Jump to content

Behavioural Issues

8 posts in this topic


Hi all,


I have a 5 month old rottweiler puppy who I've been having a couple of issues with.


1) Eats everything: he's going through a heavy phase of teething so I understand that he has a desire to chew, however it is getting really frustrating to find him swallowing a lot of things that he shouldn't. The other day we took him to an outdoors obedience class and as soon as he got out of the car, he lunged for a stick and swallowed it but it got stuck in the back of his mouth; we managed to pull it out but then he went for another stick to eat, but then coughed it back up. Other times when he's chewing a stick, rather than spitting the pieces out he'll swallow them. When I took him out to a local oval, he lay down to rest after running around and started chewing the grass which at first didn't seem that bad, but after suspicions of him holding some in his mouth I ended up pulling a large clump of grass out of his mouth. He'll also catch and eat flying leaves as well. I've managed to pull out small rocks, other stick bits, grass, toy bits and even a cigarette butt from his mouth, however, now that his teeth are coming in I really cannot risk sticking my hand in his mouth. 


We've resorted to using a basket muzzle outdoors on walks as a temporary measure for the time being, and always have him on leash. He knows "leave it" but ignores me on walks since he's so easily distracted (even when presented with treats); he also somewhat knows "drop it" but can only apply it to large toys. 


I spoke to the behaviorist at our vet, and she suggested that rather than pulling stuff out of his mouth, to just get excited and distract him with something else so that he'll drop whatever he's holding and come to me. Did try that when he had something in his mouth, but instead of dropping it he tried to swallow it faster before coming to me.


tldr; puppy eats everything in sight, how do i stop him?


2) Still having toileting issues: I've committed to taking him out hourly/every two hours for the past fortnight to toilet. He'll usually do 3-4 poops throughout the day and one just before bed at 10, and usually does it as soon as I take him out so I don't have to wait outdoors long. He knows that he has to go outside, but will still have his accidents every now and then...

The main issue is, he doesn't always finish doing his business. At night for his final toilet break, he'll poop then try and pull away from his harness to get back inside the house. I'll wait a couple of minutes to see if there's anything else but he does nothing. I'll put him back in the laundry room (his sleeping place) and next morning I'll find poop stains on the floor. After checking the camera we put in his room, we found that he'll wake up at 10.30pm and do another poop, and then EAT IT before going back to bed. I tried waiting until 11pm to take him out to toilet the next few days, and he did toilet at that time, but next morning was no different... 


We can't afford to stay outdoors in -1 degree nights for half an hour waiting for him to do something (during the day it's fine). We don't have a doggy door for him as he'll get too big, and we don't let him free roam around the yard due to reasons stated above. It's just frustrating that despite all this effort put into toileting him, he'll still toilet indoors. 

He's fed twice a day (9am and 4pm) with blackhawk kibble for large pups.


tldr; puppy has late night/early morning accidents-- doesn't give us any warning or indications either, I was wondering if anyone had any tips on adjusting his feeding schedule so he'll stop having these accidents??


3) Stubbornness: when he's in a spot he likes, but we don't like it, he won't budge even with food or toy incentives. One reoccurring example would be the car; when we let him jump in, he'll just lie down and take up all three seats. When we try moving him, he'll open his mouth and start nipping at us because he doesn't want us to move him over. We end up using the muzzle on him so we push him to his side without getting our clothes torn apart. Sometimes he won't listen to commands either, he'll just stare at me. 


How should I address this?


4) Overly Friendly: I know he's still a puppy but it's getting very frustrating when he has to greet every single human being that we walk past. If he sees a stranger near by, he will lunge towards them and try and jump on them. When I'm walking down the street and there's someone on the other side of the road, he'll stop and stare at them (tail wagging like crazy) and will not budge unless I physically pull him away (even then he'll look back at them every 3 steps). We met another younger rottie pup the other day who took no notice of us... 


Story time: I was practicing recall with him by running up ahead (my brother held him by the leash), and I called him over. As my puppy was running towards me, he sees an old man across the drain on a footpath parallel to the one we were on and as he was half-way towards reaching me, he diverts his path and runs towards the man! The drain was partially filled with water, so as he was running towards the man, he stopped at the drain. I almost caught up to him, but then he JUMPED across the drain, got his belly wet, and finally reached the stranger. He started jumping and circling the old man, trying to lick him, but the man was obviously not happy at all and tried to smack him away. I apologised after I finally caught up to him and dragged him away. This guy was like 20-30m away from me, and yet my pup still wanted to greet him! From then on, we only let go of his leash when there is no one around. It was insane!


