Sunday, March 17, 2013

There's Something About Otto

Well, we've had Otto in our family for 5 weeks now, and what an adventure it has been.  We wanted to thank you all for your various suggestions as to how to deal with his mouthiness.  We've been using a combo of all of your suggestions - so much accumulated wisdom out there - with a good deal of success.  Ignoring him, crying out and walking away immediately and the command OFF THE BED have all been effective.

photo by Miss CreekHiker

Otto is a VERY high energy rottie.  And while we gave our approval for bringing him into our pack because of his general submissiveness to our seniority (and general awesomeness) he is still much more high maintenance than we were used to.  



Consequently, he gets at least one hour and a half walk a day, if not more, and (this is the weird part) he likes to play tennis ball!!  This is somewhat against traditional rottie behavior - at least at our house - but he gets mom or dad outside after dinner and races up and down the hill in our backyard like some kind of labrafreak!  He tires out pretty quickly and then he'll come back in and zen-out with the rest of us.  



We are getting our requisite number of walks as well, so the mom is looking at dropping some serious poundage which she can stand to do!!  


Two other things - we have talked mom into getting him a backpack to wear on walkies.  Gizmo and I (Bart) used to walk with a backpack with some weight in it when we were younger and it helped drain our energy somewhat.  Somedog, I'm sure it was Gizmo, chewed up the straps on it, so Otto gets his own new one.  Most importantly, mom found our old dog trainer, Blaine, who helped Allie and Gizmo and me learn to be awesome and well mannered.  Otto met Blaine for the first time last Friday and was (of course) perfect in his presence.  Mom had walked Otto for about 45 minutes before the session, so Otto just did whatever Blaine asked him to do and otherwise just laid there like a big bear rug.  Blaine said, "I have people pay me hundreds of dollars to get their dog to do this!"  OY.  He's coming to the house soon, then he can see the devil in action.  



Overall, Otto is learning the house rules and our personal space rules well.  For instance, because Ruby has some nasty arthritis in her elbow, Otto doesn't jump on her, but they will play tug or this morning he'd drop the ball so she'd pick it up and then they played keep away.  I, on the other paw, tell him in no uncertain terms that I am not amused by him in any way, but he likes to pounce at me and I bark at him and wag my stub.  I just can't let him know that I really enjoy the play.  I, too, have some arthritis in my hippers so I don't like to be bounced on butt I am enjoying manly play.  


