Once your Rottweiler puppy begins to settle into its new home, you will want to begin training to get it acquainted with a collar and leash. You’ll have many types of collars to choose from, but in the beginning, a flat collar is best. A flat collar is one that does not tighten around the puppy’s neck when leash pressure is applied. Don’t be misled into thinking a harness is somehow safer or more humane. A harness can be used later, once your pup has learned to walk properly beside you while wearing a collar.
The purpose of a flat collar is twofold. First, it introduces the puppy to the idea of being restrained in its ability to go where it pleases, and secondly, it teaches the pup the concept of being guided by leash pressure. Using leash pressure to train is beyond the scope of this article and will be covered at length in the future. At eight weeks old, it’s best to find a soft, adjustable nylon collar with a sturdy plastic snap mechanism. This will be both comfortable and secure. The fit should be snug, but not tight.
Once your puppy has learned to walk calmly beside you, you may choose to move to a more serious dog obedience collar, such as a dominant dog collar or prong collar. A dominant dog collar, otherwise known as a “choke collar”, is one that will tighten around the dog’s neck when leash pressure is applied. A prong collar will tighten under pressure also, however, the constriction is limited by the number of prongs in the collar. These prongs are blunt metal and are designed to mimic the mother’s bite on the loose skin on the back of the neck. Care must be taken to educate oneself on the proper use of dominant dog collars and prong collars when training Rottweiler puppies up to two years old, since improper use can lead to at worst injury and least fear of these tools, thus hampering training.
The final class of dog obedience collar is the electronic collar, or e-collar. This collar is specially designed to operate via a remote control held by the handler so that the dog is not tied to a leash and can enjoy a relative amount of freedom. Signal ranges are often quite far, in excess of over a kilometer in some cases, and provide visual feedback via an lcd screen and tactile feedback via an adjustable potentiometer. Many brands are waterproof and also offer different stimulation, or “stim” levels and types. For example, “nick” is an option which relays a quick burst of electricity and “continuous” relays a signal for as long as the button is depressed, usually for no more than ten seconds. Some ecollars also offer a page function which allows the handler to trigger a vibration that can be conditioned as a recall command.