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OK, just throwing this out there to see what the responses are like! I bet they'll be all over the board, but who knows?

I posted this on another thread today, and wanted to make a spinoff thread from it:

My friend's Black Lab was over here today and spent some time in the house with us. I grew up with Labs, and that's just what my family always owned. I have to say - having a black floppy-eared dog lounging in the house seemed oddly RIGHT. The comfort I felt from that visual was profound, and is a little hard to shake. Talk about memories being powerful!

I was actually extremely amazed at what I felt having that "familiar" looking dog in my home. It was almost as if all the peace and security I felt growing up had somehow arrived at my current house. I'd never experienced that feeling with any of my own dogs, although they are every bit as wonderful and loving as the Lab that visited with us.

I just found it very, very interesting how much our childhood memories and visuals can impact our feelings. So, it got me thinking, do people typically choose their dogs based on the breeds their families owned as a child? Maybe even subconsciously, because that breed or image represents something good in their memory?

What's the experience of everyone here? (Obviously, I did a complete 180 and went from Labs to Northerns - almost like a totally different species!)
 

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I think it depends greatly on the memories you have of each dog.
The dog that I had when I was born and for the first several years of my childhood was a Dachshund. It was a nasty little dog to me. I remember him being ill-tempered and always pooping in the basement. I remember him running away from time to time and having to always chase around the neighborhood looking for him.
As an adult, I know it was because he was never properly trained or socialized. My next dog was given to me because I so loved dogs and the Dachshund was nasty. It was a female Rottweiler (perfect for a young child to run around the neighborhood with. ;) )
My Rottweiler was very tolerant of me. I even put rubber band hair ties around her ears to make her look like she had ponytails. I Put long stockings on her and dresses and made her ride around in a wagon. All of those things she allowed. She was probably close to double my weight and could have stopped the game at any time. My nasty little Dachshund would have chewed me up for just thinking about playing that game with him.
I do believe Childhood memories mean a lot. I will NEVER own another Doxie but have had Rotties for now 30+ years. I have met a lot of nasty Doxies since then, but I think it was Charlie that ruined the breed for me. Early imprinting means a lot, IMO.
 

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I had a sheltie growing up and my husband had 4 shelties and a rough collie...it's definitely the reason we have shelties/herding breeds now. My shelties smell like my childhood sheltie, Scottie, and I love it. I love hugging them, burying my face in their manes and smelling the smell...other dogs I've had didn't smell the same, not even my aussie and bc.
 

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I think Inga's right in that it depends on what sort of memories you have connected to that dog.

For me, I've only had one dog in my life by I've had her for about 9 years now. So while I didn't get to experience that early childhood baby and pup growing up together thing - I've had Dakota all through my adolescents and teen years. Because of that there are a lot of I dunno 'best friend' memories attached. Like in the sense that I felt the whole 'she's the only one who understands me' and 'she never lets me down' feeling with her quite a bit over the years. Kody was like that constant and easy support that every teen wants.

Because of that I'm very much attached to her breed (Rat Terrier). And I think it DOES have more to do with the fact that I grew up with one rather then me picking the breed out for myself. All of my other favs are big working type dogs so Rats are definitely a bit of a diversion from that theme. Though the fact that they're Terriers does help some lol. I think it's safe to say that I will continue to have Rats as the years go on.

So yeah...in short, I think childhood and adulthood do connect in that way. Dog breed seems like anything else that people remember fondly (or not fondly ;)) when they look back on their lives.
 

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Well I grew up with mostly retrievers, a husky, and a miniature poodle mix...and now I own two herding breed mixes, lol.

Really need to dig out picks of all the dogs I grew up around the next time I'm home...

The only "group" I've never had in my life is the hounds...and I don't see that changing. Terriers...well the general consensus from those who both know dogs and know Webster is that he has a LOT of terrier characteristics (particularly in terms of personality and behavior), so I guess I can't chalk them up next to hounds anymore, lol.
 

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My first dog was a Rottie. She was a wonderful genius of a dog. =)


As much as I love Rotts and mastiff-y breeds, I will probably have only Toys from now on. They just suit me so much better, I don't really have the lifestyle now for big dogs.
 

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I grew up with 2 Great Pyranese X's (one xLab, one xBorder Collie) and a Border Collie. I adored them all!! However I grew up on a farm with looots of room for them. They were mostly outside dogs, but came in at night. The GP/Lab was my favorite dog. Us kids used to crawl all over her, dress her up in costumes, tried to make her pull a toboggan....LOL!!! I think I will probably look into rescuing a GP or GP mix when we are on an acreage in a few years :)

Right now my hubby and I have a Bichon Frise/Shih tzu mix, so not anywhere close to those dogs but my hubby grew up with Shelties and a Shih tzu and wants a Sheltie for our next dog.
 

