There has been a worrying increase in the number of 'handbag dog' being brought into Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
The charity has witnessed a 40 per cent increase in these dogs being given up, with many of them suffering from behavioural problems after being mollycoddled by their owners.
Ali Taylor, Head of Canine Welfare Training explains: "Small dogs have become very popular and fashionable in recent years and sadly Battersea sees the repercussions of people taking on these dogs with little thought of how to care for them.
"They may be small but they are still dogs, and sadly people treat them like babies or accessories without letting them behave as dogs should."
She added that owners would not carry around a Rottweiler or a St Bernard, but with smaller breeds people tend to baby them, which leads the owner/dog relationship to break down.
Yorkshire Terriers were the most popular handbag dog breed handed in to the charity, with 90 being given up already this year. This is a 67 per cent increase compared to the year before.
The problem of handbag dogs will be highlighted in the forthcoming episode of Paul O'Grady For the Love of Dogs, which is on ITV on Monday nights at 8pm.