I've been riding with my dog for almost 4 years now without issue. My first tank dog was a Pomeranian named Mr. Tucker who unfortunately passed away a couple years ago from liver failure. He was featured on the front page of the L.A. Daily News, Cafe Racer magazine and other places and he is sadly missed. My newer companion is Kirby, a 14 pound Pomeranian.
The first and foremost thing for me is my companion's safety. I have a perforated steel box mounted with heavy nylon straps on top of the gas tank. The dog wears a full harness with a steel ring at the bottom which a break-away tether secures to. This keeps him in the box for his own good, but in a serious accident he can break away from the falling bike.
With motorcycling and other activities, there is always risk, but since I've been riding with my dog I've been a much more careful (i.e. slower) rider.
I prefer carrying my dog in front of me so he can get a good bird's eye view of everything and the wind in his face, if he wants that. I can also closely watch him at the same time. He always wears Doggles.
The dog box has camera foam underneath with felt to prevent damaging the tank finish. It comes off in about 10 seconds to fill up and has provisions inside for doggie bags, his water dish and a place to hang is goggles. It also has padding on the leading edges so he doesn't get hurt in a sudden stop.
He loves his rides, doesn't seem to mind the noise and never tries to jump out, even if he sees other dogs or squirrels. I will say this, not every dog is cut out for riding. We own four dogs, including a terrier, Chihuahua and Dachshund/Chihuahua mix and none of them have a calm, self-confident disposition which IMHO would make them a good riding dog. Kirby is very mellow and is the perfect companion.
130,000-mile 01 Bonnie
Host - New Triumph Bonneville Forum