Giant German Shepherd – Everything You Need To Know

Giant German Shepherds are giant-sized German Shepherd dogs crossbred between German Shepherd and Shiloh Shepherd. Also called King Shepherd, these dogs are rare with massive sizes and are not recognized by the AKC. Originally from the United States, they have thick fur, a robust and sturdy body, and a long snout with pointed ears. Despite their massive appearance, Giant German Shepherds are calm and friendly with their humans. Interestingly, these dogs were bred in the 1990s to create a GSD breed with lesser health issues than the Standard German Shepherd. The breeders incorporated long-haired German Shepherds from European lineage with the Shiloh Shepherd, a crossbreed of German Shepherd and Alaskan Malamutes. And this created King German Shepherds with distinctive coats of European heritage with lesser risk of genetic issues. These giant breed hybrid dogs are loyal, protective yet less aggressive, making perfect family companions with never-ending warmth and love.

Giant German Shepherd Pros and Cons

Sweet and gentleHigh shedding
Loyal and less aggressiveHigh exercise needs
Intelligent Destructive when bored
Easy to trainNot suitable for apartments

Giant German Shepherd Basic Information

  • Name: Giant German Shepherd
  • Height: Male- 27-31 inches & Female- 25-27 inches 
  • Weight: Male: 90-150 pounds Female: 75-110 pounds
  • Coat: Long, coarse, wavy or straight
  • Color: Black, white,tan, brown, gray, or silver
  • Group: Not recognized
  • Energy: High 
  • Activities: Agility, herding, conformation, obedience, rally, tracking
  • Barking Level: High
  • Shedding Level: High
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Litter Size: 1 – 15 puppies
  • Life Span: 10 – 13 years
  • Other Names: King German Shepherd
  • Recognition: American Rare Breed Association(ARBA), World Wide Kennel Club(WWKC), Eastern Rare Breed Dog Club(ERBDC)

Standard German Shepherd Vs. Long haired German Shepherd Vs. Shiloh Shepherd – A Comparison

FeaturesLong Haired German ShepherdStandard German ShepherdShiloh Shepherd
OriginGermanyGermanyUnited States of America
HeightMale – 24-26″  Female- 22- 24″Male – 24-26″  Female- 22- 24″26 – 30 inches
WeightMale – 60-90 PoundsFemale –  50-70 PoundsMale – 60-90 PoundsFemale- 50-70 Pounds80-130 pounds
GroupHerding and Working DogsHerding and Working DogsWorking Dogs
Children CompatibilityHighHighHigh
Family CompatibilityHighHighHigh
Pets CompatibilityhighHighHigh
Barking LevelHighHighHigh
Shedding LevelHighHighHigh
Grooming NeedsEasy to groomEasy to groomEasy to groom
Overall HealthHighHighHigh
Energy LevelHighHighHigh
Exercise NeedsHighHighHigh
TrainabilityEasily trainableEasily trainableEasy to train
ActivitiesAgility, herding, conformation, obedience, rally, trackingAgility, herding, conformation, obedience, rally, trackingFrisbee, ikihng, biking, service dogs, therapy dogs
Complication in BreedingHighHighHigh – medium
Litter size8 – 15 puppies8 – 15 puppies9 – 15 puppies
Life Span9 – 13 years9 – 13 years9-14 years
Other NamesAlsatianGerman Shepherd DogBerger AllemandDeutscher Schäferhund

Giant German Shepherd Personality

Giant German Shepherds are giant-sized dogs and grow up to 27 to 31 inches. They have robust bodies, are muscular, strong, and weigh about 90-110 pounds. They have thick, fluffy, weather-resistant coats that shed throughout the year. The coat is thick-haired, coarse, and either wavy or straight. The coat color includes white, black, tan, brown, gray, or silver. They have compact, solid bodies with square heads, almond-shaped brown eyes, and erect, pointy ears. They look massive but a bit longer than tall. The chest is broader compared to the Standard German Shepherd. The tail is long, bushy, and curls upwards. Giant German Shepherds are those pooches with that cute teddy bearish look any dog lover would want to own. 

