Schipperke dog pictureDamon Dahlen, AOL

Dog Breed Name: Schipperke

Personality: "Truly a big dog in a small body," says Melanie Coronetz, author of "Schipperkes: A Complete Pet Owner's Manual." "Schips have attitude. They're alert, active, loyal, inquisitive, clever -- and often stubborn."

On its website, the American Kennel Club uses adjectives like "enthusiastic, joyful and sometimes willful" to describe this tail-less, headstrong breed. "The Dog Breed Bible" notes that Schipperkes were often kept as boat dogs and the name translates roughly to "Little Captain." They are "happiest when on the lookout for adventure."

Grooming: Brush the coat daily, the teeth weekly, and clean out the ears "periodically," Coronetz recommends. ("The Dog Breed Bible" allows for a more lenient, weekly coat-brushing regimen, with more grooming needed when the dog is shedding.) A Schip bonus: They're odor-free and "don't need frequent baths," Coronetz says. "I bathe mine twice a year when they're 'blowing coat' to help get rid of the dead undercoat."

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