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Adopting A Rottweiler

Updated on July 22, 2011

The Rottweiler is a noble and powerful dog

The Rottweiler is one of the most intelligent, fearless, and hardest working dog breeds. These same qualities can make Rottweilers a handful for some owners. Careful consideration should be given before deciding to bring this loyal companion into your life. Failure to fully understand what you're getting yourself into can lead to many years of frustration for you and your Rotty.

Rotties make very cute puppies

That cute teddy bear puppy won't stay that way for long

These little bear cubs are cute as a button while they are small, but they do grow fast, really fast and before you know you'll have a 150 pound grizzly bear running around your house. You should never adopt a dog based on what they look like as a puppy, because that state of being is the most temporary state within a dogs life cycle. You'll have about 6 months of puppy and a life time of dog.

During the puppy stage, it is important to train your rotty on a daily basis and consistently reinforce rules and boundaries. Your rotty pup will be very intelligent, lovable, and curious about the world around them and will want to investigate everything. Unfortunately dogs interact with the world with their mouths so it can be hard to explain to your wife why your dog 'investigated' her favorite pair of high heels like a milkbone dog biscuit.

You must establish yourself as the pack leader immediately and be prepared to defend your pack leader status. It's a lot harder to take away the pack leader status from your rottweiler once the dog has fully matured. Become the pack leader and stay the pack leader. Your rotty even as a puppy will challenge you as pack leader on a daily basis. These challenges may be subtle but they are challenges and every one that you let your rotty win will give you less authority over your rotty.

When it comes to properly raising a rottweiler, the nature of the rotty is of minor importance. The real importance in raising a rottweiler is the nature of the owner.

Your Future 150 Pound Puppy

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Lovable but not quite as cute...

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Weak Owners Need Not Apply

Seriously if you can only handle a pomeranian, don't get a rotty.

Nothing against non-assertive people but weak or passive people should not own a rottweilers. Period. These dogs want to dominate their domain and claim everything in it as their own, that includes you, your family, your house and all your possessions. While rotties love their families and will guard you with their life, they want to be the leader and you can not let that happen. A weak owner will do 1 of 2 things to a rotty. One, the rotty will be insecure because their owner isn't secure and that type of insecurity leads to fear and eventually will lead to fear based aggressive behavior. Or the rotty seeing that the owner is weak will naturally take charge because the owner is not assuming their rightful role as pack leader. You won't regain pack leader status with your dog without a fight.

The easiest thing you can do is be firm and consistent with your rotty. You can not let any challenge by your rotty go without redirection. Not even once. It may seem like a pain in the neck and it is, because honestly sometimes you won't want to go through the trouble of redirecting a behavior that might seem as innocent as your dog running out the door in front of you, but you must. What seems innocent to you is a major victory in your rotty's mind, and it enboldens your rotty to push the envelope a little further the next time. Before you know it, you rotty will be taking you for walks and feeding you out of a bowl. Just kidding.

Some ways your dog may challenge you:

  • Going through a door before you (trying to take the lead)
  • Jumping up on you
  • Guarding their food. (You should be able to take their food or touch them while eating without any aggressive behavior shown)
  • Showing their teeth when you redirect them. (This is unacceptable)
  • Disobedience in general

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Environmental Concerns Of Rotty Adoption

The rotty is large sized, high enery, working dog breed so plan accordingly

The rottweiler, from the town or Rottweil, Germany is a mastiff breed working dog and they need to work or run to burn off their excess energy or they will exhibit inappropriate behavior. If you live in a small apartment, do yourself a favor and get one of those Paris Hilton dogs instead. A rotty needs lots of room to run and play, so a large yard with fencing at least 6 feet tall is necessary for this breed. While a rotty can be kept indoors, you will need to walk your rotty on a daily basis. Releasing your dogs energy often will go a long ways to promoting better behavior.

Honestly most working dogs don't really work anymore, outside of the guard dog capacity. I've seen hundreds of german shepherds in my city and there are no sheep in sight for them to herd. The rotty is an excellent sentry and doesn't need to be trained to be an excellent guard. This is so instinctual, that if you watch your rotty you will notice that periodically your rotty will literally patrol the perimeter of your property like a sentry. Rotties do their job and they do it extremely well. If you're good to your rotty you will give him ample space to run and patrol because this gives him a job to do.

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The Right Owner, The Right Space & The Right Rotty

Everything must mix well to successfully own a rotty

The rottweiler is my favorite breed of dog, they are so lovable, loyal, friendly, protective, and intelligent. If you're a strong owner with ample space for the your dog to run, and you have the time to train your rotty correctly, then a rottweiler might be the dog for you. If you need a dog that requires less maintenance and behavioral redirection, then a rotty definitely is not for you. Many rottweilers have given the breed overall a bad name because of the behavior of a few dogs. Truth be told I don't blame the dogs, I blame the owners and most rottweiler problems could be avoided if the owners were diligent in the training and treatment of their rotties.

As Cesar Milan says, there are no bad dogs, just bad owners. I agree with him 100%.

Comments - Please leave questions, comments, and general feedback.

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    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      You've made some very important points here, especially about buying one of these dogs for the right reasons. Thank you for publishing this lens. It's an important addition to Squidoo.

    • profile image

      linnette-ramos-52 4 years ago

      I understand that they should have a back yard but what if they we're to be in an Appartment. Wouldn't they be ok as Long as I take them on long walks everyday and the dog park twice a week..

    • kimbesa2 profile image

      kimbesa 4 years ago from USA

      Love Rotties! They are smart, and they know it. Certainly not a breed for everyone, as you point out. YOU must be the pack leader if you're going to have a Rottweiler.

    • Mark-Hudson profile image
      Author

      Mark-Hudson 4 years ago

      @HeartBroken62: Consider it a public service announcement for those considering bringing a dog of this breed into their lives. The headaches can easily outweigh the rewards if you are not fully prepared to be a good owner.

    • HeartBroken62 profile image

      HeartBroken62 5 years ago

      A lot of really good wisdom about these dogs here! A Rott is definitely not for a weak personality, because you won't be able to control them at all. They will challenge you over and over to make sure you are serious about something in their behavior...just like with children, consistency is a must. It is also a must to make sure you have a very loving relationship with them because they seem to thrive upon knowing they are special...just as we do. I have a beautiful Rott...Angel aka Angelika...she is my constant companion and is so very susceptible to my emotions. She listens wonderfully to me, but my husband still has issues with being able to control her at times...I have just learned to try to teach my husband the words that command her (he often tries to use 3 and 4 word commands when she has been taught one word or signal commands) and monitor them when anyone else comes over (that's when he seems to have the least control of her). She knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is my baby, but I expect certain behavior and doesn't like to be in trouble with me. When she gets in trouble, all I have to do is tell her she has been bad and she will do everything possible to get back in my good graces...rather amusing if you watched her, she becomes the calmest innocent looking nose nuzzling big puppy you ever saw until I let her know I still Love her...then she gets one of her toys and wants to play to seal the deal! Great Lens!

    • profile image

      Ruthi 6 years ago

      Great lens on rottweilers. I agree they are grogeous canines but can surely be a handful.

    • Mark-Hudson profile image
      Author

      Mark-Hudson 6 years ago

      Your rotty / staff mix must be impressive. Cesar Milan is great.

    • renstar lm profile image

      renstar lm 6 years ago

      Wow they look adorable, I have a rottweiler cross staffie trained by myself in the style of Cesar Milan (I love that show) and I agree there are no bad dogs, just bad owners.