Friendliness Overview

Affection LevelHigh
Strangers-FriendlyMedium to high

Adaptability Overview

Good for New Pet OwnersHigh
Good for Apartment LivingLow
Sensitivity LevelHigh
Tolerates Being AloneLow
Heat ToleranceMedium to high
Cold ToleranceHigh

Giant German Shepherd Temperament

Giant German Shepherds are family-friendly, affectionate, and loyal dogs. Despite their huge, robust sizes, they are calm, adaptable, and composed. They are an excellent choice for new owners and families with kids. They are gentle with kids and get along well with other pets in the family. They are protective of their owners yet less aggressive and bond closely with their human companions. They are intelligent, easy to train, and efficient working dogs. They are susceptible and get bored when left alone for long. They are prone to destructive behaviors when bored or left alone in the house. They are unsuitable for apartment living and need a larger space with a fenced outdoor yard due to their high exercise need and large size. Their overall temperament includes

  • Loyal
  • Intelligent
  • Eager to please
  • Affectionate
  • Active
  • Friendly
  • Protective
  • Adaptable

Giant German Shepherd Training

Giant German Shepherds are obedient, highly intelligent, and easy to train. They are highly energetic and require plenty of activities to optimize their health and wellbeing. They need a lot of attention, play, and exercise to keep themselves happy and healthy. Activities to keep them engaged include walking, swimming, flyball, herding, tracking, playing fetch, and obedience training. These activities satisfy the “working dog” instinct instilled in them. In addition, games and activities keep their mental health stable and prevent anxiety in dogs. Like any other dog, they need early socialization and puppy training classes. 

The training requires patience and consistency during the period. They are sensitive to any adverse reactions and need positive reinforcement while training. They love being around people, and treats and cuddling do wonders while training. They are highly energetic and active and look forward to the training sessions and playing fetch, which helps in training regarding behavioral corrections. They do not respond to harsh commands, and lots of praises, cuddles, and treats work wonders during the training. Obedience training and socialization help behavioral correction and bring out the best in any dog. Their training can include the following:

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Trainability Overview

Easy to TrainHigh
Prey DriveHigh
Tendency to Bark or HowlHigh
Wanderlust AbilityMedium to high
Mouthiness TendenciesHigh

Giant German Shepherd Training

Giant German Shepherds are highly energetic working dogs and need exercises of 90 minutes per day. They thrive in active homes with a lot of space to run, walk, play and explore. A daily walk of 30-40 minutes will be ideal. Giant German Shepherds live a healthy and long life with the right amount of exercise and activity. Above all this, they are happiest when around their human friends. Walking 2-3 times a day with a bit of running and play keeps the dog happy and healthy. Giant German Shepherds excel in canine sports like agility and love a yard to run, play ball, Frisbee, and fetch. They enjoy running, walking, hiking, agility, and indoor games. A proper exercise routine helps the dog with the following benefits.

  • Social interaction
  • Weight control
  • Stress relief
  • Behavioral corrections like excessive chewing, persistent barking
  • Brain stimulation
  • Strengthening muscles
  • Routine toileting
  • Mental health and happiness

Exercise Needs Overview

Energy Level                                High
Exercise Needs                           High
Playfulness                                  High

Giant German Shepherd Grooming

Giant German Shepherds are easy to groom and double-coated with thick, fluffy fur. They shed heavily and need frequent brushing to keep the coats clean, shiny, and healthy. The hair at its paws has to be trimmed to avoid the floor getting dirty. The coat must be brushed 2-3 times weekly to keep it tangle-free. They may need extra brushing during their shedding season. Brushing helps remove matted hair and pull out the loose fur during shedding. One of the essential parts of grooming is bathing which keeps the dog clean. However, frequent bathing causes dry skin and itches. Bathe your dog using shampoos with balanced pH. for dogs. Pet wipes keep your dog’s coat fresh, clean, and shiny. They can also be bathed once a week. However, daily brushing helps to keep the fur from knots and tangles.

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They are prone to collect ear wax quickly. Hence, ears should be cleaned and regularly checked as they are prone to ear problems. Brush their teeth daily to prevent plaque and other dental problems. Never brush the teeth with a stiff brush as it will harm the gums and teeth. Also, make sure to use dog-friendly toothpaste.

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Also, clean their eyes and trim their nails as a part of everyday grooming needs. Their toenails must be checked weekly as longer nails may harm and injure the dog. You can trim the toenails with a commercial dog nail trimmer or with the help of a vet or professional groomer.

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Grooming Overview

Easy to groomMedium to high
Drooling tendenciesLow
Amount of sheddingHigh

Giant German Shepherd Health

Giant German Shepherds are generally healthy dogs. Still, like any other dog breed, they are also prone to specific health conditions.

