Advice needed please.. rescued 12 month old Female Rottie – growling & today showed teeth when meeting new people


Hi all,

We are experienced Rottie owners, and have recently (3 weeks ago) rescued a beautiful Female Rottie (Not spayed yet – but will not be breeding from)

We do not know her previous life, as she was abandoned… we have come along way with her training, stopped any wee-ing in the house.. she is great with our 3 kids.

The problem I would like advice on is… since getting her.. when ever someone comes into the house.. or even meeting on the street whilst walking.. her tails goes mad.. she wants to greet them.. then whilst being patted.. after about 5 seconds she does a very quiet growl.. at first we believed that she was simply just “Talking”. But today after a friend coming in.. she done the usual little growl whilst being patted… then showed her teeth.. we of-course said “NO” in a very stern voice.. she knew she had done wrong.. and after about 2 minutes.. she went back to our friend, and like being stroked…

Obviously this puts people on edge…. and apart from this.. she is an absolute star.. we have an older rottie and they love each other to bits.. play for most of the day.

My other rottie never went through this.. so unsure of what exactly to do.. is she being protective.. or is it aggression?

It’s hard when we don’t know her previous life!

I would appreciate any advice.


Your girl is giving off very conflicting signals and I’d say that’s a sign that she’s unsure of herself and a bit anxious. I wouldn’t call it ‘aggressive’ behavior, probably it’s more defensive in nature, but given that you don’t know anything about her life before she came to you it’s difficult to say why she’s acting this way.

Often adolescent Rotties display this sort of behavior as their ‘guarding instincts’ kick in and they’re confused about how to handle them. I’m not sure how old she is, but this could be a developmental issue as much as a behavioral one.

Whenever this happens though I always recommend that you get a professional evaluation and hands-on help from a qualified dog trainer. It’s impossible for me, or anyone else, to make accurate judgements about behavior without seeing the dog’s body language, reactions and so on, and you need to handle this in the right way to make sure it doesn’t become a problem.

I’d strongly recommend finding a local dog trainer who is experienced in training large, guardian breeds and who only uses positive, rewards-based methods.

From what you say your new Rottweiler has a basically sound temperament and generally gets along with people and other dogs. This is good, and the few ‘issues’ she has should be fairly straightforward to deal with once you have some hands-on help and advice.

I wish you all the best of luck and hope everything is going smoothly soon.

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Apr 03, 2017


stressed NEW
by: Anonymous Hi,i just adopted a 12 month old rottie ,he is a sweet boy but lots of work ,he is still a puppy but also so active,i don’t think he ever lived inside because he messes on the floor a lot ,i clean it tell him (no)and put him out,He is joined at my hip ,just wants to be with me all the time ,i have a 11 year labb who is a sweet girl but really don’t care for him ,i did have a recue rottie and he was 3 ,such a old soul he was ans os so good ,never had a problem with him and he was junk yard boy at 160 lbs ,i had him six years and then he got very sick ,he had kidney failure and he couldn’t fight off any infections ,i had to let my beautiful boy go,i still miss that boy ,so i decited i wanted another rottie ,what did i get my self into ,i’ve only had him 2 days and i’m beyond stressed,can someone help me with the potty training at 12 months old ,i’m trying but i guess i;m more stressed the he is ,thanks,Janice

Jun 13, 2013


Rescued Rottie NEW
by: Doreen We, too, have an approximately 12-month old female that we rescued about 2 months ago. With one son living on his own and one that was away at college at the time, we took her everywhere to ensure we socialized her. We know that she was abused, and was actually removed from her previous owner. She was fine with people at the beginning. A little shy but would eventually let them pet her. After having her about 2 1/2 weeks it was as if someone flipped a switch. She started to show signs of aggression toward strangers, including towards our sons. We are currently working with a behavior modification trainer. After coming to our home and observing the dog for an hour and half, she believes she has fear aggression. She said it is normal for it to show up two to three weeks as the dog becomes comfortable in her new environment. We did go through obedience training with our dog, and the behavior trainer is showing us how to use what she learned in obedience training to help modify her behavior. If you haven’t contacted a professional yet, I recommend it.

Apr 13, 2012


reply NEW
by: me Thank you both so much for your replies and advice. I have sort professional advice. And i have been re training her on lots of different things. At the moment i am telling anyone that comes into the house to complete ignore both dogs just so she feels secure enough that they are not infact a threat. Whilst both dogs are told to get onto their beds.
This is working brilliant and with lots of praise am love she will be fine.
She is such a loving little girl and has come along way in just the past week.
I will keep you all updated on her progress.
Once again. Thank you for your help.

Best wishes.

Apr 04, 2012


Showing teeth NEW
by: Anonymous She has learned this behaviour in her life before being adopted. Whoever had her must have encouraged this behaviour or she got a reaction from doing it to people and was never corrected. Since she is only 12 months old she can be cured. You will need to socialize her as much as you can. Whenever she shows signs of some sort of aggression you must correct her. I use the sound Ahh Ahh in a growl way, as the word NO does not always work. Work with her being on a lead whenever you expect anyone coming over. This way you have more control if the situation arises. Check chain her quickly and firmly before it even happens. Dogs show signs before they do any growling. Like for instants they stay completely still and start to lick their lips. She is not a confident dog and that’s where you are needed to guide her. Best of luck!

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About The Rotty lover 2159 Articles
My name is Dr. Winnie. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa. I have been an animal lover and owners all my life having owned a Rottweiler named Duke, a Pekingese named Athena and now a Bull Mastiff named George, also known as big G! I'm also an amateur equestrian and love working with horses. I'm a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs. I enjoy spending time with my husband, 2 kids and Big G in my free time. Author and Contribturor at SeniorTailWaggers, A Love of Rottweilers, DogsCatsPets and TheDogsBone