I have a 2 year old male Rotti, his name is Thor, he is generally loving and playful however, sometimes he changes 180 degrees, a few months ago he launched a ferocious attack at my wife, it was totally unexpected the dog was lying down under my feet, my wife walked into the living room and he just went for her, we put it down to bad light even though she called out to him, we have just moved country and ever since the move his a temper has changed, he is always good with me I think that it was just too much change for him all of a sudden. However a few days ago he attacked a man on the street, my mother was walking him and he was his usual good as gold self on the leash, then this guy comes around the corner minding his own business and the dog just went for him, the dog broke loose from my mum's hand and bit the guy while he was flat on the ground, luckily the dog responded immediately to "Stop / back" command I taught him, I want to note here that I have never ever trained him or had him trained other than "Pet" training, I honestly am worried about him. He is in a family where he is always loved and petted, neither me nor my wife have ever hit him and I just use sharp language with him to punish him for the odd deviation. Several friends have advised me to have him castrated, I also asked a couple of vets, and I got conflicting replies, I would like to ask for your advise in this matter, WOULD castration remove at least some of his aggression?
neuterin will help with some aggression, i think, adn it will decrease his risk of many health problems related to not being neuteres. as for the recent aggression problems have him checked by a vet to make sure he has no physical roblems, adn then i am sure some more experienced large breed/rott owners here can give you good advice.
i used to have a rotty too. he was a sweetheart with us but he would have these vicious fights with our other dog. however, he never tried to kill our other dog. one day their fight resulted in my dad being bit badly on the arm. we decided then to have him neutered to try and calm him down. in his case, neutering did help. it did calm him quite a bit. if you don't want to breed him, then you have nothing to lose. there's really no guaranty to whether it will help your situation or not. good luck.
Hi, I'm a rottweiler owner. I had a female and I now have a male who will be 5 the end of this month.
Have you thought about having your rottie checked out by the vet for other things that may be going on? Have you thought about seeking help with a behavorist?
For your rottweiler to go after your wife or a strange man is not normal by any means. Its obvious something isn't right with him and it could be a medical problem causing his aggression or some type of temperment problem.
If you would like to email me please feel free to do so. I belong to a rottweiler forum and I know someone will be able to guide you in the right direction. I've never dealt with aggression problems and could only tell you what I know by what others have gone through. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
As a former Rottweiler owner, and one who adores and respects this magnificent, powerful canine, I am concerned. No doubts about it at all, nuetering COULD help. My sentiments essentially echo what has been stated thus far. Training could help. You mentioned the "attack" on the innocent bystander and he stopped immediately...good thing there was no serious damage and got your butt sued. Two attacks; one on a family member and a person minding there own business, any way you look at it, real bad.
These dogs are underated in their working "IQ". They along with other breeds who shall remain nameless, already suffer from real bad public image...sometimes rightfully so, but most often this is a reflection on the owner's lack of training or incorrect methods. I don't have THE answer. Start by talking with your veterinarian. Get a recommendation as what to do next.
On a more personal note. Most dogs will see better in the dark than we ever will. Your "buddy" probably smelled your wife before he even saw her. A "ferocious attack" on one of my loved ones by my dog equals doggie heaven/hell, and I'm not talking sodium pentobarb at the vets. One "bad" instance shame on me, two shame on you.
Scouba I apologize if my words were a little harsh. Like I said I owned a wonderful Rottweiler. He was 100% trustworthy with people, he loved kids and livestock and was great with most dogs. Right there was MY problem...most dogs. Went to countless obedience classes, several professional trainers and even considered Schutzhund training. This dog was so trainable and smart as a whip.
Back to MY problem with my buddy. Any and I mean any male dog bigger than say 50-60lbs there were very serious problems. Could never get this "character flaw" out of him. Obviously they are a dominant, territorial canine and amongst the most powerful of all breeds. My dog was banished to our farm or on the boat..nowhere else. Put his flaws to good use, coyote elimination..,when he was fast or sneaky enough
Please do everything you can to address this problem, I love Rotts and am genuinely concerned. Please keep me/us updated. Please do not wait another day. GOOD LUCK!!!
