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Rottweilers have some of the strongest jaws in the doggy kingdom, so when they chew on things in your house, you notice!
Whether your Rottweiler is a puppy or a full-grown adult, destructive chewing can quickly become an unwanted behavior.
So, why do Rottweilers chew everything?
Your Rottie likely isn’t trying to spite you with all their chewing, even if it is frustrating. Here are five reasons why your Rottweiler may be chewing up everything in the house: they haven’t been properly trained; your Rottie puppy is teething; they’re hungry; they’re bored or anxious; or because they simply want your attention.
We’ll explore these five reasons why your Rottweiler chews everything but first let’s clarify whether or not this breed is prone to chewing.
Are Rottweilers Chewers?
All dogs, including Rottweilers, will go through a teething phase when they’re puppies. But beyond that stage, Rotties aren’t particularly known for being heavy chewers. Still, because they have such powerful jaws, anything they do decide to chew probably won’t last long which can it make it feel like they’re chewing more than they are.
Take note of anything going on in your Rottweiler’s life that could be influencing their chewing before you give any harsh reprimanding. Context is huge when determining doggy behavioral problems and at the end of the day, your Rottie just wants to make you happy so show them that chewing isn’t the way to do that.
But if you’re not entirely sure what the context is behind your Rottie’s chewing, we have 5 reasons to explain why Rotties sometimes chew everything!
Reason 1: Because Your Rottie Hasn’t Been Trained
It’s likely that your Rottweiler just hasn’t been taught yet that chewing is a no-no behavior, or at least not properly. This could be because your Rottie is still a baby or because you adopted your Rottie as an untrained adult.
However, Rotties have super smarts. Accordingly, Rottweilers are typically an easier breed to train because of their loyalty and intelligence.
When beginning the training process with your Rottweiler puppy or adult to stop their unwanted chewing, remember to stay calm.
It can be easy to get frustrated at your Rottie if you continually find shoes or clothes destroyed, but aggressive discipline isn’t the kind of reinforcement a Rottweiler usually needs.
In fact, positive reinforcement has been shown to work wonders with Rotties because of their innate desire to please their people!
Instead of punishing and reprimanding, work on training your baby Rottie. Consider developing a “leave it” or “drop it” command. You can also practice redirecting your Rottweiler’s attention to a toy that you’ve established is safe and accepted to chew on, as part of your positive reinforcement training.
If you find evidence that your Rottweiler has chewed something of yours to pieces, but only after the fact, don’t immediately punish them. Your Rottie likely won’t understand why they’re being punished, since the actual chewing happened long ago. Instead, try to avoid leaving things lying around on the floor since this will be in your Rottweiler’s direct line of sight.
The ground is your Rottie’s territory, after all.
Avoiding leaving things on the ground will not only protect your stuff, but this will also protect your Rottie from accidentally chewing on and potentially ingesting anything that could be toxic to them.
A little discipline goes a long way in helping your Rottweiler become a well-behaved member of your family and society, even if it all starts with teaching them not to chew on everything in reach!
Reason 2: Because They’re Teething
Now, if you have an adult Rottweiler, they’re probably not chewing because of teething.
But your Rottie puppy may be looking for anything they can sink their adorable little teeth into to relieve some of their teething pains.
Around weeks 2-4 of your precious baby Rottweiler’s life, their baby teeth should be coming up. However, the rest of them isn’t developed enough yet for them to walk around and explore, so you won’t see the same level of chewing or destruction with this initial teething.
Between weeks 4 and 6, your Rottie should have all 28 of their baby teeth and be starting the weaning process. Once this duration of weaning is through, roughly 8-12 weeks old, you get to bring your Rottweiler puppy home!
Teething can start to haunt your household around week 12, when your Rottie puppy’s baby teeth slowly start falling out to be replaced by their 42 adult teeth. Even though your Rottweiler will have already grown quite large at this stage, they’re still a puppy!
It’s not that your Rottie puppy is trying to be a menace. Teething can be quite uncomfortable, if not painful, for your Rottweiler. You may start to notice other signs like swelling of their gums in addition to the already-prevalent increased chewing.
You can expect that, by 6 months old (roughly 24 weeks), your Rottweiler puppy’s terrible chews will hopefully have lessened, now that all their baby teeth have been replaced.
While you may not be able to shorten the amount of time it takes your Rottie puppy to finish teething, there are things you can do to ease the process. You can provide a toy for your Rottweiler to soothe themselves on, just be careful to pick one that is actually designed for puppies! While these chew toys may be great for Rottie adults, who can destroy any inadequate toy in a matter of minutes, a Rottweiler puppy’s teeth are far less durable, especially those baby ones in the midst of falling out.
They aren’t perfect for every dog, but my Rottweiler-loving family and I have always seen the best results from the Kong toys—meaning our Rotties don’t tend to destroy them immediately the way they do with other toys! They even have some for teething puppies, but as with introducing any new toy, keep an eye on your puppy in case they manage to break off any bits that could be a choking hazard.
Your teething baby Rottweiler may just need a little help and understanding as they seek to relieve their toothy discomfort.
Reason 3: Because They’re Hungry
We all have quirks and tendencies that seem to pop out when we’re hungry—or hangry—and our loving Rottweilers are no exceptions!
There are a few factors that could be causing your hungry Rottie to chew on things.
