OK, let me preface this by saying I have never been a dog person. I think they are cute, and enjoy playing with people's dogs at their homes, but I did not/do not want one. I'm slightly allergic to them, and far too much of a neat freak to have them. That being said, my boyfriend moved in with me about 4 months ago. His female wiener dog (Dachshund) had been staying in the country with his mom and her male wiener dog. When we would visit my boyfriend's mom's house, Lady (his dog) would jump into his lap and stare me down while he pet her. I never paid her much mind, I knew she probably just missed him. She would sit by me and let me pet her too.

All of that changed when we brought her home with us. When my boyfriend asked me if he could bring her home, knowing my aversion to having dogs in my home, I asked 3 questions:

  1. Is she potty trained? I just installed $6,000 carpet in my house. The previous owners had let their multiple dogs use their carpet as a urinal and the carpet had to go.
  2. Does she eat underwear or shoes? This was a concern for me because I have some very expensive shoes and I had a puppy when I was younger that would drag out our entire hamper to eat our underwear.
  3. Is she aggressive towards kids? I have a 6 year old daughter.

His answers were yes - she never uses the restroom in the house, no - she never ate underwear even as a puppy, nor shoes, and no - she's very good with kids.

Here's my problem - it's MY house, but the dog thinks SHE owns it. Within 2 weeks of living here, she ate 4 pairs of my panties, I found them in shreds under my bed. and she peed in my carpet twice - on the floor in my room on my side of the bed only. Now, before the typical "put your underwear in a basket" "pick up your panties" comments rain down - my basket is a tall basket with a lid. She's a mini-doxen. My panties SHOULD have been secure. Next comment I'm sure I'll get, "shut your bedroom door." I do. My boyfriend, however, is bad about leaving it open despite me telling him to shut it so she doesn't eat my panties.

The next issue I keep running into is her possessiveness over my boyfriend, and I've noticed as of lately, it's going into possessiveness over my daughter, his son, my sister, my brother - basically anyone that's over except for me and my mom. A friend of mine with a lot of experience with dogs said that she's staking her "claim." She's trying to "claim" my boyfriend, the kids, basically anyone that will let her. My mom and I are both very dominate female personalities, she's never tried "claiming" either of us. My friend said that her eating my underwear, especially since she's not a puppy and never did it to my boyfriend's ex-wife (who she apparently didn't like either), in addition to her peeing on the carpet on my side of the bed is a way to try to show her claim to my territory and dominance over me. My friend said that I had to show I was dominate over her.

I didn't believe my friend until I noticed that she'd be laying down somewhere, and if she saw me walking in the direction of my boyfriend, whether I was going to him or not, she'd dash by me and jump into the seat next to him or into his lap and stare me down. Previously during this behavior, the boyfriend would laugh and say "aw, she loves me." and I would just shake my head at her and continue what I was doing. After reading about "small dog syndrome" and "claiming", I realized that was the way she was asserting dominance over me and that my friend had been right.

So, now when she does that, whether I'm going to sit by my boyfriend or not, I pick her up, set her in the floor, and take my place beside my boyfriend to show her I'm the dominant female in the house. She then ate a pair of my boyfriend's underwear on 2 separate occasions once I started asserting my dominance in the house. My friend said that she was probably mad at him for letting me "take her spot". She also rolls over and bears her belly to me. My boyfriend said that it's her submitting to me, but I've read that studies show it's also a strategic move to attack and protect itself at the same time. She doesn't do this with anyone else in the house.

Last week, I was trying to put her outside to pee because she had been kenneled all day from us being at work. She jumped up in the chair and stared at me, so I went to pick her up to put her outside. I did NOT pick her up around her belly - but SHE PEED ON ME! I was furious! I put her outside, cleaned up, and called my boyfriend immediately. He laughed and said, "You scared the piss out of her! She's scared of you!" She has no reason to be scared of me. I don't hit her. I feed her, I give her water, I let her outside. But I have rules. I don't let her in the kitchen when I'm cooking unless I call her in. And I don't allow her to sniff around the table at dinner time. Also, if she hasn't had a bath recently or stinks, I don't let her on the furniture. I don't put up with begging when we eat either. And in light of her proclivity for peeing in my room and eating my panties, I have said she's not allowed in bedrooms or bathrooms. She's used to having free-reign. Now, she rolls over when I walk into the room, and pees on herself. It's been happening a lot - and quite frankly, it's driving me crazy. I want to get rid of the dog, but my boyfriend loves her. I have tried playing with her, I give her treats, I pet her/rub her belly/scratch her ears - but nothing works. My boyfriend says "maybe she senses you don't like dogs". Maybe - but I love him, so I'm really trying with her.

I've also been told I should lean over her when she rolls over, not on her, just over her, so that she recognizes me as the dominant female, and that while I do this, to stare her down until she looks away. I did this. It worked - but that's when the rolling over and pissing herself issue started. I know she hates me, honestly, the feeling is mutual after her acting this way, but I'm at my wits' end on what to do about her, so any advice will be helpful. I'm not trying to incite a riot of "you're mean because you don't like dogs." comments - everybody is different, everybody has their preferences, my preference just happens to be a pet-free home. I'm really trying with this dog - she's just always been the alpha female in the house, and I don't play that game. I truly need help with what to do about this. I'm not willing to roll over for her, if you catch my meaning, just to make her easier to get along with.

