The Rottweiler can be a high-energy dog -- which you already know if your home looks as if a tornado struck and you are considering a doggie dose of Valium for your pooch and a dose of your own for sanity's sake. Don't. Instead, strategize to calm your Rottie.
Evaluate your Rottweilers' diet carefully. Nutritional requirements vary from one dog to another. It is crucial to ensure that correct daily allowances are determined based on your dog's overall weight, age and activity levels. Read food labels carefully and consult with a veterinarian or nutrition expert if you're in doubt.
If your Rotties seem to bounce off the walls all the time, consider that hyperactivity may derive from the consumption of unnatural ingredients found in dog food, such as chemical preservatives, artificial colorings and additives, according to the VetInfo website.
Ensure that your Rottweilers' exercise needs are met. This breed is a working dog with a history of being used to herd cattle and pull carts to crowded meat markets. If your Rottweilers are unemployed, they will likely find ways to entertain themselves on their own. Staying within four walls or in a yard all day won't cut it. Put your Rottweilers on long leashes known as "long lines" and take them to a big open space so they can work their jollies off. Do so twice a day. If these romps are not enough to take the edge off, invest in doggie backpacks that your Rotties can wear on walks.
Provide loads of mental stimulation. The saying "an idle mind is the devil's playground" applies perfectly to this breed when left with little to do. Expect destructive behaviors when your Rottweilers are bored and frustrated. Interactive toys such as food puzzles and keep-busy toys can help keep your Rottweilers' minds stimulated during those idle times you wish to enjoy priceless moments of peace and quiet during the day.
Reward calm behaviors. Once your Rottweilers' needs for exercise and mental stimulation have been met, your next step is to reward those precious moments of calm. Reward calm behaviors as they occur. For instance, if your Rottweiler tends to jump on you, make sure you praise and reward him the moment he is on all fours; if he is acting boisterous, praise and reward when he settles and lies down.
Enroll your Rottweilers in classes. Training is not an option with this breed, it's a must. Once your Rottweilers learn the ABCs of basic training, you can move on to advanced classes and then enroll them in some interesting canine sports. The Rottweiler breed particularly excels in herding, tracking and carting, but there are many other exciting and fun sports your Rottweilers may enjoy, such as agility, Rally-O, canine musical freestyle and K9 Nose Work.
Shop around for calming aids. If, no matter what you do, your Rotties are still too hyper for your taste, you can invest in calming products. Look into some aromatherapy products, calming supplements, diffusers and calming wraps. Purchase books on how to calm your dog through T-touch or Reiki, or invest in calming CDs crafted just for canines. If nothing seems to help, ask your vet for advice; he may recommend medications to temporarily take the edge off while you train your Rotties' calmer behaviors.
- Maintain a daily routine; your Rotties will love the consistency.
- Freezing toys stuffed with goodies will make for a longer lasting treat.
- Consider that Rottweilers are particularly prone to rowdy behaviors and exuberant jumping when young, but they calm down as they age.
- Avoid yelling at your Rotties to settle down; this will only increase their arousal state.
- Avoid crating your Rottweilers when their exercise needs are not met.
- Avoid over-exercising young Rotties: their growing joints can be easily overstressed and damaged.
Adrienne Farricelli has been writing for magazines, books and online publications since 2005. She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her articles have appeared in "USA Today," "The APDT Chronicle of the Dog" and "Every Dog Magazine." She also contributed a chapter in the book " Puppy Socialization - An Insider's Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness" by Caryl Wolff.