How to Train a Rottweiler Puppy to Not be Aggressive

Medium
2-4 Months
Behavior

Introduction

For any owner of a large dog, knowing the strength and reputation of the breed is essential. While smaller breeds may lend themselves to the idea of a dog nestled in a purse and yapping happily all the way, a larger breed may offer a much more intimidating presence. Large dogs can be seen as dangerous, scary, or even aggressive, and though many of them are quite friendly, being able to maintain control over a large dog’s behavior may make all the difference.

Among the larger breeds known for an intimidating appearance, the Rottweiler stands out as the “bad boy” of them all. With a large head, dark colored fur, and powerful body, the Rottweiler can be a formidable companion. However, many Rotties, as they’re affectionately called, are loving family dogs when given the right training and socialization early on in life. To prevent a Rottweiler puppy from becoming aggressive, you must prepare for every situation to ensure that your dog grows to be happy and well behaved.

Defining Tasks

Some puppies may begin to show aggressive tendencies early on. Unlike smaller breeds which may not be able to do much damage if a bite occurs, a large dog can quickly become an issue if he begins to show aggression. Whether that aggression is occurring because of fear, resource guarding, or overexcitement, it should be addressed as soon as possible.

Aggression in Rottweiler puppies can be tackled in a variety of ways, though the best method is a combination of methods. Socialization and positive reinforcement should begin as soon as you bring your Rottweiler puppy home and continue for the first two to four months of his life in order to properly establish good behavior around people and other dogs.

Getting Started

Before targeting aggression in your puppy, ensure that the aggression is not a result of illness or injury. Have him checked by a veterinarian to rule out any health problems. Following that, you should gather up some tasty treats and toys in order to act as motivators for your Rottweiler’s training. The better rewards you can offer for good behavior, the more likely it will be that your puppy will respond well to your training.

Be sure to supervise any interaction with other dogs or small children, as a bite or a fight can occur very quickly and suddenly. Be prepared to remove your puppy from any stressful situation.

The Socialization Method

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Step
1
Start early
Your puppy should begin his socialization once he receives all of his vaccinations. The earlier you can begin, the more likely it will be that your Rottweiler will associate good things with meeting others.
Step
2
Meet friendly dogs
Start with meeting other dogs that are calm and well mannered. They will be less likely to overwhelm or frighten your puppy.
Step
3
Meet safe people
Allow your puppy to come in contact with all kinds of people of varying genders, races, and appearances. The more varied the people your puppy meets, the less likely he will be to show aggression to any one type of person.
Step
4
Explore public areas
When it is safe to do so, take your Rottweiler puppy to safe public spaces such as pet stores or to the park where he can observe and encounter other dogs and people. Be aware of possible stressful situations and be ready to remove your puppy if he becomes overwhelmed.
Step
5
Make every experience a good one
Allow for plenty of praise and rewards for good behavior around others. Offer your puppy treats and play time with different, fun toys throughout these encounters in order to associate good things with meeting new people and animals.
Recommend training method?

The Manners Method

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Step
1
Basic obedience
Begin by teaching your puppy basic obedience commands such as ‘sit’, ‘stay’, and ‘come’. These will offer her a strong foundation for more training later on.
Step
2
Asking permission
Get your puppy used to asking permission for things like being fed, playing with toys, or being let outside for a walk or run. Have her ask permission by sitting in front of you before you give her what she wants.
Step
3
Learning to ignore
Some other dogs and people may be poorly behaved around your puppy. Teach her to ignore these people or dogs by making yourself more interesting or working on obedience around them.
Step
4
Training on the go
Always be prepared to train when out and about with either treats or toys on hand for quick obedience training.
Step
5
Training in the home
Have treats available in multiple rooms of the house to be ready to reward your puppy for any good behavior she exhibits. Be ready to reinforce positive progress at any time.
Recommend training method?

