It’s been 5 years since we got our German Shepherd Dog Zelda.

It’s been quite an adventure for sure. We were prepared for some of the distinct characteristics of this breed because we previously had a Shepherd/Lab mix named Bella. When we attempted to get puppy training for Bella, we realized the area was lacking in training for this breed.

Don’t get me wrong. There are wonderful trainers in the area but we had Bella several years ago and we didn’t have the options available now.

Our attempt at puppy school ended with us in the corner due to Bella’s “emotional outbursts”.

Feel free to insert eye roll here Zelda was a land shark as a puppy. She had sharp teeth and didn’t even let me pat her without a few nips.


To be fair, Zelda and my wife chose each other. They have a very strong bond. Zelda and I - not so much at the beginning. After the land shark phase, Zelda hit the terrible toddler phase. She was sassy and defiant.

We were soon at our wits end until someone walking their GSD along the Kennebec River Trail told us about No Xcuses K9, LLC. We spent 6 weeks in training - me, my wife and Zelda.

I was all for my wife doing the work with Zelda but the trainer recognized I was the one that needed to do the work. One of the things I had to do was use a high pitch voice to provide positive reinforcement for when Zelda was a “good girl”. If you listen to the show, you know I do not have a high pitched voice. I can assure you I provided much comic relief with my attempts.

Looking back, I’m grateful we took the time and money to get this training for all of us. It wasn’t easy. At all. But it was a game changer. Zelda is my wife’s constant companion and she has a very special place in my heart and my life.

It was worth it all.

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