Running contacts are not an easy thing to teach, but I am determined to succeed with little Sparrow. We have gone from flat work to now being on a full-size dogwalk set at a low height. Sparrow has been doing good, but on our Wednesday session I was concerned she was over-reaching at the contact, possibly due to now running a full three planks. She was still getting a hind feet hit, except once or twice, but she really looked like she could have added another stride to the motion.
I decided to go back to flat work with her to remind her of her striding pattern. I put my old dogwalk training plank down which was rather bouncy, so switched to just the carpet. Then we went back to the plank and I ran her from the top first, before moving her back.
Today we worked first on the carpet and then on the plank, again starting just at the top and working back. Sparrow’s hits were much better, less over-reach. I do also suspect this problem will iron itself out when the plank is raised full height (and sometimes I think I am trying too hard for perfect hits). Sparrow is doing really good and when you watch her at full speed, it is impossible to know that her front feet did not hit. Certainly it is hard when I am judging good or bad hits!