The Conditioning Method

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0 Votes
Step
1
Use a motivator
Determine what encourages your dog the most. Some work well for treats and others work better for toys. Test some different rewards out with your puppy to see which he prefers or use both together.
Step
2
Get some help
Enlist the help of friends or family to help reinforce good behavior with your puppy both in the home and outside of the home.
Step
3
Have your tools available
Be ready to take your puppy’s focus whenever a possible issue may arise. Have your treats or toys on hand.
Step
4
Reward whenever possible
Always reward for good behavior around other people or animals, especially early on. Lots of rewards and affection will ensure a positive association instead of an aggressive or fearful one.
Step
5
Reinforcement
Reinforce positive associations throughout the training period and even well into adulthood. Your dog will love to be reminded of what good behavior earns him and can shape his behavior later on.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Champ
Rottweiler
11 Weeks
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Champ
Rottweiler
11 Weeks

We have the usual puppy biting and nipping but sometimes Champ will bite at your face if he is mad at you for taking something away or removing him from where he wants to be. We just bought him a new chew bone and he guards it fiercely. He growls if you try and take it. Just a little concerned about his aggression so far. He sits, lays down and is learning off. He is already crate trained and very smart. Do you feel he is so young and still learning or do we need to be overly concerned?
Thank you!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Erica, You absolutely need to hire a professional trainer with experience in resource guarding and and possessiveness to come to your home and work with you. The mouthing and play biting is normal, but the resource guarding needs to be stopped right away or will get very dangerous. Every time he does it and is left alone or has a bad experience, it is likely getting worse and can lead to serious issues as he ages. He probably has a strong personality and is a dog that needs a lot of structure and boundaries. Look for a trainer who uses boundaries, structure, fair corrections, and positive reinforcement. Many of these trainers call themselves balanced trainers. Look for reviews online or ask for client referrals. Not all trainers are skilled at dealing with aggression properly. You need someone who can show you how to lead him, show him that possessiveness will not be tolerated, but also build his trust and make you approaching him when he has something a pleasant experience for him when he is tolerant. Essentially, you need to build both trust and respect, not just one or the other. Check out Shaun O'Shay from the Good Dog Training online for some examples of what using positive reinforcement, implementing structure, and using fair corrections can look like for an older dog too. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Zeus
Rottweiler and American Bulldog
8 Weeks
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Zeus
Rottweiler and American Bulldog
8 Weeks

Hi! Recently my puppy Zeus has become what I would call aggressive. Nothing over the top, but certainly more than play biting or nipping. There are time when we go to pick him up that he growls and begins to bite us. Secondly, he has started to react to corrections. If we take a toy away or touch him while we tell him no then he gets mad and begins to bite. At first this was only happening occasionally, but it has become more frequent now that he is getting older. How can we put a stop to this? Any advice or help you could provide would be much appreciated.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shay, If he really is reacting out of aggression and not just playing, then I suggest hiring a professional trainer right now. Aggression that young is unusual. Look for a trainer who uses both positive reinforcement and fair corrections with structure, but who will use positive reinforcement most at his age. Also, check out the free PDF e-book download "AFTER You Get Your Puppy" on my website: https://www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Lucie
Rottweiler
2 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Lucie
Rottweiler
2 Months

Sir my pet is too much aggressive and even start fight with me . I was the only best care taker of it , even though it comes on to me and bites hard . As it's tooth were too sharp it hurts me a lot. If it bite others in another month it causes severe problems . Please Help me to reduce its aggressiveness and calm down.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sainath, At two months old puppies normally bite because that is not they interact with other dogs to play and communicate, and how they learn about things around them. They have to learn during puppihood not to bite people. This can take around three months to teach even when done correctly. Check out the article linked below and work on the Leave It method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite If the biting continues past seven months of age, it is time to get professional help, because biting in an older dog is more likely aggression. At two months of age it is normal puppy biting though and typically done as play or a tantrum (like toddlers sort of) and is not true aggression, so it is treated differently than aggression. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
max
Rottweiler
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
max
Rottweiler
5 Months

