The Rottweiler is one of the classic guard dogs that homeowners can use for security as well as companionship. With a large and muscular build, a grown up Rottweiler can be a very intimidating sight. Keeping a Rottweiler in a household that has kids, however, is not impossible. Here are steps to ensuring that your Rottweiler treats the children gently.
- Train the dog. Rottweilers are, by nature, very strong and smart dogs. They do not respond well to being bossed around, especially if they are not trained to do so. One of the best ways to ensure that your Rottweiler is child friendly is by starting obedience training early on. Obedience training will allow you to command your dog not to approach strangers, or run after small children. Apart from obedience training, however, you should also expose your dog to other children. When done at an early age, the Rottweiler will no longer become threatened with small children, and will learn to respect them.
- Orient the children. No matter how well-trained a Rottweiler is, however, a kick or punch from a child will anger the dog. Because of this, you should also orient small children on how to play with the Rottweiler. In general, never allow unsupervised play between the dog and small children. You should also teach the children basic rules on how to treat and control the dog. Leash and collar cues, for instance, will help small children guide a Rottweiler, without infuriating the dog.
- Let the kids help in training. Another way for Rottweilers to be trained with children is to let the kids help in training. Training schools for dogs will often require the presence of the owner, so that the dog will learn whose command to follow. By bringing your child along, the dog will also learn to take cues from children. Make sure, however, that the child is at least five years of age and capable of understanding the basics in dog treatment.
- Introduce children. Even a Rottweiler trained to respond well to small children can still be dangerous, especially in the presence of other children. If you are having small kids for guests, make sure that you introduce the Rottweiler to the children, and orient the new kids on how to treat the Rottweiler. Dogs can form very strong attachments with owners. When the owner introduces a new child, the Rottweiler will feel more at home with the children.
- Keep the dog within the house. Keep in mind, however, that you will not be able to watch over your dog all of the time. Because of this, it is very important to keep the dog fenced in inside the house when you are away. This will not only prevent dog thieves from taking your pet away, but will also prevent small children from teasing the dog – which can provoke the dog and cause him to bite the small children.
With these in mind, you should be able to create a healthy and friendly atmosphere between your pet Rottweiler and children.