Temperament & Personality

Rottweilers are individuals, and their personalities range from serious and reserved to silly and fun loving. Some are one-person dogs, while others are affectionate even toward non-family members. Out of the same litter, one Rottie may have a high amount of drive, leading him to dismantle your living room for lack of anything better to do, while his mellow brother is happy to sit on the sofa with you eating popcorn. Whatever his personality, a proper Rottweiler is more likely to be calm and alert instead of nervous, shy, excitable, or hyperactive.

The Rottweiler is aloof, not in your face, but he will follow you around to ensure your safety. He doesn’t mind being by himself, which under certain circumstances can make him a good choice for people who work during the day. When he is with his family, he is inclined to be loving and sometimes even clownish.

It may surprise you to learn that the Rottie is not innately a guard dog. He is a thinking dog whose first reaction is to step back and look at a situation before taking action. It takes a high level of training for a Rottweiler to learn to step forward in situations.

It’s important to learn to read the Rottweiler’s behaviour. For instance, he is not typically a barker. If a Rottweiler is barking, you should pay attention and go see what has caught his interest.

Do not assume that just because your Rottweiler loves your children that he will love other children as well. That is not usually the case. Play between children and Rotties should always be supervised, especially when neighbour kids are around. If the Rottweiler thinks “his” children are being hurt, even if they’re not, he will step in to protect them.

Rottweilers are territorial and will not permit strangers onto their property or in their home unless their owner welcomes the person. Some Rottweilers will not even let people they know into the house if the owner isn’t there, which can be a problem if you need to have a pet sitter or some other person come in while you are gone.

Start training your Rottweiler puppy the day you bring him home. That little black-and-tan ball of fluff is capable of soaking up everything you can teach him. Do not wait until he is 6 months old to begin training, or you will have a much bigger, more headstrong dog to deal with. If possible, get him into puppy class by the time he is 10 to 12 weeks old, and socialize, socialize, socialize. However, be aware that puppy training classes require certain vaccines (like kennel cough) to be up to date, and many veterinarians recommend limited exposure to other dogs and public places until puppy vaccines (including Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza and Leptospirosis) have been completed. In lieu of formal training, you can begin training your puppy at home and socializing him among family and friends until puppy vaccines are completed.

Any dog, no matter how nice, can develop obnoxious levels of barking, digging, counter-surfing, and other undesirable behaviours if he is bored, untrained, or unsupervised. And any dog can be a trial to live with during adolescence. In the case of the Rottweiler, the “teen” years can start at 6 months and continue until the dog is about 3 years old.

Talk to the breeder, describe exactly what you’re looking for in a dog, and ask for assistance in selecting a puppy. Breeders see the puppies daily and can make uncannily accurate recommendations once they know something about your lifestyle and personality.

The perfect Rottweiler doesn’t spring fully formed from the whelping box. He’s a product of his background and breeding. Whatever you want from a Rottie, look for one whose parents have nice personalities and who has been well socialized from early puppyhood.

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