"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

Puppy and Obedience Training Without Food or Fear

Rottweiler Biting Unexpectedly

– Posted in: Aggression, Columns, Newsletters
Rottweiler in a Tutu

Rottweiler Biting Unexpectedly

Dear John,

My rottweiler is about 5 years old and has just started biting out of the clear blue.  He has bitten 4 out of 6 people that live in my house hold 3 of which are kids. The last time he bit he gave no warning what so ever. What do you think I should do he has never showed any aggression at all follows commands house trained and is well socialized. He is so well tempered we even put a tutu on him as well as sock and he never was aggressive about that. I just do not want to put him down any advice would be great.

Courtney

Hi Courtney,

If he has been as bomb proof as you are saying and nothing drastic has changed in his day to day routine I would get him into the veterinarian for a detailed check up. Blood work and x-rays. It has been my experience when a dog has been bomb proof for the first 3 years of their lives and there is a sudden drastic change in behaviour without any change in routine it’s a sign something of a physical nature is behind it.

I had a similar case several years ago, also with a Rottweiler. We couldn’t figure out why he’d suddenly bitten 2 people. One petting him reaching over the fence and the other petting him while reaching over a baby gate. Neither circumstance or person was unfamiliar to him many times over. X-rays revealed he had damage in his neck. It seems that when the person stopped petting and withdrew their hand the dog stretched its neck forward to get a little more contact and it caused pain which the dog confused as caused by the person. The dog drew on the nature of its genetics and defended itself.

When I dug a bit deeper I learned the dog had been a bit of an energetic pistol in its youth and someone had recommended a head halter type collar to provide control. I’ve never like those on dogs that are untrained for exactly this reason. The twisting action I feel has the potential to exacerbate an existing problem or create one over time.

Good luck

John Wade

4 Comments… add one
Jarie Lunycz

My year old mix will bark for four hours each morning. I’ve tried to distract her but to no avail. My rotty is very well trained and quiet. What can I do?

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Why distract her? Instead determine why she isn’t listening to you.

John

Jarie Lunycz

My 1 1/2 year old collie/German Sheppard suddenly became possessive and won’t allow the big dog to eat his food or lay on the couch. Toby is five years old and tolerates her but she’s getting rougher with him. Toby is a rottweiler. Please help.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Dogs do have to work stuff out however I suspect this is more a case of neither dog understanding it’s your food, your couch and they just get to use it. Dogs left to this sort of household set up get far more out of hand then dogs that have structure where they don’t think the humans are their room mates.

John

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