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King Shepherd Vs. German Shepherd: What Sets Them Apart

King Shepherd Vs. German Shepherd: What Sets Them Apart

Welcome to the world of two very intimidating dog breeds that happen to be affectionate family dogs. Who would have thought that these large canines with bites that could kill a man could possibly be amazing human companions? 

Step right up for a side-by-side showdown of King Shepherd vs. German Shepherd – let’s explore their unique and amazing features!

They may look scary, but once you get to know them, they turn into little cuddly fur balls! 

King Shepherd Vs. German Shepherd: A Comparison Of Key Differences

king shepherd lying on the sofa

These pups may look similar, but they are very different in terms of origin, breeding purpose, appearance, and behavior. 

How about we start this story by explaining which dog is purebred, and which is a hybrid?

Cross Breed Vs Purebred

Think of King Shepherds as bulky German Shepherds on steroids. 

They’re a mixture of the fearless German Shepherd and other breeds, giving them a one-of-a-kind personality and skillset. Yes, they are hybrid dogs, but that does not mean that they are any less good than GSDs. 

German Shepherds are purebred dogs because they have consistent and official breed standards that the majority of reputable breeders follow to create healthy pups. 

Their Roots

King Shepherds were created by two American breeders in 1990. Although they have been around for a while, King Shepherds are still a fresh breed on the block and the American Kennel Club hasn’t given them the official nod yet (because they are hybrid dogs). 

They mixed the fearless German Shepherd with other breeds like the Great Pyrenees and Alaskan Malamute to make a larger, healthier version of the German Shepherd.

German Shepherds were bred by a dog breeder named Max von Stephanitz in 1899, and they were born and raised in Germany, of course! 

Breeding Purpose

King Shepherds were bred to be the ultimate working dogs. 

After breeders achieved their sturdy build and large size, they realized that these pups could easily take down any dangerous predator. 

This is why one of the main tasks they had was guarding and hunting. 

Despite their intimidating looks, these large shepherd dogs have proven to be extremely loyal and affectionate towards their human pack. 

When it comes to German Shepherds, they were also bred as working dogs, but they have shown great skills in other tasks such as herding, police work, medical alert service, and even hunting! 

We like to call GSDs ultimate pups among shepherd dog breeds because they are so smart, agile, and loyal. 


Differences in size are actually quite noticeable, especially when you have these two standing next to each other. 

Growing up to can grow to be up to a whopping 31 inches at the shoulder and weighing up to 150 pounds, King Shepherds are bigger, hence the name. They inherit a larger, more robust, and muscular body frame which makes them very intimidating.  

On the other hand, German Shepherds grow to be a bit shorter, reaching typically about 24 to 26 inches in height. As for their weight, the official AKC breed standard, these pups weigh between 50 and 90 pounds. 

GSDs have a more “elegant” looking body with a smaller frame, but they still make for intimidating guard dogs!

Male Vs. Female

Both King Shepherd males and females tend to be larger than their German Shepherd counterparts, but male King Shepherds are usually the largest of them all! 

As with any dog breed, females are a bit smaller and slimmer, with a “girly” body frame. 

When it comes to German Shepherd males and females, it is the same story – the guys tend to be a bit bigger than the gals. However, the size difference is not as pronounced as in King Shepherds.

Regardless of gender, both dog breeds are super strong, agile, athletic, and great at performing any given task. 


german shepherd sitting in nature

Oh if looks could kill! These ruff and tuff pooches have a very intimidating appearance. 

Both share a very sturdy and muscular build, but there are several key differences that you can notice straight away. 

Let’s start with the coat types and colors! 

Coat Type

Alongside size, their coats are the most distinguishable features. The coat types of these two incredible pooches are very different. 

King Shepherds have a thick and fluffy double coat that serves as a cozy sweater, protecting them from harsh weather conditions. In contrast to GSDs, King’s coat is usually a little longer and plusher, making this pooch the ultimate cuddle machine! 

German Shepherds, on the other hand, have sleek and shiny coats that are a bit coarse. It is usually short and dense, but it can be long too, depending on different breeding lines. 

