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Tracey McCleave

Director of Operations - Head Trainer

My life working with dogs began seemingly from birth.  Raised by a highly respected dog breeder and handler that produced generations of Champions in North America, my mother was the first to mentor me to be a balanced, and ethical breeder and handler, to preserve and improve upon the German Shepherd breed.  One thing I know for certain, my learning is a lifetime journey!

​I started to compete as an owner/handler in the mid-eighties placing in Best Puppy in Group, Winners, Best of Breed, and more in confirmation to current achieving high point scores and CKC Obedience titles with my personal dogs.  While training under a Schutzhund trainer in the Quebec Region recognized by The German Shepherd Schutzhund Club of Canada with my small but mighty young male “Courage”.  This ignited my passion and desire to further my experience and knowledge in IPO/IGP  and broaden my skillsets to now be a handler and competitor in PSA as well as continuing to train and compete in obedience. 

Over the years I learned a wide range of skills in obedience, personal protection, scent, and tracking from trainers in Quebec, Ontario, BC, and Alberta. I am grateful for all the opportunities to have schooled under every one of them.

 

​As a member of the German Shepherd Club of British Columbia, my late girl Sasha was recognized for her quality of obedience and beauty.  I was approached by a respected animal trainer for Television and Film in Vancouver, BC.  We had the privilege to work alongside him and his team to train us for movie parts in which Sasha became a successful Film and TV star and she knew it!

​I am also on an elite international team and the only Canadian Certified Natural Horsemanship Trainer under highly renowned Mr. Frank Bell also known as “The Horse Whisperer” specializing in off-track thoroughbreds and show jumping. 

Growing up you would often find me horse riding, galloping in an open field with a German shepherd by my side.  ​I am a retired Executive Manager of over 20 years, a member of The Canadian Association of Professional Dog Trainers, Protection Sports Association,  The Canadian Kennel Club and hold my certification in canine first aid and CPR.  As a dog lover and a breeder of the German Shepherd, it is my joy and happiness to breed quality German Shepherds and help people create a stronger bond with their canine companions of all breeds, sizes, and shapes.

​My program is based on a positive reinforcement approach.  This approach to dog training along with years of experience with behavior modification has paved the way to how I train today.  ​Balanced training teaches your canine desired behaviors using a reward as reinforcement of correct behaviors.

I shape and capture desirable behaviors, and reinforce them to increase their probability. Positive training does not involve inflicting pain or fear on your canine to force results. It uses all four quadrants of canine behavior to enhance and strengthen your relationship with trust, love, loyalty, and understanding. The evolution of a balanced dog and owner makes an unstoppable team!​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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Danielle Reves

I am a young teenager and my love for animals came naturally to me having always been surrounded by dogs in my home. 

My family was familiar with smaller breeds in our home until 2019 when we brought home our first Australian Shepherd, Ryder who was to be my dog to train and care for. 

He taught us the meaning of; stubborn, strong and relentless.  With those traits in hand, as he matured he was becoming impossible to handle causing reactive behavior with people, objects and other animals (of all kinds) anytime.

That is how I found Tracey.  I did oy research and her reviews gave us hope that perhaps she could help us.  

When I entered her program I was quite shy and embarrassed about how Ryder was acting when I first started her class.  Tracey gave me the knowledge and understanding I needed to teach Ryder how to build a relationship with me, skills on how to engage him and encouraging him to be willing to respect me and enjoy his new behaviors and social skills. 

After class one I was hooked and determined to follow her program.  As both he and I grew in our knowledge, our relationship got stronger and with each week I was seeing not only an incredible transition with him but also myself. 

Tracey recognized our dedication and growth and offered us to join her apprentice program.  my family was thrilled.  I have a strong passion now for training dogs and my out-of-control dog when I started will now be competing in CKC trails in Spring of 2022 with Tracey by our side.

I am honored to be apprenticing under her and gaining valuable work experience in the academy caring for dogs so I can continue to grow and understand the needs of all breeds and sizes and be there to help, encourage those that are younger like myself. 

Just because you are younger does not mean you cannot be the best handler, and care for dogs that you want to be! 

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Anja Dushynski

I am a young teenager who loves to go camping, draw and love the outdoors, fishing off the dock and most of all being with and training my dogs.

 

When my family first got our lab mixes in 2021, we were used to only having a single small dog whose best pastime was relaxing at our feet. We soon realized that our labs were becoming very hyper  and loved to play, play and play and play! However great it was, we found we were only able to teach them some basics with the rest ending in disappointment. We knew that they were going to grow bigger along with the problems. That’s why we came to Tracey here at Tracken Kennels.

 

In the first class, I was accompanied by my parents who were doing most of the training. I was allowed only to lightly train our dogs. With my parents seeing how well I was doing with the training, they allowed me to take over their schooling and I was now taking the lead with them, and it proved to be successful, and I was having such a great time. 

 

Miss Tracey saw my dedication to her, and her program and she invited me into her apprenticeship program. My family and myself were all thrilled and I was excited to accept.  I was attending all Miss Tracey’s classes and at first, I would just watch, listen and learn and help with whatever Miss. Tracey needed help with.  As soon as Miss Tracey saw I was ready to start assisting those who needed a little extra help in her classes I jumped in with two feet with helping other people in the classes.

 

I am so blessed to be apprenticing under her for nearly a year now as of March 2022, learning so much and meeting so many great people and their dogs and all the different behaviors.  

 

I look forward to meeting all the new dogs in Miss. Tracey’s programs. 

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