The truth about rottweilers

Three years ago I knew virtually nothing about Rottweilers; or more accurately he knew a number of things that were not true. For example, I envisioned Rottweilers as very aggressive guard dogs that didn’t make good pets and weren’t “people” dogs. Then, about three years ago, while surfing the internet looking for dogs for adoption, my daughter fell in love with “Jade,” a three-legged, two-year-old female Rottie at a shelter in Texas. A few weeks later we were headed to Texas to adopt Jade, a move that would lead to some quick re-education on my part about the truth about Rottweilers.

When we first met Jade, my impression was of a large, wobbly dog, with its tongue hanging out of the side of its mouth and its short tail wagging furiously. She had lost her right front leg when she was hit by a car when she was a puppy; Her owners paid to have her leg amputated, but decided they didn’t want her anymore and left her at the local animal shelter. Later, an older couple adopted her to replace her dog that had died, but they quickly decided that Jade was not the right dog for them. They ended up leaving her at another shelter, where we eventually found her.

Once we returned home with the newest member of our family, a couple of things quickly became apparent. Rottweiler experts will tell you that he needs to establish control over his Rottie early on or he will be very difficult to handle. In Jade’s case, establishing control was a real challenge. After spending half her life in a kennel, she’d obviously decided that humans, while nice enough, weren’t to be trusted. It wasn’t that she was uncontrollable, it was more a case of Jade having developed a strong sense of independence. Getting her to do what you wanted required a certain amount of give and take.

I learned a number of things about Rotties as we worked to gain more control over Jade. First of all, I did some reading and found out that Rottweilers were actually bred as herding dogs and were also used to pull small loads; only later were they used as guard dogs. In fact, they are “people” dogs and enjoy spending a lot of time with their humans. Rotties are strong, tough, loyal, and as subtle as a sledgehammer. By nature, they tend to be loud (Jade has a growl that could peel paint off a wall), wary of strangers (at least outside of the house), and patient (their ability to stay calm and not overreact to situations makes them uncomfortable). is one of them). quality that makes them good watchdogs).

As mentioned, Rotties usually like to “hang out” with their humans, but it took several months for Jade to really warm to us. She spent most of her time alone in the bedroom and rarely got up and moved except to go out. She got so little exercise that she began to put on weight and, as she had some effort to get up with only three legs, she even started to drag herself sometimes instead of bothering to get up. standing. Eventually, an improved diet of dog food for weight maintenance and green beans took most of the weight off and a lab puppy we rescued gave Jade someone to play with and got her up and moving.

Now, two years later, Jade is an integral part of our family and I have learned several more truths about Rotties:

  1. They say you should brush your Rottweiler at least once a week to comb out the loose fur on his undercoat and that is the absolute truth. Brushing Jade is a major operation – my wife usually spends 30-45 minutes brushing her and even uses an attachment on the vacuum to try to suck up all the loose fur (and Jade seems to like being vacuumed by the way) .
  2. Rotties are also supposed to be sensitive to both hot and cold weather. Considering the thickness of her undercoat, Jade has a problem with very hot weather. We only let her out for a short time during the day in the summer. As for not tolerating really cold weather, I’m not sure I completely agree with that. I have seen Jade lying outside in the snow for several hours at a time and had to coax her back into the house.
  3. Another “truth” I discovered about Rotties that you don’t read much about is the “gas” problem. Every person I’ve talked to who has a Rottweiler seems to share this problem. You will be sitting there and all of a sudden your Rottie expels some gas. Within moments, the room is enveloped in a haze of noxious gas. This room-cleaning effect probably has something to do with poor diet, but none of the owners I know of have found an answer yet.
  4. Experts warn against giving your Rottie rawhide. Jade gets raw leather shavings, but not large pieces. Also, Cole (our lab) usually steals them before Jade has a chance to consume much of the raw leather. Although it seems strange, Jade has a passion for paper products; she leaves a Kleenix, paper towel or napkin within her reach and she’ll gulp it down.
  5. One thing that I have found especially true is that you should be careful around strangers and other animals. Inside our house, Jade is always happy to greet new people and even at the pet store she is friendly enough with others. However, outside of our home, Jade becomes much more cautious and can be very aggressive towards strangers at times (although Rotties consider a bull and a smack to the chest to be a proper greeting, hostility is hard to tell at times). of enthusiasm). As for other animals, Jade gets along with our lab, our cats, and our parrots, but you can never be sure how she will react to a new animal.
  6. Finally, Rottweilers are surprisingly smart (ninth smartest dog breed according to a recent study). With their size, strength, and somewhat aggressive nature, it’s easy to assume they’re not too bright. However, keep in mind that inside that titanium steel skull is an active problem-solving mind.

All in all, I have become very attached to our brute dog. Jade may drool, pass gas, spill, and let out ear-splitting growls, but she’s also a lovable, affectionate, sometimes goofy, sometimes sensitive, sometimes intriguing, and always entertaining member of our family.

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