Top 5: Small dogs, big attitude

Boston Terrier's gentle temperament makes them good companions. Photo / Thinkstock
Boston Terrier's gentle temperament makes them good companions. Photo / Thinkstock

They may be small but this top 5 dog breeds have big personalities - and we don't mean like Paris Hilton's chihuahua or similar 'handbag dogs' housed in Louis Vuitton accessories. Many small dogs are way more than four-legged fashion statements. Although diminutive, most petite pooches are big on personality, like these guys:

1. Jack Russell


At the top of the list, a small dog that doesn't know he's small....cats, rats, Alsatians, it's all the same to a feisty Jack Russell. But unless that makes this muscular little dog sound like he's difficult, it isn't so - this dog will play ball all day and has an endless supply of energy and courage.

2. Dachsund


The 'dachsie' may be close to the ground but they are curious, charming and enjoy being around others. They can be stubborn at times but they canines generally love people and are highly sociable. They enjoy being around their own kind, so it's not unusual to find multiple dachshunds living together.

3. Boston Terrier


It might look like it's wearing a tuxedo but these guys are more clown than sophisticate; they love to entertain and amuse, so like the Jack Russell, set aside plenty of time for fetch, dog tricks and other high-energy activities. Happiest just being around family, their gentle temperament makes them good companions.

4. Brussels Griffon


These dogs love people and playtime and have face reflecting that playfulness. The griffon tends to have an inflated sense of self and, again like the Jack Russell, believe they are big dogs. They need plenty of toys to keep their attention if you leave them alone but they are great companions who form strong attachments.

5. Italian greyhound


A small version of his relative, the standard greyhound, these dogs are just as fast - about 30cm high, this miniature track star can reach up to 70km/hr - and they love to run more than anything. These born runners require commitment to exercise time but are playful well beyond the puppy years. Intelligent, though a bit timid around strangers, they do well in families with older children.

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