I had a disaster with wooden dowels as well, and only use them when I'm out of options. When I do, I always use 2-3 cardboard cake boards on the bottm and drive a single dowel with a sharpened point all the way through all tiers and into the cardboard for added support.
My first disaster was a beautiful german chocolate stacked cake for a 50th birthday. I went to get my camera and when I turned back around it had gone from 6-10" layers (stacked) to a mess about 3" tall and all over the counter. After I sat on the kitchen floor and cried
for about 20 minutes I scooped it all up into a crystal punch bowl, added some chocolate ganache and headed out to the party.
I just ordered some bubble tea straws to use for stacking. I've heard good things about them, and even that guy on TV uses them
. I ordered mine on E-bay.
Don't give up, we all have disasters, just dust the sugar off and pick up your decorating bag again!!