Some of my favorite childhood memories include dogs. We lived in the country and spent our summer days hiking through the woods, horse back riding, or wading in the creek, always with a dog or two trailing us. When I married, I knew I wanted dogs to be part of my children's lives. Childhood just doesn't seem complete without a dog.
We have two dogs, both mutts from the pound. They are wonderful. Annie is a bird dog mix and Ender is some sort of strange looking terrier. We were told poodle, but I very much doubt that. We adopted each of them as puppies before we had children.
Nick also rolled them over on their backs and tugged on their ears and tail. He never hurt them, but he wanted them to get used to being handled all over.
Our dogs definitely aren't the best trained, but I think they are trained perfectly for children. Annie especially loves our kids. When they were tiny babies, she would lay by their bouncer and lick their toes, making them giggle. If Joe is crying in his crib, Annie whimpers and lays outside his door. Now that Ada is two, Annie and Ada can get into trouble together. Ada tries to ride Annie like a horsey. They tumble in the grass and play fetch. On walks, Ada holds Annie's leash and Annie stays right by her side.