If you are considering getting a new dog, it’s imperative that you do research on the chosen breed, to ensure that their temperaments match what you are looking for.
Rottweilers can be seen as an aggressive breed, but it really comes down to their environment, how they are taken care of and where you are acquiring them.
As a rottweiler owner, I can assure you that this dangerous facade that they are presented as, along with other breeds such as Dobermans or German Shepard’s is, in my own experience, just not true! In fact my own rottweiler is quite the opposite!
So let’s discuss all the characteristics and qualities, both good and bad, that come with owning a Rottweiler.
Are Rottweilers Dangerous And Aggressive?
When seeing Rottweilers in films or media, they are usually presented as aggressive and frothing from the mouth, which makes them seem rather sinister animals.
While in some cases, Rottweilers may be mistreated by owners, or previous owners, which may cause them to be reactionary to their environment, it is from my experience that this breed are in fact, giant babies!
Now, when we first got our Rottweiler, he had come from a Rottweiler breeder from the north of England, who must have owned around 15 in total! They all seemed like friendly, well looked after dogs, with lots of space to roam around!
When we brought him home, we already had an elderly Labrador, who the Rottweiler took to immediately, who was a very calm influence.
However, one thing we noticed right away, is that this Rottweiler loved to be the centre of attention and became jealous if showing other pets love, and had a tendancy to shove them out of the way so he could be the star of the show!
Although I have experienced few issues with my Rottie, it is still important to remember different things that can have an effect on the breeds behaviour.
Now, when researching Rottweiler attacks, you will find more cases outside of the UK. Rottweilers account for 10% of attacks on people and children in the US out of all dog attacks, and are a close second behind Pit Bulls, which also have negative connotations surrounding them.
When researching Rottweiler attacks, you will find stories of them attacking small children in places such as the Ukraine, which have led to very sad and detrimental endings.
However, it is important to remember your dog is a product of its environment and family history, just as humans are. If you acquire a Rottweiler from a good breeder, and treat it and train it as best as you are able to, then these become the best pets, along with any other ‘tamer’ breed!
From my own experience, my Rottweiler has honestly never been aggressive! Even when provoked from other dogs, he may protect himself, but he has never been one to start an incident. Luckily we have only had one incident, where the other owner explained that the dog had a funny temperament and had she seen us sooner she would have put her dog on the lead!
However, you may come across issues if your dog is not socialised properly, or given clear boundaries.
We made a point to socialise our Rottie from a young age, and the help of having another dog around was no doubt fundamental to his training.
These are big dogs, that can grow to large capacity, so it is important they know who the boss is and who they listen to. If you do not set these boundaries with your dog of any breed, this is where you will come across issues, that may ultimately lead to aggression.
(Find out whether rottweilers make good guard dogs.)
How Do They Compare To Other Dogs?
Rottweilers come out as average when compared to the intelligence of dogs overall. Now this means that they are the same to teach as most other breeds.
So, taking this into consideration, we can teach our dogs right from wrong. Being that they fall into the average category, we then need to socialise Rottweilers and teach them commands just as you would with any other breed.
Are Rottweilers Dangerous Around Children?
Rottweilers can be dopey at times and underestimate their own size and strength. With that being said, as long as your Rottweiler is socialised with children from an early age, then you shouldn’t face any issues.
However, if you have a Rottweiler that hasn’t been socialised from an early age around children, you will want to ease the process in, so they do not feel intimadated or scared of a smaller person!
The other issue you may face is the way a child handles a dog the size of a Rottweiler. Children can be known to grab or be rough with animals, so as long as said children know to be gentle and calm around your Rottweiler, things should go smoothly.
Rottweilers can be very playful, so I would recommend that any animal is supervised with children, so if they become too boisterous, you can step in.
(Read this article to know more about whether rottweilers can be kept with children and babies.)
Are Rottweilers Dangerous To Other Animals?
Again, we go back to the point of how your Rottweiler is socialised from an early age. They may be dangerous towards animals they haven’t come across before, if they feel threatened or their hunting instincts kick in.
With my own experience of keeping Rottweilers, he is fine with our pet cat and actually behaves very loving towards him, whether the cat likes it or not!
We live in the middle of the countryside, so there are animals such as sheep, cows and horses around. My main concern with this is usually the bigger animals becoming scared and kicking him, rather than them being attacked.
