Thursday, May 5, 2016

How a Goofy Trick Turned Insanely Valuable - Positive Pet Training Blog Hop

Hey, everyone!

It's time again for the Positive Pet Training Blog Hop, hosted by Cascadian NomadsTenacious Little Terrier and Rubicon Days! This month's is play during training, but as always, any positive post is welcomed.

Today I'm sharing how one trick taught in jest has become one of the most useful thing I've ever taught Nola. I never thought I'd use it with any seriousness, but it quickly proved its value ten times over.

What, you may wonder? Purse/carrier training Nola. I'm sure there's a few eye rollers in the crowd, thinking I'm "that" small dog owner. Trust me, I used to think like that, too!

When I got Nola, I got a kick out of teaching her to climb into and settle in a bag, and be completely comfortable and relaxed with being moved and carried. I'd strut around the house with baby Nola snuggled in my purse, not admitting to myself how much I enjoyed having my tiny tornado so close (not to mention contained...Puppy Nola was something, let me tell you!). I initially refused to be "that person", but as time went on, I started to see the serious benefit of this fluffy trick.

With Nola in a bag, she was allowed so many more places than if she'd been a large puppy, or on leash on the ground. As a puppy she went into TJ Maxx, Ross, the library, the bookstore, a few thrift shops, and other non-food places. She even went to a few doctor appointments with me. People are much more receptive to a quite, adorable if you're a regular customer and ask nicely. After initial approval, hardly anyone even noticed she was there. 

In addition to that, with Nola being off the ground and away from other dogs, we didn't have to wait around on completing her shots and missing that vital window for socializing. From 8 weeks on she went nearly everywhere with me. Having her right at my hip also allowed me to give her positive association with everything from strangely dressed people to machinery to crowds. I firmly believe that those two things helped shape her into the go anywhere, do anything dog she is now.

After her recent tooth removal, Nola was incredibly clingy and anxious whenever I left her side. In order to still be able to do things and not have her stressed, I broke out the bag again. Problem solved!

For our upcoming European voyage, the bag training will come in more useful than ever. As I've learned from a few of my favorite small dog travel blogs, Europe is generally very dog friendly, especially when it comes to small dogs. Pop them in a sling bag, and you can go nearly everywhere with them, including most public transport, for free. Not to mention, having your little girl or guy up off the ground prevents them from being trampled in a crowd.

So despite my initial distaste of purse training a dog, I am now a full fledge advocate for (responsibly) carrying small dogs. I think it's an extremely important skill, and one I am so glad Nola knows!

What about you? Does your dog know any tricks you once thought were frivolous, but turned out to be a lifesaver?

- Dachshund Mommy


  1. BOL awesome! Good idea to get Nola use to the bag again when traveling to Europe
    Lily & Edward

  2. I think that's a good idea! Though I walk Chris, I'll probably get him to used a bag in case I ever needed one!

  3. I think it's fabulous and if I had known about it, I might have done it with Sampson, at least until he got too big for me to carry. :-)

    It makes a lot of sense to have a dog do this. I'm sure you've seen the photo of the guy on the subway with his bully in the bag. AND I think it's especially important if your dog is an emotional support dog. Much less stress when your pup is right there under your hand.

    As for training for my dogs? Well Delilah is still a work in progress, but STOP and WAIT have been great with Sampson.

  4. What kind of bag do you use for Nola? I'm thinking of getting something for Ptera, because I can see when it would be helpful to be able to easily carry her rather than letting her walk, as much as I don't want to be that small dog owner either.

  5. Great shot of your pup, thanks for the post.

  6. His tricks are either very frivolous or practical. Mr. N is pretty good riding around in a bag although he gets restless after an hour or so. It's really practical for small dogs in urban areas!

  7. It is nice you can take her with you so much. Good for everyone!!

  8. I totally agree with you that purse training a small dog is absolutely worth it and if I had a little one I would do the same thing! There are so many times where I've seen little dogs get stepped on that I think it would be awesome if they had a place to go during those high traffic times in the city!

    I haven't really thought any of the tricks I've taught are frivolous but having them able to pick up anything I drop and deliver it to my hand has been extremely helpful!

  9. My mom used to take her Lhasa apso to work in a tote bag when he was a baby. Sadly, my German shepherds are too big to carry!

  10. While carrying a small dog EVERYWHERE and never letting her feet tough the ground is awful, it was a great idea to train Nola to hop into a bag. You will find it very useful in Europe since public transit is pet friendly. It will be much easier to keep her from being trod on in a bag than at the end of a leash.


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