Training your puppy the right way is absolutely essential if you are to have a long and happy relationship, and if your puppy doesn’t learn what you want him to learn, it is sad to say that it is your fault.
Dogs are descended from wolves, and wolves are pack animals. They live and hunt in packs, and they have a senior wolf who is the leader. The rest of the pack does what he tells it to and woe betide them if they don’t.
It is the same with your new puppy. You have to become the pack leader so that he looks up to you and respects you. For your puppy to respect you he has to learn how to do it, and only you can teach him that.
Let Him Get Accustomed To His Surroundings
When your puppy first arrives home you need to let him get accustomed to his surroundings for a few days, but already you can begin basic training by teaching him daily routines such as where his food and water bowls are, what time he gets fed, where his bed is, what time he has to go to bed, and so on. While you are free within reason to choose where and what times these things happen, you need to keep them the same, so that he becomes accustomed to having his evening meal at 6.00 pm or whatever.
At around two months or a little later, you can begin more earnest training. There are two words that you MUST teach him before anything else – “Good” and “No”. When you want him to stop chewing your favorite slippers, he has to learn “No”. He does not learn this by being smacked – he learns it by repetition, until he drops the slipper when you say “No” and then he learns “Good”, or “Good Dog”.
Make Certain He Understands
Make certain that your puppy fully understands these two commands before you go on to anything else. This is important because you will use them when you go on to teach him other words and behaviors: when he gets it right you will say “Good Dog” and when it is wrong you say “No”. This sounds simple, and it is, but you have to put in the time and effort and be understanding when he gets it wrong. He is not getting it wrong deliberately: if he gets it wrong, it is because he doesn’t understand. Repetition is the answer.
By getting your puppy to respond instantly to these commands you have obtained his respect, and as pack leader that is what you need. You want him to do (or not do) things at your command.
Treats can, of course, be used, but only very sparingly. The reason for this is that He may not be hungry, or he may be much more interested in chasing the mailman down the path than the treat you are offering. In this instance he is making up his mind what HE wants to do, which is not good.
House training is, of course, vitally important. At an early age, your puppy won’t have full control of his bladder, so there WILL be accidents. Whatever you intend him to do, such as go out into the yard, you need to be on hand as much as possible. In this way, you can immediately scoop him up and take him into the yard, with a “No” as he empties his bladder, or whatever, and a “Good dog” once he is in the yard.
Your puppy must also get used to being handled without nipping or biting you. To begin with, he probably will mouth you, but you have to stop this before it becomes a habit. It might seem like a bit of fun to begin with, but a fully grown Rottweiler that hasn’t learned that it is wrong can deliver a nasty bite. You need to be able to handle your puppy and get him used to being groomed, having his claws checked, and so on.
You also need to teach your puppy the “house rules”. For instance, is it OK to jump up on to the sofa and sit on it? If it is, that is up to you, but if not he must learn that it is wrong. Can he sleep on your bed? (Not recommended). Is chewing your slippers OK? There are quite a number of things that you may or may not allow, but you have to ensure that your puppy understands.
Ultimately, if you want a loving, wonderful, lifelong friend who will give you many years of fun and enjoyment, the way that you train your puppy in the early days will have a considerable bearing on his behavior. You must be prepared to put in the time and effort to get him off to a good start.