The castration may help but thats not the whole problem. You and your wife both need to work with a trainer/behaviorist, and change the way you both interact with the dog. I do beleive that the dog is under you, in your pack , but above your wife.That means he is the boos over your wife. Its way to complicated to clearly explain it on a web site. Your dog could seriously hurt someone. But it can be fixed, but you need to be firm and consistant.
hi im new here ! my friend has once been attacked by a rotti and the consuquences were almost fatal!! i highly reccommend castration and seeing an animal behaviourist. as it is naturally in their blood it may not be able to be avoided but it is worth a try
Thanks for your thoughts on the matter, I just came back from the vet who had a look at his food nutritional contents, he found them to actually be below par, so his high energy food idea as the possible problem is off the list, he has given me these dog Prozac capsules to give one a day for a month and see the results, as for the castration he said he doesn't like to operate on a dog until it is the final solution. I have spoken already with my wife and we have decided to get her much more involved with the dog, we are going to make it such that he relies more on her for everything. I guess we will just have to invest a lot more time in him. Just a note, the dog was extremely friendly with the vet, it was difficult to make the vet believe what I told him! If anyone can think of anything else that we could do please post it.
I have a allmost 2 year old Jerman Rott. He one day became a A**Hole. We diden't know why. So we took him to the vet & he told us it is normal they get attched to 1 person & stay that way. He thinks he is looking out for you. The vet told us to take him to training classes. He is doing better but still wants to eat other dogs that look at my or my boyfriend. So we have to work with him every day
***Edited By: rottlover on 3/24/2005 4:10:07 PM*** Reason: miss spelling
Is your Rottie a show dog or something? Why would a vet only do neutering as a last resort? I would find a new vet. That has to be the worst excuse for not neutering a dog that I have heard in a long time.
If the dog is aggressive, neutering will help, but it may not be the final solution. If he has been allowed to get so out of hand that he attacks his owners, there is a behavioural problem here.
This dog has not learned that he needs to respect you (or in this case your wife). You need to be the top dog, not him.
If the dog is a show dog (which I doubt if it has these behavioural problems) then I could "kind of" understand the part about not wanting to get him neutered, since you can't show altered animals in many classes, however, if he is a family pet (without a show career) then do your wife a favor and get him neutered.
Scouba and everybody Sorry for interfering – I am not only new in this phorum, I live in a far-off Russia. So, please, forgive my English but I just can’t walk past this. I have been with Rottweilers, APBTs and Middle Asian Shepherds for over 15 years (the breeds ARE serious) and what I now know for sure is there is no such thing as a natural-born mean/aggressive or “incontrollable” dog – in 99% cases there is the fault of owners.
As for the castration I hate the idea of getting a healthy animal to a surgery – though a minor one I have to admit, but you never know. A friend of my lost her cat to spaying operation. 1,5 yo sweetest, absolutely gorgeous kurbob (Kurilian Bobtail). The operation was made by the best surgeon of one of the best clinics in Moscow, 15 years experience, people from all over the country making appointments to visit him and he IS worth it But.. Sudden kidney failure in a cat – why nobody could tell probably bad reaction to anesthetics, all analysis had been done prior to the operation including blood biochemistry – everything seemed to be perfect, she was “textbook” sound!
NO vet can guarantee you a safe result of any operation and no vet can give even 50% guarantee that castration does any good to aggression. Here in Russia the castration of dogs is highly unpopular, it is made only for medical grounds and in two cases that I saw it didn’t work. Just imagine that nothing happens in your case.
So, pass my sincere respect to your vet – castration is the simplest way to try to solve the problem with aggression, but not closely the best, if it doesn’t work – the only thing left (and also real simple, huh?) is putting the animal to sleep – no dog no problem - and getting another one instead. Are you ready to risk it?
Do you want to keep this very dog healthy and intact and well-behaved (then read further) or you prefer to risk getting one maimed while still very possibly assaultive animal?
Suspiciousness towards strangers is in Rotweiler’s blood – on the assumption that he/she is a real Rottweiler. Also many of them are real fighters – take notice that they very seldom go at small dogs, it is important for them that the opponent is of the same “weight category”.
