K is for KING SHEPHERD | #AtoZChallenge

47 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2016, Blogfests, Dogs, Writing/Blogging
#AtoZChallenge 2016 G is for Golden Retriever
Welcome everyone, to the #AtoZChallenge Blogging Extravaganza, where hundreds of bloggers publish 26 posts in 30 days, one for each letter of the alphabet, covering a myriad of topics! “Dog Breeds & Anecdotes” is my theme. Click HERE to see all posts and HERE to view the participants. Please support our efforts by visiting, sharing and commenting. We have all worked long and hard on this project. Have fun and thanks for reading!
#AtoZChallenge 2016, K is for KING SHEPHERD, The Doglady's Den
Day 11, April 13


#AtoZChallenge K is for KING SHEPHERD

Two American dog breeders, Shelly Watts-Cross, and David Turkheimer created this large breed from the Shiloh Shepherd, additional American-bred German Shepherd Dogs, Alaskan Malamutes and Great Pyrenees. An organized dog breed club was started in 1995. Males stand at 29 to 32 inches (74 to 81 cm) tall and 100 to 150 pounds (45 to 68 kg) pounds while females are 25 to 29 inches (64 to 74 cm) tall and 75 to 110 pounds (34 to 50 kg). This is an intelligent, energetic breed that needs challenging mental stimulation, plenty of exercise and regular grooming. – WIKIPEDIA [Photo credit]

My one experience with this breed was memorable and somewhat painful, literally! Let me introduce you to Tucker, a massive King Shepherd who was a short-term walking client. I’m the one who shortened the term and you’ll see why in a minute.

His owner told me Tucker was fairly easy to walk (this is important when dealing with a 150-pound dog), except…Ah yes, there’s always an “except”, isn’t there? Tucker’s weakness apparently, was cats and other dogs. He hated them, apart from, get this, Jack Russell Terriers, who frightened him! Imagine a big dog like that being scared of a bitty terrier. This made me smile and, duly warned, we headed out. A few cats and dogs did cross our path. Tucker barked furiously, but it was nothing I couldn’t handle. Nobody told me about the squirrels! Tucker went absolutely nuts when he saw them, lunging with all his might.

#AtoZchallenge: K is for King Shepherd: Squirrel problem
[Photo credit]

First day, I sustained a sore shoulder. Not ready to give up yet, I thought I could anticipate and spot the squirrels before Tucker did, thereby keeping a firm grip on a short lead. Ha! He was too strong for me to restrain him. In a self-preservation move, I let go of the leash. (This was a quiet neighbourhood with no traffic.) He didn’t go far but refused to come back to me, playing “catch me if you can”. My car was nearby, so I got an idea. In a singsong voice, I asked: “Tucker, wanna go for a ride?”, and opened the door. He hopped right in. GOTCHA! This went on for a few months. One day, Tucker caught me unawares and dislocated my little finger. It was then I decided to terminate our relationship, having already sustained a serious dog-related knee injury not long before.


Here’s a video illustrating the size of this breed and how much grooming is involved:

Have you ever encountered this type of dog?

Would you consider having one as a pet?

Looking forward to your comments!


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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
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47 thoughts on “K is for KING SHEPHERD | #AtoZChallenge

  1. My grandparents had a huge standard poodle that was a bit like this – gentle and sweet, but a bear to walk. I was never allowed to take him outside, for fear he’d drag me down the sidewalk, face first, for miles.

    If I were doing dogs for A to Z, my “K” would have been for Keeshond, my favorite dog ever. (Of course, mine was a very special Keeshond, and possibly not typical of the breed, But she was smart as a whip, playful, and genuinely kind.)

    1. Some dogs are so hard to handle on the leash! I developed arthritis in my fingers from years of being yanked around by unruly dogs. Occupational hazard. 😛 One of my clients had a beautiful Keeshond named Jag(uar). He was a lovable little devil. 🙂

  2. I can totally understand not being able to walk this beautiful dog. I have seen them and just thought they were some German Shepherd cross. I would not get a dog like this because I easily dislocate my joints due to my disease, I once dislocated and stretched my shoulder tendons bending down to give my dog her food. It took a few months to recover.

    1. I still walk the house guests but retired from general dog walking a few years ago. My husband used to work shifts and came with me once in awhile. Tucker behaved much better for him. I guess he was a male chauvinist dog. 🙂

  3. New breed to me, wow a big dog. I have mental images of the movie Up 🙂 “Squirrel!”
    Tasha’s Thinkings (70) | Wittegen Press (72) | FB3X (AC) (73)

  4. I’ve not seen this breed up close and personal, but I’m sure they’d drag me cross country with ease. Patches as small as she was had quite a pull. LOL
    Lovely animal though!

    1. These dogs are big and strong. Tucker went completely nuts when he saw a squirrel. I draw the line at constant injury risks. Don’t get paid enough for that. 🙂

  5. What an interesting breed! I haven’t seen one of those kind before. Lots and lots of fur by the looks of it just like Loup. Loup isn’t cooperative about being brushed like the dogs in the video though. No sirreee! Yes, walking big dogs who have that predator prey instinct can certainly be exciting, eh, Debbie? I’m always on the lookout for cats and small dogs. I find small dogs the worst because they want to fight with Loup. Stella the pug down the road would come out and run after Loup. We would run away from her to avoid a confrontation. Good way to get exercise.

  6. Ouch! I know what you mean though. I can no longer walk my two labs – especially not together. My decision came after two skinned knees and a skinned up chin! I’ve tried taking one at a time and that seems okay, but the other looks so forlorn and then put out whenever I do. sigh. Gosh, the King Shepherd in the photo looks so majestic:-)

    1. Dogs can certainly do some damage. I’ve tried the two-shift thing and if you read my “L” post, you’ll see that some dogs don’t take kindly to that. 🙂 Have you heard of the Lupi? It’s a thin harness that prevents dogs from pulling. Another option is a Halti, but most dogs hate the strap on their faces.

