How to Train a Rottweiler

We all dream of raising happy, healthy, and obedient dogs, but the most unfortunate bit is that most of us hardly understand what’s at stake when we become dog parents.

You might have grown up around dogs meaning that you understand the efforts needed to bring up a happy dog in a loving home. But I was not very lucky.

Though expected, parenting a Rottweiler on top of my kids to be a challenge, I didn’t understand just how challenging this new role would be.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love dogs, and I particularly adore Rottweiler. I mean, who doesn’t wish to add a Rottweiler to their pack?

Yes, they’ve been called the Evil Villains in the movies, but you and I know that owning a Rottweiler is the best decision you ever make – the tall, muscular frame, calm confidence, protectiveness, and the glistening, short black coat with rust markings make this dog quite beautiful.

This dog breed is one of the best protectors of its packs, and though it can be silly from time to time, it’s also quite cute, calm, and lovable.

But, there is one thing you have to prepare for – intensive training. Since Rottweilers tend to be very territorial even as puppies, you have to train them early enough and well enough.

Without the right kind of training, you open yourself (and your family) up to a very aggressive dog showing depicting unruly behavior and housebreaking problems like chewing and biting.

How do I know this? Well, I lived it. And for a while, I couldn’t get why my pooch couldn’t collaborate or even look happy.

Yes, a disobedient dog is an unhappy dog, and as you all know, no one wants a disobedient unhappy dog.

While I was able to work around our pooch’s problems, it’s clear that many other Rottweiler parents are facing too many issues around the training and disciplining of dogs.

It’s also true that most of the soon-to-be Rottweiler parents don’t know exactly what to expect or even how to ensure the effective training of their cute dogs. These issues are the precise reasons for this article.

Whether you’re a new parent looking to adopt/ buy a Rottweiler or you need guidance on how to train your dog well, you are in the right place.

Note that before we look at the different training tips and hacks for the Rottweiler, knowledge of this dog breed is crucial.

Why Do We Love Rottweilers?

If you’re a calm or even assertive person who does well in well-structured environments, the Rottweiler could be the right dog for you. This dog doesn’t thrive in chaotic environments with exposure to such environments causing the dog frustration.

The other cute thing about this dog breed is that it loves to be loved and to show love/ affection.

Like most humans, it craves physical touch, which is why this dog will most certainly follow you from one room to the other while leaning its head on your feet when you sit.

So, next time your dog does this, understand that it’s in its nature to act that way. Once bonded to your life, the only thing this dog will want to do is to show you and shower you with love.

About the Rottweiler

Rottweilers date back to the Roman Empire where the distant Relatives of the Rottweilers would be bred for herding and protective purposes.

This breed stemmed from the empire’s need for dogs whose features were a perfect blend of sturdiness, strength, and agility.

The Rottweiler is not only strong but also capable of walking to cover long distances.

If your kids ask, you should also mention that the Rottweiler dog breed gets its name from its Asian Mastiff’s roots.

The breed’s official name is Rottweiler Metzgerhund or the Butcher’s Dog of Rottweil – named after Rottweil, a cattle town that depended on dogs for the protection of their livestock. Over time, the Rottweiler went on to be a war dog.

Thanks to this historical breeding, Rottweilers are loving, loyal, and confident guardians. This dog has a life expectancy of 9-10 years.

Male Rottweilers weigh between 95-135lbs and reach a height of between 24-27 inches while the females weigh between 80-100lbs and reach a height of between 22-25inches.

You will, however, get all these wonderful features and traits if only you raise and train your Rottweiler well. Thanks to good training, the dog’s aloof demeanor which belies its cute silliness and playful will manifest, rather than unruly behavior and aggression.

Temperament

While some regions and home insurance companies regard this dog as a Bully Breed, the Rottweiler is incredibly smart, outgoing, and loyal.

It makes an excellent family pet and thanks to its calm, loving, and protective nature, it’s gentle with children. This dog also loves playing, and it’s very active, making it an ideal fit for the families that enjoying spending their time outdoors.

What happens when you don’t train your Rottweiler well?

Failing to train your Rottweiler well or starting training later in its life will, as mentioned above, leave you with a disobedient dog that’s highly likely to hurt you or cause frustration.

Biting, chewing, urination everywhere, and barking senselessly are some of the things that you will have to deal with if you don’t train your Rottweiler puppy.

Training Tips for Rottweiler Puppies

To reiterate what we mentioned before, you MUST train your Rottweiler very early in life.

How?

Understand your Pup well

Generally, the training of Rottweilers is not as hard since this dog breed is agreeable. You can raise a well-mannered Rottweiler with the right set of leadership abilities, good socialization, as well as the basic training classes.

A deep understanding of the dog is, however, crucial.

For example, Rottweilers are more of “people dogs,” and they don’t do well in isolation.

