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Taking in a Rottweiler

January 24th, 2010, 09:37 PM
A friend of my husband has a 6yo, neutered male Rott who needs a home. This dog has never lived indoors, and though as far as I know he hasn`t actually been abused, he has been seriously neglected at times. Biggie has an amazing personality though, he is friendly to all the people, dogs, and cats that I`ve seen him with. And although not formally housetrained, he`s only marked twice indoors the 3 days he`s been here. He isn`t displaying any dominate behavior, but seems to just have enough natural confidence in himself that he doesn`t need to, if you know what I mean. My husband is just in love with this dog. My kids are teens, so no small children to worry about getting him used to. He`s smart, but has almost no training, we are working on that.

Those are the pros, the cons, well, Lola is still scared of him. She`s not a small dog, but he is easily twice her size. She`s a terribly scaredy dog. I only wish that Lola had such a friendly, calm disposition. She is getting better around him, but still working that out. Also, we often dog-sit for my folks and others, but my mom told me today they won`t be bringing their new dog over as long as Biggie is here. Their previous small dog was horribly killed last fall by a large dog and she just won`t take that chance. Frankly I`m not confident in my ability to maintain peace with 3 dogs yet, so that`s probably a good thing for now. We don`t have a crate for either dog, so until I`m a lot more secure that they are getting along, Biggie is going to have to be outside when we have to all be gone. I don`t like that, but don`t have a better solution at the moment. I am home most of the time, so it won`t be often or for long periods, but still.

He seems to be an awfully good dog, but I just don`t know if this is the best thing for all of us. His owner wants him to be with us, so he will get the attention he`s not been getting, and get to live as part of a family, and so that he can still visit with Biggie. And Biggie still loves him, despite how he`s had to live :frustrated: I`ve offered to do a trial here for a week or 2 and see how it goes. I haven`t tried to walk him myself yet, just been playing with them in the yard a couple of times a day. IF he stays, we`ll be signing up for a course of obediance, but not crossing that bridge yet. I do love bigger dogs, but generally just one at a time is good enough for me. I enjoy when we have doggy guests, but I dunno how it`s going to go with having an extra one permanently.

So, advice, suggestions, training tips, all welcome

January 24th, 2010, 09:56 PM
Please - check freecycle or Craigslist and see if you can find Biggie a crate. It is too cold in Ill. for him to be left outside for more then a few minutes and there is another cold snap headed this way this week.

When I brought my then 4 year old female rottweiler home from animal control, I was told by my brother that he did not want "that killer dog" anywhere near his young children. That was in the spring, when we got her. That year, she attended the family Christmas gathering with 2 chihuahuas, 1 yorkshire terrier, 1 standard poodle, 3 greyhounds and a beagle mix. She was the ONLY dog that we could absolutely guarantee wouldn't bite. My brother cried when she passed 6 years later from cancer.

It sounds like your dog will be just fine, given time. It has been, after all, only a couple of days since you brought in this new addition. Until you have had him for a while and your friends and family come to realize he isn't the killer dog they saw on some newscast, you can always confine him to his crate or a different room.

January 25th, 2010, 05:56 PM
I enjoy when we have doggy guests, but I dunno how it`s going to go with having an extra one permanently.

If he's good with your dogs , you won't see the difference. He seems to be a good doggy from what you have described. It's up to Lola , if she can get used to having a new big bro.

As for him being an outside dog ... I had fosters who used to be outside 24/7 , they loved being inside dogs here. And I adopted a Pyrenee before x-mas , also an outside dog (and they do love the winter) but , he does like to be inside with us.

I think a period trial would be best for you and your family.

January 25th, 2010, 11:52 PM
I wouldn`t have thought of leaving him out if he weren`t already acclimated, but this morning, with a lot of crossed fingers & prayer, I left both dogs in the house for an hour. I really hate to do that, but I do have to go out here and there, and guess that will have to do until/unless I can score a crate.

I`m just having a lot of anxiety about the whole situation. Not sure I`m up to the job of being a Rottie mom. He is such a good boy though. Guess I was just looking for reassurance

January 26th, 2010, 04:49 AM
Being a rottie mom is a bit more demanding then some other breeds, I will grant you that. It is my humble opinion that there is no breed more willing to please and and love their people.

You are going to do great!

January 29th, 2010, 08:52 PM
Thanks LR & Frenchy.
Now that Biggie`s been with us a week, he`s started loosening up more. The dogs finally started playing, which I thought was a good thing, to get them running around more. Unfortunately, when Biggie gets excited, he gets, well, excited :o. It`s like he can`t help himself, but he keeps trying to hump Lola and she is not impressed. He also barks at her to get her to engage in playing or something :confused: I`m guessing it`s a dominance game of some sort, but I dunno. Never had a boy dog before. I can stop him if I get in & block him & make him sit, but he goes back at it as soon as I release him. I don`t know if I should be stopping him, or let them sort it out themselves.
He also isn`t eating much at all. The food he came with is crap, I was going to let him finish it, but he doesn`t want it or hardly any of Lola`s food. He`ll eat a mouthful here and there, but he just isn`t interested.

Help please?

January 29th, 2010, 08:58 PM
I don`t know if I should be stopping him, or let them sort it out themselves.

things are going not so bad then ! :thumbs up for the humping .... I usually let them deal with it , the "humpy" has to put the "humper" back in his place. But some humpies are too submissive to do that. Then yes , I will stop the humper. But it's much better when the humpy gets fed up and snaps at the humper. After that , it usually stops.

