Rottweilers are one of the most devoted, loving, and caring dog breeds. They are playful, and their docile temperament is loved by many. However, many dog owners complain that dogs can also be aggressive towards their owners. Certain behaviors like growling, constant barking, and baring teeth towards the owner can make the owner feel threatened and confused.
If your Rottweiler behaves aggressively and you don’t attend to the behavior, it can lead to the behavior worsening and could potentially lead to your dog attacking you. However, some aggressive actions are not dangerous, like barking loudly and consistently.
These behaviors may be due to your dog being overexcited or exposed to a new environment. Even though there’s no threat involved, a dog’s barking and growling may annoy many owners who don’t know how to deal with it.
Rottweilers are not inherently aggressive. Their temperament stems from their guarding and territorial instincts, which many other dog breeds also have. But in order to train your Rottweiler, you need to examine the reasons behind their behavior. Once you know why they’re behaving aggressively, plan a training strategy whereby you can train your Rottweiler to behave well.
In this article, we’ll talk about the basic reasons why your Rottweiler may be aggressive, and we’ll give you some training guidance that will help you tackle your dog’s behavior issues.
Why Do Rottweilers Growl At Their Owners
There is a myriad of reasons behind why Rottweilers growl at their owners. Many rottweiler pups growl as a technique to scare off their owners and avoid any close contact that they sense could be a threat.
Before attempting to train your Rottweiler, it’s much better if you first recognize the sources of their behavioral issues. Because there could be many reasons as to why your dog is growling, it’s important that you categorize which reasons are negative reasons and which ones are positive, and deal with them accordingly. Rottweilers are not simply wild and uncontrollable; their behavior always has a reason.
Negative Reasons Rottweilers Growl At Their Owners
In order to deal with your Rottweiler’s growling, you’ll need to learn about the negative reasons that propel the Rottweiler into action and invoke a fight response. Usually, negative reasons mean that your dog senses some sort of danger.
These reasons could sometimes indicate a more serious underlying problem, such as when your Rottweiler makes low growling noises or barks shortly but loudly. In these cases, you should closely watch and identify the source of your dog’s discontent.
Here are some common negative reasons that might drive your rottweiler to growl at you.
If your Rottweiler shows some signs of unease and discomfort when a stranger approaches, it’s most likely that their territorial aggressiveness prompts them to growl at you and the stranger.
This means that your Rottweiler is scared of the unknown person and presumes any unfamiliar object as a threat. They respond to the object by growling and trying to attack the object.
However, with big dogs, the situation can get out of hand. The growling can turn into barking, or worse, biting. It’s important to pay attention to the source of their behavior and then deal with it accordingly.
Not only will you have problems around your guests, but a peaceful stroll near your house can also turn into a hard task if your Rottweiler growls when an unfamiliar person is near them.
Protective Aggressive Behavior
Carefully notice whether or not your Rottweiler might not like being around other dogs. They will react similarly to territorial aggressiveness, but it’s termed protective, aggressive behavior. Your Rottweiler may assume that another dog in the vicinity is a harm to you or itself, and thus may start growling at you as a warning. Competitiveness may also have a part to play here.
Fear of Aggression
Fear is one of the biggest triggers of aggression. If your dog is scared, their first response would be to attack the object triggering their fear. Hence, they may begin to growl. Like any other dog, your Rottweiler may be scared of fireworks, crowds, or new places.
Dogs have a natural instinct to guard their food. If you try to pet or hug them when they’re eating, they’ll probably growl at you. Another reason why they may constantly bark at you is that they’re hungry. The hunger may also indicate other issues.
Your rottweiler may have digestive problems that cause it to be constantly hungry, or you may not be feeding it according to its dietary requirements. Bigger dogs will require more food and have large, diverse diets, unlike puppies, who mainly eat the factory formula food.
There have been many cases where rescue dogs have bitten their owners or mauled other dogs. Many rescued dogs suffer from PTSD or some other psychological trauma instilled by past experience.
For this reason, many people avoid adopting a rescued Rottweiler. Rottweilers are mostly bought as guard dogs for security. During their service, it’s very likely that they may have experienced assault towards them. This trauma leads to anxiety behavior, or PTSD.
