Rottweiler

Rottweiler

My ancestors were wild-boar hunters and cattle dogs named for the southern German town where they first lived, but my family works these days mostly as police dogs and guard dogs. I am black with tan markings, which is the only color we come in. My coat is coarse and lies close, so it doesn't require much except daily brushing. I don't like to brag, but I am known for my courage and loyalty. Whether you want a great companion, or a competent guard dog, I am an excellent choice if you have space and facilities for a large dog. When fully grown, I am between 22 and 27 inches tall (55.9 to 68.6 centimeters) and I weigh between 90 and 110 pounds (40.5 to 49.5 kilograms).


Personality:
Rottweilers are a German breed so they tend to be of a serious nature. The ideal Rottweiler is quiet, even-tempered, obedient, easy to train, faithful and brave. This breed should show a strong understanding of what is right and wrong if trained and guided by a responsible and involved owner. This is a physically strong breed that will leap to the defense of the ones they love. For this reason training and socializing is mandatory for the Rottweiler to succeed in life. These are working dogs that need a job. Boredom can lead to behavior problems. The Rottweiler personality and activity levels vary from dog to dog. Genetics, training, socializing, and the care they receive are a large part of what determines each dog's personality.

Why are these dogs typically in animal shelters?
The majority of Rottweilers in shelters arrive there as strays. Owner turn-ins of Rottweilers to shelters are due to a variety of reasons. Currently, one of the most common reasons is that the owner is moving. Rental housing is difficult to find if you live with a Rottweiler. Landlord and insurance restrictions on many breeds, including Rottweilers, are now common. Other common reasons that owners leave their Rottweilers at a shelter are:

* Owner's inability to provide for this breed's intense emotional needs, socializing, and training requirements, and improper behaviors, which usually develop out of frustration, lack of proper training, and inadequate exercise.

Behavior problems can range from simple, such as house training, excessive activity level, digging, cat and dog aggression, to serious, such as human or stranger aggression. Serious human or stranger aggression can be caused by their guarding tendencies, lack of socialization, abuse, or bad breeding. Some Rottweilers arrive at shelters because of owner neglect and abuse.

How do these dogs handle rescue or shelter life?
Typically, Rottweilers are not happy in a kennel setting. Rottweilers original duties were to be a herding, droving, cart and guard dog. Because of these duties, they have a natural aversion to change and unfamiliar environments. Being an extremely people-oriented breed, separation from their owners can cause severe distress. However, this breed can do very well in a home fostercare situation, in part because they tend to bond more quickly with new people in a less stressful environment. How well they tolerate a rescue or shelter depends heavily on the amount of human attention, contact, and exercise they receive, as well as on the individual dog's temperament, training levels and past life experience. An unsocialized, untrained Rottweiler will not fare well in the shelter environment. A Rottweiler with a good foundation often will succeed in adapting to the journey ahead. Even very good Rottweilers are sometimes shy or reserved in shelter facilities. However, they should not exhibit aggression.

Who should own this breed?
A Rottweiler owner should be an extremely responsible person committed to the care, training and exercise of their dog. Such an owner should be knowledgeable about this breed type and the needs of the breed they are taking on. This breed's future lies in the hands of current and future Rottweiler owners. If the current trends of over breeding and poor ownership practices continue the future of this wonderful breed could be dim. A Rottweiler should never be allowed to roam loose in any public areas, or around strange dogs. Rottweilers should be securely contained when not supervised by an adult. The Rottweiler generally does best with a good fenced yard for their safety and should be included in the every day activities of the household. This breed should be spayed/neutered. Unneutered males can become male dog aggressive and hard to manage and are predisposed to some cancers. Unspayed females can become moody/difficult and predisposed to uterine problems and cancers. Because of the lack of available rentals to high risk breeds, Rottweiler owners need to consider the possibility of any future moves that might put their dog's life at risk. One of the main keys to successful Rottweiler ownership is ongoing positive obedience training and socialization. For the right dedicated owner a Rottweiler can be the best of dog companions.

