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Discussion Starter #1
So I just started my puppy in puppy training and there is a girl there who looks to be around 20, she has a pit bull who is 3 months old. Everytime the dog does anything, for example the puppy started to bark a bit around the other dogs (completely normal, this is how dogs communicate) she kept threatening to hit it. The trainer never heard this because she was busy working with another dog. Why do people think it is ok to hit dogs?

I have a stubborn pup, and a biter too, and I get that it is frustrating raising a puppy but hitting any dog is never ok. Should I tell the trainer? I get that it is not really my business but part of me feels that she just needs guidance in raising her dog.

I saw her smack the dog on the butt once for barking but i don't get it, barking is natural.
 

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A lot of people are really under-educated when it comes to raising dogs. If it were me, I'd mention it to the trainer when you were alone. She is likely to mess her dog up that way, and pitbulls already have enough media issues. We don't need another dog who misbehaves because of its owner.
 

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Speaking as a person who comes from a family and community full of people who think it's just fine to haul off and hit any animal for anything, I have to say I feel it has to do mostly with what sort of person you are. Sure, ignorance and upbringing may play a part, but if you can hurt something and not feel remorse for it, then you have an issue as a person.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I guess I could talk to the trainer, I just don't want to sound like a know-it-all. There is another girl in class and we were talking about how the dogs like to chase our feet when we are walking and try to grab on to our shoes, she said that she smacked her dog in the face with her shoe to get him to stop. I just don't understand how someone could do that to a puppy :(
 

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I agree that many people learn how to care for other people and animals from parents/family. If one grows up seeing mom and dad hit the dog for chewing, potty accidents, jumping, etc., they learn that hitting is an acceptable training method. They also learn general attitudes about animals from family, and later friends. If the general attitude is "just a dog" or the relationship is one of "master and follower" I'm not sure that the well-being of the dog is even considered.

I guess I could talk to the trainer, I just don't want to sound like a know-it-all. There is another girl in class and we were talking about how the dogs like to chase our feet when we are walking and try to grab on to our shoes, she said that she smacked her dog in the face with her shoe to get him to stop. I just don't understand how someone could do that to a puppy :(
Could you raise the issue by asking questions? For example, "Hey, my dog chases my feet when I walk. How can I stop that?" or "What should I do when my dog won't respond to me?" You won't be singling out individuals in class and the trainer can provide good information for everyone. If you think hitting or other physical corrections (positive punishment) needs to be addressed specifically, you could ask "innocent" questions about the effectiveness of positive reinforcement vs positive punishment.
 

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Did she actually hit the puppy? Or just threaten to? Threatening to hit the puppy is no big deal, it might be how she deals with it. I will tell Obi he's a "terrible dog" or similar several times a day, but it doesn't mean anything.

I've seen people smack dogs really hard right in the middle of class, at training club where they don't allow any harsh handling. People who would hit their dogs have no problem doing it in public. They do it because it's a knee-jerk reaction or because they think it's ok. So if the woman thought hitting her puppy was ok, she would have done it.
 

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Talk to the trainer... the owner doesn't understand... You are "just" a peer, but the trainer is the authority.

Some People will hit dogs and puppies, but would never hit a person. The person is angry or frustrated, and the dog stops when hit, for immediate gratification. Also, since the puppy just startles, not sitting down and crying, then the possible belief is that the puppy has not feeling or emotions to be concerned about... "It's just an animal." There's no reason to believe that the owner would listen to you, but the trainer may have some influence.
 

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When a person is uneducated on training, frustrated, and has no idea how to handle a dog they hit them. Why? Because it gives them quick satisfaction. When you hit a dog it's like "you taught them a lesson" when really you just made yourself feel better, the dog hasn't learned anything.
I grew up in a family that hit the dog if he got out of line. My own dog was hit as puppy as well, at least my family tried to make it right by telling us to rub the dog with your hands all over so the dog doesn't become fearful of hands, which doesn't make a lot of sense but it worked I guess, none of the dogs were ever fearful of hands or fast hand movements.

I like the suggestion to ask the trainer questions and hope the person who is hitting their dog will listen. I don't think the person will learn anything if YOU tell her not to hit her dog. If you tell the trainer, then she is more likely to stop, or she'll just stop while she's at the training classes, but it won't guarantee she will stop at home or anywhere else.
 
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