aggressive rottie… she will only do as I say

by robert

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

Hi Robert
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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Nov 22, 2011

biggest love bug – i loved that tag NEW
by: Girish

There are times when they keep testing the rank in familiy.

I feel you must had ignored few of her attempts to challenge the rank and that lead to this prob.

contarary to many professional trainers sugetion of not allowing your pet on bed, sofa etc, we do that. if you can make your dog know his rank, i feel there is no such problem in that.

Grinning or barking back on family – UNACCEPTABLE

the moment you find such challenge a dog do to check his/her rank in the pack, rather make him dependant and obey the person he/she challenge.

its not unusual for a rotty to challenge the pack order periodically even after being very sweet, cool tempered.

whenever we feel he react any way we feel challenging or to show displeasure to any family member

example :
1) like open mouth to take away the hand or leg kept on him by any family member !
2) like show any sign of displeasure when we hug /hold / pull / or taking away things from him/her

the rule is NIFIL – nothing is free in life

make sure he/she is fed by the same person who he challenged. make him wait , obey command , sit stand stay with the feedin bowl in your hand 😀

a feeding bowl/treat in hand work more better than a batton 😀 for this big teddybears 😀

and dont forget, make him come to you feelign hungry . more he hungry he had to depend on the person who is feeding 😀

specially with childrens supervision of adult is recommended – but not very near. at a distance

just to avoid he/ she may try to jump up to grab the bowl and could hurt a child.

and any sign of he going to use his strength should be stopped with a loud shout by the person who he treat rank 1

all the best.

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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