I have a 6 months old male Rottweiler and want to try for a baby.

by Michelle

Hi I have a 6 month old male Rottweiler who has fitted in great with our family. Me and my partner Andy were hoping to start trying for another baby soon and was just looking for some advice. He is great with my 3 year old son although has started barking and growling at me a lot.

I have started implementing NILIF which works for a short period but he just returns to barking and growling at me. He hasn’t always done this. Although I’m more interested on advice about getting pregnant and how to handle the situation best. He is a great dog though and the barking/growling at me has only started in last few weeks.

Thanks. Michelle x

Hi Michelle
Your Rottweiler is no longer a baby and is entering the ‘tween’ or pre-teen stage. From now until he is fully mature (which could happen anytime between 18 months and 2 1/2 years of age) he will be go through many developmental stages.

During the teen years most puppies will challenge authority and ‘act out’ a bit, it’s basically the same as a human teenager in terms of behavior. They are trying to figure out where they fit in, test the limits and become more independent. It’s perfectly normal and doesn’t indicate any personality or temperament faults.

However, how you handle it will be the most important part of the whole process! It’s important to remain calm, firm and loving. Keep the house rules the same as always and don’t allow your pup to ‘call the shots’. Do not use overly dominant methods (such as ‘alpha rolls’ etc.) and do not get into confrontations or emotionally charged interactions. This only makes things more difficult.

The NILF (Nothing In Life Is Free) is a basically sound practice, but you need to be consistent and fair. Do not allow your pup to bark or growl at you, or anyone else. Correct him with a firm, verbal ‘no’ and continue with whatever it is you were doing. Repeat this as often as necessary and don’t be intimidated. He’s still a puppy and needs to know where the boundaries are in terms of his behavior.

If you have difficulty with this I’d recommend involving a professional trainer to help you communicate better with your pup and learn how to keep the relationship on an even keel. Only use trainers who are familiar with large, guardian breeds and who use only rewards-based and positive training methods. Rotties do not need heavy handed or punitive training styles (NO dogs do, but some more old-school beliefs still exist, especially when it comes to this type of breed).

I’d make sure that he’s very well socialized and is comfortable in all sorts of situations and environments and with people and pets of all shapes and sizes. As your puppy is fine with your son and has been raised around a small child I don’t see that there will be a problem with a new baby. However, common sense indicates that you should NEVER leave a baby or small child alone, or unsupervised, with any dog regardless of size or breed. The chance for an accident is just too great.

Your pup may be growling and barking at you partly because he senses that your attitude towards him is slightly different. You may be feeling a little more anxious about him as you consider a new baby, and dogs are very intuitive. He will feel your emotions but not understand why they exist, that will make him anxious too.

You should know your own pup and unless you have reason to believe that his temperament isn’t sound I personally wouldn’t be concerned about adding a new baby to your family. As long as you use common sense and your dog is well trained and socialized. Of course you know your pup best and this is only my individual, personal view.

I hope this helps and wish you all the very best of luck.

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Jan 09, 2012

Thanks NEW
by: Michelle and Andy

Thanks for both your comments, I really enjoyed reading both of them! My rottie has been around my 2 year old since he was 6 weeks old and they both get on great, my only main concern was with jealousy of a new baby bcos we are all in a pretty good routine and my 3 yr old and rottie get on amazing and are comfortable play mates! My dog is never alone with my son anymore as he is getting pretty big pretty fast and it’s obviously naive to leave them alone. I trust him 100% but I know that my son could easily hurt him and get a reaction and poor Ziko would get the blame so they are never left alone without me or another adult. Ziko also gas a crate he can go to when he’s had enough and my son has been taught that this is zikos place and he is not allowed near it as Ziko wants some rest. It’s amazing the difference between Ziko playing with me or my partner where he doesn’t care how strong he is lol to playing with my son where he becomes very gentle and let’s my son lead the way. I’m sure he will be great with a new baby too I was just looking for advice on handling the whole situation so everyone is comfortable. Especially the dog as he has become a pretty big part of our family and we all love him. I wish I could show you him and my son together it’s like having 2 kids lol and you mentioned about your dog becoming protective when your wife was expecting, I have had an experience where I was crying and my rottie planked his head on my chest and gazed at me with big loving eyes until I had stopped. That was a special moment for me lol .

Jan 08, 2012

Having a baby NEW
by: Anonymous

I know it worries couples but there is always a way to have your Rottweiler accept a new life.
What i did was i would get all the baby clothes that i bought before hand and took them with me whenever i went for a check up. And when i returned home i would kinda dangle it out of my pockets of my pants while i would do the washing or anything else and walk around giving no eye contact to him and not even making a fuss, he will come over and smell the clothing. Everytime i would go outside i would bring a piece of clothing or a blanket with either baby powder, baby oil rubbed in it, anything that a baby smell would be.

I wanted him to know that everything is ok.
When the baby did arrive he accepted the new life without a problem. He is the most gentle dog one could ever have. My son is 3 now and whenever he would drop a toy, my dog will pick it up and place it in his lap.

Perfect friends.

Jan 08, 2012

RE: …Want to try for baby NEW
by: Anonymous

As a breeder and trainer with over 10 years of experience with large working breeds (Rotties, Shepherds, etc.), I can tell you that my dominate male Shepherd (my wife and I were the ???pack leaders??? but he was the dominate K-9) who was about 3 years old at the time, also sensed that something ???was up??? when my wife and I were trying to conceive.

The dog, a 135# long haired Shepherd who was trained for personal protection, explosives detection and drug detection, seemed to try to take over my wife???s position. We used NILF and other techniques as well to correct the problem. When my wife did become pregnant, the dog’s attitude instantly changed as if he knew she was pregnant. He became very protective of her, even when it came to me. He would put himself between me and her on the sofa and stuff like that.

Our biggest concern was what would happen when we brought the new baby home 9 months later. I consulted a number of respected breeders & vets in the area. I know it sounds WEIRD but they all told me the same thing. Put the dog on a short leash controlled by the strongest member of the family. Put the baby in the middle of your bed with yourself between the dog and the baby just in case. While on the short leash, let the dog sniff the baby while you gently pet him (he???ll probably want to sniff the baby???s butt). DO NOT let him lick or otherwise touch the infant. Praise the dog with lots of love and attention. Limit this interaction to about 5 minutes max, or less if the dog becomes uninterested in the baby in less than 5 minutes. The idea is not to “push” the dog into accepting the baby.

The dog will understand because of the baby???s ???scent???, the baby is part of you and your husband. The dog will also pick up on your protective nature of the baby as well. After we did this two or three times, the dog became quite the protector of our son. He would sleep at the door to the baby???s nursery. If the baby cried, the dog would start crying to let us know something was up. As our child got older, the bond between them grew stronger and stronger. The dog would take both voice and hand-only commands from my son when my son was a little over two years old.

I would only recommend this with a highly trained, socialized and obedient dog and remember NEVER leave ANY dog alone with a small child. Good luck to you!

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About The Rotty lover 2159 Articles
My name is Dr. Winnie. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa. I have been an animal lover and owners all my life having owned a Rottweiler named Duke, a Pekingese named Athena and now a Bull Mastiff named George, also known as big G! I'm also an amateur equestrian and love working with horses. I'm a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs. I enjoy spending time with my husband, 2 kids and Big G in my free time. Author and Contribturor at SeniorTailWaggers, A Love of Rottweilers, DogsCatsPets and TheDogsBone