territorial aggression

Posted by abcwhite
Sep 16, 2007
Our family has a neutered male 3/4 rottweiler x 1/4 black lab not quite three years of age. We have had him for approximately 1 1/2 years now after he had been with two different owners. The first owner worked a job on the road and it became impractical to take Bear with him, at this point my husband's brother took him for a few month's but moved into a city with a small yard and not enough time to spend with him. It was at this point in time that he came to stay with us and we fell in love with him. We have another dog of same mix but much more lab than rotty. Of the two dogs Bear is most definitely the alpha dog, where as the other dog (Jesse) is very timid/submissive.
I do believe that both dogs perceive us as their leaders. Bear listens to us very well. We have 2 daughters (7 & 4) whom he also listens to very well. Our oldest daughter feeds him every day after we eat. He always waits until she fills his bowl and leaves before he attempts to eat. He will allow us to take his food/toys/treats etc. away with no trouble from him. He loves to fetch and "drop it" as much as he can. He is well behaved on the leash, around other dogs, while we are at the park, lake, etc. He has no problems with other strangers until we are back at home.
He does not like strange people in our yard (we have a large farm yard of ~10 acres). If we are home and somebody stops he is unfamiliar with he will bark a loud bark to announce their presence at which point we call him over and he immediately comes and we praise him, and he is totally fine with this so called stranger.
The problem arises when we are not home. His bark escalates to a snarl with hackles raised, and teeth bared (so we have been told). It seems that he will allow people out of their vehicles but not back in. He has now grabbed three people by the hand (not broken the skin yet but I am afraid it is only a matter of time before this happens). We are not sure why he feels the need to be so protective of our yard. Short of tying him when we leave, we don't know how to fix something that is happening when we are gone.
He is a very big and strong dog (~115 lbs) and I know if he did bite someone it would be bad.
It seems so hard to believe that he behaves this way when I can watch our girls play with him, tug his ears, throw his toys, lay on the grass with him and so on. He waits like a big baby for our oldest to come home off of the school bus.
Thank you for any direction you may have.

PS: if it makes any difference - to our knowledge he was not neutered until about 1 yr of age and we keep all of his vaccinations up to date; he is on dry dog food only (Pedigree healthy vitality)
Posted by Blue
Mar 26, 2008
Hi there,
How are things with Bear? I'm relatively new to the forum and I'm trying to get updates on posts that weren't replied to...
Posted by abcwhite
Jun 7, 2008
Things seem to be the same - We make sure he is tied up when we know someone will be coming in the yard. I know this doesn't solve the problem but we don't want to see anyone get hurt. There just seems to be no rhyme or reason as to who he likes and who he doesn't. Some people that enter the yard, he could care less about but most others he greets with his haired raised and a big bark. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. He is so loving with our family we don't really know what to do. On the upside he is very obedient and we haven't had any trouble calling him off.