Checklist: What To Do When Rottweilers Attack


Rottweiler showing teeth

Rottweilers are supposed to be confident and protective dogs, but they are not supposed to be overly aggressive. However, any dog is capable of being aggressive based on their genetics, health, training, and environment.

So, what do you do if a Rottweiler attacks?

If a Rottweiler attacks you, stay calm and quiet. Don’t make eye contact. If it lunges, ram your knee into its chest. If you’re on the ground, protect your vitals. If your dog attacks someone, grab its neck and rump skin and march it away. If it is biting someone, twist its collar or throw water at its face.

This article provides you with some helpful guidelines on what to do if you are attacked by a Rottweiler, if your Rottweiler attacks another person, and if your Rottweiler attacks another dog.

Be Prepared

You have to be aware that when a Rottweiler attacks, whether it attacks you, someone else, or another dog, your only defense will most likely be physical strength.

Not many people can match a Rottweiler’s physical strength, so you will need to rely on your instincts, speed of reaction, adrenaline, and a lot of luck.

Something that can help with this, and which you are already doing by researching this topic, is to prepare yourself before anything ever happens.

Run through different scenarios in your head, over and over again, until you know exactly how you would wish to respond in that situation.

Obviously, you cannot say for sure that this is how you would respond, but it builds up your instincts, and it can save your life. 

Additionally, watch videos of self-defense against dogs. Try everything that you can to get to the point where your first response is going to be the right response.

What To Do When A Rottweiler Attacks You

  • Stay calm and do not run or try to flap and flail your limbs to look intimidating. You will only excite the Rottweiler into attacking sooner and eliminate all chances of diffusing the situation.
  • Do not make a noise. It seems counterintuitive, but you should not even call for help. Noise can make you appear threatening or make you sound like prey (fear can pitch your voice higher).
  • Assume the correct body language. The vibe you want to give is confident but not aggressive. Stop moving. Never turn your back to the dog, but you can angle to the side. Your arms should be flat at your sides as well.
  • Never make eye contact with the Rottweiler. In dog language, this is a challenge.
  • Make the first blow count. If the Rottweiler rushes you and you see it coming, then when it jumps, bring your knee up hard and use the dog’s momentum to ram your knee into its chest.
  • If you don’t manage the chest kick, shove whatever you have on you at the Rottweiler so that it bites this instead of you.
  • Pin the Rottweiler if possible. As it jumps, try to grab the Rottweiler’s neck and redirect its momentum. Follow with your bodyweight and pin it to the ground with your hands on its neck and your knee on its side.
  • If you are quick and strong enough to pin it (not everyone is, however), then only let it up again when it stops fighting you, and its breathing visibly calms down. Then slowly release and assume the correct body language.
  • If you can get behind or next to the Rottweiler, grab it by the neck skin, just behind the head, and the skin above its bum—skin, not fur. Holding a Rottweiler, however, takes strength.
  • If you can get them in this hold, then march them somewhere to lock them up if possible. Or you can ask someone for help. If its owner is nearby, tell them calmly to come and sort their dog out.
  • Defend yourself. In this situation, you absolutely forget about animal rights and ethics. Stab it with your keys, stick your fingers in its eyes—anything. Just make your movements controlled and purposeful.
  • Your aim is to immobilize the dog or shock it into backing off, not to engage it in a fight as this will only spur it on.
  • If it grabs your arm, don’t pull away, as this will cause more damage and will encourage the Rottweiler to continue with the attack.
  • Protect your vitals. If you are on the ground and unable to fight back, get into the fetal position with your knees up in front of your stomach.
  • Your arms must be over your head with your elbows together over your face. Your hands must be fisted over the back of your neck, protecting your spine.

Things To Keep In Mind

If a Rottweiler is threatening you, this does not guarantee that they will actually attack. So, if you respond correctly, they will probably walk away or allow you to slowly back away.

If a Rottweiler lunges at you and you violently knee it in the chest or grab its neck and pin it to the ground, there are probably not going to be follow-up attacks.

If the Rottweiler continues to attack, they are an unstable animal and should probably be euthanized.

What To Do If Your Rottweiler Attacks Another Person Or A Dog

Rottweiler about to attack

If your Rottweiler attacks a person or another dog, you are responsible for sorting your dog out.

As such, your Rottweiler should be trained, and you should know exactly how to handle an emergency situation based on your size and strength.

The following guidelines apply only to situations where your Rottweiler is attacking inappropriately.

If they are attacking a person or dog that would otherwise be attacking you, then you do not have to try to stop your Rottweiler.

Just remember that there can be consequences if your Rottweiler injures someone, even if they were threatening you.

  • Everyone involved must be calm, still, and quiet. Apart from informing everyone of this, your focus has to be entirely on your Rottweiler.
  • Use your dog’s training to try to catch their attention. You should be able to tell them to come or stand down before they fully engage in the attack.
  • Do not try to sweet talk your dog with high-pitched voices. Keep your voice calm as you issue the stand-down command.
  • Do not approach the person or other dog. Your Rottweiler is likely trying to protect you, so going nearer can trigger them into lunging.
  • Do not try to pet your Rottweiler, as this can trigger them to lunge.
  • Grab your Rottweiler’s neck and rump skin as described in the previous section. Hold them still while the other dog escapes. Then march your Rottweiler away.
  • The same applies when your Rottweiler attacks or tries to attack a person, except that the person must not run away. You must remove your Rottweiler from the situation.
  • If they are biting the person or dog, grab their collar, but don’t pull them because this will cause more damage. Instead, push the collar high on the dog’s neck and twist it so that you are choking them.
  • Untwist the collar, but do not release your Rottweiler when they open their mouth.
  • You can also throw water at your dog’s face to get them to release a bite grip. Try to get the water up its nose.
  • NEVER stick your fingers into your dog’s mouth to try and get them to release their bite.
  • If you are near a body of water—a pool or a pond, etc.—then throw your Rottweiler into the water.  

Before we conclude, take a look at this amazing video of Rottweilers attacking. It provides some great insight into the strength of these dogs, which is important to keep in mind when approaching any Rottweiler.

Final Thoughts

The attack scenario is going to make a big difference to how you can or should handle the situation.

The attack scenario includes things like how it happens, where it happens, what you have as an available weapon, if anyone else is around, how many dogs are involved if they are all Rottweilers, and what is causing the Rottweiler to attack.

These checklists try to take into account several scenarios and include information that can be used across many different situations.

Some of the guidelines are more offensive than others. You have to decide if you can fight the Rottweiler or if your focus must be defending and protecting yourself, but prevention is the best option.

Go over the scenarios and your idea response in each repeatedly to help ensure that you can respond correctly should the situation ever arise.

Hunter Reed

I've owned and trained German Shepherds and a variety of other large and medium breed dogs for over 20 years now - Labradors, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Pit Bull Terriers - just to name a few. Myself, along with my team of highly experienced canine professionals, strive to bring you the best and most useful information to help you raise your dog the right way. Read my story here.

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