Sudden bouts of aggression, produced by trauma, are unpredictable. Since, unlike your human counterparts, you cannot communicate with your dog effectively, it’s important for you to consult a vet or an animal rescue specialist. The aggression can be a warning symptom of a psychological attack that often owners cannot distinguish from normal aggressive behavior.
Lack of Socialization
Many Rottweilers, due to lack of proper socialization, diverge from their normal placid behavior when they are placed in situations unfamiliar to them. Instantly, they feel unsafe and may begin growling at you.
Positive Reasons Rottweilers Growl At Their Owners
While there are many possible explanations for your Rottweiler’s growling, there are as many chances that you are misinterpreting that behavior due to myths regarding their traits. Not all noises are growling, and not all growling is indicative of aggressive behavior.
Here are some reasons that signify that your Rottweiler means no danger.
Delight And Affection
Frequently, owners confuse growling with rumbling. Growling is accompanied by alarming body signs, while rumbling can be described as akin to the cat’s purr. Rottweilers are affectionate and family loving dogs. When you pet them, they will make deep noises at the back of their throat, showing content and happiness towards their owner.
Once you take them to a park, Rottweilers will get excited and start growling. However, this is directed towards the park and not you. This is because rottweilers are fond of open spaces. Even at home, they’ll get annoyed if they’re stuck in a small space. When you take them out, they’ll growl at you as a way of communicating their excitement.
Communicating Fear and Pain
Your Rottweiler may be trying to get your attention to alert you about something that may potentially be threatening. They will growl aggressively at you until you follow them and pay attention to what’s causing the fear. It can be some physical discomfort or aggression towards an intruding stranger or another animal.
Anxious to meet their owners, Rottweilers will growl and bark when they finally unite with you. Their growls and barks when you come home after a long day, show that they are happy to meet you.
Like many other dogs, Rottweilers growl when they’re enjoying themselves. They may display their excitement over chasing a toy by thunderous growling and even biting the toy that they’re playing with. However, even though it’s nothing to worry about, some behavior in Rottweilers should be kept under close because biting an object isn’t healthy behavior.
How To Stop A Rottweiler Growling At Their Owner
Long before you begin to control your Rottweiler’s growling behavior, there are some common misconceptions against Rottweilers that you must be aware of. Other than that, you should also know about some traits that Rottweilers generally have.
When you know your dog’s traits and don’t have any misconceptions obstructing your judgment, you can train them properly and get effective results.
Because of their strong build and other physical attributions, Rottweilers are perceived negatively by the public. Here are some common myths about them.
They Are Violent And Aggressive
In all fairness, this is a natural animal instinct that every dog breeds possess. Because of their imposing figure, Rottweilers are considered to be violent occasionally. With proper care and training, though, Rottweilers will be calm pets. If neglected and abused, they may lash out.
Rottweilers Are Dangerous Around Children
Similar to other dogs, if Rottweilers are untrained, they will attack aggressively. However, when raised with affection and training properly, they will be playful and loving to children.
Rottweilers Are Stubborn
Rottweilers are commonly trained for police work, security services, therapy work, and for use in the armed forces. With such vigilant work, Rottweilers are, in fact, highly obedient and family-oriented dogs.
Rottweilers Turn On Their Owners
While there have been cases where Rottweilers have attacked their owners, they are the eighth most popular breed in the U.S. Rottweilers’ loving and loyal nature is beloved by their owners. Their tendency to be aggressive depends on how their owners treat them.
By having an all-round understanding of the traits, it will be easier for you to train your Rottweiler. Although most of their mannerisms depend on the treatment they receive, there are some traits that are only distinct to them. These are:
- Rottweilers are calm and confident when they are well-trained.
- They are family loving and tend to enjoy the company and develop positively around family.
- They are protective and intelligent; this is the reason why they are employed in security services.
- They are courageous, loyal, and extremely obedient.
- Rottweilers require constant socialization and exposure to the unknown to reduce their fear.
- They are easy to train and can be kept in apartments, although they will require bigger spaces as they grow.
- They are cautious and observing.
- Rottweilers are sensitive and tend to adopt the mood of their owner.
