Who will be in charge of your house? You or your dog?
In his mind there is NO third choice.
An adult rottweiler starts as a puppy. Reared correctly the puppy will become an affectionate, loyal companion. On the other hand if you do not take charge of your rottweiler, he WILL take charge of you. It is in his nature, his breeding, his social evolution as a pack animal, to dominate weaker members of his pack and submit to stronger members. You have to find a way to convince him that your intelligence is more powerful than his physical strength.
When you take your new puppy home you are starting with a blank canvas and it is important that you accept the obvious, that no matter how clever your puppy is, he will never be as clever as you. He will never learn to read or talk, so he doesn't know what the laws, and customs, and what you think, are acceptable behaviours for him and he doesn't know what the hierarchy is in his new home.It therefore follows, that if you do not persuade him that YOU ARE HIS PACK LEADER, he will have to try to work it out for himself, what to do from one moment to the next - without possessing the mental attributes required to make those decisions in our modern, "civilised" world. Not only will he inevitably make wrong choices, he will be in a constant state of stress whilst trying to do so.
For instance, should HE decide it's time to eat? If so when, apparently to him, you fail to understand his indications to produce food, his stress levels will rise and he will start to whine or bark because you are not complying with HIS decision. He will not understand that you do not want to feed him yet. Why should he? After all, if you are not the pack leader, HE must be, so it's HIS decision to make.
Do you want HIM to decide who to let into your house, barking and growling at visitors?
Should HE decide whether or not to bark at other dogs or people to keep them away from you, to protect you, when out walking?
Trying to protect HIS territory and HIS people will lead to a life of stress and unwanted behaviour. A dog trying to decide how to run your household is at best, really annoying to live with, and at worst, dangerous to himself and those around him.
On the other hand, if YOU are the pack leader; he relaxes and waits for YOU to make the decision to feed him. YOU decide to invite people into YOUR house; he accepts them and feels un threatened.
YOU decide, when walking him on a lead, that people, prams, cars, etc. passing by are not a threat; he feels no aggression.
YOU decide when and how to show him attention and affection; he waits for you, calm and content.
This carries through all areas of his life. Calmly, patiently, consistently disagree with unwanted behaviour. Calmly praise desired behaviour.
If you are not sure how to behave with your puppy in a given situation, ask for advice. A little bit of effort to give your puppy a happy life is a small price for what he is going to give you. A good place to start is to have areas that are out of bounds. Your sofa is not a dogs bed, it is designed for people and not allowing him up sends a clear message to him - you are pack leader. Not allowing him to go upstairs has the same effect as well as preventing stress damage to his front legs. A puppies bones are soft and almost all his weight is on his front legs as he comes down the stairs. Don't use a gate to stop him, tell him NO, repeatedly until he understands. Use a firm but calm voice. Take as long as it takes (it may take some time, be patient, he WILL get it). Once he has learnt an area is out of bounds he should only need an occasional reminder. Even the most stubborn dog will learn if you say NO! EVERY TIME, if you stop him from biting your trouser leg EVERY TIME, if you say DOWN! EVERY TIME, whilst always staying calm. Always remember he is not trying to wind you up, he doesn't understand malice or spite, he's just a dog following his instincts.
These are just a couple of examples of behaviour that will benefit your dogs well being, it's just not possible to cover everything here, but the most important thing to understand is that he is a dog, a pack orientated animal. He is not a human, not a child. He needs you to provide leadership first, love second. If HE respects you, he loves you.
The question is do YOU love and respect him enough to make the effort to give him calm, firm, consistent and persistent leadership?
If you do, the obedient, trustworthy (never 100%, he will always be a different species to you) dog you help to create will have much more freedom, a much happier life, than a dog that always needs to be leashed, crated, shut in another room, and not taken out for fear of aggression.
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