How can I teach him to ignore strangers on our walks? (I've tried food again, but he ignores it completely) When will he become more weary of people? I was hoping he would be a little more reserved and calmer in nature as stereotypical of the breed, but he seems to go ecstatic over people whether they like him back or not. 




I'm sorry for this super long post but these problems have been causing me a great deal of stress. With my break almost ending, I'm losing the ability to dedicate these entire days towards training him. I want to address these issues whilst he's still young and before he reaches those "terrible teens".  


Thank you so much in advance!







Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Enroll in a local dog school if you can, they can help niggle out the details of your current challenges. 


Remember that this is a puppy. He doesn’t truly “know” anything yet so it’s up to you to help him succeed at things. No dog is truly trained until well into adulthood :) lots of bumps to pop up and the terrible teens. But if you keep at it patiently with repitition you will get a good dog out of it. 


1. Continue with the muzzle for walks. For Home - be viligant in picking up after yourself. There are some nasty tasting sprays you can put on couch legs and the like. Personally I used the anti nail bite stuff you get for kids. 


He doesn’t truly know leave it yet. Don’t trust to the command and manage him away from items you want him to leave either by leashing him or removin the item


2. He’s not toilet trained but he is trying! Take him out more frequently to the same spot each time. Wait 10 mins then bring him in. Keep him in sight or leashes and 10 mins later take him out again. 


If he does a second poop at 10:30pm...at 10:25 go and take him outside to poop. His body probably wasn’t ready at the earlier time and he can’t control that yet. It’s growing way too fast for him to really understand yet. 


3. He’s not stubborn he’s just not sure what you want or convinced you’re fun. Are you sure the rewards you’re trtung to lure him with are things he actually likes and not what you think he likes? It sounds like he super likes chewing too so start keeping a variety of toys on hand so when he gets bubbly you can put one of those in his mouth instead. 


Do suggest enrolling in a dog g school or having an actual one on one consult with a trainer so they can see what is going on and give you motivation and management ideas as hard to give an idea just based off your description. 


4. Again, suggest you meet with trainer to see what kind of rewards your puppy likes to work on gaining his attention and keeping it. A (good) dog school would be a great place to practice in a controlled environment. But also google NILF training - “nothing in life is free”. With this, you use things around you the dog wants as reinforcers. Eg if the dog wants to cuddle in couch, ask them to sit. When they sit, reward with letting them on the couch. Do it for everything the DOG wants. If dog wants outside. Wait for him to sit and look at you. If he wants to sniff a particular tree. Dont move forward until he sits and looks at you. 


If he’s getting difficult to walk due to lunging consider s head halter - this can be used to gently redirect his eyes away from other people and towards you. Also good if he keeps trying to eat random stuff. Gives you lots of head control and the rest of the body follows


And remember what you have right now isn’t necessarily what you end up with :) 


an try to work out what games he likes to play and what rewards are most coveted. It will change based on environment but the environment around you is also a reward you can use. 


Yesterday my dog managed not to jump on a person so I rewarded him by letting him sniff a tree another dog had just pee’d in because he LOVES to sniff markings. Because he has learned I will reward him this way sometimes he has actually stopped trying to drag me to smell the pee up front! But took quite a bit of repetition


it seems like a lot so focus on one thing you would like to primarily practice each week and dedicate your attention to that. Short and sweet and many are the most effective methods :) keep you both from being bored. 

Edited by Thistle the dog
  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ouch ! :( 

Sounds as if everyone is having a rough time of it ..... 

here is some reading for you ..as I have not seen you or your pup  personally . 
if a pup nips at you/pulls you /won't move - may I suggest there are a couple of problems . one being lack of communication , the other , one of respect . Communication between two different species is difficult, but VITAL . Dogs can read US much better than we can read them - which is how pups will so often end up training US  ! 
I have no doubt folks will be along to offer advice - mine is to  find, by asking on here, a GOOD trainer  who will help your family find  balance . Good trainers are not everywhere .... and word of mouth from dog people is important :)

THIS LINK may explain WHY your pup LOVES people so much ..... click here

Catch your dog in the RIGHT :)   ...click here          a very good article !!

noticed you have been on a break ...
what does he do when left home alone ? where do you leave him ...does he chew/bark/toilet etc  if alone for a couple of hours ?


