In the minds of your Rottweiler


A Dog is not a toy, a plaything, an ego trip, or a child substitute. The dog has been the companion of man for thousands of years but he retains all the instinctive behaviour of his wild ancestors. Today with our changing society and subsequent stress we tend to forget that dogs are not humans but a different species. A species that comes from a social structure similar to man hence he can adapt to living with man provided that certain needs are met.


It is vital, if you are to have a happy rewarding relationship with your dog that you are the pack leader. A dog sees a weak person as one who is not trustworthy of respect and he will take over lead position very quickly. We all know dogs that run their various households - the dog wants a walk, the dog wants his dinner, the dog does not like you to sit there, the dog does not like Uncle Tony. But allow a ROTTWEILER to call the shots and you are asking for trouble.

If you are in the habit of allowing the dog to dictate to you, eg: who sits where. You cannot blame the dog when, if he is pulled off his chair and dragged outside, he challenges your right to demand this action of him. You say "The dog growled at me". Of course he did! You have given him every reason to believe that he is in charge so why shouldn't he challenge a threat to his position.


The size of a Rottweiler coupled with his strength of character will cause problems right from the time you take your puppy home if you do not establish yourself as the pack leader in your household. The dog will be quite happy with whatever position he is allowed. For household harmony that position should be at the bottom of the human pack. Then the dog respects you and your family. Current problems in Australia and overseas are mainly caused by a lack of understanding of the above concept. The Rottweiler is a wonderful companion dog, provided he is in the hands of a responsible caring owner who has taken the trouble to research and understands the character of the breed and to learn about the drives and instincts that all dogs are born with, inherited drives and behaviour. Inherited drives and behaviour is set and cannot be changed by a person, only modified for a person’s use.




To teach the dog those things he would not learn unless instructed by us, ie: not to pee or poo in the house and all other social activities which are not inherent in the dog but necessary for him to fit into our society. We need to inhibit and channel those natural activities that are instinctive to the dog. Again so he can become a useful member of society and contented to use his instinct in a positive way, ie: to fetch a ball on command and bring it to his owner, not to pull the washing off the line and shred it to bits. Socialisation is on-going for the whole life of the dog, but the first 16 weeks is vital. If you miss taking the time during this period to introduce your pup to various situations in a non-stressful way and you will never have a dog that you could have had.


TRAINING                  TRAINING                  TRAINING


Socialisation is continuous throughout the life of the dog, but the first 16 weeks are critical. If you miss taking the time during this period to introduce your pup to various situations in a non-stressful way then you will never have the dog you could have had.




Birth to 7 weeks - Puppies learn to accept discipline from their mother and to interact with littermates. They learn to be functional animals within the pack, and to give correct signals and responses to other dogs.




7 to 12 weeks - At this age the dog is capable of learning anything as its brain has the capacity of an adult dog. This is a valuable period and should not be wasted. Spend as much time as you can, introducing your dog to all the things he will encounter during his lifetime. Introduce him to other animals that are non-threatening and as many different noises as you can like traffic noise, plastic bag rattle, startling noise etc. Allow safe toys (under supervision) for short periods of time, several times a day to help with brain stimulation. Things that are learned at this time are retained. Puppy’s concentration is limited so teaching should be short, often and enjoyable for puppy.




This period occurs sometime between 9 and 16 weeks. Things that the pup happily excepted before, may for a short time appear threatening and produce fear in the puppy. Recognise that this is just a stage and will pass. Do not force the puppy to confront the things he fears. Just be calm and non-fearful yourself, treat the thing that the puppy fears with disregard and he will take his cue from you. Do not over protect or display too much concern.




12 to 16 weeks - This is the testing period when a puppy decides where he fits within his new pack (your family). The puppy will test you and the other family members to find his place. Things like biting at the lead should be discouraged and firmly corrected. All family members should be able to direct the puppy and expect him to comply. The puppy should now be sleeping all night quietly in his own bed and be walking well on a lead. He should know his name by now and understand what “NO” means. He should be able to stay quietly by him-self without howling or barking and should not destroy things.


TRAINING                  TRAINING                  TRAINING


Testing time - At this stage you might believe that your puppy has all of a sudden become deaf. They attempt to ignore you. Make sure that you are in a position to make the puppy listen. This period only lasts a short time but is always sometime around the 4th to 6th month.




