Choosing a Puppy

So, now that you've decided you want a puppy, you may wonder how to select the right rottie puppy for you. As you might guess, not all rottweiler puppies have the same personality. Some puppies will be more bossy than others. Some puppies are timid.

If you have found a reputable breeder, that breeder may select a puppy according to what she has learned about you and your situation. The breeder has had eight weeks to evaluate the various temperaments as opposed to you, who will only have a few minutes or an hour at best to see and judge each puppy.

Even from a young age, the markings on rottweilers are easily defined.

If the breeder does not choose a puppy for you or if you have to make a choice between two puppies, you must first decide what type of personality you are looking for. Most pet owners are looking for an easy-going, tractable dog that isn't too difficult to get along with. In puppies, that relates to a puppy that isn't too dominant or aggressive. Dominant puppies are often the first to come to you. They may play more roughly than the other puppies, pinning their siblings or roughhousing with other, more dominant pups.

You also may not want one who is too independent. An independent puppy will show little or no interest in humans, preferring instead to do his own thing. Independent puppies may not care if they please you or not.

Having the breeder choose a dog for you is actually better than you choosing your own puppy. While it's exciting to choose for yourself, often people choose a puppy because “he picked me!” Those who “pick” their owners are quite often dominant.

Another type of puppy to look out for is the overly submissive or fearful puppy. This puppy may see you and cower or crouch submissively. When you pet him, his eyes become very wide and he may become very frightened. You don't want a puppy like this because he can turn into a fear-biter.

Temperament Testing

Looks aren't everything when it comes to choosing a pet. You'll need to ask the breeder if you can perform some simple temperament tests to make sure you are getting a dog that will mesh with your personality. You may wish to suggest that the breeder relocate the puppies' mother in case she is very protective of the pups.

Observe the puppies playing. Is there one that is pushy or aggressive? This may be a more dominant puppy. An independent puppy may do things on his own. A submissive puppy may play with other puppies but will look like he's being picked on.

Call the puppies to you. Kneel down and clap your hands. The puppies should look at you curiously and come to you. Any that cringe, run away, or ignore you are probably not a personality you want. (It is okay if the puppy starts coming and suddenly gets distracted or if the puppy comes and then leaves.) With the breeder's permission, pick up and cuddle each of the puppies. A normal reaction to being held and cuddled individually is a little apprehension followed by cheerful acceptance.

Gently turn a puppy over onto his back. If he struggles and fusses violently, let him up. This is a very dominant puppy and one you may not want. If he lies there, submissively urinates, or looks frightened, he is most likely very submissive and may become a fear-biter. One who struggles a bit and then accepts a nice tummy rub is a dog with a personality somewhere in between.

Your rottweiler puppy should show interest in you. Throwing a ball should incite inquisitive play. If the puppy seems lethargic (and hasn't just woken up from a nap) or if something seems wrong, trust your instincts and look for another breeder.

When do I want a dominant puppy?

There are times when someone wants a dominant puppy. If you're looking for a strong Schutzhund candidate or a confident conformation dog, a dominant dog may work for you. But you must know how to handle these self-assured rotties, or you may end up with a bully on your hands.

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