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First off, I love my "pups". We have 2 Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs and a Corgi. My fiancee used to show dogs and will be getting back into it with our one Swissie. We got the other Swissie (2 y/o) when he got a phone call saying he was going to be PTS. He had trained this dog when it was 6 months old and had boarded him when the owner went away...he was a GREAT dog, but somehow this dog turned into Kujo. Long story short, we went to see him and pick him up, and he wouldn't let us near him...he would've eaten our faces off had he been given a chance. My fiancee stood there trying to say commands to try to get him to remember him...then he said the release word, "Okay!" and the dog went NUTS! This dog has come a LONG way since we got him in January. He's a BIG MUSH and just wants love and attention. However, come into our house uninvited, and you're probably not leaving...
So, to sum it up, we keep dogs because they're family...but we show them, and use them as a "guard" dog..(even if they were totally friendly with people breaking into our house, their size alone would intimidate someone).
We have a basset hound. It is my first dog, but my husband has always had dogs. A basset hound was his dream dog and we finally got one when we got married. I have always had cats, but I was open to having a dog. I really wanted a pet, for when my husband is not home and I want company. I love my dog, Prim, and am so glad we got her. She is beautiful and so sweet :-) I can't wait for her to meet my new baby.
We enjoy them for one, but we got our GSD mainly for protection. That does not mean he is a "junkyard dog" or treated poorly...far from it, he is a house dog, eats a high quality grain free diet, plays with our Boxer, our son, etc, but I spend a lot of time by myself at night and I felt more comfortable having a dog that would defend me with his life if need be. He's a GREAT dog, loves us to pieces and the feeling is mutual. But our other dog, who is not protective at all, we love as well.