Your dog really IS your teacher!

Your dog is probably incredibly loyal and smart, but did you know your dog can also teach you important lessons about life?

Dogs have an uncanny knack for getting to the heart of the matter. They are always ready to offer support, love and comfort when you need it the most. Whether you want to learn how to better manage your emotions, how to become a better boss, how to improve your relationship with a spouse or loved one, or how to get more of what you want out of life, your dog can help you accomplish whatever you set your mind to.

Your dog can be just as insightful and intelligent as you are—especially when it comes to the ups and downs of life.  They have a lot to teach us about love, work, and what’s most important in life.  The fact is that dogs are simply more curious, more observant, and more willing to take action than humans.  There is so much we can learn from our dogs.  Here are 9 valuable lessons we can learn from our canine friends.

Dog sitting by a person quietly on a beach

Dogs know when to just sit by your side

Your dog can teach you how to be a great friend.

There is no better role model for maintaining a great friendship than your dog.  He will listen and he doesn’t tell secrets.  He won’t gossip, judge, or criticize.  Dogs instinctively know that sometimes all someone needs is just someone to sit next to them and say nothing.  They know how to protect and comfort others.  Dogs never forget to show happiness when someone they loves walks through the door.

Your dog can teach you how to let go of expectations and be open to what’s next.

Dogs don’t hang on to the negative things that happened to them yesterday and they don’t hope for something in the future.  They don’t expect to be treated a certain way and they aren’t disappointed if something goes differently than what they’d hoped.  Why? Because they didn’t hope in the first place!  There are no expectations made ahead of time so they are open to whatever happens.

Your dog can teach you that complaints aren’t necessary.

Dogs want things just like people do.  They want treats, affection, and to go for a walk.  The difference between dogs and humans is that you won’t hear a dog complain or get upset when they don’t get a treat or a walk.  They won’t blame or get mad at you if you don’t give them what they want.  They just let it go and go on to the next thing that might make them happy.

Your dog can teach you how to love unconditionally.

My dog has been in my life for close to 13 years now. I have known her since she was a puppy, and I was able to help raise her from a little pup into a big, laid-back, happy senior girl. I notice that even when I get irritated with her or act impatiently with her, she still seems to love me unconditionally.  It doesn’t matter if I have a good day or a bad day.  My mood doesn’t matter to her – she is aways there by my side consistently loving me.

Your pup can teach you forgiveness.

You can yell at a dog, accidentally step on it’s tail, ignore him or quite a number of other things and that dog will most likely forgive you right away.  Dogs don’t hold grudges and won’t try to get even.  They always seem to see you as the best version of yourself.  Even when you prove otherwise – they give you another chance.

Your dog can teach you how to appreciate the little things and live in the moment.

My dog is never worried that she won’t get fed or walked tomorrow morning.  She never worries about how much she’s loved (or not loved).  She doesn’t spend her time trying to guess what the neighbor dog thinks about her new toy or if she looks fat in her new harness.  She doesn’t consider herself less than the the pure bred down the block because she’s a mix.  She appreciates the small seemingly insignificant things in life – She dog will roll around on her back on the carpet and then stop (you can almost see a smile on her face) – paws in the air for a moment.  Then she will start rolling again.  You can tell she’s happy.  Just rolling around she’s happy. Read more on how dogs live in the present moment.

Our furry companions can teach you that naps are important.

This is a great lesson for us humans!  Napping helps to refresh the body and helps you let go of negativity that might be building up.  Naps help freshen our perspective.  Dogs nap everyday – sometimes several times per day and they never feel guilty about it.  Maybe that’s why dogs are pretty happy all the time.

Dog playing with a ball on a beach

Dogs can teach us to keep playing as long as we are able

Dogs teach us the importance of exercise and play.

You probably know that dogs LOVE to go for walks.  It’s almost like a new adventure each and every time they get to sniff the corner bush (that they’ve sniffed at least 200 times before!)  Things never get old for them.  Life always seems to offer them something new even if they’ve turned that particular corner everyday for the last 5 years.

They can teach us how to be grateful for the things we have.

Dogs are easily pleased with the simple things in life: food, water, companionship, play and sleep.  They appreciate a warm bed, but they are grateful for a place to sleep.  They are happy with a plastic bowl or a bowl made of gold.  They are grateful to be eating and playing and loving and living.  They don’t require the finest because they feel like they already have it.

Your dog is a perfect example of the true definition of unconditional love. He can teach you about simplicity, values, happiness, and how to live a good life.  You just have to let him.