I clicked - because of a recent career goal: I want to teach children how to argue effectively. Might as well, eh? So I was interested in topics. However, the dog question is actually quite compelling. If my dog starts peeing in the house, I reprimand her and put her Outside. Her takeaway: The human does not want to see me peeing in the house. Short of setting up surveillance and posting myself outside - or using the tether technique - I can't really teach her the moral nuances.
She loves me because she owns me and covets me. I am a part of her Empire. But, she definitely knows the difference between dog and "kitty." She has two different barks for dogs and cats. And a third, much abbreviated, for pigeons. And a fourth, a whiny yip commanding her subjects to submit to her authority and pet her.
Her behavior is caring, clearly. Does she understand abstract human values such as "love"? Not really; she is acting out of territorial instincts. Dogs have emotions, I believe: Shame, exuberance, contentment, etc. But they don't have "moods" - in the eternal present, each new instant triggers the emotions of that instant.
Meanwhile if anyone has some good topics for kids to argue about, please share. I am talking about the range from preteen to almost adult. The dog example is great but I'd like to have other options.