About Our Dogs
My family and I have been working with and raising Australian Shepherds since 2000. We’ve produced only limited numbers of litters and growing an extended family of puppy owners all over North America and parts of Europe. I am Tanya Wheeler, and
with my daughter Madison and son Ben, acquired our first Aussie in 1993 (Tucker) from The Hartnagle family of Las Rocosa in Colorado. We live on 92 acres we call Tucker Creek Farm and raise cross bred hair/wool sheep, ducks and some cows.
I had never intended on breeding dogs until I realized what an amazing breed the Australian Shepherd is. I fell for the breed when I met Tucker, a dog so smart he went from understanding more words than a 10 year old, at 6 months, to reading lips when it suited him. Tucker had a fantastic sense of humour and learned everything with lightening speed. He climbed ladders, turned on light switches, baby sat, and brought me to the world of herding. He would be with me for almost 18 and a half years. Our search for other Aussies was part of an effort to try to find more like him. When we did choose to breed, our breeding program was based on preserving the breed and finding foundation aussies with longevity, great minds, and exceptional herding talent.
It was only a year after we got Tucker that I got my first Jack Russell Terrier, Maggie. Maggie set the bar for the Jack Russells in my world as a dedicated hunter, companion and a true terrier attitude. Maggie would live to 16 and a half as a constant companion for me and her lifelong friend Tucker. The two were simply extraordinary animals. Our journey with our dogs has taken us around the world and changed our lives forever.
We have wonderful owners sharing our dogs, achieving greatness worldwide, and we are proud to call them family. Together with them, we have achieved many Versatility Champions, Herding Champions, Breed champions, Tracking Champions, Agility Champions and have led us to becoming the first Hall of Fame Kennel in Canada and the only Hall of Fame Excellent Kennel in the country. Today we have dogs around the world studying and performing useful jobs on ranches and in Search and Rescue, Therapy Dogs, Bed Bug Detection, and much more than we ever imagined.
Our Australian Shepherds come from herding working lines and we strive to maintain their intended purpose and follow the ASCA breed standard. They make extraordinary performance dogs in a variety of activities but also make exceptional pets for active families. They have a great sense of humour and the kind of intelligence that makes them brilliant to train and keeps you on your toes.
Tucker Creek is the first and only Hall of Fame Excellent Kennel in Canada and achieved HOF excellent in both Canada and the USA (with the Canadian Kennel Club – CKC, and Australian Shepherd Club of America – ASCA). It has always been our goal to demonstrate the versatility of our dogs by training them in herding, agility, obedience, rally, tracking conformation, barn hunt and more! Our Aussies have ranked #1 in Canada for top herding dog for over 15 years consecutively and in the top 10 in the world finals herding competitions for many years as well. Our dogs have also been in the top ten for Most Versatile Australian Shepherd at the ASCA Nationals and qualified in stock dog finals more than 10 consecutive years within the top 15 dogs competing worldwide. Earning more than just advanced herding titles, they have achieved Elite Agility, Rally, titles and advanced Obedience titles with our Aussies.
Jack Russell Terriers
Our Jack Russells come from different corners of the world. My original Jack was a smooth, old fashioned working type female from hunting style lines. In the past few years the development of the new “Russell Terrier” requires some explanation but essentially is the modified version made popular in the show ring. The use of the name Jack Russell Terrier and Russell Terrier can be interchangeable in North America but the Russell Terrier is the official registered name with the CKC and the AKC. In Europe and Australia, the same breed is registered as the Jack Russell. The foundation stock is much the same.
If that didn’t confuse you, the breed standards are essentially still the same. While there is quite a range in coat type and style, the Jack Russell which is often confused with the Parsons Russell Terrier, is distinguished mostly by size, making the JRT the shorter variety. The Jack Russell or Russell terrier is a small, compact, determined little beast that is always up for the game. They are generally very sweet and good natured but possess terrier tenacity and need proper training and socialization to be an excellent family pet.
Our Jacks range from smooth coat to broken coat and rough. The rough can require more grooming to make them look neat and tidy but they generally shed less than the smooth variety. Side by side, they can look like an entirely different breed. We love our Jack pack and they get along extremely well. I have put great emphasis on temperament and value the tenacity which makes them terriers but carefully select for breeding dogs with an excellent temperament as I believe dogs which hunt together should naturally work well in a pack. A well bred |Jack Russell should be delightful and respond to their owners positively if they have been properly trained and socialized.
Madison is the master Barn Hunt trainer in our household and has titled many of our Jacks in Barn Hunt, a new fast growing sport around the world. We spend a good deal of time simply hunting on the farm and they excel at scenting and successfully eliminating rodents. Many of our crew have been handled to their Championships and even Grand Championship in the breed ring. It is or goal to try to preserve the terrier traits in all our Jacks and stay close to the standard in producing athletic, intelligent fun loving dogs.
No one ever really retires at Tucker Creek, they just carry on into other activities or sports that don’t require as much physical challenge as they were once actively involved in. Most of our retired dogs are still active in acquiring Rally & Obedience titles, having fun with Barn Hunt, Scenting, and basically filling in the holes to complete Versatility and Supreme Versatility titles. In many cases our retired dogs also may be sitting back resting on their laurels watching their offspring gather titles, placing most of our breeding dogs into Hall of Fame Sires and Dams.
It’s the wonderful owners that many of our titles earned on herding, agility or other dogs sports, that we can attribute many of the Hall of Fame titles their parents have earned. We are extremely proud of the kids of Tucker Creek after they leave the farm and head to their new homes. Whether they are competitive dogs or active family members joining their families at camp, or on holidays and vacations, we love to see our dogs in homes being part of a loving family.
Our Past Friends and Foundation
There is nothing worse than saying goodbye and because Australian Shepherds have a lovely long life span, it is never easy to let go. We have a great extended family around the world many of whom keep in touch each year with Christmas cards and some more regularly through Facebook and emails. We have shared the final days with many of our Tucker Creek family and their treasured memories of a loved one.
We celebrate the lives of these amazing creatures who have brought us Joy and Love and finding Peace with their departure is our final gift to them. If by design there was a way to come in to this world with our “own team” and leave with the same “team”, I might choose that option. But we would then lose the opportunity to meet another amazing creature whose brilliant personality so reminds us of their ancestors. It is those incredible qualities we love so much that our Tucker Creek Foundation dogs passed along.