29 Ways To Tell If Your Dog Respects You (#14 Is Odd)


There’s a difference between a dog loving someone and a dog respecting someone. Your dog can love you but not necessarily respect you as their leader. How can you tell if your dog respects you?

There are various signs that show your dog respects you and sees you as their alpha. The ways a dog shows respect range from listening to your commands and obeying rules, to allowing you to groom them and protect you from threats.

In this post you’ll discover 29 different ways to tell if your dog respects you.

It’s time to find out if your loveable pooch loves you AND respects you.

Let’s jump right in!

29 Ways Your Dog Shows They Respect You

1) Listens To Your Commands

If your dog listens to your commands, this is one of the surest ways to confirm that they respect you. 

Of course, this will require some training. A dog cannot adhere to a command that they don’t know. If your dog has been fully trained and they still don’t listen to your commands, this is a sign that they don’t respect you. 

2) Lets You Go Through Doors First

When your dog allows you to enter or exit a room first, this is a sure sign of respect. This phenomenon is rooted in a dog’s most basic nature, as history teaches us that young dogs would only enter a café once the alpha dog does. 

This is also a sign that your dog sees you as their protector. If there are any dangers in the room they know that you (their alpha human!) will protect them. 

3) Doesn’t Have Accidents Inside (Obeys Rules)

Your dog doesn’t make accidents on your beloved rug because you taught them not to, right? Well, sort of. If dogs obey your rules, this is also a definite sign that they respect you.

Dogs are very smart, and are likely to bend the rules in a home of someone that they don’t respect. 

4) Eats When You Present Them With Food

Can your dog not wait to eat when you give them their favorite dish? Then, other than the fact that they might be super hungry, they have respect for you.

If a dog doesn’t trust someone, they won’t eat for safety reasons. When a dog eats, their guard is also down, so they wouldn’t eat in front of someone they don’t respect and trust.

5) Doesn’t Steal Your Food

Dogs love food, so if they can control themselves from stealing yours, they definitely respect you.

Even if they give you puppy eyes and beg, if they don’t distinctively try to steal your food, it’s because they know that you are the alpha and they respect you.  

6) They’re Relaxed When Around You 

Often, dogs are anxious because their life isn’t in order. A dog who knows who their pack leader is, is more calm because their position is understood. They know that you are their protector, and that nothing can harm them when you’re around. 

7) Doesn’t Stare You Down

When a dog breaks eye contact with you first, this is a sign of respect. When feeling threatened and protective, a dog won’t break eye contact as a way to assert dominance. If they do trust you, they will blink or look away from you. 

8) Turns Their Back To You

Similar to eye contact, a dog won’t turn their back on you if they don’t trust you. When they turn around and even walk away, they trust that you (their protector and alpha) won’t hurt them. They won’t do this to someone who they see as a threat.

9) Shows Submissive Body Language

When your dog respects and trusts you, they won’t show aggressive body language like flaring their nostrils or showing their teeth. Instead, they’ll act submissively like lying on their backs.

When they showcase submissive body language in front of you it means they know you are in charge and they respect & trust you.

10) Protects You From Possible Threats/Danger

If your dog didn’t respect you, there’s no way that they would protect you from danger! Seeing you as their alpha, they will take pride in always protecting you. 

11) Lets You Groom Them

When a dog doesn’t like, trust or respect someone, chances are that they won’t let that person touch them, let alone groom them.

If your dog allows you to brush, trim their nails and clip unwanted fur, this is a sure sign of respect. 

12) Doesn’t Pull On The Leash

Are walks a, mind the pun, walk in the park? Then this is a sign that your dog respects you.

If your dog peacefully walks beside you while on their leash this means they respect you and don’t feel anxious. Oftentimes it’s an anxious dog that pulls on the leash because they feel that their human needs to be led.

13) They Bring You Toys

Have you ever seen anything more adorable than your dog bringing you their favorite toy? 

When they do this, they are showing you that they respect you. Bringing you a toy is a sign that they see you as their alpha, and you should accept the toy with a smile to encourage this type of behavior. 

14) They Bring You Dead Animals

We know, this isn’t always the most fun part of being a pet parent, but it’s not a bad thing! If your dog brings you a dead animal, they want to show you what they hunted, and they want to take care of you.

