Crate training a Rottweiler puppy is a great idea, the second-best idea after getting one, you’ve already made a good choice of breed. Rottweilers are partners you can count on.
Rottweilers are in the top 10 most popular dog breeds in America and that’s for good reasons.
Along with the basic crate training steps and tips, In this article, we will be providing you with a detailed profile that will enable you to crate train your Rottweiler puppy to perfection.
Without further introductions let us explore together the personality and characteristics that make the rottweiler what it is.
Crate training a Rottweiler puppy
Before you can start crate training your Rottweiler puppy you need to know what kind of dog it is.
So I made a small FAQ about the rottweiler to allow you to understand it’s profile and personality.
It is very important to have an idea about what to expect when crate training a rottweiler puppy so you can manage any potential difficulties without incidents.
So let’s start by the rottweiler profile :
AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 8 of 195
Height: 24-27 inches (male), 22-25 inches (female)
Weight: 95-135 pounds (male), 80-100 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 9-10 yearsAKC
Rottweilers are considered large dogs but very friendly, they need human contact but always alert when among strangers.
They are considered working dogs and do great with physical activities and need to be challenged. So you can expect a lot of play sessions, especially with interactive toys.
Rottweilers are better trained at a young age and need constant discipline but not roughness as it can lead to stubbornness and aggression.
Are Rottweilers aggressive?
By nature Rottweilers are territorial and can be aggressive toward other dogs, however, this can be managed if raised correctly.
Crate training a Rottweiler puppy at a young age is the best thing you can do to point his territorial instinct in the right direction and enforce some manners.
Rottweilers can be party poopers at dog parks, so early socializing and training will make them perfect family guardians.
They can be predatory toward cats but again if disciplined well and at a young age they can be very friendly.
Are Rottweilers good with kids?
In general, Rottweilers are watchful dogs and will proceed with caution when introduced to anything new, that includes kids.
Due to their predatory instinct kids should be introduced gradually and under supervision at first to Rottweilers.
Once the Rottweiler identifies the kid as a family member you can be sure he’s more than safe with him.
Are Rottweilers active dogs?
Rottweilers are not very active dogs, they are working dogs but do not need a lot of activity. Owners need to make sure they are getting enough exercise as they will not do it themselves and they need it to maintain their health.
Not being active does not mean they can be left alone all day, they need human contact all the time or else they get bored and destructive.
Usually, a 10-15 minutes walk and a couple of play sessions a day to interact are more than enough.
But you need to be aware that when you get a Rottweiler you are ready to share your house and your life and get physical and touchy.
Are Rottweilers easy to train?
Rottweilers are not hard to train, and they respond just fine to training but, they are not for everyone.
If you lack leadership or don’t have the time for daily exercise it can be really hard to train a Rottweiler properly.
Rottweilers are a lot of work and need commitment especially at the early stages of training, but when trained well they are considered among the best family guardians.
Crate training a Rottweiler puppy is not hard though since the territorial instinct helps a lot once you can make the crate a home.
Potential issues when crate training a Rottweiler puppy
When crate training a Rottweiler puppy you can expect some potential difficulties due to the breed personality traits you may want to read this article about Rottweilers it could be helpful. Here is a list of all the expected issues you might experience :
Rottweilers can show signs of stubbornness, especially if not disciplined well at a young age or if treated roughly.
Rottweilers are a lazy breed and will not make the physical exercise they need daily to maintain their health.
Rottweilers are a needy breed that must have affection and physical interaction all the time.
Rottweilers are not for pet parents that believe that dogs should run free and need no education nor training.
Crate training a Rottweiler puppy needs a strong personality to show who’s the pack leader they will get territorial if you lack leadership.
Steps to crate training a rottweiler puppy
The crate training steps are almost identical for most dogs, differences are in the choice of the crate and tools you need and how much time can your dog stay alone in the crate.
And the first and most important step in any crate training program is the choice of the crate and training treats.
Best crate size for a Rottweiler puppy
When choosing the best crate size for your dog you need to know what makes it perfect.
- The dog should be able to stand in the crate without touching the top of it.
- The dog should be able to turn around inside the crate to get out.
- When he lays down the dog’s front should not be touching the crate.
- The crate should not be too big for the dog just a few inches larger than him.
The crate being larger than the dog is easy to understand as the dog needs to feel comfortable enough. However, the fact that it needs to be not too big is related to potty training.
