Rottweilers are one of the most intelligent dog breeds on earth and have been bred for several different purposes.
Originally, they were used to driving cattle which then changed to driving butcher carts and eventually, they found their way into the military and police due to their loyalty and intelligence.
Although Rottweilers are caring towards their owners and their families, they can often show signs of aggression that can create a lot of problems for the owners, more so for first-timers.
So today I will explain the behavior characteristics of a Rottweiler and why they can become aggressive. Finally, there will be a detailed guide on how to tame an aggressive Rottweiler.
Why Is My Rottweiler Aggressive? And How Can I Change That?
Let’s start with the characteristics of this breed that you as an owner must know.
Rottweilers have a very restrained nature when it comes to sharing space with other people or dogs. They need a place with some room to move about and they feel restrained in smaller areas.
Moreover, they are quite touchy and have a very low tolerance for inexperienced owners who may not understand their specific needs.
They require proper care and handling, and their well-being is best ensured in the hands of experienced individuals. This makes them unsuitable for first-time dog owners.
Rottweilers are very sensitive toward scolding or admonishment from their owners. They take any aggressive remarks to their hearts and often can reciprocate such behaviors in many different ways that can include anger and contempt.
As a Rottweiler owner, you would need to be very careful of their sensitive nature when interacting with them.
Judging from their fierce look and their employment in the military, one might mistake them for a rude and unfriendly dog breed.
However, that is far from the truth. Rotties are one of the most caring breeds. They show great love and affection towards their owner and their families as a whole be it, adults or children.
One thing they despise are other dogs and are the least friendly towards them. This should be kept in mind when you want to have more dogs in your home along with a Rottweiler.
As they are also used as guard dogs, Rottweilers have a big tendency to bark or howl. It often becomes annoying for many owners as well as their neighbors often requiring training or the use of special collars that limit their barking.
Breeds with a high prey drive easily lose their cool when confronted with an animal they think of as being their prey and start chasing after it.
Due to their past, Rotties have a very high prey drive, and curbing it is not very easy. This often gives a very tough time to new owners.
If you want to know about this breed, its origin, and other characteristics then visit Dogtime.
What Are The Signs Of Aggression In A Dog?
Recognizing signs of aggression in any dog breed is crucial for ensuring the safety of both the dog and other humans. Here are some common signs of aggression to look out for in your Rottweiler(or any other breed):
- Growling and Snarling
Dogs will growl or snarl when they feel threatened or when they want to display their aggression. It’s their way of warning others to stay away and should be carefully interpreted.
- Baring Teeth
When a dog bares their teeth, showing their canines or gums, it is a clear sign of aggression and they are giving you a warning sign to back off.
- Stiff Body Language
Aggressive dogs often have stiff and rigid body postures. They will often hold their body and tail in a tense and upright position. This is signaling their readiness to attack or defend themselves.
- Raised Fur
When a dog’s fur stands up, especially along the back and neck you should be alarmed as it indicates heightened arousal, which can be a precursor to aggressive behavior.
- Direct Eye Contact
A dog exhibiting aggressive behavior may maintain intense eye contact with you which is often very unwavering.
- Snapping or Mouthing
Dogs may exhibit quick snaps or mouths at people or other animals as a warning before they attack them.
- Lunging or Biting
This is the most obvious sign of a dog’s aggression that a dog will lunge towards someone or attempt to bite. This is an immediate threat and should be taken very seriously.
Remember these key signs of aggression and be very careful when dealing with a dog showing such signs. It is important to inform other people for their safety if your dog is aggressive.
How To Tame An Aggressive Rottweiler?
Now that we’ve established all this, let’s dive into the various things you can do as an owner to change your Rottweiler’s aggressive behavior:
Be The One Who’s In Charge
Rottweilers who seek dominance in their surroundings often exhibit aggressive behaviors as a means of asserting themselves. They may disregard commands, particularly from owners who haven’t established their leadership.
To establish your authority, it is important to display confident body language and show charisma from the beginning. When issuing commands, use assertive hand gestures along with a firm voice.
Asserting your dominance should rely on both verbal and non-verbal cues, but physical force should never be employed with your dog as this leads to only negative outcomes.
If your dog ends up biting or nibbling you, it can be beneficial to ignore the dog for your safety.
Being a professional dog trainer, I am a huge proponent of Positive Reinforcement. This is an evidence-based technique that can be used if you want to change any of your dog’s behavior.
In this, When your dog exhibits any aggressive behavior, it is important to first discourage such actions using the aforementioned cues. Once the dog refrains from the behavior, you can provide a reward as a form of positive reinforcement.
This reward can be their favorite food or toy, something they truly enjoy. As for my dogs, I sometimes take them out for a walk, or if the weather is not good, I give them their favorite food.
By implementing this reward-based system, your dog will learn to associate aggressive behavior with disapproval and calm behavior with rewards.
Over time, the dog will naturally adopt a non-aggressive demeanor, and the need for constant rewards will be unnecessary altogether.
