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
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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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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
Lio
Rottweiler
2 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Lio
Rottweiler
2 Months

To not do washroom without permission

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Aradhaya, Could you please clarify your question? I am not sure exactly what you are wanting to teach pup not to do. If by washroom you were referring to teaching pup to only go potty outside and not inside your home, check out the Crate Training method and Tethering method from the article I have linked below. Potty training: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Pablo
Rottweiler
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Pablo
Rottweiler
3 Months

My puppy is biting when i pet him sometime.He is calm only when i have hia treats and also he only obeys some commands when there is treats

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
241 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is information on puppy nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

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Question
Tyson
Rottweiler
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Tyson
Rottweiler
3 Months

Hey, we got Tyson when he was 8 weeks old and started showing early signs of aggression towards us. He knows basic commands but tends to ignore them, especially if we are outside. Whenever he gets to excited and starts biting we take him to his crate. He is highly food motivated although if we were to put food in front of him and say “leave it” he will wait till we say “ohk.” He tends to grab everything and will snap at whoever opens his mouth to try and take it away. He also shows his teeth when he is mad.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
241 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is information on nipping/biting. Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment.

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Question
Rocky
Rottweiler
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Rocky
Rottweiler
3 Months

Guard training tips for rottweiler puppy

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Manoj, Work on commands that build impulse control and respect for you at this age - that will lay a great foundation for more formal protection training later. Continue to pursue socialization with pup even though that can seem counter-intuitive, because a good protection and guard dog needs to know what's normal in the world, especially around people, so that they can tell when something is wrong correctly and not just react to everything and be unreliable. Good socialization also boosts confidence. Getting pup around a lot of people and places is great, but also work on pup's manners and obedience in those settings so pup is learning to focus on you around those exposures - like practicing heeling past people at a park, a Down-Stay at an outdoor shopping area, sitting for being petted, ect... To help pup learn better self-control and focus, practice the following commands over the next few months. Work up to pup gradually being able to do these things around distractions and for longer periods of time. For example, work up to an hour long Place command, heeling past people at the park, holding a Down-Stay while you walk away at the park while pup is on a long training leash and harness. Those types of commands can also help with respect and trust for you - which is important for guarding work later. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method - good for the mouthing too: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Off- section on The Off command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-train-dog-stay-off-couch/ Come - Reel in method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Check out the article linked below for good respect building tips: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Many dogs will naturally guard if it's in their genetics and you have laid a good foundation of respect and obedience, once they mature mentally between 1-2 years of age. If pup doesn't, you can also teach pup to bark automatically when someone enters the property and be more watchful in general using reward based training. For anything that would involve bite work, you would need to pursue training with a professional protection trainer who knows how to utilize pup's defense drive, build confidence, utilize rewards like a bite bag and tug, and have the right staff and equipment to practice things like arms holds - this training should only be done with a professionals help and should not encourage fear or true aggression when done correctly - it's more like teaching pup a task, teaching alertness, obedience, building confidence, and encouraging a natural defense drive - opposed to poorly done training that encourages suspicion and fear to get a bite from the dog. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Chop
Rottweiler
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Chop
Rottweiler
5 Months

My Rottweiler is a sweetheart so much nicer, calmer than my lab and my boxer mix. Very loving and loves to cuddle. He lets me feed him by hand and plays with his toys with me and on me. I can kiss him and hug him while he playing with his teething toys. Very recently he’s been weird about his food and his toys. Just out of nowhere. I laid by him while he was biting his chew toy and he grabbed the toy and barked at me. Why out of no where is he acting this way. I never wanted a Rottweiler because I didn’t want him to become mean and I was scared, but he just came to us unexpectedly when a friend didn’t want him and we had him since 8 weeks and he’s been an angel until he started doing those couple things.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Brittany, I recommend teaching Drop It and regularly practicing with treats so that pup associates you being near the toys and giving something to you with something good to build trust. The Out and Leave It commands are also good for preventing issues and teaching gentle respect. Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Drop It – Exchange method: https://wagwalking.com/training/drop-it To build pup's overall respect for you as they enter adolescence (which is an age where puppies test boundaries and likely why this behavior is showing up at this age), check out the article linked below. The methods in that article are some great things you can do with pup as you raise them to ensure you have a good relationship of trust and respect between you and to help you feel more confident with pup's breed and future size. Listening and Respect: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you For right now, some other good things you can work on, are getting puppy used to touch and handling, to prevent future issues. 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. Work on hand feeding. If pup has shown any guarding around food 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. Give 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. Many puppies will test things at this age, it's not that uncommon. If addressed when it first shows up it often never turns into a full blown issue. You are doing well to address it early. Even if it's very minor or a one time incident right now, it shouldn't hurt to do any of the training mentioned above as a prevention to give you guys a good foundation, and rebuild your confidence around pup. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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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.

3 years, 4 months ago
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