King Shepherd

75-110 lbs
25-27"
United States
American King Shepherd

The King Shepherd is a new breed that has been in development since the early 1990s. This canine was developed in the United States by breeders Shelley Watts-Cross and David Turkheimer to develop a dog similar in nature and in appearance to the German Shepherd breed, but larger. These dogs have the confidence that you would find in most German Shepherds but tend to be calmer and more affectionate, making them appropriate canines for livestock guarding, personal protection, and even therapy work. In most cases, the King Shepherds are friendly but somewhat reserved towards strangers and get along well with other animals, but proper socialization should be offered to ensure that they retain their easy-going temperaments. 

Purpose
Herding
Date of Origin
1990s
Ancestry
German Shepherd, Shiloh Shepherd, Malamute, Pyrenees

King Shepherd Health

Average Size
Male King Shepherd size stats
Height: 26-29 inches Weight: 90-150 lbs
Female King Shepherd size stats
Height: 25-27 inches Weight: 75-110 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia (Chd)
  • Gastric Dilation Volvulus (GDV) or Bloat
Minor Concerns
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Joint Dysplasia
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Von Willebrand's Disease
  • Allergies
Occasional Tests
  • Eye Examinations
  • Blood Tests and Analysis
  • X-rays of various parts of the skeletal system
  • Allergy Testing

King Shepherd Breed History

The King Shepherd is a new breed of dog from the United States that is still considered to be in development. Breeders Shelley Watts-Cross and David Turkheimer began development of this breed in the early 1990s utilizing German Shepherds from both America and Europe as well as Shiloh Shepherds, another emerging breed, with additional contributions from Alaska Malamutes and Great Pyrenees dogs. Their intent was to develop a breed with the working ability and protective instinct of the German Shepherd breed, but larger, with fewer health problems, and with a friendlier disposition, and they have thus far been successful in their endeavor, founding the official King Shepherd club in 1995. As this breed is a rare breed that is still in development, they have not yet been recognized by any of the major kennel clubs. They can be registered with the American Rare Breed Association and as well as the American King Shepherd Club. This breed has very quickly gained popularity, and reputable breeders are continuing to carefully breed these dogs in order to continue improving their overall health. This rare breed is becoming relatively high in demand allowing them to command a rather high price with well-bred puppies costing anywhere between $1500 and $3000. This breed has been increasing in popularity, encouraging some less-than-reputable breeders to attempt to cash in on their popularity and breeding them without the proper genetic and physical testing, so if you are seeking a King Shepherd pup of your own, it is important to ensure that the parents of your dog are registered with the American King Shepherd Club. 

King Shepherd Breed Appearance

These are very large canines with strong bones and deep chests, standing over two feet high at the shoulder and frequently weighing over a hundred pounds. They are well-muscled and slightly longer than they are tall giving them a rectangular outline with a long, straight or slightly curved tail which is typically carried low. The King Shepherd breed has a large, well-defined skull with a square shape that narrows as it approaches the eyes and a well-balanced square muzzle with a strong underjaw. The almond-shaped eyes of the King Shepherd are dark brown and typically have a very keen but composed expression, their large, triangular ears are carried erect and open to the front, often with heavily furred edges, and their nose is large and black in color. The association standard notes that there is no penalty for dogs with “snow nose”, a condition in which the nose develops spots or streaks of lighter color, particularly in the winter months. 

Eye Color Possibilities
brown King Shepherd eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black King Shepherd nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
fawn King Shepherd coat
Fawn
red King Shepherd coat
Red
black King Shepherd coat
Black
brown King Shepherd coat
Brown
sable King Shepherd coat
Sable
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
King Shepherd straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

King Shepherd Breed Maintenance

The King Shepherd has a thick, weather-resistant coat that shouldn’t be bathed too frequently, but it does require a thorough brushing on a regular basis. Brushing your dog several times a week will help to remove dead hair and control their moderate year-round shedding, improve circulation, and help to prevent uncomfortable and even dangerous tangles and mats from forming in the undercoat near the skin. This breed also sheds more heavily during the change of seasons and should be brushed at least daily to control their copious shedding during those times. It is also important to examine their ears on a regular basis for dirt, debris, or damage in order to avoid any infections from taking hold. 

Brushes for King Shepherd
Pin Brush
Comb
Deshedder
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
King Shepherd requires daily brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

King Shepherd Temperament

These dogs are generally confident canines, and while they may be slightly wary of strangers, they are rarely shy or aggressive about it. King Shepherds are loyal and affectionate with their families, and while interactions between smaller children and canines should always be closely observed, they tend to be calm and trustworthy with little ones. 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. These dogs are not as energetic as some breeds, but they have a great deal of stamina, strength, and agility making them well-suited to be working dogs as well, herding and guarding livestock. They usually get along well with other dogs, although proper socialization with these large canines is a must to ensure that they retain their confidence and good natures, and while they usually are amicable with other types of animals, like cats, some individual dogs may develop a fondness for chasing them. 

King Shepherd Activity Requirements

This breed tends to be quite stable and while they are athletic, they do not tend towards hyperactivity. That being said, the King Shepherd breed was developed from several working breeds that are known for their strength and endurance and these large dogs do need their exercise in order to maintain their physique, and they should get least an hour to an hour and a half of walking or jogging on a daily basis. These dogs are also quite intelligent and mental stimulation and training should also be provided on a daily basis in order to prevent detrimental boredom-related behaviors to develop. 

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
14 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

King Shepherd Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
4 cups
Daily Cost
$2.80 - $3.00
Monthly Cost
$80.00 - $90.00

King Shepherd Height & Weight

6 Months
Male King Shepherd size stats at six months
Height: 22 inches Weight: 72 lbs
Female King Shepherd size stats at six months
Height: 21 inches Weight: 55 lbs
12 Months
Male King Shepherd size stats at 12 months
Height: 25 inches Weight: 102 lbs
Female King Shepherd size stats at 12 months
Height: 24 inches Weight: 79 lbs
18 Months
Male King Shepherd size stats at 18 months
Height: 26 inches Weight: 108 lbs
Female King Shepherd size stats at 18 months
Height: 25 inches Weight: 83 lbs

King Shepherd Owner Experiences

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