This subject is a main topic most humans wish to avoid or acknowledge because they use irrational emotion and/or just plain outright denial.
Humans use emotions when living with their dogs and applying too much kindness, compassion and affection. Most humans compare their dog to a cute little human child. This only confuses the dog and problems or issues will start to show, such as anxiety. Humans have a tendency to protect, care and love the weak. In a dog's mind, the weak should killed. When humans give nothing but affection and no discipline, the dog sees humans as a weakness and no longer respects it's human owner.
This continued affection at the wrong times can hurt your dog's balance in it's animal world. Humans will basically reinforce the dog's bad behavior by speaking in a high excited voice or touch your dog during or after an act of unwanted behavior.
Dogs live in a pack mentality and follow a specific pecking order. Remember that dogs are animals and that their instincts are from a wolf. Dogs have accepted humans as part of the pack since they were first domesticated into our world. A pack leader is the strength of the pack. It is in the dog's DNA to always challenge it's location in the pecking order of the pack. If the human is weak in their pack mentality, then the dog will step up to the human and start displaying traits of domination and protection which will always end with aggression. This primal instinct keeps the pack secure, balanced and happy.
It has been scientifically proven that dogs can sense every emotion every day that we try and hide from other humans but can not hide from our dog. They know how we are feeling. They don't know why we feel that way, they just know what we are feeling. Dogs basically feel our kinetic energy through frequencies, such as light, sound and heat that our body releases. They can even detect a seizure in a human minutes before it happens. Bottom line, there is nothing you can hide from your dog.
The only way that you can have a happy house is that the human needs to be the pack leader. Dogs crave to follow rules, boundaries and limitations. Without these, there is no relationship but confusion and misunderstandings between human and dog. Dogs love affection, however, too much affection will affect your dog with issues, like fear, insecurity and anxiety. You must provide proper emotional stability in order to achieve this, the human needs to be calm, firm and assertive with consistent rules. Giving your dog affection must be done at the correct times. Remember these three things in this order: exercise, discipline and then affection.
Dogs are simple creatures and they do not premeditate or plan ahead. They always live in the now, not yesterday or tomorrow. Their emotions are different than humans and they lack complex thought process. Their total existence of understanding is based on energy and body language. Do not give your dog affection at any time unless the dog is in a calm state of mind. Any other state of mind such as fear, unsureness, shyness, skittish, hyperactivity or confusion will only intensify your dogs ability to snap out of it. Being a strong pack leader and remaining calm is the only way to heal your dog's misery and frame of mind. You are creating the imbalance in your dog's life by reinforcing that state of mind of negativity.
Example, if your human child is hurting because some one called him/her a name at school, your reaction is to comfort with love and good advice. In a dog's world, if you were to do the same, you have just intensified your dog's negative state of mind. Dogs do not see comfort and affection in the same way we see it.
When your dog leans against you, places it's paw on you or nudges your hand with it's nose for you to pet it, this is not love but domination and training the human when and how to give affection. What the dog is doing is manipulating and disrespecting you and owns you, not the other way around. Do not feel sorry for your dog because your dog has no regrets or guilt. You are basically displaying a weakness and being pack leader. If you show weakness, then your dog will become the pack leader whether it wants to or not. This is a heavy weight on the dog's shoulders because your dog may not want that position and will cause stress and can become terrified of it new responsibilities as leader.
If you let this mental tension and energy build up, it will cause many neurotic behaviors. Here are a few misbehaviors that will develop in your dog: obsession, chewing, eliminating in the house, overly excited, running off, whining and not following your human commands.
We humans have successfully domesticated the dog, but we will never be able to de-animalize a dog and remove their natural instincts. We can not change a dog into having human characteristics, as this is how behavioral problems arise.
So in ending, you are human and your dog is a dog. Get over it. You and your dog will have a happier relationship with a well balanced state of mind for each of you.
So, if you treat your dog like a human, he will treat you like a dog...