Ranger is the perfect gentleman and canine companion. We didn’t set out to get a male English Shepherd. After contacting a few breeders we found a female puppy, but for some reason she didn’t feel right for us. A few days later Ranger became available and we decided to get him, sight unseen.
When he came to du Prairie, the youngest member of the Knox family was a toddler. Ranger knew that our daughter needed him to be extra nice to her. He refused to nip and bite her little fingers, and was smart enough to chew on his own toys. In return, she grew up trusting him, and depending on his protection.
During his puppyhood we made sure to devote time to train him properly, in beginning levels of Basic Obedience, with the help of Dr. Ian Dunbar’s “Sirius Puppy Training” video. House breaking was simple and fast. He’s always wanted to please us, and works hard to be a “good boy”
Ranger was given the honorable position of being our family's first du Prairie English Shepherd. He’s a sharp looking black tri color, with that classic English Shepherd head and intelligent expressions. Playing ball and taking car rides are his favorite fun time activities. Ranger is very friendly and loves our companionship. His deep voice is one of warning and concern and he knows we listen when he calls to us. With his calm, gentle disposition and flawless devotion, he has won an everlasting place in our hearts.
Through the years we’ve heard several myths about male dogs, and why many considering a puppy, request a female companion.
Myth: Females have a closer relationship with their people.
Fact: Ranger is as close to us, as any of our females, and he’s never moody or testy.
Myth: Females are easier to house break than a male.
Fact: Ranger was housebroken within a few weeks of coming home. Housetraining a puppy has to do with the consistency and praise of its owners.
Myth: Females have a more nurturing demeanor and tend to be gentler than males.
Fact: Ranger is level headed, even tempered and would rather sit and wait for our attention, even if that means a toddler or preschool constantly tugging and pulling on him. He’s outgoing and very friendly to our company. If he feels we are threatened, he will step between us and the stranger, just as our females will.
Myth: Females don’t mark their territory the way a male does.
Fact: Males brought up in the house do not mark in the house but of course they will on their property OUTSIDE. All canines of either gender mark their property, it warns other canine’s of their boundaries.
Myth: Females are smaller than males.
Fact: The size of a puppy can never be determined at 7 or 8 weeks of age. The parents and grandparents can give you some insights to what a puppy might grow to be, if given the same nutrition during its growing years. In general most males are bigger than females, though our females are bigger (taller and heavier) than a few of the males we’ve considered for breeding. English Shepherds are a medium size breed, and both genders fit nicely at your feet.
Myth: Males are more aggressive than females.
Fact: None of our English Shepherds are aggressive with people. Both genders are also keenly aware of visitors, and determine from us, if we are safe or need their help. All our dogs sound warning barks when deer, coyotes, fox, stray dogs and snapping turtles wander onto our property. They use enough force to move livestock when needed. Actually, Shannon is my raccoon lady, and I like to take her with me to check nest boxes in the dark (our raccoons have been found hiding in there).
Below are what owners of Ranger’s sons have to say about their male English Shepherds.
Ranger x Annie’s litter 2003
“He’s doing great! He loves the grandchildren, is friendly and well behaved.”
Warren & Bessie
“He’s a big, beautiful, well behaved dog! I spoil him all the time.”
“I awoke early in the morning, to Cowboy barking. I went to the barn to check on things. I found the stock corralled there, with Cowboy guarding the barn entrance. The horses, pony, donkeys, sheep and goat had gotten out through an open gate. Upon investigation I saw hoof and paw prints all over the yard, but none went past the picket fence--Cowboy wouldn’t let the animals go down the lane. He’d herded them all back by himself and kept them in the barn until I came outside!”
Tracie & Scott
Ranger x Shannon’s litter 2004
“Tell everyone Ace is a fantastic dog! He’s just great and we love him very much!”
John & Francine
“He loves to play and to spend time with us.”
Larry & Kay
St. Louis, MO
“Tim is great. We are very happy to have him. So far we had no problems at all. Tim became housetrained very quickly and nipping subsided substantially. I do train him at home with a clicker and also we attend a dog training class. He is very patient with children and in general appears to be very even tempered. He weights app. 45lb and continues to grow (I wonder when do they usually stop growing). We haven't neutered him and so far we have no plans to do so.”