When i try and take something away from max he growls and tries to bite often. He had some paper in his mouth and i tried to take it away and he bit my finger causing bleeding. I have always had rottweilers and never seen this before.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Joe, The behavior you described is called resource guarding and because it is happening at such a young age I HIGHLY recommend hiring a professional private trainer, who specializes in aggression to help you with this issue. This will only get worse if left unaddressed and because of his age, it is even more important to not wait to hire help. You can work on teaching a "Drop It" command using positive reinforcement. I also suggest teaching Out (which means leave the area) and Leave It. You really need someone to evaluate pup overall though - you may need to do some respect and trust building exercises, things like a structured heel, long place command, having pup work for everything they get by doing a command first, teaching more boundaries around the house, working on desensitizing to touch and handling. Teaching pup to anticipate good things when you approach them - to build trust, while also teaching pup proper respect for you using structure and boundaries through training (not through bullying puppy and creating fear). Without knowing more I can't give specific advice, which is another good reason to hire a professional to help you - so they can address any related underlying issues that are contributing to the early resource guarding. Check out Thomas from the Canine Educator on YouTube for an example of the type of trainer to look for. Ask any trainer you consult a lot of questions about their experience and how they train. Read or ask for client referrals or reviews from those whose dogs struggled with aggression. Many trainers only teach obedience or sportsdog training. You need to specifically find someone who is very experienced with behavior issues and lots of different types of aggression and will work one-on-one with you, to offer guidance and help. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Bailey
Rottweiler
7 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bailey
Rottweiler
7 Weeks

Hello, I've been having a massive issue with my new pup biting a ton and nothing seems to be working. Whenever I do try to correct her behaviour, she becomes aggressive and starts snapping/barking/growling/biting very hard, any tips on how to stop this from happening?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kristina, If you can find a good puppy kindergarten class with time for off-leash play or a free puppy play date class attend one of those with her so that she can learn how to control the pressure of her bite by playing with other puppies. Petco and some other pet stores with training offer free puppy play classes if you call and ask for the schedule. A paid kindergarten class would have the benefits of training too. If you have any friends with puppies under 6 months of age, set up play dates with those puppies too. Moderate the puppies' play and whenever one pup seems overwhelmed or they are all getting too excited, interrupt their play, let everyone calm down, then let the most timid pup go first to see if they still want to play - if they do, then you can let the other puppies go too when they are waiting for permission. Just be sure that the class requires pups to be up to date on vaccines, cleans their floors with a cleaner that kills parvo and distemper, and keeps non-class participants out of the area once the floors are clean. You can also request shoes be taken off outside of class, and be sure to carry pup into the class so that they don't contact non-cleaned floors before they have all their shots. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ Second, check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Yelp" method. At the same time however, begin teaching "Leave It" from the "Leave It" method. As soon as pup is good as the Leave It game, start telling pup to "Leave It" when she attempts to bite or is tempted to bite. Reward pup if she makes a good choice. If she disobeys your leave it command, use the Pressure method to gently discipline pup for biting when you told her not to. The order or all of this is very important - the yelp method can be used for the next couple of weeks while pup is learning leave it, but leave it will teach pup to stop the biting entirely. The pressure method teaches pup that you mean what you say without being overly harsh - but because you have taught pup to leave it first, pup clearly understands that you are not just roughhousing (which is what pup probably thinks most of the time right now), so it is more effective. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite When pup gets especially wound up, she probably needs a nap too. At this age puppies will sometimes get really hyper when they are overtired or haven't had any mental stimulation through something like training. When you spot that and think pup could be tired, place pup in their crate or an exercise pen with a food stuffed Kong for a bit to help her calm down and rest. Also, know that mouthiness at this age is completely normal. It's not fun but it is normal for it to take some time for a puppy to learn self-control well enough to stop. Try not to get discouraged if you don't see instant progress, any progress and moving in the right direction in this area is good, so keep at it. Most puppies take about 3 months to really do well with mouthing even with consistent training - my goal for puppies is to have them stop completely by 5 months of age - when their jaws get stronger. Commands that increase self-control in general and teach pup calmness are also good things to teach. These commands will take time to teach of course, but if your pup is a bolder pup, these commands would be especially good to work on over the next year. If you have other friends' with puppies, why not invite them over, sending them the following videos and articles too, and practice it all together - allowing puppies to learn and be socialized. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the room: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Chiku
Rottweiler
2 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Chiku
Rottweiler
2 Months

