I've heard great things about this new book "Dog Sense" by John Bradshaw. Here is an excerpt from his NPR interview:
"In the past, when dogs' functions were mostly rural, it was accepted that they were intrinsically messy and needed to be managed on their own terms. Today, by contrast, many pet dogs live in circumscribed, urban environments and are expected to be simultaneously better behaved than the average human child and as self-reliant as adults. As if these new obligations were not enough, many dogs still manifest the adaptations that suited them for their original functions — traits that we now demand they cast away as if they had never existed. The collie who herds sheep is the shepherd's best friend; the pet collie who tries to herd children and chases bicycles is an owner's nightmare. The new, unrealistic standards to which many humans hold their dogs have arisen from one of several fundamental misconceptions about what dogs are and what they have been designed to do."
That sounds pretty on the mark to me! Here is more about John and the book: http://www.npr.org/2011/05/26/136497064/the-new-science-of-understanding-dog-behavior
This looks like it will be my next dog related book purchase. It sounds like it has a great message for the masses of pet dog owners. Hopefully it will help dispel the popular (and wrong) dog as wolf myth as well. So far I've only heard great things. Fingers crossed it gets people to treat their dogs better. We can only hope.