their relative intelligence, the border collie is the smartest dog breed known to man.

What colors are king shepherds? ›

The King Shepherd comes in a wide range of acceptable colors. These are as follows: sable (brownish tan with brown or black markings, or grayish silver with black markings); black saddle with tan, gold, cream, tan or silver markings. Strong, rich colors and pigments are highly preferred.

What is the most powerful American dog? ›

With a name sounding close to “massive” and a body size matching that term, the Mastiff is top of the list among the world's strongest dogs. Most of this breed outweigh a fully grown adult male. They stand up to 30 inches at the shoulder and weigh an incredible 230 pounds.

Are Shepherd dogs loyal? ›

GSDs provide constant companionship

In truth, German Shepherd owners are never lonely because their loyal canines are always by their side. Although GSDs are sometimes slow to warm to strangers, they are gentle and loving with their families.

Is a German Shepherd more powerful than a pitbull? ›

A German shepherd packs a stronger bite of 238 psi, while a pitbull has a slightly lower bite strength of 235 psi. Pulling strength is one area in which the pitbull beats the GSDs. Even now, pit bulls dominate the pulling competition.

Which dog is the king of all dogs? ›

Hungarian dog breeds – komondor, the king of dogs.

What is the rarest shepherd? ›

The rarest color of German Shepherd is the isabella due to the recessive combination of liver and blue.

What dog is bigger then a wolf? ›

The Irish Wolfhound grows larger than the wolf in both height and weight, given the fact that it was bred to hunt wolves.

What is the most aggressive Shepherd? ›

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are often bred to be working dogs by the military and law enforcement. These dogs are intelligent and powerful, and they're fiercely protective and devoted to their humans. As a result, they may harass strangers that they perceive as possible threats.

Is A German Shepherd stronger than a King Shepherd? ›

Not only are King Shepherds bigger than German Shepherds but they are also more heavily muscled and stronger. The German Shepherd weighs 48 to 90 pounds (22 to 40 kilograms). King Shepherd males weigh between 130 and 150 pounds (59 to 68 kg).

What is the toughest meanest dog? ›

Some of the toughest dog breeds are also the hardest to train, including Rottweilers, Siberian huskies, and American pit bull terriers. What's the most aggressive dog breed? Some of the most aggressive breeds include German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Dobermans, and American pit bull terriers.

Are king shepherds bigger than German Shepherds? ›

German Shepherd: Health

However, king shepherds are also larger, and larger dogs tend to have shorter life expectancies than smaller dogs. Still, in spite of their large size, king shepherds do have longer lifespans (10-11 years) than German shepherds (7-10 years).

Are king shepherds bigger than Shiloh shepherds? ›

Kings are generally the same size as Shilohs; their breed standard puts them at slightly shorter on average, but heavier. They are predominantly long-haired; though the standard permits a smooth coat, they are very rare.

What is stronger a pitbull or a German Shepherd? ›

A German shepherd packs a stronger bite of 238 psi, while a pitbull has a slightly lower bite strength of 235 psi. Pulling strength is one area in which the pitbull beats the GSDs. Even now, pit bulls dominate the pulling competition.

What is a better dog than a German Shepherd? ›

The Belgian Malinois seems to be the healthier of the two breeds, primarily prone to dysplasia in the joints and eye issues, though they can also suffer from allergies. Their overall health makes them more ideal than German Shepherds for police and military work as well.

How much is a King Shepherd worth? ›

The King Shepherd is still a rare breed, and as such there are few reputable breeders around, however as they are becoming increasingly popular, they are also high in demand. Because of this, the average price of a puppy will start from around $1,500.


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