Choosing a Puppy

So now that you know good places and bad places to get a Rottweiler, next in line is learning how to choose a good puppy. And here comes the advantage of purchasing from a reputable breeder, he or she will screen you (remember all the questioning we talked about previously?) and determine which puppy matches you best. Since the breeder has watched the puppy grow and bloom, his or her choice will be definitely more accurate than yours, seeing the pup for the very first time.

And let’s face it: puppies are all adorable; it is extremely easy to make a bad choice simply because their cuteness blurs the mind. Most will find irresistible the first puppy that comes to them.. “oh, look it likes me!’’ they will say. Generally this inquisitive puppy is simply the most assertive one, the one that may be more on the assertive side if you are not a consistent leader. On the other hand, some may feel sorry for the puppy that shies away and the other litter mates pick on. Prospective puppy owners may feel bad for it, and therefore decide to adopt it out of pity. These specimens however may turn out fearful, anxious or highly submissive and therefore may be prone to fearful biting. However, no general rules can be set in stone.

Some puppies may appear a bit independent, exploring on their own. These may not develop a good bond, as they may tend to be solitary and live their own lives. The best puppies are ultimately those that tend to be somewhere in between, curious and alert but not all over you. They may initially be a bit cautious and open up once they understand you are no harm.

You can do a few temperament tests along with the breeder to study the pup’s reaction to certain stimuli. William Campbell developed a series of tests that can be handy. Consider though that the way the pup reacts to these tests may give you an idea about the pup’s temperament ,but the pup’s disposition may shift variably as it grows (nurture vs. nature theory).

So are the more assertive Rottweiler puppies always to avoid? Not necessarily, they may make great Shutzhund candidates, tremendous show dogs or make a good pet for an experienced owner capable of delivering consistent no-nonsense training.

If you are purchasing from a reputable breeder, the puppy will be at least eight weeks old. This is very important. By this age the puppy has learned important life lessons from its littermates and mother. One of the most important lessons is bite inhibition. If you watch a batch of puppies playing, you will notice that when a boisterous one plays too rough, the other puppies will suddenly yelp in pain and withdraw from the game. The boisterous pup therefore learns that in order to play with its litter mates it must inhibit its bite and bite more gently. Mother dog will also teach other important social skills such as how to submit and behave.

If a puppy is removed too early, it will miss out on these extremely important life lessons and may also develop significant emotional problems that may lead to insecurity and behavioral issues down the road.

By the time you pick up your puppy it should have been given its first set of shots and first de-worming. It is your responsibility to continue the booster shots and follow up on de-worming. If you purchased from a reputable breeder you will have 24 hours to have his health checked.