Rottie suddenly starting to growl at kids

by Sarah

I have a year and a half old male German Rottweiler. He is the sweetest dog and we have taken him to advance obedience training.

The past week he has been growling at my husbands two children, they are both boys. Usually it's more with the 10 year old than the 5 year old. I don't know where this is coming from.

I feel like Hugo always has his eyes on the boy and growls when he even walks by. I tell him no everytime and he stops but this never used to happen.

I'm worried about this! Can you help?

Hi Sarah. From what you say you have a reason to be concerned but that doesn't make your pup aggressive and shouldn't cause panic.

What is happening here (in my opinion) is your adolescent Rottweiler is viewing these two boys as puppies too and is attempting to exert his dominance over them in order to maintain what he feels is his position in the pack. This is totally normal canine behavior, but it's not acceptable when it's used towards human 'puppies' :)

You need to continue to correct your pup every single time he does this as he needs to know that it's not okay. He is obviously well-trained (and a beautiful boy by the way!) and is responding to the corrections.

However, this isn't enough. I recommend involving both the boys in the everyday care of your pup as much as possible. Have them feed, groom and even practice training with him, so that your Rottie is able to recognize the fact that these smaller humans are also above him in the pecking order.

Hand feeding him (with your supervision) is also a great way to show this to your pup. See this page for more on hand-feeding Dog Food Aggression

Continue his training and socialization and maintain a calm home environment with loving discipline and he will come through this difficult time. Hope this helps. Best of luck!

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