I saw a video of a man who calls himself a dog trainer (I can not be that generous as to assign him that title). He walked up from behind an unsuspecting dog seated next to his owner and slammed the dog on the head with a rolled up white towel. He didn’t just hit the dog. He wound up and put his weight behind it.
What happened next was difficult to watch and I knew in that moment it had to be addressed. The dog, shocked and petrified, lowered to the floor. The people in the room? They laughed, as did this man calling himself a trainer. What that tells me is that there are humans handling dogs that think this is “no big deal.” This is a very big deal.
This is assault.
There are so many ways to write this article, so many paths to take to try and educate, convince, and impact the behavior of people with the privilege of handling dogs but don’t see it as such. There are facts - scientifically proven facts - about dogs, the way they learn, their purpose, capacity f