Rottweilers can also become a handful if their owners make certain mistakes. To keep your dog happy and healthy, you need to know what to avoid doing with this breed and a few things to focus on.
We asked veterinarian Nita Patel and she shared a few of the key points to consider:
You should never skip training, neglect socialization, or be inconsistent with disciplining your Rottweiler. For health reasons, don’t run your Rottweiler too hard or overfeed them. You should also avoid leaving your Rottie alone for too long and try to get them used to the veterinarian early on.
While all of these advisements apply to most dog breeds, Rotties have special needs. Let’s take a closer look.
1. Spend Time To Train
One of the most crucial aspects of owning a Rottweiler is training. These dogs are intelligent, strong, and have a natural instinct to protect their loved ones. If you skip training, you’re setting yourself up for a challenging experience, to say the least.
Rottweilers need structure and boundaries. Without proper training, they can become unruly and difficult to manage. Rottweilers may bark excessively, show aggression, or engage in destructive behaviors when untrained. Lack of training can also lead to safety concerns for both the dog and those around them.
Luckily, Rottweilers are pretty easy to train. This has a lot to do with this breed’s intelligence. In a list compiled by Dr. Stanley Coren, Rottweilers were ranked ninth out of 79 of the smartest dog breeds. Rotties are also easy to train because they’re eager to please and have a long history as working dogs. They pay good attention and actually need mental stimulation to stay happy.
Never skip training your Rottweiler and always start as young as possible!
2. Socialize Your Rottie Early and Often
After training, socialization is the next most important thing to do for your dog. You should never neglect socialization because an unsocialized Rottweiler is asking for problems. When not properly socialized, these dogs can become fearful or aggressive toward strangers and other animals.
Socialization helps Rottweilers become well-rounded, confident dogs. Socialization exposes them to different people, environments, and situations, therefore teaching them how to react appropriately. Failing to socialize your Rottweiler can result in a dog, that is anxious, reactive, and difficult to take out in public.
Start socializing a Rottweiler from a young age by introducing them to as many novel things as you can. Gradually increase the level of exposure as they grow, and always ensure they have positive experiences.
3. Don’t Let Them Growl Aggressively
Rottweilers are often stereotyped as aggressive dogs. While they can be protective, it’s essential not to encourage aggressive behavior, especially when it comes to growling.
Growling is a form of communication for dogs and doesn’t necessarily indicate aggression. However, allowing your Rottweiler to growl excessively or encouraging growling during play can lead to escalation. Stopping your Rottie from growling at other animals and people teaches them not to react instinctively to situations and may eventually spare your dog from biting someone.
It’s important to be able to differentiate between protective growling and contented growling. Rotties are known to purr or grumble when they’re happy and being petted. You don’t need to worry if your Rottie is grumbling while they’re relaxed and at home.
If you’ve never heard a Rottie purr, check out the adorable video below.
4. Don’t Let Them Pull On Leash
Another behavior you should not let your Rottweiler do is pull on their leash.
Rottweilers are strong dogs and they have a natural tendency to pull on the leash. Allowing them to pull while walking can result in various issues, including strained muscles, injuries to you or your dog, and a lack of overall control during walks.
To enjoy a pleasant and safe walk with your Rottweiler, invest some time in leash training. Teach them to walk by your side, without pulling, using positive reinforcement methods like treats and praise. Using an appropriate harness can also be helpful in managing their huge strength.
It’s also important to remember that as a large breed dog, Rottweilers are prone to hip and joint issues. Allowing them to pull on the leash may exacerbate these problems. By teaching them proper leash manners you can ensure a healthier and more enjoyable walking experience for both of you.
5. Don’t Run Them Too Hard
When you have your Rottweiler on a leash, you need to remember not to run them too hard.
Rottweilers are robust dogs with great stamina, but they’re not invincible. Running them excessively or pushing them too hard physically, especially when they are young, can lead to injuries and health problems. Rotties are built for bursts of energy and have large muscles like sprinters. Going on a long-distance run isn’t a good idea for a Rottie.
