Having a canine companion with you at all times would make life about a million times more fun, right? Maybe Paris Hilton was onto something when she toted her Chihuahua, Tinkerbell, with her everywhere. To find a dog small enough to fit in a handbag, check out these tiny dog breeds that weigh under 15 pounds. Purse-sized pups are adorable companions who can join you on almost any adventure.
For starters, consider finding a breed-specific rescue in your area to locate one of these tiny canines. Don't overlook your local animal shelter, either. In fact, purebred dogs show up in local shelters pretty regularly, according to Bustle. The pint-sized pup of your dreams might be up for adoption right now.
To learn more about the best way to help your pup enjoy going for purse rides, Romper spoke with a canine behavior expert. A dog trainer for more than 30 years, Steven Appelbaum is president and founder of Animal Behavior College, a vocational school that trains professional dog trainers, cat trainers, veterinary assistants, and pet groomers in the U.S. and Canada. "The best way is to start by teaching the dog to associate positive things with going in the purse," Appelbaum tells Romper. He recommends putting treats in the empty purse and allowing the dog to sniff around and retrieve them for about a week.
Next, start putting things in motion. "Once the dog is comfortable going into the purse, gently move the purse around while the dog is inside getting treats," says Appelbaum. "The idea is to get the dog used to the purse being moved while they are in it." Although the motion might freak out your dog at first, they'll probably adjust soon, because hey, treats. In time you can slowly start to pick up the purse with the dog inside, reinforcing the whole experience with more treats and praise. Give this stage a few days, too, then choose some calm, quiet environments for the first outings. "When the dog is comfortable with you walking around for 5-10 minutes in a relatively calm environment you can start to venture out to locations with more people, movement and distractions," says Appelbaum. Congratulations, you have a purse pup.
That said, it's still important to make the experience pleasant for your dog, and never force them into the purse. Make it a positive experience for your canine, and take the process as slowly as necessary. And keep in mind that each dog has its own unique personality, some may never take to being toted around in a carrier all day — don't force them.
It's also important to choose a purse that's dog-friendly. "Purses designed to carry wallets, and human accessories are not safe for dogs," says Appelbaum. The lack of padding and ventilation are real health concerns, and pets can escape from many types of handbags. Thankfully, there are plenty of fashionable dog carriers available that totally look like a regular purse.
Even Hilton, one of the purse puppy originators, carries her pooches around in supremely dog-friendly bags as well. (Honestly, all of her canine's adventures @hiltonpets are basically dog goals.)
Lastly, remember that even tiny pups are not allowed everywhere, so check the policies of a store or restaurant before bringing your doggie along. Hopefully, though, your precious purse pup will be welcome most anywhere you want to go.
Here are some of the smallest dog breeds around, so brace yourself for some extreme cuteness ahead.