In my continuing quest (although I fear it will ultimately be a vain one as he is sure to see through my insincerity) to get onto Tim Chesterton"s FAVOURITE BLOGGERS LIST, here's another serious post.
I received this email from Tracie The Red (to give her her full title as this is a serious question) some while back.
I've been thinking about it for a while and, to be honest, I was stumped by it to begin with. But my riff on my dog club being similar to the Anglican Communion in my LET THEM GET ON WITH IT! has led me to a possible, reasonably coherent answer.
Anybody can make a dog submit to them. All you need is a strong, dominant personality or, if that doesn't work, a big stick. These are the tools employed by the alpha males in wolf packs although the big stick tends to be replaced with big teeth and sharp claws.
But, if you want a dog to do as you tell it at the same time as loving you, making the dog submit is of very little value in the enterprise. The thing is a dog will only be "obedient" to you if it wants to be. If you try to get the dog to do as you say by scaring the living daylights out of it the only thing it will do when you shout "Come here!" is run in the opposite direction.
I have been training dogs for 39 years and I can tell you categorically that the first thing you have to do if you want your dog to be obedient is to persuade the dog to trust you and you can't trick a dog into doing that. Contrary to popular belief dogs don't love their masters whatever. Unless you love your dog your dog will not love you. The loyalty that is observed in dogs with cruel owners is from fear not love and, given the opportunity, the fearful dog will readily transfer its loyalty to a kinder owner. And obedience comes not from the human telling the dog what to do, a one way contract. Canine obedience is all about teamwork. Above all, a dog will be obedient only if its owner is reliable and can be trusted at all times. A dog will just get very confused and panic if you keep changing the way you relate to it and when you ask it to do something it will just go to pieces.
So, there you have it - the difference between submission and obedience (incorporating the difference between God and Allah) doggie style.