You can believe it or not – your dog’s behaviour is purely NORMAL. Read again what “sue” wrote – my applause! Only good training can help. Your boy is 2 – perfect age for a male Rott to try to heighten his statute in a pack. Your family is a pack for him, and you are the leader (perhaps pro tempore, by the way!, everything depends on you), great, but your wife is NOT a leader for him. And she will never be until she proves it to him. Start from elementary things – like when your wife has the boy on the lead she must never let him go through the door before her – first she, then the dog, ALWAYS, no exception. If you see any signs of aggression (I do not mean when he is already at her, but a soft snarl or even a look that you don’t like) – send him to his place right away, give the command in a harsh tone, go after him if you need to make him lay down at his place and make him stay there! Show him that you definitely do not like his behavior. They feel the intonation very good.
But be careful, do not overpush – my last and most beloved Rott ALWAYS snarled when I washed his paws after the walk and it was not a gentle sound it was a real curdle blood roar. But simultaneously he kept poking my shoulder with his forehead and I knew it was his way of expressing love, he would never ever, never ever hurt me (and he never ever did). He was as sweet as a calf at home but he still would have been deadly dangerous for strangers and strange big dogs (he was huge, out of standards, 29 inches withers height and weighed over 155 pounds and I am not kidding or imagining things) supposing he did not get a good training in the first place. 3 commands were saint for him – Back, Down and one more I don’t know how you say when you make the dog move near your leg, not a step afore not a step behind. I could reclaim him with a sharp “Back!!” out of an already started fight. I could easily reclaim him from a bitch in heat – and I had to do it several times. I lost him three years ago to osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) at the age of 8,5 after 4 months of X-ray and chemotherapy and believe it or not I’m crying now typing this. Sorry, we are talking now about YOUR dog, not mine, it is just when I start to talk about him it is pretty hard to stop.. He was very special.
Let’s get back, anyway. There is tons of literature regarding training and correction of behaviour and if you are interested just let me know I will give you the links to the web-sites in English (I do not have them right now with me) but you also need a good instructor, by all means!! Theory is nothing without practice and experience.
Somebody here wrote “This dog has not learned that he needs to respect you” - nonsense!!!!!!! with all due respect to an author - nonsense!! – NEITHER dog can LEARN by itself – a human being MUST TEACH it everything which this being decides a dog should know – you see the difference? There is NO other way unfortunately. If a dog doesn't know anything - its owner must be blamed!!!!!!!!!
Rott is a stern dog, and you have to be stern (but unexceptionally fair!) with him. Besides he is a Moloss – he is yet a pup at heart. He is like “probing” you now, trying to understand HOW FAR he can go. Do you want to try and EXPLAIN him this “how far”? Or you just prefer to make it the way most comfortable for you? In a word – do you LOVE him? Then try to understand what he thinks and feels, try to understand his motives – all his doings has reasons and causes, YOU ARE the human being here, thus you are the one who “do the thinking”. Get an experienced trainer with references or even a zoopsycologist. You will hardly be able to manage this without help. And you need to be persistent and work with him permanently - it is not like you say "ok, cool, yesterday I trained him for 8 hours, so till Sunday I can give myself a break" - no way!!! Once you started you can't do it by fits and starts, Success is only in regularity.
This is hard, I know it, but in the end you will not only get a trustworthy companion, responding not to your command but to your slightest glance, you will also experience a second to none sense of pride that this perfect animal, which makes people in the street turn back to see another time, belongs to you and that you YOURSELF created it.
You are the one to decide and think twice or even ten times. You do not have a PROBLEM yet you are just having a SITUATION, which needs your attention and fixing. You have to answer straightforwardly to yourself if you are ready to invest lots of your time (which is precious, we all know it), tons of your efforts (which probably are worth better application) and a fair deal of your money – the trainer’s services will hardly be free.
If you consider all this a WASTE – please, do not get offended, but I would advise that you give the dog away to someone who KNOWS the breed and truly loves it. And try some other breed then – if you like big dogs I am sure a Lab or a Newf would be just for you. And I would advise that you get a bitch. Any other breed would need lots of work - even a German shepherd, which is unrivalled for its “learnability” and contact with a master, must be trained in a proper manner. If you have even hints of doubts – give this dog a chance to live a wholesome happy life with someone else. Before it is too late, before the tragedy comes upon your family members and before the inevitable euthanasia is the only way out for the poor boy.