Anna & Rafal
“Benny continues to be a very friendly puppy...greeting visitors to the greenhouse daily and always with a smile and a wag...very smart, of course, and also quite independent, as I would expect. He is a quick apprentice to River and listens well. He has taken a particular shine to Mary, who transplants for us in the greenhouse. River told her she brings treats everyday, and he sleeps at her feet to be sure he misses nothing!”
Christine & All
“We bonded tremendously with Raffi (now known as Fozie Bear O'Donnell) on our long ride home. He cuddled up to me like he's known me for years and I believe he felt very safe. We also felt as though we received permission from Shannon before we left, which made me feel much better about taking him away from his beloved family.”
Helene & Glenn
Tuff (Tuff died in an accident with a tractor, when he was 5 months old. Amy wrote this to me just after his death.)
“You're right. I am exhausted and couldn't sleep well last night. Every time I look at Tuffy’s toys, food bowls, cage etc I feel myself holding back my tears. It was so hard to bury him. I have never been literally sick to my stomach before in these kinds of events but I was physically and emotionally upset. I just can't believe he is gone...I feel he was their (my son’s) guardian angel.”
Amy & Tim
West Jefferson, OH
Ranger & Skipper’s litter 2004
Ruff (Amy & Tim got a new pup to replace Tuff)
“He’s so laid back and calm, even more than Tuff was. Our boys love playing with him.”
Amy & Tim
West Jefferson, OH
“His appetite is great. His energy level is interesting. He plays good, but he enjoys equal time just laying around and sleeping. He's a real sweetheart.”
Leslie & Victor
“He is growing like a weed. We love him, and he’s so smart! I’ll choose a male any day over a female…”
Diana & sons
“Skip is doing very well. We’re happy with him, and the grandchildren love him.”
Robert & Phyllis
The following are two stories written by English Shepherd breeder, Sue Boice, about her male English Shepherd, Sloane. Enjoy!!!
A Sloane Story
By Sue Boice
When Sloane was four months old, he was already completely enthralled with his ball. He loved catching it, fetching it and finding it!
Sometimes the ball would end up in the house where we might play a game of kick it, or fetch. Sometimes the ball would end up under the old sectional sofa. Sometimes I wasn’t quick enough answering his high-pitched yip which meant—the ball is under the sofa so hurry up and get it!
One day, as I was getting ready for work, I heard that excited yip but didn’t hurry out to get the ball for Sloane. He kept up the yipping and then there was quiet. Then I heard some unusual sounds. When I went into the room to check to see what was going on, there was Sloane dragging the sofa with his teeth!
Just then he saw his ball. I will never forget the look of happiness and surprise in his eyes when he saw that ball! Of course, a game of fetch followed.
That was the beginning of coming home to find furniture all over the room! My friends laughed and thought he was the perfect dog for me, an interior decorator! Well, it wasn’t so good for the sofa and eventually we had to replace it with one he couldn’t move!
Sloane and the Clay Targets
By Sue Boice
When Sloane was 8 months old, several of Tom’s buddies came out to shoot clay targets. Sloane saw those targets in the air and took off at high speed. He fetched many before he realized he didn’t have to fetch them, they just kept coming!
He found the perfect spot to lay down on the hill and he waited until he heard the word “PULL”, then he would zoom to where the orange targets fell. He was beside himself with this game and it ended up teaching him to love the sound of guns.
About two weeks later, Tom and his buddy Paul were digging the basement of our new house with their backhoes. I came out with some lunch for the hard working men. Tom saw me and yelled “PAUL” and then pointed at me. Sloane heard the word and went zooming to the hill where the targets had fallen before. He waited a while for one to fly through the air. We had a good laugh and thought he was amazing to remember the game after so long.
While we were eating lunch, he ran up to us and dropped a clay target he had found! He stood there barking and wagging his tail with tremendous enthusiasm and we knew he wanted more of that “PULL” game!
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