There are many opinions about the Rottweiler breed, and most of them are not positive. Because of the physical characteristics and its unearned reputation, the Rottweiler is often considered a dangerous, violent dog.
Unfortunately, these opinions are developed on assumptions and false information that this dog does not deserve. Here are the top 6 misconceptions about Rottweilers.
1. Rottweilers are aggressive and vicious.
This opinion is the go-to myth that some people fall back upon with any dog breed they deem violent and unpredictable. In truth, the Rottweiler is a steadfast, friendly, and affectionate dog.
Yes, this is a medium-large dog with imposing looks, but as long as he is treated and trained with care, patience, and consistency, the Rottweiler will return the love given to him.
In fact, a recent study by Dognition found Chihuahuas to be far more aggressive than either Rottweilers or Pit Bulls!
As with any breed of dog, if a Rottweiler is abused, neglected, or mistreated in some way, it may indeed become dangerous and aggressive.
2. Rottweilers are dangerous with children.
Because of the myth perpetuated in Misconception #1, Rottweilers are often considered unsafe around children. Remember, Rottweilers are no more hazardous to a child than any other dog breed.
When raised and trained properly, they are protective and loving of their family members. They make excellent guard dogs, too.
Children should be taught how to behave around animals, whether the family dog is a Rottweiler or a Golden Retriever. Above all, never leave a child unsupervised with a dog.
In the majority of dog attack cases involving children, the attacks happened when the child was unattended. If a kid does not know how to treat a dog, leaving him alone with the dog, no matter its breed or size, is not a wise idea.
3. Rottweilers are stubborn and impossible to train.
Rottweilers have a long history of working with the human race, starting from its origins over 2000 years ago as a descendant of the cattle drover dogs that traveled with the Roman armies in what would become German territories.
They were also used for bear hunting and pulling butcher’s carts. In modern times, Rottweilers have been trained for police work, service and therapy work, and for use in the armed forces.
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.
4. Rottweilers don’t work well with other animals.
This statement is a very unfair assumption as any Rottweiler who has been properly trained can learn to share a home with other animals. Careful introduction and socialization from an early age will make this process much easier.
While Rottweilers can learn to live with other animals, always be careful with small pets that a dog might consider prey, such as cats or rabbits.
Rottweilers tend to work very well with other dogs, but making sure that all dogs involved are neutered will prevent territorial behavior from occurring.
5. Rottweilers should be kept outdoors.
Despite its history as a cattle dog, Rottweilers in modern times should not be kept outside day and night. This is a sociable breed who needs to be kept in the home and around the people they love.
Rottweilers who are left outside and separated from their owner become isolated, and this may lead to depression, separation anxiety, and destructive behaviors. This type of dog should get plenty of outdoor exercise — play, walks, running in the yard — but because of its need for human companionship, the Rottweiler should be brought in the home to be with its family.
6. Rottweilers turn on their owners.
Rottweilers are loving, loyal dogs and are also the 8th most popular breed in the United States. Those facts are directly at odds with the false notion that Rottweilers turn on their owners. Surely if that were true, these dogs would not be such a popular breed!
Yes, there have been instances where Rottweilers have attacked and bitten their owners, but those cases can be found with virtually any dog breed. The common denominator is how the dog has been treated.
A Rottweiler who has been beaten or abused by its owner will become fearful and stressed. It’s understandable as to why the dog might try to bite the hand that hits him the next time he is beaten.
Physical punishment should never be used as a disciplinary measure against a dog, regardless of the breed. When treated with love and kindness, a Rottweiler will never turn on its owner. It is always important to teach your dog the right way of doing things and that means using a collar. This will help you keep track of their location at all times, which can be difficult when they are off-leash or running free in an unfamiliar place It is always important to teach your dog the right way of doing things and that means using a collar. This will help you keep track of their location at all times, which can be difficult when they are off-leash or running free in an unfamiliar place
The Rottweiler is an often misunderstood and maligned breed. In reality, they are hard working dogs who have immense love and affection for their families. The dog’s loyalty, sociability, and playfulness are what make this breed a popular one. With proper training and care, the Rottweiler can be a family’s best friend.
