Aggressive Rottie

Posted by amycamp2
Feb 23, 2008
Hello, This is my first post on the dog forum and I am looking for some input. I have a 4 yr old Rottweiler, Bentley.
Bentley has always been a terrific family pet. I have a 2yr old son and he and the dog are the best of friends. My problem is everyone else! Bentley has gradually gotten more and more aggressive. It seems to be territorial, both of us- his pack, and his home. He started growling and snarling out on walks and has began snapping both on walks, and at people that enter our home. He absolutely flips if someone knocks on my front door! He charges the gdoor with his hackles raised and ready to pounce! If he is outside and we let someone in the house he is much better- but still seems untrusting, which is very nerve-racking! He is fine with family members that come over- people that he knows. If it is not someone who comes to my home on a regular basis, he is very uneasy and looks like he can lose it at any time. He just can not relax. We can not walk him in our neighborhood any longer, and we put him in a bedroom when we have company.
I have been reading a lot of the sitstayfetch books and I even purchased the videos. We have definatley not been treating him as "low man on the totem pole." I have started with doorways, feeding habits, not acknowledging him when I first return home until he has calmed down,etc. Overall, I have been taking a much more diligent approach to showing him that I- we, my husband as well, are boss. I am just so afraid at this point to trust him. How do I get him to stop charging the door? I want him to be a relaxed companion. I want to do it for him as much as for us. I dont mind putting him in a bedroom when we have company, but I would like to know that its a choice- not a must-do. I fear he is going to bite someone. Like I said, we cant walk him, and we cant socialize him (and he was socialized and walked 2-3x/day from the time he was 6 months old. His probelms were sooo gradual). In addition, he has had obediance training and does pretty well- when he wants to. We have also had help from a behaviorist. The problem with that is- he does show any of his negative side when they are at our home! He is like a different dog. Obviously he responds to an Alpha person...and I want to be that person! I just dont know how. We want to trust him again like we did for the first 2 years of his life. It seems to have gotten gradually worse when my son was born. The behaviorist had us put him on Proaz, but after 6 months there was no change and we took him off. Please help!!!!! Thank You !!! Amy, Bill, Will and Bentley
Posted by Carmin331
Feb 25, 2008
It sounds to me like this is a dominance issue. As the alpha, it is your job to provide protection... it sounds like your dog thinks it is his... like he is confused about who the alpha is and his role in the pack.

When he is being aggressive, do you make him sit and tell him to be quiet? If so, does he listen and obey your commands? If not, he is definitely confused on who is dominant, which needs to be addressed as soon as possible. If a dog believes they are dominant, they will make decisions for themselves rather than listening to you... in the world we live in, this could get them killed!
Posted by Liz-amp-Koa
Jun 24, 2008

I have almost the same problem with my 1 1/2 year old GSD. We adopted him when he was 8 months old and it turns out he was from a puppy mill. He has done really well with obedience training and agility, but when people go to turn and walk away or if they are patting him and then back up, he goes to nip at them, and it's not a play nip. At my dog behaviorist advice we are using the gentle leader and are trying to desensitize him. When we come across people and stop and talk, I put him in a down stay and tell the person to ignore him. If his body language is relaxed I give him a small piece of chicken. When we are done I say lets go and I do not let the person touch him at all. I think the idea is in time, he will come to want the attention from stranger, who knows how long that will take.

Other than this issue he is affectionate and loves to be loved. It is strange.

I would appreciate any input anyone can give.

Liz M.
Weymouth, MA