Reading time: 7 minutes.
Are Rottweilers territorial? This question is one that needs to be asked and understood so you can provide the best environment for your Rottweiler and home.
Rottweilers are considered a territorial breed. They have historically worked as working dogs and were used to protect the home and livestock, which created naturally territorial behaviors. Luckily, these dogs are also very sweet and not any more aggressive than most other breeds.
Still, there’s a lot more to know when it comes to understanding are Rottweilers territorial. Keep reading to learn more about their territorial behaviors and what this means for you as a Rottweiler owner.
Are Rottweilers Territorial?
Territorial breeds are those that have a higher perception of their turf. Whenever they have an established territory, they do not want intruders to invade. If they do, the dog will engage in different behaviors with the intention of getting rid of the intruder. These behaviors are often aggressive.
Rottweilers are generally considered a territorial breed. They have a very strong sense of their home and territory, as well as their friends and family members. These dogs are known to be territorial primarily over people and property, but they can be territorial over food and toys as well.
The good news about Rottweilers is that they are friendly and loving, especially when socialized properly. This loving personality means you don’t have to worry about your Rottweiler being outwardly aggressive if you train it right. The dog will alert you whenever intruders are on the property, but they won’t necessarily attack unless needed.
Overall, Rottweilers are territorial, but they are loving and loyal too. It is for this reason that many people choose Rottweilers as guard dogs for their homes. They will love your family, but they will let you know if there is an intruder.
Are Rottweilers Aggressive?
Before we dive more into Rottweiler’s territorial behavior, it’s best to understand the difference between aggression and territorial tendencies. Although the two often overlap, dogs that are territorial are not necessarily aggressive.
Territorial behavior is simply a natural instinct that all dogs have to protect their territory and items. It is what allowed them to survive in the wild. Aggression, on the other hand, is signs or outright actions to scare or harm the other party through biting, growling, or snapping.
Some dogs that are territorial will only ever bark at a person. They will not bite or do anything else that is intentionally aggressive. However, there are other Rottweilers that will growl and bite if you cross over their territory.
That being said, Rottweilers are not considered more aggressive than the average dog. On the contrary, these dogs are very loving, affectionate, and loyal, especially to their owners. Although they might be a bit standoffish to newcomers, they quickly warm up to people once they see their owners are OK with the other individuals.
What this means is that Rottweilers are not naturally aggressive, even though they are territorial. Most often, the Rottweilers that are both territorial and aggressive are raised by irresponsible owners who do not know how to raise a dog properly or even instigate the behavior.
Why Are Rottweilers Territorial?
All dogs by nature are territorial to some degree, but certain breeds are more so than others. Rottweilers are considered one of the more territorial breeds. Experts cannot say for certain why some dogs are more territorial than others, but there are some guesses.
Most notably, experts believe that Rottweilers are aggressive because they have been a working breed used for guarding homes, people, and cattle. In southern Germany, Rottweilers were often used to drive cattle during the workday and go home with the butchers at night to protect their homes from thieves.
So, Rottweilers were constantly being bred and used for territorial purposes. They kept cows in line, and they kept their owners and homes safe from invaders. Because Rottweilers were bred for this purpose, they are evolutionarily more territorial than other breeds.
On top of this natural inclination towards territorial behaviors, Rottweilers are frequently purchased by irresponsible owners. When a territorial dog is owned by an irresponsible owner, it can lead to hyper territorial and aggressive behaviors, heightening the problem.
What Are Territorial Behaviors In Rottweilers?
Territorial behavior typically starts with some sort of marking or claiming of the territory. Dogs will rub their body on items they claim and mark their territory with their urine. The purpose of this is to distribute their pheromones on perceived turf, thus marking the territory against other dogs.
If an intruder starts invading the territory, the Rottweiler will start to get slightly more aggressive. The display may begin with something as simple as barking, pacing, and panting. If the intruder continues to approach the territory, the behavior may get more aggressive.
For example, some dogs will respond by snapping, growling, biting, or lunging at the person or other intruder. Not all Rottweilers will resort to this territorial aggression, even if the intruder invades their territory. Some may just continue barking and seek you out for help or protection.
It’s important that you are able to recognize the signs of territorial behaviors so you can respond to them accordingly. If the dog is demonstrating territorial behaviors, it’s best to back up and stop messing with the territory because you are putting yourself at risk of being bitten or attacked.
Are Territorial Dogs Safe?
Now that we understand that Rottweilers are considered a territorial breed, it’s important to understand the relationship between territorial behaviors and aggression. Although some territorial behaviors are sometimes aggressive, that isn’t always the case, and there are sometimes some benefits of having a territorial dog.
For example, having a territorial dog is a great choice if you want a breed that will act as a guard dog for your family and home. It will alert you if there is someone in the area or if there is something wrong going on outside. This territorial behavior will help to keep the entire family safe.
Obviously, there are times when the territorial behavior crosses over into something more vicious. For example, territorial behavior over toys and food that leads to biting and growling is outright aggressive. These forms of territorial behaviors are not as safe as barking at an intruder.
Because there are both safe and unsafe versions of territorial dogs, it’s important that you train your dog accordingly and know how to behave around it, especially when it is showing territorial behaviors. Training is key to ensuring that your territorial dog is safe and family-friendly. With proper training, you can trust that your Rottweiler will be a safe and great addition to your home.
How To Train Rottweilers
Training is key to managing your Rottweiler’s territorial behavior. Rottweilers are highly intelligent and love to please their owners. Training your Rottweiler to use its territorial behaviors for positive reasons is not too difficult with the right approach.
Start training your Rottweiler from a young age. The younger the training, the better. While training, use treats and positive reinforcement to reward good behavior. Do not use negative reinforcement because this might actually make the aggression worse.
Additionally, make sure that your Rottweiler has items of its own. Often, dogs are territorial when they feel that they have to fight for resources. Make sure your dog always has access to food, water, entertainment, and exercise.
Try to expose your Rottweiler to as many people and other animals as possible from a young age. Proper exposure will make the Rottweiler more familiar with intruders, which means they are less likely to be aggressive or harmful if someone comes to your house.
How To Respond To Territorial Rottweilers
You will likely have to deal with your Rottweiler’s territorial behavior from time to time. If you notice your Rottweiler is showing signs of territorial behaviors, calm your dog down by using a calm, soothing voice. Try to show your dog that it has nothing to be tense or nervous about.
If the situation is escalating, steer clear of the dog but try not to exert any dominance. For example, If a dog is growling, snarling, or snapping, back away from the scenario so you’re not putting yourself at risk. Once you are in a safe situation, try to figure out why your dog was acting territorial and fix the problem so that it does not happen again.
By nature, Rottweilers are a territorial breed. They are known for being fierce defenders of their property and humans. Their intense loyalty means that most of their territorial behavior is against strangers, not owners.
Territorial behavior isn’t necessarily bad or outright aggressive. Although it can be aggressive, some territorial behaviors are helpful because they can help you protect your home and loved ones.
Even so, it’s imperative that you train your Rottweiler from a young age so that its territorial behaviors do not venture to aggression. With proper training and effort, you can minimize your Rottweiler’s aggressive behaviors and intense territorial inclinations.