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Old 02-13-2014, 10:21 AM
StompinT StompinT is offline
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Default Rottweiler - living with one

I am adding the Rottweiler to the list of breeds to consider, and would love input from people who have lived with them. Is dog aggression a real problem? If properly socialized (think walks in busy places, accompanying kids on the way to school, doggy daycare, trips to the park, etc) is this still a real possibility?

Activity level - as a work breed I know that they can go for hours on end. What I am curious about is if they NEED to go for hours on end. Would a couple of short walks a day, with occasional trips to the park be enough for them? I'm trying to be realistic about what I can provide.

Living with young kids with friends, and a shih tzu - could a Rottie be trustworthy in this situation? My young children have friends coming and going all the time, so the puppy would obviously be raised in this environment. Do you see any potential issues here?

I'd love to get all the input I can.
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Old 02-13-2014, 11:33 AM
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Dog aggression can be a problem, though it's usually same sex aggression. Our bitch lived very happily with my male, but she did not get along well with other females.

Exercise is important. No, you don't generally have to exercise the dog for hours and hours on end, but they are active dogs, and tie in some training and mental exercise, as that can tire a dog out more quickly than running sometimes.

They're great dogs and can still be taken all kinds of places as long as you make sure you're keep them under control. Much like any dog, really. And absolutely socialization is important.

We got my first rottie when I was six years old, and he was great with me and my friends. Again that comes back to socialization, and making sure that the kids involved know how to act around a dog. All of them were also great with small dogs, except one who was never socialized and never had his behavior managed. He was a really sad example of what a Rottweiler can up like if they aren't taken seriously and handled well from the start.

Rottweilers really can be absolutely amazing family dogs. Our dogs went everywhere with us, were great hiking and swimming buddies. They were friendly with people but also had the protective streak that came up if there was a problem. A lot of them can really excel in therapy and as service dogs, too.
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:04 PM
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I'll add some to what Whisper offered you. I do have two intact males who do live together and interact with each other. We do manage them and we do work to keep them successful at having a good relationship. One of my dogs is very much anti-conflict and I think if he wasn't, we would have our work cut out for us. I also think one thing that helps us manage them well is we have no females in the house. The common denominator for households with multiple males living in harmony seems to be there is no females amongst them. Interpret that info as you will. Same sex aggression is something that is real in rotties. Males typically will make a lot of noise and there could be some injuries. Females will fight until one of them is "eliminated".

I do have dogs from working lines....a couple of short walks will not cut it for them. My youngster needs to run for about an hour with a ball to knock him down...for a while. Agility training or obedience training for about an hour will knock him out longer. My older guy isn't as bad...but he needs to work in either obedience or agility and has a lot of drive when working. He looks at work as a game. He would rather work than chase a ball like his "brother." Dogs with working drive like this...I wouldn't suggest them for a first time owner. They tend to be what we call "a lot of dog" and they are pushy and that drive tends to intimidate first time owners. A lot of people love to watch my dogs work...but in the same breath say they couldn't live with that kind of energy. Right now because of the weather...they cannot run or train outside with the hard crusted snow. We've only been able to leash walk on icy roads. They are literally climbing the walls and I have been trying to get them to various drop in classes for obedience or agility so they won't get stir crazy. We don't have a treadmill...but after this winter, we are starting to consider one for the dogs.

The Westminster announcers on TV this week said something along the lines of "Rottweilers need owners just as determined as they are." That is very true...because my two dogs would walk all over a person with a soft personality. Conformation lines tend to be less driven and intense...they would be a better fit for a novice rottweiler owner.

How young are your children?? I think having a strong dog with young children can be done if there is high level of parental supervision. My rotties can easily pile drive a child into the dirt just in play. Rotties play rough and body slamming is their maneuver of choice. My dogs even knock me over sometimes in play. As for the small dog...both my dogs like little dogs and they are appropriate with their play with them. Lars will get on the ground to play with littles and Ocean tones down his play to gentle.

