Breed of the Month–King Shepherd

1March 2014

King Shepherd
Color:  Sable, bicolor (mostly black with red, cream, or tan), black saddle with red, gold, tan, silver, or cream markings, solid black, solid white.
Height:  Males:  27 inches/  Females:  25 inches
Weight:  Males:  100 lbs/  Females:  80 lbs
Life Span:  11-14 years
Breed Health Concerns:  May include hip dysplasia.
Coat:  Two varieties:  1) Coarsehaired:  has dense, straight outer coat with varying hair lengths,
2) Longhaired:  has a longer coat but is not always straight.
Country of Origin:  United States
It is unknown just how many breeds went into making the King Shepherd, but among those credited most often include:  the German Shepherd Dog, Alaskan Malamute and the Great Pyrenees.  American breeders David Turkheimer and Shelley Watts-Cross are credited with the development of this breed.
Originally developed to get away from the many breed health problems of the German Shepherd Dog, the King Shepherd was developed to serve as both guardian and shepherd.  He is most defined by his massive head.  The King Shepherd is strong, rugged, and solid.  The breed was developed as a protector, but also as a working and family dog.  He is poised, self-confident, and alert.  He may be somewhat wary of strangers, as it is his instinct to protect his family.
The King Shepherd is most satisfied when he has work to do.  This breed needs plenty of daily walks and regular exercise to be happy.  If not properly exercised, the breed may become destructive.  Consider this breed a high energy breed.
Both coat types of the King Shepherd need regular brushing a few times each week.  His undercoat will shed and must be kept clean from dead hair.  The longhaired King Shepherd’s coat will need a bit more attention as it is more likely to become caked with debris and tangled.

Socialization from an early age is extremely important for this large breed.  The King Shepherd is obedient and intelligent and training him can be a real joy.  It is very important to build a good relationship between owner and dog right away.  As with the German Shepherd Dog, the King Shepherd as a breed is very owner/ family orientated.