Dog trainers have evolved over the years as parents have evolved in raising children. We have become a society that demands that correction be given in the form that appears to be a reward for the dog’s or child’s misbehavior.
Several years ago smart dog trainers stopped making public displays of training dogs. They used public parks to facilitate training in hope that people would see them and would seek their assistance with their own pet. Not any more. Just as parents fear being in a shopping mall when their child or children act up. Bystanders took on roles to determine how the correction should be administrated.
I learned to train dogs in the military. Our lives depended on the dog following commands. We needed the dog to listen and stop chewing on a person when then person became compliant and stopped resisting. I did not find the training techniques abusive, just effective. When the public first started complaining about the techniques in use by certain trainers, I figured that the economic principle of supply and demand would force the evolution of training techniques.
If people started avoiding the “rough” trainers and sought out the “gentle” trainers, the tough (rough) trainers would adapt. That is how evolution works, you adapt to the environment so as to survive and place food on your table. The world did evolve and trainers became kinder and gentler; some even had their own television shows.
There have been no studies that suggest that the kindler approach to dog training is more effective. I think that it was less about the technique and more about the engagement of the owner with their dog. The same is true with raising children, the more engaged that a parent is with their child, the better the child will behave. Too many parents leave it up to the school system to raise their children; but, this is a blog about pets, not how people raise their children.