Stopping Your Rottweiler Puppy From Play Biting

As a naturally loyal breed, your rottweiler puppy only wants to please you, therefore it should be fairly quick and easy to train him. While you might think it's sweet when he nibbles at you in play at 10 weeks old, once he's fully grown and weighs well over 100 pounds, it's not going to seem like such an innocent habit. If you teach him at an early age that it's unacceptable to bite, it will make things so much easier for you once he gets older.

Understanding Puppy Biting

You need to understand why your rotty pup loves to bites. Having grown up with his litter mates, he has naturally learned to play like a dog and hasn't yet discovered that people don't play so rough. Puppies enjoying wrestling and biting one another, so when he wants to instigate play with you, he does so by biting. Pups also explore their surroundings with their mouths, as they lack hands to touch and grab with, which is why they mouth and chew so many different objects.

About Bite Inhibition

While may seem like puppies playing rough with their brothers and sisters teaches them bad habits, it is quite the opposite. By playing rough, your pup will have learned bite inhibition – the ability to control how hard he bites. When playing with his brothers and sisters, he'll have learn that if he bites excessively hard he will illicit a negative response from his playmate – for instance the puppy he bites will cry out and then stop playing with him. In order to keep the play session going, he learns that he shouldn't bite too hard. Learning proper bite inhibition is one of the reasons why puppies shouldn't be separated from their litter before they reach 8 weeks of age.

Using Puppy Behavior to Stop Biting

You can actually utilize your pup's natural behavior when teaching him to stop biting. When your puppy chews on you, let out a yelping noise (the kind another puppy might make) or loudly yell “ouch!” then cross your arms over your chest and ignore your little rottweiler for about 30 seconds. Your puppy will soon learn that when he bites or nips at you, he no longer gets any attention. Since you know he wants to keep playing, he will quickly learn that he has to refrain from biting if he wants to continue romping with you. You can also divert his attention by giving him something which it is acceptable for him to chew on, such as a toy. You should never physically punish your puppy for biting. Not only is it inhumane, it could also cause the habit to escalate.

Keeping Puppy Busy

Like kids, puppies have a short attention span and can get bored easily, so it's vital to keep them stimulated if you want to keep them from misbehaving. Your rotty may only be a baby, but he's intelligent and willing to learn. Teach him some basic commands such as "sit" and "stay." Practice these throughout the day to keep him occupied. However, make sure that you don't over do it. Stick to 5-minute sessions three or four times a day. Remember to always leave your training on a positive note so that your pup doesn't get discouraged. You should also make sure your puppy has appropriate toys that can be brought out to entertain him. Even as puppies, rottweilers have strong jaws, so be sure to pick out durable toys that he won't be able to destroy.

The most important thing is to be consistent. React in the appropriate way every single time your puppy nips you. If you only stop him from biting now and then, he'll get confused about what he is and isn't allowed to do. This may seem extremely time consuming at first, but your perseverance will pay off and soon he will have learned to stop this bad habit.

Photo credit: Gerry Eisenhaur/Flickr