It’s important to tailor your Rottweiler’s exercise routine to their age, health, and individual needs. Rottweilers require about 45 minutes of daily exercise through a mix of activities that include walking, running, hiking, play, and mental stimulation.
6. Don’t Leave Them Alone For Long Periods Of Time
Sadly, Rottweilers are one of the dog breeds that are prone to separation anxiety.
One thing to not do with your Rottweiler is to leave them alone for long periods of time, especially if something has recently changed for them. Leaving your Rottie alone makes them more likely to develop separation anxiety. These dogs thrive on companionship, and shouldn’t be on their own for long hours.
If you do need to leave a Rottweiler alone for long stretches of time, consider hiring a dog walker or adding a new pet to the mix. Many dog breeds get along well with Rotties including breeds like border collies and labrador retrievers. That way your Rottweiler gets the interaction they need and you can avoid letting them develop bad habits that stem from anxiety.
7. Don’t Overfeed Them
Obesity is a common issue for many dogs, including Rottweilers.
You should never overfeed your Rottweiler, because it can lead to a host of health problems, such as joint issues, diabetes, and heart disease. No matter how much your furry friend gives you puppy eyes, refrain from giving them more food than they need. Dr. Patel adds “the heavier they are, the more pressure on their joints which can speed up the process of arthritis for your Rottie”
To maintain a healthy weight, provide your Rottweiler with a balanced diet and monitor their food intake. Follow the feeding guidelines recommended by your veterinarian or dog food manufacturer. Treats should always be given in moderation and table scraps should be avoided altogether.
8. Build A Connection With Your Veterinarian
Never avoid going to the veterinarian! This might seem obvious, but as a veterinary professional, I can’t stress this enough.
Regular veterinary care is crucial for any dog’s health and Rottweilers are no exception. Rottweilers are prone to certain health concerns like hip dysplasia and heart conditions. Regular checkups can help you identify these issues early on and address them before they become a real problem.
In addition to good health care, you should also take your pet to the veterinarian so that they get used to it. Rotties that avoid the veterinarian can sometimes end up freaking out in the office. Since everything is new your Rottweiler is on full alert. This behavior makes it more difficult for veterinary professionals in the end and it’s much easier to get your dog used to it young.
9. Be Consistent With Discipline
Consistency is key when it comes to disciplining a Rottweiler.
Inconsistency with discipline can lead to confusion and an inability to distinguish between right and wrong behaviors. To discipline your Rottweiler you should always establish clear boundaries and rules from the beginning.
Make sure everyone in your household follows these rules. If you allow certain behaviors one day and punish them the next, your Rottweiler will become uncertain about what is expected of them.
10. Don’t Use Negative Reinforcement
While discipline is necessary, you should never punish your Rottweiler through physical or harsh methods.
Physical punishment, shouting, or using aggressive tactics can lead to fear and increased aggression in your Rottweiler. Instead, you should opt to use positive reinforcement techniques, rewarding your Rottweiler for good behavior with treats, praise, and affection. This approach will help them understand what is expected and allow you to build a stronger bond between you and your dog.
Instead of punishments set up a good discipline plan for your Rottweiler, so that they’re able to learn quickly what is expected of them.
There are many things that you need to avoid when raising a Rottweiler because these dogs can become reactive and dangerous if raised incorrectly. It’s important to know what not to do so that you can set yourself and your dog up for success.
Rottweilers are wonderful dogs when raised and trained correctly. By avoiding the mistakes listed in this article, you can enjoy a strong, loyal, and well-behaved companion who’s sensitive to your expectations.
Remember the importance of training, socialization, and proper care to ensure a happy and harmonious life for your Rottie. When it comes to discipline, always focus on positive reinforcement and consistency, while avoiding harsh methods that can lead to fear and distrust.
With the right approach, you’ll have the most loyal and loving Rottweiler by your side for the rest of their life.