We're sorry that we don't have any pictures of us all together yet - that's mom's next task.  We've had some serious ups and downs with this process, butt we think we've rounded a corner and 5 weeks in we're feeling hopeful that we will be a happy pack of rotties.  

~~~~~

We hope you're all having a lovely weekend!

Love,
-Bart


55 comments:

houndstooth said...

Becoming a happy and comfortable pack takes time, and it's more challenging when the new pup is a lot younger. I'm so glad that you are all doing your best to help Otto fit in. Your mom is a smart lady to work so hard on keeping him exercised and working with a trainer to help him be a well-rounded dog! I'm sure he'll never be quite as interesting as you, Bart, but I bet he'll come close!

Bunny

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Love all the Otto the Rotto pics... His eyes kill me!! Such a sweet handsome boy! I'm so happy he's found a fur-ever home!!

Sue said...

Sounds like things are starting to work out. Humans forget what youngster dogs are like once they become well behaved doggies. Bringing Sebastian into our pack went so smoothly that Dad thought the little girls would be just as easy. WRONG!! They are crazy pups with non stop energy. It's all we can do to tire them out each day.

We look forward to group pictures because you're such a handsome group.
Morgan, Sebastian, the Porties and the Pups

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

EVERY new thingy requires some adjustments... some give and take some ups and downs... butt WE know you are UP to the task and that OTTO is gonna be a FANGtastic PackMate...
The Weight VEST will really help. We have heard NOTHING butt good thingys about those.
Happy St. Paddy's day to you all.

GOOSE said...

I think OTTO is coming along quiet well. Of course he does have some good teachers. I am like you a bit. I am not so thrilled with energetic pups. But secretly I do like the little ones. As long as they don't jump on me.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Blessings,
Goose

Hawkeye BrownDog said...

Hi Y'all,

Been way behind visiting and wanted to stop and meet Otto! Wow, what a high energy Dude! He'd get along well here! I'll be back soon to check out the goings on!

Y'all come by now,
Hawk aka BrownDog

Shawnee the Shepherd said...

I is supposing our peeps is right (and you did not hear this from me) when they say "A tired dog is a good dog." Sigh.

Casey said...

I'm glad Otto is fitting in with the pack! You'll have him whipped into shape in no time.

georgia little pea said...

We have some friends with high energy dogs who use those backpacks. Strangely, that was something we never considered for Georgia in her ADHD days. It sounds like everyone is learning their boundaries (and what they can get away with ;). They're hard times but also the best to look back on, I find! Hugs to the BRO pack x

Amber DaWeenie said...

You're obviously doing all the right things so just hang in there. Soon you'll forget there ever was a problem!

:)

scotsmad said...

Still, it has only been 5 weeks. Roxy is still a doofus and she's been here over a year. If you tell her off, she thinks it's a new kind of game.

Sounds like you've got some good ideas up your sleeve.

XXXOOO Daisy, bella & Roxy

Bouncing Bertie said...

I am so grateful when my friends post about the issues that arise when a new dog is introduced to the household, as I feel that Gail will be well prepared if I ever succeed in persuading her that I really do need a live-in playmate....
Toodle pip!
Bertie.

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

Yes, it does take time and a lot of patience. It sounds like Mom has things well under control. We can't wait to see the three of you all together.

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

Jo's World said...


Hi Rottie family!

I have somehow missed the problems with our dear Godson, Otto, but it sounds like you are using some good methods, with the backpack being very good. That, the exercise and some time, should solve it all.

If not, send him to Minniesnowda in the winter and he can plow through five feet of snow on his walks. That should take some of the starch out of him.

Kisses, Otto from Jo and Stella, your Godparents

harrispen said...

The rottie we had many years ago was from a high drive working line and was a tennis ball fanatic! Sounds like things are progressing well with Mr. Otto.

Cindy

Reilly / Denny Cowspotdogs said...

Walkies on an exercise machine would also be a great way for otto to burn off some energy.

Terrorzinhos said...

We are glad to see that your pack is on track, to achieve perfection!

Otto is beautiful!

Have a nice week!

Nola said...

He's so handsome!
Nola

Cyndi and Stumpy said...

It's so nice of you and Ruby to be so patient with Otto! I just know it will pay off, big time, in the long run!

sagechronicles said...

