King Shepherd vs Wolf

Grey wolf looks straight ahead
© AB Photographie/

Written by Jennifer Gaeng

Updated: May 14, 2023

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Grey wolves are the ancestors of all canine breeds today. In comparison to other dog breeds, some, like the King Shepherd Dog, look more like wolves. They are also remarkably similar externally, with both having pointed ears and muzzles and 99.9% of their DNA in common. Yet, superficial similarities are not always indicative of shared characteristics. They act in quite distinct ways, to be sure.

A dog, or canid, relies heavily on its sense of smell for survival. Domestic dogs, wolves, coyotes, foxes, jackals, and dingoes are just some of the 34 species that make up the Canidae family, and they all rely on their sense of smell to navigate the environment, locate food, keep tabs on one another, and spot threats.

King Shepherd vs Wolf: A Comparison 

Key DifferencesKing ShepherdWolf
Height25 – 27 inches 26 – 32 inches
Weight80 – 145 lbs.100 – 175 lbs.
Coat typeThick, Double-CoatShort, Soft Undercoat; Long, Rough Outcoat
ColorsRed, Black, Brown, Fawn, SableWhite, Brown, Black, Gray
TemperamentWarm, Affectionate, LoyalWild, Playful, Family-Oriented
TrainabilityHighly TrainableWild; Difficult to Train/Domesticate
Life Expectancy11 YearsUp to 17 Years
Health ProblemsJoint Dysplasia, Von Willebrand’s Disease, HypothyroidismRabies, Parvovirus, and Distemper
King Shepherd vs Wolf Table

Key Differences between King Shepherd and Wolf


King Shepherd puppy sleeping on the cold floor near the bed.

King Shepherd males are at least 27 inches tall at the shoulders.

©Vach cameraman/

King Shepherd vs Wolf: Height

Male King Shepherds are at least 27 inches tall at the shoulders and King Shepherd females should be 25 inches tall at the shoulders.

The gray wolf, the largest of the canids, measures between 4.5 and 6 feet from snout to tail on average, and stands between 26 and 32 inches at the shoulder.

King Shepherd vs Wolf: Weight

King Shepherd males are 110 to 145 pounds, with King Shepherd females between 80 and 110 pounds.

Male wolves in Alaska often weigh between 100 and 110 pounds as adults, while females tend to be smaller at around 90 pounds. Scientists have found that the largest wolves in groups are typically alpha males. The heaviest wolf ever recorded weighed 175 pounds.

King Shepherd vs Wolf: Coat Type

A lot of hair is shed from a King Shepherd’s thick, double coat. You can keep your dog’s coat healthy, clean, and tangle-free by brushing it several times a week (or even daily). King Shepherd just needs a regular bath around once every three to four months.

The wolf has two distinct layers of fur: an undercoat made up of shorter, softer hair and an outer coat made up of longer, rougher hair. The longest fur is located at the top of the back, around the shoulders, and is sometimes referred to as a “cape.” To further shield the sensitive inner ear from the outdoors, wolves have more fur in their ears than dogs.

King Shepherd vs Wolf: Colors

Many King Shepherd’s coat colors can be any one of several possible shades, including red, black, brown, fawn, and sable. The coat color of the King Shepherd parent usually is passed down to the offspring.

The wolf coat color can range from full white to brown or black but is most commonly a mixture of gray and brown with buffy face markings and undersides. Gray wolves resemble a giant German Shepherd in appearance. Depending on their habitat, wolves can be either small or large.


Wolf quiz

Wolves are multifaceted, clever


that are kind, playful, and, above all, family-oriented.

©Nagel Photography/

King Shepherd vs Wolf: Temperament

Despite their massive size and intimidating looks, King Shepherds are known for their warm and welcoming nature. Commonly, these canines are very subdued and affectionate when they’re with their masters. King Shepherds are the ideal companion for the appropriate people since they are loyal and protective of their families without being violent.

Wolves are multifaceted, clever animals that are kind, playful, and, above all, family-oriented. These characteristics are seen in only a handful of other species. Wolves, much like elephants, gorillas, and dolphins, raise their young, care for their injured, and congregate socially. Recently published research in Royal Society Open Science demonstrates that wolf puppies reared by humans develop attachment and affection for their human caregivers that persist throughout adulthood.

Wolves, like bears and moose, must kill larger animals for food, yet wolf hostility toward humans is uncommon compared to that of these other huge predators. Even yet, wolves pose a risk to human and animal life in some situations.

King Shepherd vs Wolf: Trainability

Because of their intelligence, King Shepherds require owners that are consistent and interesting in order to successfully complete training. Obedience training can begin when the puppy is eight to 16 weeks old, and more advanced techniques should be practiced all through the dog’s life.

Wolves can be trained, although not as easily as dogs. They are less amenable to coercive methods like fear, aversion to stimuli, and force than dogs. Somewhat more effort is usually needed to get the same level of dependability as most dogs.

Health Factors

King Shepherd in snow

The typical lifespan of a healthy King Shepherd is 11 years.

©Northern Exposure by JR/

King Shepherd vs Wolf: Life Expectancy

The typical lifespan of a healthy King Shepherd is 11 years. Shepherds are prone to a few health issues, despite breeders’ best efforts to eradicate them. Wild wolf lifespans can be extremely variable. The usual lifespan is about 6–8 years, although many will pass away far earlier, and the oldest recorded case was at age 13. Keeping wolves as pets can extend their lifespan by up to 17 years.

King Shepherd vs Wolf: Health Problems

Although King Shepherds tend to be healthier than the average dog, they are nevertheless susceptible to the same canine diseases that affect other breeds. Nonetheless, this breed’s genetic variety does give further protection against genetic abnormalities, therefore responsible breeders will test parent dogs to prevent passing on problems to their puppies.

Joint dysplasia, Von Willebrand’s disease, and hypothyroidism are but a few of the diseases that large breed dogs like King Shepherds may be predisposed to. Allergies, eye illnesses, degenerative myelopathy, pancreatic issues, and thrombopenia are some of the other conditions that could be passed on to them.

Wolves are highly vulnerable to rabies, parvovirus, and distemper. The central nervous system is particularly vulnerable to rabies infection, which is why this virus is so deadly. Unfortunately, rabid wolves can be found in the wild all over the world. Reports of it in North American wolves are quite uncommon. More than ten viral, bacterial, and mycotic illnesses and more than seventy kinds of helminths and ectoparasites have all been reported in the gray wolf. Yet, there is a lack of research into the impact that diseases have on population growth and decline.

Wrapping up King Shepherd vs Wolf

To summarize, there are numerous ways in which King Shepherd and the Wolf are comparable to one another. Both wild wolves and wolves that have been domesticated have their own unique traits. Wolves that have been bred and raised in captivity, particularly those that have been raised from the time they were puppies, resemble domesticated dogs in many ways. Both of these canines are extremely large in stature, and their coats are similar in color and have similar textures. They are comparable in a variety of personality aspects, including their demeanor and their capacity to be taught. However, it is important to note that wolves are considered wild animals and there are many types of wolves in the world. Therefore, comparing them to a specific, domesticated dog breed such as the King Shepherd is a difficult task with many possible variations.

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About the Author

Jennifer Gaeng is a writer at A-Z-Animals focused on animals, lakes, and fishing. With over 15 years of collective experience in writing and researching, Jennifer has honed her skills in various niches, including nature, animals, family care, and self-care. Hailing from Missouri, Jennifer finds inspiration in spending quality time with her loved ones. Her creative spirit extends beyond her writing endeavors, as she finds joy in the art of drawing and immersing herself in the beauty of nature.

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