King Shepherd vs. German Shepherd

King Shepherd vs. German Shepherd

If you are a dog lover, German shepherds are a common dog breed that you’ve likely owned or interacted with, but King shepherds? Perhaps not.

King shepherds are produced by mixing German shepherds and other dog breeds. This means they have a lot of similarities and differences because they have been bred differently.

If you have plans to buy or adopt either of the breeds, below is their comparison.


King Shepherd vs. German Shepherd Breed history

King shepherds

King shepherds are a hybrid of American and German German shepherds, Great Pyrenees, and Alaskan Malamutes.

Shelly Watts and David Turkheimer bred the king shepherds in the 1990s. This breed was meant for herding, companionship, and working. The breeders wanted to have a healthier dog compared to German shepherds which are prone to many diseases. They also wanted a people-friendly dog than the aloof German shepherd. 

They are registered under the American King Shepherd club.

German shepherds

German shepherds originated in Germany in the late 1800s. Max Von Stephanitz is credited with breeding the German Shepherd dog. 

German shepherds were to help in herding and safeguarding flock. Due to their noble characters like boldness, intelligence, and loyalty, they have become popular around the world. They can also assist in other duties like being military dogs or in search and rescue.  

They are acknowledged by the American Kennel Club.

King Shepherd vs. German Shepherd Physical appearance

German shepherds

German shepherd females weigh around 50-70 pounds and 22-24 inches tall. Males can weigh around 65-90 pounds and 24-36 inches tall.

Their most common shades are heavy black and tan, or black and red. They can also be found in rare colors like blue and brown, black or white.

They have a double coat that is moderate in length. 

GSDs have a moderate grooming requirement.

King shepherds

Though not recognized by the AKC, King Shepherd has the standard qualities that distinguish them from German Shepherds. 

Normally, female King shepherds weigh around 75-110 pounds and males weigh around 90-150 pounds. Their shoulder length is 25-28 inches females and 28-33 inches males.

They have a longer, massive, and flossy coat compared to GSDs. Their coat can either be coarse-haired, long, light, straight, or wavy. 

Their coat can also be similar to German shepherds’ of black and red or thick black and tan. Some other common colors are solid tan, cream, solid black, gold black, and silver markings.

King Shepherd vs. German Shepherd Temperaments

German shepherds 

German shepherds are known to be loyal, intelligent, and committed dogs. They are easily trainable as they master new tricks easily. They make good family dogs and can perform other duties watchdogs.

If not well socialized they can be hostile to strangers and other pets

Related: The Ultimate Guide to GSD Training Commands

King shepherds

 King shepherds have inherited many characters traits from German shepherds like loyalty, intelligence, and devotion. They are also easy to train.

Unlike German shepherds who select a certain member of the family (mostly the caregiver), King shepherds are friendly to the whole family. They interact well with other pets and strangers easily.


Both are active dogs and require exercise daily. Both need to be occupied in minds as they can be destructive while idol.

They require a lot of training, daily long walks, and plenty of play and chew toys to keep them entertained.

King Shepherd vs. German Shepherd Life span

German shepherds

GSDs can live for about 10-13 years. This is if they are properly fed, exercised, and given the best medical care. Due to the continued unscrupulous breeding practices, German shepherds are prone to many health problems like degenerative mythology and hip and elbow dysplasia. This illness reduces their lifespan.

King shepherds 

The main reason for breeding King shepherds is to have a healthier dog. This means they are healthier compared to GSDs. 

They have a life expectancy of around 10-11 years. Due to their large bodies, they are more likely to have a shorter life span.

King shepherds are still prone to diseases like von Willebrand, genetically inherited from German shepherds while breeding.


German shepherds are more expensive compared to King shepherds. GSDs cost up to $4500 for an average size dog or more if it’s a show breed. Average size king shepherds will cost around $200-$2500.

If you want either of the dogs with less than the above amount of money, it is advisable to look for one in a rescue center.

The Best Breed For You?

 King shepherds are healthier than German shepherds and are less expensive, but you should consider what a dog breed has to offer than the price.

Now that you have all the differences and similarities outlined for you, it is easier to choose the best breed that will suit you.

If you want a family dog, a King shepherd is the best pick, but a German shepherd fits best if you want a working dog.


Carol is a paw parent, and her love for dogs started when she was just 5. She adores her two German Shepherds and a Bengal cat, who she says, "life would be incomplete without"

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