Rottweiler Behavioral Questions

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Rottweiler Behavioral Questions

This is a discussion on Rottweiler Behavioral Questions within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I have a Rottweiler that i socialized very well from 2 months of age with people and dogs of all shapes and sizes. I have ...

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Old 03-03-2018, 05:56 PM
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Rottweiler Behavioral Questions

I have a Rottweiler that i socialized very well from 2 months of age with people and dogs of all shapes and sizes. I have not had a single issue until recently I have noticed behavior I do not like and want to figure out the root cause of this behavior. There are several specific things he does, could someone let me know why they think he does this / what causes this behavior? From there I can work on changing it. FOR INFO- I got him when he was 8 weeks old, purebred rottweiler from excellent champion bloodlines (feel free to ask if you know the breed well), he turns two years old in five days.

I want to also stress my dog is very friendly (for being extremely aloof) he is ok with people and is fairly submissive around other dogs. He is even great with my neighbors chihuahua pack which he runs around with every day. He is also intact.

Behavior issue #1- He loves to play with other dogs and does not show them aggression for any reason. In fact, he allows other dogs to hump him and does nothing about it (which i find funny). He even is tolerant enough where if another smaller dog attacks him, he will avoid confrontation, or shake the dog off, never responds aggressively. Here is the issue. When I am at the dog park, if another dog owner picks up their dog, he will go after them, jumping on the owner and snarling at both the owner and the dog, snapping teeth. He has not injured someone but i am concerned with this behavior and want to understand why someone picking up their dog is a HUGE trigger for him. This is my biggest issue.

Issue #2- I came home to visit my parents today. He knows them fairly well, but only see's them maybe once every 4 months. When they hug me, he runs up and jumps on them from behind and just stands there with his paws on their back. He doesn't bite or snarl, but he makes it very clear he is RIGHT THERE with me. What is causing this behavior? he does not get excited or jump on guests, only when the guests hug or physically contact me. I understand he is a Rottweiler so I am wondering if this is a protective measure. But i also understand he needs to know when to protect and when not to protect. I don't even know if this is protection. Thoughts?

Issue #3- the carpet in my parents home is very dark. At night he was chewing on a bone. My dad walked in and tripped over him once. Then stupidly, he walked in 5 minutes later and stepped on his arm. He jumped up and "warning bit" him. Didnt draw blood, barely left a tiny mark, but he did contact him with his teeth which i know is NOT OK. Why did he do this to my dad who he is fairly familiar with?

I understand that I have work to do but I am also proud of the dog I have raised. He has many many excellent qualities and is great with tiny dogs, cats, kittens, children, and people of all types. I am just looking to better understand these recent behavior issues that have just started to occur. I do basic things like wait for food till I say its ok to eat, he knows all basic commands, etc. So I like to think he knows I am on top. I have never had any issues with him challenging ME PERSONALLY.


Thank you in advance
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Old 03-04-2018, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Rottweiler589 View Post
I have a Rottweiler that i socialized very well from 2 months of age with people and dogs of all shapes and sizes. I have not had a single issue until recently I have noticed behavior I do not like and want to figure out the root cause of this behavior. There are several specific things he does, could someone let me know why they think he does this / what causes this behavior? From there I can work on changing it. FOR INFO- I got him when he was 8 weeks old, purebred rottweiler from excellent champion bloodlines (feel free to ask if you know the breed well), he turns two years old in five days.

I want to also stress my dog is very friendly (for being extremely aloof) he is ok with people and is fairly submissive around other dogs. He is even great with my neighbors chihuahua pack which he runs around with every day. He is also intact.

Behavior issue #1- He loves to play with other dogs and does not show them aggression for any reason. In fact, he allows other dogs to hump him and does nothing about it (which i find funny). He even is tolerant enough where if another smaller dog attacks him, he will avoid confrontation, or shake the dog off, never responds aggressively. Here is the issue. When I am at the dog park, if another dog owner picks up their dog, he will go after them, jumping on the owner and snarling at both the owner and the dog, snapping teeth. He has not injured someone but i am concerned with this behavior and want to understand why someone picking up their dog is a HUGE trigger for him. This is my biggest issue.

Issue #2- I came home to visit my parents today. He knows them fairly well, but only see's them maybe once every 4 months. When they hug me, he runs up and jumps on them from behind and just stands there with his paws on their back. He doesn't bite or snarl, but he makes it very clear he is RIGHT THERE with me. What is causing this behavior? he does not get excited or jump on guests, only when the guests hug or physically contact me. I understand he is a Rottweiler so I am wondering if this is a protective measure. But i also understand he needs to know when to protect and when not to protect. I don't even know if this is protection. Thoughts?

Issue #3- the carpet in my parents home is very dark. At night he was chewing on a bone. My dad walked in and tripped over him once. Then stupidly, he walked in 5 minutes later and stepped on his arm. He jumped up and "warning bit" him. Didnt draw blood, barely left a tiny mark, but he did contact him with his teeth which i know is NOT OK. Why did he do this to my dad who he is fairly familiar with?

I understand that I have work to do but I am also proud of the dog I have raised. He has many many excellent qualities and is great with tiny dogs, cats, kittens, children, and people of all types. I am just looking to better understand these recent behavior issues that have just started to occur. I do basic things like wait for food till I say its ok to eat, he knows all basic commands, etc. So I like to think he knows I am on top. I have never had any issues with him challenging ME PERSONALLY.


