There are certain breeds out there that just present themselves as being dangerous in the dog world. One of them that often gets the label of “dangerous” is a Rottweiler. Are they actually dangerous? Read on to find out!
Just any large, territorial dog, Rottweilers can be dangerous dogs without proper training and obedience. They are protective by nature and widely known as both guarding and attack dogs. In many suburban situations, Rotties can be dangerous when owned by those with not a lot of experience or those who ignore warning signs.
Below, you’ll learn about what those are, as well as what you should know about the Rottweiler dog breed.
The natural temperament of Rottweilers
Originally used as working dogs, Rottweilers known for several features (as any Rottie parent will be able to confirm):
- Strength and muscle
All of these traits are standard in even the kindest and gentlest Rottweilers out there. This is because they are connected to the breed in terms of genetics and breed-specific characteristics. However, these aren’t always bad things! A dog who is strong, territorial, aggressive, and watchful can make a wonderful guard dog in the right situation!
Rotties also tend to be easy to excite, and this can make them overexcited very easily. In these cases, strength often works against them (i.e., they knock little toddlers over, drag their leash holder across the street to greet another human or animal, etc.).
Rotties are also very human-worshipping animals. They are prone to separation anxiety, which means that you will have to give them a lot of attention. When you’re gone, this also means that you will find they are destructive to everything around them.
Are Rottweilers dangerous to their owners?
In a survey conducted by Forbes Advisor across 42 home insurance companies, Rottweilers were banned from home insurance policies 100% of the time. Therefore, it is a pretty scary question to ask, but an important one if you are considering bringing home a Rottweiler.
Yes, Rotties can be dangerous to their owners. They are territorial and aggressive by nature. Without a proper outlet and proper training and socialization, these natural tendencies can come out in drastic, dangerous ways. If you do not believe in the importance or relevance of training and socialization, the Rottweiler breed is not for you!
Are Rottweilers dangerous to other dogs?
An untrained or unsocialized dog of any kind can be dangerous towards other dogs or pets. A Rottweiler is certainly no exception and has been known to pose a danger to both household pets and strangers in the park.
Training aside, however, Rottweilers are naturally very territorial. Once they find their favorite humans, they don’t want to share them. If you have other pets in your house, or you consider adding one in after you’ve gotten your Rottie, this is something to consider. This aggression and their territorial tendency will be stronger if the new pet is of the same gender and/or if your Rottweiler is not neutered or spayed!
Can Rottweilers be aggressive?
Yes, Rottweilers can be aggressive and dangerous in seemingly suburban situations. Many cases involve Rottweilers being characterized as dangerous as Pitbulls, as far as the breed is concerned. However, there are more factors involved in this characterization.
Firstly, Rottweilers are aggressive due to their original purpose of being a guard dog and a working dog. They are hardened dogs that weren’t bred as lap or toy dogs. This is something the hopeful pet parents should know.
From other pets to children to their masters, Rottweilers certainly can be aggressive, seemingly without warning. However, many animal specialists will argue that a dog will always have a reason for being aggressive — we just don’t see that reason. Some of the most likely aggression behaviors include:
- Sensing someone as a threat
- Feeling as though they, themselves, are in danger
- Trigger of a past experience
Sensing someone as a threat
To you, it might be a toddler on a tricycle. Still, to your Rottie, who is inexperienced with toddlers or has never seen a trike, he may think it’s a threat that will hurt you, his favorite human. So, he’ll work hard to protect you from this seemingly dangerous threat by eliminating it.
This is a huge part of why proper socialization is essential. By introducing him safely and quickly to plenty of toddlers and tricycles, for instance, he’d understand that they are not threats and are just part of the world.
Obedience training also factors in, of course. If he understands (and obeys) “No” or “Stop” when he goes after a child on a tricycle, then aggression won’t happen because you won’t allow it to!
Feeling as though they, themselves, are in danger
One of the most common reasons that your dog may suddenly act aggressively towards you, a pet they are normally fine with or a child is because they feel that they are suddenly under attack, though this may go unnoticed for humans.
That doesn’t mean that anyone is actually trying to hurt them, but your dog may perceive it that way. A dog will always act to defend himself from harm by being aggressive.
Of course, humans have the same behavior, often referred to as “self-defense” or “survival instinct”, depending on the situation that triggers it.
In these situations, understanding your dog’s body language and potential stress warning signs will be important to help your dog know that he is safe. In the case of an attack, obedience training is crucial to help minimize or avoid harm even on you.
Trigger of a past experience
Rotties are, sadly, amongst the most popular shelter dogs. They are too high-energy, too aggressive, etc. A dog who has been abandoned from unknown circumstances could have any amount of triggers — as do many rescue animals. Pet parents have to understand this and make sure they are ready to deal with any fallout should it arise.
Can Rottweilers kill you?
Yes, there is more than enough power in a Rottweiler to kill someone. Rottweilers can be trained as attack dogs, both in a military sense and in illegal activities such as dog fighting rings.
In some cases, Rottweilers can “suddenly” turn violent, too. Statistically speaking, they are more than 10 times more likely to kill or seriously injure a person or pet than many other dog breeds. It seems like a cold hard fact, which it is, but it is something to seriously keep in mind. According to U.S. Dog Bite, Rottweilers accounted for the second highest number of fatal dog attacks between 2005 and 2017 with 10.4% (45) of total fatal attacks.
Some important Rottie facts to remember
If you’re feeling uncomfortable with even passing a Rottweiler on the street because of what you’ve read above, take a moment to remember some cold, hard facts that help put everything in perspective.
Aggression and violence always have warning signs
While naturally aggressive and territorial, Rottweilers will always show warning signs that they are going to display aggressive or violent behavior. These signs might be subtle and long-term, or they might be sudden and seemingly come out of nowhere. You’ll need to watch for all of these to make sure you protect everyone’s safety.
A breeder will help you prepare correctly
When you bring a Rottie puppy home, you’ll receive plenty of information on how to care for him properly. This will include potential temperament issues to watch for, exercise needs, and socialization and training instructions. All of this, when followed, will help you have a happy, healthy, and loveable dog! Rottweilers aren’t born monsters, after all!
A bored Rottweiler is a dangerous one
When they are not given proper diet and exercise and are left alone a lot, a Rottweiler will quickly turn to its breed-specific traits. That’s why proper exercise, training, socialization, and presence with your dog are going to be so important. A Rottie is very much a person-centered dog, and disaster can very quickly happen if you become an absentee pet parent!
Your dog is always your responsibility
We get it. Your dog has always been fine with cats, and you don’t know why he suddenly snapped at or went after a neighbor’s cat. No one is saying otherwise. However, your dog is always your responsibility, and you must always be able to restrain him, either in obedience commands or by keeping him on a leash.
While Rottweilers are popular dogs for many reasons, their potential role as a dangerous dog is one of them, and it’s something to think about when considering your options!
A Rottweiler’s natural aggression and territorial tendencies can make these dogs dangerous to humans and pets. Proper socialization, obedience training, and compassion for their needs will help minimize the risk as much as possible.
Know someone who needs to hear this? Or a Rottie parent that wants to make sure that they keep up with the times? Please share this with them!