Sounds like you are doing everything right! Otto will get there and soon we'll see all three of you romping together.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

I admire you all for working together to get to get to know Otto and iron out any of the wrinkles that will help Otto become what he was destined to be, a great friend and companion!

Tweedles -- that's me said...

So many challenges and you have not given up. That means the peeps are cool!!
You are making progress- one step at a time....we are cherring you on!
love
tweedles

garthriley said...

Hiya Bart, Ruby and Otto! Thanks for stopping by! Sorry I haven't been around much lately. I hadn't even realized you've gotten a new family member! Congrats!

Sounds like you guys are doing all the right things with Otto - lots of walkies and tennis ball chasing makes a tired and more well-behaved pup. That's awesome that he likes to play w/ the tennis ball like a labrafreak (like ME!) because that's a great way to drain off some of that energy! And he's lucky to have some older and wiser doggies around to teach him manners and how to be awesome!

your pal,
Garth

What Remains Now said...

Sounds like Otto has found himself the perfect home.

Two French Bulldogs said...

We think Otto is related to my Lily. Diablo
Happy St. Patrick's Day
Benny & Lily

STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Howdy Mates, sheesh, google just ate our comment, so if two come up you will know why! Sounds like your Otto is coming along wonderfully. Grreat work from your mum and dad and we reckon Otto has fallen on his feet by joining your family! Good luck with the fun and games. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

2browndawgs said...

Glad to hear things are coming along! It sounds like Otto needs a job or something with some mental stimulation to help tire him out. Our dogs are always exhausted after training, even though it may not involve a lot of physical running, but more thinking. :)

Priscilla Phang said...

So glad to hear that Otto has settled down so well and the most important thing is he respects you and Ruby. I think your mom is brilliant too that she knew exactly what to do with Otto and herself at the same time. I'm sure you and Ruby are his great teachers too. Keep up the good work, Bart.

easyweimaraner said...

I like to hear the news about Otto, he is great and I would like to play with him.

Sandy said...

You all have your paws full but glad to here that Otto is making gains. I sure you will work out the kinks in no time!

sophie...^5 said...

I'm so sorry all this is going on....Otto is full of it I see. One blessing he gets you out for walks a lot and that is so important. I know you know this.
Keep plugging along and I'll be plugging for ya!

Sophie and Ron

Wyatt said...

Otto...
maybe you are my brother from another mother...BOL. You sound like me!

Wyatt

The Army of Four said...

Tennis ball, eh? That's just plain freaky. Siberians don't do balls, either. Well, we PLAY with them, we just don't go get them when bipeds throw them. I mean - what's up with that? UNLESS, of course, you're the LabraDave. Hmm. Maybe you're related to Dave. Ha roo roo roo!
Play bows,
Zim

Kari in Alaska said...

Sounds like he is fitting in well. Amazing how all dogs are different even of the same breed huh?

Stop on by for a visit
Kari
http://dogisgodinreverse.com/

♥ Sallie said...

So much going on!

You will be one big happy pack in no time! I know it!

Hugs,

Roo said...

Hurray for progress! :D Otto you sound like a lot of fun :D Glad y'all are workin out the kinks in the abode. That trainer sounds great!

Waggin at ya,
Roo

Tanya Breese said...

sounds like otto is settling in wonderfully....haha i've never had a rottie that likes to play tennis ball either. they like to go get it once and then lay down and chew it :D

Marjie said...

It's great that Otto's learning the rules already. It's also good that he plays tennis ball like a labrafreak, so he doesn't try to wear you guys out. Fitting into the family is important, and Otto's a handsome boy. He should be a fine addition to the pack. Happy Spring Time, you guys!

The Boston Lady said...

Bart, Sounds like Otto is learning the rules and that your mom will soon be reed-thin, as if she needed to be! Has anyone suggested a treadmill for Mr. O? I remember a Rottie we used to know who ran on one daily. He sure is a handsome guy and I hope the trainer gets to see h9im in action. Ann TBL

Leslie said...

Sounds like Otto is continuing to keep you all on your toes. Funny, you are about the 4th set of folks I know who have recently brought a new dog into their home and are struck by their boundless energy. Hang in there - they do grow up and out of it. ;)

Pack formation takes time. As long as there's no outright brawls, I think the dogs will work it out on their own. As for the humans keeping up with the youngster, well, break out those hiking boots. Good for you and good for the dog. ;)