As for your mom – I think this is really negligent of you to let her walk with him now when you know that he is familiar only with “pet commands”. You wrote that “the dog broke loose from my mum's hand” – imagine Thor did not break lose (say, the leash was passed round your mom’s hand) your mom could get hurt! How old is she? Mine is 55 now and she is in an unbelievable condition but I would never let her walk even a 25 kilo pit bitch cause the dog can suddenly jerk (say after a cat) and my mom never looses hold of the leash. This must be dangerous.
For Scouba and everybody – please forgive me for so long, emotional and somewhat shambolic post, but I do love dogs in general and I adore rottweilers and it drives me crazy when I think that this PERFECTLY NORMAL youngster, whose only fault is that he is ill-mannered, will be maimed only because of his owners laziness and the advice of “several friends’. How many dogs (I don’t say rotts!) did those friends raised and trained? Sorry, Scouba, I just love them dogs so very much.
Not trying to start a fight here but I would not call the behaviour normal.
Training and socialization is the key the day you bring that puppy into your home. If there are temperment issues all the training in the world might not correct the problem. I have seen more well behaved, gentle rottweilers than I have out of control ones. The out of control ones were either from BYB's who do not temperment test or are because of irresponsible owners who did not train or socialize their dog and wanted this breed for protection.
My friend had a rottweiler who was a wonderful dog with everyone. He started acting kind of strange around her and her fiance. He would go and hide in the bathtub, would sometimes look at them like he didn't know them. Then one day he just turned on her and her fiance. They had to call animal control to come and take him away because he turned into a dog they didn't even know - they couldn't control him. They wanted to take him to the vet the next day to find out what was going on with him but animal control took it upon themselves and put him to sleep without their permission. Later they found out he had a brain tumor which caused him to act strange and turn on his owners.
So I would not call his behavior normal if he is going after the owner. Something is not right and I would not discourage someone from having their dog neutered if it could possibly limit his behavior. There are things that can be done right now to correct this problem.
Halo. You do what you do.. You have a lot of character, I'm sure your canines are fantastic and smart, a reflection upon the owner. My Rottweiler was not allowed to disobey. It all came down to love and a lot of space combined with a job and an owner that worked OT!!
I have heard and listened to all your points of view, also been doing a lot of research myslef on my problem, I have in the past owned 2 other dogs both were females and a not Rottis but big, this was my first time for a Rott and a male, it seems I have overlooked to my detriment his natural dominanace, I agree with our friend from russia in as much as I have lost pets to surgery for no apparent reason, so I will leave it till last. We have started on an immediate program of "boot camp" pack training for both us and the dog, I love my dog so much and would exhaust all avenues before contemplating putting him down, on tuesday he is going to be given a general anasthesia and have a full and thourough check, we have to make him sleep cause he doesn't like vets pulling or poking him, so it is probably better. Comming back to the point, for the last few days I have been doing a lot of thinking, and have found some serious mistakes in our "pack" I do believe this is the main problem with my wife, as for the guy Thor bit, well after a lot of thought, I am going to put it down to a bad day, and a defence reaction, since the guy appreared suddenly behind my mum and when he got up from initially being knocked down he started to shout and wave his arms at my mum, this is apparently when the serious attack happened so, the dog was protecting mum, as for my mother walking him, both my wife and I were on vacation, we had had the dog in a kennel care center, some friends reported that the dog wasn't being taken out and taken care of properly so my mum went to the kennel to make sure he was being taken care of and took him for a short walk. I would like to thank you all on your thoughts, these kind of forums are truely the only place where a person can get real help, as they are all talking from real personal experiance, it is up to you to make a deduction taking into account your own personal circumstances etc.. no vet can replace that. thanks and keep up the good work
Halo Come on, why did you mention fight at all? My post had only one aim – to set Scouba thinking, this is all.
Two questions to you, if you please, what’s “BYB” and what do you mean by “temperament issues”? I am just not sure that I got the meaning right, though I know both words.
What happened to your friend’s dog is very sad. Of course no training will help a malignant brain tumor – but so neither will castration, huh? By the way, did the tumor turn out to be really malignant? I am sure you know that quite a number of benign brain tumors, having the same symptomatology as malignant ones, are operable and can be removed with pretty favorable prognosis.
“but animal control took it upon themselves and put him to sleep without their permission” – I am shocked, did your friend sue the bastards? The case would be a cert even in “savage” Russia.
