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Your Rottweiler is the latest and perhaps the most popular member of your family. You all love cuddling them on the sofa or throwing a ball for them in the yard. You quickly forgive them when they have an accident on your floors. However, your unconditional love for them may be leading to a Rottweiler who doesn’t follow instructions and does what they want. This can make life rather challenging. In fact, it can be difficult managing small dogs who aren’t obedient, but big, strong dogs like Rottweilers can be a real handful.
Therefore, training your Rottweiler to be obedient is incredibly important. It means they will no longer leap up and scare guests. It also means you have greater control over them when you’re out on walks and other pets are around. Finally, if Your dog is obedient, you will be able to teach them any number of funny tricks.
Training a Rottweiler to be obedient is definitely achievable. You will need to start with basic commands and then work your way up to more challenging instructions. The trick is consistent training and finding the right incentive. So a mouth-watering treat or a favorite toy will play an important role. Training will revolve around positive reinforcements as Rottweilers learn best when they think they’re playing a game.
If your Rottie is a puppy, then they should be at their most receptive and keen to please. This means you could see results in just a couple of weeks. But if they’re older with years of no discipline under their collar, then you may need a couple of months. Preservere with training and you’ll have a well-behaved Rottweiler you can take out in public or around to friends’ houses. You also won’t have to worry you’ll come home to find they’ve chewed their way through your furniture.
Before you start training, you will need to make sure you have a few bits. The most important thing to find is the right incentive. So stock up on tasty treats. Alternatively, break their favorite food into small chunks. You will also need one of their best-loved toys and a clicker for one of the methods below.
You will then need to set aside around 15 minutes each day for training. Training will take place in the house, in the yard and on local walks, depending on what it is you are teaching them.
Once you have all that, just bring enthusiasm and a can-do attitude, then work can begin!
The Basics Method
Always use an up-beat, high-pitched tone when you give instructions. Your Rottweiler will always respond best when they think they’re playing a game. So keep it lighthearted at all times.
It’s important you only give instructions once. If you start telling them to ‘sit’ five times before they actually sit, your dog will learn they can wait for you to pester them a while before they actually follow your command.
It’s also important your dog always gets their reward within three seconds of completing a trick. Any longer and they may not associate the action with the reward. So ensure you hand over treats or toys promptly.
Keep it short
Don’t spend too long training your Rottweiler in one go. This is particularly important if they are a puppy. Keep sessions around 10 to 15 minutes long. Any longer and they may lose interest and stop improving.
Never use punishment
Obedience training is effective because it uses positive incentives. Punishment will only make your Rottweiler scared of you and then uneasy around you. It could even lead to aggression and violence. So stay calm and keep it positive.
The Start Small Method
‘Sit’ & ‘down’
Don’t run before you can walk. So start by teaching the essential commands, such as ‘sit’ and ‘down’. You can then work your way up to more challenging instructions later on. You will also find many tricks require your dog already being able to perform ‘sit’ and ‘down’.
You both need to be concentrating during training. This means don’t train with other pets or small children in the room. This will only confuse your dog and push back the end result.
It’s important you keep up with training. There’s no use spending the day teaching them ‘sit’ only to then move onto a whole host of other tricks for the rest of the week. You will then find when you go back to ‘sit’ they’ve forgotten it. So master one command before you move onto the next.
Sign up to group obedience classes. Not only will they help teach your dog a whole host of useful commands, but they will learn from seeing other dogs. So it will help socialize them and speed up the learning process.
Phase out rewards
Once your dog has picked up a command, it’s important you gradually cut out the treats and any other rewards. Firstly, you don’t want them to start putting on weight. But secondly, the command will have become a habit so there will be no need for the reward anyway.
The Useful Extras Method
A clicker is a fantastic way to speed up the learning process. You simply click whenever the dog performs a trick correctly and provide a treat. Clickers offer an effective means of communicating with your Rottweiler. One click will let them know they are on the right track.
You do not always have to use treats and food when obedience training. Toys can also be an effective reward. Plus, they will stop your Rottweiler piling on the pounds if you’re doing a lot of training.
Use meal times to check on recent obedience training. For example, have your dog sit and wait before they’re allowed to eat the food in their bowl. This will help get them in a consistent routine of respecting you and following your instructions.
There is no use keeping your dog really well behaved and responsive inside, if they’re still a nightmare when you take them out for a walk in public. So get them used to wearing their leash in the house. Then use treats, the ‘heel’ command and a quick pull on the leash to keep them under your control whenever you’re out of the house.
The younger your Rottweiler is when you start training, the sooner they will learn and follow your commands. Dogs are at their most receptive up until the age of 18 months. So really focus your obedience training during that period if you can.
By James Barra
Published: 04/20/2018, edited: 01/08/2021