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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Wilfred is actually just a regular dog.
Okay now please here me out but I think the theory of Ryan having multiple personalities is on to something. After a life of stress and repressing his desires (and maybe along with the failed suicide attempt), Ryan finally snapped. He needed an outlet. Something to release all of the selfishness and etc pent up inside him. Thus, Wilfred became that outlet. Everyone else sees a regular dog, which is exactly what Wilfred is. Ryan sees the dog as a man that he can share things with along with doing things that he knows Ryan won't. The night of Ryan's suicide attempt, Wilfred was barking at Spencer's loud motorcycle. However, Ryan's now insane mind heard those barks as words he was thinking. In "Respect", it was not Wilfred who killed that old lady. It was Ryan. Ryan is the one doing all those drugs. It explains why he's so paranoid all the time. All this could explain why Wilfred can be presented as evil but still Ryan sees him as a friend. So "Wilfred" will sometimes encourage Ryan to just give into his darkest desires (in other words be a perverted, lazy prick) and goes as far as to sabotage Ryan's life just so Ryan could snaps completely and "Wilfred" can take over entirely. Some of the things aren't even things Ryan is suppressing, sometimes it's all just in his head. Like when Wilfred was playing the guitar in another room and no one other than Ryan could here him. Or when Ryan completely imagines the scenario in which Wilfred is being sexually abused by a dog-sitter.


Wilfred is a Pooka
Like Harvey Wilfred is a pooka manipulating Ryan's perceptions. The show has a single name title, Ryan is the only that can see him, Wilfred is manipulative almost like a Trickster. He is screwing with Ryan's sanity and it would also explain why no one notices his undoglike behavior.

Ryan has multiple personalities
Wilfred is just Ryan's inner voice that came out from the psychological stress of either his suicide attempt or its failure. He latched onto the idea of Wilfred either because it runs in his family (re: his mother) or, in light of his life, a way to manifest someone to help him get the girl and assert himself. Anyone else that can see Wilfred is most likely another facet of his personalities.

Ryan is in a coma (U.S. version)
The pills weren't sugar pills; they were real, and Ryan overdosed. Everything thereafter occurs within a comatose dream.

The reason that Ryan backpedaled into his old ways was that he was still bitter over last episode.
Not so much that he's seem what he can get when he throws his weight around, more that he has seen what happened when he doesn't get his way, like moving out to Italy with Whatsherface. His conscience was holding him back from moving away, and once he's past that, he's out not so much for revenge, but for control. Control that was robbed from him throughout the season.

Wilfred is a guy in a dog suit
Ryan treats him like a dog because he thinks Wilfred is a dog, and is afraid everyone else will think he's crazy (due to his already-present fear of everyone thinking he's crazy.) Everyone else is just being polite and supportive of Ryan.

Wilfred is Ryan and Ryan is Wilfred.
That is, Ryan is kind of nuts. Wilfred is his true personality - that is, kind of a scheming jerkass - that he visualizes as a dog while Ryan is a dog that he visualizes as himself in order to feel like he's harmless. It's a sort of Fight Club-esque situation.

Wilfred is an ordinary dog, and Ryan is his hallucination.
As a dog, he has a limited understanding of the world, so he imagines a human persona to try and understand things that he doesn't understand, like when he is forced to participate in strange tasks such as the dog show or the wedding.

There will be an even bigger Gainax Ending in the season 3 finale.
  • Confirmed. Ryan finds a statue of Wilfred, but the episode ends without explanation.

The sleeping pills are a Chekhov's Gun.
Look closely in the episodes following "Intuition". You'll note that they're still on the table in the basement.

The writers have no clue how to end the series.
So instead of coming up with a good explanation that explains why Ryan sees Wilfred the way that he does, they just troll viewers with season finales that only raise more questions.
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