King Shepherd: Your Complete Guide12 minutes
King shepherds are hybrid dogs. The breed consists of German shepherd ancestry but with a mixture of other breeds. Therefore, King shepherds are not purebred dogs. That said, they typically look similar to German shepherds and share their temperaments. Furthermore, King shepherds can come from many different breeds, so some of their traits differ based on the dog. For these reasons, it’s harder to predict how a King shepherd will behave.
Still, King shepherds are great dogs. Because they share qualities with German shepherds, they’re great guard dogs and even guide dogs. King shepherds are also social animals and get along with people and other animals. Plus, they’re fluffy and adorable companions that live long and healthy lives.
If you’re interested in adopting a King shepherd, you’re in the right place. We’re going to take you through everything you need to know about the King shepherd breed.
Quick Look at the King Shepherd
King shepherds all have German shepherd ancestry. Therefore, they share many of the same colors and personalities as German shepherds. That said, King shepherds are mixed breeds, so there are some variations to be aware of. Some quick facts about King shepherds are listed below.
|Weight/Height||2.5 to 3 feet tall, 90 to 150 pounds|
|Coat Type||Medium length and soft; colorful|
|Grooming Needs||Above average|
|Temperament||Intelligent, loyal, affectionate, relaxed, alert|
|Good With Kids||Yes|
|Good With Other Animals||Yes|
|Easy to Train||Yes|
|Barking Habits||Infrequent barker|
|Lifespan||11 to 13 years|
What Is the History of the King Shepherd?
King shepherds don’t have a lot of history because they’re a new breed. The King shepherd breed has only been around since the 1990s, which is recent compared to the lengthy history of the German shepherd. While King shepherds are a recognized breed, they’re still a work in progress. The first breeders (David Turkheimer and Sally Watts-Cross) are trying to make a breed that’s similar to German shepherds but with fewer health issues. The pair is also trying to make the dogs larger.
Some common dogs that are used to create King shepherds include the Akita, Alaskan Malamute, and Great Pyrenees. While David and Sally began working on the breed in the early 1990s, the breed did not become officially recognized until 1995. The breed became recognized because a King shepherd breeding club was established.
What Do King Shepherds Look Like?
King shepherds share many traits with German shepherds. Therefore, most King shepherds have a similar appearance to German shepherds. Still, there are some variations because King shepherds are a mixed breed. While their coats are similar, the biggest difference can be found in the size of the dogs. While German shepherds are large dogs, King shepherds are typically even larger and thicker. King shepherds were specifically bred this way to prevent some of the health issues that German shepherds face.
What Size Is a King Shepherd?
King shepherds are between 2.5 feet and 3 feet tall. When standing on their back legs, King shepherds can be about as tall as the average human female. This makes King shepherds larger (on average) than German shepherds. King shepherds also have more mass on them. On average, they weigh between 90 and 150 pounds. There is a lot of variation because of the potential mixed breeds used for breeding.
What Is a King Shepherd’s Coat Type?
King shepherds have medium-length coats. Their coats are soft to touch and pet, and feel snuggly against your body and hands. King shepherds can also have many color tones in their coats (reds, browns, grays, and even black) but they do shed often. For this reason, you have to maintain their coat to prevent health problems and discomfort.
What Is a King Shepherd’s Temperament?
King shepherds are mellow dogs, but they can get excited, especially as a puppy. That said, King shepherds calm down as they grow older and only bark when provoked. King shepherds are also intelligent dogs, so they’re easy to train and can learn many commands quickly. However, King shepherds can become aggressive in some situations (danger or fear), so that’s something you keep an eye on.
Are King Shepherds Affectionate?
King shepherds may be big dogs, but they feel like small dogs on the inside. This is why many King shepherds choose to lay on their owners and sleep in the same bed. King shepherds also love to play and get attention from their owners. While they’re not the most affectionate breed, King shepherds will make you feel loved if you make them feel loved.
Are King Shepherds Good With Kids?
King shepherds are good with kids for a few reasons. First and foremost, they’re larger dogs, so children won’t hurt them when playing together. Secondly, King shepherds understand how to play without hurting the person they’re playing with. While they can be aggressive at times, King shepherds and toddlers can become best friends for life. Still, you should always watch your child and King shepherd when they’re playing to prevent any problems.
