Unconditional Love: What we can learn from our dogs


Throughout years and years, dogs have been the very pinnacle of unconditional love and extreme loyalty, almost to a fault. Dogs are known not only for their loving nature but also for the utmost devotion they demonstrate, despite any actions of cruelty done to them. Humans have developed the saying ‘man’s best friend,’ to describe the four-legged canine companions, but how accurate is this nickname? 


Tracing back through history, dogs and wolves were the first creatures to fight alongside man and form such strong bonds with them. This demonstrates the bind sealed between the two species. Nowadays, dogs still work alongside men in forces such as that of policemen, where the dogs are specially trained but still loving and the policemen often form unbreakable bonds with their dogs. Dogs will instinctively sacrifice their lives for an owner without hesitation. This gives humans an insight into the deep love dogs have for their owners.


If a dog is mistreated, they almost never show resentment or stubborn attitude to an owner afterwards. They are determined to love and holding grudges is unbeknownst to dogs. To delve deeper into how people feel, I conducted local interviews. “You feel safer with him either at home or out, because you know he will protect,” and “his constant walks and feeding times give more structure and make me healthier.” When asked about the benefits to her mood, she enthusiastically responded, “when you get home, he is so ecstatic to see you – that puts you in a good mood even if you’ve had a bad day. It’s very therapeutic.” This was said by a woman in her thirties who owns two dogs. 


A child aged eleven after having had a dog for three years said she would talk to her dog about things she felt she couldn’t necessarily tell others. “It always felt like he really listened, and I have a strong bond with him now. I really enjoy my time with him, and he is so affectionate and understanding. He is always happy to see me, and it makes my spirits feel lifted.” 


These two references show how no matter the age, dogs influence lives for the better and make a positive impact upon different daily lives and mental wellbeing.


The complete depth of the reliance an owner has for their dog is something they often fail to have towards other people. The difference in the types of love poses an interesting question; what if humans had the ability to love more like dogs and acted upon it? How would this influence the world?


Humans are arguably the most intelligent species according to science, but is this correlated with their ability to love unconditionally? Many people of all ages feel judged and strive to be perfect to a crippling degree due to the judgment received from parents, peers, friends, colleagues and even strangers. What if people didn’t grow up with this ability, and instead loved without judgment like their canine companions?

People could feel more relaxed and happier. The results could go from local to worldwide if humans had the same lack of judgment as dogs – people would feel free to be who they wanted, to wear what they wanted, to say what they wanted. There could be a downfall in worldwide mental disorders such as anxiety if people weren’t constantly worried about what others thought of them.  


Dogs make remarkable effects on people’s lives, from police dogs to guard dogs to family pets. We can learn from our dogs, and by analyzing their behavior, I can conclude that they do make people’s lives better and they do encourage mental wellbeing through their loyalty and happiness. 


By Isabella Beling