The Administrator from the Great White North, eh?
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Northern British Columbia
This kind of shutting down is usually a sign of stress, not a challenge to your authority. Looking away and freezing is a calming signal.
Is he used to the cones? Who knows what it was? Maybe a noise, the sound of the heater/air conditioning, another dog giving him the evil eye. Maybe they were scary to him. Perhaps he was picking up your negative energy and was trying to calm you down in doggy language, which of course, would have upset you even more (because he was not listening), which would have stressed him some more, and so on.
At any rate, if this is not typical from him, don't fret over it. Next time he shows signs of stress, try to figure out what it is, and be calm and happy to bring his attention back to you. Give him a little play break, then go back to the exercise.
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Keeta BH, OB1, TR1, AD
Rottweiler/Hairy Dog mix?? 2004-2015