Rottweilers are fierce dogs with muscular bodies. They are capable of protecting their owners and guarding the house. But are Rottweilers Playful?
Even though Rottweilers are favored for strength, protectiveness, and intelligence, they are playful and affectionate dogs. With responsible breeding, adequate training, and extensive socialization, Rottweiler puppies can grow into playful adults.
There is a popular misconception that all Rottweilers are supposed to be aggressive and mean. We will further look into how playful this breed is and also go through some ways you can make your Rottie playful.
What does being playful mean?
Playful dogs are always ready for fun. Different dogs prefer different types of play.
However, one common trait of all playful dogs is that they have go-all-day stamina. They need tons of mental and physical stimulation to combat boredom.
Are all playful dogs equally playful?
One of the best things about dogs is their playfulness. It is considered that playfulness is one of the domestication’s side-effects. It also indicates a state of positive welfare.
However, not all breeds are equally playful. There are individual differences among members of the same breed.
In a breed that is generally described as playful, there can be even-tempered individuals, just like not all Labradors enjoy being petted and not all Portuguese Water like water sports.
Following the same concept, a breed that is generally perceived as even-tempered and aloof can have surprisingly playful members. The Rottweiler is the perfect example of this.
How playful are Rottweilers?
When describing the Rottweiler breed, the AKC says, ‘the aloof demeanor these world-class guardians present to outsiders belies the playfulness, and downright silliness, that endear Rotties to their loved ones.’ This description clearly states that contrary to popular belief – Rottweilers are playful dogs.
Generally speaking, Rottweilers should be playful, gentle, and affectionate with family members and friends. Their guarding instincts should only be displayed under the right circumstances – if there is an imminent threat.
Their playfulness is given three out of five possible stars. This means they naturally have a playful side, but that side needs to be positively encouraged.
How to raise a playful Rottweiler?
As mentioned, there are three key steps to raising a playful Rottweiler – responsible breeding, adequate training, and extensive socialization.
As a parent, the responsible breeding part is not something you can influence. However, adequate training and extensive socialization are areas you have control over.
Here are some simple tips for raising a playful Rottweiler:
- Play with your Rottweiler puppy several times per day, every day. All puppies enjoy interacting games like fetch and tug-of-war.
- Please do not be shy when it comes to showing affection to your Rottweiler. Talking in a sensitive and exciting voice and frequent cuddling will positively affect your relationship.
- Purchase several high-quality toys. Rottweilers get easily bored, so get various chew toys and keep rotating them.
- Organize play dates. Invite other dogs over, or take your Rottie to dog parks regularly. This will make your pooch socially comfortable.
- Challenge the mind and not just the body. Teach your Rottweiler puppy fun tricks. The goal is not to create a clownishly-behaving dog but to increase your mutual bond and stimulate the mind.
- Give your Rottweiler plenty of treats. You do not want your puppy to grow into an obese Rottweiler that listens only when there is a delicious treat in your pocket, but good behavior deserves a proper reward. Instead of treats, you can even use vocal praise or whatever motivates your rott.
- Invest in obedience training and socialization classes. Enrolling your Rottweiler puppy in the doggy kinder garden will help it socialize and set the foundation for good obedience training.
How to know if your Rottweiler is playful?
When interacting with another dog, a playful Rottweiler will exhibit the following behaviors:
- Exaggerated bowing – this might be the golden standard of playful behavior. Putting the front legs on the ground, arching the back, and sticking the butt up is a clear invitation to play.
- Romping – slapping the front legs while bowing shows the dog’s eagerness towards the upcoming play session.
- Self-handicapping – occurs when the physically bigger and stronger dog allows being knocked down by the smaller dog.
- Play growling and barking – this may seem scary but is a way of communicating with the playmate. As long as the body language indicates a playful demeanor, the growling and barking are part of the play.
- Play biting – when watching from the side, it is easy to see the biting as a bad thing mistakenly. Play biting is a completely normal dog behavior. It is not intended to cause harm and is actually more of a nipping than regular biting.
- Smiling – as funny as it may sound, dogs are capable of smiling. Well, honestly, their smiling seems a lot like grinning.
- Excited tail wagging – wagging the tail is another sign of expressing happiness and communicating with other dogs.
- Role reversals – includes behaviors like the bitter allowing to be bitten or the chaser allowing to be chased, and changing positions regarding who is on top while playing.
If you are in a dog park and your Rottweiler is engaging in the above-listed scenarios, congratulations – you have raised a playful and well-socialized dog.
Debunking the myth
Perspective and first-time Rottweilers parents often assume that if their Rottweilers are playful, they won’t be good guardians and vice versa.
This perception is wrong. Playfulness and guarding are not mutually exclusive traits. It all depends on the circumstances. Rottweilers have a ‘wait-and-see attitude,’ which means they can judge situations and respond accordingly.
A well-behaved Rottweiler will happily play when it’s playtime and fiercely protect when it is guarding time.
With a proper approach, you can increase your Rottweiler puppy’s play drive and help it grow into a well-balanced, joyous, and playful adult.
Keep in mind that playing with your Rottweiler positively impacts the overall training process as dogs perceive playtime as a reward for their excellent behavior and listening to commands.