life lessons thanks to my dogs

20 Ways To Live Like A Dog

They say a dog is the only thing in the world that will love you more than it loves himself.  

I can vouch for this.  I’ve never had a friend more loyal than Lily or Romeo.  Or a friend who’s lived with so much passion, happiness, and eagerness to live life to the absolute fullest, which made me think… if humans lived more like dogs, maybe we would all be happier too.

Here are 20 ways how to live like a dog, in hopes that we can be as happy and wise as the best creatures in the world.

1.  Always be up for an adventure…

Ever notice just how excited your dog is to hop into your car, having no knowledge where they are going?  They’re always ready to go!  Something us humans can learn from.  

Be adventurous.  Take chances.  Stay open to new experiences.

2.  But know your limits

Dogs aren’t afraid to put the brakes on things when they need to.  As much as they can go, go, go… they will let you know when they need to recharge.

Life isn’t fun when you’re running on empty all the time.  Take care of yourself by knowing your limits.

3. Make friends easily…

Dogs (most dogs) LOVE making friends!  At the park, on a walk, or on a trip to the pet store.  They’re always ready to say hi and play!

Somewhere along the way we forget how important it is to connect with new people.  Let our dogs remind us that life is better with friends.

4. But trust your instincts

With that being said, dogs are never afraid to trust their instincts when they meet new people or are in situations that don’t sit well with them.

Trusting our instincts is an essential part of living a happy and safe life, yet so many of us deny them.  I think we would all enjoy life a little more if we learned to trust our initial gut feelings.

5.  Be wary of the vacuum

Some things dogs do are hard to relate to, such as always yelling at the vacuum when it is turned on.  But I think loud, scary objects that move around the house probably should be avoided.

Be wary of anything that suggests cleaning your house.  That’s my best analysis here.

6.  Forgive and let go of grudges

Dogs have this amazing ability to forgive and let go of grudges completely.  Many dogs have been victims of neglect, abuse, and poor decision-making.  Some have watched their families drop them off at a shelter, never to see them again.  Some have lived their life tied up outside, never to feel the comfort of a warm bed.  Some… well, some have been so physically abused their body takes new form.  Yet these dogs – with a lot of love and nurturing – remain some the most loving and loyal dogs ever.  

We have a lot to learn with this one.  Forgiveness is hard, but living with bitterness and anger is much harder.  Try to trust again – you may just be pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

7.  Be up for trying new foods

It does not matter what food I have in my hands, both my dogs will try their hardest to sit patiently until I give them their treat.  They LOVE new food!

I read once that people who try new foods are generally happier than people who don’t.  I don’t know if there’s any truth to it but if you asked my dogs, they’d tell you yes!

8.  Be so excited you sometimes pee a little

Maybe not all dogs do this but on more than one occasion I’ve returned home and Lily has been sooooo excited, she’s peed a little.  

Can you imagine being that happy over something?!

9.  Cause a little harmless trouble aka destroy as many stuffed animals as possible

Romeo has killed many stuffed animals in his time.  Was it nice to do?  No.  Was it fun to do?  Oh, I’m sure!  Did it hurt anyone?  No, not quite.

Break a few rules.  Have a little fun.  Don’t hurt anyone in the process.  Pretty simple things to live by. 

10.  Don’t judge people on their height, weight, or skin color

Dogs don’t care if you’re 5’2″ or 6’5″.  They will love you regardless.  They don’t care if you’ve lost or gained 10 lbs.  They will love you regardless.  They don’t care if you’re black, white, or Asian.  They will love you regardless.

Take note, humans.  Dogs get this one completely.

11.  Live in the moment

The here and now is the only moment that exists for dogs.  Their uncanny ability to stay in the present moment is admirable.

Be here.  Stay here.  This is the only moment that exists; let everything else go.    

12.  “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”

Lily looooves getting into the garbage.  I cannot tell you how many times I’ve come home to find garbage all over the place.  It doesn’t matter how many times I yell at her for this either, it happens more often than that.

Which clearly only means one thing, one man’s trash really is another man’s treasure.

13.  Channel your inner frog

This one falls in the same category as be wary of the vacuum.  I’m not quite sure why they sit like frogs but if my dog thinks it’s cool to be a little different then I should probably listen.

Don’t be afraid to be a little weird.  Channel your inner frog, just like your dog does.

14.  Accept yourself fully

Dogs don’t get hung up over what color their coat is, how big or small they are, or where they’ve come from.  Without a second thought, they accept things just as they are.

Imagine waking up, looking in the mirror, and accepting yourself completely.  I think this is one of the hardest things we have to do, but it’s clear that when you do life naturally becomes so much better.  Try every day to worry less about things you can’t change and focus on the things you can.

15. When someone’s not looking, steal some of their food

Just yesterday, Lily and Romeo snatched three pancakes off the counter when I wasn’t looking.  I definitely don’t agree with this behavior but it makes you think… who’s the real winner here?  It wasn’t me.

