my rottweiler bit my hand

Posted by tarek
Jan 8, 2010
i bought my Rottweiler (Rolf) at the age of 8 weeks. he’s now 2.5 years old.
i love him very much and i think he loves me the same.
we play often together, during which he sometimes play-bites my hand but without hurting me.
He doesn’t have bowl aggression at all, but with bones its different. But even when he had a bone, and I try to take it from him, as we play, he growled mildly. But I insist on taking the bone, then I start a short training, sit stay, then I give him his bone back praising him.
Its may be helpful to say that lately I was very busy at work, so its been weeks that I stopped training him, and I confess too that I have been neglecting him by not taking him to walks or playing with him.
Am I his alpha? I thought I am, i am not sure now. But I insist always that he never passes thru a door before me, he 70 % obeys me especially if we r alone without distraction, if I start getting angry and he feels that, I think he fears me .
Now a few times I had to beat him, but not painfully, but angrily.
He is normally a very loving dog to his family, me my wife, son and daughter.
He is very playful and nice with us, he plays with us like a small puppy. But aggressive with strangers, who fears him a lot by first sight (he is very strong and has a look to strangers that scares them). I tried to improve this situation but at last I had to lock him in a closed area in the garden whenever we have visitors.
Yesterday, I was sitting with my daughter in the garden, Rolf had a big bone, my daughter chased him as if she wants to take the bone from him (she usually does this), she chased him for 5 minutes. Then I called him to come near me, so he came with his bone and leaned near me, his back towards me.
My daughter continued her play trying to get the bone, he started growling two three times at her. So I reprimanded him, and each time he hears me he stops growling. But the last time I reprimanded him while grabbing him away from his bone by his collar (I used to do this before without any problem) but this time I was behind him he wasn’t looking at me. But the moment my left hand left his collar and was beside his head, he bit my hand with a growl.
I stood up grabbing my hand but he didn’t let go my hand. Until I shouted aaaaahhhh aaaahhhhhhhh from pain, he immediately let go my hand and went away a few meters from me.
I went straight to him, very shocked and yelled at him angrily and gave him 3 hits with my open palm hand then I had to leave quickly to check my bleeding hand (4 small canine holes and a nasty skin cut at the back of my hand I think caused by trying to grab my hands from his firmly closed mouth).
When I put on my cloth to go to the hospital he ran to me cheerfully as if nothing happened, I ignored him and went out.
Today everything is back to normal.
I apologize for telling this in such details, but I feel that may be these details can help u see the problem and help me with it.
Now is what happened common? Is it because of me? Would it happen again? Is it only bone aggression or it could happen in any other situation where bone is not involved? The only thing I was happy about is that it happened to me not my daughter, so should I keep Rolf or not (I am afraid he does that with anyone of my family)? If I should keep him, is there something that I should do to correct this behavior?
Please help me, I am very sad about what happened, very shocked too.
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Jan 9, 2010
Hi Tarek,

I am sorry to hear what happened with your dog. As I read your post, the first thing came to my mind was:

You should never play when dogs have a bone. You might think it's a play but it is actually teasing your dog and your dog can be very protective.

The same thing happened to my daughter with our beloved but no longer living dog. One day my daughter who was 7th-8th grade at that time teased Roxy repeatedly when she was eating a bone at Grandma's house. My husband and I told her to stop it many times but she didn't listen to us. Finally Roxy bit her by her lips. Grandma, my husband and I didn't get mad at Roxy but at our daughter. We all thought she deserved it. On the other hand, Roxy felt so bad and looked so guilty.

Maybe Roxy wouldn't have bitten our daughter if it was at our home and only our family were there, but we were at Grandma's house where she wasn't very familiar with and there were other people that she didn't know well. Even a slightest difference in situations can affect your dog's mind set. Roxy might have felt a little insecure than usual.

In your case, who knows what made difference in Rolf's mind.

In any event, I don't think you should play with your dog when he has a bone, or something special.

Secondly, I am not sure but maybe Rotties have locking jaws like pitt bulls. That might have contributed to the severity of your injury.

Dogs have such strong jaws and sharp teeth but they are trying not to use those to us human beings most of the time. But we should all remember that they are CHOOSING NOT TO USE them. They can easily kill us if they want to. They don't do that because they trust us owners. Please don't do things that make your dog mistrust you even for a short period of time.

I would not give up your dog if I were you. I would retrain him and try to get his trust back. However, it is your decision.