I found this great article on the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) website today:
It seems not a week goes by that I don't get a phone call or an email from someone who is sure their dog is trying to "dominate" the household by displaying certain behaviors. According to current research, nothing could be further from the truth!
I heard a term this weekend and I am going to "steal" it for this conversation -- "innocently selfish." Yes, dogs are selfish, but not in the way humans are. Dogs are selfish because they are hardwired to do what they need to do to get what they want/need. Sometimes this is selfish because it is done without consideration; but it is never done to hurt a person or a dog -- it is simply for survival. Therefore dogs are innocently selfish.
I think the sooner we all come to understand why dogs are the way dogs are AND we understand that they are just that -- DOGS -- the sooner we will have better, more accurate, more mutually beneficial relationships with our canine companions.