new rottweiler snapped at my wife

by rob

hi, i have had my rottweiler for 2 days she is 3 years old.

my wife was playing with her and she made a small growl but we thought she was just playing, then she snapped at her what should we do?

Hi Rob
Your Rottweiler is a full grown adult and you’ve only had her for a very short time, so you are going to need to go slowly here as you learn about her personality and you all adjust to the new situation.

I don’t know her background (and I’m not sure if you do or not) so it’s difficult to really assess her behavior without more information/knowledge. However, she is most likely feeling scared, anxious and defensive to some extent. It takes adolescent pups and older dogs longer to settle into a new environment and she needs to build up trust in you… just as you need to build trust in her.

Give her lots of love and a predictable routine to help her feel secure, but also use firm but loving discipline and set the ‘house rules’ from day one. If she growls or snaps, tell her ‘No’ in a low but firm voice, the same goes for any misbehavior on her part. But also reward her with praise and if appropriate a tasty treat, for good behavior.

Never use harsh, punitive punishment or ‘get in her face’ as this will put her in defense mode and most likely result in stubborn or combative behavior. Rotties respond best to positive, rewards-based training in a secure, loving environment.

I’d strongly recommend getting her enrolled in a formal obedience class so that you can get some ‘hands-on’ help in learning to communicate with her. It will help you establish your authority and speed up the bonding process.

If in spite of your efforts she continues to growl or snap I’d also recommend having her temperament evaluated by a professional dog trainer or behaviorist who is familiar with large guardian breeds. That way you can find the best way to move forward and to help her overcome any anxieties or ‘baggage’ she may be carrying.

I hope this helps and wish you lots of luck with your Rottie.

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Oct 29, 2011

New Rottie
by: Debby Kendall

When she first growled then snapped did she show her teeth,because if so this could be signs of Seperation Anxietie Disorder which can lead them to become fearfull, & when that happens they become Aggressive. This is a powerful breed & if you can gain her trust maybe you can work with her. But I suggest that you seek professional behaviorist help to guide you with her training. And as you work with her don’t get in her face or even touch her face. If you can, try to learn about her past. I wish you luck & I hope everything works out for the best for you & your wife.

PS: A Rottweiller Will Bite You Out Of Fear:

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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