  7. Your story reminds me of Spike and his love for chasing cats. He was another of those itty-bitty dogs. Usually, I could stop him, but one day, he decided he was going to catch that stupid orange cat (his words, not mine) and if he had to take me with him, he would… and he did. For a few steps, and then, Kaboom! I was on the ground. Spike came over to inspect and I told him to go get Nino. He said, not on your life. My job is to protect you and protect you I will. And he did.
    The thing about catching him with the car–it must be the Malamute part. That was the only way I could catch Dnitra. Her dam was a Siberian Husky, but her sire was half Malamute and half Siberian. And when I couldn’t catch her, the only thing we could do was get the car and ask if she wanted to go for a ride. You know, the feeling, I’m sure.
    When I was much younger, I might have wanted one, but now? Not so much.

    1. Spike and Tucker share some qualities. 🙂 The car tactic definitely came in handy. King Shepherds do have Malamute in them.

  8. Those dogs in the video had me cracking up. The one in particular that kept trying to ‘muscle’ his way in for some brushing.

  9. Hi again, Debbie the Doglady!

    I just remembered a TV series that I used to watch as a kid: Sergeant Preston of the Yukon (1955-1958). His dog King was a large Alaskan Malamute. Did you watch that adventure series?

    1. I used to watch that show, Shady. I don’t remember it much, but yes, we did watch it, when I was a little older (I was only 2 when it started).

    2. I’ve heard of the show but haven’t watched it, Shady. King Shepherds have Alaskan Malamute in them as well, I understand. One of those took out my knee.

  10. They are amazing, smart and powerful dogs! I would totally love having one at home. Plus he would be a nice warm blanket for the upcoming winter!


  11. Hahaha! Sorry about your finger, Debbie, but I couldn’t help laughing while reading this post! 😀
    When my nephew was 3 years old, he became too sturdy and too strong for me to handle him! That’s when I set my foot down and refused to lift him in my arms anymore, ‘coz I was scared he might just lunge out and I won’t be able to hold him back! So you can imagine, I’ll surely keep my distance from such a big dog!
    – Chicky @ http://www.mysteriouskaddu.com

  12. I am loving your daily feed. My son has been pestering me for a dog. I would love to get him one but we have very limited space. Besides, I do not have the energy to take care of a pet after the boys and hubby. But, I love dogs.

  13. Wow! That is a powerful dog. How do you stop a dog from chasing a squirrel? It’s got to be rough, especially in a city with many squirrels. My city has an awful large amount too. You don’t go a day without seeing one of these things running around somewhere.

    1. It’s difficult, for sure! With Tucker, I would let go of the leash, as it was a quiet area with no traffic. My fingers have arthritis from years of being yanked and pulled by unruly dogs

  14. I’ve never met a King. Plenty of German shepherds but not a King Shepherd. That’s a lot of hair! For that reason I wouldn’t want to own one.
    Re: squirrels: when dogs are obsessed with squirrels, it’s darn near impossible to control them. I have a little lab mix, Cleo, who stays with me. She was just here last week, matter of fact. She is so crazy about squirrels that she literally busted out my window screen in my bedroom to go after one. I have a storm door on my back door and when she sees a squirrel in the backyard, if I don’t have that door locked, she busts right through it and out the door she goes. And bark! Lord, this dog screeches when she sees squirrels. What is it about those little critters that drive some dogs nuts??

    That sucks that Tucker dislocated your finger. Ouch! I would’ve stopped walking him too for sure… I’m sure the owner understood…hopefully anyway.

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Even standard shepherds shed a lot, so the hair can be an issue. Not nice when the house guests cause damage. 🙁 Your Cleo sounds truly obsessed! I have a Collie client who barks like a maniac at squirrels and I’m sure he would bust through the screen too, if given a chance. Tucker’s owner was gracious and apologized for her dog. She likely had more than one dog walker quit on her.

  15. Hi Debbie, I’ve seen a fair amount of German shepherds and Tucker looks similar. Wow aren’t they a powerful lot! Poor you to have sustained so many injuries because of Tucker. But I guess he’s like a big naughty child who just wants to play!
    @KalaRavi16 from

  16. Wow Debbie, hope you have a good insurance, ‘injured on the job’. I would have given the good old King back to his people after the dislocated shoulder. I really admire you and the work you do.

    1. No; that kind of insurance is much too expensive. My shoulder wasn’t dislocated, thankfully, just sore. The finger was, however, which is why I declined to keep walking Tucker.

  17. My daughter had one, Dakota, who died last year. Beautiful and so gentle. He’s the one who sent me flying across the floor when I tried to step over him and he woke up.

  18. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

    I never encountered a dog of the King Shepherd breed. They look powerful and intimidating, able to bowl you over or yank your shoulder out of its socket. I remember being jerked around by my Cocker Spaniel Toto whenever I had her out for a walk and she spotted a squirrel or a lizard. I’m sorry to learn that you dislocated your finger walking guest dog Tucker. It’s hard to imagine the King Shepherd fearing the scrappy little Jack Russell. It’s kinda like an elephant being afraid of a mouse. I wouldn’t want to own a King Shepherd because of all that hair shedding and the high cost of feeding such a massive beast.

    Thank you for another informative dog post, dear friend Debbie!

    1. We did meet a neighbourhood Jack Russell three or four times. Tucker was meek as a lamb and wanted nothing to do with him! 😀 It was funny and yes, just like your mouse/elephant analogy. The finger incident happened because I wasn’t paying close enough attention. Usually, I would let go of the leash to avoid injury.

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