For the food , I wouldn't be too worry , once he gets settled in , gets into the new routine , he'll eat normally.

so ... when are we getting pics ? :goodvibes:

January 29th, 2010, 09:46 PM
I would let Lola sort him out so far as the humping thing.

As for the barking to play - that is pretty standard behaviour and not dominant at all. You should hear my house when Stark and Rusty get playing! It sounds like a doggy warzone!

Are you able to leave him in the house while you are gone now?

January 29th, 2010, 10:38 PM
Ok, thanks, I will let them be for now. It`s annoying & obnoxious, but I didn`t know if it was "bad" or not.
I have been leaving them in the house, just for an hour or less when I`ve had commitments. So far it has been ok, I make sure the kitties have bolt holes, but just :fingerscr that he & Lola won`t get into it.
We did have a bad incident just a little while ago. A visitor came in with a hand raised, holding something, and Biggie snapped at him. His huge canine tooth ripped through the guy`s shirt and grazed his skin, drawing a little blood. This is really worrying. I`m not scared of him, but I`m respectful that he could do a huge amount of damage, and don`t know the best way to introduce him to people safely. Other than this one guy, he`s been if anything overly friendly, wanting to jump & lick visitors. I had him sit (the only thing he does reliably so far) and stay awhile, and now he is licking this same guy. We have GOT to get him some better training than what I know what to do, but the classes I want to get him into don`t start until April. He went after one of the cats last night too.
I told my husband that if he wants Biggie to stay he has got to step up & exercise & work with him too. At this point though he doesn`t have anywhere else to go unless I can convince his owner to let him go to a Rottweiler rescue. I`m still of 2 minds about the whole thing.

As for pictures, I don`t have a camera right now but he looks like about any other big male Rott :D

January 29th, 2010, 10:59 PM
Get your self a bag of string cheese and work on the simple commands at home - sit, down, stay, etc.

For the time being, make sure your friends and family know that they need to knock on the door and let you answer before coming in the house. (I know at my house, my mom is famous for just walkin' on in.) Keep a leash close to the door, snap it on when people knock and make Biggie sit before you open the door. Keep the leash on him until people are in the house and he doesn't feel the need to jump on people. Under the circumstances of the "bite" you describe, I wouldn't be overly concerned, but aware. New situation, new family and the instinct to protect the home. Don't forget, he has been kept outside and much of what is going on IN your home is very much out of his range of experience.

Judging just from what you have posted, he sounds like a good, solid dog who needs to learn the new ropes. If he was aggressive, you would definately know it by now. Just watch his reactions to new people and situations so you can correct or distract before anything can get out of hand.

February 6th, 2010, 10:17 PM
I thought I`d written a "thanks for the advice note", but the internets must have ate it, sorry.
LR, this sounds exactly like what we need to be doing, every time. Unfortunately my DH didn`t think it necessary for people who`ve already met Biggie, and my daughter just plain forgot this morning when we had a visitor that Biggie had been fine with a week ago. I wasn`t home, so didn`t see the exact sequence of events, but Biggie bit again, a different visitor, as he was coming in the door, in a similar way as the previous time. I have a sign posted at the door now for people to wait until we tell them Biggie is leashed. My DH though, is thinking now that he`s untrainable and unpredictable. I`m ticked at him for not being able to "predict" that this would happen again unless we get serious about training and controlling Biggie.
I really think this is a good dog who just needs a LOT more direction and training. I just don`t know that we are the best family to give him that. I have been working with him some, but I just can`t do it all or make the others in my family be as consistant as he needs.

I`ve been looking at web pages for Rottweiler Rescues in my area and hoping to convince Biggie`s owner that this would be the best option for him, if we can find him a spot.

Thanks for the advice, we are going continue working with him as long as he`s here.

February 6th, 2010, 11:38 PM
Sorry about the second bite - was it serious or just a nip like the first one?

Your husband needs to understand that going from being an outside dog to being an inside dog is a huge change. These dogs are extremely smart but need some guidance. Being fair, firm and consistant should make him a wonderful companion - but he needs to learn boundries and everyone is going to have to be on board.

I have never, ever met an untrainable rottweiler.

February 7th, 2010, 06:58 AM
I would think that Biggie was used to protect the property of his last owner and he just doesn't understand that he no longer needs to do that.

Your husband needs to engage in the process of training this dog or it's not going to work. It will also confused the dog as he won't udnerstand which rules he is suppose to follow. The person who says to do one thing, or the person who doesn't say anything when Biggie behaves the same way as you told him not to. it's going to make for a confused Biggie.

February 8th, 2010, 12:46 AM
This one was similar, but more serious that the first incident. There were definate teeth marks on the guy`s arm. I`m told there was no growling or warning, my daughter opened the door- Biggie lunged & bit. My husband, I think, was expecting a good family pet right out of the box, so to speak, just because he felt a "connection" with the dog. He`s ready to call his friend to take Biggie back to the backyard he was being kept in. I`ve written a note to a couple of Rott rescues to see if any of them can help us, if I can even convince his friend to give him up totally. Unfortunately I`ve seen on a couple of sites that some rescues won`t consider taking a dog that has any bite history, no matter what. This just sucks all the way around. None of this is fair to him, and I`m annoyed at it being made my problem to deal with, but trying to.

He is totally trainable, but needs someone more consistent, experienced, & dedicated than any of us are. I want to at least get him a thorough evaluation. He isn`t going anywhere right away, but something is going to have to give.

February 8th, 2010, 03:29 PM
pamha, it is so great of u to try to help this dog. I hope u can find a rescue place that can take him and that the owner will allow it.