rough play

by naomi binks
(united kingdom newcastle upon tyne)

is it ok to have rough play with your rottweiler – i have a 8 month old rottweiler and he is so loving.

we do have a lot of rough play with him and he likes to mouth whilst playing. when i ask him to stop he does almost immediately.

is this ok or is this a dog that you should not roughhouse with.

Hi Naomi
In general the answer to this question would be ‘don’t do it’, but all dogs are different and occasionally there’s a dog who can handle this type of play and understand that there’s a time for it… and that there’s a line you can’t cross.
However, I’d have to say that is fairly rare!

It sounds as though your Rottweiler has an excellent temperament, respects you and that you’ve trained him well, so for now he’s okay with this type of interaction. However, he’s an adolescent right now and over the next 18 months or so will become fully mature and may become more dominant as he does so. This is something you will need to watch for and deal with if it happens.

Adult Rotties are big and strong, but they have a tendency to think they weigh about 10lbs and can fit in your lap! They have no idea of their own strength, and while playing it’s quite easy for a full-grown Rottweiler to hurt you – or someone else – totally accidentally. Again, that’s something you need to be aware of and guard against.

Personally I’d suggest ‘dialing back’ the rough and tumble and not to play ‘tug-of-war’ games either. Instead try to focus more on co-operative games such as fetch, frisbee etc. and use up his extra energy on obedience training etc. Rotties are very smart and excel at all kinds of activities, you could even try tracking, Shutzhund, formal obedience or agility (this needs to wait until he’s fully grown though to prevent damage to joints/ligaments).

Hope this helps some, I wish you the best of luck with your pup. Enjoy him 🙂

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