by Paul Sheridan
My 6 month old Rottie bitch, Bella, has learnt so much already. She has been cage trained since she was 8 weeks old & has never been to the toilet in there (she was house trained within around 2 weeks), she never howls when she is left alone & all in all she is a very well behaved & friendly dog.
I’m not completely sure as to how long we should be walking her though. Bella gets plenty of playtime in the garden & house but for most of the day she is in her cage as me & my wife both work. My wife comes home every lunch time & spends an hour with her. We just don’t want to walk her too much as we know it can cause problems with their joints.
Also we’re a little concerned as to what her weight should be. She weighs 14.4kg at the moment. She is on a good brand of food which was recommended by the vet (Royal Canin) as this is high in nutrients etc.
It sounds as though your pup is doing very well overall, Rotties learn very fast and are, in my experience, actually one of the easiest breeds to raise and train as long as they get lots of love and attention plus consistent and loving discipline and enough socialization.
Seems as though you’re doing everything right so far, great job!
Bella looks lovely, and from the photos she doesn’t look underweight even though she’s below average in terms of weight for her age. Of course there is no such thing as an ‘average pup’ they’re all different, and genetics play the greatest role in the eventual size/weight of a puppy. Diet and overall health are important too, but make less impact than genes.
Her bone size is probably in perfect harmony with her weight which is why she doesn’t look underweight, and she is probably just not a huge Rottie. They were not originally bred to be giant dogs. The food you are using is a good brand and if it suits Bella then I’d keep her on it.
Keeping a pup lean is much better for growing joints and ligaments, as is keeping her exercise level moderate. Once she’s fully mature (anywhere from 18 months to 2 1/2 years for most females) she can afford to be more energetic and jog with you etc. For now I’d say a daily walk of about 1 mile is fine, you could even go a mile and a half or so, but don’t overdo it yet. Games in the yard, hikes in the woods, visits to the park etc. are all good too and should be regular occurrences.
The biggest thing with these pups is to have patience and not try to rush their growth/maturity (either mental or physical). Every pup is different and will grow or mature at a different rate, and reach adulthood – and maximum growth – in their own time. As long as Bella is happy, healthy and active don’t worry about, she’s doing just fine.
Hope this helps. Best of luck with her.