Last Updated on March 6, 2023 by Becky Roberts
Quick Summary: The King Shepherd is a crossbreed of the German Shepherd and the Shiloh Shepherd. It also has Akita and Alaskan Malamute heritage. This crossbreed came about when they wanted to produce an animal larger and healthier than their parent breeds. The King Shepherd was engineered to be more friendly than the German Shepherd, and thanks to his more relaxed attitude, he certainly is less threatening. It is recommended that the King Shepherd, with his predisposition to Gastric Torsion (bloating), should be fed the proper amount of food at least two times a day, but not right after or immediately before exercising. The lifespan of the King Shepherd is about 10 to 11 years.
King Shepherd is a relatively new puppy in the pack and is similar to his Shiloh Shepherd parents; however, it is becoming an instant hit with Shepherd followers across the globe.
The German Shepherd breed is characterized by all the positive qualities of Shepherds, such as beautiful looks, an affable personality, and trainability. However, he is more friendly with strangers. He also develops a strong bond with the entire family instead of only one particular member and also has fewer health issues.
King Shepherds are taller and weigh between 130 to 150 pounds, and females weigh over 100 pounds. The coat of King Shepherd is longer and often confused with the Russian Caucasian Shepherd or an enormous GSD with an extended coat.
Do you think this is the king of all Shepherds? Read on to discover the answer.
- 1 Crossbreeds vs. Designer Breeds
King Shepherd: The German Shepherd and Shiloh Shepherd Mix
- 2.1 Appearance and Size
- 2.2 Coat and Colors
- 2.3 Temperament and Personality Traits
- 2.4 Exercise and Living Requirements
- 2.5 Training and Socialization
- 2.6 Grooming Requirements
- 2.7 Nutritional Requirements
- 2.8 Health and Lifespan
- 2.9 The King Shepherd as Family Pets
- 2.10 King Shepherd Puppy Prices
- 2.11 Buying a King Shepherd From a Reputable Breeder
- 2.12 Adopting From Rescue Centers and Shelters
- 3 Conclusion
Crossbreeds vs. Designer Breeds
The term “crossbreed” is different from the term designer breed. The term “crossbreed” refers to dogs with parents of different breeds, while designer breeds are dogs with two different purebred parents.
In this instance, it is believed that the King Shepherd is a crossbreed because the Shiloh Shepherd parent is not considered a purebred dog since he is an extremely new breed. There are also Akita and Great Pyrenees mixed into the breed somewhere along the way. To understand the breed, it’s essential to know more about each of his parents.
German Shepherd Overview
It is believed that the German shepherd’s story began in 19th century Germany and he was cleverly engineered by cross-breeding the best herding dogs in each district. His initial purpose was to help herd animals; however, he was eventually given work in his own German Army as a way to transport supplies and aid soldiers in their duties of patrol. He’s now the most well-known protection dog, employed for military and police work worldwide.
In 1913, the German Shepherd Dog Club of America was established. In 1918, the most well-known German Shepherd was born and was rescued from the rubble of a destroyed building at the hands of an American Soldier who named his dog Rinty.
Rinty was later to appear in 27 Hollywood films and is now more popularly referred to by the name Rin Tin Tin. Despite the dog’s brief period of infamy during the World Wars, it is believed that Rin Tin Tin was the reason for boosting the popularity of the German Shepherd in America and also for maintaining Warner Bros’ success.
Shiloh Shepherd Overview
In contrast to most mixed breeds, the story of the Shiloh Shepherd is very well documented. The journey of the Shiloh Shepherd began in the late 20th Century when Tina Barber, a German Shepherd breeder from New York, became increasingly concerned about the health issues of the German Shepherd and constantly changing appearance, especially his sloped back.
To preserve his appearance and health, the breeder developed a puppy by crossing the German Shepherd with the Alaskan Malamute, Canadian White Shepherd, and the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog. Shiloh is the title given to Tina’s Kennel, and, as such, she named the mixed puppy Shiloh Shepherd.
There are no recognized Shiloh Shepherd kennel clubs. However, he is acknowledged as a member of the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA). It is believed that at some point in the near future, he will eventually be recognized among the top kennel clubs. This is why it is not known how well-known he is in America, but his popularity is certainly growing.
King Shepherd: The German Shepherd and Shiloh Shepherd Mix
The King Shepherd’s story is like the journey of the Shiloh Shepherd. The breeders who were frustrated with their breed, the German Shepherd, Shelly Watts-Cross and David Turkheimer, combined their dogs and their breeds. They bred a German Shepherd and a Shiloh Shepherd to produce an animal that was substantially larger and, hopefully, healthier.
