I agree that dogs (or any animal ) are not "little humans in fur suits."
But I disagree with some anthropomorphism theories.
They DO have personalities and traits that are as varied as human, that fall on no scale just like humans. But they do seem to have type A, B, etc. human personalities, if you will, not just submissive to dominate. I have witnessed 2 hour old scottie pups snarling at each other-with wrinkled lips and striking like snakes. The whole litter grew up "evil" snappers, lol, and had temperament problems from hour 2.
While "Lassie" is far fetched, a Doberman bitch covered a 2 yo childs body with her own because the child stepped into a bee's nest, and took numerous painful stings-lying on her until the parents arrived. It was not maternal instinct-the dobe was an older spay. I would like to believe, and continue to believe she was showing "compassion"-a human trait, even extending beyond it's own pain threshold.
When I was younger, I rented an apartment over stables. I observed horse behavior out my window daily, unknown to the horses. Each Spring, the chicks and ducklings would hatch and be "underfoot" of the stable. One Arabian horse would purposely stomp chicks to death-walking around the field with little yellow slippers of dead chick. He would seek them out! Another horse-Shire mix, had hooves the size of dinner plates. He couldn't even see his feet. He always made sure to gently "nudge" the little peeps out of the way to avoid stomping on them. Both animals were terrific riding and mannerly around humans. One just liked to commit murder on chicks; one liked to preserve their life. If that isn't a human characteristic, I don't know what is.