About Breeds

Personalities of Smaller Breeds

All dog breeds have their own distinct personalities, and this seems even more true when looking at the personalities of smaller dog breeds that so many dog owners prefer. Maybe this is one of the top reasons an individual decides to own one of the smaller breeds of dog. We have all heard of the old saying “it is not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog” and this certainly rings true with many of the personalities of smaller dog breeds. Below we will look a few of these breeds and what you can expect if you become the proud owner of one.

The Boston Terriers are very popular small dogs. They are intelligent, take to training well, low maintenance as far as their hair is short and does not shed excessively, get along wonderfully with children and thrive in smaller homes where a larger breed of dog would feel cramped.

For those people who want a small dog with a non-aggressive personality the Shih Tzu makes a perfect small dog. They are very friendly, get along well with any other dogs you may already own, love to be around children as well as adults and while it is a good idea to give their coats a good brushing every day they do not shed the long hair. We have had one purebred and one mix, and both have been a delight.

If you want a small bundle of energy always ready for a good tussle, and not afraid to let strangers and much larger dogs know to stay off their turf the Jack Russell Terrier is the small dog for you. Be prepared to provide this breed with plenty of exercise as they will become a bit ornery if all their energy is not worked off daily. Because they are so full of energy and quite intelligent you need to train these dogs very well in obedience training so they do not become aggressive.

One breed who shares many of the same personalities of smaller dog breeds all exhibit is the Dachshund. Often referred to as “wiener dogs” due to their short legs and long bodies, they are full of energy and very loyal and affectionate small pooches. Bred to act as the hound breeds do by chasing small animals, the Dachshund is good choice for a small watch dog who will bark aggressively when strangers are around but gets along well with his human family.

The personalities of smaller dog breeds are as different as the dogs but they all make excellent dogs in most situations.

Do you own one of these breeds? Please tell our readers about your dog.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Ruth

    Aug 30, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    We have Benedict Joseph (Benny – named for the Pope emeritus! and St. Benedict Joseph Labrere, patron saint of the homeless and mentally ill), and if you met our Jack Rat you would understand the name! We got him shortly after we had to finally put down my beloved Stan, a wonderful, very old GSP. I didn’t want another dog so soon, especially not a smaller breed, I was used to lumbering big dogs with big dog personality. But, my husband worked with a woman who had a dog her mother had adopted from a shelter who she tried to place. My husband brought him home and failed to tell me Ben had been thru 5 homes already and we were his last chance. I am a sob story sucker and the hyper wackadoo has been with us over 2 years now. Jack Rats, I have learned are a relatively new off shoot of Jack Russells and rat terriers, more the size of a medium breed and (supposedly) less aggressive and calmer than his forebearers. HA! It’s been over a hundred degrees in our part of the US this week and he is still insistant on his walks, despite how miserable we both are. The first night at our house, he removed the blinds off the windows. He has “killed” stuffed babies Stan had for years and could NOT destroy. But…. I still wouldn’t part with the spolied “rat bastard” as my husband calls him. If you want non-stop energy, insane consentration, high pitched barking, and a big, full heart, get a Jack Rat!

  2. sandra

    Aug 28, 2013 at 9:51 am

    i have a chiweenie…. a mix between a chihuahua and dachshund. she’s a rescue from arkansas. her previous owner abused her and told the rescue group that if they didn’t take her she would kill her. she was kept in rehab for 2 months before coming up to new england where she was fostered. i saw her on september 26, 2011 and fell in love. two days later, her foster mother brought her to me and she’s been with me ever since. daisy is the very best thing that has ever happened to me. she’s the light of my life. she makes me smile and laugh. she loves to play on the bed. she loves walks so i take her to the park often. she sleeps with me. she sits beside me no matter where i am…. my constant companion wish i could take her everywhere with me. i hate having to leave her home when i’m going somewhere she can’t go. i’ve never been so greeted like she does when i come home. she’s just wonderful!!! love her to pieces. we each needed the other to be complete. i’m hoping she lives a good long time. i’ve read that both chihuahuas and dachshunds live 15 to 18 years… so, i’m hoping she lives to be a very old chiweenie. she’s my girl.

