Are Rottweilers Easy to Train?

By John Martin - May 12, 2021

Rottweiler smiling at camera

A well-trained dog is a happy dog. They know what to do with their time and energy and you know what to do with them, in general.

Trained dogs are also a gift because since they are well behaved, they know how to draw your attention when it is causing them trouble. This makes it easy for you to take care of them.

Many potential dog parents and dog lovers often wonder if Rottweilers are easy to train because they are known to be ferocious dogs. But here’s the good news.

Rottweilers are loyal, intelligent and want to please their humans. This makes it a pleasure to own and train a Rottweiler.

The Importance of Training

You need to start by taking some time out every day to train your puppy. That’s right.

It is common knowledge that dogs are best trained (and also easy to train) when they are young. This helps them adjust to the family and their surroundings easily.

You might have concerns over your Rottweiler ignoring you, disobeying you or having aggression issues. Here are some tips and advice to help you out of your predicament.

The first thing to know when training a Rottweiler puppy (or an adult dog) is that you need to have patience and understand the importance of positive reinforcement. This is necessary because training your pup is not a one-day activity.

A Rottweiler is a very capable dog. So it takes a little time to teach the dog all it needs to know and hence, it is a commitment.

They also need practice with the commands you have taught them. So will need to take them to the park or a yard where they can do so without putting themselves or anyone else in danger.

Before We Get to Training

Rottweilers are popular for their power, protectiveness and loyalty. They are also great guardian dogs.

In fact, according to the American Rottweiler Club, “owning a Rottweiler carries a great deal of responsibility and commitment”.

So, we know they are Spider-man fans. Or not but the sentiment “with great power comes great responsibility” is absolutely true.

This is not a dog for everyone. Meaning, rottweilers need a calm and firm pack leader for a master.

Otherwise, they will do the job for you and it gets impossible to get them under control. They are active and energetic dogs that need stimulating challenges, exercise and lots of socialization.

And all the work is totally worth it because they are excellent companion dogs too. They are great family dogs.

Related: Are Rottweilers Good Service Dogs?

The Origin Story (And What It Means to Train Them)

Rottweilers were originally meant to protect cattle and other livestock. That is why they are such good guardian dogs.

That is also why they are great at herding events and fight it out with the shepherds and the sheepdogs. They also love having a job to do.

So they do really well when they have to guard the house or the family. They are smart, eager to please their owner and work tirelessly.

Rottweilers are also great service dogs, therapy dogs and obedience competitors. They are also used as customs dogs and carting dogs.

They love to learn and love to lean their body against their humans. This is probably because that is how they herd cattle.

In fact, they were also used to protect butchers’ money on the way to the market. That is where the term Metzgerhund (meaning butcher’s dog) comes from.

So that’s the tough part of their nature. But they fit the stereotype of hard on the outside but soft on the inside.

They are intelligent but also sensitive and they grow attached to their humans. Separation anxiety is a real thing with Rottweilers which means you need to invest time and care on them.

How to Train Your Rottweiler

Now, it is easy to train a Rottweiler but it takes a little bit of work. You must start the process early when they are still pups at the age of seven or eight weeks.

Start the process with short, fun sessions that teach them the basics. Typically, this must be a few minutes every month until they are six months old because they don’t pay attention for longer than that at that age.

While you train, remember the bit about positive reinforcement. Rewarding your pet for following instructions and sometimes even just for training is a great way to keep them on track.

Little treats and lots of praise can take you a long way with getting them to obey commands. Small cubes of cheese and tiny pieces of (cooked) chicken are very helpful when teaching a new command.

Over time, you might want to phase out the treats and replace that with praise. Otherwise, your puppy will get used to getting treats and refuse to obey you for compliments.

Learning the right kind of commands is another part of your job as a dog parent. If you don’t, it doesn’t matter what breed and how trainable your puppy is.

The thing about commands is that they must be short, limited to two words and must be delivered in a firm but friendly voice. You must encourage them every time they try to follow you.

Related: Are Rottweilers Good With Kids?

A for effort is the way to go. You must never shout or even think of hitting your puppy during training.

Train them to understand that the way to please you is by being obedient and the job will get done. Just remind them of it when they forget.

You must also be consistent in applying these principles while training your Rottweiler. The system of reward and praise must be simple enough for them to follow so that there is no confusion.

You must also make sure your puppy is well rested and alert for training. A sleepy or unwell pup will find training tedious and frankly, that’s just mean behavior on your part.

When you start training, repeat each command five to ten times so that the puppy has enough time to register the command and understand the response you are trying to teach. You must give it time.

Rottweilers are intelligent but remember that you are dealing with a puppy. It is important to spread out the commands and go through all of them at a pace that is comfortable for the dog.

Reward or praise them after you finish repetitions of each command and before moving on to the next one. This kind of training can be done up to three times every day.

You can also try mixing up the commands so that the puppy does not get bored or memorize them in order. As they get better, you can decrease the response time and do the task for a longer period of time.

For example, if you are teaching them to sit, you must do it at least three to four times before you give them a treat. You must also make them sit for a longer period of time once they learn the command to make sure they obey you for as long as you need them to.

The Crucial Commands

Some commands are non-negotiable when it comes to a breed like the Rottweiler. Sit and stay are, of course, the staple after “no” and “stop”.

Sitting is important because it makes tasks like feeding and playing easy for you. Offer them a treat and move away while making them sit in place.

This is useful when you are outdoors and are dealing with distractions or when you are ready to feed them. Give them the treat and lots of praise when they obey you.

This is the easiest command for a puppy to learn and it is likely to take five to seven days.

‘No bite’ is another crucial command. This must feature in one of the first sessions. It helps to have plenty of toys around all the time because it helps when they are teething.

But it is also important to remind them that this behavior, while natural, is not encouraged. Some dog parents pretend like the puppy’s nipping hurt them.

Getting up and leaving is also an effective way since it signals that biting ends playtime.

Related: What is the Bite Force of a Rottweiler?

You must also teach them commands like no chew, quiet, down, come, stay and paw. The down command is particularly useful if your little one is a jumper.

Paw is particularly useful if you have to clip their nails. As you can guess, it works in combination with “sit”.

You must, however, praise them once they give you the paw before you get on with the task (literally) at hand.

In Conclusion

Rottweilers are ferocious dogs. They are loyal and protective but easy to train.

It takes some time and effort as it does with all dogs but these are intelligent canines. So it will be interesting and fun for you too.

They must, however, be trained when they are young so that they don’t end up as large, badly-behaved dogs.

Give them treats, praise them and love them as much as you can.