Rottweilers are popular dogs, and it is easy to see why so many people have them in their lives. They are not only loyal but also hardy and well-suited to physical activity, from hikes to days spent at the beach. These dogs are always versatile.
Because of these dogs’ positive traits, it is reasonable to wonder if they have what it takes to be service dogs. The range of assistance that service dogs provide is extensive, from helping with mobility to providing psychiatric support.
Can Rottweilers be service dogs?
Yes, rottweiler is well-suited to the tasks that service dogs perform. The breed’s original usage in Germany has helped it develop some valuable traits that are particularly helpful for service dogs.
This video highlights some important things to remember if considering a Rottweiler as a service dog. Read on to learn more about what you need to know about Rotties as service dogs.
What Were Rottweilers Bred to Do Originally?
According to German Culture, Rottweilers are possibly descended from drover dogs that were in use during the time of the Roman Empire. These dogs were a mastiff-type breed.
These early dogs were famous for their intelligence and guarding abilities. The Romans entrusted herds of cattle that they took on their conquests to these dogs. The Rottweiler’s ancestors were possibly introduced into southern Germany around 74 A.D.
An important town for the cattle trade called Rottweil is a location these dogs became associated with during the Middle Ages. At one point, these dogs were known as Metzgerhunds, a term that means butcher dogs.
Cattle driving declined with the arrival of the railroad in the mid-19th century. However, dogs’ instincts have that make them good for guarding gave rise to some new “jobs” for them to perform.
The traits that Rotties inherited from early drover dogs help to make them excel at police, security, and search and rescue work. In addition to helping them excel in a working setting, these traits also make Rottweilers excellent service dogs.
Under ideal circumstances, Rotties have a confident, calm nature that helps them to adapt to owner needs. Rottweilers also take a cautious approach to unfamiliar people or animals, reducing many of the problems associated with introductions gone wrong.
One thing that owners will do well to remember is that these dogs are still protectors who take their desire to protect very seriously. Protectiveness can be a good trait in these dogs. However, they need to get the difference between a helper and a threat.
Which Types of Assistance Are Rottweilers Best For?
According to Pawsome, Rottweilers are excellent service dogs for physical and psychiatric needs. The breed’s high intelligence snd trainability allows for specialized tasks.
People with mobility or balance issues, including many with conditions like multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s, may benefit from a dog with the type of large build that most Rotties have.
A dog built as sturdily as most Rotties helps provide the support that people with poor balance require, preventing falls. These dogs can also easily carry saddlebags filled with smaller items their owners might need.
Rottweilers are also easy to train to performs tasks that include opening doors and gates or turning light switches on or off. By handling these tasks, the dogs help increase their owners’ independence.
When a person has a condition like epilepsy or a tendency to get low blood sugar, a Rottie can detect the change and bark to alert others. A well-trained dog will allow assistance while also protecting during an emergency.
Rottweilers are very sensitive to their owners’ moods and any changes that might indicate mental problems. This sensitivity makes the breed an excellent choice for people living with conditions like PTSD, anxiety, and depression.
Although different from a service animal, Rotties also show promise as therapy or emotional support dogs. Therapy dogs often visit patients in hospitals and nursing homes. These dogs also help provide comfort to disaster victims.
Emotional support dogs help provide emotional support and comfort without being trained for specific tasks. Dogs that provide emotional support lack the type of access legally given to service dogs.
Does the Gender of a Rottweiler Matter for Service Work?
According to Jackie Hall, both genders are equal in most respects. What type of work your Rottweiler needs training for may influence your decision.
If your Rottie is a service dog helping you with mobility issues that require physical strength, you might be doing best by selecting a male. Males have enough height and weight to easily support their owners without the risk of injury to the dog.
When your Rottweiler is being trained to assist with highly specialized tasks, a female might be more suitable. Female Rotties are less likely to be stubborn and somewhat easier to train than males.
Owners who need their dogs trained for psychiatric assistance or to provide support for conditions like epilepsy or diabetes are likely to find both genders helpful. Some consider females more responsive, but the evidence doesn’t favor one over the other.
How Does Your Rottweiler’s Personality Matter as a Service Dog?
According to the AKC, Rotties thrive with a job to do. A well-bred dog will be more likely to have a good personality.
A Rottweiler should have a sense of protectiveness without being hostile to other people. Part of being a good service dog is knowing when to allow others to have access to you and when to be protective.
Rotties used as service dogs need to get along with or be non-aggressive toward other animals. If you have other pets, this is essential. Even if you don’t, you need to trust your dog not to act out when seeing other animals.
When a Rottweiler is a service dog, it needs to be free from excessive stubbornness. Being somewhat determined benefits dogs like Rotties in accomplishing tasks. However, they should not be stubborn to the point of being disobedient.
Where Will You Usually Find the Best Rottweilers for Service Dogs?
Most service dogs, including Rotties, come from breeders. You may be able to acquire a dog from an organization specializing in service animals or from a shelter. There are advantages and disadvantages to all of these sources.
According to Mississippi Rottweilers, the better breeders will have made sure their lines going back to the great-grandparents have been health-tested.
Quality breeders will produce their dogs with health and working ability in mind. When acquiring a dog from a breeder, it is best to avoid those who breed only for profit. Look for breeders who allow you to see the conditions the dogs live in.
Some organizations will help place a service dog with a person in need. However, the cost to acquire one of these dogs is often quite high. Resources like grants and crowdfunding campaigns are often necessary.
Many people enjoy the possibility of getting a dog from a shelter. However, a shelter Rottweiler may have been surrendered for behavior problems. Temperament testing is always a good idea for a dog in a shelter.
Rottweilers Can Be Good Service Dogs
Rotties with good breeding that have been raised properly have the potential to be excellent service dogs. This breed has traits from its days as a herding and guard dog that work well for the demands placed on service dogs.
Many seeking a service dog are pleased to know that Rottweilers are suitable for any task. Choosing a dog carefully will increase your chances of the Rottie being a perfect fit.