If you are thinking about adding a dog to your family, there’s always a checklist to tick off before choosing what you believe will be the best dog for your family. If the dog you are specifically looking at is a Rottweiler, and if you have children, then the first question on your checklist will be “Are Rottweilers Good With Kids?”
The AKC (American Kennel Club) recognizes 192 breeds from toy breeds to the enormous giants of the dog world, and you can find the top ranking dogs on their website. Coming in at No. 8 is the Rottweiler. So we think it safe to assume there are a huge number of Rottweilers and children in the same households.
Let’s examine once and for all and answer this question “is a Rottweiler a good family dog”?
Is a Rottweiler a good family dog?
1. Rottweiler Temperament With Children
Before we can talk about the Rottweiler as a family pet we should understand their general temperament and personality. Why does this dog come in at No8 in the popularity rankings yet still generate so many myths about their aggressive personalities?
It’s fair to say they look intimidating, don’t they? They are large, powerful dogs and often used as guard dogs, in military service or the police. Regardless of what you might have heard, Rottweilers are not born vicious, nor do they have an unsound temperament. They are a cautious dog and approach “new things” with slight trepidation.
But we need to put this into a frame of reference. Any dog, be it a Yorkie or a Great Dane and every breed in between can turn nasty and hostile, if not socialized, loved, treated with respect, and properly trained. Extensive training is a must from early puppyhood with a Rottie. You can’t allow them to dominate or they will become overprotective. They don’t respond to anger or physical punishment. Treat your Rottie with respect and they are relatively easy to train.
But do Rottweilers make good pets? Yes, if you follow what we’ve just explained then you’ll find they love their families and will thoroughly enjoy being in the company of children. Rottweilers need regular exercise every day, and if they get plenty, they are calm and easy-going. They have a stubborn side to them, but once again intensive training will help with this. The AKC describes them as “playful and a gentle playmate”.
2. A Rottweiler With Babies
There are two scenarios to consider here. The first is if you introduced your Rottie to young children as a puppy. If so, introducing a new baby shouldn’t be much of an issue. They will understand this is a tiny human and respond accordingly.
If however this is your first child being introduced to your Rottie and he’s not had much interaction with children, then don’t rush the situation. Introduce them to each other gradually. Some suggest even bringing home something with the scent of the baby on it. Such as a blanket or an item of clothing and let your Rottie get accustomed to the scent.
You must include your Rottie with normal activities with the baby. A dog does not differ from the rest of us when jealousy creeps in. Don’t go shooing him away when he pokes his nose into matters, he’s curious and wants to be part of proceedings. Don’t leave your new baby and Rottie alone together. Even if he doesn’t mean to hurt the baby, his size and enthusiasm might prove harmful.
3. Do Rottweilers Make Good Pets?
First, we should discuss why we need to teach kids how to behave around any dog, not just Rottweilers.
Here is some quick and easy behavior to teach:
- Help your kids to understand that pulling on a pet’s fur, ears or tails can be painful for a dog. Every time you see them doing it, remind them it’s painful and stop them.
- Teach them the best way to pet and stroke a dog.
- Try to get them to understand that it’s not good to shout around a dog, especially a puppy, or to get them over-excited.
- Last, teach them not to hit a dog or puppy, with their hands or an object, like a toy. I’ve seen it many times where a young child is playing with a toy and then uses it to whack the poor animal.
As we mentioned earlier, Rottweilers love and will protect their family members. They are loyal and will attach themselves both physically and emotionally. However, you must involve them in your family as much as you can. They crave that interaction.
4. Are Rottweilers Good With Other Dogs?
This is going to depend on how well you have trained your Rottie. We mentioned earlier that socialization from a young puppy is key with a Rottweiler. The same goes for how he’s going to behave around other dogs. Without this they can be unfriendly to strange dogs, they may even consider them a threat.
We cannot say it often enough. They make a wonderful pet, but obedience training and very early socialization are crucial. If you honestly cannot give the proper time to this, you will not get the dog you hope for. And once again, the Rottweiler will get the blame.
The only way to make a Rottweiler good with kids is training and socialization. That means training and socializing the dog and training your children. You need all three things to create a calm, loving dog and not one that can turn aggressive.
Socializing and we mean at a very young age and lots of it. Let your puppy meet many people, children, and other dogs and puppies. Let him become accustomed to unusual sights and sounds. When you socialize correctly, they are not afraid of what’s going on around them; they don’t turn skittish or respond with aggression.
For your Rottweiler to be a good family dog, he will need help, training, socialization, and the love of his family.