We receive many phone calls from Rottweiler owners when their dogs reach sexual maturity and they are becoming problematic with other dogs, people or both.
When you choose to own a dog of this type, or other powerful breeds such as Cane Corso, Rhodesian Ridgebeack, Japanese Akita, Boerboel, American Bulldog, you must realise that these are not the same as other dog breeds – like a Cocker Spaniel, Labrador or a Shih-Tzu.
All dogs need obedience training – the same as all children need educating – whether you send them to school or home educate – it is the same. To fail that is grossly negligent. However, when you get a dog belonging to the ‘power’ group of dogs – including Bull Terriers, Dogue De Bordeaux, Russian Black Terrier, European Dobermans and a host of others, your responsibility to train that dog, increases tenfold (that is not to excuse those of you with poorly trained dogs of other breeds and types).
We keep our male dogs entire for life and neuter bitches as late as possible. Extensive research leads us to do that for the health and longevity of our dogs.
Male dogs when left entire are more likely to spar up to other entire males –that is a natural and normal behaviour (more prevalent in some breeds and some individuals than others) than it is to go and play and frolic with other entire dogs. There are exceptions to each and every rule – our entire male Rottweiler aged 9 years, will play all day with other entire dogs and is used as a stooge dog for testing dog aggression. However, most entire male Rottweilers are not so inclined.
If you decide, for whatever reason to keep your male entire – your responsibility for training that dog is increased again.
Our Rottweilers are all friendly with other dogs and walk in London parks each day, BUT they are Rottweilers – incredibly powerful both physically and psychologically and do not suffer fools. Our dogs will all recall regardless of what is going on – they will not run over to other dogs or people, will down/sit and stay when instructed. However, the Rottweilers have a strong drive to guard their pack and therefore if an out of control dog runs over and attacks one of my dogs – likely the others would protect each other – not an image to consider for too long.
If your car fails, breaks down or is problematic – you go to a Garage for expert advice and to get it ‘fixed’ (you don’t google it or ask advice on Facebook or similar). That is sensible. If your dog will not recall (or whatever) go and see an expert and get the right help.
There is no intrinsic desire for dogs to ‘come’ when called – nor will most dogs return to call, ignoring inherent or learnt drives for a bit of chicken or a manky bit of kibble from their daily food allowance.
Just like we have Skoda’s, Ferrari’s, Landover’s, Mercedes, Hondas and a whole variation within (dependant on size, performance, budget, experience) – we have the same with dogs – we have working dogs, pet dogs, performance dogs and the unknown element (because they are animals). One should choose a dog breed like you choose a car – practically thinking about suitability, lifestyle, environment, your experience and an array of other factors.
If you are considering a Rottweiler, do ensure that you do as much research as possible in to the breed, visit breeders, talk to owners, attend breed shows and working events to ensure that this is the right breed for you.