It is generally considered very important to teach your dog basic commands such “sit”, “stay” and “lie down”. This will ensure that you can keep control of your dog in dangerous situations and know that she will be where you put her when you come back to her. It also reinforces the hierarchy of command, with you as the Alpha dog.
Of course, we’re not talking about Wiener dogs, here.
Franny, the smart one, was 11 years old before she showed me her sit/lie down/stay moves. I am not sure where she learned it. Maybe she read it in a book. Maybe she learned it from Fritz, who I taught it to when he was 5. Naturally, having been brainwashed by 6 Dachshunds, I never consider teaching them something so obviously demeaning to their sensibilities as “commands”, or at least not seriously. All Wieners enjoy the irony of working for wieners, literally, but that’s not to say they’ll do what you want when you want. They will, however, as Franny likes to point out with an arch look, nearly always do what you want if they want to do it too. The fact that she’s missing the point goes a long way to explain Weiner thinking.
But to illustrate: Fritz always enjoys a game of tug of war more than anything, especially with an item of clothing I am particularly fond of, or, if he must, with a dog toy, so I bribed him to do sit/lie down/stay and, thank God, “Give!” one rainy afternoon just so I can get things away from him. (This is a handy thing to teach Dachshunds, since they have a habit of instantly swallowing anything they think might be taken from them. Like a sock. Or a whole squawking chicken.) Franny and Izzy were the only other Wieners gracing our home then ,and Franny, of course, looked on horrified at this show of Un-Wienerness, especially coming from one she looked up to and admired for his bold white teeth and big, muscular haunches. So she tried to get Fritz to stop indulging me by dancing around the room with some other toy the minute our game commenced. As it happened, Fritz never paid her any attention. Uber-Weiners, after all, do not deign to notice Underdogs unless they are having a better time with whatever game, treat or toy is at hand, and no one is having a better time than Fritz when he gets to sink his teeth into something delectable and wrestle it from my hands.
So imagine my surprise one day, when, treat in hand, I placed Her Franniness on a pillow that was warm and dog-rank from lying in the sun, and completely losing it for the moment, told her to “sit”, and she sat! Perhaps she was just as stunned as I, because I recklessly followed with “lie down!” and she immediately laid down!
Naturally our Fran was not performing for free. She wanted the Organic Filet Mignon Chewy Stick that works out to $10 a pound and is designated Human Grade Food. ( Of course, it is no such thing. They just haven’t come up with a believable label that tells you this dog food is actually more nutritious, safer, and better tasting than Human Grade Food.)
Now here’s a training tip for all you Dachshund owners. It’s a little secret Weiners are loath to let get about, but the fact is, they’ll do just about anything for their cookies. You just whisper the word “cookie” in a high wind with tornado warning sirens going off, and the deafest Weiner in the world, that one that doesn’t hear the vacuum cleaner heading right up it’s lazy rump, will instantly come to attention. Unlike Less- thans that run, fetch, sniff out, guard your warehouse, herd your cattle or ride on your bicycle handles, Weiners only work for cookies. That’s why most of them are fat. The one Weiner that isn’t fat is the especially gifted one, like Franny, who’s learned to game the system. She always holds out for better cookies.
I don’t know why Franny finally did a sit/lie down/stay. Maybe she just wanted to show me that all these years she could have done it whenever she wanted to. Maybe she thought she’d give a little something back, after all those cookies. Knowing Franny and her predeliction for practical jokes, though, my guess is that, in true Weiner fashion, she just waited 11 years to deliver a punch line.