Hi There


Well-Known Member
Just found this site while looking for new ideas for dog tricks. What an awesome site!!

Im Lexy, Im a single mum of a toddler Riley and have a 1yo GSD Blade. Im studying a science degree full time and also have horses.

I go to club obedience training once a week with Blade and we enjoy doing hikes in the hills. I have had Blade 7mths - he was given back to his breeder at 8mths old when some conformation faults meant he wouldnt be a good show dog, and his breeder rehomed him to me when he was 10mths old.

I grew up with Labradors - my parents bred them for hunting and had a Lab for my first dog. When he passed, I wanted something different and challenging so decided to look for a GSD. I have trained as a vet nurse and also worked in boarding kennels for 3yrs. Blade is certainly more challenging than a Labrador to train - he isnt particularly food oriented but he is very, very loyal and loves to play and please.

My photo is of Blade and Riley a few months ago.


Honored Member
Wow, you sound sort of like someone else i know!! :) Wait til she comes by and sees your post---horses, in school full time, outdoorsy.
Sounds like Blade is a lucky dog to have ended up with YOU!!! YAY!!

What exactly are you using for treats? I use itty bitty tiny bits of meat. Real actual meat, or cut up hotdogs. Or these:

but honestly, when i use those cookies---broken up into tiny crumbs, Buddy almost gets TOO distracted onto the food aspect, and doesn't focus quite as well as with plain meat.
I keep treats tiny, cuz a full dog is harder to motivate, and i don't want a fat dog, either.

But our leader here, Jean the owner of this site, he uses tug-toy play as reward for his dog.


Well-Known Member
I use wee chunks of sausage as treats, sometimes raw meat when Im feeling generous lol, and we break off from training every couple of minutes for a game with a toy [for about 1min], and then come back into focus and training and treats with the sausage again. We train up to 10min at a time, a few times a day.

He has actually come such a long way. I flew up to Auckland to meet him, and then his trip down here was an over nighter on a horse truck [close to 24hr trip] and he came with quite a few issues - the main one being the most extreme seperation anxiety Ive known, along with jumping and mouthing, thinking he's a freight train on the end of a lead, not social with other dogs, extremely under weight [about 15kg - the breeder struggled with getting it back on, his other dog, Blade's full brother and litter mate also lost a lot of weight as well - he thinks they stressed each other out].

Anyway he is doing wonderfully now. We can 'almost' do loose lead heel at training and the park, he isnt pulling but is still not quite close in beside me. Out on the street he is pretty good though. He doesnt jump or mouth. He can be left inside or out or chained up or in a car absolutely NO problems at all. He is fine with other dogs although we try and keep to socialising with other big, confident dogs as he can be a bit of a steam roller.

He can do 1min sit and 1min down stays, recalls, fetch and leave, roll both ways, shake both hands, send away, sit and down at a distance, watch [me], umm.. Think that is about it. We are learning beg and turn around at the moment =)


Honored Member
Hi and welcome to the DTA! Always love meeting new GSD-lovers (of course, I'm a bit biased) :p. Sounds like you've been the perfect home for Blade, he sounds like he's doing wonderfully. Makes you wonder about his first home, doesn't it? Had faults so he wasn't a good show dog, but what the heck had they been doing with him in the meantime? *shaking head here* So glad he's with you now, he's a lucky boy!!

I am laughing a bit, I think you must have one of the rare GS's who aren't food motivated - all the ones I've ever known would trade a leg for a treat! :LOL: My two now surely would, as would my previous two - and others I've known and worked with. It certainly does make training easier - sheesh, they'd do anything for the tiniest tidbit. Sounds like you've got a good balance of treats/fun going to keep Blade interested in his training sessions, tho.

Have fun on the forum, you'll find lots of good suggestions for new things to learn!!


Honored Member
Lexy, i have no idea how sausage is made in NZ, but, in USA, it tends to be spicey. Maybe your dog might like treats better if you chose a more 'normal' dog treat than sausage? (or, maybe NZ sausage is not full of spices that dogs might not care for?).
Here is good recipe for dog treats, only $6 dollars US to make a whole batch, you can freeze the rest, so far, no dog refuses these treats:
worth a try anyway.
Actually, when i use those for training treats, my dog gets TOO excited about the treats, and is harder for him to focus on the trick, ha ha! is true.
Or plain meat, that works, too. AND KEEP TREATS SMALL, once a dog gets full, it's harder to hold their interest, ha ha!! Dogs do NOT care how big a treat is, at all!!! See how dogs will look all over the floor for crumbs, they see crumbs as worth it...i don't know how big of a "chunk" you have been using.........but a large crumb works for a dog.

But some dogs don't care for spices....


Honored Member
Also, HUGE HUGE KUDOS on getting your dog socialized, sweet!! Yay for YOU!!! Lucky dog to have ended up with YOU!!!