I will be the first one to say that a rottweiler isn't the breed for everyone. Please do your research on what breeders you're interested in are producing....serious working lines may not be a good choice for a starter rottie. We always say...smart, naughty dogs tend to make great working partners. If you need assistance in finding a breeder, contact the American Rottweiler Club and they offer breeder referrals. When you get to talk with a breeder, be dead honest about what you are looking for in a dog and what you aren't looking for in a dog. They will help choose a puppy that will be best suited for your lifestyle. With good breeders, more often than not...you don't choose the puppy, they choose for you based on what you want from a dog.

Good luck with your search.
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  #4  
Old 02-13-2014, 04:13 PM
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I love Rottie's. I'm going to chime in a bit, but take what I say with a grain of salt - I had a slight hand in helping to raise one, but haven't been around many others (except for my aunt's, who I spent a lot of time with while growing up). I was a dogsitter for a Rottie from the time he was 8 weeks old until a little over 2. He definitely had a stubborn side... if he doesn't want to do something, he'll make it clear. You try to get him outside and he doesn't want to go outside? He'd just stand there by the door, stare at you, and look at you like you're nuts. LOL.

He was a big ole' bear though honestly. He loved to jump up and give me hugs and kisses. But he wasn't extremely obnoxious about it, or 'rough' about it either. But he certainly didn't greet everyone like that. He was VERY cautious of strangers... and on walks, I could tell as he got older, that he was on look out at all times. If someone was suddenly walking behind us on the trail, he'd look back, look up at me, look back again, just to make sure everything was okay. I never let anyone pet him because he had gotten questionable and since I was just his dogwalker, I did not want to be held responsible for anything.

He did have a bit of a reactive problem with other dogs on walks but nothing terrible or anything that I couldn't control. They did used to take him to the dog park, as did I on occasion, but he did not appreciate how some dogs played and found lots of in-your-face type stuff disrespectful so we stopped taking him, since we did not want him to get blamed for anything that were to possibly go wrong. He always did GREAT with Jackson - they walked together almost every day and when it was just the two of them, they did wonderful off leash in the dog park. Both had a mutual respect. I think that was the Rottie's thing... he got along with dogs who respected him, and he did the same thing back. An obnoxious Lab puppy playing in his face was something he was not comfortable with for example. And it was a definite change right at about 1.5yrs old with him becoming more dog and stranger reactive.

I did a few overnight sittings with he and Jackson in the house, and it went well. Jackson was totally comfortable with him, and used to egg him on to play, and sometimes they'd get too rowdy for a small town house so I'd have to have them calm down. But overall they really did well together and I was always very careful.

He was a resource guarder - bad. You couldn't take anything from his mouth, even the owners. He had been as a pup too. I remember at 8 weeks old, he was doing a growl at me when I took something from him, but at the time, it almost just seemed puppy playful sort of, but... it kind of scared me one day when I dropped a poop bag holder, and bent over to grab it, and he growled at me. I learned how to handle it and what to avoid doing.

They got him from a good breeder apparently, but who knows. They also were very Cesar Millan-esque in training and while I don't believe they purposely were trying to mess him up, I really think they made his small issues turn larger. He also went back to his breeder for training for 2 weeks at around... 7 months old? so who knows what happened there.

As far as exercise though, they hired me so he was getting out during the day for a 1 hour walk - we would typically walk 4 miles, he and Jackson and I. And sometimes the husband would take him running in the evening. When we used to go to the fenced in dog park when it was empty, I would use the chuck-it and he would fetch forEVER. But now, honestly, as far as I know, they don't really completely trust him anymore around others (pets and people) so it's no more dog parks, or pet stores, etc. They just walk him and run him in an open empty field and avoid other people just in case.

I really did love that dog though, always had a soft spot for him. He was my favorite out of the dogs I used to walk on a daily basis and honestly my easiest, even with his 'issues'.

He was also my ideal as far as looks goes. Wasn't as stocky and his head wasn't too large. I can't think of the right word. But he was kept in good shape.









one year old.


