my rottweiler is prone to get aggressive with other members of my family but not me, she is 5 years old and is constantly looking for attention.
my wife tried to put her in her cage and penni (my rottie) became aggressive barking, snarling and my wife had to withdraw out of the room. she does not like strangers in the house but does not bother with us usually very affectionate.
we are always calm and clear spoken when giving commands. always does what i say but feel she is taking liberty with other members of family. any help would be gratrfully appreciated
Dogs need to know their place in the ‘pecking order’ and it seems that Penni feels she is second in command! She recognizes you as being above her, but no-one else. This is not okay and could be dangerous.
At 5 years old she’s no longer a puppy and as this behavior seems to be becoming ingrained I really think you need to get some extra, hands-on help to get it under control. I’d strongly recommend that you find a good, professional dog trainer and either take Penni to some formal classes (you may want to arrange a one-on-one evaluation for her with the trainer before joining a public class) or have some training sessions done at your home.
Rottweilers are big strong dogs and very intelligent, they are the biggest ‘lovebugs’ in the world, but they can also be willful and stubborn. You need to show Penni that ANY human is her superior… and this needs to be reinforced on a regular, daily basis. Never let Penni’s behavior control yours (or anyone elses’) and insist that she do as she’s told. You will likely need to be on hand anytime your wife wants to interact with her in an authoritative way though, so that you can prevent (or deal with) any potential conflicts.
Do not allow Penni to climb up on furniture or beds, don’t let her control your actions by blocking doorways or halls, or getting under your feet when you’re walking. She must allow you, and your family, to take a toy from her, take away her food bowl (see my Dog Food Aggression page for help with this), put her in her crate and discipline or train her. Always make her ‘sit’ before giving her food, a treat, a toy, petting etc.
She NEEDS to realize that she is at the bottom of the heap when it comes to authority. As she’s not a pup anymore this may take a while and you’ll have to be very patient, persistent and consistent with her. It sounds as though apart from her dominant tendencies, she has a basically sound temperament and is loving. She loves you and respects you, and needs to respect the rest of your family and other humans in general.
Hand feeding her (as described on the dog food aggression page mentioned earlier) is a great way to show her who is ‘boss’ and I’d recommend that all your family takes turns doing this on a regular basis.
However, it’s MUCH easier to learn how to handle this type of behavior with some hands-on help, so do try to find a trainer locally. Only go to someone who is familiar with large guardian breeds though, and who uses only positive, rewards based training methods. Some more ‘old school’ trainers tend to think that these dogs need heavy-handed punitive type training and that couldn’t be further from the truth. A Rottweiler will never respond well to that and it will make your situation worse.
I hope this has helped in some way and wish all of you the best of luck.
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