Rottweilers often have a reputation for being tough dogs. They are large, strong, and have a long history of being used for guarding. However, these traits have also helped give Rottweilers a reputation that is not always positive.
Do Rottweilers turn on their owners?
No, unless their owners abuse them, which brings out the more aggressive traits. When given kind, respectful treatment, Rottweilers are loyal, affectionate dogs to their family members and family friends.
This video demonstrates how gentle Rottweilers usually are with their owners. Although they might play rough, as big dogs tend to do, they are gentle-natured dogs as a whole.
Can Rottweilers Be Aggressive?
According to attorney Patrick O’Hara, Rottweilers have been responsible for the second-highest number of serious injuries, coming in after pit bulls.
However, is there a reason these numbers are so high? Pit bulls easily outnumber Rottsweilers two to one. Is there anything in the dog’s ancestry that may provide clues as to why they are more commonly associated with aggression?
One of the most essential things to remember is that many seek Rottweilers as guard dogs. Because of this usage is so common, the dogs often come from lines bred for security work. These digs are usually bigger and bulkier, with stronger jaws.
The Rottweiler’s origins can give us some clues as to how common aggression issues are in the breed. This breed’s ancestors were mastiff-type dogs used for guard and herding work in the Roman Empire. More recent lines have been military dogs.
When these dogs were used for livestock guarding, a large build and strong bite were considered essential traits. These traits have also made bites more dangerous. A dog the size of a Rottweiler can inflict a lot of damage.
Although Rotties are not a type of Pit Bull, they are often considered a bully breed. Dogs defined as being bully breeds are muscular, with broadheads and strong jaws. This breed has developed a reputation for aggression because of some incidents.
Most Rottweilers’ aggression takes the form of hostility towards strangers, rather than their owners. The breed also has a strong territorial streak. Although a territorial nature makes a dog protective, it can quickly turn into aggression.
How Do You Raise a Rottie to Be Non-Aggressive?
According to Big Dog Den, training and socialization are essential issues to consider before the Rottweiler comes to live in your home. Doing so makes a difference for your dog.
Training also plays a role in ensuring that these dogs know how to behave appropriately around people of all ages, from inside and outside their household. One of the things that will ideally come about from training is proper control.
At a minimum, a Rottie should have basic obedience training. Understanding coming when called, sitting, and staying on command will help your dog be better-behaved. You may also take the time to teach your dog these commands yourself.
Always work with your Rottweiler on a leash. Your dog will become more familiar and comfortable with being leashed if used early in your interactions. Keeping your pet leashed will also allow you to maintain more control in social settings.
Does Dominance Play a Role in Rottweiler Behavior?
According to Cuddle Your Pets, Rottweilers that have not been properly trained are more like to demonstrate domineering behavior.
A lack of exercise and mental stimulation will also make Rotties act out. Destructive and overexcited behavior that gets a negative reaction from the owner is more likely to make the dog act out further. Correction attempts may fuel aggression.
Dogs that do not spend enough time around their owners may decide to take the lead when their owner is out of the house. Rottweilers that spend too much time isolated at home may be inclined to guard their personal space even against their owners.
Rottie owners need to know how to show leadership to their dogs without doing so in an abusive or threatening way. Most incidents involving attacks on owners come about because of rough handling or similar behaviors.
Positive reinforcement-based training that uses food or praise-based rewards is helpful. Always use a firm but positive voice when you speak to your dog. Avoid raising your voice, screaming, or using corporal punishment.
Crate-training is not only helpful for housebreaking but gives your dog a safe place to decompress. Getting your dog used to sleeping in the crate at night or when out of the house for a short time will help you avoid at least some typical behavior problems.
Can Outdoor Rottweilers Have More Aggression Issues?
Many people have known of or encountered Rottweilers who live outside often used as guard dogs. People keeping this breed as an outdoor guard dog is common enough that many people treat it as being the form.
According to Animalso, Rotties today do better as indoor dogs than outdoor dogs. Most lines of Rottweilers bred today have come from show or pet lines rather than working lines.
Even with access to a doghouse, a breed like a Rottweiler can withstand cold temperatures only to a certain extent. When a dog is left out in exceptionally cold temperatures, it is likely to become anxious and reactionary.
Rottweilers have a need to be around people. Separation anxiety can cause destructive behavior and increase their chances of more aggression towards other animals and people. A dog cannot learn its place in a family without fully participating.
When a Rottie spends relatively little time around people, as is the case with outdoor dogs in general, it is not able to watch its owner’s interaction with other people. Dogs in this setting are likely to see all outsiders as threats.
Many owners who keep their dogs outside most or all the time are more inclined to treat them harshly when they misbehave. Because dogs in this situation do not interact well with people, they are likely to be reactive towards their owners.
How Do I Help a Rottweiler That Has Been Abused?
According to Pet Dog Owner, abuse at the hands of a previous owner can contribute to Rottweiler aggression. Dogs intentionally trained to be aggressive react accordingly.
Some people who have owned Rottweilers as guard dogs have used harsh methods to make them “meaner.” Because many of these methods cross the line into abuse, these dogs will often turn on their owners.
Rotties are a breed that some have, unfortunately, tried to use for fighting. Many dogs rescued from such settings are aggressive towards other animals, as well a people. A professional trainer or behaviorist might be necessary.
Avoid showing excessive negative emotions around your dog if it has been abused. Remaining as calm or positive as possible will show the dog that it has nothing to fear from you. Use a lot of praise and treats when your dog stays calm.
If your Rottweiler has a past history of abuse, never scream or yell at your pet. Also, avoid hitting, shaking, or kicking the dog. These behaviors are bad for dogs to begin with and may encourage aggression in a dog with an abuse history.
Rottweilers Treated Well Do Not Harm Their Owners
Even though Rottweilers have a reputation for being tough, most are loyal, protective companions who are great with people of all ages. Poor treatment and abuse can increase the chances of Rottie becoming aggressive.
When properly trained and socialized, Rottweilers are excellent family pets. Incidents involving these dogs turning on their owners are, thankfully, rare. The right type of treatment, socialization and training make a substantial difference.