What I would do to improve it is to take him outside and shoot him in an un-cluttered background. Shoot with your lens wide open with nothing too close behind him.
It seems like you just saw him laying there and decided to shoot a picture of him, without any thought to the background. This is fine. But if you want to make it into art, you have to put a bit more planning into it and just keep trying.
I do think it evokes emotion. His expression says to me: "You're acting weird, so I'm watching you." Also intelligence.
Overall, I think it is a good pic that could be made better with some more cropping (as above) and even into a great pic with a better background.
But sometimes, we just take the shots we are presented with. Slot that one as an exceedingly fine snapshot in time, and keep trying other things to make it into art.
I'm working on the AUTO thing. I've only had the camera for a couple of days now so I'm doing a bunch of reading and playing with the Manual settings. Nothing has turned out for me just yet, but I'm working on it. I need to learn the exposure triangle, thanks or mentioning that. I'll look into those editing programs as well!
I do believe that is dandruff. He was a dirty pup and had a bath today. Thanks for mentioning it, I'm a bit distracted by those spots as well.
Very astute point. That's the biggest challenge for any street photographer. We think something will be a good shot because of all the associations and feelings that we bring to the moment and the challenge is to be objective enough to look at both the scene and the resulting picture to see if there is enough there for the unconnected viewer to get the same thing.