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Aggressive Rottweiler Bites – Owner Shocked

Aggressive Rottweiler Bit SomeoneAggressive Rottweiler – Unbalanced or Victim?

I was recently bitten twice in the thigh during a brief visit to my neighbours by their 130 lb. 2-3 year old Rottweiler. He was fixated on me when I entered and began to circle me, barked and then started biting. I did not yell or attempt to resist as I felt sure it would escalate an already aggressive Rottweiler to my further detriment. I managed to get back out the door and went for medical attention. The owner did not react at all. In fact I would say she froze in shock. It seems obvious now that they are inexperienced with this type of behaviour and breed. I believe this dog is capable of much worse. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can approach this situation and help them to understand the severity of their dog’s aggression?



Hi B.H.,

I suppose you could try and have a chat with them but I don’t know what you’d say that an obviously aggressive Rottweiler hasn’t already said loud and clear.

If they’re so out of touch with reality that someone needs to explain to them that when a 130 lb. adult aggressive Rottweiler attacks a guest it’s a little more serious then pooping on the wrong lawn and in the short and long run it might serve everyone better if the police explained the difference between a owning a companion dog and keeping a gun with a brain.

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We cut dog owners way too much slack when it comes to aggression. What with one out of two children being bitten by a dog before they reach adulthood I have to wonder if we don’t need to start doing less chatting and more smacking. Far too many people without the need for, or the ability to handle, a guarding breed like a Rottweiler end up learning of their shortcomings at the expense of a victim and the dog.

More often then not, one or more victims later the dog gets euthanized, but not because it has, or the breed has, a screw loose, but because far too many breeders will sell to anyone and far too many people put more thought into the toaster they’re going to buy then the dog they’re going to bring home.

In the event they bring the wrong breed home, a Rottweiler that in suitably capable hands would have at least had been trained to the extent to ask its owner, “May I bite this one?”, bites without provocation and seriously enough that medical attention is required – and – the best the owner has to offer is to become frozen and pie-eyed. I don’t know what their problem is but in matters this serious we have to remember there is no cure for stupidity and there should be no excuse for ignorance.

Either way, aggressive Rottweiler or not, the bite needs to be reported. Even minor bites can get infected, leading to complications that may require compensation. In addition, someone at arms length needs to verify rabies shots and the health unit should be enforcing a 10 day quarantine.

If these people for whatever reason fail to give this the serious attention it deserves and someone else gets hurt I’d like to think that litigation becomes the least of their worries. Failing to take reasonable precautions when fully aware of a risk this serious should add the option of criminal negligence.

If you want to send these people an eye opening message send them the link to this video: showing a second offender aggressive Rottweiler.


John Wade

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29 thoughts on “Aggressive Rottweiler Bites – Owner Shocked”

  1. emma wilson

    My 1 yr old rottie has started biting me and my children. What shall i do?

  2. I have a 5 1/2 year old Rottweiler and we have had him since he was 8months. He is house trained, responds to commands and has been raised with my children. Lately he has been marking his territory, occasional bowel movements in the house and most important is becoming aggressive. He growled when approached while eating, something he has never done. He even bared his teeth when being reprimanded for a bowel movement in the Childrens room. He has always been even tempere. He has been to the vet for a checkup and was pronounced healthy. Do you have any ideas on the why and on what we can do to discourage this behavior? He has been sociable for his entire life. We love our pet but are concerned that there may be no easing in his aggressiveness of late.

    1. Hi Wanda,

      It is extremely rare in my experience for a dog that has zero history of aggression for the first 3 years of its life (let alone 5 and ½ in your case) and there not be a significant change in its health or lifestyle. I know you say the vet has cleared the dog but I want to be sure as many vets may not do more then a cursory examination that would be appropriate perhaps for an annual check up whereas in this sort of instance a full blood panel, x-rays and dental exam etc. are in order. If this hasn’t happened I’d recommend that be your first step. If it has or the dog came up clear I would look at what has changed in lifestyle that even indirectly are impacting the dog. Some examples of this are unsupervised yard or window watching time, changes in your work shift, marital status etc. I would need to know more in order to advise further. I have worked with many dogs with this sort of issue and you are correct to be concerned.