It is also a new breed that was just developed about thirty years ago. Due to this, he’s not yet acknowledged by the large kennel clubs. The American King Shepherd Club (AKSC) is the only breed club for the King Shepherd, and this is the most comprehensive and clear website for any prospective King Shepherd owner.
Appearance and Size
Male and female King Shepherd will measure between 25 and 32 inches tall, from shoulder to paw, and they will be between 90 to 140 pounds in weight. King Shepherd is a massive dog that is bigger than his parents. Of course, the females are smaller than males, both in size and weight however, overall, they appear like the oversized German Shepherd.
King Shepherd King Shepherd still has a long muzzle but has an enormous square head, and his voluminous fur makes him an adorable teddy bear. The ears of the King Shepherd are large and triangular and are usually erect, creating a smug look.
Despite being larger than his parents, he’s still quick and agile due to his strong muscle and build. In addition to being bigger, the dog also has a more straight and less sloped back in comparison to his German parents, which gives him a larger and more proportioned appearance.
Coat and Colors
King Shepherds will commonly have a double coat of medium length which is dense and thick underneath, and the outer coat is rough; however, they may have smooth coats. Its coat has a straight shape and, at times, slightly curly. On his neck, he’ll have even thicker and longer fur.
They can have vibrant shades like their parents. They can be seen in bi-colored, sable black saddles with red gold, tan, gold, cream, and black. Sometimes, a less vibrant color, such as blue or silver or even a complete white could be seen within this dog breed, but it is not a desirable color as per the breed standard established in the AKSC.
Temperament and Personality Traits
Like his parents, German and the Shiloh Shepherds are excellent protectors and extremely loyal to their families. They still have the protective nature of his parents; however, he is more relaxed. If it’s an animal that is a guard dog you’re looking for, and you want to keep him in the family, he’s just as smart as German Shepherds. The dog will return to play with the family and is a more peaceful household pet than the German Shepherd.
King Shepherd was engineered to be more friendly than the German Shepherd, and thanks to his more relaxed attitude, he certainly is more approachable. However, the majority of potential intruders are unable to distinguish between them, but even with his initial shyness, however, he can still leave an impression.
Once the master has welcomed a stranger to the property, this breed is extremely welcoming and will be eager to get all belly rubs going. Due to his higher degree of affection in comparison to his parents and siblings, he is also an excellent therapy dog.
Exercise and Living Requirements
King Shepherd is an energetic medium-to-high energy dog that requires approximately sixty minutes of daily exercise. Between his workouts, he enjoys an enjoyable stroll around the yard or taking a nap in between. They love playing games that involve their family and friends, so be prepared to play tug-of-war or catch together on a regular routine.
Due to his size and energy, this guy is best suited to a bigger house with an expansive backyard. He wouldn’t do well living in an apartment for the whole day, and it would certainly not be long before he would get bored and ruin your household possessions.
He requires plenty of fresh air and room to run around and guard the property and also an insulated and secure space within. Like most large dogs, he frequently imagines himself as a Chihuahua, and you’ll often see him lying on your lap or on the couch.
The fence should be high and well-constructed to ensure that he cannot escape since he is likely to try to break through, so a fence of 6 feet that is impossible for him to break through is recommended. Additionally, due to his curiosity, he must be secured on a leash at all times in public areas.
Training and Socialization
It is an intelligent dog that loves to delight its master, and, as such, it is an absolute pleasure to train. It is also very easy to train due to the speed at which the dog can grasp commands. However, he requires consistent training at a young age. Positive reinforcement training is the most effective method of training for The King Shepherd, as some praise can go far for this dog.
Although King Shepherds came from herding dogs, he doesn’t attempt to drag individuals or animals in an area like other dogs that herd, like those of the Collie and the Corgi. The primary characteristic he inherits through his father is the tendency to guard. So it is essential to establish a good relationship with him from the beginning to ensure that he does not develop into a hyper-aggressive or protective dog. But, he’s less likely to develop this way than the German Shepherd parent.
Making him socialize with strangers and dogs of all sizes and shapes is essential to ensure that the dog grows into a calm, well-behaved, and well-mannered adult.
It is believed that the King Shepherd has a thick coat that is water resistant, which should be cleaned every two to 3 months to make sure that the oils present in his coat don’t get damaged. Although he is easier to groom in the bathing routine compared to other dogs, he requires daily brushing.
He is a medium to heavy shedder, and, as such, you will have to brush him daily to get rid of dead hair that would otherwise be a mess in your home. During the time of shedding, it is possible that you will need to brush him twice a day. clean him two times per every day to maintain his coat’s shape. While this might appear like a chore, it’s a fun bonding time for the King Shepherd and his owner.