Are King Shepherds Good With Other Animals?
King shepherds are social dogs. Therefore, they’re good with other animals. King shepherds get along with dogs, cats, and even some smaller pets. That said, we recommend introducing the animals at younger ages and giving them time to socialize. With King shepherds, this can take some patience and even training.
Are King Shepherds Aggressive?
King shepherds are not aggressive dogs. While King shepherds can be aggressive when their life is threatened, they won’t be violent unless they’re provoked. This is because of their calm temperament and low energy level compared to other breeds. When aggressive, though, King shepherds become dangerous because of their size and build. For this reason, we recommend training your King shepherd well and making sure you treat them appropriately (just like you should with any dog!).
Do King Shepherds Bark a Lot?
King shepherds don’t bark a lot. While King shepherds bark frequently during their puppy years, they grow out of this phase quickly. As they get older, King shepherds begin to bark less. While they don’t bark often, King shepherds bark at important things, like potential predators and other people. This can help you remain alert if there’s an intruder or another problem.
Are King Shepherds Intelligent?
King shepherds are intelligent dogs. In fact, some King shepherds end up being smarter than German shepherds because they’re a combination of a German shepherd and another brilliant dog. Because of their intelligence, King shepherds are easy to train and be around. It’s important to use positive reinforcement with treats if it doesn’t look like your King shepherd is understanding the task.
Are King Shepherds Easy to Train?
King shepherds are easy to train for a few reasons. First and foremost, they’re more intelligent than most dogs. This helps them cruise through training with ease. You’ll have no problem teaching them commands like, “sit,” “fetch,” “stay,” “stop,” and more. We recommend against overloading them with commands, but you should begin training at a young age. King shepherds are also easy to potty train. It’s also important to note that positive feedback (treats as a reward) is the best way to get results from training.
Are King Shepherds Energetic?
King shepherds are energetic dogs when they’re puppies. That said, they begin to grow mellow as they age. This occurs because of their calm temperament and larger size. Compared to small dogs that love to bark, King shepherds are quiet and lazy. Still, King shepherds love to play and have plenty of energy to use for outdoor activities. In fact, King shepherds are only mellow around the house. This is what makes them great dogs for first-time owners.
Are King Shepherds Good Apartment Dogs?
King shepherds are not good apartment dogs unless you have a large apartment. Because King shepherds are larger and heavier than German shepherds, they need a lot of space and exercise. This makes King shepherds a bad fit for people who live in urban environments. Their size can also make it challenging for landlords to be okay with allowing you to have a pet on the property, especially if the dog frightens other tenants.
Are King Shepherds Good Watchdogs?
King shepherds are excellent watchdogs. King shepherds are great watchdogs because they don’t bark often and look intimidating. While they are not aggressive towards their owners, unwanted guests can draw barks and growls out of King shepherds. This can alert owners to potential dangers and other issues. King shepherds can also serve as guard dogs if needed.
Are King Shepherds Good Service Dogs?
King shepherds are great service dogs. The breed can be used in ways that German shepherds can be used, which makes them flexible. King shepherds can be used for police work, hunting, tracking, emotional support, therapy, and more. These dogs can also help people with disabilities that make it hard to walk or see things. Overall, they’re a good choice for a guide dog compared to smaller breeds.
How to Care for a King Shepherd?
Caring for a King shepherd is similar to caring for a German shepherd. German shepherds have a mild temperament (unless provoked) and are easy to train. Therefore, King shepherds are easy to care for as long as you groom them, brush them, play with them, and provide them with the right food. We’ll take you through some of the best tips to care for your King shepherd.
Do You Need to Groom a King Shepherd?
King shepherds need to be groomed. While you can get away with grooming them less often if you brush them, not grooming a King shepherd leads to problems. This is because of their frequent shedding and soft coat. Without grooming, King shepherds become knotty, dirty, and even unhappy. Therefore, we recommend frequent brushing and grooming to keep your furry friend happy.
