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I have a question about respect in dog training. What is it?

That’s the point of this article. No need to read the rest unless you’re intrigued. It just explains my intent. The first line is my request.

My work is currently with pet dogs. Previously, search dogs, Service dogs and always fear/anger reactive dogs.

I've never trained competition dogs but have very high respect for trainers that do, and for the amazing level of detail that goes into these dogs. It's an art and takes extreme high-level brain work from trainers... much respect for that.

I'm creating a framework to help clients focus on what dog's "need" to change behavior. It's a buffer of sorts, that fits between training methods, clients, dogs, and their trainers.


We would not be where we are today without science, but science has a problem. Science needs something to measure. In my mind, some of the most important aspects of dog training are left out of the conversation because the scientific method is challenged when trying to measure them.

Respect is nothing new in dog training. The word/concept has been used over a long span of time in many dog industries by all types of practitioners.

My question is: What does RESPECT really mean? What specific ways is it related to dog training and how many definitions are there? I'm hoping there are a lot.

Please know my intent is only to understand more. It's never to hurt anyone or put anyone down or build allies against any group or set of ideas. That's just not who I am. I'm just an adult that has not given up my kid-brain curiosity about the parallels between animals and humans.

I'm looking for critics, criticism, suggestions, outlier ideas and first reaction gut feelings. Please don't hide it, I want to hear it, and promise to listen respectively. I'm not collecting information on anyone or for anyone. I'm not scamming, stalking, or doing anything under-the-table. If possible, I appreciate the same respect, but am glad to accept harsh criticism, judgements, and bullying. It's all good and just an expression of ideas. All are welcome.


I’m grateful for your input and the work you do with dogs. I’m sharing this here in the Dog Trainers Lounge group first, because I’ve been in this group for several months and love the respect and open sharing of ideas.


Sherry Clark

I’m open to private conversations at

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