Why do Rottweilers have a Bad Reputation – 6 Myths and 3 Facts

If you own a rottweiler, then you know how affectionate, loving, and loyal this breed is. Then why do rottweilers have a bad reputation?

Rottweilers have a bad reputation because of their protective nature and unfriendliness towards strangers. This is usually caused due to a lack of training and poor socialization. However, Rottweilers are loyal and affectionate dogs with proper care and training.

Rottweilers are famous for their power and potential ferocity. However, their ominous reputation is based on several widespread myths. This article will debunk those myths and reveal the true nature of Rottweilers.

Myth #1: Rottweilers are genetically wired to be aggressive

Rottweiler barking

There is no such thing as natural aggression. Aggression is a learned trait, and all dogs can become aggressive if mistreated, harmed, or untrained.

In Rottweilers, the aggressive trait is concerning because of their size and the potential damage they can inflict. It is no secret that an aggressive Rottweiler is much scarier than an aggressive Pekingese Dog.

All in all, based on current knowledge, there is no scientific proof that Rottweilers are unreasonably vicious or aggressive.

Myth #2: Rottweilers cannot be trained

rottweiler training

Once again, there is no such thing as an untrainable dog – only wrong training techniques and approaches. With consistency, persistence, and positive reinforcement techniques, you can successfully train all dogs into well-behaved individuals.

Over their 2000-year long history, Rottweilers have been used as versatile working dogs. Their job descriptions varied from pulling carts through hunting bears to guarding cattle. Today, Rottweilers make exceptional service dogs and are employed in the police and military.

A dog that cannot be trained and does not obey commands cannot be used as a responsible, multipurpose worker.

Myth #3: Rottweilers are prone to attacking children

rottweiler playing with kid

In over 87% of cases, children get attacked by dogs during unsupervised interactions. Namely, more often than not, children can be unknowingly rough or even annoying – something not all dogs are willing to put up with.

Some dogs are patient, tolerant, and willing to tolerate children’s shenanigans. However, others are not.

While all dogs can attack kids under the right circumstances, ‘A Rottweiler attacked a small kid’ makes a more eye-catching newspaper headline than ‘A Chihuahua attacked a small kid.’

Bottom line, Rottweilers are not specifically aggressive towards children. If properly treated, they are loving and protective guardians.

Myth #4: Rottweilers cannot co-live with other animals

rottweiler with other dogs

Early and extensive socialization is the key to raising a well-behaved and friendly Rottweiler. Rottweiler puppies need to be exposed to new people, sounds, places, experiences, and situations starting from an early age. They also need to be introduced to new dogs and other animals.

It should be noted that even a well-trained dog can see smaller animals as prey. This is because all dogs are more or less prey-driven. However, with proper socialization, you can decrease the prey drive in Rottweilers to a minimum.

It is also worth mentioning that male-to-male aggression is entirely normal, especially between adult Rottweilers that live together and share most of their valuable resources – territory, food, and human attention. Neutering is an efficient way of eliminating male-to-male aggression.

Myth #5: Rottweilers are disloyal dogs

loyal rottweiler

One of the most popular disbeliefs is that Rottweilers are so disloyal they can even turn on their owner. The truth is loyalty is one of Rottweiler’s key personality traits.

According to the AKC, on the popularity scale, the Rottweiler ranks as 8th out of 197 recognized dog breeds. The AKC describes this dog as a ‘loyal, loving and confident guardian.’

If properly raised, the Rottweiler should respect the owner. Any dog that, instead of respecting, fears the owner can develop behavioral issues, including aggression.

Myth #6: Rottweilers are independent and do not need human companionship

rottweiler companion

This statement cannot be further from the truth. Rottweilers are extremely sensitive dogs that form close bonds with their human families. In fact, if left alone, members of this breed are likely to develop separation anxiety.

Do not be fooled by the intimidating, tough-looking exterior. Rottweilers enjoy spending quality time with the owners. They thrive on human affection and seek companionship at all times.

Sad Fact #1: Rottweilers are illegal in many states

cute rottweilers

There are some severe restrictions and strict regulations around the Rottweiler breed. In fact, in many states, Rottweilers are banned, and owning one is illegal. In other states, they are not banned but owning one requires having a special permit.

According to the American Rottweiler Club, ‘owning a Rottweiler carries a great deal of responsibility and commitment.’ The club also states that the Rottweiler ‘is not a dog for everyone.’

Sad Fact #2: Many people suffer from a Black dog syndrome

black rottweiler

Black dog syndrome is the scientific term for the people’s tendency to develop negative feelings towards black dogs. Basically, even if a black dog is identical to another differently colored dog in any other trait, it is still likely to be rejected. Black dog syndrome is mainly seen in animal shelters as black dogs are often overlooked during adoptions.

People also develop a black dog syndrome towards Rottweilers. The fact that Rottweiler’s black coloration is enriched with tan markings makes things worse as people find the combination to be disturbing.

Sad Fact #3: A clash in opinions

rottweiler standing

In 2007, the Irish Examiner described Rottweilers as ‘time bombs on legs.’  However, based on newer data, dog breeds and aggression stereotypes warrant a modern and fresh approach.

Namely, in a recent study, Dognition analyzed data gathered from over 4000 dogs and found that Chihuahuas are more aggressive than Rottweilers and Pit Bulls. So, the Rottweiler – the symbol of powerful magnificence was outranked by the tiny Chihuahua.

Final Thoughts

Finally, keep in mind that poor genetics, interbreeding, lack of training and socialization, and a mismatch between your requirements and the dog’s needs can result in troublesome behavior in any dog.

Therefore, make sure you buy your Pure Bred Rottweiler puppy from a reputable breeder and for the right reasons. Also, make sure to invest in your Rottie pup’s socialization and training. Be a responsible Rottweiler parent and help us keep debunking these widespread myths.

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