This is one of the cases where I REALLY have to control my patience and make sure I'm not MAD when I'm training. O_O
I got home from work and set the high jump up in our front yard since I still had daylight and the ground was mostly dry and still semi soft (it feels crunchy-spongey vs frozen).
And Jacks was terrible.
He jumped going out, but then balked about going back over and DROPPED the dumbbell. He did this twice and then absolutely refused to go anywhere near the dumbbell.
He jumps fine without the dumbbell, but I swear he believes that having the dumbbell in his mouth while jumping makes the jump fall over and make a loud noise. o_O! And that's whatever the height. I dropped the jump all the way down to 12" because I really was tired and wanted him to do back to back successful jumps so we could call it quits.
And he just started to shut down - meaning he'd take the jump when sent, but then stop and then turn around to stare wildly at me over the top of the jump, refusing to go anywhere near the dumbbell.
I checked his mouth out just in case he had bit his tongue or lip and something was bothering him. Nope. His tongue looked dark from him stressing out, but I didn't see any cause of pain in his mouth.
I tossed the dumbbell for a few flat retrieves and he went GALLOPING to retrieve and actually did me proud by coming in semi crooked and side stepping to sit perfect in front without me aiding him.
I went back to tossing the dumbbell over the baby jump which he could have stepped right over practically and again he'd jumped over and then turned around to give me the glassy stare and wouldn't go near the dumbbell until I joined him on the other side of the jump and essentially took the jump out of the picture.
So there I was thinking - OMG, my dog is broken. >.<
Probably the most frustrating this is I can understand him flaking out if I were correcting him. But because I KNOW he shuts down when corrected when in flake mode, I was going up, quietly taking him by the collar and going right back to repeat the jump without any comment. I think because he's so sensitive and intune to me that he knew I was not a happy camper.
So finally I got one good jump and called it quits. I took him inside, handed him off to a family member and asked them to keep an eye on him. And I went to the gym and worked out for an hour to blow off steam.
Got back home and prepped his food, put it on the table in our basement... and I set the jump up. Got my sister to help me out by standing to the side of the jump to cheerlead him into taking the 12" jump with the dumbbell. I stood absolutely quiet 8 feet in front of the jump and immediately rewarded and partied with him when he came back. We did a few and then he got din-din.
I plan on doing the same every single day of this winter.
With the basement having tiled floors, we are absolutely not doing any higher jumps than 12" down there. Our garage is cement and is not as slippery, so I may raise the jump out there. Otherwise, I really am limited as far as practice this winter. Darnit.
The hilarious thing is that I had been thinking (this summer) that the worst thing would be the OSS stays. He had been getting so solid on the jumps (including doing them every fun match).
But here he's actually doing much better with the "transitioning" with the stays than I thought he would be. Meaning, that he's not getting scared or stressed out when I pop out of sight on him at class. o_O How does that figure.
If I know my "keep mom busy" nerdlet, he's probably going to solid up on the jumps and the stays are going to fall apart. >.<