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Max is always the center of attention and he wouldn’t have it any other way. He loves it when friends and family are over, so he can make the most of cuddles from all directions. He’s genuinely an extremely well-natured dog. However, this often surprises people who think he looks fairly intimidating. Plus, both German Shepherds and Rottweilers have a reputation of being protective and sometimes aggressive. So when they come across this big ball of love people are usually taken aback.
Having said that, he is still big and strong. Therefore, you want to train him a range of commands to ensure it is you that calls the shots. Training will also mean he will behave with other dogs and people in a range of situations. Plus, if you live near busy roads you will always be able to keep him close to your side.
Training a German Shepherd Rottweiler is straightforward if you follow some simple techniques. Training will consist of using positive reinforcement as that’s the best way these big guys learn. You will also need to find an effective motivator, such as food or toys. Finally, training will require socializing him with other pets and people safely.
You could see results in just a week or two if your Max is a puppy. This is because he will be extremely receptive and eager to please. However, if he’s older and thinks he doesn’t have to play by the rules then you may need a few months. If you can get training right you will have an obedient, well-behaved and even-tempered dog who will be fine in a range of situations. In addition, you’ll get to spend loads of fun time playing with your Rottie Shepherd throughout training.
Before training can begin, you will need to collect a few bits. A leash will be required. You may also want to consider a body harness due to the size of German Shepherd/Rottweiler dogs. A harness will increase your control while reducing the strain on his neck.
You will also need to stock up on treats or break a decent amount of his favorite food into small pieces. A clicker may also be needed, as will toys.
Once you have the above, just bring patience and a pro-active attitude, then work can begin!
The Start Early Method
Take Max to group obedience classes. Not only is this a fantastic opportunity for him to socialize with other pets safely, but he will also learn a whole host of useful commands, from ‘sit’ to ‘stay’.
The earlier you can start training Max, the sooner you will see results. In the first 18 months his brain is like a sponge. So the training you do early on will shape him for the rest of his life.
A person a day
Try and introduce Max to a new person each day. Due to his size and strength it’s important he is friendly and gets on with everyone. Meeting new people and pets will build his confidence and ensure he is even-tempered.
Make sure you use rewards whenever you train. Positive reinforcement is the most effective way to train a Rottie Shepherd. Treats, food and toys can all be used to motivate him throughout training.
Never punish him
It is extremely important you do not punish him. This type of training is not only ineffective, but you may also turn him into a potentially dangerous dog. You do not want Max to be taken away or hurt himself because he was scared and aggressive.
The Environment Method
A clicker is a fantastic way to communicate with your "Shepweiler". It will signal to him when he has performed a behavior correctly. Use it regularly and you may speed up the learning process significantly.
Try training him before meals. This is when he will be most receptive and keen to please. Also avoid training him when he is tired or late at night. The commands you teach him are much less likely to stick.
Max will only be receptive for a relatively short period of time. So train in bursts of about 5 to 10 minutes, two to three times a day. You’re better off training less, but every day, then once a week for several hours.
If you are training him to ask permission to join you on the sofa, or not to go upstairs, then it’s important everyone in the house is on the same page. If you all let him do different things, he will get confused and training will be rendered useless.
German Shepherd Rottweilers have a whole host of energy. So make sure you give him a decent walk each day. If he is restless then he will be uninterested in learning and easily distracted.
The Basics Method
One of the first things you need to train Max is where and when to go to the toilet. So regularly take him outside throughout the day while feeding him at the same times each day. You need to get his body into a consistent routine. Also reward him with treats whenever he goes to the toilet where you would like him to.
When you are out on walks, regularly call Max over and give him a treat. This will build a strong bond between you. You also won’t have to worry about losing him and you’ll be able to call him over in challenging situations.
It’s important you show him that you are pack leader. You can do that by making him wait for meals and to go out for walks. Also make sure you position yourself between Max and other pets and people. He will then think you are in charge and that it’s your job to defend him.
Address bad habits
It’s important you tackle any bad habits swiftly. The longer you let it go on for, the more the habit will cement and the harder it will be to put right. However, when you are trying to tackle bad habits, remain calm throughout.
Don’t start by teaching him complex, advanced tricks. You need to start with the basics, such as ‘sit’, ‘down’ and ‘wait’. You will actually find these form the basis for a lot of more challenging commands anyway.
By James Barra
Published: 03/08/2018, edited: 01/08/2021