There are many who would claim that Rottweilers are by nature violent and aggressive animals that should not be allowed in the home as pets. Media propaganda depicting horrible attacks by the animal do not alleviate the concern that the breed of dog is dangerous. Like any dog, Rot's have unique personalities that must be considered before purchase. All too often potential owner seek out this breed of dog without knowledge of their distinct traits and personalities, or seek to use the dog's loyal nature for deviant purposes. Rottweilers are not by nature evil creatures. They are the product of their owners. Different breeds of dogs commonly are associated with various personality traits. For example, the golden retriever is commonly recommended for families due to it's tremendously happy and loving personality. Retriever's also require a great deal of attention and are not well suited for the rarely home owner. Rottweilers have very distinct and exciting personalities. They are fiercely loyal and committed to protecting their "families." Much like humans, any animal that is treated with kindness and love will return loyalty and affection. The Rottweiler is no different. When mistreated however, things can go awry.
The Rottweiler has been traced back in history to "progenitors that served as herding and handling dogs in ancient Rome." (Barrons, 5). Some would describe the bread as a medium to large size dog typically measureing up to 27" in height and weighing as much as a small adult person! The Rottweiler has been characterized as a great guard dog, exhibiting protective instincts. Over time, breeders have recognized the trait of undeniable devotion and loyalty in the dpg. The Rot is a great choice for a dog if one is looking for an animal that will stand by their side.
Proper training is a good idea for pet owners seeking this breed. Because of the inherent nature of the animal to exhibit fierce loyalty, the dog may not learn to appropriately interact with people other than it's owner without appropriate training. As with any breed of dog, an investment in a Rottweiler is a commitment of time, money, love and yes...training. Most people would not consider for a moment raising their children without some form of education, discipline and support. Without these things, children would run amuck, potentially causing great distress and harm to others. Statistically over time it has been proven that many criminals, violent or not are in fact the product of inappropriate upbringing, abuse, homelessness and lack of direction. These same factors, particularly neglect and abuse are likely to cause aggressive behavior in a Rottweiler. Not because the animal is by nature a fearsome and aggressive creature, but because the animal is simply a product of their owner.
Rottweiler's are very active animals requiring vigorous activity and workouts. The breed is certainly not suited for being tied up and left alone in a yard all day, or locked up in a small apartment. These very behaviors can cause aggressive behavior in the animal.
How is it that Rottweiler's have acquired such a poor reputation among society today? The fault lies in large part to the extensive media coverage of attacks by the anima. The Rot is often depicted as a terrible and gruesome beast known to harm innocent people. The media however does not always manage to cover the story behind the attack, stories of the atrocious conditions in which the animal was brought up, and the gruesome nature of it's owner. Headings in news media have often depicted the following: "Rottweiler Attacks Girl on Peninsula," "Police Kill Rottweiler as it attacks woman." According to research and veterinary authorities however, the dogs are not to blame: Researchers say people are mostly to blame for the 27 deaths from dog attacks that occurred in 1997 and 1998 citing a common failure to train dogs correctly and ignorance of how to behave around them. Despite inaccurate statistics, the solution is people -- parents and kids -- and dogs need training to prevent future dog attacks....according to a study by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The researchers say dogs are not to blame." (Chirichigno, Kay. 2000, 1). There are many studies in fact of families with young children that own Rottweiler's that have never attacked or harmed any individual. There are many animals other than Rot's that have also been cited in the news. However, the common thread in all of these stories is typically that the dog was caught by surprise, was not trained or was being abused. Such behavior would cause any animal to act defensively. "Rottweilers can live in harmony with children, as long as all parties are taught mutual respect. Children need to learn that all dogs need to be respected. Dogs that are eating or sleeping are never to be disturbed. Dogs should never be subjected to abusive behavior, including ear pulling, eye poking, blowing in the face, etc. If any dog is abused enough, it will eventually defend itself if it feels as though it has no alternative. A Rottweiler is normally a very tolerant dog, but all animals have their limits as to how much nonsense they will take before they issue a correction. It is the responsibility of the dog owner to protect the dog from the misbehavior of children, and it is the children's parents responsibility to teach them proper dog etiquette" (Chirichigno, Kay. 2000, 2).
A child without a parental guidance is likely to misbehave on a variety of levels. It could be that they hurt another child, tease or taunt, color on the walls, spit at someone or use obscenities without guidance. Why should we expect an animal to act any less rebellious without proper instruction?
When asked the following question: "What is the first word that comes to mind when you think of a Rottwiler?" The following responses were noted:
They are dangerous animals"
Those are the mean dogs I hear about on the news, right?"
Good watch dogs, tear the crap out of someone."
Only crazy people would own a dog like that."
Unfortunately it seems the Rottweiler has acquired a terrible reputation from many people. However, most of the above responses were solicited from individuals that also indicated that they did not own any animals or dogs of their own. When inquiring of families and individuals that owned a dog in the home, the following comments were obtained:
have four dogs. They get a bit rowdy sometimes and aggressive around strangers, but if you are properly introduced and play with my dogs, they won't give you any trouble at all.' have a German Shephard. He is a great dog, very protective. He loves people. You just have to approach him right, with your hand out palm up so he knows you aren't trying to hurt me."
Many of the dog owners indicated that their pets would indeed act aggressively if taunted or threatened by strangers. It is likely given the statements by owners that a Rottweiler would react in the same manner.
The reality of owning a Rotttweiler is identical to the reality of owning a Golden Retriever. All animals need love, attention, care, training and proper upbringing as well as support. You can't raise an animal to be kind and loving in a dysfunctional home any more so than you could raise a child to do the same. For all the statistics that exist related to the aggressive nature of this animal, there are an equal number of avid fans of the breed, attesting to their kindness, loyalty and devotion toward their families. Any animal that is mistreated will by nature turn defensive and seek to protect itself and family. Before investing in a Rottweiler, a potential owner is obligated to do the research necessary to ensure that…