It is a common misconception that German Shepherds and King Shepherds are the same breeds of dogs. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! In reality, these two dog breeds have many differences in anatomy, temperament, and size, among other things. If you want to know what to look for when deciding which type of Shepherd might be best for your family, keep reading!
German Shepherd vs. King Shepherd: Breed Comparison
|German Shepherd||King Shepherd|
Loyal, Smart, Courageous, Alert
Loyal, Hard Working, Gentle Guardian
Susceptible to Joint Diseases
Susceptible to Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, Von Willebrands disease
9 -13 Years
10 -11 Years
$1,500 and Up
$1,500 and Up
King Shepherd vs. German Shepherd: 10 Differences Between These Two Shepherds
1. Where Did They Originate?
German Shepherd (also called Alsatian wolf dog) is believed to have originated in Germany in the late 1800s. The German word “Schäferhund” can be translated as “shepherd dog” and is what the breed was originally called by their inventor, Captain Max von Stephanitz.
The purpose of the German shepherd breed was to be a herding dog, and this is still one of their most commonly known purposes today. However, many people only know these dogs for being police or military service dogs, which they also excel at.
The King Shepherd breed was developed by Shelly Watts-Cross and David Turkheimer in the early 1990s. They were originally bred from a mix of American and European German Shepherds, Alaskan Malamute, and Great Pyrenees.
The goal of this mix was to create a heavier, larger dog with more muscle and less energy than the average German Shepherd. The founders of this breed wanted it to be a breed with similar characteristics and temperaments to their German Shepherd cousins but with fewer health issues than purebred German Shepherds.
2.What’s The Difference in Appearance?
The biggest difference in appearance between German Shepherds and King Shepherds is in their size.
What do German Shepherds Look Like?
German Shepherds are generally between 22 and 26 inches tall, with male German Shepherds (65 – 90 pounds) being typically bigger than female German Shepherds (50 – 70 pounds). This dog breed is a medium-sized dog that has a muscular build. The German Shepherd’s coat is usually black with tan or brown markings, but this does vary depending on the color of their parents.
A German Shepherd’s ears are moderate in size, stand up firmly at attention, and in proportion to the skull. Their eyes can be dark brown or amber in color, and they should always be alert, looking as if they’re studying everything going on around them. The head of a German Shepherd is wedge-shaped, large but in proportion to the body.
What Do King Shepherds Look Like?
This breed is often larger than German Shepherd. The male King Shepherd stands between 28 – 33 inches tall and weighs between 90 – 150 pounds, while the female King Shepherd will stand 25 – 28 inches tall and weigh 75 to 110 pounds. Together with Shiloh Shepherd, this dog breed one of the biggest in the herding breed group.
A King Shepherd’s coat is usually a combination of fawn, red, black, brown, and sable. This breed has a medium-length double coat that can either be coarse or wavy. Their double coat is what gives them an edge when it comes to weather, as it keeps them cool during hot summer days and warm during bitter winter nights.
3. What’s The Difference in Lifespan?
German Shepherds generally live between 9 and 13 years; meanwhile, King Shepherds tend to live between 10 and 11 years. So in terms of lifespan, there’s not much of a difference between the two.
4. What’s The Difference in Temperament Between German Shepherds and King Shepherds?
Many people find these two breeds very similar in nature, but there are some small differences in behavior. Compared to their German Shepherd cousins, King Shepherds are calmer and more obedient. However, they tend to be more prone to separation anxiety.
German Shepherd Temperament and Personality
German Shepherds are a brilliant and brave dog breed. They are also extremely loyal and protective of their owners, which makes them excellent guard dogs. However, if they’re not properly trained when young, they can become overly aggressive with strangers and even family members.
The good news is German Shepherds are highly trainable dogs, so training this breed should be a piece of cake. When socialized from an early age, German Shepherds make great companions for children, but they should always be supervised when playing together.
Are German Shepherds Good with Children?
When it comes to children, female German Shepherds are generally more protective of their families than their male counterparts. As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and interact with dogs. In addition, you should always supervise both children and pets when they’re playing together.
If you have toddlers at home, then a German Shepherd isn’t the right breed for your family. This is a big dog that can mistakenly bump a toddler or even hurt them.
King Shepherd Temperament and Personality
Like their German Shepherd cousins, King Shepherds are extremely hard-working, loyal companion dogs. They are protective of their family and home, but they are not aggressive.
King Shepherds tend to be more laid back and gentle than German Shepherds. Coupled with their loyal and protective nature, this German Shepherd hybrid makes an excellent family companion and guard dog. Furthermore, this dog breed is highly intelligent, making them easy to train and capable of doing any task from herding to searching and rescue.
Although the King Shepherd breed seems like a perfect dog breed, they do have one caveat: their clinging nature. You can’t leave them alone for long periods of time (especially when they’re young); otherwise, they can develop a lot of separation anxiety. If you have to be away from your King Shepherd for longer than a couple of hours, make sure to give them plenty of attention and exercise upon your return home.
Are King Shepherds Good with Children?
In general, King Shepherds are incredibly gentle with children. However, bear in mind that they need to be socialized properly before they can be trusted around children.
Also, remember, King Shepherds are still very large dogs despite their friendly nature. It’s always a good idea to supervise your King Shepherd and children when they are together so that no one gets hurt.
5. What Kind of Jobs Do They Do?
Now, let’s look deeper at what kind of jobs each of these dogs is known to be the best.
What is a The Best Job for a German Shepherd?
