Author Topic: Proper age for acquiring rottweiler puppy  (Read 13919 times)

Offline moonlitcroatia

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Proper age for acquiring rottweiler puppy
« on: July 01, 2005, 09:14:03 am »
The course of development for puppies is extremely important.  I learned this first-hand when I was younger.  A crooked breeder who runs a puppy mill out of Eatonville, WA advertises in the the Seattle Times consistently.  Her ads contain something like the following:  Rottweiler puppies, 1 female, 1 male. $200.  (I am personally wary of low-priced purebreds and very high-priced as well, but there are so many other factors to consider when choosing a reputable breeder, and I've decided I will consider rescue first from now on). She does the same thing with dobermans.

Once you go to her house she says the pups that were $200 are gone.  The lowest priced dobie she had was the runt for $900.

The rotties, she had one pup in particular that she immediately tried to pawn off on us.  We were SOOOOOO inexperienced back then!  She actually said, "Stand back!" when she opened a hinged wooden box door to retrieve the pup.  She said the mother was mean.  Duh!  What we didn't know back then!!!!!!!

She gave the pup to my bf to hold.  She was merely five weeks old -- just a tiny little caterpillar all fuzzy black and tan.  

After we held her for while, the breeder said, "Well, the mother won't take her back.  I think she'll kill her, because she is rejecting her already.  My veterinarian says it's OK to find her a home at five weeks old."

Bad! Wrong! Mistake! Caution! Stupido!

Puppies go through CRUCIAL development stages and it is necessary for them to remain with the bitch and littermates for a specified period of time in order to "learn" how to behave properly.  With breeds such as rotties, it is even more important that this learning phase is observed and adhered to, because rotties have a tendency to attempt domination.  They are smart as whips and they will try everything.  

Little Lucy was a challenge.  It wasn't a week before she began biting....imag ine...the cute little thing....growl ing like a grizzly bear and snapping HARD!  In the coming weeks she became more and more aggressive, until she tore the back of my grandfather's hand open as he sat watching television.  

We had to take her to our dog training school and the trainers evaluated her.  They said it would be a miracle if she didn't require euthensia.  Fortunately, we opted to give her to the school and, in turn, the instructors took her home and worked intensely with her for months.  In the end, she was manageable and they worked so hard, these professionals, to save her.

We learned an extremely hard lesson.  I remember my bf and I cried for over a month.  We cried at work, on the way to work, at home, while eating dinner...all the time.  It was an EXTREMELY painful lesson.

And, that breeder, she was a horrible person who did not care about these gorgeous pups.

Please read on for valuable information:

The 7 Stages of Puppy Development
by Charlie Lafave



In order to understand why your puppy doesn't listen to you at times, you need to understand each stage of development a puppy goes through as it matures. Let's take a look at the different stages, but before we do, keep in mind that these stages are generalization s - each dog will progress at its own pace.

Stage 1: The Transitional Stage
2-3 Weeks
The Transitional stage generally lasts from age two to three weeks, and it's during this time that your puppy's eyes will open, and he'll slowly start to respond to light and movement and sounds around him. He'll become a little more mobile during this period, trying to get his feet underneath him and crawling around in the box (or wherever home is). He'll start to recognize mom and his littermates, and any objects you might place in the box.

Stage 2: The Almost Ready To Meet The World Stage
3-4 Weeks
The Almost ready to meet the world stage lasts from 3 to about 4 weeks, and your puppy undergoes rapid sensory development during this time. Fully alert to his environment, he'll begin to recognize you and other family members. It's best to avoid loud noises or sudden changes during this period - negative events can have a serious impact on his personality and development right now. Puppies learn how to be a dog during this time, so it's essential that they stay with mom and littermates.

Stage 3: The Overlap Stage
4-7 Weeks
From 4-7 weeks, your puppy begins the most critical social development period of his life - he learns social interaction with his littermates, learns how to play and learns bite inhibition. He'll also learn discipline at this point - Mom will begin weaning the pups around this time, and will start teaching them basic manners, including accepting her as the leader of the pack. You can begin to introduce food to the pups starting around the 4th week - transition gradually as Mom weans them.

Continue handling the pups daily, but don't separate them from either Mom or litter mates for more than about 10 minutes per day. Puppies that are removed from the nest too early frequently are nervous, more prone to barking and biting and have a more difficult time with socialization and training. Puppies need to be left with Mom and siblings until at least 7 weeks of age - and preferably a little longer - for optimum social development.