Is this breed good with children?
Children and dogs should never be left alone and unattended, even for a moment. Young children do not have proper dog etiquette, and dogs do not understand a child's behavior. This can result in tragedy with any breed of dog. Rottweilers tend to love and be dedicated to their human family and can be especially fond of children. Many Rottweilers are naturally drawn to children and can be very patient and loving companions. Like children, each dog is different in personality, energy and patience levels. So, each dog and child relationship should be considered individually.

Is this breed good with other dogs in general?
Rottweilers generally do well with other dogs if they have been socialized and trained properly. For Rottweilers, especially males, spaying/neutering is one of the most important keys to having a dog-friendly animal. Pack position is important and will affect and vary each dog's acceptance of other dogs.

How easy is training and house training with this breed?
Rottweilers are very intelligent and generally if in tune with their trainer can learn some tasks in 2 to 10 repetitions. Like humans each dogs abilities, likes and dislikes will vary. In general a learning Rottweiler is a happy Rottweiler. Good training gives Rottweilers and all dogs the ability to speak the same language with us. Give a Rottweiler good structure and rules in their life or they will structure their own life and make their own rules. They can be stubborn, strong willed and generally require ongoing training for life. The time required to house train a Rottweiler will vary depending on each dog and on the method used. Positive methods and consistency will work best for all training with this breed. Crate training seems to be of great assistance for most dogs in house breaking.

Socializing this breed?
Socialization is one of the necessary requirements to successful Rottweiler ownership. The unsocialized Rottweiler can be dangerous. This breed is reserved with change so they need to be exposed regularly to a large variety of environments and experiences. They should be given the social skills and taught manners early on. Rottweilers should exhibit a reserved to friendly personality with strangers. They should not be aggressive. A Rottweiler that shows aggression should be evaluated by a professional trainer and behaviorist immediately.


This book is great for anyone who is thinking of having a litter. It contains a lot of useful information on general dog care,care of newborn pups. Follow an actual litter from birth till they go home!


About the Book

Follow a litter of puppies from birthday until they go to their new homes. The diary contains lots of pictures, tips on puppy rearing, some breed specific information, and lots of information on the care of any breed of dog.

I started doing an on-line puppy diary since many of the people that would be getting one of my pups would not be able to travel here to see the pups. I did not want to put a bunch of cute puppy pictures online, and encourage anyone to have a litter just because they wanted to see cute puppies! Breeding dogs, if done the right way, is a lot of work. Lost sleep and sometimes heartache. It takes a lot of time, effort and money to raise a litter of puppies. Once I started doing The Puppy Diary, I realized I had a captive audience. These people logged on every day to see the pictures, and read what was happening. I used this opportunity to cram as much education into each day as I could. Health, Coat issues, grooming, feeding, socializing, vet care, puppy evaluations, shipping puppies.... you name it! I tried to put it in The Diary. It was suggested that I make it into a book. Well here it is! There are 560 pictures and over 300 pages of living with and watching one litter grow up.

I am sure may conscientious, caring breeders raise litters similar to the way I do. Its is a good look into the time, money, commitment it takes to bring up a litter of pups. Some of the things that go on behind the scenes, that the eventual puppies owners (family), never realize go into the litter. Enjoy my litter as I see them. Day to day

Contents

Chapter One (Week One) ... Page 1

Seger comes into season
Happy Birthday!
Removing the Dewclaws
Start of the Bio Sensor program

Chapter Two (Week Two) ... Page 48
Coat issues.
Tail Gland Hyperplasia
Do Curlies Shed?

Chapter Three (Week Three) ... Page 94
End of Bio Sensor Exercises
Worming The puppies
Eyes are open
First pup escapes from the box

Chapter Four (Week Four) ... Page 130
Weaning. The great food fight!
Introduction to the puppy play room
Shark Cage

Chapter Five (Week Five) ... Page 156
Field dog? Show Dog? CPE?
Happy Mothers Day!
First Stacked pictures

Chapter Six (Week Six) ... Page 195
Toys! Toys! Toys!
Whatís In A Name?
Kids and Dogs
Introduction to Wings

Chapter Seven (Week Seven) ... Page 236
About Puppies and Retrieving
Socialize your puppy
First Shots & Vet Visit
Splish Splash, first bath!