Training Your Rottweilers to Stop Growling
We recommend you start training your dogs in the early stages of their aggressive behavior. No matter how aggressive your Rottweiler is, try to be patient with them and keep a keen eye for any progressive or unsuccessful outcomes. They’ll show you if the method you’re using is working.
The best thing you can do for a Rottweiler who’s growling at their owner is getting a good training program. A good training program like Brain Training For Dogs gives your rottweiler positive reinforcement instead of disciplining them.
Not only is this more fun for you and your Rottweiler, but it’s also more effective as well!
(Read an in-depth review of Brain Training For Dogs.)
Observe Why Your Dog Is Growling
Your dog may be growling because they don’t like the behavior you’re showing. Once you clearly identify the source, you can ensure that your dog doesn’t interact with it. If your Rottweiler happens to encounter the triggering situation, try to neutralize it instantly in a calm manner. Observe how your dog reacts to different stimuli – whether it’s snarling, biting, or growling.
Avoid Your Dog
If your dog tries to bite you, simply walk away. Do not try to show any dominance over the dog. They may begin to respond negatively. Growling at you is your dog’s way of getting your attention. When you ignore them, they’ll learn that growling doesn’t work and will stop their behavior.
Expose Rottweilers’ To Aggression Triggers
Exposing your dog to aggression triggers in a controlled situation can help you determine why they’re growling. Once you know this, you can remove the source and stop their growling.
If your rottweiler is growling at you because it’s scared or fearful, react calmly, and maintain a relaxed environment. If the rottweiler is scared, being in a calm situation will help them relax and feel less anxious, which will ultimately stop the growling.
Praise Their Positive Behavior
Rottweilers are extremely obedient and intelligent. By rewarding them for their positive behavior, they will conceive that behavior as good and repeat it frequently in hopes of a reward. Hence, every time they get your attention by not growling, reward them.
Rottweiler’s are a family loving dog breed, contrary to the myths. They develop a companionship with their owner and are extremely loyal to them. Isolating them will only make them more sensitive to various situations.
If you keep them isolated, they will snap at any minor threat. Socialize your dog by taking them on walks and meeting with other people. Encourage them to play with other dogs in parks or social places, under your supervision. This method will breed comfort in them and won’t let them get scared easily.
Use Positive Dominance
While training your Rottweiler, exert positive dominance with a firm voice and hand gestures. Avoid any triggering stimuli while training. Rottweilers are extremely intelligent.
By communicating with hand gestures and vocal commands, they will understand what you want and will react accordingly. During your training, use positive dominance to teach them the command to stop growling.
What To Avoid Doing
We can make mistakes when training our dogs, which may further aggravate the aggression in them. Here are some common mistakes to look out for:
Disciplining During Training Sessions
Rottweilers can be incredibly frustrating when it comes to training. They are easily distracted, excitable, and aloof. If you discipline them during training, it’ll feel like punishment to them, and they will not respond to your efforts. Instead, they may growl at you constantly.
Never Hit or Scream
No matter how challenging the training gets, never lash out. Never hit your dog or scream at them. Your aggressive temper may instill fear in the dog, who will react negatively. A feeling of distrust will then be established between you and your dog. This can lead to dogs being under constant anxiety and may cause them to growl at their owners.
By rewarding your Rottweiler constantly, when the situation doesn’t call for it, you can make them dependent on rewards. In these situations, your dog may growl or bark when they’re left unrewarded.
Jerking The Leash
Rottweilers are easily distracted and docile. If you’re taking them out for a walk, they might want to chase after something or go in a different direction. At times like these, you will feel inclined to jerk and pull that leash. However, doing this can lead to a competition between you and your dog. Avoid jerking the leash and use positive dominance to get them to listen to you.
Rottweiler’s are lovable and obedient dog breeds. If well-treated and trained with patience, their aggressive behavior towards their owner decreases. Though some Rottweilers may growl at their owners, they rarely intend harm. Their growling behavior is usually indicative of something else and is easy to get off.
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Here are some other common rottweiler problems.
- Rottweiler Puppy Growling And Biting
- Rottweiler Barking At Night
- Rottweiler Puppy Biting
- Rottweiler Growling When Hugged