      1. Dont get near any animal when its eating they think your trying to take there food

        1. I don’t even remotely agree. In almost every companion dog setting if a dog exhibits aggression, it is an unwarranted risk. Particularly when that dog is a Rottweiler. If it cannot be taught to exert self-control around food it has no place in a companion dog setting. Fortunately, in most cases, they can learn that it isn’t their food. They just get to eat it. Usually, it’s not even about the food. It’s the relationship and the training is out of whack.


          John ‘Ask The Dog Guy’ Wade
          Embracing Science and Common Sense

  3. My 5y Rottweiler recently attempted to attack me after touching his paw. I recently took “ownership” of him since my brother moved away and just took him to my new house with my boyfriend. I have known him since he was a puppy. He is trained and follows my commands. Today his second day at my house he kept licking his paw so I was in the process of inspecting it for injuries when he lunged and growled at me almost biting my face. This is completely new behavior for him he has never shown signs of aggression. Did the change in environment and me adopting him cause his behavior? He also started growling at my boyfriend. I’m scared he will repeat it and actually hurt me or someone else next time.

  4. Hi john,

    I have 3 rottweilers and a doberman. I bought my last rottweiler from croatia. He was 7 months old when i bought him. He’s really playful and got very high prey drive. He gets excited too easily. Whenever i tie him up, he would jump and bark aggressively. The matter got worse recently as he’s just 9 months old and bit 4 people, injuring them severely. Every attacks has become more serious and bites has been become more harsh. The worst part is that, he bit the victims he’s so close to. The latest attack was so severe that we could not even pull him off from biting, he locked down his jaws and was shooking his head. The victim had 4 stiches on the thighs. Actually he would behave normally after each attacks. He would get along with the victims again like nothing had happened. So please let me know what’s going on here. Im so confused now, he’s just 9 months old and bit 4 people severely. Any solution for my rottie? Would he become more dangerous in future? The bite level started from 3 for the first victim and now latest attack was around level 5. Any suggestions? My other rotties are so well behaved.

    1. Hi Junaid,

      I’m not a big fan of tying out any dog as, depending on their lines of sight and the sort of visual access it provides invariably magnifies traits in the dog that were put there for a reason but were not intended to be as overstimulated as can happen in many tie out scenarios. Some dogs’ genetics preclude them from this sort of handling and I suspect this dog is one of those. That would be my first step with this dog (get him off the line – and no looking out windows unsupervised either). I think you may have a high end dog that you are low end handling.


    2. Hi John,I have same problem with my 3,1/2 year old Rottie.
      Also i bought him from Croatia,
      please can you give me a call or email that we can discuss .I don’t know what tho do with him,i have three boys in the house and afraid to give him for adoption to someone else ,bc he can harm others.What to do?

      1. Thanks for writing to me about your dog. It might be a while for me to get back to you in any detail as there are just far too many emails coming in, from around the world, for one person to handle any more. Sometimes I don’t get to some of them at all. However I will say if this dog is bad enough that you fear giving him to another and believe there is a risk to your children, you don’t have any options in my opinion. Put him down. Like your dog and love your kids. I’m not saying that we abandon our responsibility to the dogs we take into our homes but when there is a safety/danger conflict between the duty to the dog and the duty we owe our children, friends, relatives, neighbours etc., the dog loses. If you think you can keep everyone around him safe for the time being and during rehabilitation then there are other options.

        If you haven’t already, I’d suggest doing a search on my website to see if I’ve written about anything similar that may be of some help.

        For what it’s worth, I give emails that include video of the dog issue much higher priority as I feel with that element it will help more people reading the column. I’ll give you a heads up should I post a reply so you don’t miss it should it be highly delayed.

