Timeout: The Sackler Laws (Part 2)

The Laws of Kid and Canine Chaos

“Chaos is inherent in all compounded things.” –Buddha

Part A, the equation of canine chaos: As the number of dogs in any household, or otherwise confined environment increases, the chaos generated by said dogs increases exponentially.

The math on this one is easy and so is the logic. Let’s start with an easy equation:


Simply stated, where Cd equals canine chaos and D equals the number of dogs present, then canine chaos equals the number dogs present squared. So two dogs equals four times the chaos, three dogs equals nine times the chaos, four dogs 16 times, and so on.

As for the logic, that’s also easy. Assuming that dogs are a pack animal, then each chaotic activity started by one, will be joined in by the others. This includes, but is not limited to, barking, fighting, knocking over the trash, attacking the mailman, biting Aunt Millie, pooping in the hallway, stealing your lunch and whatever other crazy things canines do. So, if there are two dogs, it will happen twice as often and be twice as chaotic each time. If there are three dogs, it will happen three times as often and be three times as chaotic. You get the idea.

Disclaimer: this equation is an average. Obviously, geriatric dogs will create less chaos and puppies are off the chart crazy. The breed of dog is a factor as well. (See figure X, schipperkes, and figure Y—as in “why?”—labs)

Figure X. Schipperke [Pronunciation: skip-it; origin: Dutch, meaning little s&$^%#–er, I mean, “little captain”] Noun: 1. a furry black dog of Belgian origin 2. trouble waiting to happen

Figure Y. As in, “why do people keep these things?” (attribution of photo unknown)

Take for example, our own pack of three (if you can believe that) schipperkes. They have the uncanny knack of lulling us into complete complacency. Then a chipmunk runs across the lawn and our former state of quietude is instantly transformed into the canine equivalent of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. I’m sure insanity is zoonotic. You get it from your pets.

We also need to consider that there are limits to the human capability to distinguish between degrees of canine chaos. At some point, the saturation point is reached, and the perceived chaos is effectively infinite. Beyond this, addition of more dogs to the environment cannot inflict any measurably higher degree of pain. These limits may vary with the individual. I, for instance, have lived with multiple dogs for years and therefor have a higher threshold of tolerance than the average person. On the other hand, my wife is a veterinarian and is effectively immune. Our dogs could stage World War III on top of her head in the middle of the night, and she would sleep through it. [NOTE: Part B, the Law of Kid Chaos, coming soon in a future post.]

Text in the post ©2012 Mark Sackler


  1. Now, I understand the doggie chaos in my house. Feeding time is stressful with defensive barking/air snapping and posturing. Our newest member is determined to to “top dog” in our 3 pack. But, I still love my doggie buddies.

  2. Oh, I love mine, too. If only for the comic relief!

  3. Some days it is not funny. We have more gates than Grand Central Station to keep them apart. I have a Shop Vac in the kitchen corner for daily…daily rolling fur collection.

  4. Elly Brennan says:

    Vizslas are entertaining in their chaos. It’s the “talking’ that can make me crazy!

  5. photosclosetohome says:

    Into a reasonably calm home with one older dog who sleeps almost as much as I do, we brought in a Yorkshire terrorist.

  6. Am I allowed to make a cat comment? Four cats in my house – a very different equation. All four dislike one another. However, the exponent part of this equation definitely applies. 1 cat – easy stuff. 2 cats – twice as cute. 3 cats – problematic. 4 cats – exponential degrees of love and attention required!

  7. THANK YOU! I have been desperate for a good solid scientific explanation for why my life is the way it is….we have two mutts whose breeds include lab, German Shepard, some kind of terrier and whole lot of hound dog. Yikes!

    • You are most welcome. And wait until you see what the equation looks like when kids get added to it. (As my cousin Marion so astutely observed, that’s nothing compared to what the room will look like!)

      • Oh, no worries there! My three kids are all grown up! although we didn’t get doggy number one until they were teens, and doggy number two until one had moved out, we totally get the picture! I have a post to come that will aptly show what I mean..!

  8. Great. I do like the way your write!

  9. Meth Lab is my favorite. I have a blue Shar Pei and a rat terrier, together no noise will go unnoticed.

    • Thanks for stopping by, and for your comments. I must admit that the “meth lab” thing is the one part of this post that is not original–but it just seemed so appropriate I could not resist! 🙂

  10. You say that you are not the smartest man in the world but from the short time I have spent reading your ingeniously clever and supremely entertaining blog, I would say that whoever the smartest man in the world is, you certainly give him a run for his money. Great Stuff here!

    • Hahaha….but what I said was that I am not the most interesting man in the world, but maybe have the most cluttered mind. It’s a satire on the Dos Equis TV commercials that features a character who proclaims himself the most interesting man in the world.

    • And thank you for your kind comments, of course! 😀

  11. Hello, you stopped by my place so of course I returned the favour. Dogs, humor, and quantum theory!?!? You’ve hooked me. Now, I’ve read about the dogs, and the kids… Is the next one on how much chaos you’ll expect by combining the two?

  12. I totally agree. We have two of these things… we only planned to have one, but she kept pestering us until we bought her a doggy friend. The exponentially increasing chaos also applies to walking the dogs. Our dogs walk beautifully on the leash 95% of the time. The last 5% is when one of them sees a cat or a squirrel, or another dog shouts something rude … it immediately spreads to the other dog and agitation levels surge explosively in an instant… and then: like trying to hold back freight trains! Good post.


  1. […] How to Teach Quantum Physics to Your Dog was copyrighted in 2010, I would have sworn he had read my Law of Canine Chaos before writing the […]

Leave a Reply to anoveljournal Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: