Sure, it's nice enough in the stock photo. But they are imposing, aggressive dogs, and the ones we have around here are ungroomed and ill-mannered. When they come surging up out of a poorly lit night to bark at the front door the overall impression is much closer to this:
Only three of the dogs are free to roam, and even these don't come over too regularly, at least not while we're awake; they leave footprints and other signs of their passage most nights. Of these we hear two are nice enough. But the third we have been told is still a little prone to nipping, and so it is apparently wise to have a shovel at the ready whenever outside, the theory being that a solid whack will put the dog in its place. (To be clear, the dog's owners advised this course of action.)
None of us feel enthusiastic about this idea, and carrying a trenching implement on one's person at all times is extremely inconvenient. So we risk doing our outdoor chores unarmed, though things may come to a head when we get chickens and other livestock this spring.
For the time being we'll trust that our luck, bolstered by the "No Dogs" sign, will hold.