Don't anthropomorphize your canine!

Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human characteristics to non-human creatures and beings, phenomena, material states and objects or abstract concepts. It is a huge disservice to your dog to attribute your own feelings and emotions to him. Please don't do it!

For example, reaching down from above to pat your dog on the head could be perceived as a very scary thing by your dog. Now, probably all of us do that, don't we? But if you think about it, it makes sense that a huge creature (you, as viewed by your puppy) reaching down toward the puppy could be scary from the puppy's perspective. If not scary, then at least something that makes its heart race a little. So no wonder some dogs get excited and pee all over the place when that happens!

We as humans place a lot of emphasis on making eye contact. To your dog, direct eye contact is something to avoid. Dogs consider direct eye contact a challenge. It's really not fair for your dog for you to insist upon it. Respect your dog's hesitance to make eye contact, and understand where he is coming from. Who wants to constantly feel challenged or threatened?

Always try to take your puppy's viewpoint into consideration when it comes to your own actions. Soothing a puppy that is crying in her crate will teach her to cry in her crate. Same goes for a dog that is afraid of thunderstorms or of riding in the car. Indulging a puppy by letting it take over the house and do whatever it wants will lead to a puppy that "sasses" back, by growling.

Sometimes maybe we try too hard to make them fit into our world when what we should be doing is understanding theirs. A lot of the doggy behaviors that we don't like have a very understandable purpose in their world. Obviously you can't let your furkid run amuck, but try to understand that some things that we may consider bad manners or perplexing behavior have roots in survival instinct for the dogs with whom we choose to share our lives. Co-exisiting shouldn't be a one-sided denial of all things dog; there exists a happy medium where both man and canine may be fulfilled. For the sake of your dog's emotional health and development, please make an effort to find that middle ground!