Health Overview

Basic HealthMedium to high
Weight Gain PossibilitiesLow to medium

Elbow Dysplasia: This is a heritable disease common to large-sized dog breeds. It’s caused by different growth rates of the three bones that make up the dog’s elbow, causing joint loosening. This can lead to painful lameness. Your vet may recommend medication to control the pain or even surgery to correct the problem.

Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is outwardly a painful disease that occurs when the bones of the back legs do not fit properly in the joints. While some dogs will exhibit symptoms, the majority of canines will not. Hip dysplasia is primarily genetic, although other causes such as accidents, excessive weight gain, and inappropriate training can also cause it. Even though this disease is fatal, therapies range from medicine to hip replacement surgery. To avoid this problem, avoid breeding dogs with hip dysplasia parentage and get annual examinations.

Other Causes of Hip Dysplasia: 

  • Injuries 
  • Excessive weight gain 
  • Wrong exercises 
  • This condition causes defects or damage to the hip bones and joints and worsens without treatment.

Symptoms of hip dysplasia in dogs include:

  • Reduced activity and movements
  • Reluctance to rise, jump, run or climb
  • Lameness in the hind limbs
  • Reducing thigh muscle mass
  • Swaying, “bunny hopping” gait
  • Grating in the joint during movement
  • Enlarging shoulders
  • Pain
  • Stiffness

Hypothyroidism is when a dog’s metabolism is slowed due to the lack of thyroid hormone production. Symptoms include  

  • Lethargy  
  • Gaining weight  
  • Reluctance to work out  
  • Hair Loss  

Von Willebrand’s Disease: The most prevalent hereditary bleeding problem in dogs is Von Willebrand’s disease (VWD). It’s caused by a lack of a specific protein that helps platelets (blood cells that aid with clotting) adhere together and form clots to close damaged blood arteries. Von Willebrand factor is the name of the missing protein (VWF).  

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus: A life-threatening condition that affects deep-chested dogs like German Shepherds, especially if they have an overfed meal, eat rapidly, drink excessive amounts of water, or exercise vigorously after eating. Gastric Dilation Volvulus leads to bloating in the stomach. Your dog cannot vomit to get rid of excess air in his stomach, and blood flow to the heart is prevented. Blood pressure lowers, and the dog goes into shock. Without immediate medical attention, the dog may die. Suspect bloat if your dog is drooling excessively and is not throwing up. He might be restless with rapid heartbeats. If you notice the above symptoms, take your furry friend to the doctor as soon as possible. 

Spay or Neuter: In spay, the ovaries or uterus in females is removed, and in the neuter, the testicles of the male dogs are removed. It eliminates the possibility of pregnancy or fathering unwanted puppies and decreases the likelihood of certain types of cancer.

Recommended test for Giant German Shepherd

  • X-Rays 
  • CT Scan 
  • Eye Examination 
  • Physical Examination 
  • Blood Work

Giant German Shepherd Diet and Nutrition

Giant German Shepherds are giant-sized hybrid dogs. They need a large quantity of high-quality food and 1000 to 1700 calories daily. Therefore, they should eat 3 to 4 cups of food every day. Each puppy is distinctive, and the correct amount and quality of food depend on age, weight, activity level, health, and more. You can split the meals into two 2 cups daily. They are prone to obesity, and hence overfeeding must be avoided. Giant German Shepherd pups can be given dry food, wet food, or both. 

Ensure the diet contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, chondroitin, and glucosamine. You can also feed them with fruits and vegetables that give carbohydrate energy. Never hesitate to consult a vet to meet your pup’s dietary requirements to keep them happy and healthy.

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Giant German Shepherd Living Condition

Giant German Shepherds are large breeds and unsuitable for apartments. They need outdoor space, preferably a yard. They are inactive indoors, and outdoor space best suits their athletic body. Giant German Shepherds are great escapers and should be leashed. Keep them in a fenced area. They are active working dogs with high energy and hence get bored easily with insufficient activities. This leads to destructive behavior like barking, chewing, and digging. In addition, they are susceptible and do not tolerate being alone. Giant German Shepherds have weather-resistant coats and can live in hot and cold weather conditions.

Adding Giant German Shepherd to Your Family

Things to remember before adding a Giant German Shepherd to your family

Getting a Giant German Shepherd from a reputable breeder is best to prevent unavoidable circumstances like health disorders and provide you with vaccination certificates. It is best to check with the puppy’s parents to ensure his health and happiness. 

Cost of a Giant German Shepherd Puppy

The cost of a Giant German Shepherd puppy ranges from $1200 to $2000.

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