Protection and my Rottweiler!

by Moe-Slow
(Baltimore, MD )

Doggie B'day Party- My lil'girl at 5 months

Doggie B’day Party- My lil’girl at 5 months

I have a two year old girl – She’s my first and I had her since she was 8 weeks. I live alone (w/an old cat) and thought to get a dog for companionship and protection.

I’ve never raised a large guard type dog before and researched this breed prior to acquiring her. Everyone I spoke to and everything I read stressed ‘socializing’.

Thus begin socializing- I took her everywhere with me – visited friends/family, Pet Smarts/Petco, car dealership/repairs- we did formal obedience training, arranged puppy play dates, doggie daycamp, she even attended a puppy birthday party. I think I over did it with the socialization business. I believe I’ve turned her into the sweetest, friendliest, most playful and very affectionate dog ever. She’s friendly to other animals as well as people. Everyone that crosses her path she wants to play with. She’s never, ever shown aggression to any one. She’s just too happy when strangers (workers/repairmen) come to my house/yard.

I love my dog to death and I know she loves me – she’s definitely covered the companionship business – she keeps me laughing and I would not trade her for a million bucks. But I am a bit concerned about her protection abilities. Should I invest in another dog to cover that area?

Hi Moe-Slow
My personal opinion on this is ‘No’ :o)

You’ve done a great job of socializing your dog and I only wish that every Rottie could have the same opportunities, it would do wonders for this breeds reputation! This does not take away her natural desire to protect you, that’s hard-wired into her brain and if she felt that you were threatened or at risk I have no doubt that she’d defend you. With her life.

Most dogs of any breed will protect their owners if they’re under threat, but their ability to protect (imagine a dachshund for example) is limited by their size and to some extent their inherent breed-specific tendencies. A Rottweiler is capable of following through on that desire and that’s why socialization and raising a well-balanced dog is SO important. They must never be indiscriminately aggressive, or fearful and so on, as the risk of serious trouble is too high.

Dogs have a heightened perception of emotions and situations, and if you were afraid of someone or they were behaving in a threatening way towards you…. or someone came into your house unannounced in the night… then I am confident that she would do what was necessary. Rotties don’t bite unless it’s necessary, but tend to use their size and strength to ‘corner’ or intimidate, a well-bred, socialized and trained Rottweiler is a discerning guard-dog and that’s what you want. Not one that goes off ‘half-cocked’ as it were.

One point here to note is that this ‘sixth sense’ should be taken seriously. If your girl loves everyone, but one day decides that there’s a particular person that she doesn’t like, or is suspicious of… take heed. This doesn’t mean they’re a criminal or serial killer, but there’s probably something about them that’s triggering your dogs’ reaction and I would trust that instinct over mine any day!

I don’t personally know your dog obviously, and I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule now and then, but I seriously doubt that your girl is going to let you down in that department if (and hopefully you’ll never be put in that situation) you are under threat. If she was a cowering, fearful, over-submissive dog, then possibly she’d try to run rather than defend you, but it doesn’t sound as if that’s the case. And even then, a dog like that can be very unpredictable and may attack for no good reason in reaction to a ‘perceived’ (but non-existent) threat because of their fear.

Unless you are seriously involved in Shutzhund or protection training, an owner shouldn’t try to raise a Rottie (or any other breed) as a guard dog because encouraging that trait is just too likely to lead to trouble in inexperienced or improper hands. The instinct to guard is INSTINCTIVE and a dog knows when to use it. Trying to encourage it, or to socialize less and so on in an attempt to have a protective dog just confuses the dog and interferes with that instinct.

I hope this helps put your mind at rest. Best of luck to you both.

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Sep 12, 2015


Protection NEW
by: 2Rotties

I have two Rotties, a male and female. She is very protective and dominant between them. The male is submissive to her and more socialized but he is stronger. I don’t have a doubt that she would protect me, however I wonder if he would be as protective with an intruder.

Mar 31, 2014



our ROTTIE is a rescue we didn’t know what her temperament is like. until my oldest came home at 2am. our ROTTIE sleeps toward the steps it seems like that’s her way of keeping a look out. but anyway we were surprised that her protective instinct stepped in. but I had to calm her down. I told my son next time you come home in turn on the light lol but my ROTTIE follows me everywhere I go. if I’m folding laundry she lays right by my feet till I move if I”m sitting at the computer table she’s right there except she’s got her back away from me I guess her way watching out for me. same as if I’m working in the back yard she has her back away from me or sits from a side. we love her to death she’s great with kids. kid’s come in and out of our house and she just lays there or is always happy to meet them at the door. and at the dog park she makes sure that I’m within her sights always making sure i’m still there. I couldn’t ask anymore from our dog. this is a wonderful breed to have

May 31, 2011


protective sweety
by: Connie

We have a five month old Rottie (mix). She is very well socialized and on the dog-playground rather over-submissive toward ‘older’ even way smaller dogs. But all of a sudden, Ziva started to tence up, started barking and growling still with her ball in her mouth. A young man entered the dog-park with a Bulldog he kept on the lead. Ziva was protecting our daughter and stud brave between her and the other dog. She senced right away that this dog might cause a threat as the young man told us later, he got this about three year old dog from a shelter, not socialized at all and plenty of other issues, one of them are little people (kids). Our baby is the sweetest little thing, but when it comes to her family, her sixty pounds weigh six tons. We love our Rottie

Sep 15, 2010


This is great
by: Sarah

My rottie baby it a year and he is the sweetest thing ever. We were worried that he lacks a protective instinct because he is so friendly to everyone and other animals. Reading this gives me a little peace of mind because I got a rottie because I have had stalkers and I wanted some protection. I hope I am never in a dangerous situation but now I feel a little safer knowing my baby will protect me.

Jun 06, 2010


Proctecion and my Rottie
by: Anonymous

Thanks so much for your response.

I just wanted to be reassured as she has never been in a threatening situation and as playful & friendly as she is it’s hard to tell how she would react. However, with her friendly -out going personality -she acknowledges me as her owner. When folks come to visit, Sasha is very happy to see them but never tries to leave with them. During visits from family -after all the pleasentries are over, she contines to follow me from room to room -as she does when we’re home alone. She also does this when we’re visiting family and friends. When I have to board her she is happy to see the folks at the kennel but keeps her eyes on me as they carry her back. So, it makes me happy that she’s not just a happy go lucky dog – that’s satified with anybody. But instead a friendly pup with a speicial bond with me.

My big girl is such a great dog/companion -she’s my first RottWeiler – she won’t be my last.

Thanks again for this site. It’s has been very helpful.

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