If your Rottweiler keeps biting your hands or arms, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you a number of reasons why it might do it and what you can do to get it to stop.
So, why does my Rottweiler bite my hands and arms? Possible reasons are that it wants attention, it is teething, you might have inadvertently rewarded the behavior or it could be due to a lack of training.
There are actually many reasons why it might be doing it and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are also a number of things you can consider when trying to figure out the cause more precisely.
Why your Rottweiler bites your hands
Below are a number of possible reasons why your Rottweiler has been doing it and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
It is teething
If your Rottweiler is still a puppy, it could be the case that it has been doing it because it is teething and biting on things helps to soothe its gums. This would be more likely if it has also started biting other things and it has started doing it suddenly.
In this case, it would help to give it lots of things to chew on but to start giving it training now so that it learns how it is meant to behave.
It wants attention
The cause could be that your Rottweiler is trying to get extra attention from you. This would be more likely if you tend to give it more attention when it does it.
In this case, it would likely help to stop giving it attention when starts nibbling by standing up, hiding your hands and arms and waiting for it to calm down and then to give it attention again.
It wasn’t trained not to as a puppy
It could also be the case that your Rottweiler never learned that it is not ok to bite your hands if you did not train it not to as a puppy.
If your Rottweiler is not trained to behave in a certain way, it will behave the way that it feels like behaving. The way that it feels like behaving is not likely the way that you want it to. This is why it would help to start giving it training even if it is an adult. If it does it aggressively, it would also be important to get help from a dog behaviorist.
You have inadvertently been reinforcing the behavior
The reason why it has been doing it might also be that you have been reinforcing the behavior. If you tend to give it things it wants when it bites your hands, such as toys, treats or extra attention, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not bite your hands. It would also help to try to recognize when it is about to do it and to prevent it from doing so and to avoid rewarding it when it does it as discussed below.
The cause could be that it is trying to show its excitement. This would be more likely if it does it more in situations such as when you come home or when you are about to take it for a walk.
In this case, it would help to withdraw your arms and attention when it starts doing it and to reward it when it stops biting.
Things to consider
Here are some things you can consider when trying to figure out why your Rottweiler has been doing it.
When it started doing it
If your Rottweiler has not always been biting your hands, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it.
Things that might have happened could include:
- Inadvertently rewarding it for doing it one time
- It started chewing on other things as well (it probably started teething)
- You stopped giving it as much attention
How old your Rottweiler is
It would also help to consider how old your Rottweiler is since its age will have a big impact on the most probable cause and what you should do about it.
If your Rottweiler is an adult then it would make it more likely that it either does it for attention or it does it because it thinks it is ok to do. Either way, it would help to train it not to do it by stopping giving it attention when it does it. If it does it aggressively, it is also important to seek professional help to avoid it injuring you or someone else.
If your Rottweiler is a puppy then it would be a lot more likely that it is teething and that it is overly excitable. In this case, it would still help to start training it not to do it but it would also help to give it other things to chew on.
How aggressively it bites your arms and hands
It would also help to consider whether or not it does it aggressively. If your Rottweiler bites your hands or arms aggressively then it would help to get the help of a certified dog trainer in your area so that you can see how to train it safely.
When and where it bites your arms
It would also help to consider the timing of when your Rottweiler bites your hands and arms since the timing could also have something to do with it.
For example, if it seems to do it more when you are leaving home then it might be a sign that it has separation anxiety. Whereas, if it always seems to do it then it would be more likely that it does it for the attention.
How to get your Rottweiler to stop biting your arms and hands
Below are some options you have when getting your Rottweiler to stop biting your hands and arms. You will likely find that making use of a combination of them will work best.
Train it not to
One option is to train it not to bite your hands with the use of positive reinforcement training. This is where you encourage it to behave the way you want by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way.
To use it to get your Rottweiler to stop biting your hands you would stand up and hide your hands from it when it starts biting, wait for it to calm down and then go back to giving it attention. If it starts biting again then you would repeat the process. Eventually, it should learn that biting your hands will result in it not getting attention from you.
Avoid negative reinforcement training
As mentioned above, it might be the case that it has learned that biting your hands results in it getting things that it wants. Instead, it would help to stop rewarding it as soon as it starts and to use positive reinforcement training to get it to stop.
Give it other things to chew on
In addition to the above, it would also help to give it things to chew on such as toys, chews or bones so that it is less likely to start biting on things you don’t want it to.
When training your Rottweiler, it is important to be consistent and to continue to train it even after it has learned to behave the way you want it to. It is unlikely that you will be able to make large improvements with just one training session but if you stick with it you will be able to get much better results over the course of weeks.
Get help from an animal behaviorist
If you can’t figure out why your Rottweiler has been doing it, you can’t get it to stop or it has been doing it aggressively consider getting the help of a certified dog trainer or behaviorist. By doing so you will be able to see how to get your Rottweiler to stop doing it in a secure way and why it has been doing it.