Rottweilers Online Forums banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a male Rottie named Django, who is turning 1 in a weeks time. We have been socializing him with both dogs and people from a very young age (as soon as he was vaccinated we had him out!) and we still take him to his training classes. All in all he is an excellent dog and extremely well behaved.
However, as soon as he senses somebody is nervous of him, he seems to become wary and will bark and growl at them, annoyingly, this include children as well. He will try to avoid them if he can but there was one instance where we were at a vets (the vet was very cold and stand-offish, not very friendly toward the dog at all) and he snapped at the vet because he could not get away (We did teach him bite inhibition when he was little and so thankfully did not bite the vet hard at all). He typically does not like anybody he doesn't know stroking over the top of his head. Myself and my family can do anything to him but unfortunately he is unsure of strangers unless they are happy and cheerful and excited.
I'd like for him to forget being worried about people who are nervous of him and simply ignore them as it's a sad truth that rottweilers are perceived by many to be a breed to be afraid of and him barking and growling at those fearful few isn't helping the stigma!
There was also an incident last week at class where a new trainer was sitting in the room. She said hello to Django and he licked her hand, all seemed fine. However while the room was quiet he just barked at her out of the blue and started to growl. The main trainer told her not to look him in the eyes and she admitted she had been staring at him. She then avoided his gaze and he was fine for the rest of the session.
Of course I know dogs can sense fear but does anybody have any experience with a dog doing any of this and how did you help them be less effected by these feelings?

He was castrated last week (not my choice, my mothers) as after months of nothing but love and play with all other dogs, he started to show aggression toward other intact male dogs.

This is not our first rott and the previous one was trained/socialized in exactly the same way and the only problem we had with him was slight aggression toward intact males, which neutering took care of. We are feeling a bit like failures at the moment :(

Happy to answer any questions or provide any background if necessary.

Thanks,
Katie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
490 Posts
I had one Rottweiler, Rocky, who I was afraid to take among people because of his unpredictability. I know the dog can sense fear and will react to it. What I learned was it was not just the fear of other people that was making him react but also my own anxiety and fear "what if he bites someone."

I also learned that you never try to stroke or pat any dog's head unless you and the dog are already friends. The dog sees that hand coming as a sign of aggression. You stroke their chest and not the head. (these are all rules I read somewhere and have used successfully.) Same thing goes with the looking the dog in the eyes or even smiling at them. Showing your teeth is a sign of aggression to them as is staring them down.

What my dog's trainer told me when I went over all of these issues, was that it was fear aggression. We got over it with the training and adequate exercise to keep energy from building up. I would purposefully take my dog(s) to the park to tire them out a bit before going to the vet. Then they are more calm and less likely to be aggressive. Of course it helps to have a vet who is not afraid of Rottweilers. I've had those who love them and those who are scared of them because of their size and menacing looks.

Me getting too excited would also get a bad reaction when I was teaching my female Bella to walk on a leash. Every time she would "get it right" and walk calmly next to me without pulling or biting at the leash, I would get overly excited at the progress we were making. Well, when I got excited Bella got excited and started jumping around like a wild animal. I had to learn to control not only my anxious and fear emotions but my happy emotions too.

It is not easy having to have a dog be around people who don't know how to act around a strange dog. I've had several incidences when people just come right up to us while on walks and the dog thinks they are out to harm me and would go into protection mode. I considered making a shirt that said "Beware of Dog" and wearing it on walks ;)0

At one year old, your dog is still pretty young and like a human teenager, will go through rebellious stages. Just keep on training. Good Luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
651 Posts
I have nothing much to add here other than all fixed male dogs tend to dislike unfixed male dogs. That is normal. Every child should be taught to never stare a dog in the eyes, because it is a challenge to them. Adults should know this as well, but kids are so often eye level with dogs, so for them it's even more important to know. Andrea is right, when you anticipate a problem with your dog, they pick up your emotions, they pick up on your anticipation, so you should try not to anticipate a problem (easier said than done). They feel you tense up on the other end of the leash, they can feel your emotions through your body language.

You can't prevent other people from being afraid of your dog...that's going to happen. You can try to nullify the affect they have on your dog by being calm. If the dog senses you aren't worried they will tend to relax more. It takes time with a young dog too... they want to do what you want them to do, and if they think they need to protect you, well, then they step up their game. It's a learning experience for them to understand what you want them to do.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top