My friend I mentioned earlier stated that we're having these issues because she has staked a claim on my boyfriend and may consider him "her person or her mate" or something. She said it's common with wiener dogs.

Please, any constructive and helpful advice is needed. I know there's going to be some backlash on this because some people won't read what I'm really trying to get at, but please, help?

  • I am dog lover and no backlash from me. Not good for and I know you are being serious but I laughed so hard.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 23:28
  • LOL.. I'm glad you thought it was funny. :) It is to most people. But I'm stressing... Do you have any advice that may help?
    – Heather
    Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 23:30
  • I'm not a dog person so no advice, but how is she getting into the hamper? She is DETERMINED to eat underwear!
    – Zaralynda
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 14:08
  • dogsbestlife.com/home-page/… Your text put in words perfectly what my situation was. I tolerated my boyfriends dog until the point of coapsing , it was so frustrating. This article helped me but as it mention: owners with SDS often have many various reasons explaining their dogs behavior..
    – Hello
    Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 21:52
  • No backlash here either. Constant destruction of pants and widdling everywhere is not easy to deal with. You have a range of very definite behaviours and it's certainly worth finding an expert in dog training and behaviour to decode and fix them. Make sure your SO realises that not just you, but the dog will be much happier - these behaviours are, in the end, expressions of some kind of distress. Commented Dec 8, 2017 at 12:05

2 Answers 2


I'll let my answer be more food for thought than an outright answer, because you're already doing a few of the things I'd be trying, such as putting her off the furniture when she "claims" your boyfriend. I'll also agree with Frisbee.

I think this dog displays more fearful tendencies than aggressive ones. Rolling over and peeing on herself strongly tells me this. I once rented an apartment in college where the landlord had a very aggressive and yappy Lhasa Apso/Shih Tzu. Everyone else acted scared of the dog and it was aggressive towards me as well, but I'd sit on the steps to my studio apartment and talk to the landlord, ignoring the dog. Then it eventually calmed down and got to where it liked me fairly well, though it would still act pretty aggressively in the house, even biting the owner if he did something it really didn't like. However, when I started working with it, it would growl and snap at me, but pee itself. When I'd take it out for a walk, it would cling to my leg and act fearful.

My belief is that the dog was a naturally fearful dog that was very scared out of its element, but when it was in what it thought of as its own territory, it acted aggressive out of fear, kind of like in the horror movies where someone in the scary house pulls out a gun and is spinning around looking for boogie men, then taking a shot at a moving shadow, only to realize it's the cat. Aggression from fear.

I think your case is similar. I think you've taken a dog from its familiar surroundings and given it free reign of the entire house. While this sounds like you're being kind to the dog by not confining it to a smaller area, you're really not. Think of it like when a kid goes to kindergarten after only being at home with you. It's scary at first, but they're limited to a small class room with other children. When they become more familiar with the other children, they become more confident and are no longer scared. The more times this happens as they progress through the grades, the less meeting new people will bother them. This happens to adults as well. When they start a new job and don't know the people, they don't know who appreciates a joke and who will be offended. They also don't know what exactly is expected of them from the company and what will get them in trouble. The more comfortable they get at their job the more relaxed they get. This also happens when you have to drive to a new city or area. You are nervous and constantly checking directions the first couple of times. After a while you start navigating smoothly around there.

My point is that your dog needed to be confined to one room unless 100% supervised when she moved in. Then she needed to be allowed in more rooms as time progressed. Because she was given full reign of the house, it was too much unfamiliar territory and she became fearful and wanted to control anything she could. They translated into destruction, peeing(marking), and claiming your boyfriend.

I would go back to this and start over. I'd make your boyfriend clean anywhere she's used the bathroom with a special cleaner that neutralizes the smell. Smell will encourage them to go in the same spots to re-up the mark when it starts to fade. A room with easily cleanable floors would be ideal. If someone is home to supervise her, you could have her either loose in the room or get her one of the wire playpens with toys and/or chews, so she has something to do. She just needs a small place to become used to, then when she's more confident, introduce additional rooms one at a time.

I also think you should make sure she has plenty of mental and physical stimulation. Letting a dog out in the back yard doesn't cut it. I'm not sure exactly what your situation is with her. You could run marathons with her for all I know. However, it's important that she exercises both mentally and physically. I'm sure you find that true with your kids as well. Even when they run around and play hard, they can still ask you a million questions while they're resting up for the next go round. You can practice physical exercise in the ways you would think. Letting her run around, fetch a ball, swim, etc... Mental exercise is a little different. It's something they have to focus on.

