Rottie Puppy Marking
Hello my name is Frank and I just want to start off by saying that your website has been extremely helpful as my wife and I have been training our Rottie pup.
He is extremely well mannered, smart, and now about a year and 4 months old and a very healthy 100lbs!
Unfortunately he has recently begun to mark, a lot. Mostly on walks which was fine but this past weekend he began to mark PEOPLE in the dog park. This has happened a couple of times and as far as we can tell its only in the dog park.
I have read online that I should spot the warning signs and try to stop him right before he does it. Unfortunately that just amounts to me following him around the dog park walking right behind him to make sure he doesn't mark anyone. Is there a better way to do this? Is this a behavior he will grow out of, and if so should I keep him away from dog parks till he gets older?
Thanks so much for your help,
P.S. He was neutered at 6 months old
Glad to hear that my website has been helpful to you as you raise your Rottie :)
I can definitely see how this is inconvenient and a difficult behavior to deal with! Marking people isn't something I've ever had to deal with myself so perhaps some others here will be able to chip in.
The only thing that springs to mind is having him wear a belly-band (only while you're at the dog park). It's far from an ideal answer and won't actually stop the behavior, just prevent people getting a dousing from him, but it might avoid aggravating other dog owners at the dog park. In all other situations you would still need the 'normal' type of correction.....
Anticipating the behavior and stopping it before it happens, combined with a firm verbal correction if he DOES manage to mark a person is the only behavioral modification technique that is likely to work for this. Rotties are very quick learners and he should understand pretty quickly that marking people is definitely not allowed. He's also an adolescent right now and so having this behavior peak at this time is not surprising. It's a time of challenges and changes for puppies and they're just figuring out where they fit and dealing with deep-seated instinctive behaviors that they don't understand. With consistent correction this behavior should be reduced as he matures.
You could also ask a dog behavioral specialist for tips/advice. Your vet or a local dog obedience school should be able to point you in the right direction.
Sorry I can't help more but I wish you good luck with it all and hope you find a way to eliminate the issue sooner rather than later :)