Experts say that the best time in a puppy's life to learn social skills is between 3 and 16 weeks of age - that's the window of opportunity you have to make sure your puppy grows up to be a well-adjusted dog. It's extremely important to leave your puppy with Mom and his littermates during as much of this period as possible. Don't discipline for play fighting, housebreaking mistakes or mouthing - that's all normal behavior for a puppy at this stage.

Stage 4: The "I'm Afraid of Everything" Stage
8 Weeks to 3 Months
The "I'm Afraid of Everything" Stage lasts from about 8 weeks to 3 months, and is characterized by rapid learning as well as a "fearful period" that usually pops up at around 8 to 10 weeks. Not all dogs experience this, but most do, and they'll appear terrified over things that they took in stride before. This is not a good time to engage in harsh discipline (not that you ever should anyway!), loud voices or traumatic events.

At this time your puppy's bladder and bowels are starting to come under much better control, and he's capable of sleeping through the night (At last, you can get some rest!). You can begin teaching simple commands like come, sit, stay, down, etc. Leash training can begin. It's important not to isolate your puppy from human contact at this time, as he'll continue to learn behaviors and manners that will affect him in later years.

Stage 5: The Juvenile Stage
3 Months to 4 Months
The Juvenile stage typically lasts from 3 to 4 months of age, and it's during this time your puppy is most like a toddler. He'll be a little more independent - he might start ignoring the commands he's only recently learned - just like a child does when they're trying to exert their new-found independence. As in "I don't have to listen to you!". Firm and gentle reinforcement of commands and training is what's required here.

He might start biting you - play biting or even a real attempt to challenge your authority. A sharp "No!" or "No bite!" command, followed by several minutes of ignoring him, should take care of this problem.

Continue to play with him and handle him on a daily basis, but don't play games like tug of war or wrestling with him. He may perceive tug of war as a game of nce - especially if he wins. And wrestling is another game that can rapidly get out of hand. As your puppy's strength grows, he's going to want to play-fight to see who's stronger - even if you win, the message your puppy receives is that it's ok to fight with you. And that's not ok!

Stage 6: The Brat Stage
4-6 Months
The Brat Stage starts at about 4 months and runs until about 6 months, and it's during this time your puppy will demonstrate even more independence and willfulness. You may see a decline in his urge to please you - expect to see more "testing the limits" type of behaviors. He'll be going through a teething cycle during this time, and will also be looking for things to chew on to relieve the pain and pressure. Frozen doggie bones can help sooth him during this period.

He may try to assert his new "dominance" over other family members, especially children. Continue his training in obedience and basic commands, but make sure to never let him off his leash during this time unless you're in a confined area. Many times pups at this age will ignore commands to return or come to their owners, which can be a dangerous, even fatal breakdown in your dog's response to you. If you turn him loose in a public place and he bolts, the chances of injury or even death can result - so don't take the chance.

He'll now begin to go through the hormonal changes brought about by his growing ual maturity, and you may see signs of rebelliousness (Think adolescent teen-age boy!). If you haven't already, you should have him neutered or spayed during this time.

Stage 7: The Young Stage
6-18 Months
The Young hood stage lasts from 6 months to about 18 months, and is usually a great time in your dog's life - he's young, he's exuberant, he's full of beans and yet he's learning all the things he needs to become a full-fledged dog.

Be realistic in your expectations of your dog at this time - just because he's approaching his full growth and may look like an , he's not as seasoned and experienced as you might expect. Gradually increase the scope of activities for your dog, as well as the training. You can start more advanced training during this period, such as herding or agility training, if that's something both of you are interested in. Otherwise, extend his activities to include more people and other animals - allow him to interact with non-threatening or non-aggressive dogs.

Congratulation s! You've raised your puppy through the 7 stages of childhood, er, I mean puppyhood, and now you have a grown-up, dog! Almost feels like you've raised a kid, doesn't it?

The 7 Stages of Puppy Development
by Charlie Lafave


Author of "Dog Training Secrets!". To transform your stubborn, misbehaving dog into a loyal, well-behaving "best friend" who obeys your every command and is the envy of the neighborhood, visit www.tinyurl.co m/6u2cj.

