Not only was Elf a coward, he also had too much energy and too little good sense. The dog would grab a huge tree branch, at least five feet long and very thick, and run with it across the busy highway! When he got excited (usually, scared) he'd start snapping at one of us instead of the thing that scared him.
One time, I took him for a walk late at night. He was roaming somewhere around, when I noticed a man following me. The man ran up from behind and grabbed my hair. From sheer fright, I called Elf's name. When the guy saw a coming towards us, he let go of me. Elf made a show of aggression; he barked thunderously and lunged at the attacker, never actually, coming close to him. Never mind, the sight of those huge fangs was enough to make the man run away. So, I shouldn't complain: Elf did save my life - and virtue!