I love dogs.
Yes, since I was a child, I don’t know why, but I started paying attention to these species.
I bother my parents so much that they finally gave up and gave me one. It was a beautiful German Shepard that I enjoyed a lot.
Since then, I’ve always been in touch with dogs, and I became interested in training them.
Those well-trained police dogs always absorbed me. It was amazing how I could feel that good rapport and empathy between “police-man” and “police-dog”.
Right now, I have a Giant Schnauzer, a dog that I’ve been training for a long time.
I still remember waking up at 6 o’clock in the morning to train him, and making a second session at 10 at night, when I came back from work.
Two long years took me to achieve that goal because I was a newbie, and I have to say that a Giant Schnauzer is not one of “the easy ones”.
But life must be a challenge, and that was one I decided to go for it. I don’t regret it. I learnt lots of things through this unforgettable experience.
I learned about dogs but, even more important, I learned of LIFE.
Now, I’m going to share with you all the points one can learn from the best human’s friend, and why they have been essential on my way to fulfillment.
If there’s something you’re going to need when training a dog is patience. The dog is never going to be in a hurry.
That’s something for us, stupid human beings, who live looking at our watches and cell phones every second.
Time’s concept is entirely different to dogs.
You’ll have to train your patience if you want to get results. If you start stressing yourself and, consequently, your dog, nothing’s going to work. Be sure you’ll end up in the next item: **frustration**.
This is something you are going to find at any moment during your training process. Things are not going to work the way you want.
Here doesn’t exist justice, and no matter the time you’re dedicating.
If you’re doing the wrong process, results will be a complete disaster. That’s when frustration knocks on your door.
It’s something that will always happen, especially if you’re a newbie in the topic.
Managing frustration is key in life to overcome all those situations in which results will differ from time, motivation, energy, and all those positive efforts you’re going to make, looking for success.
The only way to polish a process and make it works is through perseverance. Repeat, repeat, and repeat. And, whenever you’ve finished it, repeat it again.
Perseverance and consistency are values you are going to need if you want to move forward in your training and, of course, in any project you start. They’re the key components that most of the failed projects miss. Because it’s hard to do. Really tough.
The best way to accomplish it is by practicing and training it. The more you practice, the more your brain gets used to it.
4. Non-verbal communication
If there’s something everyone agrees is that dogs cannot talk. They can understand words (sounds, to be precise), but they can’t talk. And that’s an important barrier to humans.
If we aren’t able to understand among us talking, how the hell are we going to understand “someone” without talking?
That’s when energy appears. That’s when you understand how important it is.
The world is energy so that we are energy.
There’s nothing more critical than this: energy. It’s what makes possible this planet to keep on spinning. It’s what makes us progress.
Dogs will feel your energy and, depending on that, is how they are going to act.
You can hide your words.
You can lie.
But you cannot escape from energy.
It’s always there. And dogs are going to perceive it. No tricks. No cheating. No pitfalls. Only “the naked truth”.
Those above are the main four values I learned from dogs, but I will move one step forward.
My dog didn’t only teach me values. He taught me some other behaviors that I’m completely jealous of. Those are behaviors in which I’d like to be an A. Those are behaviors that I’d like to find in every human I meet.
Let’s go for them!
Dogs love routines because the world is a routine in itself. As simple as this: the sun always rises on the same side and sets on the same side every day.
The cycle of life hasn’t changed, no matter how long it has been working.
The more you stick to a routine, the closer you are to the natural cycle of life. And the better you will feel.
Dogs love eating at the same hour, going out for a walk at the same hour, sleeping at the same hour.
That’s not a boring life. It’s a natural life.
2. Always happy
Dogs are always happy, in a good mood.
Just having their basic (very basic) needs covered, and you’ll see a happy dog.
No matter if it’s cold or warm outside.
No matter if the rain shines or it’s a cloudy day.
No matter if your favorite team won or lost.
Life’s always shining for dogs, and most of their days are days with a “+” mark on them.
3. Full of energy
Dogs are always full of energy, ready to do things:
- Looking for something
I’ll go even further: positive energy.
They are not angry, sad, or depressed (you just can find minimal cases).
4. Tireless supporters
They will always be there by your side. You will always feel their support. No matter what you do, you can always count on them.
If you are tired, you can get close to them and feel the energy shot they can give to you.
If you are angry, they will calm you down.
If you are happy, they will share that happy feeling with you.
They never fail.
5. Always respectful (leadership)
They are always going to respect you. Disrespectful attitudes don’t fit on dogs. It’s not their style. They are respectful of each other. And you are inside their “circle of trust”.
I’ll say even more. They never have disrespectful attitudes towards their leader (you).
They pay attention to what their leader is saying to them, how he’s moving, what his energy is. Just to partner him, to help him, to be on his way.
6. They don’t judge
Dogs will never judge you.
They don’t care if you did right or wrong.
If you succeeded or failed.
If your behavior is good or bad.
They just don’t judge anyone. They don’t have biases. They don’t look for strange thoughts or think you are going to cheat them.
It’s a simple but enjoyable life.
7. Living (and enjoying) the present
A dog does not regret its past. He’s not worried about his future. He’s just enjoying the present. Because life is present.
One time, Winston Churchill said something like this: “I’ve been all my life worried about problems that never happened”.
That’s how many of us spend our lives. Being angry about our past mistakes and feeling unsafe about our uncertain future.
You can (should) use your past just to learn from it.
You should plan a little bit of your future. But just a little bit, and focusing on great lines, because each day our future is more unsteady.
But, it’s a MUST for us to live and enjoy the present. It’s the only way to achieve fulfillment.
My dog is now (2020) almost 10 years old.
He’s at the end of his life, but I hope we’ll still have great moments together. He has to teach me many more things in life, even though I haven’t taught anything at all to him.
It’s an unbalanced relationship.
He’s been one of my most outstanding teachers, and those learnings are so deep in my heart that I will never forget them.
I will never forget him either.
My dog, my friend, my “life-master”.
Photo at the top made by Author.