There is not much cuter than a Rottweiler puppy. And they are so playful and full of life. But this is the stage where many develop fears of strangers or loud noises, which can lead to aggression and bad behaviors. If you want your Rotty to be well balanced, content and self assured it is important that as soon as possible they are exposed to as many different people as possible in a positive fun environment so that they associate positive feelings regarding strangers. This is called socializing your Rotty. Likewise it helps to expose them to loud and sudden noises in a very pleasant and fun environment.
But particularly between the ages of 8 to 10 weeks of age, Rottweilers become very susceptible to insecurities from anything negative in their environment. It is critical that they maintain very safe, secure and positive experiences during this time period. That is why many of the better breeders will not allow new owners to take the puppies until they are at least 10 weeks old.
I do not breed Rottweilers so I am not advertising any particular breeder. But this early time period is so crucial that if you want your Rotty to have the best start possible in life, it is best to buy them from breeders who spend time with, socialize and preferably even train their puppies during these early weeks of their life keeping the experience positive and fun. Breeders who do things right get a reputation for always having very stable content puppies and often have waiting lists for them.
Now having said all that if your puppy did not have this type of beginning, fear not! It is still possible to socialize and train your dog to be everything you hope for. Remember your Rottweiler needs calm, firm, gentle leadership and training. Calm because they pick up on the energy of their leader. So during the training process it is important not to allow yourself to feel stressed or frustrated. It is better to just stop for a bit and continue later. Your Rotty will learn better in a calm low stress environment much faster. And this teaches them to be calm and low stress themselves.
Firm is important because your Rottweiler is a very strong dog with the tendency to try to be dominant. He needs to accept you as the leader of the pack if you want him to pay attention to you and strive to please you. This is true even if you train your dog as a protector. You do not want him to be uncontrollably aggressive. You want him to be naturally calm, and have a desire to listen to you and please you. You can train him to follow your lead and be aggressive or stop being aggressive immediately upon your command. Fearful, unconfident and stressed dogs make poor protectors.
By far the best program for training Rottweilers that I have found is Doggy Dan’s online video training course. I put a link to the course just above the “Recent Posts” on the upper left hand side of this website.
Remember start your puppy young exposing them to as many people and things that they might otherwise be afraid of in a very non-threatening, positive and fun way. Be a firm, yet calm and gentle pack leader for your dog. Consistency is key to having the best and happiest Rottweiler.