Differences and Similarities Between German Shepherd and King Shepherd

Photo of author
Written by: Celestine Gomez
Last updated:

German shepherds are one of the most iconic dog breeds worldwide. We’ve seen German shepherds all around the place, including in movies, as they are one of the most loyal and intelligent dog breeds in the world.

However, there’s a dog breed similar to the German shepherd, and, likely, we can’t spot the difference right away between the two dog breeds. We are talking about King Shepherd, another loyal dog breed that possesses a lot in common with the German shepherd.

Before explaining their differences, we should talk about what both dog breeds have in common.

Similarities between a King Shepherd and a German Shepherd 

Their life span

Medium-large dogs like the German shepherd often live from 10 to 12 years of age, and King shepherds live between 10 to 11. Although there’s a small age gap, their approximate life span is almost identical.


As both dog breeds are medium-large, they tend to lose a lot of fur thanks to double coats. Their shedding is heavy and seasonal, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need a weekly grooming session.


Both dog breeds behave very well during training, as they share common behaviors. They are easy to train and can follow complex commands, and that’s why the police have German Shepherds as K-9 units.

Excellent for first-time dog owners

The two dog breeds are easy to train and know how to behave, and that’s why they are great candidates for new dog owners. However, it’s important to remember that both dog breeds still need special care and space to play.

Now that we understand what the two dog breeds have in common, it’s time to analyze their differences.

Differences Between King Shepherd and the German Shepherd


As their name implies, German shepherds came from Germany back in 1889. Although their original purpose was to work on farms, they played a crucial role in WW1 thanks to their aggressive behavior and natural strength.

On the other hand, King shepherds are from America. Although they share the same ancestry as the German shepherd, King shepherds are larger dogs with different behavior than the German shepherd. A crucial part of both dog breeds’ history is that German shepherds are purebred, while King shepherds are crossbreeds.


Although both dogs share the same ancestry, their height isn’t the same. King shepherds are usually taller, as their approximate height is between 63-76 cm. Moreover, German Shepherds are between 55-60cm.


As both dog breeds have different heights, it’s normal to assume their weight isn’t the same. German shepherds are lighter than King shepherds, as a German shepherd usually weighs between 30-40kg. King shepherd approximately weight is between 50-63kg.

Overall appearance

King shepherds have iconic dark pigmentation in their noses, paws, lips, and other parts of their bodies. On the other hand, German shepherds can present any pigmentation color, including pink noses and pink lips.

Although the two dog breeds can have the same fur color, the German shepherd can be white or red, while the King shepherd is usually in a dark coat.

Personality and temperament

German shepherds are naturally protective and aggressive, and, thanks to their behavior, they are part of the military and police as K-9 units. On the other hand, King shepherds are calmer and easy-going. They are perfect as protective dogs that can also be good with strangers. 

German shepherds are independent and versatile, as they need to be for the heavy tasks that they have to do. King shepherds are playful and energetic, and this is why they are perfect for kids and first-time dog owners.

Health issues

Both dog breeds indeed share an almost identical life span. However, German shepherds suffer a lot of hereditary diseases in their life span. Moreover, King shepherds don’t struggle as much with illnesses as their German counterparts.

Energy and exercise

German shepherds are energetic and always love to have something to do, and this quality makes them perfect watchdogs. Although King shepherds share a lot of their personalities with German shepherds, they don’t need a task to exercise, as they are playful and calm enough to be quiet.

What is the right dog for you?

Both German shepherds and King shepherds are good choices for those first-time dog owners that want to have a new companion in their lives. Nevertheless, there are a few differences in each dog breed for each dog owner.

German shepherds are best suited for those dog owners who want a watchdog and a security dog while being cautious and friendly. On the other hand, King shepherds are the best choice for a family with kids that want a guard dog.

Photo of author

Celestine Gomez

I'm Celestine Gomez, worked for 5 years in an animal shelter in Los Angeles, California. Having noticed the inherent passion and zeal in me to care for pets, I took a step further to create a team of I and like-minded individuals to provide an informative resource in order to broaden the knowledge base of a regular pet owners.