It is a simple fact of life that we are humans, or primates, and dogs are canines.  We are very different species and its somewhat of a miracle that we cohabit and get along so well.

As with every society in the world, whether you are a human, horse, cow, chicken, elephant, lion or guinea pig, there is always a leader.  That figure that takes on the mantle of making sure everything is as it should be.  That figure that others look up to because they make them feel safe, giving them directions, rules, making sure that the behaviour of the individual is in line with the safely of all and basically keeping everything on an even keel. 

In families with dogs, that leader has to be the human.  There is no way around it.  Our dogs live in OUR world.  They need someone who can teach them how to navigate this world,  what rules to follow, what behaviours are acceptable and someone who will make them feel safe.

When dogs do NOT have this, they become stressed,  reactive to the slightest noise or movement, nervous, sometimes fear aggressive,  and are overall not calm, happy and content.  

The dog, as a canine,  has an innate need to follow a leader, and if there is no one standing out, they will do it themselves.  Not because they want to, but because in their world they need this structure.  (as every animal does). 

As you can image, feeling you are responsible for the safety of your family, needing to be alert to any (perceived) danger, having to be vigilant to make sure everyone is kept safe and there is nothing around that can threaten the  family, is extremely stressful.

One of the most loving things you can do for your dog is not to be constantly  cuddling him, loving on him, giving in to his every whim, letting him do whatever he wants, when he wants and basically have little to no rules or training.

One of the most loving things you can do for your dog is to be his leader.  The one who he can look to for guidance, structure, teaching what he needs to know and who keeps  him safe.

When you do this, your dog will feel loved.  Safe.  Secure.  Happy.