How to Train a Rottweiler Puppy to Stop Biting

How to Train a Rottweiler Puppy to Stop Biting
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon3-7 Weeks
Behavior training category iconBehavior

Introduction

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.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Defining Tasks

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.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Getting Started

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.

arrow-up-icon

Top

The Bite Means No Play Method

Most Recommended

2 Votes

Ribbon icon

Most Recommended

2 Votes

Ribbon icon
1

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.

2

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.

3

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.

4

Walk away

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.

5

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

Effective

1 Vote

Ribbon icon

Effective

1 Vote

Ribbon icon
1

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.

2

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.

3

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.

4

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.

5

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

Least Recommended

1 Vote

Ribbon icon

Least Recommended

1 Vote

Ribbon icon
1

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.

2

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.

3

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."

4

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.

5

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

Training Questions

Have a question?

Training Questions and Answers

Dog nametag icon

Grizzly Bear

Dog breed icon

Rottsky

Dog age icon

7 Weeks

Question icon

Question

Thumbs up icon

0 found helpful

Thumbs up icon

0 found helpful

User generated photoUser generated photo

He always bites ALL the time. Was raised on bottle and by humans. The bites are getting harder and even if we pick him up he snaps his mouth or bites our face

Dec. 19, 2021

Grizzly Bear's Owner

Expert avatar

Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

Recommendation ribbon

1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Tina, Check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Bite Inhibition" method. BUT at the same time, 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 he attempts to bite or is tempted to bite. Reward pup if he makes a good choice. If he disobeys your leave it command, use the Pressure method to gently discipline pup for biting when you told him not to. The order or all of this is very important - the Bite Inhibition 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 I would also work on teaching the Out command, and then use the section from the article on How to Use Out to Deal with Pushiness, to enforce it when pup doesn't listen, especially around other animals or kids. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Another important part of this is puppy learning bite inhibition. Puppies have to learn while young how to control the pressure of their mouths - this is typically done through play with other puppies. Since pup didn't get the time to practice early on with other puppies, this is super important for pup to make some of that practice up now. See if there is a puppy class in your area that comes well recommended and has time for moderated off-leash puppy play. If you can't join a class, look for a free puppy play group, or recruit some friends with puppies to come over if you can and create your own group. You are looking for puppies under 6 months of age - since young puppies play differently than adult dogs. 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. Finding a good puppy class - no class will be ideal but here's what to shoot for: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ When pup gets especially wound up, he 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 him calm down and rest. Finally, check out the PDF e-book downloads found on this website, written by one of the founders of the association of professional dog trainers, and a pioneer in starting puppy kindergarten classes in the USA. Click on the pictures of the puppies to download the PDF books: https://www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Dec. 20, 2021

Dog nametag icon

Bambi

Dog breed icon

Rottweiler

Dog age icon

2 Months

Question icon

Question

Thumbs up icon

0 found helpful

Thumbs up icon

0 found helpful

User generated photo

I can’t stop my puppy biting to me continuously. Eventhough I shout, i still can’t stop. How can i stop biting my stubborn puppy?

Nov. 26, 2021

Bambi's Owner

Expert avatar

Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

Recommendation ribbon

1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Thiri, Check out the article linked below. Starting today, use the "Bite Inhibition" method. BUT at the same time, 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 Out command from the second article linked below to make her leave the area as a consequence. The order or all of this is very important - the Bite Inhibition 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 Out 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 playing (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 Out - which means leave the area, is also a good command for you to use if pup bites the kids. Check out the section on Using Out to Deal with Pushy Behavior for how to calmly enforce that command once it's taught. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Another important part of this is puppy learning bite inhibition. Puppies have to learn while young how to control the pressure of their mouths - this is typically done through play with other puppies. See if there is a puppy class in your area that comes well recommended and has time for moderated off-leash puppy play. If you can't join a class, look for a free puppy play group, or recruit some friends with puppies to come over if you can and create your own group. You are looking for puppies under 6 months of age - since young puppies play differently than adult dogs. Right now, an outside class may be best in a fenced area, or letting friends' pups play in someone's fence outside. 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. Finding a good puppy class - no class will be ideal but here's what to shoot for: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ 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. Practicing regular obedience commands or having pup earn what they get by performing commands like Sit and Down before feeding, petting, tossing a toy, opening the door for a walk, ect... can also help stimulate pup mentally to increase calmness and wear them out. Commands that practice focus, self-control, and learning something a bit new or harder than before can all tire out puppies. Finally, check out the PDF e-book downloads found on this website, written by one of the founders of the association of professional dog trainers, and a pioneer in starting puppy kindergarten classes in the USA. Click on the pictures of the puppies to download the PDF books: https://www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads/ 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 working at it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Nov. 26, 2021


Training assistant
Need training help?

Learn more in the Wag! app

Five starsFive starsFive starsFive starsFive stars

43k+ reviews

Install


© 2022 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.