Take walking for instance. When a lot of people walk a dog, they let them walk where ever they want, stop and sniff, pull, etc... People do it, because it seems like the dog won't have fun if they don't let them, or maybe they're letting them lead so they can find a potty spot they like. Either way, this provides no mental stimulation for the dog, because their minds flit from one thing to another. You have to give them a specific task, which is walking beside you, on the side that you choose, with their shoulder near your leg and slack in the leash. Dogs have an excellent sense of smell and can smell everything from beside your leg by running over to it. Also, by letting them stop and pee wherever they wish, then they are in charge of the walk. In effect, they're your boss and telling you what to do. In a proper walk, you choose where you go and at what speed. You also choose when and where to stop for a potty break. A good example of this is driving. When you go somewhere in your car, you typically don't drive around aimlessly. You have a destination in mind and a vague if not specific time you have to be there. This determines the speed you'll go at and if you'll stop anywhere. You won't stop at every toy store and fast food joint your kid points at. You'll stop in good locations and give them the opportunity to go. So walking your dog properly is not only good for them, but easier on you as well. Training the dogs with a clicker also provides mental stimulation, as well as control.

Lastly, you're boyfriend needs to step up. Any authority he has over the dog needs to be transferred to you through reinforcement. For instance, if she knows the sit command, then you should tell her to sit. If she doesn't, then he should reinforce your command by telling her to sit. When she does, you give her the treat. The same applies to the couch and putting her off. Then instinct is good, but I have two things I'd say about it. One is the boyfriend should put her off, so that she knows he refuses to be claimed, not that you're taking him away from her. Also, many people confuse doing something for a dog as the dog doing it. They'll push their butt down and tell the dog to sit, or run around yelling sit till the dog gets tired and sits down, then beam proudly that the dog sits. In reality, while shaping is a legitimate training tool to help the dog understand the initial concept, it really isn't acceptable as complete till the dog will offer it. So when you pick her up and set her off the couch, it's good that she's off the couch, but bad that you had to physically put her off. There is no acknowledgment there from her. You should tell her to get off, maybe even standing on the couch and body blocking her off. Using physical touch to get her off as a last resort. Eventually, she'll learn that you won't budge and she'll start getting off with the first voice command.

As I said though, your boyfriend needs to step up. You need to talk to him honestly about it. I understand the urge to laugh something off, but I'm not sure he realizes what he's actually doing. That would be telling you that he doesn't care about you or your problem. You were clear in stating to him when he moved in that you'd have a problem with destructive behavior or peeing in the house. That's excellent. He should be taking it seriously and doing what he can to stop or fix the behavior. Instead he's laughing about it. It shows that he doesn't really care to fix the issue and figures you'll get over it. I think it's time for another talk. You need to tell him that it's a serious issue for you and you don't find it funny. You need to tell him you were clear on what you expected from the dog when it moved in. Tell him that you don't dislike the dog, but the problems she causes and that she's welcome to stay if they're fixed. Tell him that you don't feel like he's respecting your feelings on this issue and give him an example of something that he does or likes that you take seriously for him. A relationship is about being there for each other and this is a symptom that he's not committed to your relationship. If he laughs off the dog issue he'll laugh off something else. Tell him you can't be pissed off about a dog destroying your house (your house together) and that you shouldn't have to be. That he's welcome to work with the dog, that you're willing to help and do your part, but he needs to figure out what's important to him. If it's ultimately the dog, then you need to break up. I hope this helps.


First of all your bf needs to step up and take ownership. It is his dog and your house.

Your bf should shut the door.

Your bf should place the dog on the floor. You bf should not let the dog stare you down. He is telling the dog this is acceptable behavior. He should not defer discipline / training to you.

You may need to get help with a professional dog trainer but first need to train your bf.

My suggestion is to isolate the dog to small area in the house. When you feed the dog make the dog come to you and just tell her good dog.

You don't need to make the dog submit - look away. She recognizes you are the woman of the house but she wants her man and is taking it out on your house.

Your bf should go the kennel and let the dog know barking is not acceptable. He should great you first and let the dog see it. He should let the dog out in a confined area and not let her have free reign until she calms down. If she does not calm down she goes back in the kennel. Right now she is getting what she want by being a bitch. And your bf is nothing but an enabler.

  • Thank you, she has her kennel that is her space. She tends to stay there if it's just her and I in the house... like now... but as soon as he gets home, she'll run and start barking a really high pitched loud bark. It happens every day... I've told him that I need his help with this. He thinks I'm just being silly. I've even printed out studies and documentaries... but he just thinks I'm acting this way because I don't like her... I've been tempted to give her away and say, "Oops! She ran away!" But that would be mean, and I couldn't do that to him.
    – Heather
    Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 23:40
  • @Heather Definitely don't do that, nothing good will come from it.
    – Pyritie
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 11:07
  • @Heather, don't do that but you need to give your boyfriend an ultimatum: Either take care of the dog and stop being an enabler or she needs to go.
    – CSRenA
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 14:53
  • I wish I could upvote this twice, once for "he should greet you first and let the dog see it", and once for "enabler". I was an emergency veterinary technician and professional dog trainer for many years; your advice is spot-on. Commented Jun 19, 2017 at 9:31

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