He's such a handsome thing, I can imagine not giving in to those pleading eyes and enforcing the rules can be a challenge.

Siku Marie, White Dog said...

Otto seems to be learning the ropes and rules...you are all doing a great job at shaping him into a perfect family member. WDA cheers for everyone!

animal lover, quilt lover said...

Zoie was a very high energy dog too!!! Too much it turned out for me--- poor Zoie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I miss her SOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!
I couldn't walk enough for her and the Am she was killed the day before it had rained ALL DAY long-- so we only got out for minutes at a time that whole day!! By 3AM she was hot to trot and it had finally stopped raining!! I miss her SOOOOOOOOOOOO

KB said...

You rock, Otto - a labrador in a Rottie constume!!! And, you're smart enough to know how to wow the trainer. You must be a Labrador :)

We got the high energy shock when Shyla arrived, just like you! We were used to the calming influence of wise K on R ... and we'd forgotten what a youngster is like. Oh my - the combo of Shyla and R is pretty explosive sometimes!

Exercise is key but it sounds like you know that! Many of Shyla's naughty behaviors (chewing, barking, etc) vanished when she was finally allowed to really exercise (i.e., run full out).

I was so glad to hear that the tether was helpful. We used it in a similar way as you. We still have it out for those rare occasions when Shyla is over the top...

Welcome Otto :)

Declan said...

He's a lovely addition to your family! Deccy x

bettyj said...

Otto reminds me of my Hillary. She had more energy than any rott I have ever had!! Was that way until she died at 12&1/2. (Not as bad of course) but high energy. Otto is so pretty and I am glad you are keeping him.

Alasandra, The Cats and Dogs said...

It always takes time to adjust to a new pack member. Nothing can be more high maintenance then Mr. Who though, and we are pretty certain he has the most energy of every dog in the world. Why he still runs around on his broke leg like a mental case.

Otto looks like a worthy addition to your pack and we are sure will settle down soon.

~Fenris

FiveSibesMom said...

He is such a cutie! It's funny how one can be so different from the others...we have two very high-energy girls and the other three are less inclined...and one, Bandit, is "on" almost all day! She needs more things to do...and, we've recently come to discover, she has gone deaf. So she's enrolled in school now and loving it. I'm sure Otto will eventually find a pace...in the mean time, happy walks! A backpack is a great idea; I have actually done that very same thing with Bandit! Love the pics...he sure is a handsome devil!

Dennis the Vizsla said...

hello bart ruby and otto its dennis the vizsla dog hay for sum reezon dada is humming and singing a song wot apparently goes theirs sumthing abowt otto yoo dont no i hav no ideea why he is singing that wen obviusly yoo all no otto kwite wel after five weeks!!! he is just silly sumtimes!!! ok bye

Elyse and Riley said...

I agree with others who have said it takes some time for a new pack to mesh. I got Riley when Chloe was 11 years old and Riley was 7 weeks old...needless to say, Chloe was NOT amused by having a puppy in the house and no longer being the only dog in the house. It took a good 6 weeks or so for Chloe to stop growling and barking at Riley when she would walk within 4 feet of her!! Now they're best friends.

Hopefully the trainer can help you out with some of the mouthiness!

Elyse and Riley

Elyse and Riley said...

P.S.--Good for Ruby for stealing from the boys and being in charge!! Us girls have to stick together!! :)

bbes tribe said...

Group pictures will be nice. Otto is very handsome. The backpack sounds like a really good idea. It helped a lot when our lab Sasha was young. She actually liked it.
Good lunch.
Wags
Ernie and the furkids

Honey the Great Dane said...

Whew! Gosh, I'm tired just READING about what Otto has been doing!! My human, Hsin-Yi, says your human must be emaciated by now - hee! hee!

It was lovely finally having the time to read more about Otto and get to know him. He sounds like a character! But we're so pleased to hear that he is settling into your family and also learning some manners now.

Yes - can't wait to see that picture of you all together!! :-)

Slobbers,
Honey the Great Dane

the booker man said...

welcome to the rottrover pack, otto!!
it's spiffy to meet you! if we evarrr get a chance to meet in the furs, i will totally play with you for 50 gazillion hours! i love mega playin', too!

*woof*
the booker man

the booker man said...

pee s -- DUDE! you love tennis balls?? we gotta meet!!!

April McLeod said...

Otto is one amazing pup! I can tell from the pictures that he is full of energy! I've pet sat several rotties in my career and I've never seen them show any interest in playing with a tennis ball! Maybe I should show them this post to give them a preview! LOL