My Rottweiler wants to play, not walk!

by Bee

Hello! First off, I absolutely love your blog, it's full of information and things I never knew about Rottweiler, and your dedication to the breed really shows. :-)

On to the question; I have a Rottie pup who's about five/six months old. He's absolutely fantastic, well behaved, almost(!) housebroken, and just overall loving, like a Rottie should be. Well, we got him from the shelter about two weeks ago, and he was on some heavy medication, so he was quite weak for the first week or so. He was also very unconfident; he was found wandering in the streets and left at the shelter for a week (the shelter is alright, but you know how the situation is -- small kennels, pee, etc.), so he was very shy. He quickly grew out of it, great for him, but not so great for us seeing that now he doesn't want to walk on a leash, he just wants to play, play, play with that humongous jaw of his.

He is now quite aware that we love him and he'll always be a part of our home, so he's taking his chances, but it's just awful walking him now because he wants to play with me, and I almost fell down a flight of stairs because he was so excited. We can't take him to the dog park everyday, so he can only get his energies out by walking. Help!

Hi Bee
I'm glad that you're finding my website enjoyable and that it's helping fill your 'knowledge gaps' about this breed. That makes me happy :)

As for your problem, most likely this pup has never had any training and a 5 - 6 month old untrained pup is a challenge because of his size and strength. Luckily he is basically a 'tween' (a human comparison) and has tons of time to learn. With the Rottie temperament he will be intelligent and willing to please, so it will just be a case of consistent training, loving discipline and patience... bucket-loads of that last one!

His 'acting out' is most likely due in the majority to the above, but part of it will also be a response to his difficult and unpredictable start in life. It's not his fault that he's not had the foundation he needs, and he's a lucky boy to have found a second chance at a happy and loving home, but it will naturally take him time to settle down.

I suggest trying to ignore the fact that he's a big boy, and treat him the way you would an 8 - 10 week old puppy that you've just brought home. Don't assume that he knows anything about how to behave, or that he shouldn't nip/jump etc. etc. Set down ground rules and with loving discipline make sure he obeys them. Begin obedience training at home and also get him enrolled in a formal basic obedience class as it will help you both to get some hands-on help.

If you follow the guidelines on my Free Puppy Training Tips, Stop Puppy Biting and Leash Training A Puppy pages then I think you should be able to get things off on the right foot.

Rottweilers are awesome dogs and with love, discipline and patience I think your little guy will grow up to be a phenomenal companion. Rescued dogs seem to have a 'sixth sense' of some kind and often make some of the best friends ever.

I wish you the very best of luck with that beautiful boy.

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May 18, 2011
by: Celina

Rottweilers are amazingly strong. Strong chest, neck. I started my rottie on the gentle leader harness (hooks from the front/chest) until she was about 4-5 mos old. It worked great until she got too strong. Was about 45-50 lbs by then. I switched to the choke collar and same a few months later. At about 100lbs i have walked her using the prong collar and will prob never switch. She's great with it on. The thing is when she reaches down to smell something i dont think she realizes she's yanking my arm for that quick second. Or when she sees a rabbit, cat, squirrel, etc. Sometimes she forgets she's got the prong collar on and instincts kick in to pull/chase after these lil creatures. But it only takes a second or two to control her again. they say chihuahuas are big dogs in little bodies well a rottweiler is like having a hippopotamus in a dog body. Best dogs in the world!

Feb 09, 2011
by: Julie

Hi, brings back memories of my rotties!!!

I have bought a Cesar Millan collar and it works a treat with my 15 month old rottie, and she is fast learning not to pull, I found the slip chains weren't working but this collar is. They are quite expensive but well worth it. Good luck.

Feb 04, 2011
Prong Collar ...
by: Annie in WA's Rott'n Mom

Welcome to the world of wonderful rescued Rotts!
As stated, he is just a puppy, in a very large body, so you will need to treat him as such. Training, every day!!! To help on the walks, use a prong collar. To many these look terrible, however they only pinch a bit(try it on your own arm to see).

The very first Rott we owned seemed bent on dislocating my shoulder as we walked :/ I'm 105 lbs., she was already closing that gap. It took 2 walks with the prong collar on for her to decide to behave. Using a flat collar, took us back to square one. Prong collar on, instant good dog. It was and is the same with my current 13 mo. old Annie.

The best training book, I've ever seen is 'Leader of the Pack, by Nancy Baer'. A good, quick read (paperback).

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