5 Reasons Why You SHOULD NOT Get a Rottie
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5: You have limited experience with dogs
If you have little or no experience with owning and training dogs, then a Rottweiler is definitely not a good choice for. Think about it this way: Rottweilers are world-renowned police and military service dogs. Their roles include effectively apprehending and stopping threats. By “threats”, I mean human beings. In other words: Upon their handler’s command, they will chase and bite people who act in defiance of the law – and who refuse to be stopped in any other way. These dogs are extremely capable in this regard, and nearly impervious to any pain the person in question may inflict on them.
This breed comes with a high level of natural dominance and aggression – hence their extraordinary levels of performance as members of the police force and military. Rottweilers are serious working dogs, just like their ancestors, whose job it was to herd and guard cattle. They were never meant to be house pets. In the wrong hands, the Rottweiler can be a serious liability, endangering not only their owners and other people, but also themselves: Dogs that bite people are extremely prone to being euthanized. You do not want to add to the statistics with your very own case of Rottweiler-related tragedy.
If you have fallen in love with the breed and absolutely want to have a Rottie yourself, then you would be well advised to first gather some hands-on experience with large guardian breeds that are less dominant. For example, you could start off with a bringing a more calm, gentle and forgiving guardian into your home, such as an Airedale Terrier or a Hovawart.
Also, you might want to join a Rottweiler club in your area to gather experience with Rotties and to watch them being trained by experts. Such a club is usually an ideal place for Rottweiler-enthusiasts to start their journey towards – safely – owning a Rottweiler: You can learn quite a bit from the more experienced dog handlers whom you will encounter there. Usually, these people will be more than happy to answer your questions and to let you observe their training sessions.
4: You have small children in the house
The Rottie being such a formidable guard dog leads us straight to reason number 4 why you should not get a Rottweiler. Whilst many Rotties are great with children, tragedies can and do happen. As horrible as it is to speak about this, Rottweilers have seriously injured and even killed children before. Even in the hands of experienced owners.
Consider this: An adult Rottweiler can easily weigh 60 kilos, at a height of up to 70 cm at the shoulder. Imagine trying to prize such a massive canine – bent on biting and rendered nearly impervious to pain by adrenaline - off of your child in an emergency.
You might think that YOUR Rottie never would do such a thing, but how can you be certain? Again, these are not house pets by nature, they are working dogs with a high prey drive and a high level of natural aggression.
Please consider this very carefully. If you have children in the house and you still want a large guard dog breed, then why not go with a gentler family guardian – for example, a Giant Schnauzer or a Mastiff? So, as much as I love Rotties myself, I would have to say: Having small children in the house is a very good reason why you should not get a Rottweiler.
3: You are not interested in obedience training
Perhaps you are not into any kind of canine sports or obedience training. Instead, you are simply looking for a large dog to sound an alarm when needed and to accompany you on your walks. That is absolutely fine, and you have many breeds to choose from that will fit the bill – for example the mellow Golden Retriever or the gentle Great Dane.
However, you should not get a Rottweiler unless you are willing to put in some serious work on the socialization and obedience front - simply because they need this kind of training to become well-rounded dogs. In order to thrive, Rotties require strong leadership: You absolutely must provide them with clear guidance, and train them with a firm but fair hand. Especially male Rottweilers will invariably challenge you as they reach their “teenage-years” (usually from 6 months until up to 1 year of age). If you fail to be firm and consistent during this time, you will have a potentially dangerous dog on your hands, make no mistake about it.
So, if you are not interested in obedience training and in establishing strong leadership, a Rottweiler is not the right breed for you.
2: You have limited time and space for your dog
Whilst Rottweilers ideally should be provided with a large, securely fenced-in garden or yard to run around in, they can also live in apartments. Provided, of course, that you take them out for extended walks, and that you have access to a secured area where they can run and play off-leash.
Ideally, you want to devote a minimum of 2 hours a day to being outside with your Rottie – walking, playing and engaging them in obedience-drills.
If you want to share your apartment with a Rottweiler, but you have to spend all day away from home, then make sure another family member can step in and at least take the dog for a walk during the day. I say “family member”, because it should be a person the dog is familiar with and trusts: Rotties can be aggressive towards strangers as well as towards other dogs – which makes them not suited for doggy day care and dog-walking services.
Should you not be able to devote the time needed to your dog – or to provide them with at least one good run off-leash in the day – than you should not get a Rottweiler.
1: You have not developed strong leadership skills
The most important reason why, at this point, you should not get a Rottie, is your potential lack of leadership skills. Ask yourself this:
Am I a calm, consistent canine leader?
Do I have the patience and perseverance required to raise and train a strong guardian breed to high levels of obedience, manners, and socialization?
Am I confident that I can always be my Rottweiler’s trusted leader – the person he looks up to for guidance in any given situation?
Am I okay with being judged by people on the street for having a “dangerous dog”?
Can I handle any potential crisis-situation that might occur – for example, my Rottweiler biting an intruder on my property?
Do I have the knowledge to master any behavioural challenges that might occur throughout my Rottie’s lifetime?
Do I have backup in place, should the need arise – such as a Rottie club - or an experienced canine behaviourist - whom I can consult with if I hit a dead end in my training?
If your answer to any of these questions is anything else but a resounding YES, then the Rottweiler is not YET the right breed for you.
If any of these 5 reasons why you should not get a Rottweiler applies to you, then do not despair: This does not mean that your dream of owning a Rottie can never ever come true. It simply means that there still is some work to do.
Perhaps this means upgrading your living quarters from an apartment to a small house - with a fenced backyard for your dog to run and play. Or maybe it means investing in a training course to enhance your own skills as a calm, consistent canine leader. Whatever it may be, do not give up – sharing your life with a Rottie is an absolutely worthwhile goal to work towards!