5 Lessons in Authenticity We Can All Learn from Dogs

We spend so much time and effort training our four-legged friends, but maybe we should spend a little more time observing them instead.

They’re a constant reminder that the best lessons come from the most unexpected places—and when it comes to authenticity, there’s so much they have to teach us.

1. If you want something, ask.

Unlike us humans, a dog’s ability to ask comes with little worry. They have no discomfort or fear of embarrassment to stop them from giving you those big eyes in the hopes for a scratch under the chin or walk around the neighborhood. And while the risks they take aren’t as major to being turned down by a love interest or declined for a promotion, they know that rejection isn’t the end of the world.

2. Don’t judge. Just love.

Appearance means nothing when dogs meet for the first time. They don’t size each other up to gauge popularity or looks; instead, they try to get a feel for the other’s personality. It’s a rule they apply to humans, too. Our dogs don’t care if we come home with a bad haircut, a pimple, or a few extra pounds. All that matters is that we’re ready to accept the cuddle they’ve been waiting all day to give.

3. If it looks fun, go for it.

You know how people say, “just do you,” when encouraging us to live on your own terms? Yeah, dogs started that whole thing. If prancing through mud looks appealing, they frolic away without concerns about tracking dirt inside or, worse, the bath they’ll need later. They live in the moment and don’t bark twice about minor consequences.


4. Squirrels are fast.

When a dog spots a squirrel, they don’t look to the right or to the left. Instead, they keep their eyes on the prize and chase the squirrel until it’s within reach. With that in mind, we say (ever so zen-like) go after your squirrels.


5. Wag and the world wags with you.

Dogs are faithful, judgment-free sounding boards we can play with, snuggle with, and be ourselves with. They give us something to smile about when we wake in the morning and return home at night. Even on bad days, our dogs teach us a simple kind of happiness: That to be loved unconditionally is something that can get the whole room wagging.