Besides behavioral changes develop only in advanced cases of tumor and these changes are usually preceded by other symptoms like vomiting, dystaxia, seizures, etc. I did not see anything of the kind in Scouba’s message. As far as Scouba had mentioned that he was gonna get the dog to a vet I decided that the advise to get the dog properly checked up was kinda needless.
So, supposing the dog is healthy I insist that his behavior is normal and I explained what I meant by “normal” – I know it is not RIGHT for a dog to bite people on its own initiative, let alone family members, I just said that under the circumstances described this behavior was quite understandable (normal) for a healthy ill-mannered 2 yo rott. Especially if he was an Alpha puppy in a litter.
I am against of NEUTERING a healthy animal going BEFORE or instead of TRAINING, cause I do not overestimate “the miracle of castration”. I go in for riding and I saw hundreds of cases when stern stallions, which did not have breading worth, were castrated to “calm” them like. I can not give you a precise percentage of positive outcomes, but it is not even 70%. And this is in horses, not dogs!
“Training and socialization is the key the day you bring that puppy into your home.” – it was you who said it, Halo, right? I can see from Scouba’s message that there was hardly any training at all. “Pet command” – I know just too well what this usually means – no command at all. Or a couple of commands to which a dog responds only when provided with ideal environment – empty room, soundproof windows, no other animals or people present and a 1 pound piece of tenderloin in a master’s hands. A well-set command is when a dog reacts to it NO MATTER WHAT. Like a cat runs by, a dog jumps, then goes ….mmmmmm. well, sort of a flight when a dog is airborn for a second or two and after your command a dog just lies down at the highest point of this flight – this is a well-set command. As I see it this guy Thor is a textbook example of a neglected case of a snouty dominant pup, “enfant terrible”, spoilt child, whom the owners just let walk all over them. It is kinda late to start upbringing now, but, please, it is not TOO LATE. I would be happy to work with this guy, really, there is nothing more interesting and rewarding than training a dominant dog – they have a very strong and stable psyche, they are bold and inquisitive, is it possible to wish for a better pupil?! Yes, training them requires much more efforts and time but the results are usually fantastic.
“as for the guy Thor bit, well after a lot of thought, I am going to put it down to a bad day, and a defence reaction,” – Scouba, this is a lame excuse, next time it can be a child “appearing suddenly”. Start upbringing him right away. As for “I have been doing a lot of thinking” – respect!! – think, think and think again, especially if Thor turns out to be fit as a fiddle on Tuesday (which I strongly believe he is).
“we have to make him sleep cause he doesn't like vets pulling or poking him” – see? Like I said – a spoilt child. The boy “doesn’t like” – OK, mom and dad will pay extra for the anesthetics rather than just put a muzzle over the cheeky……. muzzle J and say “Kiddo, have patience, you have to put up with it for a while. Or else”J
obispo44 “My Rottweiler was not allowed to disobey.” – furious clapping!!!!!!!! See, Halo, Scouba, the key words are “was not allowed”. By the way, Scouba, why don’t you want to consult Thor’s breeder? Here in Moscow if I buy a pup or a kitten from a good breeder (and why would I buy from a bad one???!!! J) he or she is always like “If anything happens or something worries you, call me around the clock!!” – and they mean it. So, why wouldn’t you talk to them?
rottymom - BYB - backyard breeder someone who doesn't care about health or temperment testing, someone who is only looking at $$$$ and nothing else. Temperment testing is exactly that. If you put a bad and good temperment dog together you have no idea what kind of temperment the puppies are going to have. You put a good and good temperment together, your going to have good temperment puppies.
"I am against of NEUTERING a healthy animal going BEFORE or instead of TRAINING".
I am not against spaying or neutering and did not replace neutering my rottie instead of training. I know you are not directing that towards me - just stating my point also.
“Training and socialization is the key the day you bring that puppy into your home.” – it was you who said it, Halo, right?"
Yes - I did say that and I think its very important that anyone wanting a rottweiler know that it is a key factor in owning one. These dogs are not going to train themselves and this is where problems arise - lack of training and socialization.
"obispo44 “My Rottweiler was not allowed to disobey.” – furious clapping!!!!!!!! See, Halo, Scouba, the key words are “was not allowed”."
Just because I didn't post anything about not allowed to disobey doesn't mean I let my rottie walk all over me. He knows who is boss in my house and would never think twice about testing me.