Rottweilers - do they mix with other dogs in the family and small children?
(Ft. Hood TX)
I love Rottweilers. They are gorgeous dogs and the ones I've known are so sweet despite their tough look. My main reason for getting a dog like this is mostly for protection. I'm not looking for an attack dog by any means, but since I'm home alone with my children a lot (my husband is active duty Army and is deployed a lot), and I don't live in the safest town, I would feel a lot better if I had an extra dog in the house.
I have one already but I honestly don't know how he socializes with other dogs since he's an only dog. He's a chocolate lab mix with pit. He's very sweet natured, but if he feels threatened like with a stranger, he has a pretty mean bark. Are Rottweilers typically an only dog in a household or are they ok with other dogs? And most importantly, how are they with small children. My kids are 3 and 5. They know not to provoke a dog or treat it badly since I'm a huge advocate of that and have taught them how to behave around dogs. I've read that they are good with kids as long as they've been socialized around them. Is that correct?
I know some people who have them and had really small children and those dogs were so gentle with the kids. Would I have better luck raising a puppy instead of getting an adult dog or if I found an adult that's been around kids, would that be ok too? Thanks for you help.
In your situation I'd recommend getting a puppy (whichever breed you choose) because you already have one adult dog and two small children. Bringing an adult dog of any age into that environment has the potential for problems.
Of course the majority of times it will work out just fine (and I'm a big advocate of adoption and rehoming adult dogs rather than buying puppies), so I'm not saying that it's not possible to add an adult dog to a home/family like yours, just that it can be more difficult and it sounds as though you already have your hands pretty full!
Rottweilers who are raised around other dogs, cats, pets and children are usually wonderful with them. Loving, gentle and protective. I've raised my 6 kids with Rotties (and an assortment of other dogs, cats, birds, rodents etc. etc.) and never had any problems at all. This breed is the best in my opinion - in just about every way.
I'd strongly recommend getting a female pup though, as having two dogs of the same sex often leads to conflict once the pup starts to mature. Two dogs of the opposite sex (but make sure to get them both 'fixed' of course) are much more likely to be life-long friends. Don't think a female Rottweiler won't be as protective as a male either, they are JUST as protective (perhaps even more so when kids are involved). Do make sure that your lab/pit mix isn't dog aggressive in any way, or resents having other dogs in the house or you could have a little bit of an issue there.
I understand you wanting a dog for protection, but although Rotties are guardians by nature, they need lots of love, attention and gentle, positive training. Never encourage aggression or defensive behavior as that can cause all sorts of problems. Also be certain to buy a pup from a reputable breeder (see my Choosing A Rottweiler Breeder page for lots of tips and advice on this), as you absolutely must have a pup with healthy, temperamentally sound parents.
I'd also recommend reading all the info. on this site about choosing and raising a Rottweiler, plus study the breed characteristics, Rottweiler temperament etc. so that you know exactly how to raise and train your pup. Investing in a couple of good Rottweiler Books is also highly recommended.
I hope all this helps you come to a decision, but don't rush into anything. As you probably already know, raising a puppy is sort of like raising a child and takes a lot of time, attention, love and patience. Make sure you can commit all of this to a new pup before you take the plunge.
I wish you the very best of luck with whatever you choose to do.