For dogs its even worse, many people seem to believe that violence towards their own beloved dogs is the best way to train them.
The reason most people give if queried about smacking their dogs is that "thats how my father did it and it works" or "what else am I supposed to do he/she wont take a telling" etc etc.
basically what they are saying is "you have to show the dog who's the boss" and in many ways that is true but hurting dogs is always wrong! To establish dominance over a dog and assert yourself as the leader of the pack, please follow the these non-violent methods: 1)Remain calm and show authority at all times, dogs can sense fear, anger and nervousness as the pack leader you have to remain in authority without losing it! 2)No matter how much you love your dog, you must exercise control over your domain, restrict access to certain areas of your home to remind the dog it does not have free reign, even in areas in which the dog is allowed occasionally stop him/her from using those areas, foe example if you normally allow the dog to use a particular sofa or chair then every now and then make him/her get down and sleep on floor just to remind them who's in control.
3)Attention - most dogs crave attention and will try various methods to get the attention they desire, make sure the dog does not end up training you by creating a fuss to get attention whenever he/she desires it! 4)feeding times - always eat your meal before feeding the dog, as the leader of the pack you would have first pickings on the fresh kill so assert this "right" to reinforce dominance.
Above all remember dogs are happier when they accept their owner as pack leader and follow his/her cue, they quickly accept this and feel comfortable knowing their role, this makes it easier to train them effectively meaning less stress on both owner and dog - all without any stress or violence!