Chapter Eight (Week Eight) ... Page 286
Shape up or ship out!
Requirements to ship puppies
See all the pups!

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Breeding without boundaries.

Help! My bitch just came into season, who do I breed her to!

Fortunately this question does not come up frequently in curlies. (Or I hope not!) Most breeders have thought long and hard about whom they want to use as a stud over their bitch. Some breeders have thought breedings out generations ahead of time, while the prospective brood bitches are still young pups in the whelping boxes themselves!

With the improvements in storing frozen semen, collecting and shipping fresh chilled semen, your breeding choices donít have to be confined to a geographic area. With quarantines newly lifted, the options for stud dogs may broaden considerably.

I have tried not to let my geographic location have any bearing on whom I choose for a stud dog. I have shipped bitches for breeding in the US and Canada. I have had fresh chilled semen sent from across the US for a breeding. I have sent one bitch over seas for a breeding to a foreign stud. And my latest litter was a result of fresh chilled semen sent from overseas.

With the use of fresh chilled and frozen semen, you do have the potential for higher breeding costs, and the potential for decreased litter size in some cases. Finding and using the right stud for your bitch isnít about producing a huge litter. Its about producing a few quality dogs that fulfil the goals you have for the breeding and the resulting offspring.

When using an overseas stud, you must often rely on pictures, video and the word of mouth of people who have met the dogs in person. But this is the case with many US breedings where you may not have had the opportunity to meet the dog in person, or you met the dog when he was just a puppy, and you do not know how he matured. I was very fortunate to deal with breeders and owners who were very helpful in supplying whatever I wanted to do my research on these potential studs. This included pictures of the dog, his parents, siblings, and any offspring he may have had on the ground. Videotapes of the dog and relatives. Talking with other breeders overseas who have used the particular dog, or close relatives of his. Surprisingly, I did not run into the language barrier that I thought would have been the biggest hindrance to the breeding.

The registration process for both litters was straightforward. Obtain DNA on the stud and the bitch. Supply an official copy of his pedigree from his country of birth. Fill out an AKC Special litter registration application that can be downloaded from the AKC site. For the case of the fresh chilled overseas breeding, I sent along the collection form filled out by the Veterinarian who collected the semen, which was also signed, by the Veterinarian who inseminated on this end.

Dogs are living creatures. In life there is no guarantee. Any breeding has its pros, its cons, and its risks. The dog in your own backyard may be the best choice for your bitch. But if he is not, its nice to know we have more options open every year for choosing a stud.

Article written by Cathy Lewandowski for the Curly Coated Retriever Club of America's publication The Curly Commentator


Those First Weeks

Here's the age old question: Is temperament the result of heredity or of environment? You have already done your homework into the backgrounds of the sire and dam; you've checked on temperament, trainability and stability. The job does not stop here. do you want to take a chance that the greatest factor is not environment? In a litter, you are lucky to get one or two good show dogs. You may get a couple of good field prospects, maybe even a future top obedience or agility dog. Every pup should have a super temperament because 90 percent of the litter will end up in pet homes. Their owners will not care about how many titles the parents won, at what age they got their first major, or how many tries it took them to get their SH or CDX titles. These people care that their dogs will be wonderful additions to their family.

When I plan a breeding, I take time off from my full time job to start another full-time job-- the one of raising a litter. It does not matter how wonderful and independent a mom your brood bitch is, you still have a full-time commitment with each litter.

I start working with the pups when they are 3 days old. I take each one and put it through a series of five exercises known as the Bio-Sensor method. (see the May 1995 AKC Gazette for an article on this) In brief, this is a series of exercises that stimulates pups in a way they would not otherwise experience at this early age.