Dog trainers noticed that whenever the crate is too big for the dog he turns a corner into a potty corner and lives in the other. Dogs are fairly clean animals and would not do their business where they sleep unless they can’t hold it.
Rottweilers are often easier to train when it comes to potty training since they are considered large dogs and therefore have large bladders, so they can usually hold it longer than most dogs.
So based on the Rottweiler’s size the perfect crate size for him is :
DIMENSIONS: 48L x 30W x 33H. This is of course for a regular Rottweiler, if yours is a mix that is a bit larger or smaller you can opt for the 54″crate for larger ones and 42″ for smaller ones.
It is better if you get a crate with a divider so you can make it larger as the dog gets older and bigger.
The best crate for crate training a Rottweiler puppy
There are plenty of crates out there and your choice should be based on the size and temperament of your dog.
Some aggressive and chewy dogs will need a heavy-duty crate while other small dogs could be fine in a plastic one.
For rottweilers, I always recommend a wire crate as I do for most of my dogs, since it’s the best crate for crate training.
The wire crate provides a lot of open space that will be of much help at the early phase of crate training, It also allows the dog to keep an eye on his family and relax.
The crate I strongly recommend for crate training a rottweiler puppy is the MidWest double door wire crate(click here to check the current price on Amazon), not only it has a double door (very helpful when introducing the puppy to his crate) but it comes with a divider that will enable you to adjust the size as the puppy is getting bigger so it’s always the perfect size and you won’t have to invest in a new crate every few months.
Preparing the training treats and a chew toy
Crate training is based on one idea which is making the crate a safe and nice home for your dog. To make the crate great you’ll need some motivational tools to speed up the process.
The best way to do it is to prepare some training treats and a chew toy.
Training treats could be tricky though, as you can’t just keep giving treats to your dog. You have to be aware of his daily calorie intake so it is better to get some that are natural and low on calories to avoid messing with his digestif system.
I personally recommend America’s Vet Dogs treats(click here to check the current price on Amazon). These are just great, dogs love them, they are low in calories and made and sourced in the USA so they are safe to use. I also like this brand because it supports a great cause by providing service dogs to disabled veterans.
If you need more details about how to use dog treats how much you can give your dog and how to phase out on them check out this article.
As for the chew toy, I can’t talk enough about how important it is to get the KONG chew toy(click here to check the current price on Amazon).
I wrote an article about how to crate train with a kong I suggest you read it it’s a must-have tool.
Introducing the rottweiler to his crate
You should never introduce your dog to something when it’s time to do it, meaning don’t wait till bedtime and just put your dog in a crate he never saw and expect him to be calm.
Your dog should be introduced to his crate early on during the day, take him on a leash and just circle around the crate and let him explore it.
Make sure the doors of the crate are secured to avoid any incidents that might freak your puppy out.
Let him sniff around and once comfortable enough let him get in and out freely, and this is exactly why I strongly recommend the double door wire crate. It provides a lot of open space dogs usually don’t feel trapped when they get in and it makes it a lot easier to explore it.
Luring the puppy into the crate
Now that your dog has explored the crate and showing no signs of rejection you can start luring him inside using the training treats.
Just toss one in and let the dog get it and once he does, praise and reward him. Make sure you praise him while inside the crate so he associates good feelings with it.
Keep doing the same thing only give the treat inside the crate and praise, dogs are smart enough to pick up on it and start to offer to get in the crate on their own to get the treat.
Once your dog starts to get in the crate on his own to get the treat, it’s your sign that he is ready for the next step.
Making the crate great
Dogs often associate feelings with places so the best way to make the puppy love his crate is to associate it with good feelings.
Crate training a rottweiler puppy using the kong chew toy is a great idea. You can use it to lure the dog into the crate and keep him busy in there.
But the first thing to do is to start feeding the dog his meals in the crate. You have to sit next to the crate and leave it open to reassure him.
The more meals you serve your dog in the crate the more comfortable he is being in it. You can close the door gradually until your rottweiler is showing no objection to the door being closed while eating. Open the door once the dog is done feeding and gradually increase the time he spends in the crate with the door closed after his meal using the kong to keep him busy.
Exercising before crate training
A crate is a place for your dog to relax, so he has to be low on energy when he goes in the crate.