Source:  http://www.dogbreedz.com/dog_articles/dog-article.cfm/dogarticle/stages-of-puppy-development.htm
« Last Edit: July 01, 2005, 09:22:23 am by moonlitcroatia »
I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.  For me they are the role model for being alive.  ~Gilda Radner

Offline greek4

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Re: Proper age for acquiring rottweiler puppy
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2005, 09:21:46 am »
Do you know if there is another fear stage at around 12-14 months.  I think Maia is going through one, I am trying to keep her around people.  But when she grows and backs up being how big she is not too many people want to be around her.  She is fine if she gets to approach the person but if someone she doesn't know or know well approaches her she gets nasty sounding.  She is also starting to guard her cage from anyone but me and Rocco.  I don't to have a monster but I don't know if the things I do will make her better or worse or get someone hurt.  She has never bitten anyone before but she has lunged at the vet. ???
Thanks,

Emily and 1 husband, 1 boy, 1 on the way, and 4 crazy dogs

lins_saving_grace

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Re: Proper age for acquiring rottweiler puppy
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2005, 09:23:49 am »
Grace was like that too.  Now she is fine with anyone and anything.

Offline greek4

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Re: Proper age for acquiring rottweiler puppy
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2005, 09:25:27 am »
What did you do????  Please share your secrets!!
Thanks,

Emily and 1 husband, 1 boy, 1 on the way, and 4 crazy dogs

lins_saving_grace

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Re: Proper age for acquiring rottweiler puppy
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2005, 09:26:44 am »
I waited patiently.  And encouraged people to approach her at her level and reach for her tummy not her head until she warmed up to them.  She came around.  It was easy too...and I always gave people bones to give her so she wound approach them knowing she would get a treat. 

Offline moonlitcroatia

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Re: Proper age for acquiring rottweiler puppy
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2005, 09:29:48 am »
Do you know if there is another fear stage at around 12-14 months.  I think Maia is going through one, I am trying to keep her around people.  But when she grows and backs up being how big she is not too many people want to be around her.  She is fine if she gets to approach the person but if someone she doesn't know or know well approaches her she gets nasty sounding.  She is also starting to guard her cage from anyone but me and Rocco.  I don't to have a monster but I don't know if the things I do will make her better or worse or get someone hurt.  She has never bitten anyone before but she has lunged at the vet. ???

Hello,

I know for you it doesn't seem as if she is a monster, because, of course, she is NOT a monster.  But, people are monster who do not understand dog language.  Maia is backing up because she does not enjoy the way people walk up and "intrude" on her personal space.  You can ask them to squat down, turning slightly sideways and offer their hand for her to approach.  Or, maybe she just doesn't want to be approached.  Then again, she will be a constant concern as she matures into an overprotective fiend (in the eyes of others) and it will be difficult for you to socialize with her around.

I think it is best to work on the issue now and you, and Maia, will have a much more fulfilling relationship.

In the past, when I've become perplexed over a behavior issue that regular obedience classes do not cover, I have resorted to contacting a behavior specialist and paid an hourly fee for assessment, etc.  While this can be expensive, they know simple techniques to nip behavior in the bum before it becomes too serious.  And, with fear aggression, which sounds like what you may be describing, or perhaps dominance aggression, which may be another concern, it is important to correct it, because it can cause serious concequences in the end.

Shanti  :)
I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.  For me they are the role model for being alive.  ~Gilda Radner

Offline moonlitcroatia

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Re: Proper age for acquiring rottweiler puppy
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2005, 09:45:41 am »
Here is an excerpt from a book titled The Other End of the Leash, written by Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D.:

"The number of people who don't seem to be aware of how their behavior is interpreted by dogs is frightening.  I recently watched David Letterman, my favorite late night TV show host, get bitten by a dog on his show.  He leaned forward, staring directly into the dog's eyes, put his hands on either side of the dog's face, and pressed his face within inches of the dog's eyes.  Completely by accident, he then stepped on the dog's tail.  But it wasn't stepping on his tail that was the primary trigger, which was Letterman's interpretation .  Even before the bite, I was watching in horror as his eyes moved closer and closer to the dog's eyes, my heart racing with the inevitability of what was about to happen.  I was so concerned that he'd be bitten, I was literally bouncing up and down in bed, yellling at the television like an idiot, as if somehow he could hear me.  To an untrained human, just being a human, looking directly into the dog's eyes was a kind, friendly thing to do.  That's the way Letterman greets Julia Roberts, and that's the way we all greet people we really like.  In dog society that would be a scene from a sci-fi horror movie.  You just couldn't be more rude to a dog unless you walked up and bit him.  the most amazing aspect of Letterman's experience is that the dog didn't bite him sooner.  Lest you get smug, remember that Letterman was just being a human --- what else would he be?

