Adding a dog to your growing family is no small responsibility. Not only do you have to take on the care of another living creature, but you have to make sure that they are going to fit into your home and live a happy life.
Not all dog breeds naturally get along with kids, so where do Rottweilers stand as family pets? Are Rottweilers good with kids?
Rottweilers are typically good with kids. They are affectionate, protective, good playmates, and big enough not to be injured by children. However, they can accidentally knock a kid over because of their size and energy, so interactions should always be supervised. They may also try to herd kids or stop raucous play.
The breed standard is one indication of how well the Rottweiler breed typically gets along with kids.
However, you also have to look at other factors like socialization, training, age, personality, etc., to get a clearer understanding of what influences interactions between kids and Rottweilers.
Are Rottweilers Good With Kids? What Does The Breed Standard Say?
Whenever you are looking for a dog that will suit your home, a great place to start is to look at the breed standard.
This is not a guarantee that your dog will meet the profile of the typical or ideal specimen of that breed, but it gives you a good idea of the likelihood of certain characteristics being possessed by your dog.
Overall, Rottweilers are good with kids. They not only tolerate them, but they enjoy the company of children and can make excellent playmates.
What Makes The Rottweiler Breed Good With Kids?
There are a few different reasons that Rottweilers are a great breed to have around kids, so let’s take a look at what these are below:
Rottweilers Are Sweet-Natured and Loving
This is particularly true to when it comes to their families. They love to receive affection and attention, and they are not stingy in returning this attention.
Children are openly and blindly affectionate, much like dogs, so the relationship between a Rottweiler and its child owners is mutually rewarding and, therefore, solid.
Rottweilers Are Loyal and Naturally Protective
This means that they are going to be very aware of your child’s well-being when they are around them.
Furthermore, if you are out walking with your children and your Rottweiler, you don’t have to worry about your Rottweiler hurting your kids, and they are a very big deterrent to strangers and other dogs.
Rottweilers Are Relatively Energetic Dogs
This makes them excellent playmates for older, similarly active kids. Your child will exercise your Rottweiler, and your Rottweiler will exercise your child.
Rottweilers Are Big Dogs
This may seem like an odd factor contributing to the suitability of Rottweilers with children. But actually, it is more often the smaller dogs who do not get along well with children.
A small dog is also much more at risk of being injured by a handsy toddler or a rambunctious child. This makes them defensive and snappy.
However, a big dog like a Rottweiler is not going to be stressing about getting hurt by your five-year-old!
What Do You Need To Watch Out For When Rottweilers Interact With Kids?
Even if your Rottweiler absolutely adores your children or children in general, there are some factors that you need to bear in mind.
You will notice that a lot of these factors are actually the same things that make your Rottweiler great with kids.
Rottweilers Are a Large Breed
Male Rottweilers weigh between 95 and 135 pounds, and females are not too much smaller at 80 to 100 pounds.
This size can be intimidating to any child, but a nervous child especially can become quite frightened around a Rottweiler.
Additionally, whenever there is a large size discrepancy between the size of your dog and the size of your child, it is always best to keep an eye on them to make sure that there are no accidental injuries.
This not only applies to big dogs and small children but also to small dogs and bigger children.
Rottweilers Are Relatively Energetic Dogs
This, along with their size, means that they may accidentally knock a small child over during a game.
Rottweilers Are Loyal and Naturally Protective
If your kids are running around screaming, or if someone accidentally gets hurt and cries, your Rottweiler may decide that this overly excited behavior is not right or that something might be wrong.
In such situations, your Rottweiler may try to intervene. Their interventions may be completely appropriate for dogs but not necessarily for humans.
Rottweilers Have a History as Cattle Drovers
Their herding instincts are well-developed. This means that your small children may end up being nudged and prodded as your Rottweiler herds them where they think that they should go.
Once again, small children can get knocked over. But, nervous children may also get frightened by this behavior, even though it is not aggressive.
Now, let’s step away from the breed characteristics and see what other factors can affect how well Rottweilers get on with children.
