Basics of Training Your Rottweiler Not to Bite

When your 8-week-old puppy nibbles on your fingers it is cute. But when a 130-pound male Rottweiler chomps down, it won’t be. Part of your responsibility as a Rottweiler owner is teaching your Rottweiler not to bite – in any circumstance.

Understanding Your Rottweiler’s Temperament

Before you bring home a Rottweiler puppy you need to know what you are getting yourself into. Not only are Rottweilers very large dogs (most weight 75 to 130 pounds at maturity) but they are also very smart and active dogs. Unless you are able to meet your Rottweiler’s needs for physical and mental exercise, this is not the breed for you. Rottweilers often get a bad rap for being aggressive but the truth is that they do have protective and territorial instincts that can come out at the worst of times if you aren’t careful. Your Rottweiler will need a lot of socialization as a puppy and you will always need to maintain a firm and consistent hand in leadership and training.

Teaching Your Rottweiler Puppy Not to Bite

It is completely normal for puppies to nibble and bite a little – that is how they play with each other and how they explore their world. Because the Rottweiler grows into a massive, muscular dog, however, you need to curb this behavior early to teach your dog that it is never okay to bite a person. The key is to teach your Rottweiler puppy that playing is okay, but biting is not. To do so, you may need to use some tactics that seem a little silly.

For example, when playing with your puppy if he bites you, let out a loud yelp – like another puppy would if he got bitten too hard. When you yelp, make your hand go limp in your puppy’s mouth to give him the chance to change his behavior. You do not want to yank your hand away because that might encourage your puppy to latch on harder and you could actually get hurt. Stop playing with your puppy for a minute or so until he calms down, then resume play and reward your puppy for playing calmly. If the same thing happens again, just repeat the sequence. Over time your puppy will learn that biting too hard means that he doesn’t get to play anymore.

Tips for Dealing with Other Problem Behaviors

The Rottweiler is a very intelligent breed so they need a lot of daily attention or they become bored. When a Rottweiler gets bored, it is likely that he will become destructive – chewing on things or digging in the yard. What you need to realize about these things is that they are normal behaviors for dogs and they only become problem behaviors when they impact you in a negative way. So, rather than discouraging chewing or digging entirely, try redirecting the behavior into a more appropriate outlet. When you find your Rottweiler chewing on a shoe, take it away and tell him “No” but immediately give him a chew toy. If he starts chewing on that, praise and reward him to reinforce the behavior.

The is a wonderful breed but it is definitely not low-maintenance. Your job as a dog owner is to care for your dog and to train him properly so he can interact safely with other dogs and people. This job is particularly essential for a strong, protective breed like the Rottweiler and it may take a little bit of extra work to accomplish. So just be sure you are up to the task before you buy a Rottweiler puppy.

Photo credit: bullcitydogs/Flickr