How to Train a German Shepherd Rottweiler Puppy

Medium
2-6 Months
General

Introduction

Whether your German shepherd/Rottweiler puppy was bred deliberately or is an adorable accident you have rescued from a shelter, you have a very cute puppy on your hands. Depending on how much of each parent she shows, your pup is probably very fluffy, with ears that flop or prick partway. She is a big puppy, with paws that promise a huge dog is coming. Rotties top out around 100 pounds, and shepherds aren't known for being much smaller. While your particular pup may have gotten breed characteristics more from either of her parents and show more Rottie or Shepherd traits, both these breeds have strong instincts for herding and protection, and both are breeds that are loyally devoted to their families. Because of the similarities between your pup's parent breeds, you can have certain physical and behavioral expectations, whichever breed your pup expresses more.

Defining Tasks

Since both Shepherds and Rotties are known for their protective instincts, it is extremely likely that your puppy will show these instincts as she grows up. For this reason, it is essential that you socialize your puppy very well with people and other animals. If you intend for your "Shottie" to guard your livestock, property, or family, it best that you start protection training early, and acclimate your puppy to the livestock she will guard, as well as beginning to build in her aggression towards predator animals. If you have cats or other small animals, it is very important that you teach your puppy how to behave with small animals and resist her prey drive.

Getting Started

Get to know what motivates your Shottie puppy and begin using rewards to motivate her in training from the beginning. Your puppy is developing a powerful jaw that will benefit from gentle tug games, as well as as many chew and food distributing toys as you can afford. Teach your puppy not to jump up or throw her body around when she is small and harmless, so that as she grows she will not injure anyone accidentally. Rotties and Shepherds are both powerful, fast-growing dogs. Too often their body grows quicker than their self-control, making them hard to handle and potentially dangerous at around nine months. Every week of your pup's young life is essential training time to develop her into a happy, well-mannered adult.

The Mark Good Behavior Method

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Step
1
Sound means reward
Choose a unique sound, either one you make or with a clicker or other noise making device. If you would like to mark your dog's good behavior even at a distance you can use a beep collar.
Step
2
Sound marks good behavior
Once your pup understands that the sound means a reward is coming, use it to mark any desirable behavior.
Step
3
Try to read her mind
Try to get into your puppy's head and see her decision making. If you see her go to a rug, then think of it and go to the door to ask to go out, reward her for making the right decision.
Step
4
Variable rewards
Once your puppy understands that the sound marks good behavior and indicates your approval, vary rewards from just your affection to desirable treats.
Step
5
Add command words
Once your puppy is very comfortable with understanding when her behavior is desirable, begin naming desirable behavior as well as marking it with the sound. You can mark behavior like 'sit', or states of mind like 'calm'.
Recommend training method?

The Mirror Me Method

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Step
1
Devoted dogs
Rotties and German shepherds are both known for being devoted to their humans. If your puppy is stuck to you like glue, you can teach her how you would like her to behave by teaching her to model herself after you.
Step
2
Start simple
Perform a very simple behavior like backing up or sitting down. Say the name of the behavior as you do it
Step
3
Reward mimicry
As soon as your puppy copies you, reward her with affection, toys, or treats.
Step
4
Ask for commands
Once your dog has mirrored you several times and seems to understand the activity, try asking for it using the command word without doing it yourself.
Step
5
Build complexity
Build more complex behaviors or ask your dog to mirror your state of being, like being calm when visitors come.
Recommend training method?

The Tied to You Method

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Step
1
Working dog
If your purpose for your Shottie is for her to be your constant companion and working partner, it is a good idea to start building that expectation in puppyhood.
Step
2
Keep your dog with you
Keep your puppy near you at all times, using a harness and long line when necessary. Always have anything your puppy may want on hand.
Step
3
Frequent work and reward
Train your puppy simple commands using treats to lure and reward. Practice these commands often, and begin to put them into practical use early, like asking your puppy to 'down-stay' at a restaurant.
Step
4
Build communication
Pay attention to your puppy's attempts to communicate with you, and build vocabulary for things like wanting to go out, wanting a toy, etc.
Step
5
Build trust
As you work with your Rottie/Shepherd as she grows, she will become accustomed to being your constant companion and will work fluidly with you. Always remember to reward her well with things she desires for the work she does for you.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Ruby
German sheperd mix with ratwallier
6 Months
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Question
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Ruby
German sheperd mix with ratwallier
6 Months

What can I do .she's not going potty outside ever ALWAYS INIDE MY HOUSE

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
422 Dog owners recommended

Hello Betty, First, you need to stop the accidents. She needs to be very strictly crate trained. Old and new accident spots need to be cleaned with a cleaner that contains enzymes to remove the smell better (enzymes remove the smell enough for a dog's sensitive nose - even bleach won't). She needs to be rewarded for going potty outside - when she finally does, and she needs to be attached to you with a six or eight foot leash AFTER she goes potty outside, while free in your home until time to put her back in the crate again. After several months of going potty inside, your schedule and potty training routine for her needs to be very strict for at least four months. It will be work but remember that being strict now can save you years of accidents later - which is much harder than a few months of regiment now. Check out the Crate Training article linked below. Do not put anything absorbent in the crate with her. Check out www.primopads.com for non-absorbent dog beds. Also, make sure the crate is not too large. When you are not home she can be in the crate for 5-6 hours and should be able to hold it for that long if she went potty outside right before. When you are home, take her outside more often though to speed up potty training. You can experiment a bit with how much freedom to give her and how often to take her potty since she is an older puppy. Start with taking her every hour. If she does well, you can try every 1.5 or 2 hours, but if she has accidents again when you increase the time go back to 1 hour. For freedom outside of the crate, give her between 1-2 hours of supervised freedom (no more) and if she still has accidents decrease that to only 45 minutes of supervised freedom, before returning her to the crate. At night when she is crated she should be able to hold it overnight or only need one potty break. After she gets used to holding it for a couple of hours during the day and gets familiar with the crate she will probably start sleeping through the night in the crate without an accident. She needs to be taken out as soon as she wakes up though. If she does need to go potty during the night, take her on a leash, don't play with her, don't feed her, don't give treats, don't get her excited, and don't let her off leash. Keep it super boring and sleepy. After she goes potty outside, take her right back inside and put her back into the crate - you don't want her to have any reason besides needing to really pee to wake up at night. Ignore any crying - expect up to a week of crying. Stay firm about not letting her out when you know she doesn't need anything. If you give in and let her out when she doesn't have to go potty she will cry for longer and you really need to be able to crate her for potty training to work at this point. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Maximus (max)
Rottie Shepherd
1 Year
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Question
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Maximus (max)
Rottie Shepherd
1 Year

I just adopted Max he is supposed to be 1 years old. I need to know how to train him with his age and how to stop him from destroying everything in my house.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
422 Dog owners recommended

Hello Heaven, How to train him depends on his current level of training and what behaviors he has more than his age unless the issue is socialization. If he doesn't have any training, then start with basic house manners and basic obedience. Look into lure-reward training for basic obedience commands, and teach things like sit, Down, Come, Stay, name recognition, Heel, and Place. ww.Wagwalking.com/training has a lot of articles on teaching those individual commands. YouTube is also a good resource for learning how to teach basic commands if you can find a good trainer to follow, such as Ian Dunbar, Kikopup, Zach George, or James Penrith, among many others. For house manners, check out the articles linked below: Respect and listening: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Heel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTiKVc4ZZWo For the chewing, check out the articles linked below: Chewing: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Chewing also: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-chew-on-furniture Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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