        I also do telephone or Skype consultations if you think that would help. I can send you the details regarding what’s involved and on how to go about booking if you wish.


        John Wade

  5. I have a 3 year old rotti who is pretty trained off leash and been a good dog but twice this week after petting him once he was laying down I wiped his face off and then he snapped tried to attack me other time watching tv I gave a blanket which I thought he was guarding but he looked at me laying there impet him then few seconds later he went nuts came at me I was on th sofa no where to move good thing he didn’t jump,on sofa I would of been. Been bitten bad I’m debating getting rid of him we have a 1.5 year old daughter can take risk I’m thinking he isn’t getting enough exercise and is getting bored and aggressive what’s your thoughts

    1. Something up that’s pretty serious. If he has never behaved in such an unexpected manner EVER before, even hints of such behaviour then head to the vet and have his, eyes, ears, teeth, skeletal structure assessed and have a full panel of blood work done. If all clear, then he’s either from bad bloodlines or you’ve dropped the ball in the manner in which you have trained and interact with him. Hopefully that’s all it is as that’s something you can address.


  6. Hey I have a Rottweiler who’s around 10 months old and I was with him ever since he was a little puppy up till 7 months old and now he stays with my dad and has had little problems but today a woman came into the compound to visit my dad and Zeus broke the chain he was on in the yard and ran to her and attacked her badly and she’s now in hospital ,any advice would be apreciated thank you (I’m not exactly sure how much exercise he has been given since I left but before I left I would train him every single day and he has only bitten people during play )

    1. Hi Kene,

      This is a byproduct of chaining up an unsupervised Rottweiler in a compound. You can’t do that without it backfiring in more ways then one. Many, if not most guarding breeds treated in this manner end up doing something like this and quite a few of those end up euthanized. Dogs are learning 24 hours a day, 7 days a week whether there is a responsible adult there to supervise them and let them know what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. What do you think your unsupervised chained guard dog has learned about defending the compound? Simply – Alert, Become aggressive when it sees someone – friend or foe. Practice makes perfect, chain breaks and disaster all around. The insurance companies underwriting policies for businesses prone to tying out guard dogs have convinced most of them by refusing to insure or making the policy premiums reflect the risk they are taking on. There are much cheaper ways to go as the payouts on these types of bites are usually far more then what might have been otherwise been stolen. Ask your insurance company for alternatives and find this dog a proper rehabilitation home if that’s even possible now that he’s hospitalized someone. I suspect his future is rather dark.



  7. Bethany

    Hi John,
    My husband and I recently rescued a 2-4 (no one knows exact age) rottweiler. He is a big boy 130 pounds and we were not told much of anything about him from the shelter. He has very much picked me to attach to, will not leave my side. However, he has open mouth bit (no closing of the jaw) two of our guests. From what I can tell he does not like/trust men and he becomes anxious. Both guests I had asked not to pet him and to let him come to them as well as not to bump his feet as he is very sensitive with his feet. The first time he didn’t growl and gave no warning. the second time I could sense his distrust and asked the guest to move away and as he moved the dog growled and snapped at him. We live on four acres the dog doesn’t guard against strangers or even bark when we go on walks. I am just cocerned he may hurt someone on accident. Do you have any advice on decreasing his anxiety/ fear so this happens less. He is the sweetest happy go lucky pup other than this. After he snaps he also acts very sorry and tries to luck the person. I grew up with rottweilers but never have i seen behavior like this. Any input would be appreciated.

  8. Miss Cellany

    Holy s***! Is that statistic REAL? 1 out of 2 children are bitten by a dog these days? :O

    When I was a child it was very rare for dogs to bite people, including kids. I was never bitten and I don’t think any of my friends were either (they never spoke about it if they were). I didn’t have a dog as a kid but I had cats, and a lot of my friends had dogs so I was around pets a lot as a kid.

    Is this biting trend a recent thing or was I just really lucky as a kid?

