Are Rottweilers Good With Babies?
[In-Depth Guide]

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: January 17, 2022

Rottweilers are generally known for their fearsome and aggressive nature as guard dogs. So when you are thinking about owning a family dog, a question may arise whether getting a Rottweiler is a safe option or not. Especially considering the safety of kids.

As professional dog trainers would tell you, Rottweilers are not as dangerous to a child as any other dog breed. If they are well-trained and treated, Rotties are calm, friendly, and loyal to the family members. They are never a threat and will not let any harm befall you. Despite being strong and large in stature, this contrary statement does hold true.

They possess all the desirable traits a family dog should have. Being energetic, loving, and playful, they can easily turn out to be great playmates and good with children.

In this article, we will dive into the benefits of having a Rottie as a pet, why their training is essential, and some training methods. Let’s go through each of them in the upcoming sections.

Key Personality Traits of Rottweilers

Having originated from Germany, they were initially bred by farmers to herd the cattle and logistics. Their physical structure is stout and muscular.

Additional to the broad chest and impressive physique, their cognitive skills do not lag either. They are agile, alert, intelligent, and sharp observers.
Being natural guard dogs, they have inherent overly protective tendencies linked to them. Although they remain calm and composed on most occasions, they deal aggressively with strangers’ presence in their territory. This trait makes them tailor-made for service applications like the police force or in the military. 

This natural tendency to protect their owners makes their personality fluctuate between aggression and calmness. To prevent the shifting of balance towards the aggressive side, engaging them in systematic training programs and proper socialization activities from a young age is crucial.

From a training perspective, they are quick and active learners. They learn and respond to commands at a fast pace. At the same time, they are also fun to play with for kids. Rotties also enjoy spending time in outdoor games, walks, and puzzles. In effect, this breed of canines can don the role of a playdate cum protective babysitter for your child that you were seeking.

In fact, there are a few challenges associated with owning a Rottie too:

  • Being oversized and muscular, an average adult Rottweiler dog can weigh as high as 100 lbs and are heavier than a human kid in most cases. This aspect makes it mandatory to have adult supervision with your dog in the vicinity of your children. The last thing you want is your dog to land on your kid.
  • Rotties that have not received proper training and socialization can display unwanted rage and unpredictable demeanor.
  • Due to their fierce sense of possessiveness and protective mentality towards their owners, Rotties can get jealous when they see you caring for your baby too much and not paying enough attention to the puppy. This trait can prompt them to showcase some bad behavior. But this issue is controllable with adequate training exercises.

Now that we have discussed the Rottweiler character sketch outline, let us move ahead to the core topic in the next section.

Are Rotties Good with Newborn Babies?

If you are a proud parent of a newborn baby, you may be filled with many doubts when it comes to choosing the right dog for your home. If you already own a Rottie, you would be doubtful about how it will interact with your kid. 

As dog trainers, let us assure you that Rottweiler’s are highly observant and take a cautious approach when it comes to dealing with something new in their lives.

As responsible parents and pet owners, the best method we would like to suggest is to channel your dog before bringing your baby home.
Dog’s and their olfactory senses are closely linked. So a good starting point would be to make your dog smell some of the baby’s clothes, the crib, and so on. Next, you may move ahead to the auditory senses. Make them listen to recordings of the baby’s sounds, cries, and screams.

Things become even more straightforward if your dog is properly socialized with kids from a young age. This aspect will make them more comfortable and happy being around babies. In this case, the dogs will realize that a gentle and calm demeanor is expected from them when a newborn human comes home.

When your child grows together with a Rottweiler, their affection and bonding become even more vital. When you give too much attention to the child, there is a chance your dog may start feeling alienated. A pro tip will be to include your pup somehow when it comes to baby playtime.

A word of caution: Rotties, like any other large-sized dogs, do not realize how big they are. Make it a point to ensure adult supervision near your baby at all times to avoid any physical injuries.

Once your newborn reaches the toddler phase, it is a good idea to teach them a few simple commands to guide the Rottie. This action will ensure that your dog identifies that your kid is also a figure of authority and that their orders will be heeded.

Some of the steps to make your Rottie understand the proper behavior around kids is as follows:

  • Teach your dog not to get all excited and jump around near the baby.
  • Limit the time spent by your dog in close proximity with the child.
  • Make your dog realize the boundaries of areas where they can access and those where they are not.

