15 Valuable Lessons Dogs Teach Us

“The only creatures that are evolved enough to convey pure love are dogs and infants.” ~ Johnny Depp

I recently watched an inspiring movie called Hachi: A Dogs Tale. The true story depicts loyalty at its rarest form. In the movie, Richard Gere takes in a young, abandoned puppy named Hachi. As the movie description states: This film is not sappy but “heartfelt and immensely powerful.”  Be prepared to be moved to tears.

I am known to tear up occasionally during a movie, but I wouldn’t consider myself a huge crier. Let me tell you, at one point during this movie I looked over at my husband, and not only were we both crying, but we were both actually sobbing. Maybe this is due to my zany love for animals – but what’s his excuse? The next morning my mind wandered off to the movie and unexpectedly, right there standing in the shower, I broke out into tears again!

This movie paired with my unconditional, immense love for all animals including my own two dogs have inspired this post.

There are so many life lessons dogs teach us, below are 15 of my favorites.

1.  Looks can be deceiving.

Don’t judge a book by its cover; a very big man or woman can be hiding inside any body.


image credit: hz536n via Flickr


2.  Allow fresh air and wind in your face whenever possible.

Dogs truly do know how to live in the moment.  I don’t stick my head out the car window, but I try to appreciate the spring smells and fresh air.  Dogs aren’t thinking about tomorrow, they are excited for this very moment all the time. You can be too.


Image credit: Christina Spicuzza via Flickr


3.  Be loyal.

If only we could all be the person our dogs think we are.  When you think you’ve lost everything, take a good look around, I guarantee your dog will still be there, full of love and admiration.


Image credit: .Bala via Flickr


4.  Never to pretend to be something youre not.

Dogs don’t care what other dogs think.  They have adorable personalities and we love them for it.  Embrace your own adorable personality.


Image credit: alexbrn via Flickr


5.  You are never too old to play.

Life is short, so have fun and stop taking everything so seriously.


Image credit: Dan Barak via Flickr


6.  When loved ones come home, always greet them.

Take an opportunity every day to tell those who mean the most to you that you are happy to see them.


Image credit: Barefootbeginnings.net


7.  Stretch before rising.

This is a good one to follow especially as we get older.  I often see my dog stretching into “downward facing dog.” It makes me smile every time.


Image credit: Smabs Sputzer via Flickr


8.  Avoid biting when growling will do.

Stand up for yourself, but no need to be unnecessarily aggressive or harmful.


Image Credit: Charles P. via Flickr


9.  Forgive.

Don’t hold grudges, even if someone hurt you; you have the choice to forgive.


Image credit: Moyan_brenn via Flickr


10.  Show compassion.

Dogs are kind souls, full of compassion and love.  In times where I have been upset, my dog is the first one to cuddle and comfort me.


Image credit: ponte1112 via Flickr


11.  Trust your instincts.

Trust your initial instincts of a situation or person, before you let the mental chatter in your mind tell you you’re wrong.  Your gut instinct is usually correct.


Image credit: Paphio via Flickr


12.  Things dont matter.

A dog can have the best time with an old worn out ball.  You can find joy in small things.  Lose your obsessions over materiality.


Image credit: stringberd via Flickr


13.  Go for walks every day.

Dogs are oddly excited by going for walks whereas some days I feel I have to convince myself to go.  Appreciate the opportunity to get outside and be within nature; take in the smells, sights and feelings.



14.  Love unconditionally.

Love yourself, your friends, your kids, your family, your job, your community and most of all, love mother earth.


Image credit: Noel Zia Lee via Flickr


15. Get lots of rest.

You know the old saying, let sleeping dogs lie.  Dogs love to sleep, and we should not downplay our need for rest either.


Image credit: archflorence via Flickr


Please add to this list any life lessons that youve learned from your dog.  Id love to hear from all you fellow animal lovers.

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William C
William C1 months ago

Thank you.

W. C
W. C1 months ago

Thanks for the article.

Kristi M
Kristi M10 months ago


Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne R1 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Elizabeth Brawn
Elizabeth Brawn2 years ago


Glennis Whitney
Glennis W2 years ago

Very interesting Thank you for caring and sharing.

Glennis Whitney
Glennis W2 years ago

Great article, great comments. Thank you for caring and sharing.

Glennis Whitney
Glennis W2 years ago

Beautiful dogs, beautiful pictures, beautiful advice, just made my day more beautiful. Thank you for caring and sharing.

Jocelyne Lacroix
Jocelyne Lacroix2 years ago

On Day-to-Day Living:
When there's nothing else to do, we can amuse ourselves by making up our own games.
Love enthusiastically and unconditionally.
Messes can be cleaned up a lot easier than broken spirits.
Take a car ride on a pretty day and savor the wind blowing in your face.
Be thankful for air conditioning.
Fire hydrants are our friends.
The chase is better than the catch.
An old, comfortable chair is a treasure not to be given up easily.
No one should have to sleep alone in a big bed.
Be protective of children.
Always have some ID when you leave the house.
A red bandana brightens any wardrobe.
When you have a chance to go to the bathroom, do so.
Stay especially alert when traveling alone.
Be carefuly in traffic.
We all need to spend some time alone.
Most of what we do doesn't need to be done anyway -- at least not today.
Count to then before scolding.
Run to the rescue of people in trouble.
A person's food is better than a dog's food.
Look forward to someone you love coming home.

Life is, on the whole, pretty doggone good.

Jocelyne Lacroix
Jocelyne Lacroix2 years ago

Message was truncated:

On Self-Improvement:
Being each day with a newspaper.
If you spend too much time watching the world go by, it will.
To get what we're after, we have to keep digging.
A little peace and quiet will calm both you and your soul.
Learn to grow old gracefully.
Continue to work on being more patient.
Take time to enjoy the smells and sounds and sights around us.
Most of the time, our problems are self-created.
Sassing back only makes things worse.
Be willing to learn new tricks.
It's best to obey the rules -- most of the time.
But we do need a little freedom from our leashes on occasion.
We will sleep better if we ignore much of what's on TV.
We all could benefit from more training.
Be curious about what's on the other side of the fence, but try to avoid jealousy.
Be sure to bury a few bones along the way.
When someone opens a door for you, go through it.
Sometimes it's good to be alone with your Maker.