There is this adorable Australian shepherd puppy at the park I go to every day named Tank. Probably between 3 - 4 months old.
Tank's owner has been using the park as an opportunity to "train" him against distractions. When Tank is off having a good time, playing with the other pups, the owner will call him away and do obedience drills with him. He makes him do rapid, 10 minute successions of come, sit, and down.
When Tank obeys, he gets no positive reinforcement - no praise, no treat, no clicker to tell him he's done well or even executed the correct command. Here's the kicker: when Tank doesn't obey, his owner grabs him by the muzzle and tosses him around to punish him (he's a really tiny puppy, maybe a mini Aussie?), or grabs Tank's head and forces him to look at him, or pushes him off. Not enough to be considered abuse by any means, but definitely too heavy handed for a puppy. I'm pretty sure this dog doesn't understand the down command, and when he doesn't do it, he gets punished.
Unsurprisingly, after one or two commands, Tank gets bored and he starts staring longingly at the other dogs playing, cause he's not getting anything out of this training and he's just a baby! Then again with the pushing and the grabbing of the muzzle to get him to focus.
Other people at the park have cautiously asked the owner why he does what he does, and he always says that Tank needs to train under distractions, Tank needs to learn to obey when his owner tells him to, etc. Good ideas in theory, poor execution. Tank's obedience, which was surprisingly good for a puppy at one point, has gotten worse, and his owner gets more and more frustrated.
I am not the type of person to give unsolicited advice, especially when it comes to dog training because everyone has their own methods, and I personally HATE people telling me what to do with my dog. Everyone with a dog, has ever owned a dog, or has come in contact with a dog in the last 5 years is an expert, right?
But this guy is clearly not doing right by his dog. It's to the point where when Tank and his owner show up at the park, I immediately leave cause I get so angry watching them. Should I say something? Am I being out of line with this? Is there any way to put it nicely so that he'll listen? This guy does not seem like the type who would take suggestions too well, even if they were given gently.