The next time you see a dog you'd like to greet, stop a few feet away, stand sideways rather than straight on, and avoid looking directly into her eyes.  Wait for the dog to come all the way to you.  If she doesn't, she doesn't want to be petted.  So don't pet her.  It's really not that much to ask.  Do you want every stranger you see on the street to handle your body?  If the dog approaches you with a relaxed rather than stiff body, let the dog sniff your hand, careful to hold your hand low, under rather than over her head.  Always pet unfamiliar dogs on the chest or under their chin.  Don't reach over their heads to pet them.  What would you think if an unfamiliar animal the size of King Kong waltzed up and reached over and behind your head with its huge paw?

And hugging? Ah, hugging.  I'm human, too, and the fact of the matter is, sometimes I just can't resist, and I stretch my arms around Cool Hand Luke or pony-sized Great Pyrenees Tulip to indulge myself.  My dogs tolerate it because we're not strangers, because they're willing to put up with all kinds of foolishness to get my attention, because I don't do it when they're agitated, because they've been conditioned to associate it with pleasurable things like massages, and because they are relatively submissive to people and probably figure that they don't have much choice.  Besides, they know who can get to the meat in the freezer."
I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.  For me they are the role model for being alive.  ~Gilda Radner

Offline shangrila

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Re: Proper age for acquiring rottweiler puppy
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2005, 01:52:42 pm »
Do you know if there is another fear stage at around 12-14 months.  I think Maia is going through one.

That's interesting to hear, because I think Zoey is going through one too. Before, when we took her on walks and she saw people she would be anxious for them to pet her (she's an attention whore). But the last couple weeks, when I take her on walks around the park, she has been getting nervous when people talk to us and occasionally she is also tenative going forward when we are just approaching someone that we don't even talk to. She doesn't act out with aggression though - when she is nervous she backs up and runs around in circles and occasionally barks. With 2/3 of the people we meet she has been doing the run-around-in-circles. I attributed it to the new location (we moved a little more than a month ago, and the park where I walk her now way busier with both people and cars on the nearby roads than the neighborhood street I walked her on before we moved). But, she also turned 12 months 3 weeks ago, so that must be a factor too. It makes a lot more sense to me now why she would be nervous now about things she used to be so excited about.
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Offline slickerk

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Re: Proper age for acquiring rottweiler puppy
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2005, 01:53:25 pm »
thank you for the information. Considering I just got my puppy at 6 weeks old, I'll have to do what I can to make sure she does as well as she can.

Offline moonlitcroatia

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Re: Proper age for acquiring rottweiler puppy
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2005, 09:17:46 am »
I have not a doubt that you will do a fine job!
I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.  For me they are the role model for being alive.  ~Gilda Radner

Offline Higrpwd

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Re: Proper age for acquiring rottweiler puppy
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2005, 08:06:34 pm »
HI,

I just lost my Rott of 10yrs last week.. she was my baby!  The best dog I and my friends have ever met!  I'll miss her greatly and I know she is out on the beach somewhere running and playing with her stick.

Offline moonlitcroatia

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Re: Proper age for acquiring rottweiler puppy
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2005, 08:42:44 pm »
Sweet, majestic girl!  They make our lives so much better, eh?
I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.  For me they are the role model for being alive.  ~Gilda Radner

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Re: Proper age for acquiring rottweiler puppy
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2005, 12:06:23 am »
She looks so happy there!...I've no doubt she is on a sunny beach this side of The Bridge, waiting on you, stick in mouth...I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. :'(

Offline chrisg

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Re: Proper age for acquiring rottweiler puppy
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2008, 02:06:19 pm »
Desill is 17 months old and he does the same thing.  We got him at 15 weeks old and he had had 3! owners, 1 an abusive and one who kept him in a crate all the time. He is very shy around men in particular because of this.  When I brought him home he growled and backed away from my husband and son, but after they calmly petted and talked to him and fed him for a couple hours he was fine and he adores them now.  We worked really hard to socialize him, I am able to take him to work where he meets a lot of people and we walk him all the time.  But he will still walk up to some people and jump back as if afraid.  My main thing is that he mouths people he doesn't back off of.  This can be scary for strangers when he grabs their hands.  He doesn't bite but they don't know that!  I have read that this is a rottie trait.  He is   very attached to me and likes to just hold my fingers in his mouth.  I don't know how to draw the line between what's ok behavior with me and what is not with strangers.  He is our first rottie and he is the best dog we've ever had.  They are so sensitive, and smart I hate when I hear of people who try to make them mean.   Any thoughts on the mouthing stuff?