We as humans are always trying to better our dogs and teach them new tricks. But what life lessons can we learn from them? Many of us would be better off if we just mirrored some of the main personality traits that our furry friends share. Dogs are loyal, protective, love unconditionally, are extremely aware, and know exactly how to enjoy what little they have. So next time you decide to work on bettering yourself, maybe skip the self-help book and spend some quality time with your four-legged friend.
Napolean Bonaparte, the famous French emperor, had this to say about the dog that saved him from drowning back in 1815: “Here, gentlemen, a dog teaches us a lesson about humanity.”
1. Be Loyal
Loyalty is considered one of the greatest bonds that dogs can share with humans. To your dog, you are a superhero. This simple trait is one of the reasons that dogs are so popular in our culture.
Dogs show their loyalty in a myriad of ways. Similarly, we should do the same. What does this mean? Spend time with your loved ones. Show them affection and have empathy towards others. This will build loyalty and prove to them that you are devoted.
If you need an example, just look to the Great Pyrenees who is considered one of the most loyal canines. They are dedicated to the protection of their “flock” whether that be sheep or their human family.
Akitas are also at the top of the list when it comes to loyalty—the most famous example of this is Hachikō. Born in 1923, the Japanese Akita is well remembered for his enduring love and loyalty to his master. When his master died in 1925, Hachikō waited a total of nine years at the railway station for his owner to return.
2. Protect The Ones We Love
Dogs have long stood the test of time when it comes to guarding and protecting the ones they love. Many breeds are born with a natural instinct to defend their territory.
They have an ability to sense certain things that humans may miss. Their ears for example, allow them to hear almost double the frequencies than that of humans. This gives them the ability to hear things that we cannot. Dogs also protect us by sniffing out diseases and even cancer in humans.
While they may have better senses, we can still mimic their dedication and urgency to guard and protect their family. German Shepherd Dogs are one of the best examples of protection. GSDs will even sacrifice their own life to save humans from danger or peril.
There are countless stories of heroic German Shepherds taking bullets for police officers out in the field. One such story involved “Bruno,” a K9 GSD who was shot by the suspect during a chase back in 2014. The Colorado officer ended up adopting the dog because of his remarkable devotion.
3. Love Unconditionally
Dogs are known for their unconditional love towards their owners. This is a lesson that we can all benefit from. Their willingness to forgive and forget is one of the most inspirational traits and one that we should all attempt to simulate in our own lives.
The bond between animal and human can truly be special. True unconditional love means that your canine friend will love you on your good days and your bad. This admiration and friendship can help you go through rough emotional times.
This is the reason they are so often used as therapy dogs. This loving character translates into other fields as well including lifting a senior’s spirits in a nursing home or giving hugs and kisses to a cancer patient.
One owner told the story that every time she would cry, her dog would pick up all of his favorite dirty socks and bring them to her as an act of giving.
Pitbulls are a great example of unconditional love. They get a bad rap, but many owners claim that they are extremely loving animals. One woman even said this about her Pitbull. “Nahla, my beautiful pitbull rescue, has taught me more about love, happiness, and loyalty in the past year than my husband ever did.”
This is a lesson that shouldn’t need to be taught. We should all strive to show the same unconditional love to others and especially our families.
4. Be Alert And Cautious
Dogs are very alert and attentive to what is going on around them. They are also normally cautious when it comes to strangers. These two traits help them avoid potentially dangerous situations.
Likewise, we should always try to be as alert as possible to our surroundings. It could save someone’s life. Such was the case with a pet dog in Kansas city back in April of 2021.
A man was walking his dog down the street when he became very ill. His dog sprang into action alerting his neighbor that something was wrong. The neighbor translated the dog’s cry for help, calling 911 and saving the man’s life.
This dog could sense that something wasn’t right and immediately took action. This is a lesson that we can learn from. Study your surroundings and always be prepared to step up when your gut tells you it’s time to take the initiative.
5. Enjoy The Simple Things In Life
This is one of the most important lessons that we can learn from our canine friends. Dogs don’t need a lot to keep them happy and satisfied.
Contrary to the human lifestyle which can involve lots of material things and constantly staying busy, dogs find joy in the simple things. They are content with just spending time with you.
They enjoy a simple walk around the neighborhood, playing with their friends at the local dog park, or snuggling up at night with the children for story time.
Some dogs want nothing more than their favorite chew toy or to play some fetch with their ball. And of course, they love their food. That and a tasty treat every now and then.
So, the next time life gets complicated, look to Fido for inspiration. Take a step back and try to enjoy the simple things. Go for a walk, spend time with the family or enjoy a good meal.
These are just a few of the many life lessons that we can learn from our dogs. Their protective nature and unconditional love for us is unparalleled. They will put their life on the line for you and wait for you no matter how long it takes. This should inspire us to be better, to love more and to spend more quality time with the ones we love.