If you just got a Rottweiler puppy, you might decide to train it to be a guard dog for your home. After all, are known for being loyal and protective, which makes them a great choice for a guard. You can train a Rottie to be a watchdog, but it will take time and patience, and you’ll need to start training them when they are very young (and do it right). Training a Rottweiler isn’t easy, so be ready to put in the time and effort. Also, keep in mind that this breed tends to do better with experienced dog owners, since new dog owners may find them hard to work with, which can lead to bad training and behavior problems.
Before you can train your Rottweiler to protect you, you need to see how she acts now. Does she bark and roar when the mailman comes or when people come to visit? On walks, does she stand between you and strangers? If your Rottweiler is already acting like a guard dog, it will be easier to teach it to act in the right way.
If, on the other hand, your Rottweiler is too aggressive in the wrong situations, like if she keeps growling after you’ve welcomed guests and asked them to come in, you’ll need to control her instincts and give her ways to use up too much energy.
Even if a Rottweiler is happy and friendly with strangers at home, it can still learn to protect. Especially in young dogs, the instinct may not be fully formed yet, but it will be with time and training.
With the step-by-step guide below, if you’re up to the task, you can train your Rottweiler to be a guard dog. Be aware that there will be a lot to teach your puppy, but with some work, you’ll have a good guard dog in no time!
Step-by-step guide in training a Rottweiler to be a guard dog
Step 1: Basic Obedience
To properly train your Rottweiler, you will need to go through three training series, starting with basic obedience.
Start training your dog to obey the basics. This means you have to teach your dog how to “sit,” “stay,” “no,” and “speak.” At this point, treats or a clicker will be the first thing that will help.
When your Rottweiler can follow these easy commands, it’s time to teach them to control their impulses. This means using these commands when other people are in your house so your dog knows that your home doesn’t need to be guarded against everyone who isn’t you. This is where you can start to figure out who is friendly and who could be dangerous.
Then there are social skills. It’s important to get your puppy used to people who aren’t in your immediate family as soon as possible, so it learns that not all strangers are dangerous.
If you’re having trouble teaching your pet basic commands or getting it used to other people, you might want to take it to a trainer or obedience class to get help from a professional.
Step 2: Protecting Their Territory
Once your puppy knows the basics, it’s time to show it where the area it needs to protect is and where the limits are.
Put your Rottie on a leash every morning and evening and walk it around the area you want to protect (such as the front yard or the perimeter of the house). By doing this, they will learn what belongs in their territory and what doesn’t. Repeating this will also help your pet learn the limits of the area it is guarding.
Try to walk your dog in a quiet way so it can pay attention and learn what it needs to.
Once you’ve done this a few times, it’s time to leave your Rottweiler alone and let it spend time (on a long leash or inside a fence, if outside) in the area you want to be guarded. If your pet spends a few hours in the part of the house or yard it is guarding, it will think that everything in that part is its responsibility to protect. Putting things there like food, water, and toys will help people remember the idea.
When you see your dog showing interest in strangers or barking at things while guarding its territory, give it a treat so it knows that this is what it should be doing. Try to stop your Rottie from doing bad things, like barking at the mailman.
Don’t ever punish your pet for being bad. Negative feedback will hurt more than help.
When you think your dog has learned that this part of the house or yard needs to be guarded, ask a friend who your dog doesn’t know to go there and make some noise to get the Rottweiler’s attention. Once your dog has noticed the “danger” and started barking at the stranger, have your friend act scared and run away. This tells your dog that if he barks at things that aren’t right, like strange people, they will run away. This keeps your home safe.
If your pet is outside during the previous step, make sure it is tied down so it can’t lunge at your friend in case it needs to!
After your friend has “run away,” give your pet a treat for being a good watchdog.
Step 3: Command Barking
During basic obedience training, you should have taught your dog to “speak.” Now, it’s time to teach it how to bark when told to (or in potential danger).
Watch your dog to see what everyday things, like squirrels, the mailman, etc., they tend to bark at.
When your Rottweiler barks at a stranger coming up to the house or at something else that could be dangerous, tell it to “bark” as soon as you hear it start to bark. Reward your dog afterward for good behavior.
If your dog isn’t already barking, tell it to “bark” and give it a treat if it starts to do so.
Keep doing this when you see people or things you don’t want around the house. After a few days, bring back a friend your dog doesn’t know and have them come up while you tell your dog to bark. This will let you see how well your pet is doing. Reward your Rottie if it barks!
