War dogs were used by many civilizations including the Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. With the exception of Doberman Pinchers the dogs used back in those days aren’t the same as are standard now like German Shepherds and Pit Bulls which are used for protection purposes. Among the Greeks and Romans, dogs served most often as sentries or patrols, though they were sometimes taken into battle. The earliest use of war dogs in a battle on record was back in 600 BC in the area of Greece.
Attila the Hun used dogs in his campaigns back in 434 A.D. Other civilizations used armored dogs to defend caravans or attack enemies. The Spanish conquistadors used armored dogs that had been trained to kill natives. Later on, Frederick the Great used dogs as messengers during the Seven Years' War with Russia. Napoleon also used dogs during his campaigns. War dogs were used up until around 1770 in France where they guarded naval installations.
The first official use of dogs for military purposes in the United States was during the Seminole War in 1816. Hounds were used in the American Civil War to protect, send messages, and guard prisoners. They were also used as mascots in World War I for recruiting posters. Today, dogs are used in a variety of capacities for law enforcement (i.e. chasing down criminals on the run, sniffing out drugs, etc.). So although my dogs just lay around the house, many dogs are busy working.
Anyhow, people treat their pets, especially dogs, like family members but they weren’t always around for just “love” purposes. They provided pivotal roles from a military perspective for over 2,000 years.