With their affectionate and playful personalities, it comes as no surprise that Rottweilers were ranked the eighth most popular breed by the American Kennel Club last year. From their loyal tendencies to loving characteristics, you may be considering adding a Rottweiler to your family.
However, that begs the questions, “Are Rottweilers good with kids?”
Like with any powerful pet, it is important to do your homework and ensure that you are bringing a safe animal into your home. Rottweilers are historically service animals (police and work dogs), so they are both intelligent and loyal. These qualities make them wonderful family dogs; however, without adequate training, their sensitivity and strength can make them a poor fit for a household with children and other animals.
Since Rottweilers were some of the first dogs to work in the police force and military, people often wonder if they are the right fit for a family setting. If they have the potential to be so forceful and intimidating, is it possible for them to integrate well into family life?
The short answer is yes. One of the reasons Rottweilers were used as work dogs is because they are intelligent, driven, and love being loyal to their owners. However, due to their sensitive nature and muscular builds, in-depth training and socialization are essential.
Rottweiler Personality & Temperament
The first characteristic that makes a Rottweiler a great family dog is their energy and build. Their sturdy bodies give them the ability to withstand the not-so-gentle hugs of rambunctious children and the energy to exhaust the seemingly endless energy of hyper kids. Children are often unintentionally insensitive to animal’s personal space, dangling on them and playing too rough.
With a small dog such as a Chihuahua or Yorkie, this habit would be detrimental to the dog; however, Rottweilers can hold their own without being injured. Similarly, Rotties live for playtime. As task-driven dogs, playing fetch in the yard is something they love. Both your children and Rottweiler will love playing outside for hours until both have exhausted their energy.
Another attribute of Rottweilers is that they love being around their families. Rottweilers do not do well being alone for long periods of time and prefer to be in environments where they can be near their favorite humans. Rottweilers should not be chained up in the yard or left in a kennel. Even being left alone in the backyard for an extended period of time is an unpleasant scenario for an attentive Rottie.
Even if they are simply lounging, this affectionate breed prefers being in the same room as their family members. This quality makes Rotties great canine companions since most households have people coming in and out throughout the day. When left alone, Rottweilers often feel anxiety, which can lead to destructive behavior. If you are looking for a dog that can offer good company and companionship, a Rottweiler is the right dog for you.
One characteristic that sometimes gives Rotties a bad reputation, but can also be viewed as a benefit, is their protective nature. An overly protective dog can come off as aggressive.
However, when properly trained, a certain level of protection is an extremely positive attribute, especially in a family with small children. If you raise your Rottweiler around your children, he will view the kids as part of his pack and will serve as an extra set of eyes for you. Having a dog that is as loyal as they are protective can be a wonderful quality, especially with children.
Socializing Your Rottweiler
Rottweilers come in a range of personalities, which depends largely on the way they were raised. Most Rotties are not naturally social with strangers, and it is extremely important that they are heavily socialized from a young age. If Rottweilers are not exposed to strangers, especially children, from the time when they are puppies, it is likely that they will not do well in a family setting.
A Rottie that has never been exposed to children will likely be reserved and potentially dangerous if they feel threatened by the child. However, with proper socialization, Rotties can be loving family members, but they need the training to do so.
Rottweilers and Other Animals
Another common question is, “Are Rottweilers good with other dogs?” This is a tricky question, which depends on how the Rottie has been trained. Without plenty of socialization as a puppy, Rottweilers are often unfriendly toward dogs they are unfamiliar with and may perceive them as a threat.
In this case, bringing a Rottie into a household with other dogs may be a dangerous situation. Similarly, people often wonder, “Are Rottweilers good with cats?” Most Rotties do fine with cats when raised alongside them; however, if they are new to cats, they may view them as prey. In both cases, a leash introduction and proper desensitization training is key.
Rotties are muscular animals that have the potential to be dangerous if raised by an irresponsible owner, or they can be loving companions if given proper training and socialization. These pups are extremely loyal, making them wonderful family dogs, but it is important to ensure they are introduced to a variety of people so that they do not become overly protective and view your friends as a threat. If you can dedicate time to thoroughly training and socializing your Rottie, he will be an affectionate and loving companion to you and your family.