Over all the questions I get on a regular basis, there are variations on one particular theme, and it’s pretty sad. This breed has a bad reputation for being aggressive, and a lot of people buy them for the wrong reasons. That is what leads to these kinds of situations occurring in the first place.
The Rottweiler is a guardian dog breed, and it will guard its possessions and owners if the situation arises. They are not anti-social, however, and they are not macho dogs who are designed to be menacing for no reason whatsoever.
If you want to learn more about the real temperament and character of the real Rottweiler, instead of the one presented by ill-informed bodies and the media, please check out the Rottweiler Temperament page.
A Rottweiler that is bred well, from parents that are mentally and physically sound, and has grown up with love and the right amount of socialization and training, will grow up to be a confident and calm dog. He won’t be a Labrador Retriever, and you shouldn’t expect the dog to love just everyone he meets, or tie himself up in knots to get attention, but you certainly shouldn’t anticipate him to be aggressive or fearful when he is around other dogs or people.
One of the factors that makes the Rottweiler such an excellent guardian is his reserve and intelligence. They’re extremely intuitive and discerning and can spot the difference between a threatening situation and one that is not threatening, and they will react in the right way to any situation. You should never encourage your dog to be combative or aggressive, except for maybe the exception of a professional Shutzhund. This will make him act unpredictably and make him uncertain. That is definitely not what you want.
Don’t believe that just since your dog is accepting of strangers, friends, and family and is friendly, that he won’t protect you or recognize a threat.
I definitely trust my dogs’ instincts and have the occasion to see their intuition working. It’s a section of the breed characteristics, but it needs to be allowed to grow up naturally because they need to grow up in maturity and self-confidence too.
Furthermore, remember that a Rottweiler dog will mature at a slow rate, and you shouldn’t expect to see his instincts for guarding start to develop until he’s an adolescent dog, and even at that point, he’ll start to feel conflicted and confused and not act in a consistent way.
Your Rottweiler is first and foremost a loved and loving family member, and he will 100% give you his heart, and even lay down his life to protect you, no matter how much of a great dog he is. I just hope that he doesn’t ever need to.