This is a simple yet remarkable way to change your dog’s aggressive behavior to a more relaxed one.
Dogs like Rottweilers are full of energy and require regular exercise to stay sound both physically and mentally. When this energy is not drained in playful activities, they will channel this energy into other violent behaviors and become fussy.
Usually, this anger comes out as being hostile toward humans and other animals and habits such as howling, barking, chasing after animals or kids or even biting them.
So you must take them out for exercise regularly. Either you arrange for them dog sports like frisbee, catch or simply walk them for some time. Many dogs love obstacle courses, you can also explore this option.
Regular physical activity will drain them out so at home they will be more calm and relaxed. They will also have no trouble falling asleep.
Chewing toys are designed to accommodate dogs with a natural inclination to bite, allowing them to drain their energy on such toys without causing harm to humans or other animals.
By training your Rottweiler to focus their biting and chewing activities solely on these toys, they are less likely to engage with humans or other animals aggressively. They will instinctively turn to these toys whenever they feel the need to nibble on something.
Chewing toys come in various shapes and sizes and are pretty affordable as well. I always keep a couple of these at my home for my dogs so they can bite on them whenever they’re in the mood.
Desensitize Your Dog Towards Stimuli
Many dogs that are kept in isolated environments lack exposure to external stimuli. This can often lead to anxiety and potential behavioral issues when faced with unfamiliar situations, loud noises, or new people. They may react by barking, howling, or even resorting to biting.
To address this problem, it is crucial to gradually expose your dog to such stimuli starting from their early stages as a puppy. Through consistent and gradual exposure, they can become more accustomed to these situations and learn to remain calm without becoming overwhelmed by fear.
During these exposure sessions, it is essential to be present by their side and not leave them alone. This way, they will feel secure and reassured, knowing that their owners are there to protect them from any potential harm.
Socializing your dog is a crucial aspect of behavior training, as it helps them learn to peacefully coexist with other animals.
To encourage positive interactions with other dogs, engage your Rottweiler in activities like dog sports and shared eating This will allow the dog to perceive other dogs as companions and playmates rather than adversaries.
By promoting such interactions, you can discourage any aggressive behavior towards other dogs and foster a more tolerant and friendly attitude in your Rottie.
Similarly, it is important to introduce your dog to humans, including friends, relatives, and even strangers. This helps them become accustomed to meeting new people and prevents them from viewing unfamiliar individuals as potential threats.
Train Your Dog Right From The Start
Training your dog during their puppyhood is the best way for instilling desired behavior in them. Most dog breeds are more receptive to training when they are young compared to when they reach adulthood. Just like humans!
This is because, during early developmental stages, a dog’s neural connections are actively forming, making it an ideal time to shape their behaviors.
Any training implemented during this critical period is likely to have a lasting impact throughout their lives.
Never Punish Your Dog Physically
Using punishment on a sensitive dog such as the Rottweiler is never a good idea and can have negative consequences on their behavior, often leading to increased anxiety, apprehension, and a sense of detachment from their owners.
This may contribute to the development of more hostile and aggressive behavior, making it challenging to establish control and manage them later as they mature.
It is always better to train your dog using positive reinforcement techniques as mentioned before using reward-based methods of behavior training.
In some cases, a dog’s aggressive behavior may be challenging for owners to address effectively on their own. In such situations, seeking assistance from professional dog trainers is crucial.
Enrolling your dog in behavior modification programs offered by specialized dog schools can provide the necessary guidance and training it needs.
Additionally, tools such as E-collars can be used as part of the training process. These devices are simple, convenient, and can be effective in modifying a dog’s behavior to align with desired outcomes.
However, it is important to use them under the guidance of a professional trainer to ensure proper and humane usage.
What is rage syndrome in Dogs?
Rage syndrome or sudden-onset aggression is a medical illness in dogs. This affects certain dog breeds but is overall a rare occurrence.
Affected dogs show sudden and unprovoked outbursts of aggressive behavior. They may target humans and other animals or can take the form of growling or biting.
The diagnosis is simple as there is often a family history of the disease present however the treatment can be a little complex.
You must take such dogs to vets who may opt for behavior modification therapy along with medications. In severe cases, euthanasia can be the last resort.
Why does my Rottweiler keep attacking my other dog?
Rottweilers are not friendly with other dogs and often see them as their competitors for shared space and food.
Thus, they will attack other dogs to avoid sharing their space, food, and owners.
Are Rottweilers known for being aggressive?
Rottweilers are very fond of their families and look after them.
However, they are found to be hostile toward other dogs and have to be trained for a shared living.
Why Is My Rottweiler Aggressive? Rottweiler Aggression Problems – Conclusion
While Rottweilers are typically known for their kind and gentle nature, it’s important to acknowledge that they can occasionally display aggression.
However, you can deal with their aggression by training them young, using positive reinforcement, and using tools such as chew toys and E-collars.