While you may not want (definitely don’t want) the dead animal it’s a way of them showing their value to your pack.

15) Doesn’t Walk Away When Talking To Them

If your dog listens to you when you speak to them, this is a sign that they respect you. Even if they find playtime much more appealing, they will still listen to you, because they respect you.

A dog that walks away when you’re giving them commands is showing that they don’t respect you.

16) Doesn’t Take Your Spot When You Get Up

If you’re able to get up from your seat and come back to it being still available while your dog is in the room, this is them showing respect.

While they’d like to sit in your warm seat and maybe get some attention when you return, they respect you enough to not take your seat.

17) Lets You Choose Your Seat First

How adorable is this! However cute, it’s also surprisingly a sign of respect. In the wild, a young dog will always allow the alpha to choose their spot first, which is exactly what your dog is doing here. 

18) Doesn’t Sit On Top Of You

Although we might think that when a dog sits on you it’s a sign of love, they may not want to sit on your lap at all.

So, don’t be too disheartened when your dog doesn’t want to sit on your lap. The chances are that they are only trying to show their respect. 

19) Follows Your Lead (Goes Wherever You Go)

Hey, alpha, wait for me!

Don’t be irritated with your dog when they follow you around. This is a sign of respect.

They know that you are their pack leader, so they likely want to follow your lead. Of course, they also want to make sure that you are protected at all times. 

20) Doesn’t Nip At You

Nipping, when not playful, can be a sign of aggression in dogs.

If your dog is being aggressive towards you, they likely don’t respect you. Nipping, even from a small dog, can be quite painful and should be avoided.

21) Greets You Warmly

Is there anything better than arriving home after a long day’s work, and having your dog greet you warmly? If your dog’s tail is wagging and they look overjoyed to see you, they not only love you, but also respect you. 

Be sure to encourage this warm behavior by greeting them back. 

22) Lets You Rub Their Belly

How some dogs love their belly rubs! Believe it or not, but this is actually quite a vulnerable spot for a dog, and they won’t show it to someone that they see as a threat.

When showing their bellies, dogs are at their most relaxed, so they only behave this way around someone they trust and respect. 

23) Accepts People That You Accept

If your dog is comfortable being around people that you are familiar with, this is a sign that they respect you.

They trust your judgement and are able to feel relaxed around anyone that you call a friend. They don’t have to question or worry about this new person and whether they will harm their human or themselves.

24) Lets You Greet People First

Similarly to letting you go through doors first, they will also let you greet people first as a sign of respect.

When a dog is able to remain cool, calm, and collected around new people it’s because they’ve been trained well and respect their leader (you!).

25) Doesn’t Expect Treats Or Praise For No Reason

A dog that loves and respects you won’t want treats or praise for no reason. They know that this praise must be earned, and they will obey your commands and behave well in order to receive treats and praise.

With that said, this is something that can be improved through training. If you give your dog treats for no reason, they won’t have a desire to earn them. 

26) Gets Close To You For Protection

If your dog stands behind you when they’re afraid, this is a sign of respect.

They trust that you’ll protect them and keep them safe from whatever it is that is scaring them.

27) Doesn’t Wake You Up

A dog that respects their owner will do their best not to wake them up.

Obviously this is down the line after their puppy years. But unless it’s an absolute emergency a dog won’t wake up their pack leader out of respect.

28) Sleeps In Your Presence 

Just as your dog will allow you to sleep as a sign of respect to you, when they sleep in your presence, it’s also a sign of respect. This shows that they trust you, and they know that no harm will come to them when they let their guard down for some R&R. 

29) Doesn’t Growl When You Touch Their Toys

Dogs can be possessive and overprotective when guarding the things they love, including their toys! If your dog allows you to touch their beloved toys, they respect you.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Why Do Dogs Rub On Things After Eating? (Explained!)

Can a Dog Love You Too Much? (5 Signs They Do!)

Can a Dog Love Two Owners? (The Truth!)

Alec Littlejohn

Founder and Reviewer at Pawscessories. He is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! He grew up in a family of vets and to this day he helps out around the family clinic and shares his learnings on Pawscessories. Learn more about Alec's story here

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