It is interesting to learn about the variances between King Shepherd and German Shepherd – after all, they do have a shared lineage. Here is an in-depth examination of how these two breeds differ from one another.
Breed Comparisons Between King Shepherd And German Shepherd
Here is a side-by-side comparison of the top features of these two breeds:
King Shepherd German Shepherd
|25 – 31 inches
|75 – 150lbs
|10 – 11 years
|Double coat, medium to long
|Yes, with proper socialization
|Moderate to cold
|22 – 26 inches
|50 – 90lbs
|7 – 10 years
|Double coat, medium-length
|Potentially, with proper socialization
|Moderate to cool
A Note About the King Shepherd
King Shepherds are a hybrid breed whose physical, mental, and emotional characteristics can be tricky to narrow down. This is because they are a combination of several different breeds – however, they must have at least one German Shepherd ancestor in the mix.
These dogs can be mixed with Shiloh Shepherds, Alaskan Malamutes, Great Pyrenees, and even Akitas. Due to this, you can expect some variation from one dog to the next, based on their ancestry and the specific traits of their forebears.
Physical Characteristic Differences
At first glance, you may not be able to tell the difference between these pups. They could look extraordinarily alike unless you take a closer look. Here is a breakdown of the physical characteristics of the two breeds:
Height and Weight Differences
The easiest way to distinguish between a King Shepherd and a German Shepherd is by their size. On average, King Shepherds tend to be larger. In some cases, the size difference isn’t that great, but you may often find dogs that easily fit into the extra-large breed category.
In terms of physique, the dogs have a rather similar build, but King Shepherd is less angular than the German Shepherd, particularly around the hip area. Both dogs have well-proportioned frames that are well-balanced.
Differences in Their Coat
German Shepherds and King Shepherds both have double coats and their coats can appear quite similar. What sets them apart, however, is that King Shepherds have a longer and shaggier coat. The hair around the head, neck, and tail is noticeably longer.
This can make them look like they have a thicker coat or a larger physique.
Both these breeds will often have a pattern of at least two colors. The color combination can differ, though. Black, red, brown, and sable are common themes, but German Shepherds may also have coats in blue, gray, liver, white, and cream.
King Shepherds, on the other hand, may have coats that present some amount of fawn.
Life Expectancy and Health Differences
On average, King Shepherds may be healthier than German Shepherds. This is because they are hybrid breeds, reducing the risk of certain genetic conditions. Here is a closer look at the health of these two breeds:
Life Expectancy Variations
At the same time, you should be aware that larger breeds do have shorter life spans. This could mean that the larger King Shepherds may not live as long as German Shepherds as they age at a more accelerated rate.
Differences in Health Conditions
German Shepherds may be more prone to developing exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, while King Shepherds are at a higher risk of hypothyroidism.
Despite the fact that King Shepherds are less prone to disease, they do have genetic similarities to German Shepherds. As a result, these dogs do share a risk of certain health conditions. These include:
- Joint dysplasia
- Degenerative myelopathy
The biggest predictor of good health for both King Shepherds and German Shepherds is choosing a good breeder. Proper breeders run extensive testing on both sets of parents and do research into the ancestry of each dog.
In doing so, these breeders are able to only breed healthy dogs with a lower risk of severe or deadly genetic issues. This allows for an overall healthy litter.
King Shepherds were interbred in a very specific way. One of the reasons for this crossbreeding was so that these dogs would have a milder temperament. Due to this, you will often find that King Shepherds are calmer and less prone to aggression than German Shepherds.
In general, King Shepherds have a more stable temperament and may be easier to socialize or have around people in general.
Apart from this, though, the two breeds are remarkably similar in their behavior. Around their families, they are loving and affectionate. They can even be great around children – gentle and playful. They are incredibly loyal and will not hesitate to defend or protect their family.
Both German Shepherds and King Shepherds make excellent watchdogs. They are alert and brave enough to take action against intruders or any suspicious activity.
These dogs have a tendency to be aloof around strangers, though, and can even be shy. This is why they need to be socialized at a young age and continuously exposed to a wide variety of people. This will help both breeds to overcome these hurdles.
King Shepherds will get along with other dogs better than German Shepherds. German Shepherds can be hesitant to form bonds with other canines at first. They require proper socialization and it is best if this breed grows up in a household with other dogs.
King Shepherds require socializing with dogs at a young age as well, but you will find that there are fewer issues during this process.
Feeding Requirements Differences
The main difference when it comes to feeding requirements is that with King Shepherds, there are fewer guidelines of the type of dog food to choose from.
This is because there is quite a bit of variation in how big these dogs can get. You will need to choose a dog food that is suitable for the size and energy levels of each individual dog.
With German Shepherds, your options are more straightforward. There are even dog food brands that specifically cater to the breed.
For both breeds, however, it is important to choose high-quality dog food. The ingredients need to be healthy and well-sourced. It is best to ask a vet for suggestions – this is especially important with King Shepherds as their exact nutrient requirements may be unknown.
