Are You curious about the Rottweiler Breed?
Are you interested in owning a Rottweiler? People often select dogs based on different criteria. Some think it is cool to own a dog with a bad reputation (not a good idea), some people go for looks alone, and some people just want a dog, no matter what! There are most certainly many other reasons that could be added to the list of why we pick one breed over the other.
As mentioned in my about me page, I was introduced to the Rottweiler breed by close friends who had Rottweiler puppies for sale. Of course, I was not a stranger to dogs in general, and had some experience with this type of breed. To make my life a little easier, I picked up a book on Rottweilers to educate myself on the breed.
What was my reason(s) for selecting a Rottweiler? (1) As an adult, I wanted a dog that I picked myself, (2) My kids would experience the best of both worlds, having a dog and a cat (my cat Sparky hated it), (3) Opportunity presented me with the chance of owning a new puppy, (4) I thought a Rottweiler would be a cool dog to own.
A Rottweiler’s temperament consist of intelligence, courageousness, confidence, loyalty to family, fierce nature to protect family, a strong desire to work, and durability. If your looking for a dog who loves attention and affection, look no further, you’ve found your dog.
Are Rottweilers Good Family Dogs?
Rottweilers are exceptional dogs to have as a family dog. However, any dog of this size and strength should always be supervised by a competent owner who has established himself/herself as the pack leader. Training should begin as soon as possible. If your are new to the breed seek out professional instruction from a local dog trainer, preferably one who has experience with the breed.
If you are looking for a dog that will always want to be by your side, the Rottweiler will not disappoint. My “Rotti” and I are pretty much insperable. It is very rare for him to not follow my every step, wherever I am he wants to be. A Rottweiler in my Opinion is not the type of dog you can leave locked up and alone for long periods of time. This breed is definitely not a dog to be left to himself, and not mentally engaged. With all that being said, I would consider Rottweilers good Family dogs to own with proper socialization.
Are Rottweilers Good with Children?
Rottweilers are good with children, however; they are no different from any other breed of dog which requires socialization. Rottweilers should be introduced to children in general if children do not reside with the owner. Since Rottweilers are from a working class of dogs, they posses a Prey Drive (some a higher level of drive than others). Prey drive is simply a need for a dog to chase prey.
A Rottweiler puppy with a high prey drive chasing small children around the yard is quite entertaining, but when the same puppy is about six months old, it becomes something more fearful for young children. I can remember when my first Rottweiler Samson turned about six months he would sometimes chase my supervised kids from one end of the backyard to the other end. On several occasions, Samson would knock my kids to the ground and playfully wrestle with them.
It was somewhat entertaining to see my dog and kids having a good time, but on the other hand I immediately realized that this type of play could get out of hand if not closely monitored by my wife or myself. As a result, my children were instructed to NOT let Samson out for play time without me or my wife being present to supervise. So my opinion to anyone planning on owning a Rottweiler puppy, it is Never wise to leave children alone with a Rottweiler, or any other dog breed. Even the most docile dog can be aggravated by a child.
Working breed dogs are driven by their prey drive due to the energy, sounds, and quick movements of children at play. A puppy at this age lacks the capacity to understand this type of play may not be appropriate. When my Rotti was overexcited while playing with my children, I would usually give him commands like sit or down until he was submissive. Once submissive, he would be praised verbally and given a treat or petted on his head.
In addition, children should also be taught to respect dogs from day one. Children who are not taught to respect dogs, unfortunately, become dog bite victims. To prevent your child from becoming a victim of an agitated dog, some basic rules should be followed:
- Never leave your Rottweiler alone with your children.
- Never let your children disturb your Rottweiler while eating.
- Never let your children play around your dogs bowl when empty (put the bowl away if practical).
- No running or screaming or teasing.
- No hitting or kicking the dog.
- No disturbing the dog when resting or sleeping.
This is of course not an exhaustive list by any means, but a few very important rules to keep in mind. Rottweilers are good with children when socialized and properly trained as puppies, up until adulthood.
A critical facet of training during this period of socialization with children, is the hierarchy of the family structure. All family members are to be ” Alphas”, including the children. Rottweilers will happily take the position of dominance if given the chance. Never let your Rotti become the Alpha Dog of your family.
Do Rottweilers make Good Guard Dogs?