Written by: Alexandra Seagal
Here’s another article we thought might interest you guys by Jess Miller about How to Help a Dog with Separation Anxiety. Read the full article here.
I totally agree that Rottweilers get a bad rap. We owned l Rottweiler and a Lab. But we would always let him make the decision on who he would actually be comfortable with. They were like two peas in a pot. Unfortunately we had to put him to sleep because of cancer. I wouldn’t own any other dog for protection at home other than a Rottweiler.
Unfortunately Rottweilers are notorious for cancer. I have had 2 and we just lost one! They are the best for sure! Sorry for your loss!!
Please I really wanna sell one rotwiller too….I am really scared of it
I have a friend who is looking to buy a Rottie how is his temparment and how
Old is he or she what is the price
I am thinking of buying a
Rottie or Lab but can’t make up
my mind please advise about
Rottie I like a big stocky guard
dog what type of health issues
they have and how long they
I fully agree with your statement, these are loving dogs that need attention and affection.
I agree I think Rotweilers are great dogs
I’ve had rotti’s my entire life, best home security and babysitter anyone can ask for. In fact when I was a toddler we had a rotti and I would claim all over that dog and it never growled at me one or anything, just laid there like a rag doll. Now I have a rotti who was raised with two older pekingese. My male rotti let’s the male pekingese be the alpha and when playing ball if the pekingese gets in there first he let’s him have the ball, it’s how we raised him. I just adore this breed and know I can sleep soundly and safe at night is nice.
Lol my male rottie lets my shi tzu be alpha. It’s so funny
Me and my husband acquired a 2 year old German Rottweiler from a couple who payed 3500.00 because of his strong akc winning blood line, for the first year of his life he attended training classes for obedience and commands according to the first owner. We have had Prince for 2 years now ( he turned 4 years old in October 2018) last night was the 2nd time he bit me, both times it has been a trip to the hospital with multiple stiches to my right had, last night I was sitting on the couch and scratching his chest as I do every night and bam he bit me, for the life of us we can not figure out why he would do this, he has been such a loyal, lovable companion, but why out of the blue would he do that. We love him to much to give him up, but now I am a little scared of him and his odd moods, do you think if we got him neutered it would make a difference. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Can the author respond to this comment? I am curious.
My dog is now 4 and him and my pitbull no longer get along. Not only that, he’s my big baby and he is very protective of me. He bit my husband when he tried to kiss me. Worst thing is when he couldn’t get my husband he turned and tried to bite me and I’m his mommy.
He’s usually very cuddly but he too has random acts of aggression. I thought neutering would help but nope.
I can only strongly advise you to look up cesar millan, the dog whisperer. Especially see if you can find the episode about the little dog schnoopy who who bite the husband when he would sit down next to his wife or hug/kiss her. The breed is a different one, but the basic principles stay the same. It is very important that u address this. A dog who protects one owner against the other (not talking about an abusive partner) has misunderstood his place in the pack which makes the dog insecure and unstable. A dog like that can become dangerous. Don’t underestimate the problem and if necessary get help from a professional.
If your Rottie has had a sudden change in behavior the very first thing to do is to TAKE HIM TO THE VET!
From what you’ve said I’d wager something is wrong with him and he may be in pain. Dogs can’t talk to tell you it hurts, so he’s trying to communicate in the only manner he can. He didn’t “attack” either of you he’s saying “something is very wrong.”
My old Rottie Moose used to whine and groan a lot. We thought it was his bad hips bothering him. We didn’t take him to the vet till he quit eating for a couple days. By then it was far too late as he had a giant tumor in his stomach, he passed a week later.
