Introducing Enzo

Enzo is the latest canine hero to win Vitalin's sponsorship backing. This fantastic 18-month-old Belgium Shepherd will be starting his IGP career in 2020. And guess what? He dines exclusively on Vitalin - the doggy dinner of champions.

It's all about Enzo

Enzo was born on 25th August 2018 - making him a Leo; "big, bouncy show-offs with equally big ideas and even bigger hearts". Watching him in action, it's clear he lives up to these traits - and some more!

Trained by dog behavioural specialist, Stephen Tindall, the two became partners when Enzo was just eight weeks old. Training for a sport known as IGP, Enzo has been coached in the art of Tracking, Obedience & Protection. And by Jove, he's good!

Steve – an experienced trainer

Steve - a dog trainer and behaviourist with over 20 years’ experience in training animals - grew up immersed in the world dog training, and thus was regularly surrounded with a variety of breeds. Ranging from regal Corgis to German Shepherds, he was always on hand to help with training.

At the age of 22, Steve went to work with wild animals - including lions, tigers, elephants, horses, wolves - training and studying them for a deeper understanding. From there, he moved on to specialise in canine behavioural studies. Through years of dedicated learning and training, and time spent observing many different trainer's techniques and methods, he developed his own unique, simple and highly successful approach. Steve now trains dogs for a living.

"My experience has taught me that no two dogs are the same, and that goes for the owners too. I aim to work on the relationship you have with your beloved dog so that you can both live a happy and stress-free life".

IGP explained

IGP, for those not in the know, is a gruelling three-part sport (tracking, obedience and protection). The competition was initially designed as a breed test for working dogs to determine the ultimate breeding dogs and has since evolved into a popular sporting event.

This intense agility sport demands total obedience and is a marvel to observe. Split up into three categories; the first round, tracking, is by far the most peaceful. The dog is required to track footsteps over mixed terrain - often in unfavourable conditions - and change direction while demonstrating absolute accuracy and dedication to discovering the track. He must also find dropped articles - indicating their locations to the handler.

Round two is obedience and of the highest order. There is heeling, both on and off the lead. The sit, down and stand are also performed, except in this event, the dog is moving. A big difference in IGP, compared to other agility sports, is the sheer size of the field; dog and handler work on a football sized test field. Moreover, at some point, the dog must work under the sound of a firing gun. And as if that wasn’t enough, he then retrieves a heavy dumbbell, over a one-meter jump AND a six-foot "A"-Frame.

Round three is where it gets exceptionally testing. Often confused with police dog attack training, this protection round demonstrates the intense connection between dog and handler. The dog will only bite the trial helper if he or his handler is attacked. When the attack happens, he must respond fully and with zero hesitation. And then, upon the handler’s command, the dog must stop biting and guard the trial helper without any additional aggression. The IGP dog is disciplined and loyal beyond pet dog comprehension.

Steve and Enzo - dream team

Steve and Enzo will be wowing the crowds at various shows throughout the summer. Here at Vitalin, we are proud to sponsor this talented duo; we'll be following them every step of the way. We wish them the best of luck!