Rottweilers are popular for so many reasons. They are loving and loyal to a fault. They are beautiful as adult dogs and simply adorable as puppies.
But their strength is one of the main reasons the Rottweiler is the eighth most popular dog breed in the United States today.
In short, Rottweilers are first-class guarding and protection dogs. These dogs are top picks for military and police K-9 training programs. They are also top of their class in personal protection and guarding dog roles.
The Rottweiler is a great choice if you want to add a guard dog to your family. However, your dog won’t know what to do automatically. You need to teach your Rottweiler how to attack, which we will cover in this article.
How to Teach Your Rottweiler How to Attack
The best and safest way to teach your Rottweiler how to attack an intruder on command is to enroll yourself and your dog in a local K-9 protection dog program.
You will learn the ropes from a master trainer. You will be provided with appropriate protective gear for yourself. You and your dog will become a strong and confident team.
If, for some reason, this is not an option in your local area, consider hiring a private dog trainer to instruct you and your dog. This is the safest and best way to avoid accidents and confusion that might delay you from getting the desired results.
Learn the Basic Steps to Train Your Rottweiler to Attack
This YouTube video briefly overviews the basic process of training your Rottweiler to attack.
However, wearing the proper protective clothing and using the right props to avoid being injured while training your dog in attack commands is vitally important.
As one viewer points out, you may also want to use a different word other than “attach” just to make sure you never say the word at the wrong time and provoke an unwanted attack.
Safety Precautions When Teaching Your Rottweiler to Attack
Teaching your Rottweiler how to attack is something that canine training experts can make a whole career.
In other words, this might better be labeled “don’t try this at home.” Rottweilers are very strong, and while your dog might not mean to injure or harm you, it can and does happen.
This is not a job for you to tackle on your own if you are a first-time dog owner or if this is the first time you have ever tried to train a dog to attack.
You may decide to give it a go, but if at any time you feel unsure or afraid, stop immediately and seek out the guidance of a professional dog trainer. We cannot stress this strongly enough for your safety and your dog’s well-being.
Legal Issues When Teaching Your Rottweiler to Attack
According to the Animal Legal & Historical Center, the Rottweiler dog breed is considered dangerous in some geographic areas.
Some communities and housing associations also have restrictions against owning Rottweilers for the same reason. And certain homeowners insurance providers will charge higher premiums or refuse coverage for homeowners living with a Rottweiler dog.
Even if none of these restrictions applies to you, it is important to recognize that once you train your Rottweiler to attack, you assume additional liability should your dog harm someone in the future.
This holds even if your Rottweiler hurts a legitimate intruder. In today’s litigious society, there is nothing to prevent the intruder from suing you for damages. Even if you win, you will spend much time and (likely) money defending yourself.
For the same reason, as OffGridWeb Cobra Canine trainer explains, you should consider investing in liability insurance to cover you in case of a lawsuit against you and your dog.
Three Levels of Guarding: Bark, Patrol, and Attack
As The Puppy Institute points out, there are several levels of canine guarding behavior: barking, patrolling, and attacking.
The best approach is to train your dog to do all three tasks and learn when to do which one.
1. Alert barking
The simplest and safest task to train your Rottweiler on is to give you a bark when someone unknown to them approaches.
Alert barking is very different from general barking, which many dogs will do when someone comes home. Alert barking is a specific type of controlled barking that your dog learns to do to communicate with you.
There are four key steps to training your dog to do this task well:
- First, you must teach your Rottweiler to bark on command – many trainers use the command “speak” to tell their dog to bark.
- Next, you want your dog to issue an alert when they perceive a threat.
- After that, you want your dog to expect a certain response from you (such as coming to investigate why they are barking).
- Finally, you want your dog to stop barking when you give the command.
Patrolling is the same as guarding the perimeter of a space. Let’s say you want your dog to guard your home and yard. This is an example of patrolling.
If you teach alert barking first, your Rottweiler will already know how to bark and stop when you issue the command.
Again, there are key steps your dog needs to learn to master patrolling:
- First, train your dog on alert barking if you haven’t already.
- Next, your Rottweiler needs you to teach them where the perimeter begins and ends. You can do this by physically walking your Rottie around the perimeter.
- After that, you must enlist a friend your dog doesn’t know to help you.
- As your friend approaches the perimeter boundary, you will work with your dog to train perimeter guarding by issuing the bark/stop bark commands.
If you don’t want your Rottweiler to bark or patrol against certain people, like friends and neighbors who visit frequently, this will require more training.
Attacking is the most advanced of these three guarding and protection dog skills.
Training your dog to attack will require you to teach your dog to bring all the skills they have already learned together.
You must have the appropriate personal protective gear and aid from a willing (and brave) friend to train your Rottweiler in how to attack an intruder.
Will a Rottweiler Protection Dog Truly Meet Your Needs?
As this New York Times article points out, a protection dog is only as good as the training the dog receives and the commitment to care for the dog’s new owner.
There are no firm statistics about how often a personal guard or protection dog is really in a position to protect its owner or property against potential threats.
But there are many statistics about how many dogs are relinquished each year because owners cannot afford their care, don’t have enough time to socialize them, can’t control them, or move to a new place that doesn’t allow dogs (or certain dog breeds).
It may be that a good “smart” home security system with a live human response could meet your needs better than a guard dog, no matter how strong and smart.
It is worth sitting down and discussing your concerns with your partner and family before deciding that your Rottweiler will be your first (or best) line of defense against intruders.
This is especially the case if you have young children or other vulnerable family pets in the home.
The American Rottweiler Club strongly discourages leaving a Rottweiler alone with young children, no matter the training the dog may have received.
This recommendation is as much because of the Rottweiler’s sheer size and strength as it is because of any mishap that may occur if your dog gets triggered by something and ends up causing harm to the child or pet.
Rottweilers trained to guard and protect dogs will need daily training and positive reinforcement of what they have learned throughout their lives.
K-9 handlers typically work their dogs out daily, drilling the dogs on commands and simulating threat situations to keep the dogs’ skills sharp.
Are You Ready to Commit to Training Your Rottweiler How to Attack?
You can use the steps in this article to begin training your Rottweiler on how to attack. But it is what happens next that matters most for you, your family, and those living in your community.
A trained Rottweiler guard dog is a great investment for the right person and family.