How do I handle my Rottweiler puppy?
(Port Harcourt, Nigeria)
I am writing in from Nigeria. I have a 4 months female rottweiler I named Zuni, everybody in my family ( including my 18 months old little boy) love Zuni.
The problem is everyone who knows we have a rottie as a pet complains and feeds us with all sorts that I have not been able to confirm... they say they are not the best of dogs, they are wolfs, they eat their owners, they are threats to kids, they are not controllable etc. I am worried as well as scared now.
Second, Zuni will cry all day long if I chain her or lock her in her Kennel as I have been advised to. Ask Zuni to sit or lie she will not she will rather be jumping on you licking you and try to play with you. what do I do now? How do I train her, should I keep her or sell her and go for an Alsatian? I am worried is Zuni really a threat to my kids?
Let me say first of all - a well-bred and properly raised Rottweiler is no more 'dangerous' than any other breed. This almost 'devil dog' reputation is entirely undeserved, inaccurate and basically just ridiculous. It makes me very angry and sad. The people who are telling you this nonsense do not know what they are talking about, most likely have never met or owned a Rottweiler, and are simply 'parroting' the ignorant gossip they hear.
First of all I'd recommend you read the following pages on my website as they should answer just about every question you have.....
Rottweilers are wonderful dogs, but of course they're not perfect, neither are they 'saints'. They're a guardian breed (as are German Shepherds/Alsations which is the other breed you mention), and are big, strong, intelligent, loyal and loving.
They're often not recommended as a 'first' dog because they're very smart and can be strong willed, however they ARE NOT an indiscriminately vicious or dangerous dog at all. Because of their adult size (and the fact that an adolescent Rottweiler can be clumsy and awkward), they can inadvertently hurt very young children or frail elderly people simply by knocking them down.... usually as the result of an over-excited and loving greeting! So that is something to bear in mind. However, training your Rottweiler puppy properly will teach her not to jump, bite etc. and how to behave.
Start training Zuni now, and be loving and consistent with her. I'd also advise getting her enrolled in a dog training class once she's had all her vaccinations, but be sure that the trainer understands these dogs and uses only reward-based, positive training methods. Some 'old school' type trainers still believe that big, strong dogs like Rottweilers need harsh, punitive training methods but nothing could be further from the truth.
Zuni complains when you chain her or lock her in her kennel all day because she loves you and wants to be part of the family. This is natural. Rotties need to be involved in family life and bond very closely with their owners, she will be miserable if you keep her separated all the time and if anything could make her unpredictable and difficult this would be it.
She needs to be around you, to learn how to behave and to bond with you. Of course she does also need to learn to be kenneled or left alone for short periods of time, and in that situation you just need to ignore her fussing. You can make it up to her when she gets family time later on.
I really hope you take the time to read all the information and advice on the pages above as it will give you an accurate picture of this breed and has lots of tips to help you understand and train your puppy. I have 6 children myself and they have been raised with Rottweilers without incident. They love the dogs and the dogs love them. It is important to teach children to treat dogs with respect though, and make sure that they don't tease a puppy or adult dog.
I wish your family and Zuni the best of luck and hope that you take the time and effort to train her correctly and give her a good life, with lots of love, so that she can grow up to be a great representative of her breed (a true Rottweiler) and show other people just what an amazing dogs Rottweilers truly are :o)