Factors Affecting How Well Rottweilers Interact With Kids
With any dog, there will be certain innate qualities and other factors that will affect how well he or she may get along with kids.
Keep in mind that dogs are like people in the sense that they have individual personalities and characteristics. This means that certain dogs will get along with certain people better than others.
Being aware of this will help you to make informed decisions about how well a particular Rottweiler may get along with children.
The Personality Of Your Rottweiler
However, often these tests are only partially predictive in young dogs who are still maturing.
You can also speak to the breeder or rescue worker from whom you are getting your Rottweiler puppy, and they should be able to give you an indication of which puppies seem more confident, outgoing, shy, timid, etc.
However, this behavior is also influenced by their environment.
For example, a puppy may seem confident and relaxed with the breeder, but as soon as it is away from all of its siblings, it becomes timid and shy. You will then have to work with them to help them regain their confidence.
Ultimately, choosing a Rottweiler puppy based on their personality becomes an educated gamble.
Some Rottweilers have a personality that is highly tolerant, with which kids can get away with absolutely anything, and it will be like having a fun canine babysitter in the house.
However, other Rottweilers may be very intolerant of the loudness and activity that surrounds small children and will not be happy in the company of rambunctious kids.
The Age Of Your Rottweiler
Raising a Rottweiler with children is always a great idea if you can handle it. When they grow up with children, they learn how to handle them and interact with them.
If you are able to do this, then by the time your Rottweiler reaches maturity and weighs approximately 100 pounds, it knows what is appropriate and what is not when it comes to kids.
Additionally, as your children get a bit bigger and a bit older, they will also better understand how to interact with your Rottweiler.
But what about an older Rottweiler? Well, a Rottweiler, just like a human, can become irritable in its old age. Older dogs are stiff and sore and less able to cope with noise, activity, and change.
This means that an older Rottweiler, especially one who has not been raised with children, may not get along well with them.
They are unlikely to cause issues with your children purposefully, but they will not want to be poked, prodded, or bumped, and they may become very overwhelmed by loud noises.
It is up to the Rottweiler’s adult owners to keep small children from harassing a senior Rottweiler, but don’t keep them separated. This will not help promote adaptation and good relationships.
Instead, teach your children to respect the Rottweiler’s space.
The Age Of Your Children
As children get older, they understand more about how to interact with a Rottweiler appropriately, particularly if their parents make the effort to teach them, and they are less likely to get accidentally knocked over.
Furthermore, older kids are more mobile and energetic and thus become ideal playmates for your Rottweiler.
In this way, older children and Rottweilers may get along a lot better than younger children and Rottweilers.
If you have a Rottweiler, and then you have a baby, your Rottweiler may dislike the changes in the house and the changes in the amount of time and affection you are able to give to them.
However, if you manage the situation well and facilitate good interactions between your dog and your baby, then your Rottweiler should adjust and become just as loyal and loving to your child as it is to you.
Socializing Your Rottweiler
Socialization is incredibly important to all dogs. It involves exposing a puppy to a variety of situations, sensory stimuli, people, and animals, and it teaches them how to handle all of these things correctly.
This is why raising a Rottweiler with children is so effective in securing good relationships. Your Rottweiler is exposed, during their socialization period, to all the sounds and situations that come along with children.
Socialization doesn’t just make Rottweilers better with children. It makes them, and dogs in general, more well-balanced, well-adjusted, and happier.
This, in turn, makes them more likely to get along with all things in their environment, including children.
Training Your Rottweiler
Training is absolutely essential in a giant dog like a Rottweiler. This is not because they are more prone to bad behavior but because their size makes certain behaviors inappropriate.
For example, a small dog jumping on a child is fun and cute. In contrast, a large dog doing the same thing can actually be dangerous; albeit completely unintended by the dog.
Furthermore, you are less able to control them physically should the need ever arise.
For example, suppose your dog has a habit of jumping up at guests, and you need to restrain them every time someone comes through the front door.
