I suppose their reasoning is akin to those who say one shouldn't respond to a baby when it cries. They're trying to get it used to being an outdoor dog.
Sassafras was intrigued when we took our walk this afternoon. She was downright bothered this evening. This crying puppy grabs her attention. She doesn't bark back, she just wants to go check it out.
I'm not condemning their practice; after all, it may be a strictly outdoor dog. I just know that my Pink Puppy Princess was never treated that way. Nor my Feline Foundling, either.