Thank you in advance

Hi

I'll work backwards here... Issue 3: If someone tripped over me or trod on my arm I'd be inclined to react as well. She's issuing a warning which is fair enough if she's been startled or hurt. Maybe you could put a flourescent strip on her collar so that she can be seen.

Issue 2: I would say is just normal protective behavior for this type of dog and should be praised rather than chastised. You may be glad of it one day when the person supposedly hugging you is really doing something threatening.

Issue 1: This one I'm not so sure about, but I'm inclined to think she may be being protective towards the dog that is picked up. I know you said she snaps at the dog as well, but it's all I can think of. Have you tried picking up a dog yourself? I'd be interested in how she would react to that

Regards Lynsey
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Old 03-04-2018, 07:49 PM
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I can't really help with issue #1 but do agree it would be interesting to see how he reacts to you picking up a dog.

Issue #2 Could you maybe put him in a sit stay before engaging in the hug? Not sure if this is feasible every time since I know hugs are not always planned.

Issue #3 don't really think this is a behavioral problem he reacted instinctively to something that hurt him while he was sleeping. My dog did this the other night to my mom. He was in deep sleep, snoring, twitching etc and she stepped/tripped over him. He snapped at her it's instinct to them to react like this. He did have a very apologetic look on his face after lol so he didn't do it out of aggression or anything. I would just maybe put a glow in the dark collar on him when you are at their house to make him easier to see.
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:40 AM
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I don't think any of these behaviors themselves are dangerous just keep training to make sure he listens to you consistently. I have a large mixed breed dog who's also very protective.
He jumps up anytime anyone picks up a dog at the dog park and is obsessive about it even if he ignored the dog before. It's not aggression towards the dog, since usually people pick up little dogs or puppies to either calm them down or get them out of trouble. My dog is very gentle and friendly with little dogs and puppies and not at all aggressive with other dogs in general. Interestingly he doesn't react at all at home when I pick up or carry either of my cats around. This makes me think he's worried and trying to protect the dogs at the park. I've occasionally picked up or had to catch small dogs or puppies who jumped up too high and were about to fall off a high agility thing and he's never reacted other than with a friendly sniff. Nor has he reacted to stronger people picking him up. A few men at the park have occasionally lifted him or at the vet to get him on an exam table. He's 85 pounds and I can't lift him myself. The fact that he doesn't care about being lifted and doesn't react when I lift other dogs or my cats makes me think he's trying to protect the other dogs from their owners. I've just worked on improving his recall with high value treats in all situations.
My pup also doesn't like strangers in the apartment or anyone hugging or touching me. I have a small apartment and he doesn't like anyone sitting on the bed. I let him sleep with me so I think he's being both protective and possessive. Even if I welcome the person in and show him they're a friend he's friendly but glued to my side. He'll stare at them non-stop and follow them everywhere. He keeps himself glued to me and physically pushes himself between me and the person at all times even with people he knows well. He doesn't stand with paws on their shoulders as I'm very firm about no jumping but he freaks people out even though he's friendly.
As for the growling and snapping, if your dog was sound asleep and dreaming and startled by being tripped over and felt kicked, I wouldn't blame him. I'd get violent if I was woken up like that too. Give him his own safe place to sleep where he won't feel vulnerable in his sleep even when you're visiting. Why can't he sleep on his own bed in a corner of your room when you stay in your parents house?
When my mom was alive and lived with me due to being disabled, she once stepped on one of the old cats who was stretched out asleep in the hall in the middle of the night. The cat was dark colored and my mom didn't turn on the light so didn't see her a d stepped right on her stomach. 200 pound human stepping on sleeping stomach of ten pound cat was not good. The poor cat was awoken to sudden pain in her vulnerable belly and freaked out and attacked my mom. Who had to go to the ER for iv antibiotics for the deep puncture wounds all over her foot and leg. The cat lived to be nineteen we'd had her from a tiny kitten and she'd never been aggressive with people. She'd simply been awoken in severe pain and thought she was being attacked. Definitely not a good situation but preventable with nightlights, having the dog sleep in a safe area, glow in the dark collars, etc. Why out him in a vulnerable situation for him and people?
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Old 03-05-2018, 10:11 AM
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They all sound like protective instincts coming into play to me. He sounds like a good dog for not taking it any further than he did. I agree with having him hold a sit when you dont want him to take the actions you've described. Guarding breeds were designed to have a measure of free thinking, and the desire to take control of certain situations. If it were me, I'd have him hold a sit, and let him see that YOU are in control of the situation, you dont need his help right then. Then praise and reward for behaving how you want.
Goal here is to show him that you expect him to let you deal with things, but you also understand that he's there if you need him. Similar behaviors to my german shepherds and bullmastiffs. He sounds like a really good balanced dog to me that just needs to be taught in clear terms that his place in the scheme of things is to be backup.....not the first line of defense.
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Old 03-05-2018, 12:19 PM
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Thank you everyone for your ideas. So I did do an exercise last night where I had both of my parents hug me while i had him in a down/stay. The first few times he jumped on them like i described. Then i got him to do what i wanted and stay calm throughout and rewarded him for it. He truly is a great dog, and i dont want to make him not protective, but you are correct that he needs to know when to protect and when its ok to just chill out. The reaction to him picking up dogs...it is still a mystery to me. He will actaully act aggressively towards both the owner and the dog being picked up even if its his friend. So I'm still confused about the root cause, but I know that i can work on it by doing essentially the same exercise I did with my parents hugging me. Thank you all again
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