Zest is seeing great results!!!

01/06/2017

Zest is seeing great results!!!

Since our last blog me and Zest have been very busy preparing for a season of competitions. 

 

This is Zest’s first ever season of Kennel Club Competitions at 2 years old she will be one of the younger dogs at these competitions. Because I am an experienced handler Zest will start in Novice with me or Grade 3 (agility grades run from Grade 1 to Grade 7) which means they will be slightly more challenging courses. We are both very excited for the season ahead but with so much to do, I always want to make sure before my dogs start a season of competing that they are in the very best condition to compete and Natures Menu is certainly an excellent start. As well as Zest doing swimming, water treadmill, Cani-X and doggy gym exercises there is also another really important thing I so often see neglected in both agility and pet dogs which can almost instantly improve your dog’s posture. That is keeping their nails short!

 

I have some stone floors in my house and if I can hear my dogs nails on the floor then I know they are too long. Many people hate doing their dogs nails and often the dogs do as well and Zest used to be one of those dogs. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t get the nail clippers out and Zest starts jumping up and down but we have made big steps from the time where she used to see them and run and in part that is thanks to Nature’s Menu and Classical Conditioning. I tend to cut Zest’s nails once every two weeks though as a puppy it is sometimes easier to do one or two nails every day to keep it fun for the dog. Initially Zest was very fearful of the nail clippers so we played lots of games with them to start with. Including give me paw with the nail clippers in my hand, nose touches on the clippers lot of things that build positive associations with something she associated with not so nice things. I would also occasionally just touch the nail clippers on the end of her nail so that it made a sound whilst I had hold of her paw. Try to think of nail clipping initially like a bank account for every nail you clip you take out £10 and for every time she gets a treat for associating with the nail clippers without one getting clipped I am adding £1 into the account. So for each treat she gets it is plus £1 and for each nail I clip it is minus £10 now like all good bank accounts I want to try and keep this account in credit, until a time when they don’t mind having their nails clipped and then the withdrawal from the bank is less per nail. This is something you need to monitor in your dog’s response to see how big the withdrawal you just made was and every dog is different.

 

I liked using the highest value treat I could find to put the most money in Zest’s bank account which is the Natures Menu 80% pouches. I spoon feed her this super tasty food whilst having her nails done. I can now even clip a whole foot before having to give her a few spoonful’s for being brilliant and calm and comfortable with the situation. I know this will help her posture and stance and hopefully give her a longer happier agility career because of it.

 

I am seeing great results in her fitness from all the work we do and have been using the Active Nuggets on weekends when we have been competing and she does very well on them. Here is a video of her this weekend having great fun and going really fast!

  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhBIcZ4rgcY&t=7s

  

We also got our first KC clear round this weekend and came in 7th place the highest placing for our Grade which is brilliant. Thanks Natures Menu for keeping her fit and fast.

  

Love and Licks

  

Nicola and Zest

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