Getting a Rottweiler: Traits and Characteristics of the Rottweiler Breed
If there is one thing to remember about the Rottweiler breed, it is that the Rottweiler is a powerful working dog (originally bred to herd cattle) with a strong prey-drive. As such, the Rottweiler will want to chase things that move (like cats, or even children!). Because of that, this breed is not for wimps!
Training a Rottweiler
The Rottweiler will require a firm (but loving) hand in training. Those who are reluctant to discipline a pup, or don’t want to assert their natural supremacy as pack leader, should probably steer clear of Rottweiler ownership altogether. Anything less than total vigilance when it comes to training can result in a dog that is prone to aggressive (and potentially dangerous) behavior.
Rottweilers and Aggression
While there are no doubt countless examples of perfectly docile Rottweilers, it should be noted that the Rottweiler is a dog that is known f(and bred) for aggression. During the first year or two, it will be a daily battle to reign in the pup’s natural sense of aggression, and assert the owner’s dominance. With lots of work though, it is perfectly reasonable to expect the Rottweiler to mature into a calm and reliable companion.
Rottweilers and Children
As prey-driven animals, Rottweilers and children are not a natural mix. Children are fast and unpredictable, and as such, can often appear as prey to the Rottweiler. This is not bad intent on the dog’s part – just the natural result of breeding and instinct in this powerful working breed. It would be wise to keep the following things in mind when it comes to Rottweilers and kids:
- Socialize the Rottweiler around children, even if there will be no children in the home. Take the puppy to parks and other places where children play.
- Get the dog used to the way children move and the sound of their voices. Be firm with the puppy – there should be no gray areas when it comes to the safety of a child.
- Do not leave the Rottweiler alone with a small child. Animals are unpredictable, and children can provoke an animal even when they are just playing with it.
Public Perception of the Rottweiler
The reality is, many people will react with fear to the Rottweiler. They will assume the dog is dangerous, even when the animal is perfectly gentle. Before purchasing a Rottweiler, people should ask themselves how they plan on handling the often negative reactions the dog will elicit. Know ahead of time that people will often have less tolerance for a Rottweiler that is off-leash or otherwise out of the owner’s immediate control, than they might for, say, a Golden Retriever. With time, and with enough responsible owners out there, the Rottweiler’s bad reputation will certainly change. Until then though, expect some people to cross the street when they see the Rottweiler coming their way.
Where to Find a Rottweiler
The only place to get a Rottweiler is from a reputable breeder. Except for the experienced trainer or handler, the full grown Rottweiler in the shelter is not a good bet. Unfortunately there is simply too much that can go wrong with this breed to take a chance on a full-grown dog. Here are some tips for finding a reputable breeder:
- A reputable breeder will be someone who can provide copies of health certificates, pedigrees, and all records relating to the puppy.
- A reputable breeder will likely have lots of questions for a prospective owner, with their goal being to match the right dog with the right owner.
- A reputable breeder will be someone who specializes in one (or sometimes two) breeds. They will have a good, working knowledge of the breed, and should be able to answer most any question in a simple, direct manner.
- A reputable breeder will not let the puppy go before the puppy is (at least) 8 weeks old.
Before adopting a Rottweiler, it is important to understand that this is a prey-driven animal with powerful instincts and a strong desire to dominate. With a lot of hard work and plenty of training though, it is possible to turn this beautiful strong-willed dog into a lifelong companion.