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19 Important Life Lessons Taught By Dogs

Dogs constantly add color to our day-to-day life with their happy-go-lucky presence. They are a constant reminder of how we should live our lives, and how we should treat others.

Here are 20 life lessons we can learn from dogs.

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18 Be patient.

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You know that trick where you teach your dog to sit patiently, as they stare with longing adoration at either you, or the huge chunk of beef waiting in your hands? The anticipation and excitement that comes along with the "Wait for it..." is equivalent to that job promotion, those weight loss goals, and other life goals you have set for your brilliant self! Keep working hard and be patient with the process. All good things come to those who wait.

17 Laugh it off.

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When your dog wipes out, chances are (as long as he is not seriously hurt), he will get right back up and move on. Life is all about falling down and getting back up. That's how you learn and grow. No need for sulking, just keep going!

16 Learn to Smile.

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Yes, dogs can smile! There's magic in a smile – dog or human – so keep cheesin' along! Research has proven that your smile is not only contagious but you're better looking with it on. Plus, your loved ones will appreciate knowing how much you enjoy being around them.

15 Go outside and be active.

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Run, jump, and be one with the wind! Stock up on that Vitamin D! Along with the physical health benefits, research has shown that fitness also helps boost brain power. Brains and beauty #ftw

14 Shower your loved ones with affection.

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13 Always be compassionate.

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Life is hard for everyone at one point or another. Dogs don't judge others based on looks or what car they drive. Everyone has a story that you might not be aware of. A little kindness and compassion will go a long way.

12 Be curious.

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Dogs are curious creatures – you should be curious too! Explore with caution or run ahead full speed. Either one is fine, just don't stay in one place. You never know who you'll meet and what you'll learn!

11 Be present in the moment.

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When dogs play fetch, they put their whole heart into chasing after that ball. As humans we often dwell heavily on the past, or are often distracted by worries about the future. The only moment you can better is the one you're in, so make the most of it, and don't forget to appreciate it!

10 Be a good listener.

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Dogs might not understand everything we say, and they certainly can't speak our language, but they know when to be there for you. Don't start thinking about how to word your next response during your friend's vent session. There is a difference between hearing words and really listening to what someone has to say. Knowing the difference is essential to every loving relationship.

9 Protect your loved ones.

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Dogs are known as "man's best friend" because of their loyalty and their protective nature towards those they value. Like your dog, you should protect those that are dear to you. Besides, your loved ones would do the same for you!

8 Pick up a hobby and become good at it.

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Every dog has that one thing that they love intensely. So should you! Drag some friends along if you worry about making a fool of yourself. Practice makes perfect!

7 Learn to apologize and own up to your mistakes.

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Take responsibility for your actions. Okay, maybe dogs don't do this, but according to researchers, they don't feel shame or pride. Like a dog, don't let your pride get in the way of petty things! You'll regret it when you lose a dear friend over something as silly as not being able to own up to your own actions.

6 Be happy with what you have.

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Just as your dog has that favorite dirty, ragged toy he's had since he was a pup, take a moment to appreciate what you already have. You'll be much happier for it.

5 Make the best out of every adversity life decides to present you with.

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Life won't always go the way you intended it to and that's okay. Learn to accept and adapt like your pup. Your very best effort coupled with optimism and that million dollar smile will always be the best course of action.

4 When you're tired, take a break.

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Dogs probably have so much pep because of all the naps they take! Whether it's a nap or a walk around the block to stretch your legs, it'll do wonders when you are tired or stressed out.

3 Be persistent.

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The tenacity of this dog – #lifegoals. When you want something, go get it! Nothing worthwhile will come easy.

2 Don't hold on to grudges.

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Learn to forgive. Dogs will not resent you for not giving them a treat, for cooing over another pup, or for forgetting to walk them. They may protest in the moment, but will always move on and keep loving you.

1 Do everything with enthusiasm.

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One of the things that makes us love dogs so much is their enthusiasm for all aspects of life. If you lack enthusiasm, you will not perform to the best of your ability. So love, play, work, eat and live with enthusiasm!

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