Misses the first contact on A-frame

Running, catching, leaping; this is the forum to discuss dog sports and agility training with other active pups!

Faith Free- CGC

I Wuff You!
Barked: Fri Dec 21, '12 8:56pm PST 
This is Faith's 5th year in agility through 4-H and a junior handler league. For 6 year old dane, she does a great job. Just in the past 2 months she's jumped up to Intermediate level and knows the weave poles, dog walk, and long jump now. She does everything great will run a clean run until we get to the A-frame. Every time she jumps over the yellow contact part of going up the ramp but hits the one going down. I've tried just walking her to it and telling her to "frame it" but she still leaps over it. I dont know if it's 'cause she has a wide stride but I desperately need help in fixing that. Only problem we are having so far. Otherwise her runs are flawless.
Any tips??
Cobain ADC,- SGDC, CGN

More Bored- Collies
Barked: Sat Dec 22, '12 4:39am PST 
As far as I know, you don't need to get the initial contact zone on the equipment. Just the one at the end.

Read the article Aslan posted in his last thread. It may simply be that Faith is unable to see the first contact zone because of the colour of her surroundings.

Will Work For- Food
Barked: Sat Dec 22, '12 8:03am PST 
Her size probably has a lot to do with it - I have seen lots of Danes with this problem. With their long and heavy bodies, they need the extra "oomph" to get up and over so they typically take a largestrides on the up side so they have enough momentum to get over. I would go back and re-train the A-frame using stride regulators. This will help create the muscle memory and habit of taking a certain striding over the frame so that she hits the yellow constantly on both sides. I would also work on more strength and rear end conditioning exercises so she will need to use less of her energy to get herself over the frame.
Although the color theory that Aslan posted is a great and thoughtful article, it most likely has nothing to do with your situation. Yes dogs only see certain colors of the spectrum but that does not mean that things, like the bottom of the a-frame, become invisible. There may be less contrast but she will still know that it is there. I have yet to see a normal dog walk into certain colored objects because they didn't see them just because they were a certain color.

Kashmir- ♥ CGC

Boxer Beach Bum
Barked: Sat Dec 22, '12 8:14pm PST 
Kashmir had this problem when she did agility. She would get soo excited and literally fly off the a-frame. I taught her "target" so when she touched that yellow part she got a treat. It took a little bit but with practice she had it down pretty good. You could try teaching her that she has to touch that yellow part.
Faith Free- CGC

I Wuff You!
Barked: Sat Dec 22, '12 9:43pm PST 
Thank you for your help. We have agility league tomorrow so we will work on it. I think working on her stride and that if she hits that yellow target she gets a treat will be a good idea

I'm triple- superior MAD- now!
Barked: Sun Dec 23, '12 10:04am PST 
Sassy started to jump over the contact as she aged.

I did a clicker training session on it, she had one of those light bulb moments and never missed another one. We didn't have many light bulb moments but they were sure neat when they happened.

Start by having your dog touch the spot the nose should be when the feet are where they belong and clicking that. I know I was clicking the feet low on the contact but I bet she was picking up on where her head was and possibly how level her body was when she hit the board.

Since Sassy was clicker savvy I treated her after she was off the board but she remembered exactly where she was clicked. You don't want to treat nose to board as poor dog would never be able to get over the A frame.