Besides physical touch, these dogs need human and human experiences. This dog is also slightly averse to interactions with strangers; though this doesn’t mean keeping the dog locked up at home.

Part of its training and learning processes will involve interaction with different environments and people. Therefore, the training regimen for your pup should involve a great deal of consistency, fairness, and firmness.

No, you don’t have to be overly rough; roughhousing will only encourage the thing you’re trying to avoid – aggression.

Besides the need for consistency during training, the effectiveness of the training you involve the dog in depends on its compatibility with the dog’s temperament.

Since Rottweilers are drawn to training techniques and methods involving the safeguarding of their instincts, the training should focus on/ be guided by this innate need.

Also, Rottweilers are naturally calm and watchful, quick learners, and if you persist, your dog will perform some of the training activities without too much pushing since this dog breed is also highly intelligent.

If you’re unsure where to start, note that the Rottweilers often work with the Wait and See Approach.

Now that you know the Rottweiler’s basic training rule, here’s the rule you must live by throughout your pup’s training – BE PATIENT.

Training is the one continuous commitment you should carry out daily. It’s okay if your pup forgets a command you taught them by evening. It happens to kids all the time – don’t be harsh on your pup;

Start Early

I mentioned this earlier, but I have to repeat it. When it comes to the training of dogs, not just Rottweilers, you must start EARLY. In this case, you must start training your Rottweiler at any time from 6 weeks to 6 months. The rule of the thumb here is that the earlier, the better.

If for any reason you have to dog train when your pooch is over 6 months, say you got them from the rescue as I did, you should expect the training to take more time while calling for a lot of time and effort. Patience is essential here.

Though training will take a bit more from you, you shouldn’t let this discourage you. The Rottweiler is very obedient, intelligent, and super loyal.

It’s in the dog’s nature to love and make you happy. Therefore, as long as you don’t roughhouse it, expect good results from the training.

Can you do more to enhance training? Yes. Leverage the power of positive reinforcement in training and also work on proper communication between you and your dog.

What do you need to train your puppy on as you start the training?

To raise your Rottweiler puppy right, here are some of the things and daily routines you must train your pup on:

  • His bed/ sleeping area
  • The location of his/ her food and water
  • Feeding time
  • Sleeping and waking times
  • The bathroom area
  • The toy area

These might not sound like big things now, but creating a routine is important for your pet. Routines provide reassurance, and your puppy will adjust easily while warming up to their new home faster.

Remember that how you teach and create these routines is important. You need the right methods of training for a well-behaved puppy.

The use of the wrong teaching methods will force the pup to act out; it will make its decisions based on how it wants YOU to live and fit into ITS life. You don’t want this level of misunderstanding in your home.

Understanding dominance

From the tip above, you’re probably scratching your head wondering which is the right training method(s) for your Rottweiler. Don’t worry.

We’ll clear the air in this section and help you come up with working training techniques and methods.

Why then do you need an understanding of dominance? Here’s the deal: whether a method of training works or not depends on the dominance of the trainer.

In dominance training, you have to constantly come up with rules that will be followed by the dog for the dog’s good behavior.

But, dominance training is not showing the dog who’s boss through harshness and cruelty.

In dominance training, you are the kind and understanding boss/ pack leader. So, you shouldn’t show aggression. NEVER hit your dog because it’s not learning anything. Regardless of your level of frustration, never show your dog how you feel.

All your Rottweiler needs is that big smile of yours, big words of praise, and a treat or treats!

Socialization

One of the most important things to do when it comes to the training of Rottweilers is Socialization.

Through socialization, your Rottweiler gains confidence. This step is also important because Rottweilers show a bit of aggression and discomfort around strangers.

It is, therefore, important that you actively socialize your pup from the day it comes home to you.

This could be a little hard for you if you’re an introvert, but it’s important for your dog. But, socialization is as simple as taking your pups for walks in the park visiting friends or inviting friends to your home. Much like humans, social contact helps in the shaping of a kind, well-nurtured dog.

For good results from socialization, you should keep your socialization experiences positive, light, and nice.

Over time, you will notice that your dog is more confident. Keep in mind that the contrary is true – if the socialization experiences are bad or negative, your dog will become afraid of strangers.

In these training sessions and exposures, it’s also important to remember that the experiences are better after your dog learns some basic commands.

Also, dogs have a very short attention span, and they get distracted easily. So, be patient, and you could also use the distractions to encourage/ establish positive social behavior.

Practice Positive Reinforcement

As the name implies, positive reinforcement training involves training your dog through the introduction of rewards or the use of a reward system in praise of the actions undertaken by your pooch.

In most cases, positive reinforcement is more effective when you want your pooch to repeat a specific activity.

When it comes to training dogs, positive reinforcement remains the most effect effective training strategy.

