The only way I can get the striding I want ( 3 strides in and 3 strides out between the box and last jump) is by putting gutters at 5' and 10' from the box. I wonder if a dog that has already run for a year or more can change their striding with gutters? It hasn't had any sort of permanent effect on Pax.
Last weekend I tried something a little bit different. I slowly moved the last jump away from the box slowly and kept sending him and videoing his striding. At 15.5' he still took 2 steps in and 2 steps out, same at 16'. At 16.5-17.5 he took two big strides and one little stutter step and still mostly 2 strides out. Then I moved it to 18', which is the limit for where I would be willing to move it. And that's where he took 3 strides in and 3 out. This seems a little bit ridiculous because dogs much bigger than him easily take 3 strides in 15' and I believe that with more space Pax stretched out even more. I figure his striding can't get much worse than it already is, so my plan is to leave the jump at 18' and than very slowly over time move it back in and hopefully taking 3 steps will be so ingrained by then that I won't need gutters.
To do this training, I really can't also be running him in tournaments. So Pax, is getting the big "P-WORD"...PULLED after Canam, which we already committed to. It may not help, but I would always regret not trying and I still have my Indigo to run.