    I grew up in the UK so perhaps this statistic is only applicable to USA? There was (and still is) a dangerous dog ban in place while I was a child – perhaps that makes a difference?

    1. I believe this to be real for a couple of reasons. I first read a reference attributing the source to Center for Disease Control in the U.S.A. In searching for the source I came across raw data that confirmed the numbers. Later as my sons went through the school system (Canada not the U.S.A.) I would informally survey their classmates when I was volunteering in the classrooms and sure enough by the time they were 12 years old when the class was asked, “How many of you have been bitten by a dog?”, half raised their arms. I would be interested in learning what the numbers are like in other countries.


  9. Neetu Kaushik

    Hello,my rott puppy is now nine months old.he is very affectionate,usually follow commands.specially he never touch his feed until we asked.but from last few days he is gripping us with teeth when play ,however leaves when we command but he continues after some time.seconfly he snapped and growls me when I asked him to come when he is with our ever he spend only very little time with him.after showing agression he again started licking me.i m confused.what should I do.slso he over protect my son and if I ever talk to him with loud voice he jumps on me.with all this he is still following my common commands.plz help

    1. Hi Neetu,

      You haven’t described anything that necessarily says the dog is unstable. What is more likely is that you have more dog than you realize. If you’re treating him like he’s a Golden Retriever these are the sort of results you might expect. This is a very lengthy article I wrote in response to a magazine article where the author felt that as a breed Rottweilers are inherently unstable and should be banned. If you do a search on this website for the word Ferrari, you’ll find some shorter articles making similar points.


  10. Susie Sherrick

    Please help me! My rottweiler attacked my shih-tzu this morning, then started attacking me on her walk. Chunks of my hair are gone, I have bruises everywhere. Her walk this afternoon was fine, I took her out to play frisbee and One flew over the fence, she could see me. When I opened the gate, she came at me again and would not let go of my arm, I finally swatted her noise and she let go, but then it was attcking my feet and jumping at my face. Scarlett is 5 months old, I had rotties and have never seen a puppy this aggresive. Hope to hear from you!

    1. Hi Susie,

      I’m missing something. How did a leashed 5-month-old Rottweiler puppy remove chunks of your hair on a walk? How old was this dog when purchased? What are her bloodlines? When you say “attacked your Shih-Tzu” can you provide more details? Can you send me some video of you trying to get this dog to do something or stop doing something without getting hurt yourself? If so:

      1. Load the video onto your computer.

      2. Visit the site

      3. Click on the +Add files button

      4. Find the video file or files and add

      5. Add my email to “Friend’s email” [email protected]
      6. Add your email to “Your email”

      7. You do not need to include a message

      8. Click on “Transfer”

      The file will upload. Once it has, I will be notified by email. I will upload and once I have done so you will receive an email letting you know I have the file.


  11. Gulcan Agee

    We adopted a 7 month Rottweiler Deom theahwlterwithkkhistory of biting, and she was sweet at the beginning, we got her fixed so she is not in heat anymore. She started snapping like fight or flight deal, we took her to 2 6 weeks training at PetSmart and asked trainer to come home and train her as well. She bug the trainer fir demanding commands and tries to grab her collar. Now she shows teeth or snaps she reaxjing tj her collar. Tonight I woke her up to go to her cage she refused, when I grabbed her collar to lead her she snapped at me ( no blood but my thumb is swollen. She shows lots of guilt and stays away when she misbehaves. When my voice hets aggressive it i walk towards her upset she either runs away a or she snaps if aproaxhed. She dont have any other aggression towards my kids. Just me when I handle her with attitude or slight aggresssion like yelling or demanding. I don’t kick or slap my dog, just when my voice is elevated she gets in fight or flight mode

