Rehoming The Rescued Rottweiler
Bringing home a rescued Rottweiler in many ways is similar to bringing home a puppy, except that the adult dog is obviously quite a bit bigger and fully developed. If you think you will escape the first night of howling and crying, you might be surprised instead with how much noise an 80+ pounds of dog can make in a crate. As a general rule, most adult dogs settle in a bit faster than puppies, and if they?ve relieved themselves before to retiring for the night, they should be able to go through the night without any accidents.
Each rescued Rottweiler, of course, will be different in his needs and requirements to successfully adjust him to his new home. The breed rescue you are working with will be able to give you good suggestions on what types of things your Rottweiler will need work on to help him get settled in. Generally, most dogs will need to accept you as their leader, as well as receive habituation and socialization training.
Adult dogs are capable of forming very deep bonds with their new owners. If the Rottweiler has come from a dire situation with little affection or care, often he will be looking for someone. As incredible as this seems, rescue workers say it happens all the time. Once given the care, leadership, and attention the dog craves, he quickly accepts the new owner and bonds deeply with him or her. The same is true of adult Rottweilers that have experienced good homes but for whatever reason are relinquished. Given time and patience, the dog will bond and become very attached.
Once of the fastest ways to cement the new bond is to begin obedience training. Even if the dog knows his commands, when a new owner begins giving him the commands, he recognizes his position as ?second in command.? The more the owner and dog work together, the faster and deeper the bond that forms. These dogs love to work and they are exceptionally bright. Training gives them the job they are seeking.
Many of the rescue dogs coming through breed rescues and shelters have limited experience in the home. If the dog possesses the confident temperament of the breed, usually he takes new experiences, such as steps, slick floors, the sound of the dishwasher or garbage disposal, and toilets flushing, in stride. He may be inquisitive or startled at first, but once he figures out that these stimuli pose no threat to him or his new family, he will act as if he grew up in a home. Other dogs, those, in particular, that are perhaps a bit mistrustful at first, may need more exposure to home life before they begin to feel comfortable with the sights and sounds that we accept as being normal. IF you dog expresses surprise or fear toward a new sound or sight in the home, ignore the response. IF you try to comfort your dog with pats and ?It?s OK, Baby,? you will inadvertently be reinforcing the wrong behavior. Your Rottweiler doesn?t see it as comfort; he sees your praise as good words, your Rottweiler will think he displayed an appropriate response the next time he is exposed to the stimuli. IF you catch your dog not responding to a sight or sound that he had previously been frightened or wary of, then you can praise him.
Generally, rescued Rottweilers will not have had the extensive socialization training that a well-raised puppy will have had. This means that the rescued Rottweiler may be more wary of strangers then normal. If this is the case, you will need to carefully work on your rescued Rottweilers behavior towards new people. Never compromise the safely of anyone while working on socialization skills. If your Rottweiler appears aggressive toward people, this is extremely dangerous and requires the help of a certified animal behaviorist or a veterinary animal behaviorist.
If your Rottweiler wants to be friendly with people but is unsure of himself, then the same training exercise that is used for puppies can be used with the adult dog. You?ll need to make sure your Rottweilers very good with him sit command first, however. In general, you?ll need to take things much slower with the rescued adult. Don?t overwhelm her. Take little steps and expect to take a step backward now and then. Make sure you don?t push his training too fast. Start off at him pace. He may progress slowly at first, but as he gains trust in you, you will see him begin to blossom in other areas, too.