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Training Quick Tips - Love vs. Respect

What is the difference between love and respect? In the dog world there is a big difference.

This difference is clearly stated by Mr. Rick Smith in his The Pointing Dog Journal article titled "Trainin' Dogs with Rick Smith: Respect or Love?." To follow is a direct quote from his article.

Love is something we do for ourselves. It's about us, not the dog. We feel that if we show human affection to our dog, it will "love" us in return. While the dog may appreciate and benefit from the things that come with the human "love" (treats, petting, letting them sleep on the bed, and so on), it does nothing to strengthen the dog's bond with us; in fact, if not done properly, it can actually weaken the bond.

We have found that a strong bond is founded on mutual respect. And, with mutual respect comes the sense that our dogs love us. After all, most of us want to feel that our dogs love us.


Smith, R. 2006. Trainin' Dogs with Rick Smith: Respect or Love? The Pointing Dog Journal 14(2): 16-18.


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