  3. Karen

    Aug 9, 2013 at 9:21 am

    I have a (10+ yo) dachshund I adopted from Craigslist about 3 years ago. The family posting was a young couple who took her after their elderly neighbor passed away, however, their larger breed dogs kept rough-housing her to the point they were afraid she would be badly hurt, and she was just too old. I immediately fell in love with her picture and they were so sweet, they drove her to my home-town over 3hrs away. Needless to say, she is my baby! I honestly have no idea how old she is, but they thought at the time she was about 8-10, but were guessing at that, they just knew the woman had had her as long as they knew her and it had to be at least 8 years. I hope the couple that brought her to me see this, as she has made my life such a joy. I’m afraid she is a bit spoiled, but she deserves to live a bit pampered. :-). I recently found out she has cancer (mammary), and I’m not sure how much longer I will have her, but I am determined to make her as happy and comfortable as I can, for as long as I have her. The vet told me what to watch for, in progression and determining whether she is in pain, and so far, so good. She has days she acts like a puppy and still eats well and exercises a lot. But for anyone looking to maybe adopt a dachshund, please know you will be getting a comedian, a loyal (one person side-kick), a snuggler and loving companion. If/when she passes, it will be hard, but, in time, I will be heading to a shelter to find another dachshund to spoil and love. Please visit your shelters and save a life!

  4. ざなやぬ

    Aug 5, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    An impressive share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing a little bit similar evaluation on this. He in fact bought me breakfast because I found it for him.. smile.

  5. Christy

    Jul 2, 2013 at 9:10 am

    I have the most amazing 6 year old corgidor-a black lab/corgi mix. I started fostering her for a rescue 6 months ago and thought she might have the personality for pet therapy work so I had her evaluated. Turns out she has the pefect personality! She was turned in to a shelter, adopted out and turned in to AC then picked up by the rescue I foster for. They had her in boarding until a foster home was available and the kennel said she was a constant barker and aggressive. Living in my home she was neither and got along great with my other 4 dogs. She has passed her obedience classes and her pet therapy test and is now a working pet therapy dog!!! I love her to pieces. She’s a snuggler and is great at agility!

  6. carla brown

    Jul 1, 2013 at 11:06 am

    I have a JRT mix and I adopted him a year ago – he is 4 years old. Definition of him: a little spitfire. He has fear aggression in which I am working on but due to my research findings, this could take him years to de-sensitize. Sigh. However, when he is not feeling threatened, he is the cutest thing on earth. He WANTS to do well and this is the reason why I haven’t found him another home; I wanted a dog with energy but NOT one that bites, so don’t be too hard on me with this sentence. I made a commitment to him and I will keep it. These dogs are not for laid back folks, ‘go, go, go” is their middle names. Would I get another one? Yes, but one that doesn’t keep me from participating in dog sports or walk-a-thons or ……..

  7. Heidi

    Jul 1, 2013 at 8:37 am

    We have a West Highland Terrier. He is a lot like the Jack Russell – but in my opinion, slightly less energetic. He is a big dog in a small body, ready to wrestle, run and have a good time. He loves to wrestle with other dogs and play rough. At the same time, he is not territorial. He greets everyone at the door with a friendly tail. He is a party animal and genuinely enjoys saying hello to everyone in the room, one at a time.
    He helps babysit by lying alongside the baby on the floor. He’s even helped foster abandoned kittens.
    He did need a consistent training and a crate until he was 2! because he has a mischievous side as most Westies do. He’s not a candidate for an invisible fence because of his instinct to dart after small critters.

    All around great dog and great breed! Even our non-dog visitors wind up being won over by his affectionate personality.

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