Our puppy is now almost 6 months old (got him at 8 wks) and BEYOND hyper at times.
He understands “come”, “sit”, “stay”, “down” and a few other tricks and will snap to them when a treat is seen. However, when he does not WANT to obey – he just won’t.
He goes into rages out of the blue. He is still biting us when he does not get his way. He will eat out of our hands, let us put our hands in his bowl, but STILL growls when we try to pet or touch him when he eats (final step in breaking his food aggression issues)
We have had stubborn dogs in the past and successfully trained them, but at 6 months this one is beyond anything we have ever seen. And the bigger he gets – the worse it will get.
Please don’t give me the standard advise…”he needs more exercise” – we walk him, play with him in the pool, he has balls and toys and we play with a laser beam in the house with him at night as well.
We get mixed reviews about having him fixed (which we are doing next week) to if that will help.
My questions are:
How do we get him to “obey” his commands on our terms? The biggest issue right now is “NO”. For example, if HE wants to go in the pool he just goes in the pool. We see him go to the edge and we say firmly “NO”…he will look straight at us and get in the pool! We pull him out immediately and say “NO”, dry him off and put him in the house – he KNOWS what he did – but will then do it again the next day!!!
How do we calm him down? I have tried the sprays, room diffusers etc and they were a waste of money.
I don’t want to give him up, but he is just not even trying to learn how to behave or bond with us.
It certainly sounds as though your pup is a handful and a half, and I can thoroughly appreciate how frustrating this can be, especially when you’re following all avenues possible to ‘control him’.
It may not be much consolation, but what you’re going through now is probably the most challenging stage in his development. It probably won’t get worse as he gets bigger, because right now he’s a ‘bratty adolescent’ who is challenging your authority and testing every limit (on a daily basis!). As long as you provide firm, CONSISTENT corrections and guidelines for behavior, he will more than likely grow into a much better-behaved and calmer adult than you are visualizing.
Raising puppies is like raising kids in so many ways, and sometimes you feel as though your banging your head against a brick wall and not getting through… then lo and behold one day you find out that they were actually listening to you and they actually display the behavior you were laying the groundwork for. It’s a miracle every time… but it is an exhausting, frustrating and difficult task sometimes.
I’d think your pup is very intelligent, but is also a strong-willed, stubborn ‘alpha’ personality, and he’s going head-to-head with you. With this type of pup it’s even more important that you correct his behavior every single time in the same way (just as you are doing with the pool), because it only takes one slip up on your part to give him the thought that maybe he IS in charge after all. Dogs are creatures of habit and if something happens enough times in the same way they eventually recognize it as a habit, and then it becomes almost inevitable in their mind. Cause and effect are very important and need to remain consistent.
It sounds as though overall you’re doing a great job with him and working through the food aggression issues etc. very well. If he will allow you to put your hand in his bowl, pick up his food, hand feed him etc. and he was originally food aggressive, then you’ve done an excellent job. Most dogs don’t want to be petted or interrupted when eating, and if that’s his only issue right now then I wouldn’t worry about that too much. Just leave him alone to eat in peace, but periodically do a ‘test run’ with the food bowl to keep him on track.
I would also recommend that you start making him earn everything from food, to walks, toys, treats etc. by having him ‘sit’ and even ‘sit/stay’ before he gets them. As he is only working for treats right now, this will help expand his repertoire! It also reinforces in his mind that YOU are in charge.
If he’s getting enough general exercise already, then the next step would be to get him in a regular obedience class as it’s a form of both mental and physical exercise/stimulation and helps to tire him out, AND improve your relationship/bonding. You will also be able to get professional one-on-one help with any behavior or training issues that are problematic.
As you have a smart, energetic pup you may also want to get him involved in some other activity such as tracking, or later on when his bones/joints are fully developed, agility or something similar. Rottweilers are after all a working breed, and depending on their bloodlines some have a stronger desire to ‘work’ or be active than others. Your pup may thrive in that sort of situation.
Neutering may or may not calm him down a little in the short term, but combined with maturity, it will most likely make some difference. Of course the biggest advantage of having him neutered is that you’ll be giving him maximum protection against reproductive order diseases/conditions including cancers. That’s very important.
Please don’t give up on this pup as you’re probably over half-way to the ‘finish line’ by now. Rottweilers are very loyal and even though you may feel he’s not ‘bonded’ with you, he most definitely will have and it would be very difficult for him to be uprooted from his home. They’re often one-person or one-family dogs and find it difficult to transfer that affection.
Just think of human teenagers and how they behave, and you’ll see the correlation in your pup. Just as the majority of teenagers outgrow their trying behavior, so do dogs. Be as patient as you can and give your boy a chance to grow into the dog he’s meant to be. I think he’s going to be an incredible dog when mature. I wish you the very best of luck and hope it all works out well.