Did you know that Rottweilers are the eighth most popular dog breed in the United States? They’re ahead of Pugs and Pomeranians!
And despite that, there is still something of a bad reputation attached to them.
Truth is, Rottweilers are not bad dogs at all, at least by their nature. They might look imposing and serious, but they have relatively friendly personalities.
However, a lot of their personality and behavior will stem from the way that they were trained. So if you wish to get a Rottie puppy for yourself but are kind of worried that you won’t be able to have authority over them, fear not!
Rottweilers are extremely intelligent dogs and are eager to please their owners, as long as you assert your dominance in the right way and give them the proper training.
To help you out, I’ve assembled a list of some useful tips to get you started. Don’t worry, you’ve got this!
10 Tips For Training Rottweilers
Training your Rottweiler will demand effort and time from you, but once your puppy develops into a well-behaved and obedient dog, you will be brimming with pride.
To help you get the hang of Rottweiler training, I’ve got ten useful tips for you right here in this article. This article doesn’t talk about using any training gear, but if you’re into that, we have a great post about shock collars for Rotties.
1. Start Them Young
Start training your Rottweiler puppy literally as soon as possible. Once they are able to walk around on their own and explore their surroundings, that signals that you should start introducing them to some light training.
This normally happens around the age of six weeks, but if you’ve got your Rottie puppy from a good breeder, chances are they might have started even earlier.
The sooner, the better!
2. Set Your Goals
Before you even start training your Rottweiler puppy, you should figure out what exactly you want to achieve.
Do you just want your Rottie to be able to follow basic commands? Do you just want it to be disciplined and well-behaved when you’re having people over or when you’re eating dinner? Or do you want it to know every trick in the book?
Make a decision early on in the process and then map out your journey toward that destination. Create the perfect puppy schedule!
It will make it easier for you to track progress, and it will act as a light at the end of a tunnel during times when you feel stuck.
3. Assert Dominance
It is crucial that your dog understands that you are the authority in the household and that you are the “alpha”, so to speak.
Some people misinterpret this as a sign to yell at their dog and get aggressive with it, but I don’t believe that’s the way to do it. The best way to show dominance to your dog is to develop the proper structure so that it understands that it can trust you.
If a dog is confident that it can trust you 100% then it will have no problem completely surrendering itself to your decisions.
Think about it, if your Rottie is aware that it depends on you for food and shelter, and if it receives a lot of love and kindness from you, it will understand that you are the leader.
4. Teach Basic Commands
We can relate this back to the tip of setting your goals early and then working towards them. Some people want to do everything at once and they quickly get overwhelmed, and so does the dog.
Start with the most basic commands first and don’t move on to more complicated ones until you’re sure that your Rottweiler has successfully adopted them.
Here are some of the basics that your Rottie should learn first: sit, down, no, come, and roll over.
Try these out and see how your dog takes to them. Check out this helpful YouTube video that shows you how to perform these commands.
5. Use Positive Reinforcement
You can get much more done by using the carrot instead of the stick.
Threatening your dog with punishment or hitting it will only make it fearful and anxious, which can be seriously harmful to it in the long run.
It’s much better to use positive reinforcement, such as treats, belly rubs, and words of encouragement. Not only will that make your dog eager to learn the commands (and get its rewards) but it will also create a strong bond between the two of you.
6. Socialization Is Vital
Socialization is definitely one of the most important aspects of training and caring for a puppy.
Properly socialized dogs know how to behave around other dogs and animals, as well as other people. They don’t get scared or aggressive, and they know to treat everyone in the right way.
You should start socializing your Rottweiler basically as soon as you get it from the breeder (even though they have probably started it even before that). Get it used to other people, such as your family members and neighbors, but also other pets in its surroundings.
Rottweilers sometimes have a reputation for being aggressive and unwelcoming dogs, and early socialization is the best way to get that streak out of them and get rid of that stigma.
7. Get Them Used To Grooming
Obviously, you will have to groom your Rottweiler for the duration of its life, and that includes things like brushing, bathing, ear plucking, and nail trimming.
Some dogs don’t enjoy the process (particularly the bathing and the nail trimming) and will try to avoid it any way they can. That’s where training becomes important.
If you introduce these routines to your Rottie puppy early on and make them a regular part of your schedule, they are likely to get used to them and maybe even enjoy them.
8. Potty Training
It might be number eight on my list here, but potty training is obviously one of the most important things that you need to teach your Rottweiler, particularly if it’s going to spend most of its time inside the house.
Trust me, you don’t want diarrhea on your shaggy carpet.
Potty training can be challenging, but you need to stick it out and make sure that your dog gets it right. Make sure to use a lot of positive reinforcement!
9. Be Patient
Things won’t happen overnight and sometimes you might not see any noticeable progress in your Rottweiler for weeks.
However, it is vital that you stay patient and consistent. Keep trying and keep your eye on the goals that you have set. Once you achieve them, you will get the rewards!
10. Obedience Classes
Finally, there is the option of sending your Rottweiler to a professional dog trainer for obedience classes.
Whether you’re struggling to get your Rottie to adopt your commands or you just want to get it to learn some extra high-level skills, then this could be a great choice for you.
Professional trainers have lots of experience with many different dog breeds and they will know how to deal with any obstacles that might be too much for you.
Depending on the type of training, it will cost you between $50 and $125 per session, so you should set aside a decent budget for that.
Rottweiler Training FAQ
Those were the ten Rottweiler training tips that I had for you, but I also want to quickly address some of the most frequently asked questions about this topic.
Some of these I’ve already mentioned throughout the article, but it’s still handy to have an overview of them all in one place.
The most commonly recommended time to start training a Rottweiler puppy is around six weeks of age, but I would suggest you begin as soon as you get your puppy.
Rottweilers are an incredibly intelligent dog breed and they are often eager to please, so in that sense, they are relatively easy to train.
However, they can occasionally get stubborn and aggressive so you will need to assert your authority early and in a healthy way.
Start off the process of training your Rottweiler with some simple commands such as down, come, sit, no, and roll over.
Once your puppy has adopted those, then you can move on to more advanced stuff.
Recommended reading: Are Rottweilers Dangerous? The Surprising Truth
Rottweilers are usually not recommended for first-time dog owners because they require constant socialization and are not good when left alone.
If you’ve never owned a dog before, perhaps you should consider a different breed first, before working your way up to a Rottie.
If you are planning to get a Rottweiler puppy, then congratulations, you’re about to bring a loyal and devoted companion into your life!
However, if you want to get the best out of it and make sure that it reaches its full potential, you will need to properly train it.
Training a Rottweiler might initially seem like a challenging proposition, but once you get into the hang of it, you will realize that it’s actually a very rewarding process. And if you follow the tips listed in this article, you will avoid some of the pitfalls that lie ahead.