Very often you hear Cesar Milan "chastising" a dog owner for treating his dog like a human. I guess we do that a lot. No doubt we are to blame for a lot of our dog's misbehavior-such as the owner that unknowingly reinforces the aggressive behavior of a biting little chihuahua.
We also know that dogs are pack animals and need a leader. We have all seen the dog owner who lets their dog take over as the alpha dog of the home. But this characteristic goes for humans as well. We all need leaders and rules. Many of us "run in packs" as well- perhaps in just a more sophisticated way. So this complicated relationship between man and his dog is perplexing to us just as our other relationships with people. We project onto our dogs just as we do with the people in our lives.
As time goes on, new theories will emerge on the relationship between man and his dog, and new training methods will come to the forefront as a result. It is my opinion that we can't but help to humanize our beloved companions. I will always think my dog understands when I am sick, and acts accordingly.
Having a pet in my life is fantastic, even if I give my dog credit for amazing feats he might not even realize he has accomplished. I am sure it works the other way too!