Keep practicing until your dog will bark at strangers, etc., on its own.
The video Below shows a sample on how to train Rottweiler to be a guard dog:
Rottweiler Training Timeline
Key Milestones: 6–7 Weeks
Rottweiler training starts before your puppy even comes home. Here are some things your pet’s breeder should do to help it get off to a good start.
Training Goal: Socialize the dog early on while it is still with the breeder.
“The first seven or eight weeks a puppy spends with the breeder are very important, which is why you want to find a breeder who spends time with the puppies in their home,” says Bradley. “From the time they are born, the puppies should be handled every day.” Around the sixth or seventh week, they should also try to get people to come to visit, especially children who laugh and make loud noises.
“The breeder needs to do a good job of screening visitors so they don’t bring in diseases like Parvo,” she says. “But it’s also important for the puppies to start meeting new people.” “It’s also very important for them to get to know their other littermates, especially in the sixth week. Because of this, a puppy should never be taken from its litter before it is seven weeks old.”
Key Milestones: 8–9 Weeks
When you first bring your Rottie home, you’ll have a lot of firsts to deal with.
Training Goal: Set your goals and expectations for training.
What do you want your dog to know how to do by the time it’s a year old? Now is the time to think about these goals and start laying the groundwork for training.
Bradley says that basic manners, like lying down and not begging during dinner, being able to heel when guests come over and coming when called without getting distracted are common goals for the average dog owner.
Training Goal: Keep introducing your puppy to new people.
Your breeder should have started introducing your puppy to new people and places, but it’s important to keep in mind that Rottweilers are “very susceptible” to viruses like Parvo and should be kept away from them.
Visit friends or family, or go to a big store that lets pets in, so your dog can see, smell, and hear new things.
A Rottweiler puppy is lying down inside with a toy to help it cut its teeth.
Training Goal: Get your Rottweiler used to having his nails trimmed and other grooming tasks.
Rottweilers are usually a calm breed, but there are some things you can start doing right away to help with their grooming, like getting them used to getting their nails trimmed.
With this breed, Bradley notes, “building a foundation for doing toenails is particularly crucial because they are strong, huge, and stubborn so rapidly.”
Breeders should start taking care of Rottweiler puppies’ nails as early as week one and continue to do so every week.
Once you bring your pet home, be ready to use a Dremel twice a week for the first two months of your puppy’s life, and then once a week once you’ve gotten used to it. As a treat, you could give your Rottie a bite of cheese.
Baths aren’t needed very often (about once a month), and brushing can be done daily or once a week, depending on what’s needed.
Training Goal: Train the basic commands.
Bradley says that Rotties this age are “like sponges” and can learn a lot.
But be ready for short attention spans and keep your lessons to about five minutes. First, you should teach:
Roll over Speak
Shake a paw
“If you’re sitting on the couch and your puppy jumps up, say “Off” and give them a treat as soon as all four of their feet are on the floor,” she says. “Feed them if they don’t leave. If they jump back on, repeat the command. If they don’t get it, gently push them off and give them a treat right away. They will quickly learn how to say “off.”
When your dog meets new people and wants to jump up on them, you can also use this phrase.
Training Goal: Start potty training.
Rottweiler puppies should have a place set aside for going to the bathroom as soon as they are five to eight weeks old.
“If they learn to only go on blankets, towels, or the floor, it will be harder for the new owner to get them used to the house at first,” says Bradley.
Your job is to make sure that your puppy has plenty of chances to go outside often so that your dog can learn to go to the right place.
At eight weeks, your dog should be able to sleep for five to six hours in a crate.
Training Goal: Try walking with a leash
Bradley says that there is no set age to do this, but that eight weeks is a good time to start. “Make sure they are used to wearing a collar before you start training them to walk on a leash. Once they stop scratching and rubbing against the collar, you can snap on a leash and walk with them.
Once your dog is used to you following his or her lead, try it the other way around.
“You want to get them to want to follow you,” she says. “Most puppies want to follow you, so if they stop, use light pressure and lots of encouragement and praise to get them to go with you.”
Training Goal: Find out what Rottweilers are good at. Bradley says that Rottweiler puppies are very smart and can start learning anything as early as eight weeks if their bodies are ready.
She suggests trying small agility obstacles like tunnels or a dog walk, as well as foundational skills like herding ducks, swimming, tracking, obedience work, scent work, and barn hunting.