I am sure many people not familiar with Rottweilers often ask if Rottweilers are guard dogs. In my opinion, a Rottweiler is a guard dog and some much more. The breed is one that makes it a priority to protect its family, and turf from anyone who is seen as a threat. In A New Owner’s Guide to Rottweilers, Author Urs Ochsenbein States:
” We need not train our Rottweiler to be a guardian, he is one by nature“
Most Rottweilers stand back and access a threat before making a decision whether to engage, or not to engage. Rottweilers are usually more suspicious of outsiders who walk by. If your not in need of a dog that is territorial, then look elsewhere. Anyone who is not on the inside of a Rottweilers territory is usually not invited, unless a family member, or close friend.
I must admit, it can be quite frustrating dealing with a dog that constantly runs to the gate when ever unfamiliar people walk by the house, but it is a Rottweiler quality that usually subsides with the maturity of the breed, or consistent training. In most cases I will put my dog on a sit or down until he is in a calm state, as the person/persons have passed.
This exercise teaches him that he needs not to engage every person walking by with aggression. Especially elderly people, or mothers with children. The aggression seems to increase when other dogs are added to the equation, which is normal for the Rottweiler breed.
If you are looking for a guard dog you have found one. The Rottweiler will not disapoint as a guard dog if treated fairly and feels like part of your family. The responsibility of protecting your family members and property becomes second nature.
The obvious conclusion to the question of whether the Rottweiler is a dog that possesses the temperament that meets the requirements of anyone looking for a family friendly dog breed is “yes”.
I will not speak for all Rottweiler owners, but the Rottweilers that I own and have owned, have had similar personality traits. Several Rottweiler personality traits that I have witnessed from the Rottweilers that I have owned is affection. They love a lot of attention. You can’t pet a Rottweiler on the head once or twice without being bumped and pushed for more. If you want a dog that will love you to death, this is the breed for you.
If you lack the time to interact with them, you will usually indirectly create a dog that is destructive, anxious, and lacking much self-control. Rottweilers are busy bodies often pacing back and forth in order to release pent-up energy if left alone for a long period of time.
Many of the personality traits of a Rottweiler are due to the personalities of their parents, and ultimately how you raise your Rotti. On the flip side, Rottweilers are very suspicious of others that are not part of the family. Unless your Rottweiler has been acquainted with your friends or others outside the sphere of your house hold, Take caution!! The only remedy for this Rottweiler personality trait is for friends and family to come around more often.
Rottweilers are great dogs to own and make outstanding companions for any family that has the patience to nurture, train, and lead. They are great with children, and make awesome guard dogs.
2 thoughts on “Rottweiler Temperament”
Thank you so much for this highly informative article, Anthony! I, along with three of my cousins, own Rottweilers. With one of my cousin’s Rottweilers in particular, he was incredibly protective of his family and household (he loved me; he would always lick my face, eat dinner with me, and sleep on my lap during movie night. Haha). One of the next door neighbors had a little Pomeranian dog (cute and harmless, from what I could tell), but my aunt and uncle always kept the dog locked inside, as he would become incredibly agitated with the Pomeranian (much more so than with other dogs on the block). One day, while everyone was gone, the little Pomeranian dog somehow got into my cousin’s backyard, and their Rottweiler brutally murdered the dog (I’ll spare everyone the gruesome details. Haha). Needless to say, my uncle and his neighbor had a long talk, he paid the neighbor for the dog, and my uncle decided to put their dog in a professional “taming” program-he wasn’t as socialized as they initially thought. Rottweilers are great family dogs, but we must be careful to give them proper training. God bless you!
Hi C.Traylor, thank you for visiting Living With a Rottweiler. Thank you for sharing your story. I am sure your family was devastated by what happened to the neighbors Pomeranian. The Rottweiler that I currently have is a handful. I have been training him for the past three year, almost everyday. I am beginning to realize that some Rottweilers are easy going, and others are not so easy going. A Rottweiler with high energy and a strong prey-drive, is most likely the Rottweiler that is not so ” easy going.” I must say, my current Rotti is very intelligent, loyal, and affectionate with family members. More so with me, since I am the one that spends the most time with him. My first Rotti was laid back and friendly with everyone. However, he was by no means a pushover. All Rotti’s have similar temperament, but different personalities and drive.God bless!