Many families prefer small dog breeds when choosing a family pet, considering that these breeds seem more kid-friendly than larger ones. Some people are wary about adopting a Rottweiler as a member of the family, especially when there are children in the house.
But is this breed truly dangerous or is it just big, powerful, and misjudged? Most importantly, are Rottweilers good with kids?
You can’t reach a decision without knowing the full context. Rottweilers have some interesting traits, which is why the answer may surprise you.
Brief Rottweiler History
Rottweilers are known descendants of the Molossus, a breed of mastiff-type dogs that were used by the Roman military to drive cattle. Because of their genetic and physical traits, Rottweilers were among the first dogs used in modern military and law enforcement units.
Rottweiler Personality and Temperament
Rottweilers are commonly misrepresented as aggressive guard dogs, mainly because of their association with law enforcement and because of their muscular build. In reality, things couldn’t be further from the truth.
Most Rottweilers are actually calm, confident, and even quite aloof. While males may tend to be overly cautious, females are quite engaging with their owners, as well as with other people and kids. They can be friendly with animals too.
As a breed, Rottweilers are hardwired to protect their families, owners, and property. They are also filled with energy and require long playing sessions. Since Rottweilers are descendants of a strong work ethic breed, they inherited the need to stay active.
Of course, a Rottweiler’s temperament may eventually show their dominant side. If a member of the family is threatened, they can switch from calm to dominant and protective in a matter of seconds.
The same thing can happen if the Rottie feels threatened by someone. This is why many view them as aggressive and unsafe dogs for families with children.
Are Rottweilers Good With Kids?
Rottweilers can be a very good fit for families and they can offer entertainment and affection, as well as protection. They are loyal animals, so their need to protect will manifest even more strongly when they’re in the company of kids. This is natural, as they see children as weaker and more vulnerable.
There are a few more traits that make Rottweilers good dogs to have around the house and around children.
Kids are just as enthusiastic, playful, and energetic as Rottweilers, if not more so. In fact, young children sometimes play too aggressively with the family Rottie.
This is where Rotties have a significant advantage over smaller and less threatening-looking breeds. Because of their impressive stature, strength, and endurance, roughhousing with the kids will be less likely to anger or excite them.
Another cool thing about Rotties is the fact that they are easy to groom. The short-haired Rottweiler has a thick coat that is easy to brush and wash. This is something that kids can do themselves once they’re comfortable around the dog (and once the dog has gotten used to the child). The activity can bring them closer together.
When to Bring a Rottweiler into the Family
This affectionate breed isn’t always easy to introduce into the family. Although properly trained and socialized Rottweilers should have no issues playing with kids and other pets, it’s always best if the dog grows up with the children.
Even a mature, well-trained Rottie might not be as accepting of small children as a young pup. On top of that, Rotties are not naturally social dogs. They are especially standoffish with strangers and other dogs.
But if they have a good owner, they can learn to be accepting and not overly protective. This is something you can only do if you have the dog from a young age.
It’s important to understand that the way a Rottie reacts to kids may be influenced by other animals in the household, particularly other dogs. Even if your other dogs are all kid-friendly, a Rottie might feel threatened by the changes in their behavior when they’re around children. You should also note that Rottweilers may view cats and birds as prey.
So, in the presence of other pets, your Rottie may go into self-preservation mode and respond poorly to everyone but the owner.
If the Rottweiler is not the first pet you bring into the house, it’s best to make sure that the Rottie you want to get is a pup. You may also want to consider only getting a Rottie if the other animals are also very young and they can all grow up together. This may not always be necessary, but it the only way to cover all your bases.
The Importance of Socializing and Training a Rottweiler
Since Rotties can get anxious when left alone, and even destructive in some cases, it’s best to socialize them with kids, adults, and even other animals as often and as quickly as possible. They have a considerable amount of energy to expend, so giving them multiple avenues to do so will be well-received.
A social Rottweiler will have a better understanding of the interactions that happen between humans or other animals. Another reason why training and exposure to humans of different ages is important is so that the Rottie can understand various behaviors. This helps them handle changes.
As previously mentioned, kids can be quite energetic. If a Rottie has no exposure to such behavior, they may be overly cautious when exposed to kids and may even feel threatened. That’s precisely what you want to avoid.
With all that in mind, socializing is not a substitute for training. Make sure you have the time and skill necessary to train this breed of dog before you buy one.
Rottweilers and Kids: A Perfect Match?
Are Rottweilers good with kids? The answer is a resounding yes. But it will take some work and planning before the Rottweiler becomes the perfect companion for your kids. You shouldn’t expect them to get along seamlessly on the first day, especially if there are other pets in the house.
But with time and training, your Rottie will become a source of joy and unlimited affection. They will also become an excellent guard dog with incredible amounts of power, loyalty, and athleticism.
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A big-dog lover, successful marketing executive, and website developer, Brian founded Canine Weekly in 2016. Brian lives just outside of Seattle with his wife and child. Brian grew up with labs and the family is eager to get another Labrador once their newborn is a little older. Brian is the former owner of Canine Weekly.