Most of us think of poor conditions, starving and/or hitting or causing pain and punishment as abuse. But the little things we do can make a lasting effect too.
I'm a people watcher. I love watching people with their dogs. It can be quite funny. Its like two completely different conversations going on at the same time and they're both talking to each other (the dog and the owner, I mean). Sometimes it's quite moving. Sometimes it's tragic.
I watched a terrier mix get a smack on the butt because he was "barking and carrying on" while he was on his tie-out line. He was "intact" and barking happily at my dog about 20 feet away. I've seen a GSD (German Shepherd Dog) puppy get harshly scolded for playing. Nothing rough or anything...just playing. I've even worked at a well known service dog kennel that taught handlers and practiced whipping the dogs with their leashes for humping. Just today, I watched a guy whack his pit bull with his umbrella for pulling on the leash.
How could you scold your dog for acting like a dog?
There is no training going on. Most people just expect their dog to be sensitive to how humans will view their behavior and act according to human social standards??? Are you stupid?
Why would you yell at your yorkie or chihuahua for barking? Those dogs are supposed to bark. Why would you get a dog that has a genetic predisposition to act a certain way (PUREBREDS!) and yell at them for it? Read about the animal before you get one.
Don't ask breeders. Most of them can't help you. Most of them are just dog pimps anyway. You don't need an education of any kind to put two mammals together and make babies. I have heard many a new puppy owner ask the breeders about their breeds character or "personality", and get "they need lots of attention", or "they're very smart and need exercise". Morons! None ever warn that some breeds aren't good with kids. They only say "I bring my dogs around kids when they very young" as if that changes centuries of genetic selection for pugnaciousness.
My point is, why is everyone trying to "train" their dog to obey their commands and gain dominance, and no one is trying to learning about normal dog behavior and trying to earn allegiance? Isn't that ethical handling? Isn't that how all animals should be treated if we want to say they have animal rights? Is a dog a companion or a slave? A harsh question, I know, but I see it everywhere.