However, we have dealt with issues when he comes across smaller animals such as rabbits, that he is not used to. If he see’s one he will chase it, and I would hate to admit, I feel he would attack one if we don’t step in. Luckily, he responds well to commands and knows when to stop.
You will find little to no issue with your Rottweiler around other animals as long as they are socialised and trained well. The only exception to this would be if the other animal was to attack first, and your pet reacts in self defense.
What Can Make Rottweilers Dangerous?
There are a number of reasons as to why a Rottweiler may be dangerous, and they include:
If They Feel Threatened
This may be from another dog, animal or human and they will react on their instincts in self defense.
If you do not train your Rottweiler properly, he won’t know who the boss is, and will do whatever his instincts tell him in that time.
If your Rottweiler has been subjected to abuse in the past, whether you have gotten him from a rescue centre or maybe the breeder wasn’t great, he/she may be very wary around people. It will take a lot of training and time to make them feel safe and happy around people again.
If you have trained your dog well, and they know certain commands when they sense a risk, they can be dangerous as their bite and weight is strong!
Illness or Pain
Could your Rottweiler be acting out because of pain or illness? If there seems to be no other triggers, it would be worth a trip to the vets! Rottweilers are prone to things like diabetes or heart conditions, so this is something to be aware of.
What Should You Do If Your Rottweiler Is Aggressive?
Rottweilers aren’t aggressive for no reason, there will always be a causes(s). The first thing you will want to do if you find that your Rottweiler is being aggressive, is look at the situation.
Why Is This happening?
Was there something that led to this? It could be anything from loud noises to someone being too rough, or even coming across something that he/she is not used to.
Once you find the triggers of this, you will need to reduce the risk of these things happening.
When someone new meets my own Rottweiler, we ask that they let him sniff their hands first, as he is wary of people touching the top of his head. This isn’t a problem for people in the family, but he can become agitated with someone he doesn’t know!
We also make use of him having a fixed routine! He gets walked at least twice a day, so when he is in the house he becomes very relaxed and will sleep most of the day/night, so things will not bother him as much, unless there is real danger.
You may also want to use distraction techniques if the trigger cannot be avoided. We give our dog a treat when we know we are going out, as it can cause him to become upset. Once he is given the treat, he is more focused on enjoying it, than what we are doing.
Another technique to use to train him/her out of aggressive tendencies, will be for you to remain calm. Rottweilers really pick up on their owners energy, so if you are calm and ignore the situation, then he will understand it is nothing to be worried about.
To calm your Rottweiler down, always use positive reinforcement, they tend to become more docile with this technique and staying positive will provide them to feel more at ease too. Shouting at your Rottweiler can increase their stress, and exacerbate the situation.
To enforce new training techniques to save any aggressive behaviour, you will need to put time into your pet. We recommend using these techniques for 10 – 20 minutes per day to get the right results. It will take anywhere between 5 – 10 days for this to become habit for your Rottweiler.
How To Reduce Rottweiler Danger
To reduce any danger and aggression from your Rottweiler, you will need to train him/her well. I got my Rottweiler from a puppy and as I said, he has grown up in the countryside, so is used to most animals and visits from family that include small children.
As long as you socialise and train your dog from a young age, you shouldn’t find too many problems, as although people think Rottweilers are an aggressive dog, once you own one you understand that they are quite the opposite!
Training is paramount for any new dog that you add to the family, and they will pick up the temperaments of the household. If you know something is causing your dog stress try to eliminate the problem. If you can’t do that, then again use distraction techniques and positive reinforcement!
Getting your Rottweiler from a puppy is always easier when it comes to training. However, if you do decide to adopt, which is always recommended, they will take more time and patience, if they haven’t had the greatest start to life.
Once you own a Rottweiler, you will realise that the stereotypes surrounding them are definitely not true! Although they may be very big in size and look a little intimidating, they are quite the opposite!
From personal experience, Rottweilers are the most loving breed of dog I have ever had! They demand a lot of love, and will feel very protective over you!
The idea that Rottweilers are dangerous is simply not true by nature. We would need to look at the triggers and experiences our pets have gone through to understand why they may become aggressive.
We always want to socialise our pets so they do not feel threatened by anything that they aren’t used to. Like all other breeds of dogs, they require a certain level of training. Once you have gotten a routine in place, continuous training and reduce any unnecessary stress, you will see how lovely this breed is.
So the answer to are Rottweilers dangerous? The answer for the most part is no, unless there is some outside influence or internal problem!