It should be noted that King Shepherds maybe have a greater potential for weight gain. As a result, you will need to control your dog’s portions for each meal carefully and minimize any treats or snacks. You should also match the portion size to your dog’s size and energy expenditure.
Exercise Needs Differences
These are both high-energy breeds, but German Shepherds require more exercise. On average, a German Shepherd will need to get at least two hours of exercise each day. King Shepherds can require upwards of an hour of physical activity.
There are also variations from one dog to another for each breed. Due to this, there will be some trial and error in determining how much exercise your pup needs. In general, it is a good idea to start with an hour of exercise each day.
You can break this up into two or more workouts during the day. At the end of this physical activity, determine your dog’s activity level. If they are still active and boisterous, they need more exercise – start increasing it by fifteen-minute intervals.
On the other hand, if your dog looks content, you have found the sweet spot. If your dog ever appears too tired to move after exercise, it means that you are overdoing it and need to cut back.
Both dog breeds require more than just walks, though. In order to mentally stimulate them, you should also engage in dog sports, herding challenges, and more.
If you don’t give either dog enough exercise, they will begin to act out. They will become bored and resort to destructive behavior, destroying furniture and other belongings. You may also discover that the pups are less inclined to listen to you as well.
In terms of trainability, these dogs are easy to train, although some owners may find that it is easier to teach German Shepherds new tricks. You will often find few differences in how readily both breeds can pick up commands or tricks.
King Shepherds need more sensitivity. They may be more eager to please and as such, you need to be careful with how you deal with them. It is important to be gentle and to only ever use positive reinforcement.
On that note, German Shepherds respond to positive reinforcement as well. You should never punish your dog under any circumstances as this can have a negative impact on their behavior.
You need to start training for both German Shepherds and King Shepherds at a young age. This is particularly true for socialization.
Space and Living Requirements Differences
Their thick coats mean that these dogs are better-suited to moderate to cool environments. Unlike German Shepherds, however, King Shepherds may be able to handle very cold climates. This is especially true if they have descended from dogs who are used to harsh temperatures.
These are pretty big dogs so a medium-sized home with a yard is often the best space for them. German Shepherds have been known to live in apartments, however. Due to the sheer size of King Shepherd, though, this isn’t possible, particularly with smaller spaces.
If you do intend on living in an apartment or a home without a yard, it is paramount that both these breeds are exercised on a daily basis. This is especially important with the energetic German Shepherds. Failure to do so will result in your dogs becoming bored and destructive.
Both German Shepherds and King Shepherds shed quite a bit, but this may be more noticeable with King Shepherds. These dogs have a thicker and longer coat so there may be more dog hair around your home. These dogs may be even more prone to shedding during warmer climates.
Both breeds have shedding seasons. During this time, they will begin to shed at an increased rate.
With German Shepherds, you may be able to brush your dog several times a week during most months. This will need to be increased to every day during the shedding season.
The level of shedding can differ from one King Shepherd to another so the grooming frequency will need to be adjusted according to individual dogs. You may find that you need to brush this dog every day, regardless of the season, though.
During shedding seasons, you may need to take your King Shepherd to the groomers for some additional assistance.
Popularity and Cost Differences
German Shepherds are certainly the more popular breed, but they have had a lot of time to cultivate their reputation. They are one of the most famous dogs in the world and are very popular among dog lovers and families.
King Shepherds are a relatively new breed and most people are not as familiar with them. As they become more well-known, though, they may become more popular pets.
As for price, both these breeds can be rather expensive. German Shepherd puppies and King Shepherd puppies may go for anywhere between $1500 and $3000. More reputable breeders will charge more as you can guarantee you are getting a healthy dog.
In some instances, however, the cost of King Shepherds can increase. As a hybrid dog, there aren’t too many breeders that deal with King Shepherds. German Shepherds, on the other hand, are highly sought-after so it is easier to find a breed.
A lack of availability can often drive up the price. If there aren’t too many King Shepherd breeders in a particular area, then the price may be automatically higher.
Which Is the Right Breed For You? King Shepherd Or German Shepherd
It can be argued that there are more similarities than differences between King Shepherd and German Shepherd. As a result, choosing between the two breeds can be rather tricky.
You need to choose a King Shepherd if you want a gentle dog that is great around family and kids. These dogs are also less active and require less exercise. They can be rather sensitive so you will have to mind your tone and behavior around them.
These dogs are quite big and as such, require a great deal of space to be comfortable.
German Shepherds are the perfect companions for anyone who is outdoorsy and loves to be on the go. These dogs are intelligent and easy to train, allowing them to master numerous commands quite quickly. They aren’t suitable for owners who work a lot or are away from the home for long periods of time. These dogs need to feel close to their owners and require attention and love.
They also need to get enough exercise each day or they can become difficult to manage otherwise.
These are some of the similarities and differences between King Shepherd and German Shepherd. There is a great deal to learn about both breeds, and doing so will help you understand the intricacies of each breed. Not only does this knowledge make it somewhat easier to choose the right dog for your family, but it also gives you a heads up on what to expect when you adopt one.