The German Shepherd is one of the most versatile breeds in the world. These dogs were originally bred to herd, and this is largely considered their best job. As time progressed, they are often utilized as rescue dogs, police dogs, and even therapy dogs. You can also find them working alongside police officers for dangerous missions like drug detection and cadaver searches.
What is a The Best Job for a King Shepherd?
Due to their sheer size and amazing guard instinct, King Shepherd makes an excellent guard dog. They’re not only protective of your home or property but the people in it as well. They’re very loyal and friendly, but also serious about their role in protecting you and your family from any intruders.
This doesn’t mean they won’t excel at other positions. Similar to German Shepherd, King Shepherd is versatile, and it’s not unheard of to see them working in many areas, including child companion, police dog, rescue dog, or service dog.
Both the German Shepherd and King Shepherd are extremely intelligent breeds who have a high pick-up rate for training.
6. How Much Grooming Do They Need?
Grooming is an important part of taking care of your dog, and both the German Shepherd and King Shepherd require more grooming compared to other dog breeds.
German Shepherd Grooming Needs
Often jokingly called “German shedders,” the German Shepherd sheds year-round and usually blows its coat once or twice a year. They are also known for having a thick double-coat, which means they not only shed often but require more grooming than most dogs.
There’s no magic solution to stop your German Shepherd from shedding, but there are ways to keep the fur in check. Regular brushing (two to three times a week) is a must for these dogs to help more hair end up in the brush instead of on your couch.
In addition, regular brushing increases blood flow to the skin (which helps protect from skin diseases), prevents matting, and gives you a chance to check for any lumps, bumps, or hot spots underneath all that hair. During the shedding session, a sturdy vacuum cleaner can also come in handy to control the amount of fur around the house. See if a robot vacuum is right for you!
When it comes time for a bath, it’s advised not to bathe your German Shepherd too often as it can strip the natural oils from their skin. Despite known as a furious shredder, they tend to be fairly clean and odorless.
King Shepherd Grooming Needs
King Shepherd coats are mostly medium-length with a thick undercoat and a coarse outercoat. While allergy sufferers may need to think twice before adopting King Shepherd, grooming them is actually pretty easy. The only downside is their shedding, which tends to be on the heavy side.
Just like their German Shepherd cousins, King Shepherds require regular brushing to help prevent matting and keep fur off your furniture. A good brushing two to three times a week should do the trick. Bathing is recommended only when necessary as too much bathing can strip the natural oils from their skin.
During heavy shedding sessions, in addition to a robust vacuum cleaner, you may want to consider purchasing a de-shedding tool like Furminator. This tool does work wonders in removing loose hair and reducing the amount of fur on your floor and furniture.
7. What are Their Feeding and Nutritional Requirements?
Being active dogs, both of these breeds need a decent amount of food to keep up with their energy. However, since German Shepherds are medium-sized dogs while King Shepherds are large-sized dogs, King Shepherds usually eat more than German Shepherds in a day.
Feeding German Shepherds
On average, German Shepherds need between 1740 and 2100 caloric intake per day. While less active and older German Shepherds will require lesser calories per day. This translates to about 2-2/3 to 3-1/3 cups of dry dog food per day for an average adult German Shepherd.
A German Shepherd’s diet should be formulated for a medium to large-sized breed. Depending on their activity levels, they may also need a formula that is formulated for high energy and exercise needs.
You should be careful, however, not to overfeed your German Shepherd as they are prone to joint and hip problems. Even a few ounces of extra pounds can cause a lot of stress on their joints, making them more prone to injury and arthritis.
Feeding King Shepherds
On average, King Shepherds need between 1800 and 2500 calories per day. This translates to 3-1/3 to 4-1/4 cups of dry dog food per day for an average adult King Shepherd.
King Shepherds should have a diet formulated for large breeds with high energy needs. They have a tendency to gain weight easily, so make sure to monitor their food intake and adjust their diet accordingly.
As with German Shepherds, your King Shepherd’s dietary needs will change with age. Puppies should eat puppy food until they reach 18 months of age, then transition them to adult food. As for senior King Shepherds, many vets recommend switching to a senior formula at the age of eight.
- Dog Feeding Chart: How Much Should I Feed My Dog?
- How Long to Feed Puppy Food & When to Switch to Adult Dog Food?
8. What are The Most Common Health Problems Among German Shepherds and King Shepherds?
Both German Shepherds and King Shepherds are predisposed to some health conditions. Of course, not all dogs will have these issues, but it’s always a good idea to be aware, so you can seek immediate veterinary care when something does go wrong.
Here are some of the most common health problems you may encounter in King Shepherds and German Shepherds:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Eye Issues
- Degenerative Myelopathy
- Von Willebrands disease
9. How Much Do German Shepherd Puppy and King Shepherd Puppy Cost?
If you’re planning on adopting a German Shepherd puppy, be prepared to shell out anywhere for between $125 to $500. On the other hand, if you prefer buying from private breeders, you can expect to spend between $1,500 to $9,000 in addition to having all health clearances done.
On the other hand, adopting a King Shepherd puppy will cost between $125 and $500. King Shepherds bought from private breeders may run up a hefty bill of $1,500 to $2,500 in addition to having all health clearances done.
10. What Organizations Recognize These Two Breeds?
German Shepherds are recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), whereas King Shepherds, as a relatively new hybrid breed, are not yet recognized by the AKC. However, you can show your King Shepherd in events held by the United American Rare Breed Association, America’s Pet Registry, and Dog Registry of America, Inc.