After I wrote my last post, I re-watched the "problem-solving" section of Rachel Sanders' DVD. Belle and I are about a month into our re-training, and she is doing really well, but she still doesn't realize that I want her to come flying over the apex and hit once in the blue and then hit the yellow with all four paws. She can do it if the box is there, but remove the box and the behavior chain breaks down and she will most likely jump from just above the yellow.
The solution for that particular problem is that the box must be faded, which is what I began to do in my last post. However, giving the whole process further thought, I have to accept the fact that I began the whole re-training process with unrealistic expectations. I was hoping Belle would have a consistent running A-frame contact with just one month's work. I can see she is improving from week to week, but I also can see it will take at least another month or two of training for a running A-frame to become second nature to Belle. Since that is the case, I decided, I would try one more time to train Belle to hit a little lower in the box before fading it. Rachel addresses this issue by moving the box closer to the apex and then gradually moving it back until it is completely in the contact zone.
So yesterday, I moved the box up the A-frame about 20". I think 12" would have been a better choice, but hindsight is 20/20. I also lowered the A-frame back to about 4'6". By the time we finished our afternoon session, the top of the PVC box was about 5" above the yellow.