6 to 14 months - Your puppy may suddenly become very frightened about something he has seen many times before. This is irrational behaviour and like a child having a nightmare. Be calm and reassuring and avoid confrontation while the puppy is unable to cope. This will soon pass if you don't make an issue of the fear. Work on having the puppy learn to rely on you for guidance and support, while learning to be independent. Rottweilers are naturally aware of changes in their surroundings and may act as if they are suspicious of new things and people. Do not reassure the pup in these circumstances. Just act as if the object is of no consequence to you and the pup will take the cue from you. If you pat and protect the puppy when it acts afraid the message the dog will get is that it is okay to act in this manner. Far from it, we want our pups to grow into confident adults!




12 to 24 months - Your puppy begins to assert himself and to regard all other dogs as potential rivals. This behaviour is not cute and is not socially acceptable. Do not applaud or condone it. Concentrate on reinforcing your earlier training and demand respect and attention from your dog. Be firm, fair and consistent with your discipline. Distract the dog and avoid confrontations with other dogs, which will only reinforce the behaviour. This bad behaviour will settle if not reinforced.








The difference between a pet and a pest!!!


You learn how to teach your dog how to fit into society. The days when dogs wandered around the streets unaccompanied by their master are over. We walk our dogs sedately on hot summer nights; we clench our teeth, lean into the wind and slosh through puddles in the pouring rain a few months later. For the time we spend with our dogs we in return receive love, their incorruptible devotion and if we take the time to teach them – almost blind obedience.


Some of you have taken a young or not so young headstrong dog for a walk, you know the aching arms that result from being pulled from one post to another, the exasperation of finding yourself entangled in a lead with an exuberant dog whirling to greet a friend, so you decide to teach your boisterous pet how to behave and join an obedience club.


There you might be overawed at the sight of a group of dogs sitting up proud and alert whilst the handlers are away, a tail wagging canine, prancing along seemingly glued to his handlers side, sitting quickly when he stops, moving on again, dropping quickly on command, or perhaps you marvel at a dog hurtling along on a recall.


They are polishing up their trials routine, but it is the same type of work that you can expect from your dog. The sit & stay as you open the door to let in a friend is so much more impressive than a hysterical dog running rings around your friend, barking incessantly.

A well trained dog will sit automatically when you greet a friend on your walks. You can even get a wet dog from the beach into the car without the usual load of sand by telling him to stand/stay as you open the door instead of allowing him to jump straight in and fill your car with sand. Also, that re-call – I don’t have to tell you about the advantage of teaching your dog to come when called!!


So even if you don’t like regimental training or if trials do not interest you…bear with this and learn how to teach your dog without bullying, hurting or confusing him and own a beautifully trained, well behaved dog.






All dogs have the potential to bite!!!



There is no single cause but rather a series of connected factors.



Some dogs inherit from their parents a predisposition to aggressive behaviour. The level at which the aggression is expressed depends on the other factors.Which are “learning & fear”.



Learning can modify or increase the tendency to be aggressive.

For example: Rough housing or wrestling and playing roughly with your puppy is actually teaching your puppy aggression. Playing with a tug toy is not aggressive play, it is a natural instintive play. Remember dogs learn through play.


Another example of learnt behaviour is the dog that is petted and soothed when it shows signs of fear or aggression. This activity reinforces the behaviour and teaches the dog to be fearful and react in an aggressive way.


Other methods of teaching your dog to be aggressive are to make it afraid, so that it bites in fear. So teasing or mistreating a puppy may cause it to bite later in life because of early unpleasant experiences he has learnt.


Children should never be allowed to tease or mistreat any dog. Your puppy’s character is formed by early experiences.


Rottweilers are very much in the public eye and dog attacks are a feature in the media throughout Australia and around the world. The many thousands of well trained and controlled dogs do not rate a mention.

Make sure YOUR Rottweiler is not the one that causes the whole breed to become labelled as vicious dogs.




ü  Socialise your puppy with people and other animals from a young age

ü  Never leave your Rottweiler tied up in a public place

ü  Always walk your Rottweiler under control

ü  Always supervise children and dogs playing together

ü  Do not play aggressive games with your Rottweiler

ü  Never allow your Rottweiler to “eye off”  another dog