Nothing is as easy it seems! Recently Indy's dog walk has been getting a little sloppy. Sometimes there are full blatant jumps, other times her striding is consistent the whole way down the plank, but she's so extended that that she's hitting at the very top of the yellow and the next stride is hitting the ground. All four feet hit the same spot, jackrabbit style!! It would be cute, but she's going to get called. I want it to be obvious to any judge that she hit her contact, I don't want to make them think, and boy oh boy is it hard to see what she's doing lately. I video taped and watched and watched and watched some more at full speed and could not for the life of me say whether her feet hit the lower section the dog walk or the ground just past. She already was pretty quick on the dog walk, recently she's really started to move! I had to slow it down to 12% of regular speed to really analyze what she's doing.
I hopefully fixed it. The first time she jumped on the dog walk, was outside and there was taller grass around the plank. This is Indy, she can be weird. She jumped every single time. It seemed like from that point on things got sloppy, she also started to get faster. It was like she did it once and thought well "this is easier and FUN". Got the plank out and did some remedial work. Also played around with her stop on the contact. I semi-taught her a four on stop months ago. she didn't forget! All I have to do is tell her GO or STOP when she's on the top plank of the walk and she does it. The stop certainly needs more work, more proofing but I'm amazed at how quickly she gets the concept and she seems to really like not knowing which it's going to be, and having to really pay attention. I think for her the stop even helps her running contact. It seems to remind her that there's something very important about hitting the end of the walk.
On a side note, I don't know how judges accurately can judge contacts. I think fast small dogs are even harder, it's tough to really see what's going on. I think electronic touch pads are only a matter of time.