Help! My rotti won't stop pulling!!!
I have a one year old male rottweiler and I am at my wit's end with him. My husband and I have been training him since we got him, around 8 weeks.
He was doing really well, then seemed to start to become rebellious, especially with me. I even signed him up for a training class, but that just seemed to make things worse.
When I take him for walk, if he sees another dog, a cat, a squirrel, ducks, even another dog that's fenced in their backyard, he pulls me. He's dragged me across the ground and made me bust my knees.
He wears a prong collar, but no matter what I do he won't listen. I go the other direction if I catch the distraction in time, I tell him no loudly, I try to distract him with treats or a spray bottle with water, I stand my ground, but he is just too strong and pulls. At times, I can't even hold on to the leash. At this point I am fed up, and I don't want to walk him anymore.
He has not been neutered. I wanted to wait until he was 2 years old, but now I think I may go ahead if it will help him focus. He is so distracted all the time.
Any advice or tips are highly appreciated! I simple don't know what to do anymore! Please help! I'm afraid to walk my dog now!
A desperate rotti mom
Hi there, sorry to hear how much difficulty you're having with your Rottie. They are definitely very strong dogs and you need pure brute strength to physically restrain a Rottweiler. That's why training is so important.
I'm not sure why training classes made things worse, that is absolutely not how it's supposed to work :( I would strongly recommend getting either a trainer to come into your home to help you get the basics under control, including leash walking OR enroll him in another class with a professional, qualified trainer and stick with it, if there are problems then that's what the trainer is there for.
I'm wondering if you're not using the prong collar correctly... if you drag on it or just pull him with it then it'll be as useless as a regular collar. But it could also cause damage to his throat/neck. The way to use a prong collar is to 'pop' it.. ie give a quick, sharp tug as a correction, just enough to get his attention and this is more uncomfortable for him but a lot less dangerous than pulling and dragging.
You may even want to try a halter-type collar or harness rather than the prong collar. These are less likely to cause damage from being used incorrectly and can be very effective with dogs who are big 'pullers'. A few you might want to consider include the 'Freedom Harness', the 'Halti Harness', or head harnesses like the 'Halti Optifit Head Collar' or the 'Comfort Trainer Head Halter'.
I understand your reasons for wanting to delay neutering, but at a year old your pup is old enough now. It may help with some of the behavior issues, and I believe the health benefits are worth it. But it isn't a magic bullet and if your pup has behavioral issues then those need to be addressed from different angles as well.
I'm wondering if your pup behaves this way with your husband too, or just you? If it's just you this may indicate a dominance issue in that he doesn't recognize you as an authority figure, something you will need to work on. Adolescent pups of all breeds can be challenging to deal with, this page on another of my websites has a lot of tips and information to help you negotiate this tricky stage.. Adolescent Puppy Behavior you might find it helpful.
Overall, please don't give up or give in. Your pup is still young and has plenty of time to learn and be trained, so that walks can be enjoyable for both of you. Be creative and flexible, find a trainer, try different types of harnesses/halters, work on making sure that your pack dynamics are healthy... and above all be patient, loving, firm and consistent. Your boy will learn, Rotties are super smart, just hang in there.
I wish you all lots of luck :) ~ Sue