This post isn't about our primary trainer, who I adore. This is about a secndary sort of trainer, for a dog sport of sorts...
Anyway, I have had 3, exactly 3 interactions with this woman. At least once, in each interaction, she has displayed an attitude I haven't had much success in dealing with in the past. She is nice enough with my dog, he likes her. But he doesn't have to TALK to her! Knowing myself, knowing I am sensitive to attitude and words used; eventually I am going to end up dreading interactions. The dog likes her, I feel judged harshly by her.
Yesterday, we worked with her and watches other dog and handler lessons. We spent 2 hours in the bitter midwest cold for this. She would ask if I had questions before a lesson, not after. It seemed as though learning by doing was the name of the game, so I felt like I was failing a test without knowing I was being tested until I'd failed. She would ask what I should have been doing, and while I guessed the right answer after the fact, I still felt like some context prior to starting would have set me up to feel confident before stepping into the pen with livestock. While everything she had to say was true and accurate, I haven't done this activity before and I said so. Yes my dog is my responsibility, but is it unreasonable for me to expect an instructor to communicate with me and set me up to succeed? Maybe this is teaching by example meant to remind me how it feels to have unspoken expectations?
Another time, I had to cancel a lesson bc I was struggling through recommendations made by a veterinary behaviorist. After switching to another behaviorist, who explained things better and actually reviewed video of my dog working with the trainer; we were able to proceed. She made a comment that didn't hit nicely, a comment about "drugging" my dog. We eventually sorted it out, but I got the sense there was a quick judgement there and neither of us asked the other for more information.
Clearly neither of us, the handler and trainer are communicating effectively. I'm waffling between trying to work it out and moving on. I am capable of communicating effectively, but tend to shut down when I start to feel tense.
Note: I know I think too much, but I'm still working out when to stop thinking, lol.