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi @Birb    Good info about your dogs problems, I'm sure you'll  get a lot of help :)


I would look up  Pet Food Reviews Australia,  and have a look a (  Stay Loyal  ) large breed puppy food it has great reviews, For building a healthy  PUP  with good Behavior   :thumbsup: 


Black hawk is known for upset tummy & many Poos,  6 poos a day at 5 months is a lot ,  It should be about 3 at most.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Teething doesn’t mean eating everything ,what your dog is doing is not typical and would be questionable if it’s a behavioural issue ,even eating poo at this age can be a symptom of not getting the right food or eating poop is a comfort 

.Teething equates to chewing things to give there jaw relief from the pain off the teeth coming through .

First off what has the dogs breeder suggested ,they should be a wealth of info for you .

Personally 2 meals in a large breed pup is not enough ,all mine at that age get 3 meals still and around 9 months I cut back.

How many cups per meal is pup getting and is he feed anything else .


As for toileting as much as -1 is cold raising a pup means putting warm clothes on and doing the hard yards ,the sooner you set up good habits the easier it becomes but if the food is not agreeing then it makes it harder .

you say behaviourist at the vet are they a legit qualified one who just a trainer .

You certainly need training as this dog is only as good as the steering wheel operator but it also sounds like other things are going on that need the right help to progress 

  • Like 3

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/2/2018 at 11:27 AM, Birb said:

she suggested that rather than pulling stuff out of his mouth, to just get excited and distract him with something else so that he'll drop whatever he's holding and come to me.


puppies , from an early age need to realise that owners can handle any part of the puppy body  respectfully, when needed . 
This includes removing nasties from inquisitive mouths  ;) most times this is not a tug-of-war ... but a give-take thing  which can be taught . 

has puppy/does puppy have free time exploring after nice long on-pavement controlled walks/obedience sessions? Time to chew different toys /bones/balls etc  ?
Dogs also eat grass/leaves/dirt/stinky cat poo/deat rats /lunch wrappers & other things .

They do not have fingertips or hands ..so HAVE TO use their mouths to explore and make sense of the world around them :)  it is our responsibilty , as it is is with toddlers, to ensure they can understand us , and  can do this safely . 


I was wondering if anyone had any tips on adjusting his feeding schedule so he'll stop having these accidents??


The food may not agree with him - could be as simple as that - or his tummy may work better with smaller quantities, more often ...it's never 'one size fits all'  :)  Like us - one person's kale smoothie is another's  torture! His system may also not be digesting the food properly ....
is this the food recommended by breeder and or vet ? 

Coprophagia (eating poo) can be related to a number of things ... a learned behaviour from a tiny pup ..... to boredom... to being hungry....to food not being digested properly ..all sorts of things.This recycling  can also lead to more frequent,. and often looser, poo  next day ..and so it goes . It is not as uncommon as you might think. 
gross to us ...but dogs are dogs. 

have you had puppy thoroughly vet checked ? As in his  weight /  maybe a faecal sample tested for enzymes etc  in case it's his digestion playing havoc ?What has the vet suggested ? 

Does the pup's breeder offer any support  at all ? Sounds a bit like you've been left  with no assistance /useful advice :(


Edited by persephone
  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say you probably need the help of a proper trainer , not one from a vet . I put my hand in my Bull Terriers mouth to get stuff out as she is a dustbin , you need to feel comfortable doing it . Food sounds like a issue , that’s a lot of poop in a day ! 

Has breeder offered any backup ? 

Go in the rottie thread too and ask for help , some darn good breeders on there . 

  • Like 2

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The eating everything is concerning as it sounds like Pica. I would go to your vet and you may need a referral to a Vet Behaviourist for assessment. I worry your pup will end up with a blockage and need major surgery so acting sooner rather than later is probably going to solve you money. Your vet will do a physical exam and probably run some bloods. This is a list of vets with an interest in Behaviour- some of them work as GPs and so would be a good first port of call https://www.k9events.com/behaviour-vets.html


In addition hunt up a trainer on this site to help you with some training. https://ppgaustralia.net.au They will be able to work through points 2-4 with you. 


This is not a 'rotty' problem. These are not problems that will easily resolve in a class situation. You need good advice that will help you long into the future. 



Edited by Jumabaar
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now