A King Shepherd resembles a large German Shepherd Dog. The breed was originally developed on the East Coast using American bred German Shepherds, crossed to flock guardians, which were then crossed with European bred German Shepherd dogs. The intent was to develop a superior family companion. What makes a breed a "rare breed"? Typically in the US, a rare breed is classified as a breed which does not have AKC recognition; a breed which is newly developed or is still in the process of being refined; a breed which is in development; a breed which has very small numbers; a breed which may be AKC recognized, but does not conform to the AKC standard of said breed or a breed that is developed by breeding certain deviant characteristics of an otherwise known AKC breed.

The King Shepherd breed can fit several of the definitions above as a "rare breed". The King Shepherd was developed with the vision of a large sized or "king-sized" German Shepherd, with differences in temperament, conformation and of course size, as compared to the German Shepherd. It is no surprise that German Shepherd is the main ingredient in the King Shepherd. In fact one of the first rare breed organizations that recognized the breed included among its acceptable definitions on how an F1 Generation King Shepherd could be produced was by "breeding a King to a German Shepherd; breeding a King to a Shiloh Shepherd (another "rare breed" which is highly influenced by the German Shepherd); and breeding a German Shepherd to a Shiloh Shepherd". Originally the King Shepherd was indeed produced by selective breedings of specific bloodlines of German Shepherd dogs that deviated from the AKC Ideal German Shepherd Standard of the Breed. Later on in the years, the American King Shepherd Club, Inc. (AKSC) has reformed the King Shepherd Standard of the breed and introduced other breeds, to try to strengthen the King Shepherd breed as well as to build upon the characteristics that make the King different from the AKC Standard of the German Shepherd.

The AKSC registers the King Shepherd breed and issues individual and unique registration names and numbers for those dogs and their ancestors who are used in the King Shepherd breeding program as well as for puppies that are produced. The King is accepted by several rare breed organizations which allows the breed to be shown in breed competitions as well as obedience competitions. Interested individuals typically wish to add a King to their family because of their love for the German Shepherd breed; but are disillusioned by what some German Shepherds have become. Individuals add a King to their family because of the general looks and temperament of the King; not because it is considered a "rare breed" in many peoples eyes.

Some people believe that the King is "just a King-sized German Shepherd". While the AKSC will not argue with these individuals and based on the original vision and genetics of the King, to a German Shepherd Purist, there is an element of truth. However, the AKSC believes that the King is indeed unique because it consistently deviates from the Ideal German Shepherd that is described in the AKC German Shepherd Standard of the Breed and we will continue to love, promote and work on the "evolution" of bettering the King Shepherd Breed for the future.

In the final analysis, we should ask ourselves these questions: Do you enjoy your dog? Is it social with you and others? Is it easy to train and control? Is it healthy? Is it a loving and loyal, priceless companion that enhances your life? If so, owning a King Shepherd has fulfilled its main purpose in your life. That's what the breed is really all about. A protector that was capable of performing a wide variety of working duties ranging from police service, to guide dogs, to search and rescue dogs. The original breeders also wanted to produce a dog which was free of the many health and temperament problems, which has been affecting German Shepherd Dogs.

The King Shepherd is a breed in development.

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