It's not ever recommended you just toss your four-legged roommate in with your keys, lip balm and other purse-handy items. However, a pup who could fit in your purse is often the best kind to have if you want a snuggling expert who takes up less space than most cats.
But It’s a Dog
Several breeds fit the purse-size category. There's the feisty Chihuahua who'll cherish all those designer sweaters you buy on sale, the silky Yorkie whose locks often cause hair-envy or the tried and true teacup poodle who made canine nail polish and doggy bows popular. Regardless of which you love, though, your pocketbook pal needs training and socializing to learn proper canine etiquette. And despite his easy-to-tote size, he requires exercise that gets all four legs moving on a daily basis and mind-engaging activities that keep life interesting, such as hide-and-seek the treat or learning how to roll over.
Choosing Your Purse-Mate
Not all small dogs take to lounging on your lap all evening. The 10-inch-tall Jack Russell terrier, for instance, has enough energy to keep pace with an Olympic athlete and requires assistance to burn off the excess. Developed to hunt fox, he loves the outdoor life, but may make it in an apartment if you have an hour or more every morning and evening for high speed adventures in the park. A Maltese will let you off the hook with a couple of brisk walks daily, but you'll use up a lot of that extra time keeping his glorious white hair tangle free. Researching the breed and knowing what pushes your happy buttons will help you find the right furry friend.
Small Dog Syndrome
Many small dogs often have big attitudes that can put them smack in the middle of danger. The miniature pinscher, described by the American Kennel Club as a toy breed who is happiest when treated like a standard-sized dog, will take on a dog 10 times his size if he feels threatened, even his Doberman cousin. Pomeranians originally tipped the scales at 30 pounds and earned their keep as sheep herders. Weighing in at 4 to 6 pounds these days, they've kept their bossy attitudes and aren't fazed by the size of their perceived student, even a 220-pound mastiff. Socializing your pint-size goliath in group obedience classes is one way to safely expose him to larger dogs and teach him a few social skills.
It’s All in the Details
If you choose to transport your pint-size pup in a container that looks more purse-like than a traditional carrier, pick one with plenty of ventilation that fits his size and gives him enough room to settle in for a nap when necessary. There are a variety of materials and prices to choose from, including buttery leather with metallic studs or sporty styles with mesh sides that give your pup a 360 degree view of his surroundings. Most have easy to carry shoulder straps and some are airline approved so that your pup can truly travel in style.
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