Once the pups have their eyes open and start to venture out of the whelping box, the fun begins! Over the years, I have developed a "puppy playground." This is designed to introduce the pups to sound, texture, movement, vibration and music. It includes "swings" made from carpeted milk crates that hangs from the ceiling. The pups quickly find these and they are not bothered by the swinging movement when they are in them. Often I will find the swing jam-packed with pups sleeping and gently rocking! I also have low, padded and carpeted seesaws. The pups first reaction to these is usually to be startled when they walk up the low ramp and it moves under their weight. however, the puppy urge for exploration gets the best of them and soon you see 6-week old pups trying out their "sea legs" and balancing on the middle of the sea saw like expert agility dogs.

The playground also includes a variety of tunnels made of tall kitchen trash containers with the bottoms cut out. The pups race through these, roll them around, and then all pile in for a nap. There are also ramps of various materials and textures, milk jugs, hanging fleece toys and short steps made by stacking large wooden blocks. One object that the pups love is a fleece octopus with four squeaky arms. It hangs about five inches from the ground, from a rope that has a long line of sleigh bells attached to the top. The noise it makes! There are also low mirrors on the walls and an assortment of balls, toys and chews in the puppy room.

At about 6 weeks, the pups are introduced to water, under supervision. I take an extra large Vari-Kennel bottom, line it with rubber bath mats, and fill it with three inches of warm water. I place this in the puppy room, with a couple of rubber balls floating in it. The boldest pups are soon in there! There is no pushing or forcing; I just let them go at their own pace.

Each puppy also gets individual attention every day during which they experience a variety of activities. They may drag around a short leash, be introduced to wings and birds, go for a ride in the car, or have their toenails trimmed.

The playroom setup enables me to sit and watch the puppies for hours to see which are the most adventuresome which have the quickest recovery time, and which are more hesitant. This helps me decide on the homes that will be best for each one.

Article written by Cathy Lewandowski for the Curly Coated Retriever breed column in the AKC Gazette


Breeding beyond boundaries.

How many times have your gone to the National or a large regional dog show to check out prospective studs and been disappointed in the lack of choices? Sometimes nothing you see complements the bitch you have. With todayís shrinking world, there are more options open to breeders. One of those options is using an over seas stud. With the improvements in storing frozen semen, collecting and shipping fresh chilled semen, and newly lifted quarantines; your breeding choices donít have to be confined to your geographic area.

When using an overseas stud, you must often rely on pictures, video and word of mouth of people who have met the dogs in person. But this is the case with many US studs where you may not have had the opportunity to meet the dog in person. Or even the case of having only seen the dog as an adolescent and you do not know how he has matured. I was fortunate to deal with breeders and owners who were very helpful in supplying whatever I wanted to do my research on potential overseas studs. This included pictures of the dog, his parents, siblings, and any offspring he may have had on the ground. Videotapes of the dog and relatives. Talking with other breeders overseas who have used the particular dog, or close relatives of his in their breeding programs.

I have had experience sending a bitch overseas for a natural breeding. This canít always be done if the country still has quarantine laws in effect. My latest litter was a result of fresh chilled semen sent from overseas. You can still run into problems with customs and language barriers resulting in delays. Timing is everything when using fresh chilled semen. Even a dayís delay can mean the difference between having a litter and not. It did take a bit more planning to make sure it all came off smoothly. With fresh chilled, you should decide before hand on what kind of extender you will use, and what type of shipping container it will be transported in. A test collection and storage of the stud is a great idea. That way you know how many days his semen will live. Not all dogs are alike, and not all dogs semen react to the extender and chilling the same.

Everything you need to register such a litter is clearly explained on the AKC website. I am currently bringing in frozen semen from overseas to store in the US. This has its pros and cons. With Frozen semen you donít have to worry about the timing of shipping, as you can have it on hand months or years in advance of the breeding. One of the drawbacks of frozen semen is with the shorter life span, either surgical or transcervical insemination is recommended over vaginal insemination.

With the use of fresh chilled and frozen semen, you do have the potential for higher breeding costs with the addition of progesterone testing, collection, storage and insemination fees. You also have the potential for decreased litter size in some cases. Finding and using the right stud for your bitch isnít about producing a huge litter. Its about producing a few quality dogs that fulfil the goals you have for the breeding and the resulting offspring.

Article written by Cathy Lewandowski for the Curly Coated Retriever breed column in the AKC Gazette


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