Looking after a young puppy can be quite a handful, particularly when your puppy is teething. Most puppies begin teething baby canines at 4 to 6 weeks of age, and incisors at around 4 to 5 months. Because their teeth are sore, a puppy will often start nipping and biting things around this age. Having a puppy nibble at you isn't particularly alarming if it's a Chihuahua, but with a Rottweiler it can be intimidating both to you as the owner and to others who come into contact with your dog. Because this behaviour is manageable in a young dog, dog owners often overlook it, but it's best to nip it in the bud before your Rottweiler reaches adulthood.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Chew toys
- Dog toothbrush
- Dog toothpaste
Look after your puppy's teeth. Doggy dental care is very important, and the best thing to do is start brushing your dog's teeth while it is still young so that it becomes accustomed to this ritual. Ask your veterinarian for advice about dental hygiene for your puppy, and take it for regular checkups so that any teething problems are quickly seen to. Rottweilers are particularly keen on using their mouth to explore, and you will find that the teething stage is tougher with a Rottweiler than with other dogs.
Provide a distraction. Give your puppy plenty of exciting chew toys to distract it from biting. If your puppy wants to chew, let it chew, just don't let it chew on your fingers or anyone else's. A great chew toy keeps a puppy mentally stimulated, so hide some treats within a toy, give the puppy something resistant such as a rope toy to chew on, or give it a treat designed specifically to enhance doggy gum health. Rottweilers tend to bite down hard, so find something substantial to withstand your puppy's toothy assault.
Alleviate boredom. Play with your puppy and give it plenty of exercise so that it does not resort to biting behaviour to keep itself occupied. If it does bite, do not slap it, because this will teach your puppy aggressive behaviour and it will be more likely to grow into an aggressive adult dog.
Avoid rough-and-tumble playtime. As the owner, you need to establish a hierarchy. If your puppy mistakes you for another dog, it will not understand that you do not like to be bitten. Rough play encourages your puppy to behave aggressively and encourages it to lash out to win. You need to avoid tapping into this defensive instinct.
Use repetitive behaviour. If your puppy nips at you, make a yelping sound and turn away from the dog. When the puppy tries to re-instigate contact, ignore it for several minutes, so that it realises this is not behaviour that you enjoy. Repeat this every single time that your puppy nips at you, because any deviation from this routine will confuse your puppy and bring you back to square one from a behavioural point of view.
Take part in an obedience class. Obedience classes are a great way to socialise your puppy, and also ensure that you pick up some tips from the experts on how to bring up a well-behaved Rottweiler.
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