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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My young male is 11 months old,
Hes been socialised daily with many different dogs since he was 12 weeks old.
Very well tempered and mannered around other dogs, gentle with small dogs, calm with nervous dogs etc..never enjoyed the company of rude over excited dogs, stands up for himself when other dogs tried to bully him etc and that was the general case.

The first instance of him being in a definite altercation was when a smaller dog came to greet him quite abruptly and then proceeded to growl and snap at my dog, my rottie span around putting his bum in the dogs face but the dog continued to bite at him, until the owner managed to grab her dog and pick him up. As she picked him up the dog was still snapping and trying to bite mine so mine grabbed onto his bum, he let go after a few seconds leaving no bite marks no nothing!

Since then he has taken a wide birth of this dog.
Another incident happened recently when my rottie ran upto a dog on the lead (completely my fault, I didn't see the dog come round the corner before I had chance to recall mine).
The leashed dog snarled and lunged at mine, mine lunged backwards but the owner of the other dog picked his dog up and again the bum bite happened!
No marks again left on the other dog.

Hes young and still in training but I'm wanting to know if this behaviour can be addressed through training?
I don't want him to always have to go back at aggressive dogs if the situation unexpectedly arises. I want him to come back to me without feeling the need to "fight" back..I use the word fight loosely as he's never injured another dog at all.
Hes been injured himself by dogs attacking him on leash etc but he's never caused any physical harm to a dog..although I appreciate it must be scary for other dog owners.
He has good recall and good social skills but some times these unexpected things happen.


Anyone been through anything similar with their rotties?

I try control which dogs he socialises with for example, he has a very calm dog he plays with the same age as him that he has great energy with.
Then there's a smaller dog that is very tenacious and over excitable that he gets along with but I prefer him not to be around that energy.

Sometimes an on lead or off lead dogs turns up unexpectedly and I have no choice but to use recall but if that fails I want the piece of mind that my dog doesn't need to engage in ay negative behaviour if the other dog displays that.
 

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Your pup is maturing, and you may have to change where, and with what dogs he can be with. Rottweilers as a breed in general can be dog aggressive. It's part of the breed makeup and it does not matter how much you socialize them when they are young. Maturity will bring these traits in him. I would suggest you stop taking him to places where he is going to meet up with other dogs that can, or will be aggressive. Let him enjoy the company of dogs he already knows and does well with. He does not need to be meeting strange dogs. He may have enough one day with a rude, or snappy dog, and kill one. :( Does not matter if it's the small dogs fault...the Rottweiler will be blamed.

Has he been to obedience classes?? This is the best way to teach him to be under control in a class environment with all sorts of different dogs around him. Please do not set him up to fail by allowing him around rude, snappy dogs. This is not the breed for the dog park...way too many things that you cannot control.:(
 

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You can’t control what your dog does on instinct. If your using a retractable lead you should stop immediately! Your leash should be no longer than six feet for example. You should be more alert than your dog. You should not have surprises. My six year old female loves other dogs but she will not meet strange dogs especially on leash by my choice. She is off leash quite a bit but I spend hours with her weekly on this activity. My recall is great but she has earned that privilege by not being dog aggressive. By rare chance she is off leash and meets another dog she is calm and not aggressive.
That being said I never go to dog runs when other dogs are there, and as a rule, not fond of most dog parks for the lack of leadership displayed by owners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You can’t control what your dog does on instinct. If your using a retractable lead you should stop immediately! Your leash should be no longer than six feet for example. You should be more alert than your dog. You should not have surprises. My six year old female loves other dogs but she will not meet strange dogs especially on leash by my choice. She is off leash quite a bit but I spend hours with her weekly on this activity. My recall is great but she has earned that privilege by not being dog aggressive. By rare chance she is off leash and meets another dog she is calm and not aggressive.
That being said I never go to dog runs when other dogs are there, and as a rule, not fond of most dog parks for the lack of leadership displayed by owners.
Unfortunately he was off lead both occasions I described. One occasion it was a dog he had met and got along with fine but this particular time the other dog decided to try fight mine. The 2nd time again was off leash and it was my fault completely as I should have kept him on leash until we were around the corner...he has previously acted calm towards aggressive on leash dogs so this was a complete surprise to me and now obviously I will never allow that to happen again.
I never use a retractable lead always a short leash when he is on leash. I don't allow him to meet dogs on leash anyway when I can control it.
So by nature your girl is calm in the face of an aggressive dog?
I guess that's what I was asking, I know rots are dominant by nature and especially males so I'm guessing my boy's "won't back down" trait is more of his nature than a training issue?

Hope that makes sense.

I hear you, you don't take her to places you know there will be multiple untrained dogs, tbh neither do I. I make sure it's 5am in the park so it's quiet, this was just an unfortunate event that I've learnt from.
It was a double edge sword of me not seeing the dog on lead and his recall being missed because of this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your pup is maturing, and you may have to change where, and with what dogs he can be with. Rottweilers as a breed in general can be dog aggressive. It's part of the breed makeup and it does not matter how much you socialize them when they are young. Maturity will bring these traits in him. I would suggest you stop taking him to places where he is going to meet up with other dogs that can, or will be aggressive. Let him enjoy the company of dogs he already knows and does well with. He does not need to be meeting strange dogs. He may have enough one day with a rude, or snappy dog, and kill one. :( Does not matter if it's the small dogs fault...the Rottweiler will be blamed.

