Undoubtedly, Rottweilers are among the most popular dog breeds. However, their size, weight and many myths surrounding these large dogs such as how aggressive and dangerous they can be to children often make parents with small kids wonder if Rottweilers are a good fit for homes.
Whenever you think of bringing home a pet, a Rottweiler may not be on top of your list. These dogs are known to be feisty and aggressive and may not be considered great family dogs. However, you will be quite surprised to find the contrary to be true.
So, are Rottweilers good with kids? Despite being large dogs Rottweilers can be great around kids. They are energetic, loving, calm, loyal and protective, all important traits a family pet should possess. However, Rottweilers must be trained properly and because of their massive size, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your pet around smaller kids. With proper obedience training, the people-oriented Rottweiler can thrive beautifully in a home with kids.
So, if you’re wondering whether a Rottweiler will be a good pet for you and your family, then read on to know more about Rottweilers, so that you can make an informed decision whether you want this pooch around your kids.
Rottweiler Personality and Temperament
Also known as Rotts or Rotties, Rottweilers are strong, loyal and loving dogs. Originally from Germany, the Rottweilers were used by farmers and butchers to herd cattle and pull carts. The Rottweiler’s heritage is reflected in his heavily muscled body and broad chest. Displaying strength and stamina, Rottweilers are calm, confident, alert and intelligent. Typically, Rottweilers are standoffish towards strangers but are not timid or fearful of them.
Naturally being guard dogs, Rottweilers have a mellow and protective disposition, which makes them successful as police, customs and military dogs and also a family pet. Rottweilers have a natural instinct to protect their families and can be ferociously defensive. They have a disposition bordering on protectiveness and aggressiveness.
Related: Are Rottweilers Good Service Dogs?
As a breed, they are hardwired to protect their owners, property and families. And, if they feel that a family member is being threatened, they can quickly switch from being calm to protective and aggressive in seconds.
So, it’s extremely important to channelize their protectiveness and power via early socialization and consistent and firm training. If you don’t do this, Rotties can become overly protective and dangerous instead of the friendly guardian dogs they are meant to be.
Rottweilers are easy to train and well-socialized, well-bred Rottweilers are gentle, playful and loving to their families and make excellent companions. Since they were originally bred as working dogs, Rottweilers have an inherent need to be active and need long playing sessions to be happy.
At its core, a Rottweiler is quite silly and the AKC describes the breed as being a gentle and playful mate. And, apart from being very good guard dogs they are assertive, confident and have powerful personalities. But the most adorable part about these massive dogs is that they don’t understand their size and would love to snuggle up with you on your bed, couch or even sit on your lap.
Are Rottweilers Good with Babies?
If you’ve just brought your newborn baby home, you may wonder how your Rottie is going to react. Generally, Rottweilers are cautious when they encounter new things, including babies. So, the best thing to do is to orient your Rottweiler beforehand before actually bringing your baby home.
You can do this by giving your Rottie a tour of your baby’s nursery, allow him to sniff the baby’s clothes and experience the smells and sounds associated with a baby. An important aspect of your pet’s training is to socialize him with the other members and children in the family, while he is a puppy. If your pooch learns to be around kids from a young age, then he will be comfortable with them all his life. So, if you’re bringing home your newborn, your Rottie will understand that he must be friendly and gentle with the baby.
However, if your pet has not had a chance to grow up around kids, there’s no need to worry. You can introduce your Rottie to your children slowly and within no time, they’re sure to become inseparable. But, before you bring home your baby, give your Rottweiler pup something with your baby’s scent to sniff at like a hat, blanket, etc. so that your puppy will be comfortable when your newborn comes home. Also, try and include your Rottie in all activities with your kids to prevent any jealousy.
However, you must ensure that all the interactions with your Rottie and your baby are supervised. Do not allow your pet with your baby all alone because as we discussed earlier, Rotts do not comprehend their size or their strength. So, it is extremely important that you’re around to keep an eye to ensure that your pooch does not hurt your baby accidentally.
Make sure that your Rottweiler understands how he must behave around kids:
- Make sure that your Rottie pup understands the areas he can come into and the areas where he’s not allowed. For instance, the baby’s nursery or the area where the baby is on the floor.
- Train your dog never to play or jump around your baby.
- Train your Rottweiler to understand that there will be some times that he will have to be alone by himself when you’re spending time with your baby.
Are Rottweilers Good with Toddlers?
The best way to ensure a great relationship between your Rottweiler and your toddler is to allow your child to take care of your pooch. Teach your toddler a few basic commands that he/she can use to guide your Rottie. This will also aid your pooch to recognize your kid as an authority figure that he should obey.
