Hildegard is just over 10 months old now and while she is becoming a grown up in some ways, she’s still a silly puppy in others.
We have been exceedingly careful with socializing and training her because of her breed. She went through a 6 week puppy kindergarten class and about a month or so later another 6 week “Grad school” all with Thinking Dog, trainer Laura Berger at Northwest Kennels. We highly, highly recommend Laura and her purely positive reward methods, if you are looking for a trainer in the Bellingham area.
When not in class we trained Hilde at home and took her on outings with us, to experience other places and people. Lots of people.
What we discovered is that she is a highly sensitive, intelligent, playful, at times down right goofy, and exceedingly attached kind of dog. She’s great inside the house, quite mellow even, but we always take care of her zoomies with walks, ball throwing, tug, and of course romps with her older brothers plenty.
Hilde has always been very interested in kitties and the chickens, but she was raised to treat them respectfully from day one, so that’s pretty much what she does, barring a few stolen licks or butt sniffs like any other dog would. She really likes Bismarck kitty and they seem to have achieved a certain simpatico.
For the most part she minds well, in fact far better than either of our older boy dogs, consistently being the first to sit, do a trick, or line up for dinner when asked to.
She’s also very attentive, and seems to love doing dog jobs at our little stead like helping us gather eggs or patrolling the yard for squirrels with Stewart and Fergus.
Hilde is so attuned, so much a family member, that I can see where someone who thinks a dog should get shut out in the backyard and ignored, could get in trouble with a Rottweiler. I have no doubt like so many other dogs, they aren’t born to be a problem, but are made that way by humans when they fail to train them or take care of them.
It hasn’t been all easy, we have had challenges along the way, but the work we have put in to this wonderful girl has been more than worth it. This breed takes consistent positive training, and a serious commitment, so we wouldn’t recommend them for everyone.
To the point of this post title… there is a new movie about the Rottweiler called, Black Beauty Breed. It is a documentary about the positive character traits & inherent working ability of this dog told by people who have Rott’s and love them. There are some amazing stories and dogs in this movie. It’s out on DVD now, and we highly recommend picking up a copy to learn why so many people wouldn’t consider another breed of dog after having one.
And I must confess this now includes us!
We are starting Hilde on scent games training next, just because she is so eager to do and work. It should be a fun adventure for all involved.