Belle and I went to the QCDC last Saturday for a NADAC trial. Unfortunately, for the first time since I started retraining the A-frame in November, 2011, contacts were a major problem. Since I don't watch Belle as she comes through the yellow, I had to wait until I was able to view the video in slow motion on my computer monitor before I knew which contacts she missed. She seemed to have no problem hitting the dog walk contact if I was not moving. For example, on one course there was a left turn off the dog walk to a hoop, so there was no need for me to move. That she missed the yellow when I was running didn't really bother me since we have not been able to work on that at home yet.
What had me concerned was the A-frame. But she missed only one out of four, and if anything, I thought she was coming over the top even better than she had been before we started working on a running dog walk. Hopefully, a limited amount of training with a stride regulator in place will show Belle I want her to land a little lower after cresting the top of the A-frame.
Today, I ventured out into the field and discovered enough snow had melted that we could do a running contact session. It's been more than a week, but I decided to lug out the third board and give it a go. By and large, I was extremely pleased with Belle's performance. The only problem we encountered was that Belle was collecting before the yellow when I moved. One rep was so bad that she managed to put six feet into the yellow!!!
I don't know if this is a potential problem or not. It could be a stage most dogs go through, or it could be how even dogs with blazing running contacts actually manage to hit the yellow. I'll have to sit down and watch some videos of dogs with running dog walks on YouTube and see if I can find an answer to my question. I'll also watch Silvia Trkman's DVD again and see if it's an issue she addresses.
P.S. I contacted Silvia on her website. She said Belle is checking her stride because running contacts are a re-train. It isn't a behavior she sees in dogs who haven't previously been taught to stop on their contacts. Solution: Do not reward those reps. Good thing I can really hear it when Belle alters her stride.