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Choosing Your Rottweiler Puppy
So you're getting a Rottweiler puppy? Here are some general tips to help you choose a healthy, happy Rottweiler puppy.
Note: These are only general tips to help you choose - especially for first-time owners. (There are always exceptions to the rule and I believe every Rottweiler should be given a chance to show that he/she can be a well-adjusted, happy dog.)
#1) Choose one that approaches you or doesn't shy away when you approach.
Don't choose one that seems overly fearful or aggressive. Don't choose one that shrinks back when you come near it or nips your hand. Choose one that seems friendly, lets you hold him/her and handle him/her.
When we went to choose our first Rottweiler puppy, I was convinced that I wanted a female Rotti. When we got to the breeder's home there were 3 females and 1 male puppy available.
All of the females however, shrank back when I put my hand near them. The male puppy walked right up to my hand and began to happily chew on my diamond engagement ring. I fell in love on the spot and have never since regretted choosing my male Rotti.
Meet the parents first and observe their behavior before getting attached to a puppy. Do they seem friendly, well behaved, easy to touch and get along with?
If the parents are well adjusted chances are high that the puppies will turn out the same way with proper training.
#3) Ask the breeder how many times the mother has had puppies.
The general rule seems to be that a female rottweiler should have at most only 3 litters in her lifetime for optimal breeding results. And, as our breeder told us, it's also best that she is given adequate time to recover after having a litter, before she is bred again.
If she is being overbred, you might run into some problems, health wise and behavior wise with your Rottweiler.
#4) Examine the back legs.
Rottweilers - and large dogs in general - can have problems with their back hips (hip dysplasia). Hip problems can be extremely costly to fix and heart-breaking, both to the dog and to you.
To find a dog that is less likely to have these problems, examine their back legs. The legs should not be grossly turned out (or in) but for the most part, face forward. (Again, this is a general rule)
Also, ask the breeder about the parents. Do either of them have a history of hip dysplasia? Since experts say hip dysplasia is hereditary this will give you a good idea of whether the puppy you are looking at will run into these types of problems later on in life.
#5 Don't be afraid to ask questions.
Most reputable breeders will be helpful, eager to answer your questions and know many of the above facts already (without you telling them). They will allow you to ask questions and (if possible) meet the parents to assess their traits.
They will not be pushy (if any breeder is pushing you to buy their dogs, ALWAYS be suspicious) and may even be a bit cautious about allowing YOU to take one of their precious puppies!
Ask the breeder about any health problems in general in the parents or in the breeding line, not just in regards to hip dysplasia. Heart problems? Cancer? Temperament problems? Don't be afraid to ask.
#6 Keep An Open Mind
When we went to purchase our rottweiler puppy, the breeder was - to the human eye - slightly eccentric. He was more of a dog-person than a people person and we were a little thrown off by his appearance and the state of his home in general.
But he loved his dogs.
And it was plain that he knew more about rottweiler breeding and training than most rotti owners put together. Once we got over our initial reaction and saw the way he treated his Rottweilers and the puppies, we knew that we wouldn't have any problem with our chosen sweetie.
Make sure you keep an open mind when choosing a puppy. You might walk into something you don't expect but you also might find the best companion you'll ever have!
Those are 6 tips to keep in mind when choosing a Rottweiler puppy. Good luck and remember - although they are cute now, Rottweilers grow up to be VERY large dogs. You absolutely MUST start a good training program with them while they are small (and controllable).
It will save you a lot of time, trouble and stress.
Good luck and have fun!
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