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I've definitely done a full 180. I grew up with an Australian Terrier, a Lhasa Apso, and a Jack Russell Terrier. Now I have a Leonberger and a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.

I still have a soft spot for the breeds I grew up with but I greatly prefer the giant breeds. I didn't have a bad experience with any of the dogs and I don't know why I went with the giants exactly, except that all I learned from being around so many dogs at work is that I love huge laid-back dogs.

Eh, I guess for me there's just no real reason I can pinpoint except personal preference at this point in my life.
 

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When I was a kid, my family had a black and tan border collie/GSD/husky. Now Ive got Basil, a little white and brown Papillon. Though Abby was a great dog and I loved her very much, I just don't think she's MY kind of dog. I'm into medium to small breeds with long fluffy fur and such. And... I don't particularly like when dogs have that "wolfy" look to them, or when they have short hair. Dunno, I guess I'm just odd that way. I like dogs like Corgis and Keeshonden.. Like fluffy little teddy bears? Lol! Maybe dogs like Abby remind me of my mom too much, which isn't a BAD thing, just not ME.
 

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Marge is my first dog but I notice a trend in childhood dogs mostly being of the retriever, shepherd and beagle type. Maybe it's because those breeds are so readily available, for the most part? I mean their temperament is a factor too but most people looking for the "family dog" aren't going to come across some of the more uncommon breeds most of the time.
 

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We didn't get much of a chance to have a lot of childhood dogs. My parents dog, an Aussie mix, has been alive since we got him. He'll be 20 in August.

I have, however, wanted a Dachshund for as long as I can remember. Now I have one. And one that was supposedly a doxie mix :p
 

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When I was very little, my gramma M had a 3-legged Border Collie. For all that she was missing a limb, she was a working dog on a large cattle ranch. She didn't have much time for kids, but she did go hiking with me. It didn't matter how far I trekked or how lost I thought I was, when I told her it was time to go home, she would lead me right to the porch. My gramma M had a series of BCs, Aussies, and GSDs (all with the name Lady...creepy!) after that.

My gramma S had a crotchety old Beagle who was notoriously suspicious of small, staggering children. Except me. I was the youngest of the grandkids and the only one he would tolerate.

The dogs that really stick in my memory, though, are my dad's best friends' black Labs. They always had two at a time and they were the most intelligent, obedient, fun, perceptive, gentle animals I have ever met. They used to come to church with my dad's friends...they would wait under a tree in the parking lot during the sermon and I would go to sit with them instead of going to Sunday school. They currently have a facilty dog (yellow Lab) and a hearing dog (Lab/Golden mix) and they continue to be the greatest dogs I know, although my dad's friends joke about the worthlessness of yellow dogs, as their preference had always been for black.

I have had a Dobe/GSD mix, a (likely) Aussie/Chow mix, a (likely) Lab/hound mix, and a Lab/Shar Pei mix. All larger dogs, but no two even remotely similar!
 

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Growing up we had a Lurcher. She was a Greyhound/GSD/some sort of collie mix. And she was an amazing dog. Very tolerant (although I have never been that excited about dressing dogs up :p) loved to run and play, babies could crawl all over her and she would just lie down and let them. I was a mess when she was put down... I was 18 and we had had her since I was 4.

My dad also had a dalmatian for a few years, but as I didn't live with him and I was quite young all I really remember is that she wasn't very well trained and her tail hurt when she wagged it against my leg! But I loved her still... and have no bad memories of any dogs.

My pup now kind of looks like the lurcher in miniature. Similar coloring and ear shape, but Ruby is a beagle/lab mix... so completely different mixes. And she snores just like our lurcher did!
 

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My family had a Papillon and a Cocker Spaniel though my childhood/teenage years, and they were both amazing dogs.
Since I've left home and had my own place, I've had two Rottie mixes and two Rotties.

My memories and love for the two small breeds had nothing to do with my decision to get Rotties as an adult. I was a wreck when each of those dogs passed away, both breeds I would own again, but not likely unless my lifestyle changed.
My decision to own Rotties was based on two criteria.
1. I researched the breed and found them to be more compatible to my lifestyle.....I could handle their needs, while at the same time fulfilling my own. Perfect match! :D The breed traits and personality also appealed to me.
2. I have always had a soft spot and love of "big dogs"/working breeds.

