What should I know as the first time Rottweiler owner?

Ashley M: First time Rottweiler owner?
I have been looking to get a dog for a long time now..I am a stay at home mother of a 1 and 3 year old, so I want a dog that will protcet me and my family because were home alone all day..I decited on getting a german Rottweiler..I meet the parents and puppies and put my deposit down, i pick up the puppy on Feb-14th..I have never owned a rottweiler before, can anyone give me any advice about the breed..? I looked up the breed on the internet before i picked the puppy. And the internet said nothing but good things about Rottweilers, but my neighbors that have German Shepards said they hate rottweilers..So if there is anyone that has owned a Rottweiler, can you tell me your feelings towards Rottweilers..Thanks!

Rottweiler photo
Photo Credit: killrbeez/Flickr
Answers and Views:

Answer by Mutt Mommy
I wouldn't advise a first time dog owner to get a Rott. Actually, I wouldn't advise a first time large breed dog owner to get a Rott. They need very consistent training, and with a 1 and 3 yr old, I can't see how you can provide the dog with that.

Answer by Floopy
All the Rotts I've ever met were just big babies--nothing like the bad stories you hear about. Why not stop by a bookstore or pet supply store and pick up some books on the breed? Also, you probably have a breed club in your area--consider joining. You'll meet lots of other Rott owners and it's a great way to get tips and to socialize your dog.

Answer by fts1981
Any dog has the potential to be aggressive behind the hands of the wrong owner. I would simply advise if this is your first dog to invest in training as early as possible to make the transitions easier. Remember, puppies are expensive, messy, and loud. But well worth the time investment for a great companion.

Answer by Ruthless Til My Casket Close
I have owned Rotti's in the past and currently own a 3 year old Pitbull/Rottweiler cross.

They are great dogs, very loyal. They will risk their lives to protect you and are awesome watch/guard dogs.

However, they are EXTREMELY strong and they need you to be the alpha in the house. If you don't show leadership skills, then the dog will gladly take over as boss..

Rottweilers have a natural guarding instinct, and you should not do anything [such as tug-of-war] to enhance that instinct.

They should only be walked by someone that is sure they can handle it. As I said, Rotti's are extremely strong. Pinch collars also work wonders on them.

Obedience training is a must for Rottweilers, and the earlier you take him the better. Training should begin as soon as he settles into your home.

However, they are not at all vicious 'killers', and they will not attack anyone unless provoked. So don't believe the media.

Answer by scottcr2001
Right now I have a Rotti and a pit, I have 3 kids, 17, 9 and 5 months. My rotti have never showed ANY aggression at all twards any of the kids. He is also a very large rotti. We take him everywere and yes, they are very protective. So the responsability for how your dog acts when he feels like he needs to protect is yours. Rots are very smart and naturally want to be around the family. So in my opinion as long as you get them as a pup and train them right no worries. Just be sure to "kid train" your new addition. Tug (not hard) at its ears, feet, tail, mouth and more, make a game out of it. This way when the kids start there pulling your rotti wont be apt to bite. Good luck, and great choice in breed!!!!!

Answer by GenericWit
LOL. I hate people that dislike them because they've heard bad things. Rottweilers are pretty easy dogs to take care of. I don't really recommend them all that much for protection. You can train your dog to be mean, but I don't recommend that with kids... or at all actually. If you spoil the dog, pet and play with him a lot, he'll love you, and he'd probably be willing to die for you.

I have a rott, and I love the breed. My buddy sleeps on the bed with me under the covers and sets his head on my lap when I'm eating... he's such a begger.

I don't really think there's anything more complicated about rottweilers than with any other breed other than I recommend taking him for walks more often so he doesn't get restless... oh and... get lots of toys otherwise he'll chew on the furniture.

Answer by pinky
oh this is tricky, I would avoid getting ROT, although there are many success stories out there and we only hear the bad, I would rather be in the majority not the minority.
Go for something smaller.
We have family members with ROTS and kids and I am always wondering if one day !!!!!! Especially the bitch ones, they get very jealous

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  1. hockey_gal9 says

    Rotties (and every other breed), when trained properly, make fantastic pets.
    My sister has an 8 year old Rottie that she got when he was a pup. He is CGC (Canine Good Citizen) certified and is also a certified Therapy Dog. He likes to try and intimidate cats, but if one challenges him he goes running; he's a big baby! Anyone he knows can reach into and take away his food dish while he's eating...if they get there in time, that is. He's such a Hoover! Whenever my sister brings him to my place he'll lay in front of the fireplace and let my 9 month old daughter crawl all over him. If she starts fussing he'll get up, come over to one of us, and whine.
    Another friend of mine has four German Rottweilers, all weighing 150+ lbs, and my friend stands 5'3 and is all of 110 lbs soaking wet. She can walk her Rotties two by two on loose leads, and she runs at least two of them in agility. All four of the Rotties are CGC certified and Therapy dogs as well.
    One thing to be aware of: Rotties, like all other dogs, have the pack mentality. Teach your pup that YOU are the alpha of the pack as soon as you can. YOU are the leader, not him.

