Change in Temperament

by Madan Bhalla
(New Delhi, INDIA)

Dear Susan

My rottie, Shadow, is a very healthy, happy and is almost 2 years old now, i.e 1year and 11 months.

I have a couple of questions to ask:

1. What precautions to take before getting him mated; especially regarding possible communicable deseases; and

2. Since this would be the first time; I have been told that the pup takes on an aggressive temperament after mating.

Madan Bhalla
New Delhi

Hi Madan
First of all it’s important to be absolutely certain that your Rottweiler is of the quality in both temperament and conformation that is suitable for breeding. That includes his pedigree which should be full of both working and show champions if he is going to improve the breed – which is really the only reason to breed!

Also, I believe your dog isn’t really old enough to breed yet, I’d recommend waiting until he’s between a minimum of 2 1/2 to 3 years old so that he can be allowed to mature properly.

If that is all in place, then you need to be very careful about a selection of mate for him and make sure she complements him in all areas of temperament and body type etc. This needs a lot of research and time, if you do it right and both dogs are supreme quality you can get puppies that truly represent this awesome breed and are genetically sound. If you don’t take your time and make sure both dogs are of the best quality, then you could be in for all sorts of disappointments and won’t be doing the breed as a whole any good.

As for the health aspects, first of all make sure both dogs are fully vaccinated (and that these are current), and free from parasites, both internal and external and that they are in excellent general health.

In terms of communicable diseases, Brucellosis is the one that comes to mind. Both potential parents should be tested for this and cleared.

Learn what weaknesses are present in both dog’s bloodlines because there are many conditions which have a hereditary component (including the ‘biggies’ like hip/elbow dysplasia, eye problems, heart problems and so on). Both dogs should have their hips checked and pass a standard equivalent to an OFA ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’ (I’m not sure what this would be in India), also they should have their hearts and eyes tested and found to be healthy.

This is probably not everything you need to think about but it’s a good place to start. I’d suggest thinking long and hard about whether or not to breed your dog and if you do decide to go ahead, take everything very seriously and make sure you get everything above taken care of and check with your own veterinarian for any other recommendations or advice.

As for whether it will change his temperament, I can’t say that I believe mating a dog makes him ‘aggressive’ at all! If your dog has a sound temperament and is well trained, obedient, calm and friendly then he should still be that way after becoming a father.

I hope this helps and has given you something to think about. Best of luck.

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