Many behavioural issues in dogs are caused by over-humanisation and allowing them to assume a higher position in the social hierarchy than is fit. Dogs are pack animals and will relate to you and your family as a pack. While some dogs prefer to be subservient some will try and raise their position in the pack hierarchy and attempt to become dominant.
Much interaction with your dog which you think is quite innocent can be interpreted by dogs as subservience and give them an inflated idea of their position in their pack. As much as you want your dog to be part of your family remember he/she is not a human, does not have human intelligence, feelings of guilt or self-worth and cannot rationalise and interpret what to us are just signs of affection and if you treat him/her as a human he/she will treat you as a dog.
There are some basic rules you must follow, however much this may go against your human instincts, in order to prevent dominance and hierarchical behaviour. If you start with these rules no problems will occur, even if problems have started by following these rules you can reverse unacceptable behaviour – you can treat old dogs new tricks:
Dogs are intelligent and need stimulating behaviour: walks and playtime obviously are important but you must learn to think dog - don't expect your dog to think human!
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