We have a 5 year old female (neutered) whom we have just adopted off another family. She is a brilliant, obedient, loving dog…..brilliant temperament with my bouncy 4 year old and 4 month old girls.
Although when you tell her off, or tell her to go to her (dogs version of naughty step) spot she growls, and it’s quite a low deep growl, it’s just me she does it to, never my husband, and if i stand by her once she’s been told off she continues to growl! My husband says it could be a dominance/pack thing, but my husbands army and he is away a lot…i don’t want to be contending with a rotty who dislikes being told no…i’ts honestly like she’s a teenager who dislikes being told no or told off…but scarier!
Also her last masters never associated her with other dogs, we can’t walk her without fear of her attacking other dogs, she’s quite bad to the point she nearly dragged my husband across a feild to get to a dog! Even on the tv…she’ll try attack the tv if she see’s a dog or hears one!
I’m desperate for her to be friendly to other dogs simply because all my family has dogs and we are surrounded by people who own dogs! She’s never physically managed to hurt or grab another dog, before we manage to rein her back in!
Much advice needed! i love Roxie to bits, but i don’t want to struggle whilst my husband is away 🙁
Any adult dog tends to come as a ‘package deal’ and previous upbringing will have it’s good points and bad.
For your Roxie, it seems as though she’s good with children (a big plus) and is friendly, loving and generally sound in terms of temperament. But, she’s not been socialized properly so has issues with other dogs.
Your husband has hit the nail on the head when he says the growling when you tell her off is a dominance issue. She is attempting to exert her authority over you, but she seems to have accepted that your husband is her ‘boss’. As you are going to be the one spending the most time with her it’s vital that you help her to learn that you are her ‘boss’ too!
If you’re not already 100% in charge of her care (ie feeding, grooming, training, exercise/play etc.) then you need to start doing so right now. Dogs respect those who control the resources (and food is a biggie) so if she sees that you are the one who feeds her, lets her outside to do her business, gives her toys and treats, grooms her etc., then she will naturally start to see you in a more positive light.
It’s also very important not to allow her to dominate you with this growling, but don’t respond harshly either. Simply repeat the command in a low, firm voice and encourage her to obey. Give her praise and a treat when she does so. However, if she snaps or attempts to bite, or refuses to obey then don’t try to physically force her, that could result in her nipping or biting.
I’d strongly recommend that you get some professional, hands-on help here by finding an experienced dog trainer to help you teach Roxie the basics, show you how to control her when out walking (if you aren’t already using a prong collar on her, get one and use it! They’re not cruel at all, and are the only effective way to control a strong adult Rottie who isn’t yet leash trained or under control), what to do when she challenges you etc.
It’s much easier to have someone SHOW you what to do than it is to read about it, plus an experienced professional can evaluate Roxie’s body language and reactions and gauge whether or not she is just posturing, or whether she may follow through with her warning. This is important to know when retraining her.
Although she’s great with your kids and is a loving girl, for your family’s safety, the safety of other dogs you may encounter, and your own peace of mind you need to get some professional help so that you can feel confident in your ability to control her and she can feel confident in YOU as her leader.
Very few Rottweilers get second chances at a happy home life, so this girl is one of the lucky ones. With some time, patience and a little bit of help she should adjust to her new home and family and learn to at least tolerate other dogs (even if she never learns to love them!).
Hope this helps, best of luck with it all.
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