These dogs are highly, highly susceptible to cancer because of the lack of diversity in their gene pool. That’s thanks to the damn breeders trying to get puppies with”desirable” traits.
My new Rottie Brendel mix (Mouse) has pet insurance and goes to the vet as soon as I see a change in his behavior.
I just found your website I’m 80 years old and I have a 6 year old Rottie that I got when he was 6 weeks. Khan is such a sweet boy I had him neutered when he was 6 months and he thinks he’s a lap dog. At my age I can do anything to that dog he is just a love bug. I also have a Doxie and I had an 15 year old dog that I just had to put to sleep boohoo. Khan gets along with everybody I really believe because I’ve had so many different kinds of dogs that it’s getting them young making sure they’re neutered and give them lots of love. They’re amazing dogs I just got a second one a female she’s just about 6 months old and she is such a sweetheart I’ve had her since she was 3 months. I love rotties and so does my vet. They get a bad rap.
P.s. I need to add train them young, they’re going to be a big dog.
Hello Renata! I’m no expert, but if it’s a single bite at a time and not a full on attack then it’s probably him trying to communicate that he’s uncomfortable and upset about something. They are descended from wolves, and wolves will bite each other as a means to communicate but not necessarily to cause harm. Try taking him to the vet to discuss his behaviour, maybe getting him neutered might be the best thing. Good luck!
Hi, please look up cesar millan, read a book by him, watch some of his shows, and then look for a dog trainer in your area with whom you feel confident and have him help you work with your Rottweiler. A dog doesn’t just get funny moods and bites people. Agression, in any dog, is a symptom of something. I am sure you love your dog dearly and are the best owner who can to him, but dogs and humans have different ways of communicating which can lead to misunderstandings and bring out the worst behaviors in our beloved animals. At this point, I would say you have a choice between basically going through therapy with your dog and giving him up. The good news if that if you find a good dog trainer, the turn around can be incredibly fast. If you don’t believe me, watch some dog rehabilitation videos on YouTube. You see dogs that are nothing but fear and agression that are taught to relax around humans and other animals within days or weeks.
Yes it could make a difference but he could actually by doing it 2 nights ok n trot when you scratch your chest .he could be trying to tell you that you have a problem with your chest ..arrange check up with gp and tests .
I’m disabled myself and mine will let me know if going to blk out ..or if wake up in a morn and not well he will not let me transfer to wheelchair and leave bed at all…
He could be warning you of your own health I know he has bit you but you say once each time I know that bad enough but please do as I suggest b4 makin any rash decisions on dogs future ..
Has he gone for any other member of family..?
Please let me know outcome sir all best
Neutered would probably make the difference
Hi. We rescued a german rottie 2.5 yrs ago. Ive previously owned one. This one, Bear was apparently sent to the shelter because his owner was put in the hospital and kids didn’t want him. He laid beside my husband while he was on the phone when we went to see him. That was his selling point to hubs. I dont work and having big dog experience I knew I needed to work with him. I walked him, trained him, kept an emotional distance from him…he was 110# and I didn’t trust him. Needless to say WE bonded, the husband and son arent part of his pack. Hes bit my husband soo many times for just petting him. Although he always approaches it in an excited way. Hes learned to read Bears body language but all he wants to do is be able to lovingly pet him. He listens to me and I can do pretty much anything to him. However he in general doesn’t like people. Taking him to the vet requires tranquilizers. Any input you have would be appreciated
With what you have invested in the dog it is definitely worth trying. They passed the dog onto you for a reason mane the mood swing is is the reason.