Because your puppy is still growing and the growth plates are still open, it’s best to avoid jumping and heavy exercise like hikes.
Training Goal: Stop the dog from biting, nipping, growling, guarding, and doing other bad things.
“The Rottweiler has instincts to herd, and it likes to chase or bite pants legs,” says Bradley. She adds that these actions should be stopped, but since they’re normal, there’s no need to make a big deal out of them.
Most of the time, you might be able to ignore the behavior or gently pull your dog’s mouth away from an object it shouldn’t be touching.
For guarding behavior, she says to take the item away, say “out,” and then give it back.
If you correct your puppy’s bad habits and deal with them right away, he or she probably won’t do them anymore after four months. But if you don’t deal with them, they could become problems for the rest of your life.
A Rottweiler puppy is sitting in the park with its owner.
Key Milestones: 4 Months
Now is the time to play with other dogs and do more.
Training Goal: Get your Rottweiler’s puppy shots and get him or she used to other dogs.
Once your Rottweiler has had all of its shots, you can introduce it to other pets.
“When meeting other dogs, the owner should always watch to make sure there isn’t any bullying and that the dogs are behaving in the right way,” says Bradley.
Training Goal: Sign up your dog for obedience classes.
Since Rottweiler puppies should be fully vaccinated before being around other puppies, it’s best to wait until your dog is 16 weeks old to sign up for obedience classes.
Bradley says that if you want to start expert training sooner, you can always hire a private trainer, ask your breeder for advice, sign up for a virtual class, or use another safe option.
Why do Rottweilers make such good guard dogs?
Rottweilers might be the best dogs for guarding. From their natural instincts to their smarts to their scary barks and looks, these dogs have a lot going for them as guard dogs.
When compared to other breeds, Rottweilers tend to have natural instincts to protect their owners. Even though not all Rottweilers will instinctively want to protect their people, many of them will. Protection drive is a common trait of the breed and should be expected from most Rottweilers.
Most Rottweilers start to show their instinct to protect when they are about a year or two old. But some Rottweilers start to show these instincts when they are very young, as early as four or six months. Rottweilers’ strong instinct to protect has come from many years of breeding.
They were first made by crossing Asian mastiffs with Roman dogs (as were other bully breeds). When the Romans went all over the world, they used Rottweilers to drive their animals. During this time, they may have also been used as war dogs. After the Roman Empire fell, Rottweilers found a new home in ancient Germany as herding and farm dogs.
Not only did they take care of the animals, but when the herds went to market, they also kept the animals safe from thieves and wild animals. They had to have strong instincts to protect their herds so they could spot possible threats and face them bravely. Rottweilers became popular as police dogs, guard dogs, and cart pullers as time went on.
In these jobs, their natural safety skills got even better. The Rottweiler of today is a natural guardian of their family, home, other pets, and livestock.
A good guard dog needs to be able to tell what’s what. Guard dogs must be able to tell the difference between people who live in the house and people who might be a threat. Rottweilers are smart enough to do a good job at this job. Most Rottweilers can tell the difference between when they’re on the job and when they’re off the clock if they’re socialized well.
They can walk with you and do other things with you without being aggressive, but if someone tries to come onto your property, they can be very scared and attack if they have to. Most Rottweilers don’t bite unless they are really annoyed. Instead, their natural tendency is to corner and draw attention to possible intruders so the owner can deal with the problem.
Still, you should never let a Rottweiler decide on their own if a stranger is a threat that needs to be dealt with by biting or not. If you need a stranger to come onto your property, you should keep your Rottweiler in a safe place.
But a Rottweiler may be less likely than some other breeds to bite without reason. When properly trained, Rottweilers can show a lot of discrimination. They can walk with a small child and won’t bite a stranger unless the stranger grabs the child in an aggressive way.
Physical Strength and a Scary Bark
The Rottweiler is a dog that is very strong. They can weigh more than 100 pounds and have a lot of muscle. Rottweilers have big heads and big jaws, which give them one of the strongest bites of any dog. The black and tan color scheme can also make you look scary to people who might be a threat.
When Rottweilers are guarding, they sound like they are roaring instead of barking. Some people think that they sound more like a lion or a bear than a dog. This rough bark makes it clear to anyone who might try to break into a property what will happen if they keep trying.