The fact that it is so dense and thick helps the GSD tolerate cold temperatures, but also helps him cool down during hot weather. 

Long-haired GSDs may resemble King Shepherds due to their long coats, but they are not as fluffy. 

Coat Color 

While both dog breeds have thick double coats that keep them warm and protected, they differ in terms of coat type and color.

King Shepherds can come in a variety of beautiful coat colors, and I mean it! You will see all sorts of colors, from fawn and beige to black and chocolate, with sable being a popular shade. 

These majestic canines love to mix and match, and they always have at least two colors in their coat! They also have unique coat patterns like bi-color, saddle, panda, and blanket. 

King Shepherds are fashionable mixed breeds with paws, noses, and fur that are dressed in dark colors.

German Shepherds, on the other hand, are more colorful, inheriting dark or pink paw pads and lighter fur. 

GSDs have more options to choose from when it comes to coat colors and patterns. From the standard black and tan, to unique black and silver, to the rarest of them all, Isabella color. Some of these pups can also inherit solid colors, such as pure white or all black.

Both the King Shepherd and GSD puppies can change color during development. Puppies start with soft, light colors, whereas adults develop darker hair. 

Shedding Amounts

When it comes to shedding, King Shepherds and German Shepherds are in the same boat. 

King Shepherds tend to shed a bit more and their hair is more prone to falling out, especially during seasonal changes. Their fluffy undercoat just needs a little extra brushing to keep mats and tangles away.

Due to the fact that they have a fluffy undercoat, Kings have to be brushed regularly to get rid of mats and tangles. 

On the other side, German Shepherds shed a little less, but they are still considered heavy shedders.

Both breeds shed as part of their natural shedding cycle, so it’s nothing to worry about. It’s just their way of getting rid of old hair to make room for new growth. 

To make them shed less, it is best to invest in some high-quality brushes. Any quality brush for a GSD will do good with a King Shepherd as well. 

Hey, don’t mind the shedding! It is a small price to pay for all the love and joy these pups bring into our lives!

Eye Colors

King Shepherds usually have dark brown eyes that make this pooch look very mysterious! Besides the standard dark brown color, Kings can inherit light brown, hazel, and in rare cases, green eyes! 

German Shepherds also have beautiful brown eyes, but they can sometimes have blue eyes, too! They can come in many shades and hues, depending on the genetics. 

Having said that, the eye color of both pups can change as they grow and develop. 

Both newborn canines will have blue eyes, but once they stop nursing, their color will change (from lighter to darker shades).

One thing is for sure, the eyes of both of these canines are like two precious gems, shining bright with love and intelligence. You will definitely fall in love with them! 

Behavior And Temperament

king shepherd lying on the ground in the garden

Smart, loyal, playful, assertive, and affectionate, that’s how I would describe both of these incredible breeds! Their body language says it all! Both of them stand tall with watchful eyes and perked-up ears.

King Shepherds are gentle giants that are known to get along well with kids. German Shepherds, on the other hand, can be a bit more reserved and suspicious of new people. 

Both of them share high intelligence and they are geniuses in training which is why they make fantastic furry friends. 

However, if you are looking for a family pooch, a King Shepherds may be a better fit, given their relaxed nature.

GSDs make amazing family dogs as well, but considering their high prey drive, they should be socialized early around kids. 

Health Problems

veterinarian giving injection to german shepherd at clinic

Both of these pups can inherit some pesky genetic conditions, but King Shepherds may have the upper paw in this, as mixed breeds tend to have better health.                        

King ShepherdsGerman Shepherds
HypothyroidismHip dysplasia
Von Willebrand's disease Degenerative myelopathy
Hip/Elbow dysplasiaExocrine pancreatic insufficiency
Eye issuesBloat

Before getting your new pup, it is crucial to do your research and choose a reputable breeder who screens for common health concerns.

Final Word 

In the end, no matter what breed you choose, King Shepherd vs. German Shepherd both make paw-some companions, so find a pup with a personality that matches yours! 

Remember that a healthy pup is a happy pup, so make sure to give them plenty of exercise, love, and cuddles to keep their tails wagging for years to come!