... dogs are really neotenous wolves. Man likes his 'best
friend' to be playful and so he breeds more and more juvenile dogs.
A fully grown domestic dog still leaps and bounds and plays with
his master like a young wolf cub. But wolf cubs grow up and stop
playing. Young dogs grow up, too, but like man they remain infantile
in their behaviour--they never stop playing. This means that they
will respond to man as if he is a parent. The dog's owner becomes
the dog's dominant father-figure, or mother-figure. Being neotenous,
the dog can mate and breed, but it still responds to parental
domination and obeys its master. This makes it the perfect pet.
To the dog, in other words, man is a god.
-- Desmond Morris, _Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behaviour_