  2. suzy49 says

    Rottweilers are wonderful dogs, smart, loyal, protective and loving..... but they're not generally recommended as being the best breed for a first time dog owner. That's because they mature to be very large, powerful dogs and they can be stubborn, their natural protective instincts are strong and unless they're properly trained and socialized they can be difficult to handle.

    I've owned, bred and trained Rottweilers for years and absolutely adore the breed. I also have children (6 of them) and my dogs have never been anything but loving towards them. The only problem occurs due to the size and strength of an adult rottie (or even an adolescent!). They can easily knock down a child when greeting them and they're inclined to be clumsy that way. They also have a tendency to 'lean' on people when they want to be petted, or just to be close. However, a 120lb dog leaning on you is inclined to put even an adult off balance. My huge males truly believe they're the size of chihuahuas and will climb INTO my lap for a cuddle. As I only weigh 120lbs myself, it's not exactly comfortable!

    Having said all that, a lot depends on your individual puppy's breeding and temperament. A well bred, well socialized pup from physically and emotionally sound parents will be fairly straightforward to train, and shouldn't have dominance issues. However, a pup that's raised without constant human stimulation, bred from parents who are fearful/aggressive or carry poor genetic traits can be difficult at best, dangerous at worst.

    If you've met the parents, breeder and puppies and feel confident that they're sound physically and mentally then it's going to be up to you to ensure that your pup reaches his full potential. Start basic training (commands and manners) as soon as you get him home, attend an organized Puppy Class and Basic Obedience Class (at a minimum), and never allow the puppy to think that he's 'in charge'. Don't allow him up on the furniture or beds, make sure he doesn't develop any food-based aggression, teach him the 'down' command and use it regularly, and socialize, socialize and socialize some more.

    Also, NEVER try to encourage your pups guarding behavior. It's something that comes naturally and develops as the pup matures. Trying to increase or speed up that process can cause serious problems later.

    If you have a sound, healthy puppy and put the necessary time and energy into training and raising him, you will have a wonderful friend, companion and protector for years to come. Don't listen to people who condemn rotties (or any other breed for that matter) in a blanket fashion. They usually have very limited personal experience of the dog they are trash-talking and rely on media hype and misinformation for their opinions. Of course, some people have had negative experiences with a particular breed of dog, but that happens with any breed, and it's bad breeders who raise inferior dogs and bad owners who don't take the time to raise their dogs correctly that cause the problems.

    My website below is especially designed for new puppy owners and will answer just about any question you have about how to raise your pup. If you have any specific questions that you don't find an answer to or just need some help and advice, go to the Contact or Questions page and I'll do my best to help.

    Good luck with your new puppy.

  3. Cave Canem says

    Did the parents have their OFA certification for their hips and elbows? Rotties are one of the big breeds for hip and elbow dysplasia. If your breeder hasn't gotten that done, I'd walk. It costs around 5K to get their hips replaced. Not a pretty picture.

    A book I would pick up would be Ian Dunbar's "Before and After Getting Your Puppy." You can find this in Barnes & Noble and http://www.dogwise.com. This book stresses (and rightly so!) the utmost importance of puppy socialization. Have the pup meet 100 nice, well behaved dogs and 100 people (of all sorts of ethnicities, kids, in walkers and wheel chairs, etc) before your pup reaches 16 weeks and this will help it be a better adjusted dog and a more pleasant pet to live with. Invest in training classes that emphasize motivational training. Bring your pup with you wherever they allow it: Lowe's, local hardware stores, feed stores, pet supply stores, outside the gas station, just walking around downtown, etc. Get him or her used to lots of people and activity. You want a non-reactive model canine citizen and to be a breed ambassador! This is of utmost importance in teaching your dog how to recognize friendly people from intruders. Show everyone that Rottweilers can be excellent dogs.

  4. Scrappydo says

    I am an owner of two pitbulls and my neighbors didn't like them either. I can tell you that my nephew got a Rott puppy for his handicapped 10 year old son. (He's been in a wheelchair his whole life & using a feeding tube). I was a little concerned when they first got the dog but now a year later I have witness how wonderful the dog has been to them. He's protective, helps with his son and very well behaved.

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