Is Training A Rottweiler Hard?: Not as Tough as You Think

The Rottweiler is one of the most recognizable dog breeds, known for their muscular stature, loyal nature, and intimidating appearance. But behind that imposing facade lies an affectionate companion that aims to please its owner.

Rottweilers originated as herding dogs in Germany, used by the Romans to drive cattle. Their reliability and intelligence made them excellent working dogs.

Today, Rottweilers are popular family pets and guard dogs. Their even temperament and eagerness to obey makes them great companions when properly trained.

Training a Rottweiler is easier than many owners expect. Their high intelligence and devotion means they pick up commands quickly. However, like any dog, Rottweilers require dedication and patience during training.

The key question many prospective Rottweiler owners ask is: “Is training a Rottweiler hard?” While they can be strong-willed at times, Rottweilers are highly trainable with the right approach. Using positive reinforcement and establishing yourself as a calm, assertive leader is key.

Starting training early and socializing your Rottweiler thoroughly will prevent problematic behaviors. Their aim to please means you can leverage their loyalty and eagerness to obey. With proper training technique and persistence, the Rottweiler’s legendary temperament emerges.

This guide will cover the basics of Rottweiler training, from obedience commands to correcting common issues. With time and dedication, your Rottweiler will become a well-mannered companion that your whole family will enjoy.

Is Training A Rottweiler Hard?

When bringing a Rottweiler puppy home, one of the most common questions owners have is “Is training a Rottweiler hard?” While their imposing physique may seem intimidating, Rottweilers are surprisingly easy to train with the proper approach.

Why Are Rottweilers Easy To Train?


There are several key reasons why Rottweilers are highly trainable:

  • Intelligence – Rottweilers are ranked as the 9th smartest dog breed according to canine psychologist Stanley Coren. Their high intellect helps them learn new commands faster.
  • Eagerness to please – Rottweilers form extremely strong bonds with their owners. Their loyalty and desire to please makes them aim to obey commands.
  • Trainability – Rottweilers have a long history as working dogs. They excel at training for roles like police and military work. Their obedience is practically bred into them.
  • Food motivation – Rottweilers love food rewards. Using treats makes training sessions fun and reinforces good behavior.
  • Focus – Rottweilers have strong focus and aim to complete the task at hand. This trait allows them to learn commands through repetition.

Potential Training Challenges

However, Rottweilers can present some training difficulties:

  • Stubbornness – Male Rottweilers in particular may have a stubborn streak. Patience and firm leadership is required.
  • Strong-willed – Their confidence can make them resistant to certain commands. Early socialization prevents this.
  • Size – Large Rottweilers can be difficult to control. Starting training early ensures you can handle the dog.
  • Boredom – Rottweilers are working dogs that need stimulation. Keeping sessions short and engaging prevents boredom.
  • Communication – Rottweilers respond best to short, clear commands. Confusing signals will be ignored.

Are Rottweilers Worth The Training Effort?

While the breed does present some challenges, the rewards of a well-trained Rottweiler are well worth it. Their legendary loyalty and obedience emerges with proper technique and persistence.


Most training issues can be prevented by:

  • Early socialization – This prevents aggression or fear issues.
  • Positive reinforcement – Food rewards and praise encourage obedience.
  • Firm leadership – Establish yourself as a consistent pack leader.
  • Engaging sessions – Keep sessions short, dynamic, and reward-based.

So are Rottweilers hard to train? While they require dedication and an assertive approach, their high intelligence and work ethic makes them very responsive. Their desire to bond with their owner results in an obedient, well-mannered companion. With time and patience, you’ll find a Rottweiler’s training yields impressive results.

Step-by-Step Rottweiler Training Guide

Training a Rottweiler properly requires time and dedication. However, by following key steps, you can ensure your Rottweiler becomes an obedient and pleasant family companion.

Start Training Early

It’s highly recommended to begin training your Rottweiler as a puppy. Rottweiler puppies are receptive to training from as early as 8 weeks old.

Starting training early achieves several benefits:

  • Puppies are easier to control due to their small size. A 150 lb adult Rottweiler is much harder to handle.
  • Early training establishes you as the leader. This prevents problems like aggression or disobedience.
  • Puppies learn faster and retain information well. Training is quicker and more effective.
  • Socialization is critical at a young age. Early training exposes your puppy to new people and environments.
  • Training forms good habits before bad habits develop. It’s much harder to correct ingrained behaviors.

