22 Questions То Consider Before Getting A King Shepherd
Many dog breeders around the world have tried to make new wolf-like dog breeds. Enter the King Shepherd. Developed in the late 1990s by Shelley Watts-Cross and David Turkheimer, the King Shepherd is a mix of German Shepherds with a few other breeds such as Alaskan Malamutes, Akita, and Great Pyrenees.
The goal of the King’s breeders was to create a new breed that’s both awesome and healthier than its GSD (German Shepherd dog) parent. And they certainly succeeded.
Does this mean that the King Shepherd can make a good pet for you and your family, however? Is there are social and lovable dog beneath these wolf-like features? And is this breed really significantly healthier than the GSD? Let’s go over the 22 questions to consider before getting a King Shepherd below.
1. Is a King Shepherd a good dog?
As a love child of several wonderful breeds, the King Shepherd is a similarly fantastic pet. These dogs have a very neatly balanced temperament and can fill various roles – a family pet, a herdig dog, a guide dog, a rescue animal, a police or military dog, a child companion, a guard dog, and more.
This amazing versatility is due to the breed’s high intelligence, people-pleasing personality, and a family tree full of great working dog breeds.
2. What type of breed is the King Shepherd?
As its name implies, the King Shepherd is still considered first and foremost a shepherd breed. Naturally, however, these dogs aren’t commonly used as shepherds but as family pets because they are a new and rare breed. They do retain a lot of their GSD history and skillset, however.
3. Are King Shepherds rare?
As this breed was created in the early 1990s, it hasn’t exactly had the time to reach peak popularity. The King Shepherd is grabbing more and more eyes with each passing year but it’s still a relatively rare breed with not that many breeders working on spreading it.
4. How smart is the King Shepherd?
Like its parents, the King Shepherd is an exceptionally intelligent breed. These dogs are amazing problem-solvers, can learn to perform various work tasks and tricks, and require quite a bit of mental stimulation together with their physical exercise.
5. Is the King Shepherd easy to train?
Thanks to its high intelligence and people-pleasing personality, the King Shepherd is quite easy to train. This doesn’t mean that you won’t benefit from having a bit of experience under your belt of course. Nor does it negate the need for extensive obedience training from an early age, of course. Still, even if you’re a first-time dog owner, you should be able to manage this breed easily with a bit of research and preparation.
6. Can King Shepherds be left alone?
Like all highly affectionate and intelligent dog breeds, the King Shepherd is really susceptible to separation anxiety. This means that you don’t want to get such a dog if your work and lifestyle are going to force you to leave it home alone for too long. This dog needs people around it for most of each day or it will grow to be anxious, depressed, disobedient, and even destructive.
Ideally, you’ll have family members who are at home when you’re not. Other alternatives include:
- Hire a pet sitter/walker
- Arrange for playdates with other dog owners
- Get a second dog
If you know you’ll have no choice but to leave your shepherd home alone for hours each day, it’s best not to get such a dog in the first place.
7. Do King Shepherds get along with other dogs?
This highly social breed harbors very little instinctive aggression toward other canines. With good socialization and especially if you raise the pup with other dogs, you should have no problem getting a King Shepherd to behave around canines.
8. Is the King Shepherd breed safe for kids?
These dogs’ shepherd personality makes them very good for families with kids of all ages and sizes. Granted, the large size of the King Shepherd means that accidental knocks and falls are possible so some supervision is still required. However, overall, this dog’s instincts are to view all family members as its pack, including children.
9. Can you have a cat with a King Shepherd?
As a shepherd breed, these dogs don’t have a particularly pronounced prey drive. So, with the right socialization, they can even get along with cats and other pets.
10. Is the King Shepherd breed safe with strangers?
Some people train GSDs as guard dogs and a King Shepherd can be trained to be distrustful of strangers. However, the much easier and commonly preferred route is to socialize the dog well which makes it very well-behaved with and around guests and strangers.
11. How much exercise does a King Shepherd need?
This large breed is fairly energetic and requires at least an hour or two of vigorous daily exercise. This means not just walking around the blog but jogging, playing fetch, and other games. This exercise should be spread across two separate outings every day.
12. Can you have a King Shepherd in an apartment or do you need a yard?
Every dog can live in an apartment if you give it enough outdoor playtime every day. So, apartment owners should be prepared to spend some extra time in the dog park to compensate for the lack of a yard. However, ideally, you will also have a nice and well-fenced yard for your shepherd to play in whenever it wants.
13. How big do King Shepherds get?
These large dogs can get as tall as 25 to 31 inches at the shoulder (63.5 to 79 cm) and as heavy as 75 to 150 pounds (34 to 68 kg).
14. Is the King Shepherd breed recognized by kennel clubs?
This new crossbreed isn’t yet recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). However, it is recognized by several other major kennel clubs such as:
- American Rare Breed Association (ARBA)
- World Wide Kennel Club (WWKC)
- States Kennel Club (SKC)
- American Pet Registry, Inc. (APRI)
- And others.
This also means that the breed has a well-established standard for its physical and temperament traits.
15. What type of coat do King Shepherds have?
King Shepherds have a medium-length double coat that offers great isolation in both the winter and summer months.
16. Do King Shepherds shed a lot?
Like its parent, the German Shedder, King Shepherds also tend to shed quite a bit of fur. This will be especially pronounced around the spring and fall blow-outs.
17. Are King Shepherds hypoallergenic?
Not really. No dog really is but King Shepherds aren’t even close to tolerable for people with allergies.
18. Is it easy to groom a King Shepherd?
Brushing your dog’s fur at least once every other day is really recommended with this breed. Other than that, regular baths (once or twice a month) will also be helpful. Going to a professional groomer around the spring and fall blow-outs can also help make the shedding more manageable.
19. What colors do King Shepherds come in?
The standard colors of this breed include red, black, fawn, sable, and brown. Most of the time, the coat will look very similar to that of a German Shepherd.
20. How long do King Shepherds live?
The average expected lifespan of this breed is 10 to 11 years, similar to that of most of its parent breeds. However, with good care and a bit of luck, a healthy pup can live long past that.
21. Are King Shepherds a healthy breed?
GSDs are famous as quite a sickly breed at this point but that’s exactly why breeders of GSD mixes work tirelessly to create healthy crossbreeds. So, while the King Shepherd can inherit some of the health problems of its German Shepherd predecessor, it is an overall healthier breed.
Some of the issues you should still watch out for include:
Avoiding these issues is a big reason why you always want to get your dogs from a reputable breeder (unless you’re adopting from a shelter). A good breeder will always offer you a health certificate and will let you see the pup’s parents. After that, it’s all a matter of regular exercise, good food, and routine vet check-ups.
22. How much does a King Shepherd cost?
For better or for worse, King Shepherds are still a new and rare breed. So, as the demand is higher than the supply, purebred King Shepherd pups can be quite costly and are rarely sold for less than $1,500.
Additionally, while there are a lot of GSD mixes in shelters and rescues, few (if any) can reliably be called King Shepherds. So, if you want an actual King Shepherd dog you will have to talk with a breed. On the bright side, finding a reputable breeder who offers health certificates for their dogs all but guarantees a healthy pet.
So, while these wolf-like dogs can look quite threatening, you’ll find that they are as much the lovable goofs that German Shepherds are. Thanks to this cross being mixed with other social and well-balanced dogs, it is an awesome family dog.
Of course, like all big dogs, the King Shepherd requires a knowledgeable owner and a dedicated upbringing. However, as long as the dog raising and training basics are there, a King Shepherd can easily be your next favorite pet.