Has he been to obedience classes?? This is the best way to teach him to be under control in a class environment with all sorts of different dogs around him. Please do not set him up to fail by allowing him around rude, snappy dogs. This is not the breed for the dog park...way too many things that you cannot control.:(
I was wondering if it was a maturity thing, I just wanted other people's experiences to confirm my thoughts.
Tbh, this was very early in the morning when only dogs he knows/has proven over months that he gets on with. Nice calm well trained dogs, it was a new dog that entered the park that he had the issue with.
I've just contacted a dog trainer with alot of exp with rotties, he's coming over next week to suggest some things we can work on so I am taking this seriously.


You've pretty much confirmed what I thought overall though, he's not going to be the social butterfly he was a pup with every dog and that's fine, I will make sure he's only in suitable company from now on and continue with his training.
Thank you for your help
 

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Use this as an example to get more complete training in. He needs more private time with you. I use several themes with my dog. I’d use her strong instinct to smell by doing tracking. Mostly deer and coyotes. We have walked up on several both. I’m a firm believer that if you don’t have control of your dog off leash then by relaying on the leash you render the relationship to be less complex more about direct control. Which is fine but if you like to travel and be about it’s nice to have strong bonds that are accustomed to challenges.
I also use a ball for retrieving but mostly I use it at night where she has to use the smell of the ball to find it. It’s quite impressive to watch. Try that one. They get very stimulated tracking.
Unfortunately he was off lead both occasions I described. One occasion it was a dog he had met and got along with fine but this particular time the other dog decided to try fight mine. The 2nd time again was off leash and it was my fault completely as I should have kept him on leash until we were around the corner...he has previously acted calm towards aggressive on leash dogs so this was a complete surprise to me and now obviously I will never allow that to happen again.
I never use a retractable lead always a short leash when he is on leash. I don't allow him to meet dogs on leash anyway when I can control it.
So by nature your girl is calm in the face of an aggressive dog?
I guess that's what I was asking, I know rots are dominant by nature and especially males so I'm guessing my boy's "won't back down" trait is more of his nature than a training issue?

Hope that makes sense.

I hear you, you don't take her to places you know there will be multiple untrained dogs, tbh neither do I. I make sure it's 5am in the park so it's quiet, this was just an unfortunate event that I've learnt from.
It was a double edge sword of me not seeing the dog on lead and his recall being missed because of this.
No she’s is not calm but she really does not want my hands on her so she listens well! I would describe her as not dog aggressive which only means she’s not interested in initiating fights. I’m very responsible owner who walks his dog like you early mornings and after dark ( kids , job and family obligations) off leash I used a leash this am because she wasn’t listening. No big deal. It’s a reward thing with her. In the woods she always off leash. See my other post.

Before anyone gets in an uproar I’m not overly affectionate with her and she is not overly affectionate up until recently. She’s six! So the “hands of god “ is an often used quote I use when instructing owners. Often times when large breeds fight it’s hard to separate them because there is no fear of them being handled. Rotties hate being handled so when I touch her I want her to assume it’s the hand of god that’s touching her. How do I achieve that. I always feed by hand, there is never a moment where I don’t address her poor behavior nor the opposite where I don’t display strong calm assertive leadership. I tell my friends all the time, one of the reasons I don’t have a pistol permit is because I feel like I’m carrying a weapon as I assume the responsibility of having a well behaved dog ( when appropriate) off leash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just thought I'd give an update,
The dog trainer came round today and made some great points.
He said my boy is a sweet natured intelligent rott and he's just lacking a little attention and mental stimulation from me. He showed me some great ways to challenge his mind and control his behaviour. He also advised to not let him off the lead until I can trust he's more interested in me, and he reassured me that l if I give him enough attention and stimulation that he wouldn't even miss socialising with other dogs.
This put my mind at ease and I can't wait to get to work on more training & some agility too!
Needless to say, after an hr qith the trainer he is as tired and calm as he is after a 3 hr walk! So happy I invested in him and will definitely carry on doing so!
 

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Thanks for the positive update!! I think many dog owners make the mistake of allowing a dog off lead way too early before they have tons of training under their belt. A good recall can take years to train. The leash is your friend.

Dogs really don't need to play with other dogs...they need their owner's to train and give them their attention. Some breeds do better around other dogs, and some breeds like Rottweilers do better playing and training with their owners.
:)

Keep up the good work, and check in with your progress. Just a word of warning....often male Rottweilers turn into real jug heads around 18 months of age. Call the trainer if needed to get him back on track again if he decides to not listen to you at that time...and work through it. By 2 years of age...they do settle.;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the positive update!! I think many dog owners make the mistake of allowing a dog off lead way too early before they have tons of training under their belt. A good recall can take years to train. The leash is your friend.

Dogs really don't need to play with other dogs...they need their owner's to train and give them their attention. Some breeds do better around other dogs, and some breeds like Rottweilers do better playing and training with their owners.
:)

Keep up the good work, and check in with your progress. Just a word of warning....often male Rottweilers turn into real jug heads around 18 months of age. Call the trainer if needed to get him back on track again if he decides to not listen to you at that time...and work through it. By 2 years of age...they do settle.;)
Yes I've heard about the 18month stage 🤦‍♀️ definitely! Il keep updating our progress and as you say, if we have any issues in the meantime our trainer is brilliant so I'm very positive!
 
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