A Guide to Choosing Your Rottweiler Puppy
Despite some negative views about the breed, Rottweilers are one of the most popular dogs in America and were once used in the military and police. Even though they can have a bad rap at times, they continue to be popular because they can be a valuable and loving addition to the right family. Here are some things to remember when buying your first Rottweiler puppy.
Buying Your First Rottweiler Puppy
When choosing the right Rottweiler puppy for your family, there are always some general tips that you should follow, especially if you are a first-time owner.
- When it comes time to make a selection out of your chosen litter, make sure that the puppy you are interested in does not shy away when you approach. Instead, choose one that is friendly and lets you hold and handle him or her.
- Always ask the breeder if you can meet the parents first. You want to observe their behavior before getting attached to a puppy. They must be well behaved, friendly, and easy to touch and handle.
- Ask your breeder how many times the mom has been bred. If she has been bred over three times, there could be health and behavior issues that you want to avoid.
- Check his or her back legs. The large-breed dogs can have problems with hip dysplasia, which can be extremely expensive and heartbreaking for you and the dog.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions. Your breeder should answer all of your questions about the litter, parents, and Rottweiler breed.
- The breeder you buy from should care who is buying his or her dogs. So don't be surprised if you have a large set of questions to answer yourself.
- Ask for a certificate of health. All puppies should be health certified with papers to prove it.
- Make sure the puppies look healthy and well-fed. Their coats should be shiny and clean. Check their teeth and gums—teeth should be white and gums should be pink.
Is a Rottweiler the Right Choice for You?
A Rottweiler owner should be responsible and committed to the dog's care, training, and exercise. You should be knowledgeable of the breed and what they need to succeed. Since these dogs were bred to be working dogs, they need lots of exercise; having a house with a large yard is best, but make sure it's properly fenced in.
People often advise to spay or neuter this breed, because unneutered males are known to have more aggression problems and are harder to manage and females can be moody, more difficult to handle, and predisposed to uterine problems and cancers.
Lastly, part of successfully owning a Rottweiler is ongoing obedience training and socialization.
For someone dedicated to caring for these wonderful, loving companions, they can be the perfect pets.
Characteristics and Temperament of a Rottweiler
The Rottweiler is a medium-to-large sized dog. They have a strong build and are known to be very powerful. On average, a male will weigh between 95 and 135 pounds with his height ranging from 24" to 27" at the shoulders. Males have much bigger frames than the females, who will range between 80 to 100 pounds, with a height between 22" to 25" at the shoulder.
Rottweilers are always black, with clearly defined tan markings over both eyes and on their cheeks, muzzle, chest, and legs. Their medium-length coats are straight and coarse with an undercoat that varies depending on the climate.
When it comes to their personalities, you may be surprised to know that they are very calm and confident dogs. Rottweilers have a strong desire to protect their homes and families. Their dispositions can vary from affectionate to extremely aloof, but they are rarely shy or highly excitable. They are also very intelligent, which makes training more of a natural process than most other breeds. They're also known for always wanting to be around family members, sometimes following you from room to room.
Because they are so big and powerful, it's important to provide them with the necessary obedience and socialization training as soon as possible. Any dog with a kind of size that shows signs of being nervous, shy, hyperactive, or excitable should be avoided.
How to Train Your Rottweiler Puppy
An untrained Rottweiler can become a problem when he or she gets to be older. Fortunately, they are highly trainable and quick to learn. One of the best things about Rottweilers is that they want to please, but be careful because they do not like to be bullied. Training them with respect and consistency is advisable.
The best way you can teach the desired behaviors in a dog is with lots of positive reinforcements.
Reward all Good Behaviors
Give treats and praise when the dog does something right and ignore all bad behaviors. If you do this consistently, your dog will soon understand that when he does something good, he will get a treat or praise, but if he does something you don't like, he won't get anything. Do you see how powerful this can be, but only if you're consistent? If you slip up even one time, you will have to start the process all over again.
Do Your Research if You Choose to Enroll in Obedience Classes
Rottweilers are naturally intelligent and want to make you happy, so they can be very effectively trained. Whether you like to do the training yourself or call a professional is up to you. If you decide to go training classes and do it with a professional, the best way to find one that is reputable is to call your local shelter and ask them if they know of any in your area.
Keep Training Sessions Short
Keep each training session between two and five minutes for a puppy and between five and 10 minutes for an adult. Each day, try to get in up to three of these short-interval training sessions. This way, your dog doesn't get bored and lose focus.
Consider Crate Training
When it comes to house training, the crate is the only way to go. Not only is it a great way to teach your dog to go outside to relieve himself, but it's also a safe, comfortable place for him to sleep each night. Knowing he's safe and out of trouble can be a big comfort to you as well. If you start crate training the first night you bring your puppy home, it can be very easy. Crate training your rottie will:
- Make house training your puppy easier.
- Give your pet a comfortable place to stay when you have company over.
- Make going on vacations easier.
Remember: A puppy can "hold it" it for only a few hours. When he becomes an adult, he or she will be able to hold it up to six hours or so.
Teach the Five Basic Commands
There are five basic commands your Rottie should be able to follow that will make life easier for both of you:
- Lay down
Teach Your Rottweiler Tricks
Teaching tricks can be fun for you and your dog. Your pet will love to please you, and you will love to see him or her perform for you. This keeps his or her mind stimulated and out of trouble.
- Shake hands
Are Rottweilers Aggressive?
Rottweilers tend to have a serious nature. They should be quiet, even-tempered, obedient, easy to train, faithful, and brave. They should show a strong understanding of what is right and wrong when provided with proper training. Do not underestimate his or her desire to protect the family—your dog will leap to the defense if necessary. For this reason, proper training is of the essence if you want him or her to succeed in life. The Rottie is a working dog that needs to have something to do at all times so that he or she doesn't become bored and get into trouble. Each Rottie has a unique personality, and activity levels will vary from dog to dog.
It's sad but true: Rottweilers are frequently found in shelters. Typically, you will find them in these places for the following reasons:
- Lack of socialization
- Lack of training
- Bad breeding
- Owner's abuse
- Owner's neglect
- Guarding tendencies
- Owner moving
A Rottweiler's upbringing plays an important role in how he adjusts in life as an adult. If he is lucky enough to be loved with lots of socialization and training, he will often be able to succeed in life as a well-adjusted dog.
If you are looking at a rescue Rottweiler, remember: Even very good dogs are sometimes shy or reserved in shelter facilities. However, they should never exhibit aggression.
Are Rottweilers Good with Children?
Rottweilers tend to love children. Even so, children should never be left alone and unattended without proper supervision. Children do not understand dog etiquette, and dogs do not understand the children's behavior. Because of this, take caution. These dogs can be very patient and loving, but each dog's energy and patience levels are different, as are children's. So, each dog-and-child relationship should be considered individually.
Best of luck choosing your Rottweiler and raising your well-trained, socialized dog!