(Kankakee, Illinois USA)
My husband chose to have a rottweiler because he grew up with one next door, I’ve tried to do as much research about them as possible, and by the end of this month we will start our puppy classes.
But lately she hasn’t been too good. She growls at certain people, even sometimes at me, my 1 year old daughter was on the bed looking down at her, and the pup growled and barked, like a snap kinda.
It is actually starting to scare me a bit, I don’t want there to be any accidents that end in any kind of tragedy. Any advice?
At 10 weeks old your pup is still very much a baby and this is the time when you set the ground rules for behavior, and show her what is acceptable and what isn’t. It’s important that she understands who is boss in the home, and what her position is. Puppy training classes will help you a lot with this and will give you some hands-on professional help with any issues or problems you have.
However, you need to do this with love and patience and all discipline needs to be firm, fair and loving. Most puppies tend to treat toddlers and small children as other puppies (they naturally see themselves as a ‘child’ and consequently think that other small kids are their siblings), but it’s up to the adults to show a pup that this is not the case.
Correct your puppy if she ever growls, snaps or nips (although as I said this is normal behavior and not a sign of an aggressive puppy, or something to over-react to!). Tell her ‘No’ firmly and give her either a gentle shake by the scruff of the neck or use the ‘water-spray bottle’ method or the ‘muzzle wrap’. You’ll find all the info. you need on these, and on dealing with puppy biting in general, on my Stop Puppy Biting page.
Rottweilers are great dogs, make wonderfully loyal and loving family pets and very discerning guard dogs, and they are not the aggressive, mean or dangerous dogs that they are made out to be. HOWEVER, they are not for everyone, and if you are afraid of your pup or expect the worst from her, then it may be that your home isn’t the best place for her to be.
All dogs, regardless of breed, deserve to be loved and cherished and for their owners to trust and believe in them. Of course there are the few exceptions in any breed, and a poorly bred and raised puppy can grow up to be a fear-biter, or to be nervous or overly-dominant. But if you’ve taken the time to choose a well-bred pup, from good natured parents and raise, train and socialize her properly, then there’s not reason to expect anything ‘bad’ will happen.
Rotties are very intelligent dogs and they can also be strong-willed and stubborn, but they’re loving, loyal and goofy too. The bottom line here I believe is whether or not you really want to own one of these dogs and feel competent and willing to raise her in the way she needs. If you don’t then I’d recommend re-thinking this and finding her a new, more suitable, home while she’s still young and hasn’t grown too attached to you.
I hope this helps and wish you all the best of luck.