Are they really mean dogs? Should I be scared of one?
These are questions now being ask about certain breeds, such as the Rottweiler. And yet, many people, such as our family, have Rottweilers in their home, around their children and other animals. The people that really know the Rott would tell you they are a gentle, loyal and loving dog. So why all the bad publicity?
There is a responsibility that comes with owning any large breed dog. Chaining or tying a dog will make most breeds mean. Leaving a dog alone in a backyard can make a dog mean. Mistreating a dog can produce a mean dog. Some dogs, due to particular breeding practices by unscrupulous people, have a tendency toward meanness. The statements in this paragraph apply to ALL breeds of dogs, not just "certain" ones.
Also, many people buy the Rottweiler because they want a mean dog. They delight in making the dog growl and bite when they're young, then have too much dog on their hands when they are large. Sometimes in a family, only one person handles the dog and the other family members are frightened. Thus the dog learns he can be higher in the ranking of his "pack". All large dogs should be taught that every member in the family is "alpha". In other words, that people have a higher ranking order then the dog. In a pack, a dog only obeys the dogs who are "alpha" to him. If any member of the family is afraid of a family dog, they must be willing to work with the dog and learn how to handle him/her or the dog should not be in the home. Otherwise, you are asking for trouble.
Traits vary with the individual dog to some degree, although all have a strong territorial instinct and will defend their master's home, car and property from intruders. A person does not have to "make" a dog protective. This comes with the territory. They instead should concentrate on teaching the dog to trust and love people instead of making the dog mean. The gentlest of Rottweilers still have the strong protective instinct needed to protect their family without making them mean to everyone.
Rottweilers have also been known to bully or bluff their owners or other people, a trait that is most disconcerting. This problem is easily prevented through early obedience training and the development of a mutually rewarding working relationship. Many families have purchased a Rottweiler for its protectiveness, only to discover that it brings with it a considerable moral and legal responsibility. Problems arise quickly; the dog may not be able to distinguish between a bear-hug greeting of a family member, or a cherished friend, and the hostile advances of an intruder, particularly if the greetings between parties includes loud shouts, laughter or screams. Dogs must be carefully schooled to accept your friends into your home but physical contact should be approached carefully until the dog realizes that you belong.
Strangers must never come into your yard unannounced, the dog doesn't know the difference between your brother and a burglar. Although the Rottweiler does not usually bite without provocation, even being cornered and held by one of these dogs is a very unnerving experience for meter men, delivery persons or neighbors wandering into the yard while the owner is absent. People expected to be in contact with the dog while the owners are absent should be thoroughly familiar with the dog.
Are they vicious? A properly bred, socialized and trained Rottweiler is not inherently vicious. The rapid rise in popularity of the breed has attracted many irresponsible breeders who are only interested in making a profit, and don't care what damage is done to the breed in the process.
The Rottweiler is a very large robust dog and should only be owned and handled by people who can handle the dog without fear and who are willing to take the time to give the dog proper training and socialization. Training should be done by a professional trainer in a class to socialize your dog to other dogs and people. Training you dog yourself is not a good idea for a Rott owner, they miss the socializing with other dogs and people, something very important.
Even with all of this is done, it is important to remember the dog's natural instinct to protect you, your family, your home and your automobile. Never "assume" the dog will like the stranger who walks in. Teach the dog how to "make a friend" and show the people how to approach your dog. Never say, "Oh, don't worry, he wont bite". Always be cautious when you dog is around strangers and teach others to be the same.
If you will properly train and work with your dog, he will become your best friend and a family member. If you are looking for a mean dog, then look elsewhere. We breed our dogs to become family members, not vicious animals. We love all animals and this breed in particular. Help us give them a good reputation.
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Breed-specific ordinances are short-sighted and ineffective because...
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When you do rescue work, you are in contact with all breeds of dogs. You learn, first hand, there is no such thing as a "bad breed". There are dogs who were taught to be "bad". Taught by humans.
