Rottweilers as Watch Dogs?
The Rottie is powerful, calm, trainable, courageous and devoted to its owner and family. Loyal and protective, it will defend its family fiercely if needed, seemingly immune to pain. Serious, even-tempered, brave, confident and courageous, this breed needs an owner who is strong minded, calm, but firm and able to handle this dog’s massive size. The Rottie is a docile, natural guard dog with a laid-back, reliable temperament. It is highly intelligent and has proven its worth beyond question in police, military and customs work over many centuries and can be trained for competitive obedience. Because of its size, training should begin when the dog is a small puppy. This breed needs a lot of leadership and socialization. It will not be happy confined to a kennel or backyard. The objective in training this dog is to achieve pack leader status. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in its pack. When we humans live with dogs, we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader. Lines are clearly defined and rules are set. You and all other humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog. That is the only way your relationship can be a success. When the Rottweiler receives consistent leadership and is trained, it will be a good playmate for the children. It will accept cats, other dogs and other household pets as long as the dog has been socialized well and has owners who assert their authority over the dog. Friends and relatives of the family are normally enthusiastically welcomed. Strangers from whom the dog senses bad intentions can get no further than the sidewalk.
Are Rottweilers Aggressive?
Rottweilers find jobs ranging from police dogs to therapy dogs because of their intelligence and willingness to work. As a family dog, these traits translate well and can make for an obedient and adaptable pet. However, because of their wish to please, coupled with their protective natures, Rottweilers can be taught to be aggressive. It is important to correct aggressive behavior in your puppy, so he will grow to be a calm and well-mannered adult. Take your puppy to obedience classes from a young age to teach him basic obedience and to ensure he will be properly socialized to other dogs and people.
Staying active is a big love for the Rottweiler. This is a highly energetic pooch, as her background as a working dog might suggest.
Family and Bonding
While supervision with any dog and children is prudent, most Rotties show tolerance and love for the family’s children. The German standard for the Rottweiler actually says that the breed should evidence fondness for children.
Rottweilers, over the last fifteen years, are responsible for the second highest number of serious dog attacks in the country (See Dog Bite Study). The number of serious injuries caused by this breed is highly disproportionate to the number of Rottweilers in the United States. Over a twelve-year period, Rottweilers were responsible for over 10% of fatal dog attacks even though they are less than 3% of the total dog population. Pit bulls have more notoriety for being aggressive because they are responsible for more serious and fatal injures of humans than any breed. There are also twice as many Pit bulls as Rottweilers, so statistically speaking, there should be more attacks by Pit bulls than Rottweilers. These statistics do not mean that all Rottweilers are aggressive. There are Rottweilers that are very friendly. The studies reveal that a higher percentage of Rottweilers bite than most breeds. Some insurance companies deny coverage of Rottweilers (along with several other breeds) because they consider it a higher risk than the average breed.
Rottweilers must be thoroughly socialized at an early age so that their territorial instincts are controlled rather than indiscriminate. They can be aggressive with other dogs of the same sex. And while many Rottweilers live peacefully with the family cat, other individuals are predatory toward cats.
A breed that has accomplished that much can clearly be trained. Rottweilers do have willful personalities, but they are also intelligent and enjoy learning. They make highly obedient family dogs when they are trained correctly and with consistency.
Rottweilers as a Pack Animal
When raised with love and kindness, a Rottweiler will generally be a kind and affectionate dog; however, if they feel that someone or something is threatening their humans, their protective side comes out. A Rottweiler will do anything to keep his family safe.
Lymphoma or lymphosarcoma is a type of cancer that afflicts Rottweilers more than other breeds. This disease makes the body form abnormal lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cell. Because white blood cells can be found throughout the body, this cancer can show up almost anywhere. Lymphoma is a very treatable form of cancer with an excellent success rate in dogs receiving chemotherapy. Luckily, lymphoma is one of the few types of cancer that can often be found with a blood test, so we may recommend a complete blood count twice yearly. Watch for swollen glands (ask us, we’ll show you where to look), weight loss, or labored breathing at home and be sure to call us if you notice any unusual symptoms.