I was trying to prove myself.

Jack Marston

Prove what? By gettin' yourself killed?

John Marston

Spare the Love, Spoil the Child is the fifty-sixth mission in Red Dead Redemption.

To view the mission tree, see:

Main article: Missions in Redemption/Tree


The stories Jack has heard and read about hunting grizzly bears inspired him to hunt one for himself. After being informed by Uncle about his son, John follows their dog, Rufus, to save Jack.


Mission Prerequisites

Before this mission becomes available, the player must complete:

Mission Objectives

To complete this mission, the player must:

Mission Details

Mount your horse and follow Rufus up into the mountains for about ten minutes. Once you reach the top of Nekoti Rock, you'll enter a cutscene showing an injured Jack hiding from a bear. You'll have to kill the bear — lock on to the bear's head several times with dead eye and fire away. After doing so, Jack will mount your horse, and you'll take him home to the ranch.

Mission Dialogues

Main article: Spare the Love, Spoil the Child/dialogues

Mission Failure

The mission will fail if the player:

  • Assaults or kills Abigail, Jack, Rufus or Uncle.
  • Lets Jack get mauled by the bear.
  • Kills his own horse.
  • Abandons the area, Rufus or Jack.
  • Loses sight of Rufus.
  • Breaks the law.
  • Kills a dog.
  • Commits vandalism.
  • Assaults or kills townsfolk.
  • Dies.

Gold Medal Objectives

  • Fastest Time: 5:19
  • Shot Accuracy: 90%


Known glitches

Main article: Glitches in Red Dead Redemption
  • After the player kills the bear that mauls Jack and enters the cutscene, where you help him onto the horse, a copy of Jack can still be seen standing behind the rock from the previous cutscene. Also, another copy of Jack is seen in the background of the final cutscene of the mission.
  • On the ride back home, Jack may not speak at all. Subtitles appear on the screen from when he's supposed to be talking, but no sound is heard. John can be heard perfectly. Jack's voice can't be heard until the final mission cutscene.
  • In the opening cut scene of the mission, Jack can be seen walking from the barn towards John and Uncle as Uncle says he is off chasing grizzlies.
  • Sometimes at the beginning of the mission, Rufus will not move. Just walk over him to move him and he will start to move.
  • Sometimes at the start of the misson Jack may be standing inside his bedroom in the ranch bloodied and unable to move.
  • Occasionally on the mountain pass, Rufus can fall off the track and begin just running into the cliffside.
  • After the bear is killed, Rufus may not be present on the ride back for an unknown reason. He was not killed by the bear.
  • If the player dies or fails the mission just after killing the bear, if one notices they can hear Jacks mauled horse make a pain noise and even see it fall down onto its side.
  • Sometimes Rufus will not move, even if the player walks over him, and if you look to the house, Jack will be there. The only way to fix this is restarting your PS3 (confirmed on PS3 only).
  • Sometimes after killing the bear and having both John and Jack mount the horse, if the player gets back off to skin the bear they won't be able to get Jack to get back on the horse no matter what is tried. This can be fixed by running down the mountain and then calling your horse. Jack will then be able to mount the horse. (Confirmed on PS3 and Xbox)
  • If John dies many times in this mission Jack is standing on John's head, And rather than come down from his horse descends from the head of John.
  • If you hide in front of a cave bear upon exiting the bear is still trying to run up to the cave and ignore John.
  • It is not uncommon for Jack to be standing at various locations in Beecher's Hope after the opening cutscene, like behind or in the barn or house. Killing him will cause the player to fail the mission and restart from the nearest checkpoint.
  • After John kills the bear, Rufus will sometimes fall off the cliff and climb back up unharmed.


  • This mission name is a reference to one of the first missions, "Spare the Rod, Spoil the Bandit". In the same spirit as "Old Friends, New Problems" and "New Friends, Old Problems".
  • During the rescue part of this mission, it's possible to see Jack's mauled horse. It is the same as the cut Dead Horse.
  • The best thing to do when killing the bear is to go into Dead Eye mode, because the bear moves pretty fast and you will probably get killed easily.
  • After the mission "The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed", Jack can be seen with scars that he received from the bear attack. Also, if one is to look at Jack while he is resting on his bed, his character model will be of the bloodied and scarred model that is in this mission.
  • Oddly, most of the cuts Jack recieves fully heal without scarring, and the ones that do become scars don't appear to be much more deeper or serious.
  • After the player kills a bear for the first time as Jack, Jack will say, "I did it pa."

Video Walkthroughs


Completing this mission contributes toward the following Trophy/Achievement:

100 gamerscoreGamerscore
Gold goldGold
Attain 100% List in the singleplayer game completion list.

Red Dead Redemption mission walkthroughs
Marston Ranch Chapter
"The Outlaw's Return""Pestilence""Old Friends, New Problems"
"By Sweat and Toil""A Continual Feast"
"John Marston and Son""Wolves, Dogs and Sons""Spare the Love, Spoil the Child""The Last Enemy That Shall Be Destroyed"
New AustinNuevo ParaisoWest ElizabethMarston RanchRemember My Family
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