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Name of Breeder: DENA DENALI

Kennel(s): REEL Australian Cattle Dogs

Location: Okotoks, AB

Member Since:

Breeder's Website:

I aspire to breed health tested, performance proven ACDs with stable, biddable temperaments & exceptional structure. 


I have been in Australian Cattle Dogs since 1997 where my first female was owned by me but had three litters for her now retired breeder. I have handled and trained many ACDs over the years and have been called upon countless times to help ACD owners with their “problem child” dogs.  My own rehab ACD project was poorly bred and raised even worse (Romeo) cost me $400 off of Kijiji and $4,500 to train in constant classes for 3.5 years. My experience with him inspired me to “be the change” with my own ACD breeding program.  Romeo is now a senior dog with many accolades to his name including being the CKC #6 All~Breed Rally Dog in Canada for both 2018 & 2019 and doing variety of TV work that inspired my kennel name Reel ACDs (film/movie reel). 


I come to the breeding industry with over 20 years experience in a successful integrative orthopedic medical massage practice. I added equine and canine certifications over the years and apply my extensive experience in human health care to quadrupeds. Structure and health are of paramount importance to me regardless of whether a puppy is being placed in a breeding program, pet home, compete in sport or be someone’s right-hand on a ranch. In a breed where we expect 14-18 years of companionship, we need to ensure it achieves that longevity with an exceptional quality of life especially when they live their lives at 150% and are hard on their bodies. 


I compete with my breeding dogs in a variety of dog sports (herding, obedience, rally obedience, various scent) to prove they  are biddable and can thrive under the pressure of expected behaviour. This biddability should then be passed down to their offspring epigenetically and is why ranchers want their working cow-dogs and cow-horses to be “from working parents”.  It’s in the genes as well as in how you raise them.  So even if you have no desire to compete in dog sport, a biddable ACD will be far easier to live with in terms of family life. 


I raise my litters using the Puppy Culture program as I know that early conditioning matters. I add a few other protocols of my own including early exposure to livestock regardless of whether a puppy is going to a ranch home or not. Conditioning the behaviour to be able to simple “be with sheep” without harassing them is very important in shaping a reliable call-off of livestock. In a pet context this means Fido is easier to manage around squirrels, rabbits and cats — it still requires consistent training on the owners’ part however we set them up for success early.  


I’m a small breeder just south of Calgary, AB. I max out with 3-4 adult dogs in my own home as I want to ensure they have enough time and training with me. While they spend some time in crates to sleep and travel, my dogs are family members who co-exist in harmony in my home. Currently I have litters every 12-18 months. I have been seeking a second breeding female for some time without success. When this finally happens, litters may happen a little more frequently. 


I blogged daily from Day 4 to Week 10 on my most recent litter born 27-FEB-2023 on my Facebook breeding page. If you’re interested to see the foundation I put on my puppies first hand, I encourage you to take a look there and reach out with any questions you may have. 

CKC Member Breeders must adhere to the Code of Practice and Code of Ethics.


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