Hi! SO glad to have found you!!!!


New Member
Hi Everyone,

I am absolutely delighted to have found Dog Tricks Academy and this forum. I have been a member of several dog forums for a while but have always been frustrated because very few people seem to be interested in discussing training - mostly people want help with basic things with their puppies or major behavioural problems they should really see a professional about (!) but nobody seems really interested in training as an "activity" to enjoy with your dog and to discuss the ins & outs of it.
So when I found this place, it was like finding paradise!! :)

Anyway, a bit about me: my husband and I live in Auckland, NZ and we have a 5yr old Great Dane called Honey who is our first dog. Despite lots of people telling me that Great Danes are a "difficult-to-train" breed and not to waste my time...I have never let that stop me from doing things with her. I love training with her - although I'd be the first to admit that it takes a LOT of patience, repetition and persistence!!! :dogrolleyes:

We do a lot of clicker training and compete quite succesfully in Canine Freestyle, as well as dabbling in a bit of Obedience and Agility. Basically, we're game to try anything! Although Honey's size can be a bit of a limiting factor, eg. there is no giant breeds agility here so the equipment is often too small...Honey has achieved her KC Canine Good Citizen GOLD award and we are working towards the CDX title; she is also a registered Therapy Dog.

Here is a video montage of us doing Canine Freestyle:

I love teaching Honey tricks and am always trying to come up with new ones to train her, although being a Dane, she definitely does not have the attention span, concentration or drive of the working breeds! I have to keep training sessions REALLY short and be really exciting to motivate her, otherwise she is quite happy to just lie down and take a nap instead! :dogtongue2: Also, her brain can't take much in at one time - she is really quite dopey. But very sweet natured and placid and mellow (which is probably part of the problem - you probably want a more hyper dog to get better results!).

I won't deny that it is awfully hard work training a Dane but I'd rather do things with the breed I love than with an "easier" breed just to succeed. When I first started, I got mocked a lot and people laughing at me and telling me to "get a real dog, like a Border Collie" - and sometimes, I still get nasty comments now but most people have been impressed by what we have achieved. In fact, we shocked everyone by beating all the Border Collies to walk away with the trophy for Best Routine in Canine Freestyle at the NZ National Dog Training Assembly in 2007! So it just goes to show that anything is possible if you believe and you're willing to put in the hard work!

Anyway, I can't wait to get to know everyone and take part in the challenges! We're practising really hard at the moment for a dance performance coming up in a week's time but once that's over, I'll be getting my clicker out for some new tricks!! :dogsmile:

Hsin-Yi (& Honey)



Experienced Member
Great photos. You are right, there are many dog sites available, but very very few are dedicated to training, let alone the often much maligned pursuit of 'trick training'.

Hope you enjoy the site.

We also have our own site. Just click the image below to visit. :)

Jean Cote

Staff member
Hi Hsin-Yi! It is a pleasure to have you as a member here at the Dog Trick Academy!! :dogsmile: I am quite impressed by your dedication to your training, it is obvious that you love your dog and that you both enjoy training. Your dog really lit up when you were tugging in the video. :dogsmile:

I've had similar problems as you training my husky, although I did not have the size problem, I did have the attention problem. People would also tell me that they are hard to train and that they can only pull sleds. But I got her trained and even doing agility. Although we never officially competed in Agility, I had her trained until she was able to do complete courses off leash, and she was really good at it! :D :D

Have you ever considered training Honey to hold objects in her mouth or to walk around with some? :) I think it would be cool, like maybe walking with a lunch box or something, lol.

Well, I hope to see you around the forums. :) Have a great day!


Experienced Member
Welcome, very nice dance video. I guess you proved everyone wrong about a Dane Dancing eh..? Anyone that says a dog can't be trained is usually someone that knows nothing about dog training. They are wrong 99% of the time so I'm glad you didn't listen.

I think you'll find some great tricks to train here and some wonderful ideas. :dogtongue2:


Honored Member
Staff member
My, my, your big girl is twice your size! Lol.

Danes are lovely dogs; I really like them. Quite the opposite of the working breeds I've owned/still own, including BCs! Lol. ^^ I think it's nice to see Danes competing in canine sports.
My apologies but I just had to laugh at the leg weave...I don't know how you do it! It's all I can do not to fall on my face with my Border Collie racing through my legs, but I for sure would probably fall if I even attempted it with such a large Dane!

You two would probably really enjoy the monthly challenges. Welcome, and enjoy the site!! :)


Honored Member
Welcome!! I loved your video, your big girl is just beautiful!! I just started freestyle with one of my GSDs a few months ago, so I know the time that goes into it, and with the training 'handicap' as you describe it with Honey, I can only imagine - but it's so much fun, isn't it? She moves with such grace, even for a dog of her size.

Lots of fun ideas, things to learn, and great people on this site - have fun!!


New Member
Thanks, everyone for the great welcome!

Jean - I would definitely love to train Honey to carry things around in her mouth. She does do the formal Obedience retrieve with the dumbbell and she also loves carrying her stuffed toys around (as well as retrieving a tennis ball) so I'm sure it;s just a case of shaping her towards specific objects.

The thing with Honey is that she can't take much training at once and so I've had to prioritise what tricks I teach and so I've tended to do the ones that fit into my dance routines first and leave others, like carrying things, at the bottom of the list. But we'll certainly give it a go soon!
Also - the other problem is that she has such a slobbery mouth and leaves drool on everythign she touches that from a puppy, we have actively discouraged her picking things up around the house...and so now, it's a bit hard going back on that training! :) But I'm sure it can be done!