My daughter and son in law have a 3-year-old son and a baby on the way. The newborn child will be born in September 2018. My question is, do you think this is a wise decision? The purebred Rottweiler puppy is from a good breeder which will be the first puppy they ever owned.
Dawn C. (NL)
Good morning Dawn,
You ask “Do you think this is a wise decision?” But there’s no “this” included in your email so I’m just guessing as to what you’re asking.
My guess is that you’re asking if it’s wise for a couple with a 3-year-old child and baby on the way that has no dog experience to take on a Rottweiler puppy as opposed to whether I think it wise that a child is born in September.
I don’t know them so I answer in general terms only. They may be the exception to the rule but if they are not then my answer is I don’t know about wise or unwise but practically speaking if they were my kids I’d be asking, “Good Lord, what are you thinking?”
At this point, my view has nothing to do with fearing for the children because of the genetics that a well-bred Rottweiler should have. It is a guard dog after all but raised correctly, trained properly and supervised like a guard dog should be supervised that isn’t my primary concern.
No, my concern is that there just isn’t that much left over of a young couple at the end of the day when they have a 3-year-old. That second baby isn’t going to double the demand on their time, it’s going to triple it. As a result, all the things that you really need the time to do in order to get it right with any dog, let alone a guarding breed during the first 18 months of their lives and most especially up until 12 weeks of age are going to be next to impossible to find the time to do.
So, regardless of breed, practically speaking, the timing isn’t the best.
As to Rottweiler as their choice of breed. A well bred (see below as I have my doubts), properly socialized (very, very, very important), correctly trained (definitely read my free article, Picking the Correct Approach To Training Your Puppy or Dog – A Brief Pros & Cons Guide For Puppy & Dog Owners), properly supervised especially during the first 3 years of age (going to be very difficult in a household with busy young parents) Rottweiler is going to be a fantastic canine companion in the hands of right people. Don’t do these things and put a Rottweiler in the wrong hands and all too often what you end up with is a little more of a gun with a brain and disaster in various forms follows.
You say that the breeder is a good breeder. How do you know that? I’m betting the breeder is at best mediocre. I base that on having a better than average understanding what constitutes good breeding practices and very, very few breeders do what they should be doing. But that’s just a statistical probability. The real reason I wonder just how good the breeder might be is that I would think a Rottweiler breeder that really cared about the future of the puppies they breed, would be extremely reluctant to sell to a couple, without any dog experience that has a 3-year-old and an infant on the way. That’s a huge red flag.
If the breeder is willing to sell them a dog, it may be more about “greeding” than breeding than you think. If so, what else might they be doing or failing to do that will impact the dog that will be living with your family? I have a lot of questions about this breeder that I would ask your kids before I would commit to believing this is a good breeder.
Maybe I’m being a little too devil’s advocate. If your kids want to book a Skype consult I can better advise.
In the meantime I’ll forward a pdf I put together called “The Rottweiler Puppy Cuteness Trap’ that has some tips for them on how to keep out of trouble. It’s based on the most common errors people make with Rottweilers when they’re young. Hope it helps.