Dogs have instincts they adopted from wild ancestors many years ago.
Wolves seek out a den as an area for safety, having litter and a place to call home. Dogs see a crate as their special den area as well.
Crate training isn’t cruel and isn’t a punishment area for a dog; instead, it’s a safety measure and goes a long way in training your dog in all aspects of his life.
Why Crate Train a Rottweiler?
Rottweilers are very avid chewers. Even as puppies, they can destroy not only their toys but your furniture, rugs, shoes, or anything they can get into their mouths.
Their crate gives them a place to sleep, get some peace and hide from what they identify as any type of danger.
Crate training helps potty training because your pup will not want to urinate or defecate where he eats and sleeps.
It keeps your pooch safe from eating things he shouldn’t want when you can’t keep an eye on him and your belongings safe from him.
You get peace of mind that he’s okay if he is crated while you run errands, and it also gives him comfort in his area. Crate training also helps with traveling in the future, so he will be less anxious on long drives.
Choosing the Crate
First, you need to choose a crate for your Rottie. The flight-type crates are the best as they won’t accidentally fold down and scare your dog during training.
It needs to have good ventilation and needs to be an appropriate size. Measure your dog from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail and add three inches to that to get the right size.
Your pooch must lie comfortably in the crate and turn around easily.
If you are crate training a puppy, you can get the correct size for now and trade-up sizes as he grows, or just simply get one that will be the right size when he is fully grown. A 54-inch crate is usually recommended for an adult male Rottweiler.
Introduce Your Rottweiler to His Crate
Put a nice soft bed or a blanket on the bottom of the crate. Place the crate in the living room where there is activity by the family. Open the door of the crate and take your dog over by the crate.
Toss some doggie treats into the crate by the doorway and let him eat them. Then, toss the treats into the crate for him to enter it. If your dog isn’t motivated by treats–although most Rotties are, you can toss toys into the crate.
Make certain you take your time with your pooch and don’t rush him. Some will happily enter the crate within minutes of the introduction, while others may take a few days.
Feeding Them in The Crate
If your puppy is happy to go inside the crate, you can put his food dish in the back for his regular meals.
If he’s still not too comfortable getting in, put his food dish by the door, and then with each meal, move the dish farther to the rear until he’s happily eating in the back of the crate.
As soon as he is comfortable in the crate eating his meals, close the door so that he eats with the door closed and immediately open the door when he’s finished eating. He will now associate the crate with his food and see it as a comfortable place.
Start increasing the time with the door closed after a meal by a few minutes at a time. If your dog whines to get out, open the door and let him out.
Crating For Longer Periods
Take your four-legged family member to the crate, say “crate” with a doggie treat in your hand, and point to the inside. Give him the treat when your dog goes inside and closes the door.
You then sit in the same room where you are seen for about five minutes, leave the room where he can’t see you, and do something for a few minutes.
Return to sitting near the crate for another five minutes and let your dog out. Repeat this twice daily and increase the time he is crated without seeing you. Your dog may decide he loves his crate at this point and may even sleep in it all night.
Crating Dogs When You Leave
When your dog can spend about half an hour in the crate without any worries, you can crate him and leave the house to run errands without worrying that he will be anxious.
Use your usual crating command, treat some toys in the crate, and close the door about five to 20 minutes before you leave while you get ready. Don’t make a big deal about leaving him, but simply tell him he’s a good boy and walk out the door.
When you get home, let him out of the crate without rewarding him for overly excited behavior. You don’t want to encourage too much excitement because it can lead to jumping on people and Rotties weigh a lot when they are full-grown.
Crating Your Dog At Night
Put your dog in his crate with his regular command and treat after he’s eaten at night and gone outside to do his business. Put the crate in your bedroom or in the hall close to your bedroom if he’s young, so you can hear him whine if he needs to go outside to potty.
When your dog sleeps all night without needing to go outside, you can start moving the crate farther away at night while you both sleep.
If you want to, you can leave the crate in your bedroom just to be near your pooch at all times.
In some Rottweilers, it may cause them to be more dependent on you if they sleep in your bedroom, and they can start to have anxiety issues when you leave them alone.
Moving the crate slowly back to the living room at night can make your Rottie more independent and sure of himself, creating a better-rounded dog.
Traveling With a Crated Dog
Your dog is a family member, and, as such, he likes to go on vacation just as much as his two-legged family members.
When your dog is crate trained, it makes the process of an all-inclusive family vacation when traveling by car much more fun than dropping him off at a doggy daycare or a friend’s house. Plus, you get the peace of mind that he is okay because he is with you.
Crate your pooch, place the crate in your car, and secure it with seat belts and a crate extender if needed so that it can’t move around if you hit the breaks hard.
Make sure your pup has some blankets, a bed in the crate, and toys. Kong-like toys are great for road trips when you stuff them with peanut butter because it takes a long time for them to lick it all out, and keeps them busy.
Start by driving near your home for about 20 minutes and going home. This gets your dog used to the motion of the car moving.
You can then increase the time you drive around by about 5 minutes until your dog is happy with riding in the car and ready for a road trip.
Ensure your dog has plenty of airflows where his crate is stabilized in the car. You can turn the air vents on him or crack open a window if the weather is nice outside.
You should stop every 2 to 4 hours for a potty and water break for your dog and your family. If your dog is whining while driving, he may need to use the bathroom, so make sure and stop so he doesn’t make a mess of his crate.
Crate training your Rottweiler has many advantages and helps him to understand that it isn’t a punishment cage in any way.
It’s his space where he can enjoy peace, have snacks, eat, and sleep, and no one will bother him.
As long as you take time with him in crate training, it can be a positive experience for both the pet and the owner.