It’s the most effective means of communicating with dogs, and if you wish to see your dog repeat an action or behavior, positive reinforcement is that one strategy or language that dogs understand.

Positive reinforcement is literal dog speak.

During training, you should also make the training sessions feel like games. And when it comes to Rottweilers, always reward the dog immediately after they perform that action or behave how you wanted it to.

But there’s one catch when it comes to positive reinforcement in Rottweilers. Though this is an effective training strategy, Rottweilers tend to be overweight, especially when they are not very active or if you overfeed the dog. Therefore, you should avoid high sugar and high-fat treats.

Training is a long process, and too much of the unhealthy treats will leave you with more problems in your hands.

Don’t Project

By projection, I mean you should not yell at your dog or physically discipline it. So, regardless of how angry you are, NEVER use physical discipline in training.

Hitting and yelling are both counterproductive in training, and the worst bit is that these actions will only make your Rottweiler pup fearful.

In a worst-case scenario, these actions will further discourage your pup from learning the new commands.

So, if you’re feeling frustrated, just walk away, do something different, then try again later.

Good Timing’

When it comes to the training of Rottweilers, your success depends on how prompt you are with your reactions and the reactions of your pup.

Why is timing important? Well, as mentioned above, dogs have a short attention span, and they also forget pretty fast.

Punishing your Rottweiler for bad behavior or peeing on the couch three hours later is ineffective because the dog will have no memory of the activity at that time. For things to stick, you should act fast. It’s even better if you catch your pooch in the act.

So, if you want to reward your dog for obeying the Sit command, do so immediately your dog gets up or when it starts walking away.

Next time you ask your pooch to sit, it will obey because it remembers what happened when it did the last time. Being rewarded made your dog feel good, and it will look forward to such moments.

Like humans, dogs are more likely to remember how you made them feel.

How to Teach Your Rottweiler Simple Commands

Whether you’re training a Rottweiler pup or an adult, you need to make sure that your dog learns all the basic commands, as soon as you can. These commands include:

  • Sit

Your dog must learn this command to make your life easier. Sitting is essential for simple feeding, as well as grooming.

For your dog to learn the sitting command, first make sure that you have the dog’s attention and then use one or two words to pass the command. Hand signals are crucial for learning of these commands.

  • No

The No command is the other very important command you should teach your pooch. Why? Your dog will do or want to do many wrong things, and it’s up to you to make sure that they don’t.

Note that for you to teach NO effectively, you should first establish a disciplining voice – firm, but low toned. Also, don’t overcomplicate this command with many things or words.

So, you could use No or any other word that tells the dog that it needs to stop doing what it’s doing. Alternative words include Stop or Bad, but this doesn’t mean using all of them.

If you choose to use Bad Dog, then stick to it at all times. Otherwise, you will not be at a position to discipline or discourage your pooch.

Also, keep in mind that you only need to use this command when you catch the dog acting out or doing something wrong/ bad.

If you say NO, STOP or BAD and your dog continues doing the bad thing, repeat the command then remove the dog from that situation/ place.

  • Paw

Basically, you’re asking your dog to show or extend to you their paw. This command is simple and also very essential when it comes to nail clipping and checking the paws. Note, however, that you cannot teach the Paw command until your dog learns the Sit command.

  • Down

This is the other important command. It might be a bit tricky, but you could teach your pooch by saying the word ‘Down’ accompanied by the downward motion of your hand, with your palm facing the ground.

The motion of the hand is important as it tells the dog that it needs to lie does. This command comes after Sit.

  • Stay

I’m not going to lie – the Stay command is one of the most frustrating commands, and it will take a lot of patience and persistence for your dog to learn it.

So, be aware of your nerve and don’t be discouraged, angry, or aggravated. Like the Paw and Down commands, teach this command after your dog understands the Sit command.

The other basic command is Come. You should only teach your dog this command after it learns the Stay command. This is the easiest command, fortunately.

Rottweiler Training Mistakes to Avoid

  • Disciplining (hitting or screaming) your pooch during training
  • Jerking or pulling the leash aggressively. It might feel that you’re taking back control and your dog could think you’re playing a game, but you should stop tugging on the leash. You might hurt your pooch too.
  • It’s wrong to coddle your dog when it’s scared — work on always creating a sense of calm and normalcy.
  • Giving rewards at the wrong time
  • Talking – while this sounds confusing knowing that you need to talk to your dog during training, it’s counterintuitive when you use too many words unrelated to the training. Talking during a training session will only confuse your dog, which is why you cannot train your dog by asking him/her to “come here and sit” this won’t work.

In fewer words, training your Rottweiler calls for a lot of patience. Don’t rush training. If you’re interested in other training tips, this book, the Secrets to Dog Training has all the answers you’re looking for