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Aggressive Rottweiler Suddenly Lunges

Hi John,

My Rottweiler is suddenly lunging at people when they turn to leave. Her greeting is perfect and she sits for petting and kisses…then it happens. She’s a rescue we’ve had for two years.

Cynthia – West Palm Beach, Florida

Hi Cynthia,

I’d need a lot more information to be of any help as there are a range of possibilities. For me, the oddest case of this sort (sudden change in behaviour) was an apparently aggressive Rottweiler older than yours that had bitten twice. In both cases the persons bitten had known the dog and had been petting her. She was well trained and had in my estimation a great temperament and with zero history of aggression it didn’t make sense that she should would spontaneously become a biter.

When behaviourally speaking nothing makes sense, we order blood work and x-rays. It turned out as a youngster she had been originally been quite rammy and the owners were told to train her wearing a gentle leader. Over time damage was done to the cervical vertebrae and we learned that she was fine while being petted but when someone pulled away she extended her neck in an appeal for one last head scratch and apparently that was enough to cause her pain. I had one other case like this, a Shar-pei.

If this is truly a sudden change in behaviour look for a physical issue. If not, get some outside eyes on the situation. Call a trainer with some experience working with aggressive dogs, especially Rottweilers.


– John Wade

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