Chiku is very aggressive when she is eating some food.
Gusse me kisi ko bhi nhi samjhti
Kayi baar bite kar chuki hai
Ye bahut badi problem hai
Ghar waale bhi bilkul pareshaan ho jaa rahe usase
Aap kuch suggest kariye ,how to handle .

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kiran, Work on getting puppy used to touch and handling. Use puppy's daily meal kibble to do this. Gently touch an area of puppy's body while feeding a piece of food. Touch an ear and give a treat. Touch a paw and give a treat. Hold her collar and give a treat. Touch her tail gently and give a treat. Touch her belly, her other paws, her chest, shoulder, muzzle and every other area very gently and give a treat each time. Keep these times calm and fun for pup. Work on hand feeding, and also practice feeding her her meals in sections. Feed 1/4 of her meal, practice making her wait before digging in by holding onto the bowl, pulling it back whenever she tries to dive in (without letting go of it first), and calmly saying Wait, then after a few repetitions of this, when she hesitates and doesn't dive in while your hand is still on it, let go of the bowl and say "Okay!" in an excited tone of voice, and let her begin eating as a reward for waiting. As she eats, when she isn't growling, toss treats next to her bowl as you walk past her. Practice this from a few feet away until she begins to look forward to you approaching. As she improves, decrease the distance that you pass from. When she finishes the first serving, toss a treat behind her and pick up the bowl while she is distracted eating the treat. Give the next portion, have her practice waiting again, then do the treat tosses while she eats again. Practice this until she has all of her meal kibble portions at that mealtime. Do this at every meal as often as you can. As she becomes relaxed and begins to like you approaching her during meals, get closer and closer, so that you are eventually placing treats into her bowl while she eats. Ease into this so that she stays relaxed during the process. When pup does great with your presence right by the bowl, you can give a gentle pet and feed a treat as you do so. Pet and feed a treat, then give space and go back to tossing the treats to avoid stressing her too much. Expect this progression to take weeks, not hours or days. Do NOT stick your hand in pup's food, take the food away while she is eating, or pet her while she is eating without making the experience fun for her also - via giving better rewards in exchange each time. Messing with a dog while they are eating without the right protocols and rewards to prevent stress around mealtimes, can actually cause food aggression, rather than prevent it. The goal is to build pup's trust with you when it comes to meals - so she doesn't feel the need to guard it, but learns that your approach and taking things like bones, results in something even better happening - like a treat or new bone. Only give treats when pup responds well - not while she is growling. If pup is growling still while you are doing all of this, you are probably being too rough or moving too fast, and there needs to be more space between you and pup while practicing at that point in the training. Check out this free PDF e-book download for other puppy raising tips as well: www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
King
Rottweiler
6 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
King
Rottweiler
6 Weeks

Hi, I got king about a week ago. I’m in the middle of potty training, I reward him when he does good and I talk all happy and pet him. But once I go to pick him up to love/kiss on him he immediately starts growling and possibly trying to bite. And he also has food aggression, I’m trying the feeding him out of my hand and petting him but he’ll still growl and I’ve thumped him on his nose or butt and he tries snapping. I want to break his aggression as soon as possible, I just need to know the right steps. Thank you

