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

Effective
0 Votes
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

Effective
0 Votes
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

Effective
0 Votes
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

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd