Are Rottweilers Good Guard Dogs? Here’s What We Found Out

If there’s one breed that can be considered as the quintessential guard dog, it would be Rottweilers. These doggos have a confident gait and an intimidating look, which will surely send a burglar off its tracks. But the question is this: are Rottweilers good guard dogs? In this post, we will answer this question together with an in-depth look at this breed.

Rottweiler Breed Info

Height: 22 to 25 inches (female); 24 to 27 inches (male)
Weight: Up to 100 pounds for females; up to 135 pounds for males
Lifespan: Up to 10 years
Color: Black with a touch of tan or mahogany
Distinctive physical features: Rust-like marks above the eye, sides of muzzle, and cheeks
Coat shedding level: High
AKC Group Classification: Working group

In this video, Animal Planet tells us more about Rottweilers and their characteristics:

Origin of the Rottweiler Breed

Rottweilers originated in Germany and have descended from the Molossus breed, a dog similar to a Mastiff. They used to herd cattle for their Roman masters. Over the years, they have joined their masters in the army where they mated with other dogs. This is where modern Rottweilers came from.

In their first years, they have played a big role in securing the cattle in cowtowns. And to guard their money, the farmers will tie their pouches on the Rottweiler’s neck. Aside from that, they mobilize Rotties to pull meat carts, thanks to their robust and strong build.

In 1901, the Rottweiler and Leonberger Club was established, which provided the first written standards for this breed. And in the early 1900s, Rottweilers began their stint as the first police dogs. In fact, even before German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois were used for police work, Rottweilers are the first breed to take on the job.

Rottweiler Temperament and Personality

Rottweilers have a highly protective nature. They also have a hard-wired prey drive due to their years of serving as herding canines. Still, their initial duty makes them a dedicated companion and watchdog. As much as they love chasing and nipping things, they will not leave their post.

Although a well-raised Rottie will be affectionate to their masters, they have an air of aloofness to strangers. They are also headstrong and will try to get their own way.

Moreover, Rottweilers have a very sensitive nature and can get excited easily. So if you have small kids at home, you have to be careful and cautious with this pooch.

You also have to be specific with the gender of the Rottweiler you’re going to get. Male Rottties are always alert and standoffish. They are watchful and in the hunt for potential danger. On the other hand, female Rottweilers are easier to control. Actually, female Rotties might be safer for kids, though proper training is still necessary.

are Rottweilers good guard dogs

The energy level and exercise needs

Rottweilers have an intense energy level. They are very playful, though their stubbornness will make them hard to control. Also, they need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy. If not, they will become destructive and aggressive. You shouldn’t leave a Rottweiler alone as they tend to develop a bad case of separation anxiety.

Also, Rotties are powerful dogs which is why some mistake their excitement for aggression. If you are to own his breed as a guard dog, you have to understand their nature fully.

Instead of just walking the dog, you should engage a Rottie in different exercises. Let them swim, run, and perform agility drills. This way, your guard dog will not gain excess weight.

Alertness and intelligence

Rottweilers are intelligent canines and they are fairly easy to train. However, they need a strict master who can overcome their stubborn ways.

Take note that as herding dogs, Rotties will nip and run after things. So during training, you should practice extra patience to mold a well-disciplined guard dog.

Another thing that you have to know is that Rotties are barkers. They will announce the arrival of a person through their loud and deep voice.

Also, you have to start training at the earliest possible age of the Rottweiler. This way, you can dampen their aggressive predisposition. And even as a guard dog, they still need ample socialization to become a well-rounded doggo.

Potential behavioral problems

Like any dog, Rotties are susceptible to various behavioral problems. So before training the pooch, you should know these potential issues:

*Destructive chewing. This happens when a Rottweiler lacks mental and physical stimulation.

*Aggression. There are a lot of factors that contribute to a dog’s aggression. It could be the poor breeding process, lack of training, and more.

*Nipping and biting. This boils down to their initial job as herding dogs. This can be fixed with proper training.

*Leash pulling. This behavior is quite common among guard dogs. Due to their prey and dominant personality, Rotties will always try to get their way. Leash pulling is also a sign of lack of discipline.

*Separation anxiety.  Rottweilers thrive as guard dogs, but they are also at risk of developing separation anxiety. Avoid leaving them alone for hours so they wouldn’t vent out their energy on destructive ways.

Most of these problematic behaviors can be fixed with training. Even for guard dogs, you have to take the time to correct any negative action.

Maintenance level

Grooming-wise, Rottweilers are one of the low-maintenance dogs. They have a thin coat, which only requires regular brushing and periodic bathing. Still, it doesn’t mean that they are no longer susceptible to parasites like fleas and ticks.

However, you should watch out for intense shedding and drooling. Other than that, this pooch isn’t a big burden in the grooming department.

Are Rottweilers good guard dogs?

Yes! With their intelligence, dedication to their families, and courage, there’s no doubt that Rottweilers are one of the best candidates for the guard dog position.

If you’re looking for a guard that doesn’t back down on danger, this breed is the right choice. They can be trained to attack if needed, but you can also shape them to be mere watchdogs. This way, Rotties will serve as a guard dog and a family pet.

However, you have to understand that Rottweilers aren’t for all. If this is your first time owning a dog, Rotties will only dominate your household. Also, they aren’t suitable for apartment living due to their urge to run and chase around.

Roadblocks in owning a Rottweiler

If you’re convinced about owning a Rottweiler, you have to understand some roadblocks that may hinder your ownership. The following are some of the issues you may encounter:

-Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL)

BSL is the leading roadblock when it comes to owning breeds like Rottweilers, Pitbulls, and Doberman Pinschers. Some states and cities impose the breed-specific legislation banning the ownership of the so-called dangerous breed.

Several counties and cities in Kentucky ban the ownership of this breed. Also, Pilot Grove in Missouri specifically states Rottweilers as one of the six banned breeds in the area. The likes of Ohio and Iowa are also one of the leading states with BSL in effect.

If your area has BSL, you will be compelled to surrender the pooch to the authorities or you have to move the pooch out.

-Rottweilers don’t thrive in multi-dog households

Also, it would be challenging to raise a Rottweiler in a multi-canine household. Mixing Rotties with dogs of the same gender will cause dog fights. And if the other pooch is also territorial, expect that you’ll have to deal with a tensed environment.

Moreover, avoid raising Rottweilers with a small breed. When the former’s hunting instincts kick in, the smaller pooch might get harmed or killed.

So if you’re keen to get a Rottie as a guard dog, you might as well consider them as your only pet.

Get a Rottweiler guard dog if…

*You are an experienced dog owner who can train a wilful dog
*You want a dog that will chase after intruders
*You’re not planning to get another dog
*You need protection for your property

DON’T get a Rottweiler guard dog if…

*You live in an area with a Rottweiler ban
*You have small kids and other small dogs
*You’re going to spend most of your time at work
*You don’t have enough experience with guard dogs

How to raise Rottweilers as guard dogs

Even as guard dogs, a Rottweiler should be trained and raised properly. A Rottie owner shouldn’t allow the aggressive tendencies of this pooch to reign over its behavior. When that happens, the dog will attack even its owner. To prevent that from happening, we recommend the following tips:

*Continuous training is necessary

You have to start training a Rottweiler as early as possible. Once the pup is old enough to be weaned from its litter, you should start introducing simple commands. That way, you can build a solid foundation for your pooch’s training.

*Socialization is still a requirement

Aside from training, you should also socialize your Rottweiler. Wait, wouldn’t it seem counterintuitive for a guard dog? No, because there’s a fine line between being watchful and aggressive. You still want your pooch to be friendly to your family and friends. Besides, without proper socialization, Rotties may act harshly on every person. You’d be in trouble when that happens.

*A headstrong leader is required

Most of all, a Rottweiler requires an owner who can always be a step ahead of their strong will. This way, the pooch will not impose its dominating attitude on your household. You’re supposed to be the alpha on your dog and not the other way around.

This way, you can suppress any negative behavior that may show its signs along the way.

*Get the pup from a responsible breeder

If you’re still planning to get a Rottweiler pup, you should only deal with a responsible breeder. This way, you can guarantee that the dog came from a lean lineage with parents that have very low aggression and health problems.

Aside from that, responsible breeders will issue proof that the dog is in sound health. You may get to meet the parents as well, which will give you an idea of the quality of the pups.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Will an untrained Rottweiler protect its owner?

A: Yes and no. An untrained Rottweiler has unpredictable behavior so you’ll never know how it will react on specific stimuli. Regardless of the breed, untrained dogs can be harmful to its owner because their master has no control over their behavior.

Q: What age do Rottweilers start guarding?

A: Usually, the protective nature of Rottweilers will start to show once it enters adolescence. This is roughly 6 to 8 months. And as the Rottie matures, they will have a stronger guarding instinct, which is why training is necessary so it wouldn’t lead to aggression.

Q: How dangerous is a Rottweiler?

A: Rottweilers aren’t really dangerous, but you should understand that they are naturally territorial and protective. With the right training, you can channel their intelligence into something positive. Also, this breed needs a lot of mental stimulation to dampen their destructive ways.

Q: What is the bite force of a Rottweiler?

A: Rottweilers have one of the strongest bites at around 328 pounds of bite pressure. This is in comparison with the American Pit Bull Terrier with around 235 pounds as well as German Shepherds with 238 pounds.

Q: Are Rottweilers born without tails?

A: It’s actually rare for Rottweilers to be born without tails. It’s just that their tails are docked on the first days. Docking is done for cosmetic purposes, but not quite a requirement. 

Final words

Are Rottweilers good guard dogs? Yes, but only if they are raised well. This dog is powerful and bold so you need to be strict and confident as their master.

As a guard dog, expect a Rottie to be very protective, especially with their families. Still, you can raise these pooches to be affectionate and cuddly.

For kids, it’s best to let them mingle with a Rottie once they are old enough to respect the boundaries of the dog. What do you think of Rottweilers? Do you own one? Share your experience with us!