He was about 8 months old in this shot.
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  #5  
Old 02-13-2014, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by MrsBoats View Post
I'll add some to what Whisper offered you. I do have two intact males who do live together and interact with each other. We do manage them and we do work to keep them successful at having a good relationship. One of my dogs is very much anti-conflict and I think if he wasn't, we would have our work cut out for us. I also think one thing that helps us manage them well is we have no females in the house. The common denominator for households with multiple males living in harmony seems to be there is no females amongst them. Interpret that info as you will. Same sex aggression is something that is real in rotties. Males typically will make a lot of noise and there could be some injuries. Females will fight until one of them is "eliminated".

I do have dogs from working lines....a couple of short walks will not cut it for them. My youngster needs to run for about an hour with a ball to knock him down...for a while. Agility training or obedience training for about an hour will knock him out longer. My older guy isn't as bad...but he needs to work in either obedience or agility and has a lot of drive when working. He looks at work as a game. He would rather work than chase a ball like his "brother." Dogs with working drive like this...I wouldn't suggest them for a first time owner. They tend to be what we call "a lot of dog" and they are pushy and that drive tends to intimidate first time owners. A lot of people love to watch my dogs work...but in the same breath say they couldn't live with that kind of energy. Right now because of the weather...they cannot run or train outside with the hard crusted snow. We've only been able to leash walk on icy roads. They are literally climbing the walls and I have been trying to get them to various drop in classes for obedience or agility so they won't get stir crazy. We don't have a treadmill...but after this winter, we are starting to consider one for the dogs.

The Westminster announcers on TV this week said something along the lines of "Rottweilers need owners just as determined as they are." That is very true...because my two dogs would walk all over a person with a soft personality. Conformation lines tend to be less driven and intense...they would be a better fit for a novice rottweiler owner.

How young are your children?? I think having a strong dog with young children can be done if there is high level of parental supervision. My rotties can easily pile drive a child into the dirt just in play. Rotties play rough and body slamming is their maneuver of choice. My dogs even knock me over sometimes in play. As for the small dog...both my dogs like little dogs and they are appropriate with their play with them. Lars will get on the ground to play with littles and Ocean tones down his play to gentle.

I will be the first one to say that a rottweiler isn't the breed for everyone. Please do your research on what breeders you're interested in are producing....serious working lines may not be a good choice for a starter rottie. We always say...smart, naughty dogs tend to make great working partners. If you need assistance in finding a breeder, contact the American Rottweiler Club and they offer breeder referrals. When you get to talk with a breeder, be dead honest about what you are looking for in a dog and what you aren't looking for in a dog. They will help choose a puppy that will be best suited for your lifestyle. With good breeders, more often than not...you don't choose the puppy, they choose for you based on what you want from a dog.

Good luck with your search.
Great post! Yeah, with exercise, for some reason people don't seem to rank rotties high on the energy/active dog list, but they do need a lot of it. Harley would run all day if he could, and ran himself right into having bloody paw pads on a couple occasions.

I also agree I wouldn't recommend a hard Rottie for a first time dog owner. They're not as "difficult" as some breeds because in my experience at least, they do care more about what their owner wants from them than other breeds, but they really can be pushy and know their own minds. I recommend having some experience with dogs under your belt before getting into that.

All the dogs were really good with me at my young age of the time I got "my" first rottweiler, but I'd be lying if I said I hadn't ended up being sat on or knocked down by one of the dogs. Supervision is key, and I don't believe in leaving ANY dog alone with a small child.

Harley really loved Chaz, who was a chihuahua/pug mix. He was absolutely gentle with him and it was adorable to watch. But still I would be careful with that and make sure you know your dog due to high prey drive.

