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Learn From A Dog: 15 Life Lessons From Your Pet

First Posted: 12/21/2011 9:02 am Updated: 12/22/2011 5:18 pm

We've all heard that people tend to look like their dogs (hey, there's even research to back that one up), but act like them? Hey, maybe it's time to consider it.

Dogs tend to be happy, active and well rested -- things we could all stand to learn. Read on for those and other tail-wag-worthy life lessons from your pooch.

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  • Clean Your Plate

    All too often we let our food go to waste, throwing out wilted vegetables and days-old leftovers. No canine worth his or her chunks and gravy would ever let such a thing occur! Learn from your pooch and lick that plate clean. Just make sure you portion properly before eating every last kibble and bit!

  • Take Naps

    We live in a fast-paced society that doesn't value the power of unplugging. Learn from your dog and take some zzz's to replenish. Napping is <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Ryan Brindle and Sarah Conklin" target="_hplink">heart-healthy</a> and may also help you <a href="http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822(11)00042-X" target="_hplink">learn</a>. Maybe it's time to try that new trick after all!

  • Sniff It Out

    Whether it's a new business deal or a potential mate, the power of research cannot be underestimated. The first thing our furry friends do when they meet each other is sniff to approve. Learn from your dog and don't jump into any commitments without first sniffing out the situation. If it smells fine, it's OK to play.

  • See Your Partner With Fresh Eyes

    Ever feel invisible to your partner but not your dog? Learn from your pooch and welcome your honey home with lots of excitement. Who wouldn't want to be greeted by a jumping, kissing, tail-wagging lover? Your partner will feel appreciated, and you will benefit from practicing seeing him or her with new eyes.

  • Find Something You Love, And Do It Over And Over

    Just like dogs can play fetch all day, find something you love and start doing it --over and over! Not only will it be a lovely joy-trigger each time, but you'll also get better at your passion the more you practice.

  • Breathe Deeply

    While canines pant to regulate their body temperature, we too can create balance by remembering to breathe deeply -- in and out. It might not make you any cooler, but doing so can regulate our emotional temperature and bring us some much-needed stress release.

  • Speak Up When Things Don't Feel Right

    Why did your pooch just bark? Whether it's to warn you of a foreign invader (falling leaves count!) or to tell you something (most likely that they are hungry), our furry friends speak up. So listen to your instincts and tell someone how you feel and what you need -- you might just get it!

  • Learn To Receive

    For many of us it's easier to "do" than to "be." Our pooches know how to give love, but also how to receive it! Instead of doubting your self-worth and keeping love at arms-length, practice receiving it in all its many forms. It may even feel better than that belly rub your pooch asks for!

  • Know Who You Are

    Whether your dog is named Charlie, Munchkin or Mo, your pup quickly learns its name. And whenever that name is uttered, you-know-who will come running over. Explore who you are -- when you find it you will recognize yourself (hint: it might not just be your name!). Learn from your pooch and know who you are. Then let your freak flag fly!

  • Take Lots Of Walks

    Our pooches know how to laze around the house, but they also know how to get up and move their bodies. Take a walk a day with (or without) a friend, and enjoy the benefits of the outdoors.

  • Drink Your Water

    Our dogs know that they need to drink water after they've exerted themselves. This simple act is true for us too. Keeping hydrated is healthy for your body and your mind. So drink up, the water's fine!

  • Don't Be Afraid To Get Dirty -- Jump In!

    Don't over think it! Want to join in? Just do it. Like the dog park, the world is filled with many games -- some cleaner than others. If you want to play, go get dirty!

  • Shake It Off

    Shit happens. Whether you're caught in a physical or emotional storm or simply had to do something you don't enjoy (not another bath!) shake it off and move forward. The sooner you can do so, the sooner you can forget all about it!

  • Good Looks Will Get You Anywhere

    Did your dog steal a lick of ice cream out of your bowl? Or perhaps ripped your favorite shoes to shreds? While you might be tempted by anger, most likely you will eventually look at your furry friend with love and forgiveness. Learn from your pooch! Play up your cuteness-factor -- it can get you out of difficult situations!

  • Don't Hold Grudges

    Know that crushed look that crosses your pooch's face when you say "no" in a stern tone? A few moments later it's like they have forgotten. When we become permeable like a pup, we can experience our feelings then move forward. This way we can enjoy the new moment instead of reliving past pain.

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Filed by Sarah Klein  |