Teaching Your Kids to Handle Your Rottweiler
Kids can be naughty, fussy and stubborn and this behavior may not go down with your Rottweiler, especially if he is not acquainted with kids and their behavior. If your child bullies your pet constantly by teasing him, pulling his tail, etc. then your Rottie may just retaliate and even end up biting your child. Your kids must learn to treat your pet with respect.
Kids must understand that it is not fine to tease, poke, hit or excite your Rottweiler intentionally, including running, screaming and shouting around the dog. They should also not eat around your pet. Rottweilers can become food aggressive and may snap and even bite when food is involved.
Even the dogs that are not food aggressive by nature tend to get excited when they’re around food. If your younger child drops food around them, then your Rottie can accidentally knock down your child or hurt him/her accidentally while following him/her around trying to get at the crumbs.
Here are a few things that you can teach your kid on how he/she can handle your Rottweiler pup. Teach your child:
- Not to pull your Rottweiler’s tail, ears or coat.
- Not to mishandle, grab or smack your Rottweiler pup.
- How to pet your pet gently.
- Not to shout and scream at your Rottweiler. Loud noises can startle your pet.
- Not to try and ride on the back of your Rottweiler, as this can hurt your dog and he may retaliate.
- Respect your pet’s boundaries and avoid sneaking up on him or getting to close when he’s eating.
- To use the off or down command if your Rottweiler jumps on your child. Allowing your dog to do this can result in more aggressive behaviors.
- Never run at your Rottie and approach him calmly and slowly.
Pros of Having a Rottweiler at Home
They Are Gentle, Affectionate and Loving
While a Rottie may not seem like a cuddly kind of a dog, they are actually quite loving and love to snuggle up with those they love i.e. their families, owner and kids. Rotties are not aware of their large size and perceive themselves as small dogs that can cuddle up on your lap. So, don’t be surprised if you find your Rottie hopping onto your lap often.
They Are Energetic and Active
Typically, both kids, as well as Rottweilers are full of energy and your pet will have no issues keeping up with your kids. They can play and have loads of fun running around your home and yard. Rotties need plenty of exercise, at least 2 hours per day will keep him active, happy, healthy and free of aggression.
They Are Very Protective
Rottweilers are very protective by nature, which can be both a good and bad thing. They are extremely loyal to their owners and family and will protect them with all that they have. On the flip side, it means that they can become quite aggressive too.
However, this is likely to occur if your Rottweiler has not been trained properly. You should ensure that your Rottweiler dog is properly socialized and trained, preferably when he’s a pup to ensure that he understands how to protect you and your family without being aggressive.
They Love Having Fun
While Rotties are rather muscular and fierce looking, they can be delightfully silly and will keep your kids and you laughing. Rotties love to do silly things and goof around, which kids especially love.
Cons of Having a Rottweiler at Home
Fortunately, there are not many drawbacks to having a Rottweiler as a family pet. But here are a few things that you must keep in mind if you’re planning to bring home a Rottweiler.
They Are Large and Heavy Dogs
Rottweilers as you already know are huge and muscular dogs. And, their muscular build makes them heavy and strong. Most dogs of this breed (both male and female) easily weigh over 100 lb and tend to be much larger than smaller children. So, if you’re planning to bring home a Rottweiler pup, you must keep his future size in mind, especially if you have younger kids at home.
While Rotties are generally gentle with kids, your pet could hurt your child accidentally while playing. So, it is a good idea to supervise when your Rottweiler and kid are playing. While your pooch may not intentionally hurt your child, if he gets excited while playing, he can end up pushing your child or stepping on him/her accidentally.
Untrained Rotties Can Be Aggressive
The most important thing about Rotties is that they must be socialized and trained, preferably when they are younger. Proper training can ensure that your Rottie remains calm and cool around kids.
They Can Get Quite Jealous
Spending a lot of time with your child instead of your Rottweiler can make him quite jealous. So, you must take out the time to spend with your pooch. Also, ensuring that your Rottie and your kids spend time together and play often can help to ease any jealousy.
So, are Rottweilers a good fit for families with children? Well, it depends. Rottweilers are a good fit for experienced owners and families that have sufficient time to meet the physical requirements of these large dogs. And, are Rotties good with kids? The answer is a big “Yes!” However, before that does happen, it will take some planning and work before your Rottweiler becomes the ideal buddy for your children.
You cannot really expect your pet and kids to get along famously right from day one. However, with proper socialization and training, your Rottweiler is sure to become a huge source of affection and joy
Training can make a huge difference in how well your Rottweiler will get along with your kids. And, as long as you are committed to his training, you can expect a sweet-natured and loyal pet that will go beyond everything to protect you and your children. In fact, Rotties love being the center of attention wherever they are and will thrive in a home with kids that love and spoil him.