Zest makes Grade 6 Agility

Wow! Well it has been a crazy couple of months for Zest, we moved up to Grade 6 in agility (the Grades run from 1 to 7), and at our first show in grade 6 we beat all the grade 6’s and 7’s as well as some of the GB squad dogs to get our first win to grade 7. This is a fantastic achievement at her first show in a new grade and gives me great hope for our future in agility. We used the Natures Menu active nuggets the evening before the show to give her all the energy she needed for the competition. We are still getting ready for Olympia and both of us are running Cani X twice a week as well as Zest’s hydrotherapy.


We also had a new furry addition to the family, Piri, a little 16 week old Border Collie girl. She is such a clever girl but with all the usual quirks of getting a young puppy. On the long journey up to the Isle of Mull to collect her me and Dan, my other half, spoke about our top priorities for things to teach this little monkey. Here is our short list of biggest priorities in the first few weeks of owning a puppy.

  • Toilet Training – obviously an essential for any dog to understand where is acceptable to toilet. The responsibility for this falls firmly on us as owners to watch for when our puppy need to toilet and take her outside.
  • Collar Grabs – Being able to hold the puppies collar and her wanting us to hold it is a brilliant skill. Not only for any dog sport but it can be life saving as well as great fun.
  • Tugging – For agility it is always ideal that a puppy wants to have great bond building playtime with us and tugging is a great way to do this. We love long fluffy tuggies for puppies with little mouths and teeth.
  • Restrained Recall – With one person holding the puppy and the other running away with the reward this is a sure fire way to get your puppy wanting to chase you for a fast recall. We love this game for agility and real life as it builds a desire to return to you quickly when called.
  • Food control – The ability to not steal food off the floor, or kitchen surface, and just want to eat it. This is so helpful so your puppy won’t jump on unsuspecting people eating as well as being able to train with your treat pot on the floor next to you without fear of the puppy stealing all the Natures Menu treats. We also like to use mealtimes to train with our raw food on a spoon.
  • Retrieve – Bringing a toy back is not only a fun game for our dogs but it makes training in later life so much easier, once our puppy was crazy about toys we started teaching skills with them including the want to bring it right back to our hand.
  • Loose Leading – Start as you mean to go on when using a lead, as puppy walks are restricted due to age it is an ideal time to begin loose leading training. With my previous dog we had many recall challenges and loose leading took a back seat until she was older. In that time she learnt to pull on the lead and we have had to work really hard to help her with loose leading. If we start as we mean to go on with a new puppy then we hope our training journey will be a lot easier.


Raising a puppy is always hard work even for dog trainers, with the knowledge to help them. It is always important to remember that they do not know right from wrong, dogs only really understand when you tell them what to do, e.g go to your bed, not what not to do e.g stop chewing my slipper.


We are really looking forward to watching Piri grow up on the very best Raw Food there is with Natures Menu. She is already turning into a loving family member and hopefully a future agility dog in the making as well.


Love and Licks,


Zest and Piri

Zest makes Grade 6 Agility

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