We have our dog for three years. Time passed by pretty quickly. I can say that I learned a lot in this time about dogs: how they behave, why they behave like this (although this one is quite vague), what they do differently compared to us humans. However, there are two things that just recently came to my mind that we humans should rethink in our behavior
They do it all the time. Ever observed a dog doing something? Whenever my dog snuffles, plays, eats, drinks, scratches himself, he focuses on this one thing. When he is happy seeing me, he is just happy without thinking that the last time he got something to eat was a long time ago which could make him sad.
You might argue that dogs - compared to us humans - are limited in their repertoire of possible actions. They cannot read their Twitter timeline, work on a computer, drive a car (though I doubt that after seeing this) and all the other things humans can do or at least can learn to do. By the way, our assumption is that all this is due to dogs not having thumbs...
Maybe it is this limited repertoire of actions that a dog can and has to do that focusing on one thing at a time is easy. Don't get me wrong, do not underestimate the ability of dogs learning, in fact dogs can learn a lot.
Looking at us humans - and this is my perception - it is really easy to get distracted. Did you ever get hold of yourself browsing through your favorite social network while eating dinner or drifting away from reading a book every few minutes to just look something up on the internet that came to your mind? Those are fictitious examples that I just made up. Nevertheless, I have the impression that those examples mirror parts of today's life - always having multiple tasks on your mind, never really having the focus to do just one thing.
Looking at the number of references of the Wikipedia article about multitasking shows that there is plenty of research about this topic. By now most of us should know that multitasking is not the best way of doing things. Most of the time it just leads to time wasted.
Nonetheless, it seems to be a hard challenge to do just one thing. And dogs do it - all the time. For them it is normality. In my opinion, in this regard, dogs are superior to humans.
Dogs take naps
Having everybody and everything connected the possibility to know everything and to learn even more makes it really hard to remember an important aspect of our life: sleep. Caffeine keeps you on track and makes you awake, right? But, why not give our bodies what it needs when it needs it?
Sure, dogs have rather short phases of deep sleep to be on the alert if necessary. Hence, they take a lot of naps during the day. In fact, dogs spend a lot of the day sleeping (12 to 18 hours is pretty normal).
Besides resting during the night I have the impression that the afternoon nap got unpopular at some point in time. Our working spaces do not support this anymore. However, there is a lot of evidence that it is beneficial to some memory tasks to nap during the day. In the end, this should also be beneficial to employers as their employees are more concentrated after having taken a short nap.
What I would like to see is a move away from the always-on mentality to a day - and also an employer - that tolerates the integration of those naps. This should be beneficial for everyone.
Post image taken by me, published under CC BY-SA 4.0.