The rest of the grooming requirements are the same for any other dog, so ensure that you use the time for daily grooming for him to check for any infections or lumps that could develop.
The King Shepherd, being a magnificent dog, requires approximately four cups of food each day. It will vary based on the size of the dog and its activity levels. While King Shepherds are not food driven, they can be prone to eating a few snacks, so it is important to keep track of their food intake to reduce the pressure on joints.
It is recommended that the King Shepherd, with his predisposition to Gastric Torsion, be fed the proper amount of food at least two times every day, but not right after or immediately before exercising. Mixing dry dog foods and Kibble is believed to reduce the risk of developing this condition, as is using a slow-feed bowl to aid in regulating their eating habits.
Talk to your veterinarian for guidance on feeding the King Shepherd.
Health and Lifespan
The lifespan of the King Shepherd is between 10 to 11 years, and he’s somewhat healthier than the way he was intended to be. Since the Shiloh parents were also born to German Shepherds, the King Shepherd is likely to inherit certain German Shepherd health issues.
The most frequent health issue for those who own the German Shepherd is Hip Dysplasia. The King version of this breed has a more proportioned body, with a lower sloped back, but he is predisposed to the condition.
Hip Dysplasia can be defined as the irregular development in the hip joint, which can result in discomfort when walking. Another issue that is a major concern for King Shepherds King Shepherd is Gastric Torsion or Bloat, and it is when his stomach can turn when eating, before, or following an intense workout. It is a serious condition and should be reported to a Veterinarian immediately.
Anyone who is considering acquiring the King Shepherd must research the conditions mentioned above carefully and be aware of the symptoms that are associated with them. The AKSC provides additional details as well as health information regarding the breed.
The King Shepherd as Family Pets
- The King Shepherd is a lively dog that should be kept in an active family.
- It is essential to ensure that he gets at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily.
- It makes a great guard dog.
- He is more friendly and social in comparison to his German Shepherd parentage.
- The dog is extremely trustworthy and will build an unbreakable bond with family members.
- He is energetic; however, he is not the most bouncy when at home.
- So long as the King Shepherd is well-socialized and supervised, he’ll be a good fit in a household with multiple pets.
- They are extremely loving and affectionate, and they will love snuggling on the sofa together with the family.
- He is not a fan of being left to himself for prolonged periods of time.
- He’ll need access to a backyard area for space and exercise, along with reinforced fences.
- He requires daily brushing because of his medium to high shedding.
- Due to his shedding, he’s unsuitable for people who suffer from allergies.
King Shepherd Puppy Prices
It is true that the King Shepherd is still a rare breed which is why there aren’t many reputable breeders in the area, but since they are becoming more well-known, they are highly sought-after. Due to this, the cost of puppies will begin at approximately $1500.
Make sure you request to see the registration documents with either the ARBA or AKSC and their health certificates. Also, ensure that you meet the parents and puppies before taking one home.
Like any breed of dog that is in fashion, unscrupulous puppy mills profit from this trend and produce numerous similar-looking pups without regard to their health, just to profit from the rising popularity of the breed. It is not only likely that your dog is unfit, but it will not be difficult to present a German Shepherd pup as an actual King Shepherd. You might be tricked into thinking that it’s a King Shepherd.
Buying a King Shepherd From a Reputable Breeder
Since it’s a relatively new breed, there are just a handful of reputable and well-known breeders across America. The AKSC provide a list of reliable breeders on their website; however, there are a few additional breeders that can be located through online search engines.
If you cannot locate the right breeder or one that you like, get in touch with the AKSC, and they’ll be more than willing to guide you in the proper direction.
In the end, make sure that you go through reviews and talk to people who own King Shepherds on forums online, as well as talk to the breeder before deciding whether or not to go ahead with the breeder. Ultimately, this is a major decision requiring careful research and time.
Adopting From Rescue Centers and Shelters
The best way to start your journey towards adopting a King Shepherd is to contact and visit nearby German Shepherd rescue centers. There are numerous shelters that cater to German Shepherds and German Shepherd mixes.
If there’s no King Shepherd in the shelter at the time you go, then you can talk to the staff and inform them that you’re looking for a King Shepherd in particular, and they’ll be able to point you in the right direction.
Rescue centers also utilize social networks to advertise puppies that are available for adoption, which is another excellent way to locate a King Shepherd who needs a forever home.
While he’s rarer than the majority of Shepherds and may be more difficult to find an appropriate breeder, once you find the right one, it’s an investment you won’t regret. Your King Shepherd will be there for a long time and will surely be just as well-known as the German Shepherd at some point in the near future, if not even more, because of his impeccable design and charming traits.