Dogs are fiercely loyal creatures. They love and give and spend all of their energy on being the absolute best companions they can be. It’s no wonder that dogs are touted as “man’s best friend.” But, are they more than just best friends? Can they be mentors, too? Absolutely. There are countless lessons that your dog can teach you about mentoring.

These are just a few great examples of lessons your dog can teach us about ourselves.

Great Mentors and Great Dogs Listen Well

One of the best ways to establish a connection with a mentee—or a mentor—is simply to listen. Listen with the intention to learn about the person, not with the intention to have a good reply.

Dogs have the whole listening thing down-pat. If you’ve ever had a bad day, you know that you can count on your dog to sit and listen, no matter what the issue is.

And, you can bet they’re not just listening to bark back. They’re listening because they care. You should follow suit in your actions. Be a comforting presence in your mentees’ lives.

Successful Mentors and Successful Dogs Work as a Team

You would never catch a team of cats pulling a sled in the Iditarod race. Why? Because cats are pretty selfish by nature and don’t work well with others. Dogs, on the other hand, work incredibly well on teams, and because they’re able to band together, they go much farther than their feline counterparts.

When you’re considering starting up a mentor-mentee relationship, it’s important to establish great teamwork.

Yoking yourself metaphorically to another person entails a lot of trust and a lot of back-and-forth, so be prepared to run alongside your partner—not ahead or behind.

The Best Dogs and The Best Mentors Get Excited About Triumphs

Your dog is your biggest fan. In his eyes, you can do no wrong. Even when it feels as though the world is against you, you can always turn to good ol’ Fido and know he’s in your corner. And when you’re on top of the world? Your dog is right there with you!

The best mentors are the same way. They’re your best advocates and your number one allies. If you’re a mentor, try your best to emulate this kind of dogged enthusiasm for your mentees. They likely need someone on their side more than you know.

Be that person who’s excited about their triumphs and is always there to listen when they’re down in the dumps. You know your dog would do the same.