If someone does proceed to take on a fight with a Rottweiler, they’re unlikely to come out on top. These powerful dogs are well able to take down even a very physically fit assailant. They have powerful haunches that can launch them into the air and strong, hard nails that dig into the earth, offering a superior grip to help propel them forward.
However, Rottweilers are not so heavy that they are slowed down by their weight. These aren’t the fastest dogs in the world, but they are much faster than a person. A Rottweiler would have no trouble chasing down an assailant who was trying to run from them.
Rottweilers are usually very sure of themselves and won’t back down from any threat. This is one of the reasons they have been so effective as police and military dogs. A Rottweiler will charge into loud noises like bombs or gunfire that may frighten other breeds without a second thought.
Three levels of guarding: barking, walking around, and attacking.
The Puppy Institute says that dogs can guard in different ways, such as by barking, walking around, or attacking.
The best thing to do is teach your dog how to do all three tasks and when to do each one.
The easiest and safest thing to teach your Rottweiler is to bark when someone they don’t know comes close.
Alert barking is very different from the general barking that many dogs do when someone comes home. Alert barking is a controlled kind of barking that your dog learns to do to talk to you.
To train your dog to do this task well, there are four important steps:
First, you need to teach your Rottweiler to bark on command. Many trainers use the word “speak” to tell their dog to bark.
Next, you want your dog to let you know when it sees something dangerous.
After that, you want your dog to know what you’ll do next (such as coming to investigate why they are barking).
The last thing you want is for your dog to stop barking when you tell it to.
Guarding the outside of a space is the same as patrolling it. Say you want your dog to keep watch over your house and yard. This is what it means to patrol.
If you teach alert barking first, your Rottweiler will already know how to bark and stop when you tell it to.
Again, there are important steps your dog must learn to patrol:
First, if you haven’t already, teach your dog to bark when something is wrong.
Next, you need to teach your Rottweiler where the perimeter starts and stops. You can do this by walking your Rottie all the way around the outside.
After that, you have to get help from a friend your dog doesn’t know.
As your friend comes closer to the perimeter boundary, you will work with your dog to train perimeter guarding by giving the bark/stop bark commands.
If you don’t want your Rottweiler to bark or patrol around people who visit often, like friends and neighbors, you’ll need to train it more.
The most advanced of these three skills for guarding and protecting is attacking.
In order for your dog to attack, you will need to teach it to use all the skills it has already learned.
To teach your Rottweiler how to attack an intruder, you’ll need the right safety gear and help from a willing (and brave) friend.
How to train your Rottweiler to attack
You and your Rottweiler should sign up for a local K-9 protection dog program. This is the best and safest way to teach your dog how to attack an intruder when you tell it to.
A master trainer will show you how to do things. You will be given the gear you need to keep yourself safe. You and your dog will work together as a strong and sure-of-itself unit.
If this isn’t an option where you live, you might want to hire a private dog trainer to teach you and your dog. This is the best and safest way to avoid accidents and confusion that could slow you down and make it take longer to get what you want.
Safety Concerns to Consider When Teaching Your Rottweiler to Attack
Experts in dog training can make a living by teaching your Rottweiler how to attack.
In other words, “don’t try this at home” might be a better title. Rottweilers are very strong, and even if your dog doesn’t want to hurt you, it can and does.
This is not something you should try to do on your own if you just got a dog or have never tried to teach a dog to attack before.
You might decide to try it, but if you ever feel unsure or scared, stop right away and find a professional dog trainer to help you. For your safety and the safety of your dog, we can’t say this enough.
How to Take Care of Your Rottweiler Security Dog
A Rottweiler guard dog must come first as a pet for the family and then as a guard dog. These aren’t the kind of dogs that can be left alone in a yard to keep people safe without any help from their families. Rottweilers show their families a lot of affection and love. Most people think their Rottweiler is silly, funny, and a velcro dog at home.
Most of the time, these dogs love everyone in the family, and when they get to know family and friends well, they can also be very affectionate with them. They can’t get enough affection. Many Rottweilers will do a lot of work just to get their behinds scratched. Rottweilers have a moderate amount of energy and are usually calm and well-behaved inside the house.
If Rottweilers are left outside and don’t get a lot of love and attention from their families, they can become aggressive toward the family, neurotic, and sad. Rottweilers can be left to guard the family home and property when you have to leave for the day and don’t want to take your dog with you. However, they need at least a few hours of family time and activity every day.
You can also look at your local laws to find out what they say about guard dogs. People will sometimes hold you responsible if your dog bites someone, no matter what the situation is. In other places, a dog is not responsible if it is provoked, like when a thief breaks into your house without being asked.
