The Rottweiler started out as a working dog hundreds of years ago and this is still his inheritance today. Training should start at an early age and there are many people willing to help you.
Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme
The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme is the largest dog training programme in the UK. Now a well-established dog training programme that has been in operation since 1992. The Scheme is open to all dogs, young or old, pedigree or Crossbreed, whether Kennel Club registered or not.
It provides a quality standard of training for dogs and owners, and incorporates many domestic obedience exercises, with over 481,000 certificates of achievement having being awarded to owners and their dogs who have successfully passed the scheme’s tests. There are currently around 1,800 dog training clubs and other organisations around the country actively administering the scheme.
Dog owners of any fitness level or disability can take part too. The Scheme is non-competitive and emphasis is placed on the standard of achievement. There are four levels of courses from Puppy Foundation, to Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards.
Please visit the Kennel Club’s website for what is covered in each Award, and for details of a club local to you.
There are many activities at which the Rottweiler excels, and these all use a basic training method of praise and reward. These activities include:
- Competitive Obedience. Competitive Obedience requires accuracy and precision. Trained in the right manner with lots of praise and reward, the Rottweiler is very suited to this activity. There are several elements: Heel-work, Recall, Retrieve, Send-away, Stays, Scent and Distance Control. Classes start with Pre-Beginners through to Class ‘C’ which is the top Championship level. The SWRA includes Limited Obedience classes at our Open Show in April
- Agility. This fun sport has grown in popularity. It is a basic course over a series of obstacles which include: Jumps, Weaving Poles, A-Frame, Dog Walk, Seesaw, Tunnels and the Tyre. The aim is to complete the course in the fastest time. Your dog should be kept fit and slim and you need to be especially fit yourself too!
- Flyball . This is a team sport in which four dogs run in relay and jump hurdles, catch the flying ball by stepping on a pedal which releases the ball then going back to the handler over the same jumps. The fastest team wins. The sport is noisy, fast and furious and the dogs love it!
- Working Trials. These sports are for the serious competitor. They consist of four basic components: Control, Agility, Tracking and Protection. They are extremely challenging sports which require total control of your dog as each stage becomes more intense. To get to the top stakes the dog has to compete and qualify in each stage, starting at the bottom. Training and competition takes place in all weathers! There are five achievement levels in Working Trials known as “Stakes” – from the lowest to highest: Companion Dog, Utility Dog, Working Dog, Tracking Dog and Patrol Dog.
The position of the dog in society and the attitude of society towards dogs, regardless of breed, have undergone quite striking changes in the last few years. No longer is he regarded as “man’s best friend” and the growth of a powerful anti-dog lobby has meant that the overwhelming coverage given to dogs and dog incidents has been both negative and critical.
The importance for breeding for sound temperament and then building on that by socialising the puppy is now more important than ever. Apart from having a pleasant companion around the house you have an animal that is a pleasure to take out and about in public – one, moreover, which will do a good public relations job not only for the breed but for dogs in general.
Many owners may not have any experience of what is involved in temperament assessment and may feel some apprehensions on that score. It is purely what its name implies and not an assessment of the owner’s ability as a trainer. It is concerned with how the dog behaves in everyday settings. For example:
- What sort of impression does it give? Friendly? Reserved? Calm? Confident?
- How does it react to a friendly approach? (A dog of sound temperament should not show fear of or aggression towards a person approaching its handler in a normal manner)
- Reaction to an unusual approach – perhaps someone with a limp or on crutches or carrying a large package of some sort over a shoulder, walks past the dog. The dog is never threatened
- Reaction to noise – daily life in urban areas always embraces exposure to noise of some sort or another, cars backfiring, loud engines, aircraft flying overhead and so on
- Reaction to traffic moving and stationary
- Reaction to unusual obstacles that are encountered in normal surroundings e.g. roadworks, small ditch, low fence etc
- Reaction to other dogs (non-aggressive), to a crowd of friendly / neutral people
There is nothing to worry owners in this schedule and of course there is no attempt made to “trick” the dog. It is never left with a bad experience. That is not the purpose of the exercise which is to identify those dogs which show the desired character for the breed, enabling their owners to have a mutually pleasurable relationship with them.
This page has been reproduced with permission of the Rottweiler Club