    1. Hi Gulcan,

      There are some key elements of your comment that are incomprehensible likely because they were altered by spell check. You’ll have to fill in those blanks before I can properly comment. I can say that while there are possibly some exceptions to the rule – in my experience PetSmart training programs are to real dog training what fake news is to real news. They are an income stream for the company but they’re not very helpful for teaching real obedience and certainly not where to go for serious behavior problems. Follow this link and download the pdf What Are The Different (and best) Puppy and Dog Training Methods

      What Are The Different (and best) Dog Training Methods

  12. I have a 5 year old Rottie with Addison’s disease that’s has been slowly increasingly becoming aggressive. She recently jumped on my dad that is 75 years old out of now where and started barking and biting him. I don’t know what could be the problem …this came out of no where


    Hi John,

    We have taken in my late father in law’s 3 year old rotti who he had gotten a month before suddenly passing. We don’t know much about her – other than she’s a big suck and protective of children. She has aggressively attacked our other dog twice we think when trying to “protect” myself or a child. No incident for over a month. Yesterday on a walk she randomly bit an approaching dog on the face without warning and tonight bit me on the face and drew blood without warning.

    Not knowing her socialization history or aggression history leading up to this, I’m unsure what to do. We have a child and I’m not sure what signs to look for anymore.

    1. Hi Brittney,

      I don’t know enough about the situation and the timelines to advise in a manner that would be fair to all involved, no matter with how many legs they were born. I would advise a consult. Send me an email if that’s something you’d be interested in. ([email protected]).

      It’s possible she’s been living with you long enough and your guidance of her has been more in keeping with having a mini-van than a Porsche and so her behavior is more rooted in hormones, evolutionary ‘programs’, breed genetics, and the strengths or weaknesses of her breeder’s breeding program. All breeds should have added to that mix, (but a guarding breed like the Rottweiler, for sure), the guidance of a loving authority figure, and by that, I don’t mean the nonsense that passes for dog training advice and ownership these days which is more the relationship between a heroin dealer and a heroin addict. Or the equally silly ‘Might Is Right’, Alpha, Pack Leader, Dominant (Yank and Crank) guidance. I’m talking about real-life-skill/mutual respect-based training and coexisting. As I say, email if you wish to do a remote consult.

      Even with that in mind, considering the escalation involving bites to both dogs and you, and that there is a child in the mix, when in doubt, (that you can proceed safely – regardless of the potential) the dog goes out.

      – John Wade (

  14. Hello! I stumbled upon your website during my desperate search looking for answers to our recent problem. Our (very sweet) 13 month old female Rottweiler has recently started jumping/lunging and mouthing/biting me. It is most often after a round of what I feel was adequate exercise (hour long, brisk walking up and down hills, her running and jumping, even occasionally swimming) when she seems quite calm and docile. In the most recent instance, she was leashed and walking calmly at my side and then saw a squirrel. She isn’t one to chase but she perked up, proceeded forward a bit and when I called her name and tugged the leash a bit to redirect her, she turned and jumped up on me and then started playfully but ROUGHLY biting and jumping at me. I typically tell her calmly and firmly “no bite”, “down”, etc. She was being SO rough this time that I grabbed her snout to prevent her from biting any further she gave a small yelp (this is the first time I have resorted to this method to this extent)but then continued to bite at, and wriggled away from my control and then began racing around me in circles, until I finally got her under control by sort of ‘hugging’ her to the ground, rubbing her feet and soothingly speaking to her. After she had calmed down, she went back to her sweet and relaxed self. I was left with a massive bruise on my arm where she had clamped down quite hard mid-jump. We have several young children and I am worried not only about the unpredictability of these encounters but also that she seems to be ramping up the intensity of her force. I have reared her in a way that was intentionally gentle but boundary enforcing and out of love and respect. She has been extensively exposed to all sorts of people, animals, situations very deliberately and has NEVER been played with “roughly”. She only plays outside and does not typically have unsupervised time outdoors alone, and she prefers to be near us at all times. Any insight you can offer would be SO appreciated. She’s an exceptional dog and I want to support her in the best way I can.

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