I have a 10 and a half year old senior girl. My brother and former sister in law adopted her. She was 25 dollar puppy in front of walmart, I suspect careless breeding or even inbreeding. She was neglected, not socialized and left outside most of the time. They resisted our pleas to give the puppy to us. At seven months, my ex sister in law dropped her off at the way to take Roxy to the pound.
Roxy was hyperactive, anxious and fearful. I had an untreated anxiety disorder and while I'd owned other dogs, nothing prepared me for Roxy. We had a rough few years that included attacks on the blind/deaf cocker spaniel in the house and several incidents of Roxy snapping at people.
I've grown as an owner and she's mellowed some with age. Currently she's able to live happily with a male mastiff mix (7ish?) and a submissive female pit bull mix (3 and a half). I generally keep her at home or in controlled environments and have not had a fear aggression incident in years (minus the vet's, where she's still muzzled if we go beyond shots).
What I'm asking for... well. I've had a lot of trouble finding rottweiler experience helped. I've had trainers tell me things from 'don't bother, it's hopeless' to 'she's just spoiled, not sure of her place in the pack'. I've been unable to join rottie-l or get an e-mail response. Basically, I'd like any suggestions on online resources, how to find a trainer or other resources that might help me deal better with my rottweiler.
We've come a long way and I'm able to safely have her in the home, but I would love to be able to walk her and not have her react hyper aggressively to every sighting of a dog, for example.
It sounds as though this Rottie was very lucky to have found a loving home with you, she had a rough start but from what you say it seems that you've done an amazing job with her and that you've both come a long way.
At her age it is going to be a challenge to change her behavior as her reactions are well-ingrained by now and are instinctive. However, she has shown that she can adapt given time and the right environment, so I totally understand your wish to be able to take her out without incidents and stress and although it may be unrealistic to expect big changes at this point, I personally don't think it will be impossible to 'rub off the edges' or reshape her reactions to some extent.
You're right to seek professional help though, but as you have discovered there is a lot of misinformation and misunderstandings about this breed, even in 'expert' circles. Some trainers still think Rotties need a heavy hand and so on, which is totally untrue.
I'm assuming you've already spoken with your vet and asked for advice or recommendations for trainers or other experts, but if not then I'd suggest doing that first. Vets often have a pretty good knowledge of the experts in the area.
I'm not sure why you couldn't join Rottie-l but I'm not personally familiar with that organization. I did some quick research online my self and put together a few organizations and webpages that you may want to check out.
I know you are not looking to have your girl adopted or anything like that, but Rottweiler Rescues may be a good place to go for resources or recommendations. Some get involved with helping owners to understand and handle their dogs are interact with the community at large.
Here is one that you may want to try as it's an
rescue organization that not only deals with adoption, but also offers community education, support and outreach programs www.goodfellasrescue.org, in Mill City, Oregon. For 'bully breeds' but may be able to help you with advice or at least point you in the right direction.
I believe these two are also in Oregon....
Adoptable Rescued Rottweiler Foundation at 503-769-5070
Williamette Valley Rescue for Rottweilers, contact Sherry Lafever at 503-585-1591
Contacting someone here may also be a possible source of help... www.happytailrescue.com
If you take a look at this page on www.netpets.com, scroll down to 'Oregon' and you'll see contact info. and an email link for the Western Oregon Rottweiler Klub, you may also want to get in touch with them and see if they can help with recommendations etc.
I hope that you find some of this useful and that you get some help or advice that will make your task a bit easier.
If any of my visitors reading this can give Lynn advice or recommendations, or knows of organizations in Oregon that could help, please feel free to jump in by using the 'comments' function below.
I wish you the very best of luck with Roxy.