my boy gone bad

by april calfy
(wichita kansas)

My puppy is four months old and has never chewed up anything, he nip at our face a few times in the first few weeks we had him.

He minds really well but now he wants to play rough and has nip my face twice and my 11 yrs olds a few times, and only listens when he wants to.

what went wrong or is it a stage?

Hi April
I'd say what went wrong is probably that you haven't been consistent about training him or making it clear (in a firm, yet loving way) what behavior is acceptable and what isn't.

Nipping at people is an absolute 'no-no' and needs to be discouraged very firmly, but without anger or harsh punishment. Rotties are very intelligent dogs and they learn quickly, but they need to be shown clearly what is expected of them.

I would recommend that you read my Free Puppy Training Tips page and follow all the advice there. It has lots of info. on puppy training in general and explains how to teach basic commands too.

Puppies aren't born knowing what humans expect from them, they're dogs after all and will behave in a normal canine way unless taught otherwise. Nipping and playing rough is normal dog-to-dog interaction, but it's not okay for a pup to do that with humans... but your little guy doesn't know that yet.

Training takes lots of time and patience and you need to be consistent with it. Only use positive reinforcement as Rottweilers don't respond well to harsh or punitive measures and they only ever make life more difficult. I'd also suggest getting him enrolled in a local dog obedience class as soon as possible. It will help you both.

On top of this, your pup is now growing into an adolescent, so his behavior will change somewhat and he'll go through several 'stages'. If you think about how a human teenager acts, you'll see a lot of the same traits in your pup over the next several months. Just continue to be loving but firm in your interactions with him, and make sure he knows that there are rules/boundaries that he needs to follow.

With consistent love and training he will grow out of adolescence and into a confident, well-behaved adult.

Best of luck with your pup.

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