1. I will socialize my dog from a very early age and continue throughout its life.
Expose your dog to people and other dogs of all shapes and sizes. The early socialization skills you teach your dogwill set the foundation of how he or she reacts to different situations throughout its life. Remember, each Rottie is an ambassador for its breed and you have the responsibility to always represent this breed in a positive manner.
2. I will learn how to be a calm, assertive and benevolent leader for my Rottie. These dogs do not react well to harsh forms of discipline and the use of them may actually create an environment that forces your dog into an aggressive defense strategy. At the very least, they erode the dog’s trust in you and put you in the position of having to be meaner and stronger than your dog on the next round. Learn everything you can about establishing leadership principals using positive methods of reinforcement. Know that techniques that work with a puppy may not be appropriate for a more mature dog.
3. I will understand the tools available in the world of training today and learn how and why they work and how to use each one correctly. It’s fine to use a prong collar if that is the best tool for your dog, but remember this any tool you elect to use can cause severe physical injury to your much loved companion when used or fitted incorrectly.
4. I will begin training my dog early and continue throughout its life. Covering the basics of bite inhibition, sit, stay, wait, come and down are not enough for this breed. Add the leave it, settle, drop and enough commands for added security. Your dog should also have a trained off switch so that in an emergency, he or she will stop immediately, whatever it is they are doing, and drop into a down/stay position until you release them.
If you need help, contact a professional trainer who has experience with large breeds. There are low cost programs available at most local Humane Societies. Also, most professional trainers will work with their fees for some clients. An ethical trainer would rather see a happy, well balanced dog in the community than money in their pocket. Select a trainer that uses a balanced approach - they are best suited to teach you how to issue corrections properly. The training program should be one that is specifically geared to your dog’s personality and challenges.
And remember, training doesn’t end when the class is over. It goes on for life!
5. I will not encourage my dog to guard or protect - without being 100% certain I have given her the tools to decide what is proper and appropriate. In the absence of having a solid and proofed training foundation, you are likely to get more than you’ve bargained for.
6. I will protect my dog’s health and physical well-being. This means annual or semi-annual vet checks, staying current on all inoculations, providingregular flea and heartworm treatment (if you live in an area that requires this), feeding a high quality food product and providing a regular exercise program.
Preferably, you should have a securely fenced yard or other area such as a large kennel run. Gates should be locked so that no one can enter the yard in your absence. This protects your dog from stupid people or someone who may want to hurt him or steal him. Be prepared to share the inside of your home with your rottie. Not only do they WANT to be near their people they NEED to be near their people.
7. I will spay or neuter my dog. Unless you own a future great show dog, there is no reason to leave your companion pet intact. If you have thoughts of breeding your dog don’t. The responsibilities of breeding this dog are best left to the professionals.
There are countless health benefits to both sexes when an animal is altered. Major benefits are less risk of testicular cancer for the boys, less risk of mammary cancer for the girls and others too numerous to mention.
From the emotional well being perspective males are less likely to try to escape and are far less likely to exhibit the traits of trying to dominate other animals, the elderly or weak and children. Females tend to be less edgy and moody.
An important point is that unaltered male Rottweilers are responsible for a disproportionate number of fatal dog attacks. It’s a horrible statistic but all Rottie owners bear the burden.
8. I will work my dog every day! Rotties need to work and require lots of mental stimulation. You should work your dog 3 4 times a day for at least 15 minutes each time on practicing his obedience skills. Work in different locations and under different distractions. Find ways to turn your play sessions into training sessions.
Have fun with your dog explore getting a Canine Good Citizen certification or consider doing therapy work. Join a cart club, a search and rescue club or just get a group of friends and their dogs together and have some fun!
9. I will seek professional help if and when necessary. If your dog consistently growls or snaps, disobeys basic commands, and generally acts like a spoiled brat it’s time to call a pro. Don’t make excuses for your dog he’s tired, or she isn’t feeling well, or he just didn’t want to sit right then. The finest skill that you can give your dog is the execution of discipline, self control and patience in all situations. There is no place in today’s home or world for an uncontrolled animal.
10. I will love my dog for the rest of my life and care for him for the rest of HIS life. I understand that this living, breathing and loving animal is not like a piece of furniture to be gotten rid of when I am bored with it. If my life situation must change, I will be sure that my new plans include my Rottie because leaving him behind would be like leaving a much loved family member behind. If all fails, I will place my friend with a Breed Rescue group or no-kill shelter.
I will take care that I am financially able to provide for this dog for the rest of its life and I am willing to eat beanie weenies while my dog has premium food and health care.
Most of all, every day, I will take care to be a human worthy of my dog’s respect and loyalty. I will always remember and be grateful that I am so lucky to have such a loyal and loving companion with which to share my life.