Is the Rottweiler a Dangerous Breed?

Lately, the Rottweiler breed has gained quite a negative reputation. Many consider the Rottweiler to be a dangerous and vicious dog. They are thought to attack strangers or even turn on their owners at times. Several regions have outlawed them, and some insurance companies have rules not to cover Rottweiler owners. These are some popular misconceptions about this breed, but is the Rottweiler s dangerous breed in actuality? Originally Rottweilers were bred to be guard dogs, and they have a territorial streak as a result. But if a Rottweiler is trained and socialized, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Adequate training can make a large difference in a Rotty’s temperament. A good owner who has trained and socialized their Rottweiler from a young age will have the most gentle, loyal, and loving dog. ( Rottweilers have a stable temperament, and the aggression they show is similar to any other breed. These dogs are brave and powerful and would defend their families with their life. If your Rotty is socialized and well trained, it will rarely behave aggressively, even in inappropriate situations.

Let’s look at some reasons that led to this popular misconception.

It’s Massive Size

One reason people fear the Rottweiler is due to their large size. They usually weigh over 100 lbs. and have a large head. Due to this, their bite force is stronger than both a Pitbull and German Shepherds. Rottweilers’ muscular body, strong jaws, and eyes that face forward can seem a bit intimidating. Rottweilers also make great guard dogs; hence people tend to be afraid of them. This has led to its notorious reputation.

Natural Guarding Traits

The Rottweiler has served multiple purposes throughout history. One of the most essential jobs of the Rottweiler was to serve as a guard dog.

They guarded their people, livestock, and property. Rottweilers were known to assist farmers and herd livestock. They also assisted butchers in pulling meat carts to the market. At times, their handlers used to tie their money pouch to the Rottweilers collar, and the dog guarded their handler’s money as well. These guarding instincts exist in Rottweilers even today. It is quite normal for a Rottweiler to show a bit of aggression if a stranger approaches their family. Many irresponsible owners use Rottweilers to guard their backyards without training them properly or engaging them. This can put them in situations where their guarding instinct may channel into aggressiveness.

Rottweiler’s Prey Drive

As Rottweilers served as herding dogs, they naturally possess a prey drive. If their prey drive is not channeled the correct way, it can cause damage. A Rottweiler’s herding instinct and untamed prey drive can cause it to be aggressive to other pets, livestock, and maybe even kids. A well-socialized Rottweiler will have a tamed prey drive. If your Rotty has not been socialized with other people or dogs from a young age, they are more likely to have an inappropriate prey drive. As a Rottweiler is so large and powerful, its inappropriately channeled prey drive can lead to major behavioral issues. That’s why it’s so important to train and socialize your Rotty adequately.

Strong Personality

Rottweilers have a strong, daring personality. They are bold and fearless. From a young age, a Rottweiler may challenge their owner. A good owner needs to turn such behaviors into an opportunity to train the dog. If you are an inexperienced owner, you might not know how to react. Direction is extremely important for a Rottweiler. Without the right training techniques, a Rottweiler’s bold behavior can turn into mischief or even aggressiveness. If you want to keep a Rottweiler, you need to be knowledgeable and experienced. This dog cannot be left on its own instincts. It needs to be guided from puppyhood; otherwise, its admirable qualities can transform into aggression.

Natural Protectiveness

Rottweilers can be naturally protective, and that’s why they make amazing herding dogs and police dogs. If you have kept a Rottweiler as a pet, it will protect you with its life if it has to. A Rottweiler that has been trained to guard should not be approached by people it’s not familiar with. You should also avoid petting such a Rottweiler. It will obviously respond with aggression just like it has been trained to.

Role of Media

Many Rottweilers have been portrayed negatively in the media. They have been portrayed as dangerous and aggressive dogs, which has led to the many misconceptions associated with Rotty’s. The media has also largely downplayed their affectionate and positive traits.

Tendency to Turn on their Owners

Another common misconception about Rottweilers is that they tend to turn on their owners. First of all, the Rottweiler is among the ten most popular breeds in the U.S. If this had been true, it would not have risen to such a height of popularity. There have been cases of Rottweilers attacking or biting their owners. But this can happen with any dog, depending on how the dog is treated. A badly handled Rottweiler who is abused or beaten might attack its owner, but so can any other dog breed that is mistreated. A well-trained, properly socialized Rotty can never turn on its owner.


So, is the Rottweiler a dangerous breed? The answer is No. However, the Rottweiler is a largely misunderstood breed. The truth is that Rotties are loving, loyal, and devoted dogs. They are one of the most hardworking dog breeds that take their jobs very seriously. Whether it’s serving as a police dog or working as ‘drovers’ in the past, the Rottweiler has always served a purpose and excelled at it. Their guarding instinct can cause aggressive tendencies, but only if the Rotty has not been trained or socialized. With care and proper technique, this is one of the best dog breeds out there.