Hi. I am about to get a rottweiler puppy. It is a girl. My husband and I love the breed but this will be our first. We have a two year old son. If you have any tips on training the puppy with my toddler, it would be very much appreciated.
Hope to hear from you soon.
P.S. Love love love your website.
I’m so happy that you are enjoying my site, hopefully it will help you in choosing and taking care of your new pup.
Rottweilers are generally excellent with children (I have 6 kids and they’ve been raised with Rotties underfoot), but there are a few tips (mostly just common-sense stuff) that may help you.
Firstly, Rottweilers are big, strong dogs and, even as puppies, they tend to be heavy, clumsy and have absolutely no idea of their own size/strength! With toddlers and small children (and also with elderly or frail adults) it’s important to supervise all interactions to make sure that the pup/dog doesn’t accidentally knock down or hurt the human.
As you are starting out with a puppy, the size differential shouldn’t be a problem to begin with and you will be able to train him not to jump on your son etc. I’ve personally found that female dogs seem to be a bit more aware of the fact that they need to be gentle with small children, but that doesn’t mean that a male isn’t a good choice. Most of it is simply individual character and personality traits.
Although he’s only 2 years old, try to include your son (obviously with serious ‘mommy or daddy help’) in taking care of the new pup. Puppies have a tendency to see children as other puppy siblings, and this isn’t what you want. Your pup needs to know that your son is an authority figure and above him in the family hierarchy, you can achieve this by having him help feed, groom and train your pup.
Remember to also teach your son that your puppy isn’t a toy, and that he needs to be gentle and careful with him. Also, puppies tend to want to chase small, fast-moving creatures especially if they have high-pitched voices. This is triggered by the prey-drive, but in puppies it’s play-based behavior. Still, to prevent your son being knocked down by a happy little Rottie in hot-pursuit, try to encourage slower movements and an ‘inside voice’ around the pup.
Raising puppies is very much like raising children so you will be able to follow your instincts most of the time. Do remember to do lots of research and make sure you’ve chosen a reputable and responsible breeder (see my Choosing A Rottweiler Breeder for advice on this), so that you get a healthy puppy both physically and emotionally.
Hope this helps, I wish you the very best of luck with your new pup.