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You love to play with your Rottweiler puppy. Your new friend is a furry, energetic roly-poly and you have loads of fun playing with them. But every once in a while, they get their sharp puppy teeth on your hand and it really smarts! Even as a puppy, your Rottweiler has a strong grip. Now think of how that same nip will feel when your tiny pup is 75 to 130 pounds of full grown dog. Training your Rottweiler puppy to stop biting is not only good for you now. It is an investment in a well-behaved adult dog in the future.
Some owners fear that a few nips and bites from their Rottweiler puppy mean they are destined to be vicious. Biting is actually a natural behavior for puppies and is an important part of their development process. With their siblings, puppies play fight to learn skills and the reactions of their littermates teaches them how to play without hurting the other person. Rottweilers are energetic and loyal. If your puppy is biting you, it probably just means they are bored and want to play. By working with your puppy early to stop biting, you can prevent issues with aggression and dominance down the line.
The only truly effective way to stop your Rottweiler puppy from biting is to be consistent with how you react to the biting. Whoever interacts with your pup needs to follow the same rules so your Rottie can learn what is and isn't allowed. During training sessions, you can use rewards like treats or chew toys. In cases of stubborn biters, you may need additional tools, like a squirt bottle with water or a shake can.
The Bite Means No Play Method
Play with your pup
Start a game with your Rottweiler puppy and while you are playing, let your pup gnaw on your fingers a bit. Pay attention to the amount of pressure they use and wait for a moment when they bite too hard.
Imitate a puppy yelp
When puppies play, they let out a yelp when their playmate bites too hard. As soon as your Rottweiler puppy bites hard enough to hurt you, imitate a high-pitched puppy yelp. Let your hand go limp at the same time.
Give your puppy an opportunity to be gentle
After a second, return to playing with your puppy. Allow them to bite gently on your hand again and pay attention to the pressure just as before. If they get too rough, yelp again and let your hand go limp.
After the second time, stop the game, get up, and walk away. Leave your puppy alone for 15 to 20 seconds before returning to the game.
Reward good behavior
Repeat these steps several times. At first, try to go five minutes without your Rottweiler puppy biting you. If they make it, give them a treat. Then, try for 10 minutes. Then 15. Any time your puppy slips up and bites too hard, stop the game. Make sure everyone else in their life follows the same rules and your puppy will learn to play gently in no time.
The Spray Method
Get a spray bottle
Fill a small spray bottle with water and keep it with you whenever you play with your puppy. You should try the 'No Play' method first to see if you can train your Rottweiler puppy not to bite without using a spray bottle.
Play with your puppy
While you are playing with your puppy, let them chew on your hands and nip. As soon as the pressure becomes uncomfortable say "ouch, no bite!" Then stop the game by letting your hand go limp.
Give them a squirt
Use your free hand to grasp the spray bottle and give your Rottweiler pup a gentle spritz from the water bottle. The spray will surprise your dog and they probably won't like being wet. This physical correction should come close after the biting so your puppy associates the bite with the spray.
Start the game back up
After a couple of seconds, return to playing with your puppy as before. Follow the same steps each time they bite by saying "ouch" and giving them a quick squirt. Be careful not to squirt your pup in the eyes or nose so as not to hurt them.
Transition away from the water bottle
As your puppy starts learning to be gentle, stop using the squirt bottle to correct them. Try saying "no bite" instead and giving them a chance to correct on their own. If biting returns back to the same levels, you can add the squirt bottle in temporarily as a reinforcement.
The Scruff Shake Method
Try less aggressive methods first
Physical correction, like with the scruff shake, should only be used if your Rottweiler puppy resists the other methods of learning to not bite. For some dogs, this method can backfire and make them more aggressive, so keep a close eye on changes to your puppy's behavior and stop using this method if biting increases.
Start a game with your puppy
As with the other methods, begin your training session by playing with your puppy and letting them chew on your fingers. Wait for them to bite too hard.
Use a verbal correction
Start off with a verbal correction when your puppy bites on your hand with too much force. Tell them "no bite" or say "ouch."
Add in a physical correction
After your verbal reaction, gently but firmly grab the loose skin on the back of your puppy's neck and give him a little shake. It shouldn't be enough to scare or hurt him. Instead, you're mimicking the actions of a mother dog who is fed up with her pup biting her.
Phase out the physical correction
Only uses the scruff shake a few times and quickly transition it out. This reaction should be enough to quickly teach your Rottweiler puppy that rough play is not tolerated. Make sure to reward gentle play as well to show your puppy what actions you do want, rather than only the ones you don't.
By Christina Gunning
Published: 04/03/2018, edited: 01/08/2021