Similarly, it would be best if you taught your kid a few guidelines regarding their behavior around Rottweilers as listed below:

  • Some kids showcase a tendency to tap other people or animals on the head or the body. If this action is repeated excessively, and when your dog feels bugged or irritated, they may retaliate in some way. This reaction could be a loud bark or even a bite. Ensure to teach your child not to irritate your dog, physically or mentally.
  • Another typical example is treating the dog as a play toy. Pulling their arms, noses, and ears is like inviting trouble.
  • Petting/patting dogs is OK as long as that is done in the right way. Demonstrate the safe way to do so to your kid before they make an initial attempt.
  • Loud noises and screams can be excruciating for dogs. Ensure your kid does not do something like screaming near them. This action can make your dog angry and unpredictable.
  • Make it a point to teach your kid the required hygiene while dealing with dogs. Proper washing of hands, face, mouth, and the rest of the body after playing with the dog is crucial to avoid infections and other diseases.
  • Advise your child against feeding the dog anything in the absence of adult supervision. Some kinds of food kids enjoy can prove to be fatal for dogs, such as chocolates.

With these key considerations in check, we can now move ahead on how you can train your Rottweiler to tone down any undesirable traits and mold them into the near-perfect companion for your kids and the entire household.

Importance of Training Your Rottweiler

Rotties can turn out to be aggressive, ruthless, and dangerous instead of being gentle, loving, and social when the element of training is missing. Whether your Rottie turns out to be beastly or charming is entirely dependent on their masters, i.e., you.

One of the most significant benefits of owning a Rottie is that they are easily trainable. This same quality is what makes them ideal guard dogs or police/military service dogs.

They are one of the most intelligent dog breeds you will find and proactive learners.
While providing them the obedience training exercises, the owner/trainer must keep in mind that Rotties can be authoritative. They may try to be bossy and disobedient on purpose during an initial phase. But in time, this is bound to change. A level of dominance needs to be asserted from your end too.

Here are some pointers to keep in mind while training your Rottie:

  • Make them fully aware of what is allowed in the household premises and what is prohibited. For example, pooping inside the house is to be taught to them as bad behavior. Just teaching them once will not be enough. Enforce these guidelines consistently.
  • We recommend you enroll your Rottie in a professional dog training program. Discuss with the trainer on the ideal 8-10 week training circuit. Ensure to strictly follow that program for maximum effectiveness and positive response from your dog.
  • Repeat and validate each command you teach your Rottie, not because they are slow learners, but due to the fact that they can be assertive and arrogant at times.
  • Although there is no shortage of dog trainers to train your Rottie, we highly recommend you to train them. This measure will make it clear to them that you are the boss and you dictate the terms. Never use brute force or violence to prove this point. Be calm, self-assured, and adequately assertive.
  • Never indulge in swear words and any forms of physical torture or abuse of your dog. This statement is valid during or outside training conditions. Violence is not the way to vent out your frustration when your dog’s training does not progress in the manner you want it to. Be patient, calm, and systematic. Positive training results will surely follow.
  • Once your Rottie is loosened up and responding positively, you can attempt to include your kids in the training process. You could teach them some simple commands to be used on the dog. This action is an excellent way to ensure that the dog sees the children with the same level of authority as yourself.

As we mentioned earlier, Rotties are brimming in energy. Training and outdoor games can help to channelize this excess energy in the right direction. If they do not engage in physical activities and sit around the house for significant periods of time, that can have some dire consequences. Rotties will misbehave, like tearing apart your home furniture and messing up your living rooms. 

Training is also an intelligent means to cement the bond between your kids and your dog. Children can also have tons of fun spending their playtime with their canine buddy. Some outdoor games like fetch using tennis balls, frisbees, obstacle courses can be pass times worth experiences as parents.

If you have a pool in your backyard, swimming is also another option. But nothing beats a good walk/jog or a cardio-enriching hike with your dog. 

Time to Wrap Things Up

Rottweilers undoubtedly get along with your kids, provided you train them and socialize them properly. Their inherent traits of protectiveness and loyalty make them a great choice of family pet. 

Rottweilers are high in energy and intellect among dogs. Once you help them overcome the initial phase of assertion, they are fast learners and are ruthless guard dogs. Engaging your kids in the training and other fun activities with your Rottie can go a long way in stitching an inseparable bond between your dog and children.
Having said that, ensure all safety precautions are in place while your baby and the dog are in proximity. Never risk leaving your dog unsupervised/left alone with a baby in the house.

We hope you enjoyed this article and feel reassured that Rotties can indeed be good with babies and young children.