Who Does my Rottweiler Prefer?
When a puppy first arrives in a house, it’s natural for the family to fight over who it loves the most. But as your Rottweiler grows, will they naturally want to bond with one person in the household in particular?
The beauty of Rottweilers is that they see the whole family as their pack, and they bond with everyone in the household with equal amounts of love and loyalty. However, all dog packs have a pack leader, and so there will usually be one member of the house that they see as their leader.
Instinct Will Take Over
Dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years, but that doesn’t mean that their internal, ancient instincts won’t take over when it matters.
In the wild, as was the case in days gone by, the strongest and most able members of a dog pack are the alphas. These are dogs who provide leadership and stability to the pack, and the other members look up to them.
Interestingly, dogs are different from many other animal groups in that they don’t fight for position in the pack.
Leaders don’t win their position through aggressive fighting. Instead, when the pups grow up, they eventually leave the pack to start families of their own.
While your Rottweiler will never leave you, they will still usually seek out one member of the family not necessarily because they’re stronger, larger, or more dominant, but often because they provide for the pack, or family, in the ways that matter.
How Does a Rottweiler Decide Who to Pick?
Pack leaders in the wild are the ones who find food, offer training, and protect the pack in times of danger.
As a result, it may be surprising to Rottweiler owners when they discover which member of the family their dog gravitates towards.
If the same person provides your Rottweiler’s daily meals, puts down their freshwater, and offers them treats when they’ve behaved well, then this person could very well be your Rottie’s favorite.
After all, dogs are like humans: often, the quickest way to their hearts is through their stomachs!
However, dogs are also like humans in that they crave structure and discipline. A Rottweiler is a highly intelligent dog who watches for its owner’s response and reactions to their behavior because they only ever want to do a good job.
This can mean that whoever takes the lead in training the Rottweiler will be the one who finds their dog bonds the closest to them. Rottweilers will seek out those with whom they find consistency and leadership.
And, of course, attention.
Rottweilers Love Attention
By now, you’ll know how Rottweilers have earned the nickname ‘Velcro Dogs’ because of the way they stick to their owners.
Being in the company of those they love, especially if they’re giving your Rottweiler plenty of love and attention, is Rottie’s favorite thing. They are especially good with children of the family, as children love to play with the family pet.
Understand the Way Your Rottweiler Bonds with Children
Having your Rottweiler love your children is vital to a harmonious and safe life that involves such a large and strong dog.
However, it’s important that you recognize that a child is not equipped to be an alpha leader and that a Rottweiler while bonding well with them, should not see them as the head of the pack.
Not least because a child is not equipped to provide for and train a Rottweiler to the sufficient levels. But it is also that a child too is still learning and requires discipline.
When a child is badly behaved and is scolded by its parents, a Rottweiler who bonds primarily with a child will react aggressively to the parents.
If the Rottweiler does not see the parent as an alpha, then there is a real risk that in defense of the child, the Rottweiler can attack.
As a result, parents should always be the ones taking the lead in disciplining not only the child but the dog, too.
Angry Domination is Not a Bonding Technique
Dogs do not learn in the same way as humans. A child can receive a stern talking-to and be stripped of privileges and treats or sent upstairs to ‘think about their actions because they will remember the discipline and learn from it.
Rottweilers respond to positive praise when they do something bad, and from a complete lack of reaction when they do something bad. In that way, they learn that they only want positive praise, so they yearn to do the good stuff.
Simply being a dominant, aggressive trainer won’t result in your Rottweiler bonding with you as much as simply being scared of you, and that’s never the goal.
Healthy bonding occurs when owners lovingly nurture their dogs and properly train and socialize them. As for the rest, the Rottweiler will provide it! Their loyalty and fierce love for their owners result in lifelong bonds.
The Whole Family Must Play their Part
Your Rottie may look to one particular alpha but in reality, the whole family has a role in creating strong bonds with their dog.
They can do this in the following ways:
- All take a responsibility to nurture and care for the dog as soon as they arrive home as a puppy
- Be aware that small puppies are scared and bewildered by their new surroundings so be patient and don’t startle them
- Observe the dog’s behavior and understand how they’re communicating with you
- Embark on proper socialization immediately, including having friends over to the house so the puppy understands humans aren’t a threat
- Play and mental stimulation are activities intrinsic to creating strong family bonds. Play in the wild is the main way of bonding and is so important for domesticated dogs too
- Grooming is a social practice where physical touch and light massage enables a puppy to get used to human touch, thus forming strong bonds
- Be consistent. If the alpha doesn’t allow the dog on the furniture, for example, none of the family should sneak them onto the couch
- Shower your dog with love and praise as a family, and they’ll be spoilt for choice as to who they’ll pick to bond with!
How To Know When Your Rottweiler Has Bonded with You
Your Rottie will soon let you know that your bond is strong! They’ll be overjoyed to see you when you come home, they’ll follow you around the house, and they’ll give you eye contact as they search your face for reactions.
Don’t worry if this doesn’t happen immediately. Puppies bond easily but older rescue dogs need time to trust people. Anything worth doing is worth time and effort.
Set aside time every day to devote to strengthening the bond with your Rottweiler, including long walks, plenty of play, reward-based training, and gentle petting. Very soon, your Rottweiler will be coming to you and reminding you that it’s time to hang out!
You’ll know deep into your soul that this dog has completely accepted you as their favorite thing in the world, and you’ll have formed a bond that will last until the end.
Having a dog trusting you and bonding with you so well is a privilege, so use it wisely! By returning their loyalty, affection, and trust, your Rottweiler will defend you with its whole life.