If you have a Maltese, firstly, the jumping may be annoying, but it is less likely to be a big issue. Secondly, if you need to hold them back, it’s as simple as tucking them under your arm.
With a Rottweiler, the jumping can knock guests over, and holding them back is going to take all your strength, and that still might not be enough.
If, however, you can train your Rottweiler not to jump or to listen when you say ‘no’ or ‘come’, all of a sudden, life is a lot easier.
The same applies to kids. If your Rottweiler is being too rough or overly excited around children, then they need to understand what ‘no’ means, and you need to be able to call them away for a period of calming down.
A really good trick to maintaining good relationships between Rottweilers and children is to put boundaries in place.
Your kids need to understand what they are allowed to do with your Rottweiler and what is not allowed. Similarly, your dog needs to know what is permitted with children and what is not.
So, you need to teach your kids that they are not allowed to pull the dog’s ears or stick their faces in your Rottweiler’s face, and your dog has to know that they are not allowed to jump up at the kids or try to herd them.
Furthermore, your Rottweiler should have a place where they can go when they are tired of being with the children or when they are overly excited and need to cool down.
This spot, be it a dog bed, a kennel, etc., should be a child-free zone.
Likewise, your child should have a place to go when they are tired of playing with the Rottweiler. For example, you can train your Rottweiler to not allowed in the child’s bedroom without permission.
What About Someone Else’s Kids?
Up to now, we have mostly been referring to your Rottweiler and your kids. But what about guests or children you pass on walks or at the park?
Unlike strange adults, who can be perceived by your loyal and protective Rottweiler as potential threats to their family, other children are unlikely to be viewed in this light.
Your Rottweiler may take a while to warm up to the newcomers, but there should not be any issues. Even so, it is always best to carefully supervise any interaction between your Rottweiler and a new child.
Another factor that is introduced here is the personalities of the children. Your own kids will know your Rottweiler and are not likely to be afraid or intimidated by its size.
A strange child, however, may be terrified if they see a massive Rottweiler approaching them.
Your Rottweiler might become confused by this reaction, or they might try to comfort the child, which will just make the situation worse.
Even if you do not have children of your own, Rottweilers who are properly socialized and trained should not be an issue to have around other people’s children.
Just make sure that you supervise the interactions, and you have a way to intervene effectively if something goes wrong.
Addressing The Myth That Rottweilers Are Aggressive With Children
You may have heard that Rottweilers can be aggressive with children, but rest assured. Rottweilers are no more likely to be aggressive with kids than any other dog.
In fact, as a breed, they are known to get along very well with children.
The myth that Rottweilers are aggressive is the culmination of poor breeding and gross exaggeration. A few incidents of aggression are often generalized to large breeds of dogs, which are then labeled as dangerous.
The problem is perpetuated when irresponsible and unethical people deliberately breed aggressive dogs in an effort to produce a ‘good’ guard dog or a fighting dog.
Rottweilers are not the only victims of these incorrect stigmas, but, thankfully, more people are realizing the truth—that dogs like Rottweilers are simply marvelous.
However, we once again caution that no child of any age should be left unsupervised with any dog!
Rottweilers can be excellent companions to children, especially if they are raised with them. They are affectionate and kind-hearted, happy to receive affection in return.
A Rottweiler’s size means that it will not be snappy or defensive out of fear of getting hurt, although they can accidentally knock small children over.
A Rottweiler is a relatively high-energy dog and makes an ideal playmate for older children. However, smaller children can sometimes be overwhelmed by their energy, or once again, accidentally knocked down.
Rottweilers are naturally loyal and protective, so their instinct is always going to be keeping your children safe.
However, their protectiveness may lead them to try to intervene or stop overly rambunctious behavior that they perceive to be improper or potentially dangerous.
How well a Rottweiler gets along with children is not just influenced by breed characteristics. The Rottweiler’s age, personality, socialization, and training can have a massive impact.
Additionally, the age of the children and the existence of boundaries can make a big difference.