Hi Renata, I just came across this site and your comment. Sorry to hear that your Rottie has bit you twice. You wrote that you were scratching his chest the 2nd time he bit you. He is likely communicating that there is pain in that area of his body. I’ve had many dogs – mutts rescues – one thing that I have learned from them is that they will mask pain/injury/illness as much as possible. It’s their instinct to do so. Please have your checked thoroughly by a kind competent vet. Maybe your dog has an old injury and sensitive spot (s) from the previous owners. Maybe a tumour or lump is forming and is painful when pressure is applied. The dog wouldn’t be able to understand what is happening if it is sick, it would only know that it doesn’t like to be touched in certain places/ways. One of my current rescues is a male Rottie. Got him quite unplanned from an unhealthy home. He was 6 and a half months old without ANY training. Had been tied up often outside for long periods of time in a yard of poop. He is stellar!! Now 3 yrs old, he is in his groove, knows he’s safe and behaves fabulously. It has taken a massive amount of patience, consistency and love on my part. If Rottie’s – or any breed – don’t have that from the people who own them, there will be issues. Trust is the utmost important. If the dog knows it can trust you it will do anything for you. I pray that all has worked out positively for your family and your Rottie. much light, Cindy
You could be rubbing a patch that is troubling him .
Dont forget they are prone to cancer God help us it is but I would get straight up vets hosp and get him checked over! (For own piece of mind..”dosnt only come to old dogs could be any age hun get checked
i have a rottweiler his name is buster he is adorable and there are a lot of pluses about him he is playful he loves to cuddle he does tend to chew a lot though not just thing around the house he also likes to chew hands.
rottie owner/ females had three pure breds and one lab/rottie mix/ great girls with other dogs, kids and cats..love old people..working dog is a cousin to the greater swiss mountain
dog you know!
I just brought a 10 week old rottweiler puppy home. Thank you for the article it rested some concerns.
They are beautiful loyal and I have always owned one since I was young and I am nearly 60now once you own one you will never want any other breed of dog
I owned a Rotti as well and she was a sweetheart, she did attack my ex husband for hitting me!! Dollie was the best and got along great with my Doberman ,they played together and lived each other dearly !! Great breed !!
I have a 3 year old female rottweiler. It’s such a wonderful breed, very loyal n loving one. We trained it ourselves. It’s my 10 year old son’s buddy. It is obedient and loves the family. Let it move around freely in the house compound..after 1 year i let it move around freely, didnt put it in kennel. Its friendly and listens to the master.
We have a 11 year old rotti. Like said ANY pup can turn violent. We have treated our pup with love and kindness. He is by far our most loyal,gental,sensitive pup. And we have had the great pleasure of having 11 pups in our family life. He is 130 lbs and we call him our gental giant! I could not ask for a better more loving pup. But we have always treated our fur family with love and kindness and they have returned it in spades. I WILL bring another rotti in our lives when the time comes.
I have fostered a male Rottie from a rescue..I have tomorrow to make my mind ‘re. Keeping before he is shipped to Scotland
I am a new comer to the breed. I had a well established pack that included a 9 year boarder collie mix, 2 year old pit bull, and a 2 year jack russell. A friend of mine had to to rehome her 5 year old 125 pound german rotti she asked if I would take him. I had known the dog and his training as our dogs had the same trainer. So I brought him to my home and it’s been great. He has fit right in to our routines. The humans are the pack leaders and everyone is is either neutered or spayed. My 5 year grandson can control all 4 dogs and they responds. Dominic the rotti has never been around children and he accepted my grandson. My grandson has been taught and has classes how to train and work with dogs. I love the breed
I bought a Rottweiler six years ago. She had been kept in a garage for 2 years. At first she would pace and jump, acting as though she was still caged. She has become the most loving and loyal pet I have ever owned. She is not aggressive to anyone or other animals. She is very protective of me and our home. I am 73 years old, live alone and she is wonderful company.
I have 3. A 6 year old female, and a brother and sister pair that are 3. All of them went to a 6 week in house obedience training with the same trainer. They are the sweetest, kindest, most gentle dogs. Super obedient. The oldest is a certified service and comfort dog. She has spent many days in long term care facilities visiting the patients. I cant imagine owning another breed of dog.