Do King Shepherds Shed?
King shepherds shed as much as German shepherds, which is a lot. There are also some seasons where King shepherds will shed more. Therefore, it’s important to brush a King shepherd often to prevent matting and knotting. You should also let guests know that loose hair will be around to prevent allergic reactions. With a King shepherd, having no hair around is almost impossible.
What Should a King Shepherd Eat?
King shepherds should eat a diet that’s rich in protein and fiber. While fats and carbs are helpful for King shepherds, carbs can make them hungrier throughout the day. In fact, we recommend replacing carbs with fats instead if possible. For the food, we recommend lean meats like chicken and fish alongside fiber-rich veggies. Many food brands are designed specifically for German shepherds and King shepherds. Remember, King shepherds are larger, so they require more food.
What Health Problems Do King Shepherds Have?
King shepherds were bred to be resistant to health problems. While the breed is still a work in progress, King shepherds are less likely to suffer from the same ailments that German shepherds face. That said, the breeds do share some of the same health risks.
We’ll take you through the most common health issues. These are listed below:
- Von Willebrand’s disease
- Thyroid problems
- Joint problems
- Eye issues
- Hip problems
- Bloating (when older)
While they’re generally healthy, these are only a handful of the ailments that King shepherds may face. Make sure to visit your vet routinely to catch any issues early!
How Long Do King Shepherds Live?
King shepherds live long lives compared to some larger dog breeds. Plus, their status as hybrid dogs can add years to their lifespan depending on what traits the dog has. That said, King shepherds typically have a lifespan that lasts for between 11 and 13 years. Some can live longer, but hip problems are common in old age and can reduce the dog’s quality of life and life expectancy.
Are King Shepherds Expensive?
King shepherds are not expensive dogs. While German shepherds cost upwards of $5,000 (on average), King shepherds are more affordable because they’re a hybrid breed. On average, King shepherds cost between $1,250 and $3,500. The cost depends on the breeder and what the German shepherd was mixed with.
How Can I Find a King Shepherd Breeder?
If you’re looking for a King shepherd Breeder, the best place to look is online. Online you can read reviews, compare prices, and find breeders in your area. We also recommend calling local places and verifying quality breeders with shelters. The good news is that King shepherds are a hybrid breed, so they’re less rare than German shepherds, and most of the time you won’t have to visit a specific Breeder.
Can You Adopt a King Shepherd?
Yes, you can adopt a King shepherd. If you want to adopt a King shepherd, you’ll have to call around to your local shelters. You can also look online to adopt a King shepherd from someone on social media. There are many ways to adopt King shepherds, and adopting this breed is common because they’re not rare compared to purebred German shepherds.
Are King Shepherds Purebred?
King shepherds are not purebred dogs. While every King shepherd has traits from a German shepherd, King shepherds are the result of breeding another breed with German shepherds. Therefore, King shepherds are a hybrid breed and not a purebred dog. In some cases, you can find King shepherds that are close to purebred German shepherds but not quite there.
Are King Shepherds Good for New Dog 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. Therefore, King shepherds are a great choice for people who have never had a dog before. That said, they’re not a good dog for new owners if you have a small living space.
Is a King Shepherd the Right Dog for Me?
King shepherds are good dogs for more dog owners. This is because they’re affordable compared to purebred German shepherds and they have a mellow temperament. Plus, King shepherds are flexible and can be used as guard dogs, watchdogs, and even as emotional support animals (ESAs). That said, King shepherds aren’t the best fit for everyone. We’ll take you through some factors to consider; you have to weigh the pros and cons to determine if King shepherds are right for you.
Here are some of the traits that make King shepherds great dogs:
- Easy to train
- Great for guarding homes
- Great for watching homes
- Potential use as a guide dog or ESA
- Calm temperament
- Infrequent barking
- Not aggressive unless provoked
- Good with other animals
- Good with children
While there are many good traits, King shepherds also have some traits you need to consider. These include:
- Frequent shedding
- Hip problems later in life
- Not suitable for small apartments or urban living
- Frequent grooming needs
- Expensive to feed
Based on these traits, you should be able to determine if a King shepherd is right for you!