Pippy, a yorkshire terrier mix had an owner, Sarah, who worked long hours and lived in a downtown apartment. After work, she liked to go visit friends or her parents in the suburbs, but this required taking the train, as Sarah did not have a car. This meant leaving Pippy home after Sarah had just been at work all day. Sarah felt terrible leaving Pippy home all day, coming home for only a few minutes to take Pippy out, and then leaving her again for the evening. The solution for Sarah and Pippy was a dog-carrying purse that Pippy could ride along in and join her owner on the public transit system to go visit friends and family, or even just to go do a little shopping. Now Pippy gets to spend time with her owner, and Sarah has the freedom to do what she wants, and not feel guilty leaving her little dog at home!
A purse or carrier that allows a small dog to accompany their owners in public can be a great solution so that you do not need to leave your little dog at home by themselves. Your dog gets to spend more time with you, and join you as you conduct your day to day business. Whether it is shopping, running errands, traveling or visiting, a little dog can learn to sit quietly and comfortably in a specialized purse, designed to carry a dog. Not all dogs, however, are comfortable with getting in a small confined carrier bag, and some training so that your dog becomes comfortable with riding in a dog purse may be required. Teaching your dog to trust you and be calm in different situations, and ensuring they are well socialized, is part of training your dog to ride in a purse. You will also need to get your dog used to being in the purse, jumping in and out of the carrier purse, being confined there, and being picked up and carried around while remaining quiet and calm.
Before teaching your dog to ride in a purse, make sure you have the right type of carrier purse for your size of dog. A purse for your dog to ride in can be purchased commercially from a pet store; it should have ventilation to allow airflow, comfortable padding, and will indicate the correct size for your dog's size and weight on the label. You do not want your dog to be too squished, or be moving about too much so they do not feel secure either. Crate training your dog prior to teaching your dog to ride in a purse is a good first step that allows your dog to associate an enclosed space with safety and comfort. Have treats available to reward and create a positive association with the purse. Using a clicker to reinforce riding in the purse and shaping the behavior can be useful as well. Be sure to be patient and never force your dog into the purse. This may mean taking some time to acclimatize your dog and letting them take the initiative to ride in the purse.