I owned 5 rottied in the last 40 years. They are the best dog I want another as i just lost my 12 year old baby to a heart attack on December 26 Nice cjristmas present. My Pomeranian is heart broken sje still looks around the house for him. He had a blanket in my bedroom at night time all i had to say was Toby nite nite time.and up he went. If I stayed up to late he would come looking for me
I thought he wanted to go bbn out but he just stood there until I shut off the tv and gollowed him to tthe bedroom. He was telling me its lste enough so go to bed. I miss him so much he was wondetful. I had rescued him ftom a shelter.
Thanks for letting me go on.
We just had to put down our Rottweiler/Shepherd mix. Duffy was loving, gentle, loved little dogs, guarded my husband and I and the house, loved the other dog we had, was very athletic and even seemed to read my mind. He had an internal clock and always knew when it was supper time to the minute. He had the long shepherd tail and a leaner looking frame, but he was our best dog ever. He would follow us from room to room and sit by us outside, He wasn’t really fond of our horses, but was generally disinterested in them. He was 110 pounds and was taller than I am. If I dozed off in the chair, he would stare at me to wake me up. ( I actually think he did mind melds. LOL)
He was 11 and a half and had gotten cancer. I miss him every day!
I’m so sorry for the loss of your Duffy.? May the Lord rest his soul.❤
We owned Rottweilers from 1981 until 2007. 4 in total, 2 at a time. All adopted. 1 came to us badly abused (he grew to 120lbs), 2 out of control, 1 as a puppy. One male was 138lbs when we got him. A professional trainer said
“he’s the most dominant dog I’ve ever seen. An accident waiting to happen. Put him down.” He went after my wife once. Read below.
All of our Rotties ended up being superb. Females lived to be 14 and 15. Males to 10 and 12. Both males had to be put to sleep because of bone cancer.
Our dog who went after my wife was not unlike the dog who bit the lady hard enough for stitches, and tthat is a problem. Have it x-rayed. If no tumors that hurt when touched, you have a decision to make. Here is what we did with my aggressive, dominant, 138lb male adoption and what I recommend:
1) Muzzle him all the time during this training period except when he is eating.
2) Start using our “NILF (nothing in life is feee) training system”. He gets nothing, not even a trip to the back yard to pee without obeying a command.
3) Set him up to fail. Pet him as usual. If he attacks (muzzled), swift, harsh response. I’m not saying beat him. Never do that. But instantly grab the dog by the muzzle and firmly (not violently) pull his head to the ground while simultaneously saying or yelling in a strong voice, ONE TIME, “NO!!!” in it’s face. Hold him down. Then assuming he is not fighting you or once he stops struggling, stroke his head while gently saying, “easy, easy, good boy, good boy” and letting his head go. Then return to what you were doing.
4) Also, while he is muzzled, play with him. Let him rough-house.
5) Do 15 minutes of obedience daily, maybe twice a day: heel, come, sit, down, stay, repeat. Encourage, encourage, encourage. This will build the bond with him.
6) Take the muzzle off after 4 weeks. Do all the above and talk gentle while encouraging him. If he growls, stop and ignore him. If he continues to growl (not purr, Rotties purr) or bites, the muzzle goes back on.
7) How to tell the difference between a growl and a purr? Stop what you are doing and pull back. If it was a purr he will push your hand with his nose, “pet me more”. Keep up this pattern until you are satisfied he is a purrer).
Our bad dog grew to 168lbs of muscle and bone. Out of the standard, Samson was the best dog we ever had, out of 3 superb dogs. He was funny, obedient, trustworthy, loving, playful, and super-intelligent.
Good luck! I hope yours turns out to be a Samson.
I’m glad everyone likes Rotti’s as much as I do! ???
You really down play the potential threat of this breed. Sure, Chihuahuas are more aggressive but they have far less chances of causing a fatality. An aggressive fruit fly isn’t going to be a threat.