Warning Signs of Aggression in Rottweilers

According to breed standards, the Rottweiler is a calm, confident, and courageous dog. There are even records showing that the Rottweiler was used to heard cattle. Later they were used as guard dogs, police dogs and military dogs.

However, it is important to note that genetically, dating back to early times, Rottweilers did have aggressive tendencies.

There have been cases of Rottweiler aggression in the past and that has caused some to opt for another breed because of the concern of aggression in such a strong breed.

What many don’t realize is that while the Rottweiler may inherit this trait, it will only become a problem or cause negative behavior if the owner fails to properly train and establish pack leader authority.

Because of their calm nature and their intelligence, Rottweilers can make amazing family pets, but it is important for you to understand that it is your responsibility to train your dog for the desired behavior.

That doesn’t just mean training for commands, it means ensuring there is no aggression.

Rottie standing in the grass in guard

Why are Rotties Deemed so Aggressive?

Rottweiler Aggression Signs

If your Rottweiler shows signs of aggression it is imperative that you take immediate action to stop that behavior. If you do not, chances are someone -a person or another dog- could end up getting hurt.

Warning signs of Rottweiler aggression include:

  • snarling
  • growling
  • snapping,
  • and biting.

If you see any of these behaviors, you need to address them right away. You might also be interested in our related article on the best chew toys for Rottweilers

Rottweilers are protective, so if they feel threatened or they believe a family member is in danger, you can expect that your Rottie will pace, whine or bark. That’s a Rottweilers first reaction to someone suspicious. In the worst cases your dog may lunge, snarl and bite.

You can eliminate this behavior by making sure your Rottweiler is properly socialized from a puppy onward. It is also your responsibility as an owner to make sure that your dog is exposed to all kinds of situations.

By exposing you dog to many different experiences and people, you will reduce the likelihood that your Rottweiler gets aggressive towards a stranger.

Don’t worry, your Rottweiler will still protect you in situations where protection is needed. Don’t confuse this with Rottweiler aggression.

This short helpful video is from dog trainer, Larry Krohn, who is a Rottweiler owner himself and one of the most common problems he has encountered from his clients is how to address their Rottweiler puppy from nipping and biting.

It's a great video and it's worth listening to his advice as it's key to preventing aggression in Rotties.

Rottweiler Resource Guiding

A problem that sometimes occurs with Rottweilers is that they can become aggressive with family members as a result of something a family member does.

This is known as resource guarding, and usually relates to your dog feeling that his personal belongings are being threatened and so he tries to protect them.

This type of aggression needs to be handled with proper training.

Rottweiler Mishandling and Boredom

Another situation of Rottweiler aggression against family members usually occurs when you do not treat your dog with proper care and handling. What does this mean? Well, it means a couple of things.

One of them is that if you are an owner who mistreats his dog by yelling, kicking, etc. (behavior that is not acceptable) your Rottweiler could turn on you.

But still, the most common reason for Rottweiler aggression is simply lack of training. You need to train your Rottweiler every day for at least 30 minutes, which should be broken into two 15-minute sessions. This way you will have a much healthier and of course happier dog.

There are training classes specifically on this subject, helpful books and even supportive communities for Rottie owners.

This loyal breed has a natural tendency to be aggressive, which is why Rottweilers need a strong pack leader. An owner who is willing to put adequate time into training his dog can rest assured that his Rottie will make a great family pet.

Consider Dog Training Courses

There are two good online video based training courses that we recommend and can both help with aggressive behavior in dogs.

Both courses are good but they serve two very different purposes. The Doggy Dan online course tackles behavioral problems like excessive barking, aggression, phobias, separation anxiety, pulling on the leash, puppy training and biting in ways that are creative, kind and most important - effective!

Brain Training For Dogs was developed by a former Karen Pryor Academy graduate and uses 21 brain training activities. This is an excellent course for bored dogs that get destructive. Dogs that are bored tend to get into trouble by looking for ways to entertain themselves. This course is a great fun boredom buster that goes from easy to very advanced. If you think your dog has behavioral issues stemming from boredom this video course is a good choice. 

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