So as soon as you bring your Rottweiler puppy home, be prepared to start training sessions.

Positive Reinforcement Is Essential

The most effective training method for Rottweilers is positive reinforcement. This involves rewarding desired behaviors and ignoring unwanted behaviors.

Positive reinforcement training has many advantages:

  • It teaches the dog which behaviors earn rewards instead of which to avoid.
  • The dog is eager to learn new things and obey commands.
  • It strengthens the bond between owner and dog.
  • Rottweilers respond very well to motivation through food or praise.

Only use rewards like treats, toys, and affection during training. Never use punishment like yelling or hitting your dog. Punishment will undermine your progress.

Vital Commands To Teach Your Rottweiler

Certain basic obedience commands are absolutely vital for a well-trained Rottweiler. Always use positive reinforcement methods when teaching these:


  • Sit – Teach your puppy to sit on command using a treat lure. “Sit” is essential for control and manners.
  • Stay – Start by having your puppy sit. Take a step back and reward staying put. Slowly build to longer durations.
  • Come – Call your puppy to “come” and reward. This builds a reliable recall, even with distractions.
  • Down – Have your puppy lie down on command. Useful for calming situations.
  • Paw – Take your pup’s paw and say “paw”. Reward giving paw on command. Helps during grooming.
  • Leave It/Drop It – Place a treat on the floor. When your pup leaves it, reward. Teaches impulse control.

General Tips For Training Success

Apply these tips during all Rottweiler training sessions:

  • Keep sessions short – Rottweilers have short attention spans. 5-10 minutes at a time is ideal.
  • Be consistent – Use the same commands each time. Dogs get confused by changing words.
  • Practice everywhere – Train at home, outside, the park, pet stores etc. This builds real-world obedience.
  • Engage and motivate – Keep sessions dynamic with toys and treats to maintain interest.
  • End on a high note – Finish with a success so the puppy is eager to train again.
  • Patience! – Some skills may take weeks or months to master. Persistence pays off.

Early Socialization Is Crucial

Exposing your Rottweiler puppy to a range of environments, people and other dogs is called socialization. It’s a vital part of training a friendly, confident dog.

Good socialization involves:

  • Introducing your puppy to family and friends
  • Visiting crowded areas like markets or cafes
  • Inviting visitors over to meet your puppy
  • Organized puppy pre-school classes
  • Positive introductions to other vaccinated puppies and friendly adult dogs

Puppies that aren’t adequately socialized during the first 4 months can develop behavioral issues like aggression or anxiety. Make socialization a priority.

Establish Strong Leadership

Rottweilers look to their owner for leadership. You must establish yourself as the calm, consistent pack leader.

Ways to achieve strong leadership:

  • Set fair rules and boundaries and stick to them
  • Ignore attention-seeking behaviors like barking or nudging
  • Remain assertive and confident during training
  • Manage their food, walk times, play time and space
  • Never comfort anxious behavior – remain neutral
  • Reward and praise good behavior

Your leadership keeps your Rottweiler secure and well-behaved.

Exercise And Play

Rottweilers have lots of energy and high exercise needs. Without sufficient activity they can become bored, destructive and hard to train.

  • Young Rottweilers need 45-60 minutes of exercise a day
  • Take your dog for two brisk 20-30 minute walks daily
  • Play tug, fetch and training games to stimulate their mind
  • Socialize at dog parks on leash for off-leash exercise

Meeting your Rottweiler’s needs makes training easier and prevents problem behaviors.

Final Thoughts

While the question “Is training a Rottweiler hard?” comes up often, they can be trained by any dedicated owner.

Using positive methods, starting young and investing time and practice results in a happy, well-adjusted dog. Be persistent, as training is an ongoing process. With patience and care, you’ll find your Rottweiler becomes a perfectly obedient companion.

Common Rottweiler Behavior Problems and Solutions

While Rottweilers are highly trainable dogs, some behaviors can be frustrating if not addressed properly. Here are solutions for the most common Rottweiler behavior problems.


Excessive Barking

Rottweilers are known for their deep, loud barks. While some barking is normal, excessive barking needs correction.


  • Boredom
  • Seeking attention
  • Anxiety/stress


  • Ensure your Rottweiler gets sufficient daily exercise and playtime. A tired dog barks less.
  • Ignore all attention-seeking barking completely – don’t reward it with any reaction.
  • Use the “quiet” command when they start barking and reward silence.
  • Address sources of stress like separation anxiety. Consult a vet if needed.
  • Devices like citronella or ultrasonic bark collars can deter nuisance barking.