Before getting a Rottweiler as a guard dog, it’s important to know the laws, since you could be held responsible for a lot of charges even if someone broke in without permission.
Even if your dog behaved well, it could be taken away from you and put to sleep in some situations. In rare cases, dog owners can even be charged with second-degree murder or manslaughter if it can be shown that they knew their dog was dangerous and did not keep it under control.
How Well Does a Rottweiler Protection Dog Fit Your Needs?
This article from the New York Times says that a protection dog is only as good as the training it gets and how much its new owner cares for it.
There are no solid numbers about how often a personal guard or protection dog is really able to protect its owner or property from possible threats.
But there are many statistics about how many dogs are given up each year because their owners can’t afford to take care of them, don’t have enough time to socialize them, can’t control them, or move to a new place that doesn’t allow dogs (or certain dog breeds).
It’s possible that a good “smart” home security system with a live person to answer questions would meet your needs better than a strong and smart guard dog.
Before deciding that your Rottweiler will be your first (or best) line of defense against intruders, you should talk about your worries with your partner and family.
This is especially true if you have young children or other pets that are easy to hurt.
No matter how well-trained a Rottweiler is, the American Rottweiler Club strongly advises against leaving a Rottweiler alone with young children.
This is recommended because of the Rottweiler’s size and strength, but also because something bad could happen if your dog gets upset about something and hurts a child or pet.
Rottweilers who are taught to guard and protect will need to be trained and praised every day for the rest of their lives to remember what they have learned.
K-9 handlers usually work out their dogs every day. To keep the dogs’ skills sharp, they drill them on commands and act out dangerous situations.
Is it better to have two Rottweilers guards than one?
If you want a dog to protect your family or your property, you might wonder if it is better to train two or more dogs instead of just one. Even if one dog fails to do its job or gets hurt by an attacker, the second or third dog may still be able to finish the job.
Even though Rottweilers can do fine on their own, many of them like to be with other dogs.
If you have more than one Rottweiler, it may be much less likely that someone will break into your home, even if they are brave enough to try to fight one. You can definitely train more than one Rottweiler to protect your home or you. Rottweilers are smart dogs that can also learn from each other. This means that after you train one dog, it may be able to help you train the second dog.
Most of the time, it’s best to get one dog at a time and make sure the first one is fully trained before getting another. Training two or more untrained dogs at the same time is very hard, and you will have to train each one separately, which can take a lot more time.
Rottweilers are not known to be very dog-aggressive, but some of them can be picky about which dogs they like. It is normal for a Rottweiler to protect you or your home from strange dogs, just like they would protect it from strange people.
Rottweilers of different sexes may get along better with each other than Rottweilers of the same sex. If you have a male and female Rottweiler, the male may act aggressively toward other dogs or even people in the house when the female goes into heat, so it may be best to spay and neuter or at least spay the female dog.
Legal Matters When Teaching Your Rottweiler to Attack
The Animal Legal & Historical Center says that the Rottweiler dog breed is dangerous in some parts of the world.
Some neighborhoods and housing groups also don’t let people have Rottweilers for the same reason. And some home insurance companies will charge more or refuse to cover people who live with a Rottweiler dog.
Even if none of these rules apply to you, you should know that if you teach your Rottweiler to attack, you take on more responsibility if your dog hurts someone in the future.
Even if your Rottweiler hurts a real intruder, this is still true. There is nothing that can stop the intruder from suing you for damages in today’s society, which is full of lawsuits. Even if you win, defending yourself will take a lot of time and (most likely) money.
OffGridWeb Cobra Canine trainer says that for the same reason, you should think about getting liability insurance in case someone sues you and your dog.
Training a Rottweiler to be a guard dog requires consistent and positive reinforcement techniques over time. A typical puppy training timeline is until 4 months. Rottweilers make excellent guard dogs due to their protective instincts, Intelligence, Physical Strength, Scary Bark, and Bravery. There are three levels of guarding behavior: barking, Patrolling, and attacking. It is important to be cautious when training a Rottweiler to attack, as there are safety concerns to consider. The owner must provide proper care for their security dog, including proper exercise, nutrition, and veterinary care. Consider if a Rottweiler protection dog fits your needs and be aware of any legal matters before training them to attack. Having two Rottweilers may increase security, but it also doubles the responsibility of the owner.