Really, pretty much what MrsBoats said. She's far more articulate than my brain is letting me be right now.
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Old 02-14-2014, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Whisper View Post
Great post! Yeah, with exercise, for some reason people don't seem to rank rotties high on the energy/active dog list, but they do need a lot of it. Harley would run all day if he could, and ran himself right into having bloody paw pads on a couple occasions.
I had one of those low/no drive rotties with my first dog who was a rescue. Sam didn't have a whole lot of get up and go. LOL He was completely happy hanging around the house and being a slug. Sam would have been the perfect apartment rottweiler for someone. I have come across other rotties who don't have a lot of get up and go at the school where I teach and at shows/whatnot. So there are slug rottweilers out there. I wouldn't bet on getting one...but I can see where they can get the reputation for being lower on the energy scale.
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Old 02-14-2014, 03:03 PM
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I had one of those low/no drive rotties with my first dog who was a rescue. Sam didn't have a whole lot of get up and go. LOL He was completely happy hanging around the house and being a slug. Sam would have been the perfect apartment rottweiler for someone. I have come across other rotties who don't have a lot of get up and go at the school where I teach and at shows/whatnot. So there are slug rottweilers out there. I wouldn't bet on getting one...but I can see where they can get the reputation for being lower on the energy scale.
LOL! Rosie was pretty darn laid back. When I would sweep she didn't see a reason to get up at all. We'd just slide her back and forth to get around and under her and she wouldn't even lift her head.
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsBoats View Post
I'll add some to what Whisper offered you. I do have two intact males who do live together and interact with each other. We do manage them and we do work to keep them successful at having a good relationship. One of my dogs is very much anti-conflict and I think if he wasn't, we would have our work cut out for us. I also think one thing that helps us manage them well is we have no females in the house. The common denominator for households with multiple males living in harmony seems to be there is no females amongst them. Interpret that info as you will. Same sex aggression is something that is real in rotties. Males typically will make a lot of noise and there could be some injuries. Females will fight until one of them is "eliminated".

I do have dogs from working lines....a couple of short walks will not cut it for them. My youngster needs to run for about an hour with a ball to knock him down...for a while. Agility training or obedience training for about an hour will knock him out longer. My older guy isn't as bad...but he needs to work in either obedience or agility and has a lot of drive when working. He looks at work as a game. He would rather work than chase a ball like his "brother." Dogs with working drive like this...I wouldn't suggest them for a first time owner. They tend to be what we call "a lot of dog" and they are pushy and that drive tends to intimidate first time owners. A lot of people love to watch my dogs work...but in the same breath say they couldn't live with that kind of energy. Right now because of the weather...they cannot run or train outside with the hard crusted snow. We've only been able to leash walk on icy roads. They are literally climbing the walls and I have been trying to get them to various drop in classes for obedience or agility so they won't get stir crazy. We don't have a treadmill...but after this winter, we are starting to consider one for the dogs.

The Westminster announcers on TV this week said something along the lines of "Rottweilers need owners just as determined as they are." That is very true...because my two dogs would walk all over a person with a soft personality. Conformation lines tend to be less driven and intense...they would be a better fit for a novice rottweiler owner.

How young are your children?? I think having a strong dog with young children can be done if there is high level of parental supervision. My rotties can easily pile drive a child into the dirt just in play. Rotties play rough and body slamming is their maneuver of choice. My dogs even knock me over sometimes in play. As for the small dog...both my dogs like little dogs and they are appropriate with their play with them. Lars will get on the ground to play with littles and Ocean tones down his play to gentle.

I will be the first one to say that a rottweiler isn't the breed for everyone. Please do your research on what breeders you're interested in are producing....serious working lines may not be a good choice for a starter rottie. We always say...smart, naughty dogs tend to make great working partners. If you need assistance in finding a breeder, contact the American Rottweiler Club and they offer breeder referrals. When you get to talk with a breeder, be dead honest about what you are looking for in a dog and what you aren't looking for in a dog. They will help choose a puppy that will be best suited for your lifestyle. With good breeders, more often than not...you don't choose the puppy, they choose for you based on what you want from a dog.

Good luck with your search.
It sounds like rotties are a lot like ACDs in many ways. I have actually had many more problems with females getting along with another female (usually it's one female in particular that they don't like for whatever reason) and the resulting fights can look like something one would see in the pits at a dog fight if your not careful.

Having females together in one house takes a lot management and time (tired dogs are fighting dogs)
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:58 PM
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Yeah....I think that ACD are much like the rottweiler. Determined, needs to work, and drivey...just is a much smaller package.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:43 PM
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I have been told (and any rottie experts feel free to correct me) that the temperament to ACDs ... Only much much bigger

Is this true?
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