Aggression Towards Other Dogs

Rottweilers can show aggression towards other dogs if not properly socialized.


  • Lack of early socialization
  • Fear
  • Dominance
  • Protecting territory


  • Socialize your Rottweiler extensively with other dogs starting as a puppy.
  • Use positive reinforcement to shape calm behavior around other dogs.
  • Avoid tense interactions like staring, barking or lunging on leash.
  • Ask a trainer for help with counterconditioning using treats.
  • Obedience training establishes you as pack leader, reducing aggression.

Aggression Towards People

Rottweilers may also show unwarranted aggression towards strangers or visitors.


  • Poor socialization
  • Fear
  • Protection of territory


  • Socialize your Rottweiler puppy carefully with all kinds of people.
  • Ask guests to ignore your dog at first and reward calm behavior.
  • Teach and reinforce the “look at me” command when people approach.
  • Keep your dog leashed when people visit so you can control any reactions.
  • Aggression issues may require help from a professional trainer or behaviorist.

Separation Anxiety

Rottweilers can become very distressed when left alone, leading to destructive behavior.


  • Insecurity when alone
  • Change in routine
  • Lack of stimulation


  • Avoid overly pampering or comforting anxious behavior
  • Give your Rottweiler exercise, food puzzles, and chews before leaving
  • Gradually get your dog used to being alone – start with very short periods.
  • Use relaxing music, calming toys like Kongs, and adaptil diffusers.
  • In extreme cases, medication may help reduce separation anxiety. Consult your vet.

Pulling on Leash

Rottweilers tend to pull hard during leashed walks due to their strength.


  • Excitement/distraction
  • Exploring instincts
  • Lack of training


  • Use a front-clip harness to reduce pulling by turning the dog when they pull.
  • Practice loose leash walking and teach the “heel” command. Reward walking by your side.
  • Stop or change direction whenever they start pulling so it doesn’t get them anywhere.
  • Work on focus by rewarding attention on you, not distractions.


Rottweilers may dig excessively, creating holes in your yard.


  • Boredom
  • Prey drive
  • Seeking comfort (e.g. cool earth)
  • Escape attempts


  • Provide plenty of exercise, playtime and chew toys to prevent boredom.
  • Install physical barriers like fencing around any problem areas.
  • Give your dog its own approved digging area like a sandbox.
  • Use mousetraps covered lightly in dirt to deter digging in unwanted areas.
  • Try squirting lemon juice on areas to make them unappealing to dig.

Jumping Up

Rottweiler puppies may jump up on people in excitement. This needs curbing.


  • Excitement/greeting ritual
  • Attention seeking
  • Lack of training


  • Teach your puppy to sit politely for attention instead of jumping.
  • Avoid physically engaging until your dog is calm – don’t reward jumping.
  • Turn your back on jumping and praise four-paw stance when they stop.
  • Use leash control to prevent jumping on visitors.
  • Obedience training helps establish good manners.

With proper socialization and training techniques, most Rottweiler behavior problems can be prevented or corrected. Seek professional advice for serious issues. Consistency and positive reinforcement provides the best results.

Advanced Rottweiler Training Tips and Tricks

Once you’ve mastered basic obedience training, consider teaching your Rottweiler more advanced skills to stimulate their intelligence and strengthen your bond.


Agility Training

Agility involves guiding your dog through an obstacle course with jumps, tunnels, teeter totters and weave poles.


  • Great exercise and mental stimulation
  • Builds trust and cooperation
  • Showcases their athleticism and versatility


  • Start with foundation skills like targeting objects and basic obedience
  • Use high value food rewards and play to keep them engaged
  • Build up obstacles slowly – don’t progress too quickly
  • Keep sessions short and fun to hold their interest

Search and Rescue

Rottweilers can be trained to search for and rescue missing persons using their keen sense of smell.


  • Fulfilling work helping save lives
  • Leverages their tracking abilities
  • Mentally stimulating detection work


  • Seek training from accredited search and rescue organizations
  • Begin with scent detection games to build their tracking skills
  • Practice searching in different environments – wilderness, rubble etc.
  • Proof obedience commands like stay, heel and come for safety

Service Animal Training

Rottweilers have the temperament to be trained as service dogs assisting people with disabilities.


