When Wiener, the ten-pound family Dachshund, was two, he started pooping in the upstairs hallway. This was not okay with me. I found a dog trainer named Sheila who came to the house and worked with the entire family. That first session was an eye opener. Sheila hooked Wiener’s collar to a leash, and when Wiener snapped at her, she hung him in the air by the leash and stared him down until he looked away.
“This is how I establish my Alpha position,” she said to our horror.
Wiener never looked directly at Sheila again. She came to train him seven more times.
Here is some of what Sheila told me, since I was only one that attended all eight sessions:
“You would’ve called me eighteen months ago if your dog was a Rottweiler.”
“The whole family has to be on the same page and do everything the same way.”
“Get him off all of the furniture and out of the bed.”
“You walk through a doorway first, and then he can follow you. He does this for everyone, even the seven year old.”
“Make him sit for everything – food, walks, treats.”
“Your dog is made up of poor genetic fabric.”
One day Sheila referred to Wiener as a she.
“He’s a boy,” I said.
Sheila stared me down until I looked away. She wanted to be ALPHA about everything.
For graduation, Sheila brought two of her own German Shepherd dogs, whom she commanded in German. She put them in a sit stay on my front lawn and then had me put Wiener in a sit stay between them. Wiener shook like a leaf for the two-minute test. I watched from the sidelines, hoping he would make it.
He did! Wiener graduated from Sheila Dog Training School, and she never came back to our house.
Even better, Wiener never pooped in the upstairs hallway or anywhere again, until . . .
. . . now that he’s seventeen and a half, mostly white, blind, and arthritic, he poops and pees anywhere he can.
I am okay with that. He lives with my ex.