Pedigree: Knox’s Strider du Prairie x Jenny of Forrest Run

A description of Jake from his owners:

At 10-1/2 years of age Jake is still so athletic and handsome that he’s often mistaken for a dog half his age. Although Jake hails from the Midwest, we refer to him as our “Virginia gentleman” because he gets along so well with other dogs, all kinds of livestock, and all ages of people (including young children).

Jake’s calm and laid-back exterior belies his watchfulness. On several occasions he’s attacked black bears, along with one porcupine who (unlike the bears) managed to get the better of him. However, other invaders are immediately killed, including groundhogs, racoons, and one coyote he caught trying to snatch one of his pups.

Jake stands 20” at the withers and all his adult life has weighed a trim 58 pounds. His is uber smart — to the point we sometimes think he learns by osmosis. After Jake learned his favorite words, like “walk” or “park,” we switched to using initials. However, he quickly learned those too, so we began using hand signals. Only problem is he now knows those as well, so we can only use them behind his back.

Jake’s bloodlines are the traditional Midwest English Shepherds and he hails all the way back to the very foundation dogs of the breed owned by O.O. Grant’s Semy kennels in the early-1900s. Even so, his chromosomal inbreeding coefficient is a mere 7%. That tidbit comes from Embark, a dog DNA testing company partnered with OFA and Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Embark also tested Jake clear of over 160 genetic disorders, including MDR1 and all the eye diseases that plague our breed. They also found him to be 100% English Shepherd. In addition, Jake’s hips were evaluated as Penn-Hip at 0.42 / 0.42, and his eyes were CERF’d clear as recently as 2017.

DNA color profiling results show Jake is dominant for black. And it’s reassuring to know Jake’s color does not include the dilution or liver genes. That means his offspring will be black with dark eyes. Although as yet there is not a DNA test to distinguish the Kbr gene, Jake’s relatives and offspring have never been brindled.

Jake has a strong work ethic. His versatility shines through in his Obedience and numerous Agility titles. He has also shown aptitude in Nosework and Herding, two venues we have not pursued titling on because of lack of competitive events in our area. Jake also participates in several national university-sponsored temperament studies and, whenever possible, serves locally as the “strange dog” in Canine Good Citizen classes.

Jake’s get-‘er-done attitude is passed down to his offspring: His puppies (from limited breeding’s to carefully-selected females) have earned titles in Obedience and as Therapy Dogs, while the youngsters are training in Agility, Obedience, and Rally. The pups have also proven themselves to be excellent working farm dogs, herding and protecting livestock of all kinds and ages. Most importantly, they – like him – have shown themselves to be excellent, bonny companions.