Make sure you schedule a play session or a walk just before he goes in the crate. You’ll find that your dog is more likely to lay down and relax in the crate.
Don’t overdo it young puppies should be fine with a 10 minutes walk or a play session with an interactive dog toy.
Interactive dog toys are great in bonding with your dog and they sure do help enforce leadership.
I suggest getting this chew bone toy(click here to check the current price on Amazon) it’s great especially for large breeds like the Rottweiler. You can use it before crate training your Rottweiler puppy to let the energy out enforce manners as dogs love these and will obey for more playing time and to bond with your partner.
Spending time in the crate
Now that your dog is feeding in the crate and spending more time after each meal playing with his chew toy; you need to leave him alone in there so he can accept it’s a safe place.
Don’t just leave but start slow, let him in the crate with his kong, and move around the room where the crate is installed but don’t interact much with him. Every once in a while leave the room for a couple of minutes then go back in but make it natural.
If your dog is showing some objections to being in the crate with the door closed don’t force it, let him out, and start over.
With the exercising before going in and the kong in there, he will be probably fine.
Increase the time he spends in there gradually and also the time you spend out of the room. Once you hit the 30 minutes mark you are all set and you can even leave the house for a short errand.
Crate training a rottweiler puppy at night
Crate training a rottweiler puppy at night could be challenging, but if you do it right you can expect your dog to be fine in the crate within a couple of days.
Again this is why I recommend introducing your dog to his crate during the day so that he is not surprised when it’s time to sleep in it.
You should know that dogs sleep around 12 hours a day anyway and younger puppies sleep up to 18 hours, so if your dog has spent a great day in the crate playing and having his meals and treats, he will surely sleep in it at night.
You should know that during the night you will have to wake up at least once to let your puppy out to eliminate since small dogs can’t hold their bladder for the whole night.
However, you should stop feeding your dog at least two hours before going in the crate and also take him out for a potty break just before bedtime.
I would suggest keeping the crate near your bed or at least in the same room for a couple of weeks until your dog is used to the crate.
Rottweiler puppy crying at night
It is expected that your puppy cries in his crate at night especially in the first couple of nights. Do not let the puppy out while he is crying if you do he will associate crying and barking with getting out of the crate.
The right thing to do is to ignore the puppy at first let him cry for a few minutes and how it goes. If the puppy keeps crying over 5 minutes; You need simply to calm your dog in the crate and praise him while inside and this is why keeping the crate next to your bed is a good idea.
You want to make sure the dog does not need to go out for a potty break so if you do let him out do not interact at night. It must be a potty break and that’s it.
In extreme cases where the puppy just won’t stop you can just secure the leash to the crate and move it around to get the dog’s attention and break his barking cycle.
Crate training an old rottweiler
Crate training an adult Rottweiler is almost the same as crate training a Rottweiler puppy, the steps are the same and the main idea is to make the crate a safe and secure place for your dog to relax.
The tools are the same and the kong and the treats are your main way to lure the dog into the crate.
The only difference is that you may experience some resistance which is totally understandable since the adult dog has already acquired some habits and a daily routine.
Make sure to exercise plenty and have a play session before the dog goes into the crate to make the dog less resistant to being in the crate.
Crate training a rescue rottweiler puppy
Crate training a rescue rottweiler is also the same thing as crate training an adult dog. follow the same steps just go slowly and make sure the dog is comfortable with his new environment.
I myself ask at the shelter about the dog’s history to see if there are any incidents in the past that could affect the dog’s training.
I would also take things a bit slower to gain the dog’s confidence and make him feel safe.
When it comes to rescue dogs, you never know what they’ve been through so anything could setup a negative reaction; So again try to take things slow and be patient and praise and reward heavily on every step.
How long does it take to crate train a rottweiler puppy
Crate training a Rottweiler puppy is way easier and faster than most dogs due to their protective and territorial instinct.
Some experienced dog owners and trainers can do it in a matter of a couple of weeks.
You can expect to see progress from day one, and you follow the steps we saw earlier and don’t rush things, you will be able to crate train your Rottweiler in the matter of 2 to 3 weeks most.
Crate training and adult Rottweiler may take more time since usually adult dogs have already a daily routine in place that you have to break before they acquire a new one.
The same thing is applicable to rescue dogs unless they’ve had bad experiences with crates before which is going to take you a lot longer to establish a trust relationship with the crate.