When I speak to potential Rottweiler customers on the phone and ask them what they plan to do with their Rottweiler or how their new Rottweiler is going to fit into their everyday lives with family, work, etc… 4 out of 5 times I will hear “There won’t be much change because I do not plan on socializing my Rottweiler because I want him/her to protect my family.” Yes, not wanting to socialize a Rottweiler, is the most common statement I hear from potential Rottweiler buyers. The scary thing is, this is the biggest, most dangerous mistake you can make with a Rottweiler, in my opinion! This one example is probably most responsible for why Rottweilers have the negative image they have today!
By nature, Rottweilers are very protective of their family and territory. In general, female Rottweilers tend to be more maternal, protecting more over the children; while male Rottweilers tend to be more territorial, protecting more over their territory/home. Again, this is a generalization based on what I have noticed in the years of raising Rottweilers. The natural instinct to protect your family is not something that has to be taught. When trainers offer family protection, the emphasis is on teaching the Rottweiler to “out” on command as well as obeying their alpha during intense encounters. At least, that is what it should be on if you have a good dog trainer. Rottweilers are very loyal dogs who were bred to work and are eager to please their alpha. Individual dog breeds were bred for individual tasks. The Rottweiler is a natural protector. Simply put, if you love your Rottweiler and care for your Rottweiler, your Rottweiler will protect you and your family (their family).
Like I have said in the past, most Rottweiler knowledge is common sense. You just have to change your way of thinking about it. I understand some people think if they socialize their dog they will become nice to everyone and not know “bad people” when they see them. Turn it around to you… You socialize every day by going to the store, going to work, talking to friends… Would you know if someone was threatening you family? Do you think a human parent needs to attend a training class on how to protect their young if they are threatened? Of course not.
On the other side, if you stayed antisocial and never left the inside of your home, would you be a better protector? No! You would be scared out of your mind of anything and everything. You would be just as scared of a child selling cookies at your door, as you would be of a burglar trying to break into your home. The really bad part in all of this is how you would react. When scared or threatened, people react violently. If you think someone is about to hurt or attack you, you act violently, doing thinks you sometimes did not even know you ever could, just to get away quickly. Examples could include using a weapon or extreme physical punishment, as well as producing enormous strength you did not even know you had. Do you see where I am going with this? When a scared Rottweiler feels threatened, they do not know what to do. They just want to get out of the situation as quickly as possible by doing whatever they know. This included biting and attacking. They do not react this way because they want to or because they are bad, aggressive dogs, but simply because they were exposed to something out of their comfort zone. New people, new sounds, new smalls…they all seem threating to them. All they ever grew up knowing was the box they lived in every day of their lives with the same people, same sounds, and same smells.
This is why socialization is the number one, most important training you can do with your new Rottweiler puppy. Bring you puppy on walks around the neighborhood, car rides to the store, visits to PetSmart, trips to the dog park, etc… Please make sure this is only after you Rottweiler has had several vaccines against the Parvovirus in his/her system, since Rottweilers are most susceptible to Parvo. If your puppy is not fully immunized yet, you can still bring him/her on these outings, just choose to carry your Rottweiler puppy. This is another important article in itself for a future time. My point is socializing is not hard work. Socializing is as simple as going for a walk and letting a wide eyed child pet you new puppy.
Socialization is key to having a sound temperament Rottweiler. A Rottweiler should be confident and brave; this is what makes the breed so awesome. A Rottweiler with a lack of socialization WILL be in a situation one day where he reacts aggressively because he felt threatened. Then, he will be required to be put down, at no fault to themselves. Bad owners made bad dogs. It is a sad fact. Let us all learn to be good owners and raise good Rottweilers because there is no better breed.
Written by Liz Gutierrez