There are many types of animals that work hand-in-hand with humans, but when it comes to trainability, dogs truly are man’s best friend.
We find evidence of the first canine to work alongside a human as long as 35,000 years ago. A descendant of the gray wolf, the dog has evolved and has become completely domesticated to us as homo-sapiens. Not only that, but dogs now come in every shape and size you can imagine. From the tiny chihuahua to the massive great dane, each dog breed was created for a specific purpose- even if that purpose is as simple as companionship. Dogs are used in so many different ways- sniffing out drugs, finding bombs, helping the disabled, guarding livestock, or herding sheep.
|What makes them such wonderful workers is their high trainabillity. Dogs have been working alongside humans for so long, many breeds have a strong desire to work and to please their owners. Not all dogs are created equal in their ability to perform commands however.|
The Rottweiler (also called a rottie) was originally bred to haul carts full of meat for butchers.
Once the necessity of transporting meats via cart was faded out of our society, the rottie was then used for herding and guarding live stock. Today these dogs can perform a variety of rolls such as therapy, service, search, rescue, guard, and sometimes even police dogs. Due to the fact that the rottweiler was originally bred to work means they are typically born with the desire to work and to please.
Rottweilers are intelligent dogs, although often aloof.
When you are looking at their personality, you should see a calm and confident companion. They can be very protective of their family and loved ones, especially when it comes to strangers. A typical rottweiler will not trust someone immediately, but they will wait and assure that they are of no threat before they let their guard down. Because of this, it is very important moreso than other dog breeds, that the rottie receives a large amount positive of exposure and socialization from the beginning. This will ensure the dog learns to trust the world around him in his later years.
Since the rottweiler is such a confident dog, it is very important that when training one of these beautiful dogs, the owner is firm.
Unlike more dogs that are more unsure of themselves or lack confidence, you absolutely want to be strict. You must be respected by your dog so they will see you as the boss and take you seriously. There always has to be a leader of the pack, and if it isn’t you, he will make sure it is him. Rules, guide lines, and discipline will ensure these dogs grow up to respect and obey.
Another very important part of rottweiler training is consistency. All rules should be in effect always, from all members of the family. These rules should not change depending on the day, on your mood, or the person issuing these rules. If you decide you do not want your dog to jump on people, then he should not be allowed to jump on anyone- not just specific people. Inconsistency will confuse your dog and possibly cause them to become neurotic. They may stress out over the situation in question, not being sure how to act or how to respond. “Can I jump on this person? I’m not sure… I don’t know what to do!” Being consistent will ensure that your dog knows the rules and does not have to second-guess anything. Also, consistency in a schedule will also help in the aid of teaching and training your dog. The same wake up time, breakfast, exercise, and bedtime schedule will ensure you have a happy, healthy dog. A well planned out schedule is key!
Although this applies to most dog breeds, it is especially true with the hard-working rottie. You must give them exercise! These dogs are balls of energy that yearn to work both their body and their mind. Several long walks a day, runs, and trips to the dog park will help ensure that your dog can release the build up of his energy. Visiting the dog park on a frequent and regular basis will also continue to help with the exposure and socialization they need throughout their lives. A tired dog is an obedient dog.
When it comes to teaching commands, the rottie is a quick learner (especially if yours has a high food drive!).
These dogs respond very well to the ‘lure’ method of dog training. This simply means you use a piece of food to lure the dog into the position you want. If you take a bit of a treat, allow the dog to follow the treat with his snout, and then raise it above his head, a natural response is for the dog to sit. Once the dogs rump touches the floor, pop the treat in his mouth and viola! His first sit! Repeat this until his ‘sit’ is a guarantee, and then you can add a verbal command: “Sit”. Eventually, the dog will learn this word, and the luring will no longer be necessary. Make sure that your treat is of high interest to your dog. Don’t use boring dry biscuits- use something juicy and full of good smells such as a hot dog or little bits of cooked hamburger. This method will work with other commands, such as lay down. The key to this is patience and a positive experience. Make your training sessions fun and enjoyable instead of harsh. It has been proven that dogs respond much faster to a positive working environment than a frustrating one. Never set your dog up to fail. Start slow and build confidence in your dog and his abilities. The best training sessions will be short (15 to 30 minutes) and will happen 3 or 4 times throughout the day. After a good training session, head outside to play with your rottie and reward him for his hard work!