  • Provides valuable help to someone in need
  • Develops the dog’s concentration and focus
  • Utilizes their strength and size for mobility work


  • Work with accredited service dog organizations on training
  • Start public access training early to ensure excellent manners
  • Teach advanced commands like retrieving items, opening doors etc.
  • Ensure bombproof obedience even with major distractions present

Competitive Obedience

You can showcase your Rottweiler’s training by participating in competitive obedience trials.


  • Tests their training in a trial environment
  • Chance to earn titles and awards
  • Engages their natural work ethic


  • Master all core obedience commands flawlessly
  • Practice “heeling” for long durations with distractions
  • Train using random commands, not just set routines
  • Work on speed and precision to excel in trials

Teaching Complex Commands

Rottweilers thrive when taught more complex behaviors beyond basic obedience.



  • Tidying away toys into a basket
  • Carrying objects like groceries or mail
  • Switching lights on/off
  • Fun tricks like spin, roll over, or bow


  • Break skills into small steps and slowly chain them together
  • Use a marker like a clicker precisely time rewards
  • Get creative – they can master some impressively complex skills!

Advanced training deepens the bond with your Rottweiler and provides stimulating mental workouts. Find activities you both love doing together!


Training a Rottweiler properly is very rewarding, but also requires dedication and patience.

This guide has covered the key steps to train your Rottweiler to be an obedient, pleasant companion. The most important points to remember are:

  • Start young – Begin training your Rottweiler as a puppy to establish good habits and leadership.
  • Positive reinforcement – Use rewards, not punishment, to shape behaviors. This builds trust and willingness to obey.
  • Vital commands – Master basic obedience like sit, stay, down, come, leave it etc. first.
  • Socialization – Early, extensive socialization prevents issues like aggression or fear.
  • Exercise – Provide plenty of physical and mental exercise to prevent boredom-based problems.
  • Consistency – Stick to the same commands and techniques at all times.

While some may ask Is training a Rottweiler hard?, the truth is they are highly trainable with proper leadership. Their renowned loyalty and intelligence makes the effort very rewarding.

Approach training with kindness, patience and consistency. Keep sessions dynamic and engaging. Be sure to give your Rottweiler plenty of love along the way!

With time, you can expect your Rottweiler to become an obedient companion who is a pleasure to live with.

Frequently Asked Questions

How smart are Rottweilers compared to other dog breeds?

Rottweilers are one of the top 10 smartest breeds, ranking #9 in intelligence according to canine psychologist Stanley Coren. Their high intellect makes them very responsive to training compared to other dogs.

Why are Rottweilers so easy to train?

Rottweilers aim to please their owners thanks to their loyal nature. They are also highly food motivated, which makes positive reinforcement easy. Their working dog history also means obedience is in their blood.

What’s the best way to train a Rottweiler puppy?

Start training your Rottweiler puppy as young as 8 weeks using positive reinforcement. Keep sessions short and rewarding. Focus on vital commands like sit, stay, come.

How can I train my Rottweiler to stop barking/jumping/being aggressive?

Use reward-based training to reinforce calm, polite behaviors instead. For barking, teach “quiet” and reward silence. For jumping, turn away and reward four paws on the floor. Never punish or yell.

Why is my Rottweiler so stubborn and hard to train?

Ensure you establish yourself clearly as pack leader. Be firm, confident, and consistent. Make sure you are meeting their daily exercise needs and keeping training sessions short and dynamic. Stay positive.

What are the most important commands to teach a Rottweiler?

The vital basics are: sit, stay, down, come, leave it, drop it, and heel. Master these through positive reinforcement first before moving to more advanced skills.

How much exercise does a Rottweiler need per day?

Rottweilers need 45-60 minutes of exercise per day. Take them on two brisk 20-30 minute walks daily plus playtime. Physical and mental exercise prevents boredom and burn energy.

Are Rottweilers good for first-time dog owners?

Rottweilers do best with experienced dog owners that can establish clear leadership. Their strength and stubborn streak makes them better suited to owners who have trained dogs before.

How can I become the pack leader for my Rottweiler?

Use calm but firm authority. Set and enforce rules consistently. Ignore attention seeking behaviors. Manage their resources like food. Praise and reward obedience. Your leadership provides security.

What are the best treats to use when training a Rottweiler?

Rottweilers love small soft treats they can eat quickly like chopped chicken, hot dogs, cheese, or commercial treats. Avoid high fat treats. You can also use toys or praise as rewards.


2 thoughts on “Is Training A Rottweiler Hard?: Not as Tough as You Think”

Leave a Comment