Puppies are a clean slate. We hope if we do everything "right" then we will have the perfect dog. Really? Diligence and hard work may give you the end results you are looking for but there is some truth to behaviors linking to a dogs lineage. Some dogs no matter how well you do your job as a dog trainer will still have their quirks and idiosyncrasies
Take my boy Pippin for example. As a puppy, he never ran all the way down the stairs. He always naturally wanted to leap from stair 4 or 5. An established dog trainer told me, "Oh, that is not a good sign, dogs that leap on stairs usually want to leap contacts!" I didn't know that but thought I would prove her wrong.
Pippin and I started out deciding to do running contacts. We started with one method and all the aids required to teach him to run down the a frame or dogwalk. No matter what I did Pip managed to stride right over the yellow more than in the yellow and without a visible aid, he would leap. We spent our first year with very little contact success in the ring due to his inconsistencies. Pippin obviously must have been successful at some point since he is competing in Masters now.
Now we have goals. Pippin and I cannot possibly attain these goals with an unreliable contact performance. So we decide that running contacts is not a clear cut behavior to teach and we will now make Pippin stop in 2 on 2 off. Seems clear, seems easy enough since I taught 2 other dogs how to do their 2 on 2 off position. Well it didn't exactly work the same way! Pippin gets so excited in the ring that he just flies off those contacts as if he had wings!!
So we are back to the drawing board. Time to stop trialing in standard so we can clearly reward the successful performances and correct the undesired behavior. In the agility field at home, we are increasing the pressure and excitement by whooping and hollering, running past, hanging back, throwing things and having friends over with their dogs to distract him. Once we can't make him fail at home then we will take it to the road and proof those same behaviors at new places.