All You Need to Know About the King Shepherd Dog Breed

Are you considering getting a King Shepherd? This intelligent and loyal dog breed can make a great addition to any family, but it’s important to understand their history, physical characteristics, personality, health and lifespan. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at everything you need to know about the King Shepherd dog breed.

History and Origin of the King Shepherd

The King Shepherd is a relatively new dog breed, developed in the United States in the 1990s by breeding German Shepherd Dogs, Alaskan Malamutes, and Great Pyrenees. The goal was to create a larger, healthier and more versatile German Shepherd.

The Development of the Breed

The King Shepherd was developed by Shelley Watts-Cross and David Turkheimer, who were both experienced breeders. They had a vision of creating a dog that could work on farms and serve as a companion animal. The breeding process was a long and challenging one, but they were determined to create a dog that was loyal, intelligent, and had great work ethics.

It took several years of selective breeding to create the King Shepherd. The breeders had to carefully select the traits they wanted to incorporate from each breed. They wanted to create a dog that was larger than the German Shepherd, but still had its intelligence and loyalty. They also wanted a dog that was sturdy and could withstand harsh weather conditions, which is why they incorporated the Alaskan Malamute into the breeding process. Finally, they wanted a dog that was gentle and loyal, which is why they included the Great Pyrenees in the mix.

Ancestral Breeds and Their Influence

The King Shepherd’s development was heavily influenced by the German Shepherd Dog. This breed is known for being intelligent, protective and loyal. The German Shepherd’s temperament and trainability were important traits that the breeders wanted to incorporate into the King Shepherd.

The Alaskan Malamute was also an important breed in the development of the King Shepherd. This breed is known for its strength and endurance, which made it an ideal choice for a dog that would be working on farms. The Alaskan Malamute’s thick coat also provided the King Shepherd with protection against the elements.

The Great Pyrenees is another breed that was used in the creation of the King Shepherd. This breed is known for its gentle and loyal temperament, which made it an ideal choice for a companion animal. The Great Pyrenees also provided the King Shepherd with a larger frame and a thicker coat.

Overall, the King Shepherd is a unique and versatile breed that was developed by combining the best traits from three different breeds. Its intelligence, loyalty, and work ethics make it an ideal choice for a variety of jobs, including farm work, search and rescue, and as a family pet.

Physical Characteristics and Appearance

Size and Weight

The King Shepherd is a large breed, weighing between 75 and 150 pounds and standing between 25 and 31 inches at the shoulder. Although their weight and size might vary, they are definitely larger than most other dog breeds. Their size and weight make them perfect for guarding and protecting their owners and their property. King Shepherds are known for their impressive strength and agility, which makes them ideal for various tasks such as search and rescue, police work, and even as therapy dogs.

Coat and Colors

The King Shepherd has a thick double coat designed to protect them from harsh weather conditions. Their coat can have several colors, including black, tan, sable, gray, silver-white, and more. Some coats have bi-color or tri-color patterns, and their thick coats can sometimes have a white undercoat which extends to the tip of the tail. Their coats require regular grooming to keep them healthy and shiny. Brushing their coats once or twice a week can help remove loose hair and prevent matting.

Distinctive Features

The King Shepherd is a large and muscular breed, with a broad chest and strong legs. They have a well-shaped head, pointed ears, and a straight back, while their eyes are large and intelligent. They have a confident and regal gait, which gives them an imposing presence. Their physical features make them stand out from other breeds, which is why they are often used as show dogs. Their impressive size and strength make them perfect for various activities such as agility training, obedience training, and even weight pulling.

In addition to their physical characteristics, King Shepherds are also known for their friendly and loyal personalities. They are highly intelligent and love to learn new things, which makes them easy to train. They are also great with children and make excellent family pets. However, due to their large size, they require plenty of space to move around and exercise. They are not suitable for apartment living and do best in homes with large yards or open spaces.

King Shepherds are also known for their protective nature. They are fiercely loyal to their owners and will do anything to protect them. They make excellent guard dogs and are often used in law enforcement and security work. However, their protective nature can sometimes make them wary of strangers, which is why early socialization and training is important.

In conclusion, the King Shepherd is a magnificent breed with impressive physical characteristics and a friendly personality. They are perfect for families who have plenty of space and are looking for a loyal and protective companion. With proper training and socialization, they can excel in various activities and make excellent working dogs.

Personality and Temperament

The King Shepherd is a loyal and affectionate breed that is known for their protective nature. They are highly adaptable and can thrive in a variety of living situations, from apartments to large homes with plenty of space to run and play. These dogs are often described as confident and self-assured, with a calm and steady demeanor that makes them well-suited for work as service animals.

Intelligence and Trainability

The King Shepherd is highly intelligent and trainable, which makes them well-suited for a variety of roles, including search and rescue, police work, and guiding the blind. They are quick learners and respond well to positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praise, making them a pleasure to train. With proper training and socialization, they can excel in obedience and agility competitions.

One of the most remarkable things about the King Shepherd is their ability to think independently and problem-solve on their own. This trait makes them excellent working dogs, as they can assess situations and make decisions on the fly without needing constant direction from their handler.

Socialization and Interaction with Other Animals

The King Shepherd is a social animal and typically gets along with other pets and animals if properly socialized when they are young. They enjoy being around people and are known to be particularly good with children, often assuming a protective role over their young charges.

However, it’s important to note that the King Shepherd’s protective nature can sometimes lead to aggression towards other dogs or strangers if they feel their family is threatened. Early socialization and training can help prevent this behavior, but it’s important for owners to be aware of this tendency and take steps to manage it.

Energy Levels and Exercise Needs

The King Shepherd has high activity levels and requires plenty of exercise to relieve pent-up energy. Without adequate exercise, they can become bored and develop behavioral issues, such as excessive barking, digging or chewing. Daily walks and playtime in a yard are essential for this breed, as well as challenging physical and mental activities that stimulate their natural instincts.

Some fun exercise ideas for King Shepherds include hiking, swimming, and playing games like fetch or hide-and-seek. They also enjoy obedience training and agility courses, which can help them burn off energy while also providing mental stimulation.

Overall, the King Shepherd is a wonderful breed for active families who are looking for a loyal and intelligent companion. With proper training and socialization, they can excel in a variety of roles and make excellent service animals, working dogs, or family pets.

Health and Lifespan

Common Health Issues

Like other large dog breeds, the King Shepherd is prone to several medical conditions, including hip and elbow dysplasia, bloat, arthritis, eye problems, and allergies. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent these conditions from becoming severe, so it’s essential to schedule regular health checkups and monitor their overall well-being.

Preventative Care and Regular Checkups

To help your King Shepherd stay healthy, it’s important to schedule regular checkups with a veterinarian and give them preventative care like flea and tick medication and preventatives for heartworms, worms, and other parasites. Ensure that they receive regular vaccinations which are important in guarding against infectious diseases and parasites.

Expected Lifespan

The King Shepherd typically has an average lifespan of around 10-14 years, provided they receive proper care and attention.


In conclusion, the King Shepherd is a loyal, intelligent, and versatile breed. They require regular exercise, socialization and preventative care to stay healthy, and their lifespan can vary, depending on their diet and lifestyle. With proper care and attention, this breed can make a great companion dog and working partner, and we hope this article has provided you with all the information you need to know about the King Shepherd dog breed.

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