Do it… just once.  Blame your dog if you get caught. :)

16.  Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty

When Romeo rolls around in the grass it’s impossible not to see how much joy it brings him.  Last fall when I would bring him to the dog park he would literally dive into the wettest parts of the park.  Splashing water everywhere.  Getting covered in mud.  Having the time of his life.

Don’t ever let the responsibilities of being an adult let you forget to have fun.  And don’t ever get so out of touch with nature you forget that getting a little dirty is actually really, really, really fun.  Go four wheeling, go for a hike, go play out in the rain.  

17.  Sometimes not saying anything is everything 

The few weeks before a close family member passed away from cancer, I would come home mentally and emotionally exhausted.  Overwhelmed with how unfair life seemed, I usually would cry myself to sleep.  Without fail, Lily and Romeo stayed by my side offering comfort and affection without saying a word.  I will always be grateful for them during that time.

Sometimes it’s hard to know how to respond when someone close to us is going through a hard time.  Sometimes not saying anything, but offering a shoulder to cry on is one of the best things we can do.

18.  Love without conditions

Lily and Romeo don’t expect me to be anything other than who I am, in this moment.  They don’t care about what I look like, how clean our house is, or how much money is (or isn’t) in the bank.  They love me regardless.  That’s what dogs do, they love regardless.  Without any conditions or strings attached.  They love regardless.

How better this world would be if we could all love unconditionally.

19.  Always wipe your feet after you go to the bathroom

This is an odd one, dogs.  I’m not quite sure what this is all about but it never fails, Romeo always wipes his feet after he pees.  Kicks up grass and dirt, which usually hits me, and always walks away feeling very accomplished of himself. 

If dogs are one of the happiest creatures on earth, maybe we should follow suit.  We should all wipe our feet after we pee.

20.  Chase the squirrel

Maybe your dog has, but neither of mine has ever caught a squirrel.  They’ve both wanted to but it’s never happened.  Three years together and not a single squirrel has been caught, yet that doesn’t stop them from still trying.  They’re always interested.  Always excited.  Always ready to pounce.  I would think by now they would understand that it’s probably not going to happen.  But they never give up.  They never give up.

Following your dreams is a lot like a dog chasing a squirrel.  Most people don’t achieve their dreams or reach their potential, not because they aren’t capable but because they give up.  They lose interest.  They become bored.  They abandon their passion.  They believe it’s not possible and they give up.

be a dog

Be a dog.  

Don’t give up.  Don’t lose focus.  Don’t surrender your dreams for a belief that isn’t true.  

Be a good friend.  Take a trip to somewhere new.  Enjoy naps when you want to.

Let go of the past.  

Live with passion.  

Follow your dreams.

Be a dog.


  • Tessa

    October 3, 2016

    Be wary of the vacuum–haha! But yes, all of these are great tips for all. We can learn a thing or two :)

    • Ashley

      October 3, 2016

      Haha, vacuums ARE scary! :)

  • Joseph

    October 3, 2016

    I love this post! Because there will never be a better friend than a dog. They have unconditional love for you! Those statements you post are great qualities to have.

    • Ashley

      October 3, 2016

      Thanks, Joseph! And you’re right, never will be a better friend than a dog!!!

  • Laura

    October 3, 2016

    Love 18 and 5 of course…Chelsea just has to hear me wheel the vacuum out and it’s crazy time!

  • Cindy Ingalls

    October 3, 2016

    I always joke that my dog has the best life. He gets to lay around all day on comfy bed and just chill. Sounds pretty good to me.

  • Rachel

    October 3, 2016

    This is the best. Dogs have it so good!

  • Liz Mays

    October 3, 2016

    Aww, dogs have so many fun characteristics. There are definitely some things we could learn from them!

  • Elizabeth O.

    October 3, 2016

    Dogs are loving and loyal, they’re one of the best things that will ever happen in your life. I think these are accurate, they really are like that when it comes to living life and if we were more like them then imagine how great this world will be.

  • MarciaF

    October 3, 2016

    Such a sweet and well written post. I love your take on a dog’s philosophy since it’s so true.

  • adriana

    October 4, 2016

    This is the cutest post! Haha omg I love this, absolutely adorable! Gotta love the way our dogs live!

  • victoria

    October 4, 2016

    Sounds like this is the best dog. I always love to have a dogs but I have two toddlers.

  • Robin Rue

    October 4, 2016

    I am loving this post. There are so many things that we could learn from dogs!

  • Kim

    October 4, 2016

    What a fun post! Dogs really do have such a great life.

  • DogVills

    October 5, 2016

    Totally agreed on these list! Life of a dog is very carefree and lovely!

  • Nicole Etolen

    October 5, 2016

    I love how my dogs acted! Sometimes, I want to be like them, so jolly and affectionate!

  • Kelly Reci

    October 5, 2016

    Sometimes, I want to play and run like a dog. They are really wonderful creatures!

  • Lisa Rios

    October 6, 2016

    Such a beautiful post. I think dogs are such a wonderful creation and I agree they become a best friend & part of your life so easily. There are many a times I used to think about life being relaxed like they do!

  • Rosey

    October 6, 2016

    Some great characteristics here to mention. And some we definitely could learn from!

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