Highly intelligent, eager to please, and happiest when they’re working close to their owner, a Rottweiler is considered a great dog to train. However, you should be aware of their stubborn streak and do your research before you take on the task of training a Rottweiler.
One of the best things about a Rottweiler is its devotion to its owner. Rottweilers just love to be close to their families and like most dogs, live to make others happy.
Coupled with their high rates of intelligence, this bodes well for a successful Rottweiler training program. Training a Rottweiler isn’t just vitally important, but it can be a rewarding task that lasts far beyond the puppy stage.
When Does Rottweiler Training Begin?
As soon as you get your Rottweiler puppy home!
Having a puppy is a time of love and joy for the entire family, but your Rottweiler is ripe for training when they’re as young as 6 or 7 weeks old. This is the time they’ll learn the fastest, too, so don’t waste a second to begin their training.
Of course, this doesn’t mean trying to turn them into show-quality obedience dogs as soon as they get home, but by gently teaching them the first steps towards being a good family dog.
Potty Training Comes First
Potty training is the most important and yet often the trickiest and most frustrating part of puppy ownership. From the moment you get your puppy home, be sure to employ the following steps:
- Assign an area for toilet time, such as a specific spot in the garden
- Give that area a name, such as ‘potty’ so that your dog associates the word with the action
- Visit the potty area regularly, several times an hour at first!
- Give your puppy time to do their business
- Reward them with treats and lots of praise
- Never get angry when they get it wrong
The whole family should be getting involved with potty training and your Rottweiler puppy will soon learn the place to go.
Train your Rottweiler puppy to alert you to the need to go outside to the bathroom, too. This video is a great resource in training a dog to ring the bell to let you know that they need to go outside.
Simple Commands are Easily Learned
While they’re mastering their potty skills, your Rottweiler will also start to understand basic commands. Teaching them a firm ‘NO!’ will soon be picked up by the puppy as a clear marker of things they’re not allowed to do, and places they’re not allowed to go.
A great way to teach your puppy is to have even the youngest members of the family get involved. Puppies love children and respond very well to them, so have the kids understand the ‘NO’ command, as well as teaching the puppy to sit, lie down, and offer their paw.
Always Love, Never Anger
Puppies are hard work and their behavior can be very frustrating, but don’t forget that we were all babies once, and we all drove our parents crazy when it took us a while to get the hang of things.
The most important part of training a Rottweiler, or any dog, is to have patience and to control yourself even if your puppy is making you angry.
Puppies respond to positive praise, so make a huge fuss of your little Rottweiler pup when they go to the toilet outside, or sit on command, or come when you call them. The tone of voice is everything, as they don’t understand language like humans do.
Never hit, yell at, or punish your puppy for doing bad things. They quickly forget what it is they’ve done and don’t respond to punishment. Instead, training a dog is all about positive reinforcement for the good things, and ignoring them when they do something bad.
Your Rottweiler will soon learn the difference! These dogs live to make their owners happy, and their intelligent brains will soon get the hang of understanding that it’s always a better choice to do the things that give them the praise!
Socialization is Key
We mention it a lot here, but that’s because we cannot stress the importance of socialization in a Rottweiler’s training. It can make the difference between having a well-adjusted, calm Rottweiler and having a snarky, snappy animal.
The longer your Rottweiler is stuck indoors, the more protective they’ll become of the house, and this can lead to issues with possessive behaviors, including growling, barking, and attempting to attack.
Early socialization teaches your Rottweiler that people are friends, that other dogs are there to enjoy the company of, and that they’re not the boss of the house.
Your Rottweiler will always love to guard the family, but they shouldn’t be attacking people you’ve invited inside. Therefore, it’s important for their early socialization to teach them that you’re the pack leader, who makes the decisions.
Exercise Makes for the Perfect Training Session
You don’t need to make training your Rottweiler a dry, boring task. It’ll end up dull for both of you and your Rottweiler won’t learn as well if they’re not engaged.
Instead, take the time during walks and exercise to get your training in. Walks are the best way to keep your Rottweiler calm on the leash, as you teach them to walk alongside you, and not to react to passing people or dogs.
Once you’re in the park, then you can begin to enjoy more activities, at first on a longer leash and then off it altogether, as you mix play with training, getting your Rottweiler to fetch a ball, bring it back, and sit and wait for you to throw it again.
When Your Rottweiler is Stubborn
Unfortunately, some Rottweilers make a point of refusing to give up their dominance in the family.
Stubbornness is a known trait of Rottweilers, but their wilfulness to do their own thing can be dangerous in the wrong hands, because they carry so much strength.
If you find that your Rottweiler is not responding to your commands, and is instead trying to do their own thing, then you must get on top of this behavior immediately and reinforce your place as pack leader.
Don’t Be Afraid to Get Help
Rottweilers, while excellent dogs to train thanks to their intelligence, require that extra bit of training simply because they’re a colossal force to be reckoned with so you always need to make sure you’re in charge.
If you’re struggling with certain behaviors, then speak to a certified dog trainer. If you can afford it, bring your Rottweiler to behavioral classes early on to get a start on both socialization and training. It’s also a place for you to learn how to get the best out of your beautiful Rottweiler.
Anything Worth Doing Takes Time and Effort!
We didn’t learn to read and write overnight, and your Rottweiler won’t always get the hang of things immediately, either. What’s important is that the training is regular, consistent, and done with love rather than anger.
Your intelligent Rottweiler wants nothing more than to enjoy a long partnership as your best, well-behaved friend.