Teach Your Rottweiler to Stay
As the proud owner of a Rottweiler, we understand that they are large dogs with an independent mindset. They tend to go where ever they want, whenever they want, and it can be quite frustrating at times. Especially when you are trying to do something important, like bringing your groceries in from the car, cleaning, cooking dinner, or leaving for work.
Rottweilers are, thankfully, a very trainable breed. It may be time to teach your Rottie the command “stay” so that you can go on with your daily routine without your dog getting underfoot or wandering off where they are not supposed to be, like out the front door.
Prepare For Your Training
When you are ready to commit some time to training, “stay” can be taught using a very simple system. It just requires lots of praise and patience on your part. If you can agree to stay calm and focused, you can also get your Rottweiler to follow suit.
Teaching this command will require the use of a collar and leash. This is simply because your one track mind Rottweiler may decide halfway through your training session that they are bored with your training and want to go wander off and do something else. If you have their collar on and the leash attached, you can prevent your dog from meandering away. Also, if your Rottweiler becomes distracted during your training session, they cannot easily get away from you. So, if you are teaching them to stay while in your yard, and they get distracted by a squirrel, you can keep their attention by grabbing the leash and giving it a gentle tug to remind them that you should be the focus point, not the squirrel.
You can teach this command to your Rottweiler in your backyard, or in your home. Just make sure if you are outside, you are in a fenced in area just incase your Rottweiler manages to get away from you. I recommend teaching this command in your home first, then taking your lessons outside to further train them.
While discussing what you need to do to prepare for training, you will also need to have a reward system for praising your Rottweiler when they have done a good job. I suggest using some dry kibble, small dog treats, small cubes of cheese, or their favorite toy. When they have done a good job, you must reward them immediately so they understand what the reward is for.
I mentioned that you will be using your leash and collar in the training session. It is best to use a very long leash so you can walk far enough away from your dog so they can understand the concept of “staying put.”
Getting Your Rottweiler to Stay Put
Remember, your Rottweiler does not understand what you are telling them to do, so you have to show them. The way to encourage them to obey is to offer them a reward for a job well done. This makes your dog happy and willing to do what you are asking of them.
Make sure you attach your long leash (or you can use a long piece of rope if you don’t have a long leash) to your Rottweiler’s collar. If you have already taught your dog to sit or lay down, i would recommend asking them to do so. Make sure you reward them with a pat on the head so they know they are doing as you asked and that you are pleased with them, but leave the food award for when they stay put for you.
Next, you should tell your dog to “stay” in a firm voice. Slowly back away from your dog, even if it is only a foot, and then walk back to them and give them lots of praise and a reward. If they keep walking towards you, tell them “no” and have them sit or lay down again. Remember, do not reward them with a food treat or toy for sitting or laying down, just give them a pat on the head. It is not “sit” and “lay down” we are trying to teach them today.
This will require a lot of trial and error. Training involves a lot of patience. Do not get discouraged, just remain calm and have fun. The key to making your Rottweiler understand the concept of “stay” is to always reward them by walking up to them while they actively “staying put.” If you ask them to stay, and then have them come to you for the reward, you are really not teaching them anything at all. This can be very confusing to your Rottweiler, so make sure you only reward them after you have approached them.
As your Rottweiler get’s better at staying put for you while you are close, gradually increase the amount of time you are asking them to stay. At first try to get them to stay put for at least 5 seconds, then approach them for their reward. Now try to get them to stay for 10 seconds. When they have successfully stayed put for at least 10 seconds, then you can try 20 seconds, then 30 seconds, then a minute. Do not get discouraged if you find you can only get your dog to stay put for under 30 seconds. Remember, dogs have a very short attention span. Try to get your Rottweiler to focus on you and the reward you are waiting to give them. Showing the reward can sometimes make it very difficult for your Rottweiler to stay put and not run up to sniff your hands, but with lots of practice, you can accomplish anything.
Once you have successfully mastered staying put for 10 to 30 seconds at a short distance of maybe a foot or so, you can begin to gradually increase the distance. Try one foot at a time. When they stay put a foot away for 10 to 30 seconds, approach them for their reward. Next, move up to two feet. When they stay put for you for 10 to 30 seconds, reward them again. Keep increasing the amount of distance until you reach the end of your leash or rope. Try to get them to stay for up to a whole minute. If you have succeeded, you can also give yourself a reward, because you have done a great job so far.
Further Education in Staying Put
I bet you thought your training was complete. No, it is not over yet! But if you have made it this far, you are well on your way to owning a Rottweiler who will stay in one place for you.
The next exercise involves trying a new location. Switch rooms in your home, or go out back, or come back inside. Maybe you are feeling confident enough to try the park! Now, you may find you have to start all over again. Do not get frustrated. Start off with the baby steps. One foot for 10 seconds, two feet for 20 seconds, and up. You may find that they get the point a little quicker, because they learned this trick already.
When you have successfully taught them this command in a different location, you can try the final test. Removing the leash! I recommend doing this in your home or in a controlled area. We don’t want your Rottweiler running off.
With the leash off your dog, ask them to stay. Walk away from them and leave the room. Immediately come back and approach them with their reward if they have successfully stayed put. Gradually increase the amount of time you are gone, I like to increase by 5 to 10 seconds at a time. When you have successfully achieved this goal, it is safe to say that you have taught them how to “stay.”
So, to wrap it up:
- Stay calm, stay focused, and be patient!
- Your Rottweiler has a short attention span, so keep them focused on you!
- Start off with small increments of time and distance, increasing each time they stay put for you.
- Always approach your Rottweiler for their reward! They are not eligible for a reward if they break the stay position and come to you.