Loving vs. Spoiling

The difference between Loving your dog and Spoiling your dog.

love
[ləv]

VERB
loved (past tense) · loved (past participle)
feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone): 
"do you love me?"
synonyms: care very much for · feel deep affection for · hold very dear · adore · think the world of · be devoted to · dote on · idolize · worship · be in love with · be infatuated with · [more]
like very much; find pleasure in: 
"I'd love a cup of tea, thanks" · [more]
synonyms: like very much · delight in · enjoy greatly · have a passion for · take great pleasure in · derive great pleasure from · relish · savor · have a weakness for · be partial to ·

spoil
[spoil]

VERB
spoiled (past tense) · spoiled (past participle)
diminish or destroy the value or quality of: 
"I wouldn't want to spoil your fun" · [more]
synonyms: mar · damage · impair · blemish · disfigure · blight · flaw · deface · scar · [more]
harm the character of (a child) by being too lenient or indulgent: 
"the last thing I want to do is spoil Thomas"

As we're getting Board and Train dogs in at the Indiana K9 Learning Center we are asking lots of questions about how the dogs live in the home. We're seeing a pattern...people are confusing loving their dog and spoiling their dog. They feel that if punish bad behavior the dog won't like love them any more.

That can't be more incorrect! When you give your dog rules in the home that are fair and that they understand you are strengthening your relationship. They are like all sentient beings...they operate in a unit best when someone makes the rules and enforces them. They don't want to guess, but if someone isn't stepping up they will, and the behavior probably won't be what you want.

Loving your dog means giving him what he needs in life and that includes rules and consequences for breaking the rules.

amanda hillegas