……. Although I predominantly refer to the Rottweiler breed in this blog post; this information can be applied to all dogs that are either dominant or fit into the guard dog group…….
If you haven’t gathered by now, a Rottweiler or a large dominant breed is not suited for everyone.
The suitability has nothing to do with size, gender, occupation (although these dogs are not great alone for long periods of time & you do need to be well.. employed) etc. But look at me – I am a 50kg little blondie who everyone thought was absolutely insane for getting Zeus – my parents included. Ultimately if you want to make it work and you are determined to make it work; then you will make it work.
Your physical size doesn’t really mater all that much as long as you can stand your ground in a calm, patient manner. Physical punishment never ever works & it will have the opposite effect – don’t ever do it. Having said this, you probably might want to be in shape and not be feeble – of course these are strong dogs and they will keep you very active. When they lunge at a person or a moving vehicle, you will probably want to have enough stamina and body awareness to not get pulled of your feet. It helps a lot ya know? It’s a great body work out too – I was going to say that it will save you money on Classpass – but actually there is no part of having a Rottweiler or a big dog that will save you money. For example: Zeus eats 2kg of food a day. Plus treats and snacks of course.
Also if you suffer from mental illness (depression & anxiety included) these might not be the right breeds for you.
Although I believe from the bottom of my heart in the therapeutic powers of raising, owning, and taking responsibility for a dog; a large dominant breed probably wouldn’t be the first thing that I would recommend. Let’s say your Rottie sees you crying for long periods of time ; he or she can become protective of you – and not in the good way. They can become protective in inappropriate situations in which they may feel that you need them to defend you. These situations can become a bit ikky. When Zeus’s dad and I broke up, I was quite sad for a while and during that time Zeus started being untrusting of random men on the street. It was not great at all. I assure you that when people see a random Rottweiler lunging in central London – people stop and stare. His naughty phase was quite embarrassing 🙄. He was impossible not to notice.
The thing about owning a large dominant breed of dog is that you are constantly watched and dare I say judged based on your dogs behaviour. I am sure that any mother though will be able to relate to this. When your kid misbehaves really badly in public you feel everyones eyes on you – especially if its a bigass 40+KG Rottweiler. Imagine a toddler who was spiked with tons and tons of testosterone – then imagine him 40+ kg of muscle. That will be your dog 💯
The first two years of your dog’s life are the most important. They will determine how he turns out, and it will determine the quality of life you and your family will lead.
A badly trained, unsocialised dominant dog who feels in control of his humans and of his household, will not be that much fun, and you will probably not be all that happy. Training is not something that you participate in for a week or even for a month; it is a lifestyle. If you do not have the time and the money to spend on extensive and often challenging every day socialisation, training, exercise and commitment then do NOT get a Rottweiler, mastiff, Akita, Chow Chow, Doberman, Puli, Giant Schnauzer etc.
I would probably not recommend these dogs for a first time dog owner – not to mention a male. After three years, all of your training, or lack of, will become learned/permanent behaviour – therefore if you have not remained consistent (again I mean like super consistent), then it will become extremely difficult to change unwanted behaviour.
Consider your Rottweiler keeping score. If you decide to implement or follow through with rules only 70% of the time – there he is ‘winning’ 30% of the time. I guarantee you he/she will not forget – these dogs are too intelligent not to. That 30% will become permanent – he will only obey you 70% of the time. The problem with this 30% is that you have no idea when he or she is going to obey you and when he or she is not.
Rottweilers who are raised with children can make wonderful family pets; however the boundaries and rules when interacting with children need to be clear and ALWAYS respected (by both parties- dog and child). The prey instinct has to be kept in mind, as a running child could trigger it. As with any dog breed, children and dogs should always be supervised. Children rough playing in front of the Rottie is also not ideal; as this can cause the Rottweiler to go into protection mode.
When done right & with a bit of patience, these dogs mature into kind, yet powerful and loyal family members.
I believe that if all children were required to learn to bond with an animal starting from a young age – the world would be a much kinder place. My children will absolutely be raised with dogs; experiencing & learning this type of connection is what life is all about. It is good and it is pure – there are not many things that can be described as such .💜
Love, Z & A 💜
All images © 2017 ZeusandAnna