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Old 02-18-2013, 04:28 PM
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Default Rottweilers?

Can anyone tell me anything about rottweilers? I've met some great ones lately and it has me thinking about the breed. Specifically how are they supposed to be with strangers when out and about? In the home? What sort if performance so they do well at? How are they with other pets in the home? How common us dog aggression?
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:56 PM
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:04 PM
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I can only tell you my personal experience.

My parents were Rottweiler BYBs when I was a young kid, but thankfully, that instilled my love for the breed.

I got my first Rottweiler as an adult, Clyde, when I was 26ish; he was abandoned with parvo at the veterinary emergency hospital I was working with at the time, so I know nothing about his genetics or breeding. He was an AWFUL puppy (mouthy, jumped on everyfrickingthing, pushy, etc), and we were awful people... we trained how Cesar did it. Once I realized he was out of control, I got him into real training classes and he turned out to be incredible. Once we were able to communicate, he did everything I asked him, and very eagerly. He got his CGC when he was 4ish, and we got registered as a therapy dog team about 2 months later. He LOVED training; I did a little bit of nosework with him and some OB & Rally training. We tried agility one time, but I hated the trainer and the facility; it wasn't set up for Rotties, but he did the best he could given the setup. He was great with people, dogs, kids, etc. He had his quirks, of course, but I couldn't have asked for a better dog.

My new girl, Kaia, was just adopted from a Rottweiler rescue. We believe she's about two. She's also very eager to learn and quick to learn. She's enrolled in some CGC/distraction classes, and I hope to register her as a therapy dog as well... in addition to obtaining some Rally titles, at a minimum. I'd love to do advanced OB, but it's fairly cost prohibitive for me. She has shown a little bit of a protective side, but nothing that is overtly concerning to me. I'd love to try her out in some sports; I may give agility a try, or maybe some nosework or tracking.

Both of my Rottweilers have been amazing with other dogs; Clyde ran from my dad's golden retriever when Cooper tried to attack him on three separate occasions. There have been anywhere from 4-8 cats in the house at any time, and he took them all in stride. He was great with my baby nephew as well. Kaia is also great with other dogs, cats & my nephew (who's now 18 months old and a rambunctious little turd). I have never witnessed dog/dog aggression with my two, but it can happen, especially if there's no clear leadership and a lack of socialization. They both had easily accessible on/off switches as well; they are reasonably quiet in the house but go nuts outside. Obviously, Clyde was a therapy dog so he was great with strangers outside of the home; Kaia has given me every reason to believe she will be great with strangers as well.

I hope this has given you some insight. I'm happy to answer other questions you might have, although I'm not an expert (I only play one on the internet).
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:37 PM
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I can only give you my experience with my one Rottweiler. She was a rescue of unknown origins. She was found as a stray, fostered in rescue for several months, and then we adopted her. Her estimated age when the rescue got her was three to four years, which would make her six (almost seven!) now.

Specifically how are they supposed to be with strangers when out and about?
Missy ignores people when we're out and about. She doesn't approach them. If they approach her, she's fine and will socialize, but she doesn't seek out attention. She is very food motivated, and if someone has food, she will hang around them and pay attention to them until the food is removed. However, I've met many Rottweilers that come into the store that are so so so excited to see people, and will drag their owners over to you.

In the home?
Missy is pretty much the same with people in the house. She used to just completely ignore people, but will now approach them for some sniffs and some pets and then go lay down somewhere. She does get more excited when it's someone she knows and is over a lot. Since I started doing a lot more work on Jack's reactivity with people coming in the house, she has learned that people that are coming over generally have treats, so she'll hang around them.

What sort if performance so they do well at?
I've never done any sports with her. She is my champion couch potato, and all-star bed warmer.

How are they with other pets in the home?
She ignores the cat completely. She'll watch the fish or the birds for a while, but in a lazy sort of way. She and Jack get along wonderfully, but she gets annoyed when he tries to play with her - she'll grumble a couple of times and he leaves her alone. I've had various foster dogs and she was fine with all but one after proper introductions.

How common is dog aggression?
SSA is fairly common in the breed. Missy is fine with most male dogs she has met, and younger females. She does not get along at all with the neighbors adult female bulldog, and she had an issue with an older Lhasa Apso female foster that I had. She is not reactive to other dogs, the issues only start in a house/yard situation when she's interacting with the other dog.
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:11 PM
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From what I've seen, there is a VERY big range. Rotties are a pretty popular breed, and even within "good" breeders, who breed healthy dogs or working dogs, there's a large range.

They are a protective breed, particularly in the home. In my experience, they have ranged from a golden retriever or pit bull like friendliness, to poorly socialized dogs being downright nervy and aggressive in and out of the home. Ideally, I think a well-socialized rottweiler should be generally comfortable in public, with people, moreso than a breed like a Kuvasz or a Presa. Definitely alert and ready to protect their people from a bad situation, but not wary of strangers as much as other guardian breeds.

In the home, they should be/usually are more protective. I've seen rotties who I think have an ideal temperament approach someone for pets, lick their faces, bring them toys, etc. in public, but if someone comes into the home, they're more serious and watchful until they know the person, even if their owner says it's okay.

I've seen them excel at everything from bitesports to therapy to agility. They are EXTREMELY versatile, and the large range of temperaments within the breed only enhances that. You can find a well-bred rottie to do whatever job you need.

I'm not too sure about other dogs. I've seen a few of them get along well with other dogs, and most will get along in some capacity - either with opposite sex dogs, dogs they've been raised with, dogs outside their home...but DA is definitely an issue in the breed and something to be aware of or prepared for - and ask any potential breeder about.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:24 PM
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Each dog is different, so I don't want to discount what others have posted. However, as an owner of a Rottweiler, I feel that some of the information provided is incorrect for the breed standard. I'm going to provide some basic information, hopefully you find it helpful.

1) Rottweilers can have serious health problems (hip/elbow dysplasia, heart defects, cancers). Some of them can break both your heart and your wallet, so it's wise to be prepared.

2) Rottweilers are quite territorial on home turf and have no problems enforcing their rules on interlopers. Things to consider - FENCING! It must be secure and remain locked for the safety of your dog and others. Also, ensure that all meters to be read are located outside the fencing. Fence running and barking can be an issue in high traffic areas if you do not have a privacy fence.

3) Shedding! These dogs shed all the time. If you do not mind vacuuming it's not a big deal, however if you are a clean freak, a Rottweiler may not be the best choice for you.

4) Rottweilers can be quite dog aggressive, typically with other adults of the same sex. They can also have a high prey drive, which is something to consider if you have smaller pets. However, there are many Rottweiler owners who have multiple dogs of the same sex who live together peacefully. Cali has never show aggression towards another dog, however, she is quick to correct a rude dog. She lives peacefully with two male Dachshunds and we've never had an issue.

5) Rottweilers are very powerful physically, which means that obedience training is a MUST. It's not uncommon for Rottweilers to be in training for the first two years of their life. They love to work and are incredibly biddable, willing to learn anything you are willing to teach them.

6) Rottweilers as a breed are not content to lay on the couch and sleep the day away. They need physical and mental exercise. If left to their own devices, they will find entertainment in your chew up your carpet, shoes, or the legs of your table.

Rottweilers certainly are not the breed for everyone, however, in the right hands they can be the best dog you'll ever own.

If you have any questions, I'll try my best to answer them.
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