If your Rottweiler, whether puppy or adult, has learned that your feeding schedule is inconsistent, they may start chewing because of the anxiety of not knowing when you’ll feed them. This confusion can easily be cleared up, along with its chewing symptoms, by establishing a routine with your Rottie. Let them know that they can rely on you for food and that they don’t have to guess when dinner will be.
Additionally, your Rottweiler may have taken to chewing as a signal to you that they’re hungry. If your Rottie has started chewing on your shoes or near you and you suddenly remember it’s their mealtime, you may have accidentally started a chew-eat cycle that your Rottie has now picked up.
Establishing that routine we mentioned earlier will help you avoid responding to your Rottie’s chewing as a signal for food, which can in turn help your Rottweiler unlearn the behavior.
It’s possible that, if you’re trying to slim down an overweight Rottweiler, they are chewing more because their once-normal food intake is now being restricted.
Rotties are already stout dogs, due to their working dog muscle mass, so without proper exercise and diet, Rottweilers can pretty easily land themselves in the obese category.
If you’re working to help an overweight Rottie regain a healthy body weight, that’s great! Thankfully, you don’t have to go to extreme measures to start this weight loss journey for your Rottweiler. Measuring out your Rottie’s food and limiting their intake of people food are both great starts. You can also consider dog food specifically made for overweight Rotties.
However, if your Rottweiler is responding to their lower calorie diet by chewing, and chewing hasn’t been a problem before now, you might consider giving them some low calorie treats between meals.
Your Rottweiler may simply be having a hard time adjusting to the new diet or routine and is hungry more than they used to be. With some help and discipline, your Rottie’s new habit of chewing when hungry will hopefully go away in time.
Reason 4: Because They’re Bored or Anxious
We’ve already mentioned how your Rottie has super smarts. These smarts, however, require daily mental and physical stimulation.
And what are the best ways to stimulate your Rottweiler?
Play and exercise!
There are all sorts of games you can play with your Rottie, and some of them can even help with your Rottie’s behavior training. As we mentioned with their eating, Rotties are dense dogs who require a certain amount of physical activity to stay healthy.
Training and playing with your Rottweiler when you are home can also help teach them how to keep themselves occupied when you’re away, too!
While Rotties aren’t a particularly neurotic breed, they can suffer from emotional ailments like everybody else, including anxiety. Several of the things we’ve mentioned previously can contribute to anxiety in your Rottie: lack of mental stimulation, lack of exercise, separation anxiety while you’re gone at work, and an inconsistent feeding schedule can all make your Rottweiler a bit anxious.
Consider implementing some of the various tips we’ve provided like providing regular playtimes and feeding schedules, as these can help to ease your Rottie’s emotional turmoil.
Further, you can check for any environmental changes that may be causing your Rottweiler to stress chew.
For instance, dog owners will sometimes decide that introducing another pet into the home will help reduce their own dog’s separation anxiety.
While providing a companion dog for your Rottweiler could be a good way to stimulate your Rottie, if the two dogs have a hard time adjusting to each other, you may end up with a lot of added anxiety in your Rottweiler. If your Rottweiler has started chewing things in the house soon after the introduction of another pet, it could be that they’re struggling to adjust.
Additionally, if your house, apartment building, or neighborhood are overly loud and noisy, it could be that your Rottie is stress chewing to cope with the noise levels. Your Rottweiler may have problems with certain noises in particular, whether due to past trauma or current stress.
Evaluate your Rottweiler’s current life situation and try not to be too quick when ruling out any potential stress factors that could be causing your Rottie’s chewing.
Once you’ve established what the reason is, it’ll be much easier to work with your Rottweiler on changing the behavior.
Reason 5: Because They Want Attention
Like a child acting out, your Rottweiler may on the surface seem to be a troublemaker with their chewing.
Deep down, however, your Rottie may simply be wanting to get your attention.
Your Rottweiler may have inadvertently learned that they are going to get the most of your attention after they’ve chewed something. If your Rottie feels neglected, it may be that even bad attention in the form of being reprimanded is better than no attention at all in their eyes.
It’s easy to accidentally reinforce this misguided behavior, so be careful of giving them your most undivided attention after a chewing incident.
We of course don’t want our Rotties to rely on punishment or behavior correction as their sole form of quality time. There are plenty of ways to show your Rottweiler how much they mean to you that don’t involve reprimands.
Throughout the day when you can be home with your Rottie, give them plenty of cuddles and make sure your Rottie knows you love spending time with them, too.
Rottweilers are typically huge on both quality time and physical touch with their humans, so squeezing in on the couch with your big pup or tossing a ball in the backyard are excellent ways to spend time with your Rottie.
Check out this sweet and hilarious commentary on a Rottweiler’s thoughts when his family leaves him all alone for the day—just wait for when he howls his disapproval!
All is fur-given when mom and dad come back home, though.
Well-trained, healthy Rottweilers are fantastic family dogs because of their deep loyalty and desire to simply be with their humans.
If your family Rottie has started chewing excessively, be sure to check that their love tank is full!
Even though Rotties aren’t known for extreme chewing that doesn’t mean it can’t happen and just like any other dog these pups may pick up the habit.
But unlike every other dog, Rottie’s have powerful jaws that can really chew when they put their mind to it. That’s also one of many reasons why tougher chews or things like bones aren’t a good choice for this breed.
Give your Rottie a little extra loving, routine, or reinforcement, and you may quickly start to see a change in their chewing habits- but remember, it’s all about context!