I love Rotties because they are so versatile. Whether it be agility, flyball, retrieving, obedience, schutzhund, hunting, swimming, discus, weight/sled pulling.......they love to be active and love to please. I love how they are so active outdoors, yet are big mushballs indoors. Fairly inactive in the house, cuddly and loyal to the core, following you from room to room, never wanting you out of their sight. Guardians and protectors of the home who'll alert you when someone/something is "trespassing", yet when well socialized, welcome newcomers into the house with enthusiasm. Also love that they are great with kids and other pets (when raised with them of course).
Honestly, I can't think of one trait that I dislike about them. Only downside is the bad rep they've been given, and the rude/ignorant comments from uneducated people, or people that have only met Rotties that have been tied to a chain their whole lives.
 

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My two dogs growing up where Tramp, a black mix from the pound. Now I think he was a sighthound mix, maybe with lab and/or german shepherd maybe some collie too. Allie actually looks like him a lot as far has body shape, but Tramp was a bit wider and had a deeper chest. Lucky was a border collie (mix probably), she just died this past October. We also had for periods of time (watching them for other people) a cocker spaniel, a brittany, a pittie and a mix. And, when I was a kid there were the neighborhood dogs, that everyone seemed to just let out of the house (and this was not long ago, I'm only 23). They included a rottie or two, a bull mastiff, a few pitties, a doberman, a golden retriever, a german shepherd and some mutts. The group of dogs used to follow us (the kids) around all day during the summer when school was out. They weren't always all out at the same time, but there were usually at least 4 or 5 at a time.

My dogs now are Lloyd, who reminds me a bit physically of both Tramp and Lucky, Allie who physically reminds me a bit of Tramp, and Nash, a german shepherd. I know I will have a border collie again, I just feel like I am supposed to have one in the house. I am sure that Tramp and Lucky are why I have a huge love for black dogs. Lucky was completely black and Tramp was black with a white chest and tummy. Lloyd, the first dog I aquired as an adult is mostly black.
 

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I know that my current dog is not the breed i grew up with. As a kid i had 2 nova scotia suck tolling retrievers. I have a Deutsch-Drahthaar now... But when Hes around two years old I do plan on getting another duck toller.

Whenever i see one it brings back great memories and makes me feel confortable... I feel like if i saw a strange one i could go up and hug it even though that would be a terrible thing to do lol. One of em is still alive and living with my parents, but shes 15 years old and just kinda hobbles around and cuddles with my father. Shes grown away from other members of the family.
 

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We owned a cocker/sheltie mix as a child. He was a great dog. Lived to be about 17 and passed just before I started college. He was basically kept in the backyard and we did all the horrible things you're not supposed to do as dog owners (few vet appointments, limited socialization, no walks, etc.....). Still he was a very long suffering dog. We played hide and seek inside his house and pulled him in there after us to hide behind. We rode him around like a horse (or tried to). We did all kinds of horrible things to that dog.

Of course now I own a laid back cocker spaniel.
 

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My parents bought an Old English Sheepdog before I was born, and Justin lived until I was about 10. He was awesome, I have great memories of him. He never needed a leash (but we used one), he let us kids climb all over him and he was just an overall awesome dog.

I have always wanted another, but was out of luck finding a good breeder. I decided I wanted a small breed for my first dog as an adult, after doing years of research and waiting, I got Chloe my Pug a year and a half ago.

I would absolutely love to have another Old English Sheepdog in my life, though!
 

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Untill i was 11 we had a blue whippet, my grandparents had whippets and bred them and thats how my parents got blue. When she died we had a mutt, small, black who knows what she was but she was lovely and died 3 years ago. My parents decided not to have anymore dogs. Since leaving home I have had a lurcher (greyhoundxcollie) who I got from rescue. She was ancient and a wonderful dog, never set a foot wrong even though she had mistreated her whole life. She went a year ago and we recently got Alfie a bichon frise x miniature schnauzer. I did look at whippets and had my mam trying to persuade me to get one : ) But I wanted a schnauzer or a x. I suppose a lurcher and whippet have similar qualities so in part my parents dogs affected my choice.
 

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How interesting! I was wondering the same thing a few days ago on a walk with Laila.

I grew up with a few dogs but THE dog was a black lab. She was absolutely lovely. All of the dogs though were sporting class pups of purebred descent.

I kind of thought I would go down the same path, but here I am with a city mutt that I love to death.

However !! My heart warms whenever I see a big goofy lab and I appreciate my parents for training our dogs so well. I swear I have not seen a better behaved labby since the one we grew up with.
 
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