Pup at Play: What are the Best Toys for Rottweilers?
Depending on whom you talk to, the Rottweiler is the epitome of a vicious dog or one heaping pile of love. Chances are, the latter opinion will stem from owners that have socialized their “rottie.” Regardless, how do you approach playtime for a breed that carries a broad opinion spectrum?
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Rottweilers in Brief
There may be no breed whose personality is more radically molded via socialization than the Rottweiler. Originally developed in Germany to pull carts for farmers, the breed can ultimately trace its roots back to Roman military dogs. The breed’s penchant for hard work and impressive heritage enabled the breed to be one of the world's first police dogs.
Rotties are certainly built to carry the physical demands of cart pulling or tracking down the bad guys. Equipped with a broad chest and a sturdy, muscular body, the breed encapsulates raw power and stamina. The breed’s alert, fearless expression also works to let you know that this is a dog that means business.
For properly trained Rotties, this business translates into sheer loyalty for their owner. They earn these stripes by being fiercely protective of loved ones, of whom the dog will trust unconditionally.
What’s more, the properly socialized Rottweiler will be putty in their owner’s hands. Their knack for developing a gentle and playful side can make them a rather loving addition to the family. This aspect is one of the reasons why it is one of the most popular purebred dogs around.
Of course, there is an infamous dark side to this breed. If socialization does not happen for a Rottie at an early age, he will not know the fine line that separates fierce loyalty with just plain fierceness. The breed is inherently very territorial; if he’s not trained to put temper that nature, he will become over-protective to the point of being a menace.
Unfortunately, the dangerous, improperly trained version of a Rottweiler is the version that drives the breed’s reputation, especially amongst those that haven’t encountered a properly trained Rottie. It’s a reputation that has caused the breed to be banned in certain towns. It’s also a reputation that may get you cross looks from others when you walk him.
However, if you’re up for the challenge of training a Rottie – and dealing with the perception that some have regarding the breed – then you’ll find the dog to be loyal and loveable. You’ll also find a dog that enjoys his playtime.
How Does a Rottweiler Like to Play?
Because Rottweilers are a working dog by nature, it’s important that you give him the time and space he needs to stretch his muscles. While this can be accomplished through brisk daily walks, it can also be achieved through interactive playtime. Rotties love a good romp, especially during the puppy phase of his life.
Rottweilers are also very intelligent dogs, which is something that may surprise those that look upon them as vicious breeds. Because of this, they enjoy having some mentally stimulation incorporated into their playtime.
Providing a proper mental outlet for your rottie is extremely important for your pooch. Like most dogs, a bored Rottweiler can end up engaging in some destructive behavior. Because the breed has extremely powerful jaws, the havoc he can bring on your furniture is substantially more significant than, say, a toy breed.
As you engage in interactive play with your pooch, it is of the utmost of importance that you control the play in a gentle manner. Because of the breed’s hardy nature, his version of playing hard may get out of hand. This is especially important to bear in mind if you have a smaller frame.
The Ideal Toys for Rottweilers
Any toy that you get for your rottie needs to withstand the force of his mighty jaws. This breed’s reputation for having the mightiest mandibles in the canine world is not just hearsay – anything that’s less than the utmost in durability will get torn to shred within a day or two.
This seems particularly poignant because Rottweilers love chew toys, particularly ones that have the capacity to hold a treat inside. The breed will obviously appreciate that there’s a goodie inside, but he’ll appreciate the fact that he has to use his noggin to get it out of the toy. Therefore, it provides the mental stimulation that he craves.
Then again, keep in mind that some of the best dog toys you can purchase for your pooch don’t have any treats inside – they are the treat themselves. These toys, which are usually made from an animal bone, will usually have some sort of flavor to keep him interested. They’ll also typically have some kind of cleaning benefit.
Pass on These Toys at All Costs
It almost goes without saying that you shouldn’t bother with any chew toy that does not have an exceptional reputation for withstanding the force of a rottie’s jaw. Don’t waver on this, either. If you think that there could even be the slightest chance that he’ll rip it up, he probably will.
Obviously, having to replace flimsy toy after flimsy toy is going to cost you more cash than you’d like. But more importantly, there could be a chance that your Rottweiler may ingest pieces of whatever toy he demolished. This could lead to myriad of digestive tract issues, some of which could require surgery in the worst case scenario.
You should also stay away from any toy that could “tease” your Rottweiler. While it may be fun for you to see your dog get “psyched out,” your rottie won’t find humor in it at all. In fact, he may start taking your gesture as a sign of disrespect – a feeling that could occasionally cause the breed to lash out as a means to “earn” your respect again.
Our Final Recommendations
KONG Extreme Dog Toy
It's really hard to beat the KONG Extreme Dog Toy if you're looking for a combination of durability and mental stimulation. Because the popular toy can hold a treat inside, your rottie will enjoy a good mental workout whenever he eyes the prize. And he will work on it until he gets what he feels he has coming.
More importantly, KONGs have an excellent reputation for being able to withstand a ton of punishment. This is particularly important, obviously, because the bite of a Rottweiler can exert a lot of brute force. But the toy can take such force and then some, meaning you won’t have to shell out for new toys every other weekend.
The unique conical shape of the KONG also plays a role in helping a rottie maintain the integrity of his teeth. While it shouldn’t be considered to be an alternate to brushing teeth as part of the grooming process, it still manages to help keep your dog’s teeth clean and sharp between grooming sessions.
Chipper Critters Whole Elk Antler Dog Chew Toy
If you want to go a more natural route, then you should check out the Whole Elk Antler Dog Chew Toy by Chipper Critters. Granted, there is no treat to stuff inside, which is to be expected – after all, it’s an elk antler. However, with proper training, the lack of a treat will be a non-issue.
Plus, it should be noted that the elk antler is also rich in natural vitamins and minerals that your dog inherently needs. Some of these important substances include calcium, manganese, and zinc. All of these substances are key to your pooch maintaining a healthy set of teeth and bones.
And before you worry about whether or not your Rottweiler’s enjoyment comes at the expense of another animal, don’t fret. It turns out that elks naturally grow and shed their antlers on an annual basis. This shed antler is what your four-legged friend will be noshing on.
Another benefit to these antlers is that they are relatively clean to have around your home. Unlike other natural chews like rawhides, this elk antler won’t leave an odor behind. This ultimately means that you and your dog won’t have to worry about a funky smell emanating from his play area.
Whatever toy you decide to purchase for him, you should always keep in mind that if you are using the toy to interact with your rottie, you need to keep things light and gentle. If you end up playing too roughly with him, he’ll follow suit and roughhouse, too. This is not what you want.
Besides, encouraging gentle play ties in rather well the motif of training your pooch to be a sweet and lovable dog to begin with. As a Rottweiler owner, this should be your ultimate goal. While you may see people give you a hard time because you have this magnificent breed as your pet, you can at least take comfort in knowing that you know better.