how do I show my rottie who is master??


by Charlotte

Hello Sue,
I send you what seems like a million questions and I thank you for answering them all..

Zues has recently started growling at us. Mainly if he is asleep and he is startled. But last nite my husband rolled back the chair and accidently hit Zues. He growled and started showing his teeth.My husband pulled his choker and held it tight for a minute. Zues was unharmed but I felt that it maybe was to much. This is my first rottie and my husband’s second rottie. Is it necessary to use a choker collar or force to show a rottie who the master is???

I know they are a very stubborn breed I just don’t think that using force is good… Please help me understand the breed better.. Also would letting him on my bed cause this recent shift in his personality?

Thank you….

Hi Charlotte
You’re welcome to any help I can give you, that’s what this site is all about.

As for this recent development, it seems as though Zues is feeling very at home and secure now and is starting to try to ‘test the boundaries’ and house-rules. That is normal for an adult male, but it is something you definitely need to take charge of.

Growling when startled from sleep is very common in all breeds, and not really surprising. If he growls at you in that situation, tell him “NO growl” firmly, and continue whatever it was you were doing. He will learn that you’re not happy when he does that.

The episode with the chair definitely needed a stronger correction than just a verbal ‘No growl’, but Rottweilers don’t need heavy-handed or harsh discipline. In fact being overly pushy in correcting them can result in an increase in aggression and definitely triggers their stubborn streak. A dog knows when he’s done something that doesn’t please you and accepts a certain amount of correction without complaint, but if they feel it’s ‘too much’ then their inborn sense of cause-and-effect is upset and they get difficult.

I wouldn’t let him sleep on your bed, or up on the sofa or other furniture while he’s trying to be ‘bossy’. It gives him an inflated sense of his own importance. Choke chains can work for Rottweilers when being walked or corrected, but I actually prefer to use a prong-collar because although it LOOKS nasty and like it would hurt, it is actually much safer to use and less likely to cause injury…

Rotties are very strong and have dense neck muscles, they barely register being pulled on a choke chain and the amount of pressure required to make them feel it can actually bruise, or even crush, their larynx. However, with a prong collar it needs just a firm tug for them to be aware of the correction and no damage is done.

Rather than pull on the choke chain and keep the pressure on for a minute or more (which is both cruel and dangerous), it would be better to use a short, sharp ‘pop’ on the collar (and you may want to try a prong collar) combined with a verbal correction. Also getting hold of the loose skin on the back of his neck and giving it a quick shake while correcting him verbally may also work.

Zues isn’t a bad boy, this is normal canine behavior and a developmental phase. It’s up to you to show him both firmly AND lovingly what is okay and what isn’t. He will pick up on it quickly.

Best of luck, hope this helps.

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Feb 22, 2017


my one year rottie NEW
by: ahmed i ve adopted a one year rottie and it was very aggressive at its former home but when it reached here at my place it’s very lazy and silent what can i do coz i got to for guard.

Mar 16, 2011


thank you
by: charlotte thank you for the suggestions… we have starting using the scruff of his neck to correct him and it seems to be working better then other things we have tryed… I dont “pin” him just a slight tug on the scruff and tell him no…. we will have to see with time if this is going to have a long effect.. Thanks again…

Mar 14, 2011


by: Anonymous I know some wouldn’t really agree with this method, but I have owned 4 Rotts throughought my life and seems to work quite well. I use the pin method starting from birth to correct any actions that I disapprove of, nipping, chewing etc. Since starting from a young age while doing this it doesnt take hardly any effort at all to do so. Just a light grab of the scruff and light pressure pushing towards the floor they go to the laying postion and you hold there until they calm down, while saying no to what ever they have been doing wrong. At first you might have some opposition which is normal, you just have to be consistant with this sort of correction and it will become easier over time. I started this method because of my wife feeling powerless and intimidated by this breed but she is able to pin out 120lbs male with minimal effort and he knows who’s master after that point. He usually has a sorry demeanor right after and licks us in the face after the correction. You’ll find yourself doing this quite a few times a day until they get the point, but like I said overtime it gets far and few in between as time goes on. It only happens now when he wants to test the rules, typical Rott! To me this doesnt make him mean or aggressive at all its actually made him more of a big baby like rotts are

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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