Some people pick a breed that looks mean and work to make him mean. Some people breed and raise dogs for fighting. Some people get a "yard ornament". They just want a large dog to stay in the fence. Dogs are "pack" animals. They want and need companionship. When they do not have this, in frustration, they can turn mean. Just like a person left alone can turn bitter. Then, when the dog hurts someone, they blame the breed, not the irresponsible owners.
For instance, the Rottweiler is a very loving breed. We get Rotts all the time. Nearly all of them are so loving. In Germany, they roamed free, herding cattle and sheep. No one had to worry about them hurting anyone. That should tell you something about the nature of the breed. What has changed in America? People, not the breed.
We had a large Rott, at pet adoption one day. A couple walked in with a small girl about 2. She saw this big boy, threw up her hands, and ran over and gave him a big hug. The parents nearly died on the spot. The "vicious" Rott merely looked up at me with a "oh, boy, another one" look. He is the type of Rott that a responsible owner has. We did not worry about him hurting anyone because of his gentle nature.
We should prosecute the people, not ban the dogs. The dog fighters will just take another breed and make them mean. They did this years ago to the German Shepard. Everyone thought the Shepard was "mean" and wanted to ban them. They also are a gentle dog but, like people, can be made mean.
Please help us keep these wonderful breeds and prosecute the people who work to make the dogs mean. Vote for legislation that stops the abuse to animals, that puts the guilt where it should be, on the people.
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I was brought into this world by a loving breeder who has spent the last 30 years in loving dedication to my breed. I was trained by a man or woman who has been equally dedicated to my breed.
Over the last few years, you have gotten e-mails from people who said I was vicious, because criminal humans made less than .0001 % of my breed into criminal dogs. And because human parents never taught their children how to respect and stay away from large animals of any kind.
You wanted my breeder to abandon her love and care of my breed. You wanted her to never make another dog like me. You wanted to keep me in a small pen and make me wear a muzzle. Some of you, wanted us all killed for no reason. I never growled at a human. I never attacked a human. But you said I was a potential danger and I needed to be destroyed. You wanted the same done to my brothers and sisters in the working dog world. You came for the pit bulls, you came for the German Shepherds, you came for the Dobermans, and you came for us, the Rottweilers.
Today I sat at my master's feet in NY. The master you said was crazy to want a Rottweiler. We cried, but kept on working. You saw the sadness in my eyes. I was bred to work. I was trained to find. I search and I find. My reward is a scratch on the head and maybe a hug from the person I find, but those I find can't scratch my head. I cry. My fellow searchers have lost their lives falling in this rubble. My feet are cut by glass and metal. But my trainer and I keep searching. We are looking for your spouses, your children, your parents, your friends, your coworkers and your neighbors.
I am risking the life you wished to deny me. I am doing what NO ONE else can. If I were not here, you would have no where else to turn for help or hope.
When you see my trainer and I sleeping on the sidewalk or climbing over the mountain of rubble, because just one of your human lives is important to me, look into my eyes and remember the sacrifice and work that "dangerous" dogs like me have done for thousands of years and think about a world without me. All I ask is let me live. Let my breeder continue to make it possible for dogs, like me, to give our lives for yours. In disasters, in wars, and just protecting your homes and families for thousands of years to come.
GOD BLESS AMERICA
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What kind of dog would Jesus have owned?
I know it would not have been a Rottweiler,
Why not a Rottweiler you say?
Let me explain and you will see.
Jesus would not have owned a Rott,
I know that Jesus would have enjoyed a Rott.
It would have kept him warm,
It would not question or debate,
For the time that the Lord was here,
Even if it had known,
that the Lord came here to die.
No a Rott would not have worked,
Without fear it would have fought,
With courage, strength and determination.
It would not have allowed harm to the Lord.
If the Rott did not die right there
So together they would have died,
But Jesus would not allow this,
Allowing no one to fight for him.
For by his death he would bring us home.
But if the Rottie died that day,
For on that third day in heaven,
Jesus would have been greeted by the Rottie so dear to his heart.
So Jesus would not have owned a Rott,
For what he did he had to do alone.
Giving his blood as payment for our debts.
In conclusion I guess it doesn't matter,
Looking back upon these thoughts,
That I should live like the Rottie,
that could have walked with the Lord.
By Troy Kechely
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