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kylee, At six weeks, it is very young to see true aggression - play growling and not being used to handling are normal though. If this issue continues I would suggest hiring a professional trainer to evaluate him early and get a head start on aggression - I am glad you are being proactive now. Good job. Work on getting puppy used to touch and handling. Use puppy's daily meal kibble to do this. Gently touch an area of puppy's body while feeding a piece of food. Touch an ear and give a treat. Touch a paw and give a treat. Hold his collar and give a treat. Touch his tail gently and give a treat. Touch his belly, his other paws, his chest, shoulder, muzzle and every other area very gently and give a treat each time. Keep these times calm and fun for pup. In addition to hand feeding him, also practice feeding him his meals in sections. Feed 1/4 of his meal, practice making him wait before digging in by holding onto the bowl, pulling it back whenever he tries to dive in (without letting go of it first), and calmly saying Wait, then after a few repetitions of this, when he hesitates and doesn't dive in while your hand is still on it, let go of the bowl and say "Okay!" in an excited tone of voice, and let him begin eating as a reward for waiting. As he eats, when he isn't growling, toss treats next to his bowl as you walk past him. Practice this from a few feet away until he begins to look forward to you approaching. As he improves, decrease the distance that you pass from. When he finishes the first serving, toss a treat behind him and pick up the bowl while he is distracted eating the treat. Gve the next portion, have him practice waiting again, then do the treat tosses while he east again. Practice this until he has all of his meal kibble portions at that mealtime. Do this at every meal as often as you can. As he becomes relaxed and begins to like you approaching him during meals, get closer and closer, so that you are eventually placing treats into his bowl while he eats. Ease into this so that he stays relaxed during the process. When pup does great with your presence right by the bowl, you can give a gentle pet and feed a treat as you do so. Pet and feed a treat, then give space and go back to tossing the treats to avoid stressing him too much. Expect this progression to take weeks, not hours or days. Do NOT stick your hand in pup's food, take the food away while he is eating, or pet him while he is eating without making the experience fun for him also - via giving better rewards in exchange each time. Messing with a dog while they are eating without the right protocols and rewards to prevent stress around mealtimes, can actually cause food aggression, rather than prevent it. The goal is to build pup's trust with you when it comes to meals - so he doesn't feel the need to guard it, but learns that your approach and taking things like bones, results in something even better happening - like a treat or new bone. Only give treats when pup responds well - not while he is growling. If pup is growling still while you are doing all of this, you are probably being too rough or moving too fast, and there needs to be more space between you and pup while practicing at that point in the training. Check out this free PDF e-book download for other puppy raising tips as well: www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Zobia
Rottweiler
9 Weeks
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Zobia
Rottweiler
9 Weeks

Zobia is usually a pretty calm dog. But whenever she wants something, whether she's hungry, thirsty, has to go to the bathroom, or just bored, she bites. And it hurts. With her being a Rottweiler, we NEED her to be docile almost all the time. What should we do to train her not to bite?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
614 Dog owners recommended

Hello Hanna, Check out the article that I have linked below. The biting that you are experiencing now is normal puppy biting. She is biting you to get attention the way she would with litter mates. It is completely normal, but puppies do need our help to learn how to control their mouths. From the article linked below follow the "Bite Inhibition" method. This will deal with her doing it to get attention also. Go ahead and start using that but also be teaching her the "Leave It" command at the same time because around four months of age you will switch to using Leave It. Once she knows Leave It and can do that command, you can use the Pressure method from the article to gently disciple disobedience to your Leave It command. It's important to teach Leave It first though or she might think you are just rough housing when you use the Pressure Method - the command helps her understand what you want her to do. The article mentions Shit Tzu's but the training is the same for all puppies in this case. Puppy biting article: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite You should see gradual improvement with the biting if the training is working. It takes puppies several months to learn complete control though - especially while they are in the teething and jaw development phases where the need to mouth and chew it strong. Stay consistent. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Training Success Stories

Success
Rex
Ridgeback
4 Years

I bought my dog when he was 2 years old. He didn't know any tricks or so. After some time I thought why cant i teach him . My parents are always bragging about how good their dogs are, but 1 things for sure that they are only good at being lazy. So I taught my dog how to sit. Every time I say sit Rex is always sitting. I just kept saying sit. In the beginning if Rex didn't obey my orders I would just hit him on the butt not to hard( like a friendly hit) then he understood what I meant.

2 years, 1 month ago
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