What I find most interesting about this piece is that it sort of gets to the crux of dog ownership via the methods people use to train them. It also bores down to some types of dog owners. There's the people who treat their dogs like their own children (my wife is one of those, and sometimes I can become like that too). There's the people who treat their dogs as accessories to their personalities (usually these are people who have lap dogs such as terriers or chihuahuas). I find myself being in another bucket which is the companion.
As I mentioned, I sometimes treat my dog like a little child. This is usually if I feel guilty about not spending enough time with him such as when we've been out all day or night, come home to say hi, then either leave the house or just go to bed. So I may baby him then, but the reason I don't just go off to bed is because we've basically made a deal in our lives.
I mean, the reason he's such a loyal little guy is because he's just giving us back the love we give him. So I try to be cognizant of that deal and give him the time he deserves. So for me, his needs aren't just to follow us around all day, eat, sleep, and play fetch...he needs us to give him time to be the companion that he's been bred to be.
So do I treat him like an equal? Of course not. He's a dog. But when he doesn't listen to me, I try to remember that he's not doing it to annoy me, but that I need to spend more time with him to build a lasting companionship. It's only through time that I can expect him to be obedient.
Like the author states:
What is a well-behaved dog anyway? One who sits and stays and rolls over? To me, training is an idea that goes far beyond obedience. It's not about what you can make a dog do, but what you do with your dog, the cornerstone and foundation of your communication, your relationship.
So anyways, hopefully that gives some insight into why we dog owners can be such freaks :)