Operators Are Standing By…

Otis is quite the little handful.  Being part sheepdog, part Australian Sheperd, and teething means that no pants leg is safe.  His herding instinct is very powerful, and no instruction on our part seems to cure him of it. Anybody have any experience with a herding-type dog?  Is there any hope of “breaking” him of this behavior? 

Anyway, the kids are getting especially frustrated.  I had “the responsibility” talk with them this morning.  I used their adoption as an example, saying that, although being a parent can be very frustrating,  I couldn’t just send them back to Korea and say “I don’t want these kids anymore”.

Zaphod looked at me with a straight face and said, “Besides, then you’d have to pay shipping and handling”.


6 Responses to “Operators Are Standing By…”

  1. jagadiah Says:

    Your kids are wicked smart.

    If it’s any consolation (though I’m sure you have had dogs before and already know this), soon enough Otis is going to be all grown up and act so good, you’ll look at him and it’ll be hard to believe that you once wanted to drop kick him over the fence.

    When we got our second dog, I didn’t think I could ever love her as much as the first, because all she did was eat my underwear, pee on the the dog bed, and bark all night. Now she’s just the best dog ever, and I can hardly remember her being such a pain in the derriere.

    Good luck to all of you with the new baby!

  2. Katherine Coble Says:

    Otis is quite the little handful.


    Where have I heard that before?

    Those are two smart, active and highly instinctive breeds in Otis’ background. He’s going to be somewhat difficult to curb, but once you’ve got him trained he will be the ideal dog.

    It’s these next 4 months that are going to be rough. I would almost suggest obedience classes if you have the time for them.

  3. Slartibartfast Says:


    Kat, unfortunately, we have neither the time or money for obedience classes.

    But I’ve been watching “Dog Whisperer” every cahnce I get! 😉

  4. Katherine Coble Says:

    I’d also recommend hitting up the library for books by the Monks of New Skete and some other stuff.

    Keep in mind that dog training is as politically charged as human child training, so take everything with a grain of salt.

    But what I’ve found is that you need to raise a dog half as if they were a human child and half as if you were the master dog.

    So brush up on pack rules, mother dog behaviours toward pups and alpha-dog behaviours toward packs.

    That all helps.

    I’ll email you more on the topic but my lunch timer is going off and I have to pull stuff out of the oven.

  5. Rachel Says:

    He’ll grow out of it – our Australian Shepherd/Chow mix did. Of course, when we first got him, he was pulling me around the house by tugging at my footie pajamas. He may not stop trying to herd you, but will stop putting teeth on everything. Just discourage the bad behaviors the same way you would with any other dog. Make sure he has enough toys to chew on. Will let you know if I think of the specifics from ours.

  6. sbk Says:

    I love dogs that are bred to have a job–I have a pointer. I’ve found that even as young as Otis it’s not to early to teach them “no”. Remember that you won’t ever train the instinct out of him, that instead you are just trying to teach him to use the instinct obediently.

    Has he started trying the herd the children yet? That’s always fun!

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