The Rottweiler breed has an unfortunate reputation as aggressive and scary. But let’s get something straight, no dog is born aggressive or scary. No breed is more likely to be aggressive or violent than another. Any breed of dog can be aggressive, no matter the breed. It is all about the way they are trained and taken care of by their HUMAN owner.
Now, the title of this article might be confusing because it’s about getting a Rottweiler puppy to stop biting. To clear another thing up, Rottweiler pups and other breeds of puppies do not bite because they are aggressive, they bite to play and because they don’t know it hurts you.
The Rottweiler is a loyal and loving dog breed. Rottweilers love pleasing their owners, and a new Rottweiler puppy is no exception.
Remember when getting any breed of puppy that they do love to nibble when they play. While nibbling may seem cute and funny when your dog is little, the more your dog grows, the more painful the nibbling will become. So you have to train them early on that biting is a big no-no so that your dog, family, friends, and yourself stay safe when playing with your pup!
What’s behind that biting?
You already know that the Rottweiler is not a mean or aggressive dog, but they still have a muscular body along with a bold and bouncy temperament that can make their play more rough than another breed of dog. When Rottweilers play, they often nibble; don’t mistake this as a sign of aggression.
As a Rottweiler pup grows with its littermates, you will notice they nibble and bite at each other quite a bit during their play. When one of the puppies bites the other too hard, the other one will let out a yelp. When this happens, the puppy who got too rough will stop and the other puppy may end the playing session. You will probably see that the pup are back at to playing again very soon, and it is not uncommon to hear a yelp again. The puppies are learning that they are hurting their buddy through hearing the yelp and stop playing. They know that if they are gentler with their friend, they can continue playing.
‘Bite inhibition’ (learning just how much pressure they can apply without getting in trouble) is learned during sibling play. When they leave their littermates, a puppy will still bite and nip on occasion, but the more ‘practice’ your little Rottweiler has had at home, the better they will be at understanding the concept of ‘no puppy biting allowed’.
Why is it important to stop the biting…
If you have a new Rottie you will be able to answer this! All puppies have razor sharp little teeth, but when you combine these with a set of powerful Rottweiler puppy jaws, you need to put an end to this behavior soon before it becomes even more (painfully) obvious!
How to Stop that nuisance nibbling and bothersome biting!
Most of the biting comes from play. So when your Rottweiler bites too hard and hurts you, imitate a yelp just like a puppy would. Remember that is how a puppy learns that biting its littermates too hard is no good. Make sure it is high pitched and that you do it straight away. Letting your hand go limp in the puppy’s mouth, will also give them the opportunity to become gentler.
What not to do – Don’t pull away suddenly after a nip as this can cause the puppy to latch on tight and you could make the bite much worse.
This is the easiest way of training your Rottweiler not to bite….
As soon as you feel those tiny puppy teeth on you, yelp like in the first example and then say “OW! NO BITING”. Don’t do this too loud as you can make your puppy more excitable and may actually make them bite more.
Now you have done that, you then withdraw your attention from the pup right away. Whatever you were doing with your Rottie beforehand, stop now. Cross your arms in front of your body and don’t make eye contact with the pup, and turn away completely.
Do this for at least 30 seconds, or however long it takes for him to stop biting, and for your Rottie to start to wonder what is happening. As soon as the biting stops and the puppy calms, tell the puppy “good, no biting” and only then go back to what you were doing. Then most likely repeat as necessary!
This is for more extreme situations where your puppy will not stop nipping. You need a small plastic spray bottle filled only with plain tap water, close at hand when your puppy is with you! Most pups are very surprised when they get wet. A few repetitions of this and they soon get the message.
It won’t hurt them, and a gentle squirt it won’t frighten them. But don’t spray into their nose directly, or in their eyes.
It’s important not to let your Rottweiler have the run of the entire house. Crate training can be a great method to restrict their limits, as well as a way of stopping biting. A good obedience training program can be hugely helpful with a young dog that bites. Simply place the puppy in the crate after a bite, and keep them there for about 5 minutes, and do not look at them during this time.
Praising your puppy when it’s good can help ensure it won’t have bad habits. Reward your puppy for sitting, laying down, staying in one place and being generally well behaved.
As well as these methods, any of which with repetition should do the trick, there are several triggers you should avoid, that may bring on biting in your Rottweiler.
- Keep the volume down at home. High-pitched voices, or a lot of noise, get a puppy excited and when excited – they bite!
- Try to reduce the amount of rough play, wrestling and other rough-and-tumble games. Play of this sort in the canine world includes puppy biting, and your pup can’t tell the difference between the dog world and the human world yet.
- Puppies are attracted to speeding objects, and a child running through the house or riding a bike around the garden, is likely to attract a chasing puppy who wants to nip at their heels.
- Avoid playing certain games with your puppy. These include tug-of-war, chase, and wrestling type games which encourage a pup to use their mouth and to pit their strength against yours.
With a bit of effort, by using these methods and avoiding triggers, nipping and biting should disappear from your home very quickly.
Remember what your Rottweiler is doing when biting – it is only rough play. Once you teach them that this is not an acceptable part of the homeworld, your Rottweiler will learn to have fun with you without the need to get those teeth out!