Rottweilers are a very popular choice for people who want a personal protection and family guard dog. These dogs are large and powerful and can be imposing when facing down strangers.
One common question many aspiring Rottweiler owners ask is “do Rottweilers bark a lot?” This is a smart question to ask before you choose a companion canine, as barking is harder to deal with after you’ve made the commitment and brought your new pup home.
In general, most Rottweiler owners report that Rotties are not a breed known to bark excessively. In other words, Rottweilers bark when they perceive there is a need to bark. We will talk a lot more about this here shortly.
In this article, we are going to take a close look at the Rottweiler temperament, including what can cause a Rottweiler to bark a lot and tips and tricks to temper a barking dog.
Get to Know the Rottweiler Dog Breed
If you have owned more than one different breed of dog in the past, you have no doubt noticed that different breeds can have very different traits and temperaments.
The Rottweiler dog breed is no exception. There is a very good reason for this.
As the American Kennel Club (AKC) explains, purebred dog breeds are divided up into seven different classes, or categories. Each category defines the basic role that dog breed was developed to play in society.
Here are the seven AKC categories of dog breeds:
Which group do you think the Rottweiler dog breed belongs to?
If you know anything about the Rottweiler dog’s breed history, you probably chose “herding.” After all, the Rottweiler was originally developed to work as a drover, herding large livestock like cattle and protecting them from predators.
But according to the AKC, the Rottweiler is classified as a working dog breed. The reason for this is because today, the Rottie is far more commonly found working in personal protection, canine agility, service (such as guide dogs), and therapy.
There just isn’t that much of a demand for herding dogs these days, although the Rottweiler still makes an excellent choice for those who do have the need.
Interestingly, many working dog breeds don’t bark a lot. They tend to employ a wider repertoire of communications and vocalizations that relate to the job they were developed, bred, and trained to do.
As VetStreet highlights, the Rottweiler only scores a “2” on the barking scale (from “1” to “5”).
Listen to a Rottweiler Dog Barking on Command
While Rottweilers as a general rule do not bark a lot, when they do bark, the impact is unforgettable…and unmistakable.
This short YouTube video by a Rottweiler owner shows a well-trained Rottweiler growling and barking on command.
But if you were an intruder and heard (and saw) this dog growling and barking at you, it probably wouldn’t take more than one bark to send you running for the hills!
Why Do Rottweilers Bark?
As the Canine Journal points out, the Rottweiler’s temperament, in general, is calm and focused as long as their charges (you, your family members) are in sight and safe.
Rottweilers live to serve and protect and are incredibly social dogs. Rotties are emotionally sensitive and incredibly intelligent.
As Science Alert explains, out of a list of 79 purebred dog breeds, Rottweilers ranked as the ninth most intelligent breed in terms of being able to learn, master, and repeat a command in less than five tries.
What does this mean as far as your Rottweiler’s barking is concerned? It means that if your Rottie is barking, there is always going to be a reason.
However, your dog’s reason for barking may not always be immediately obvious to you. Here, it can help to learn about some of the most common reasons why Rottweilers will decide to bark.
Your Rottweiler detects a threat
As a working dog developed to herd, guard, and protect, a bark from a Rottweiler is always a call to pay attention. It is a heads-up that some information is on its way.
When your Rottie detects a threat, your dog will choose the most appropriate deterrent, which may not always be barking. But when barking happens, it is a clear message to whoever or whatever is threatening to stay away.
Your Rottweiler is bored
Rottweilers are not super high energy dogs. But they do love to exercise and they excel in canine athletics. Your Rottweiler will need lots of activity and play to stay healthy and happy and to avoid putting on weight.
If your Rottie gets bored, barking is one way your dog has to let you know they would like to play or go for a walk or do something other than being on their own.
Your Rottweiler is lonely
Speaking of on their own, the Rottweiler is not the dog breed to get if you are out of the house a lot regularly. These dogs are extremely social and can develop separation anxiety if left alone for long stretches.
Lonely Rottweilers have been known to bark, howl, whine, chew the carpet, dismantle the couch and rip the curtains off the walls. If your Rottie gets lonely, the barking may be the least destructive sign you will see.
Your Rottweiler is herding you
Rottweilers are known to be “leaners,” which means that your dog may lean against you when you are standing up.
There are a variety of theories about why some dogs lean on their people. With Rottweilers, the leading theory is that leaning is one behavior Rotties learned to herd cows, a heavy livestock animal who may not be inclined to move otherwise.
Rottweilers may also lean just to show affection. But when herding, expect your Rottweiler to use every tool in their arsenal, including strategic barking, when they want you to move.
Your Rottweiler is excited
An excited Rottweiler can easily turn into a barking Rottweiler, especially during puppyhood.
If you are a new Rottweiler owner and this is your first time caring for this dog breed, it is important to remember that Rottweilers mature slowly. Like many large breed dogs, the Rottie can take up to three years to fully outgrow puppyhood!
And as you probably know, puppies aren’t always the best at controlling their emotions. Puppies will often bark, mouth, growl, bite and jump when they are playing and get excited.
So before you get too worried about why your young Rottweiler is barking, consider that it is just puppyhood excitement causing the barking.
Can You Train Your Rottweiler Not to Bark?
Training your Rottweiler not to bark is not different from how you would train any dog not to bark.
Remember earlier when we talked about how Rottweilers scored ninth in canine intelligence on the list of 79 dog breeds?
This is a good thing when it comes to any training goal you have with your dog. Rottweilers can and will learn fast and they will easily remember and recall what they have learned.
But the key to making sure your training pays off is using only positive reinforcement methods. You want to use only rewards, praise, pats, playtime, and treats to train your Rottie.
These dogs are far too large, powerful, smart, and sensitive to respond well to negative (punishment-based) training, and you will endanger yourself if you try to use these methods to train your dog not to bark.
So yes, if you want to train your Rottweiler not to bark, this is possible.
Why You Don’t Want to Train Your Rottweiler Not to Bark
However, it is worth considering that your training may backfire if you teach your Rottweiler not to bark and then a genuine threat appears.
Rather, you probably want to train your Rottweiler when to bark and when not to bark.
For example, you want to train your dog to bark at strangers but not at you and your family or “friendlies” (guests in your home).
In essence, you are trying to train your Rottweiler to be a personal guard dog and protection dog. You want to train your dog to bark when there is something you need to know right away.
Don’t be afraid to take the help of a professional dog trainer to avoid training mistakes you may later have to undo. This way, you minimize confusion and anxiety for your dog and get the outcome you want the first time.
By understanding the unique breed history, work ethic, personality, and needs of the Rottweiler dog breed, you have the best chance of meeting your dog’s needs.
When you meet your dog’s needs in full and faithfully each day, you can be sure your Rottweiler will guard you and your family with their very life.