ownership of a Rottweiler! You are about to embark on an
enjoyable, demanding adventure: Integration of an adult
Rottweiler or Rottweiler puppy into your family. We
encourage you to contact Gulstream Guardian Angels
Rottweiler Rescue if you have questions or concerns about
your Rottweiler. We are happy to help.
GGARR places dogs
into homes we believe will uphold the standards that are
imperative to owning a Rottweiler. If you are reading this
document, it is likely you have been deemed a qualified,
responsible owner. It is your job to live up to that title.
It is our job to show you how.
GGARR evaluates all dogs in our program for placeability,
temperament, and ability to be rehomed. GGARR does not take
dogs into our program with aggression/bite histories--to
either people or other animals--or dogs that have been used
for purposes of guarding or fighting. All our dogs have
been selected because of their social and training abilities
and because of their behavior with animals, people, and
ability to handle stressful situations.
Your new Rottweiler will be happiest
when included as a member of the family, engaged in daily
activities with people the dog loves. Remember that
Rottweilers are working dogs and are happiest when their
minds and bodies are occupied. An untrained, poorly
socialized Rottweiler left to its own devices can become a
menace. Your Rottie must always be closely supervised.
Unfortunately, many unscrupulous breeders have capitalized
on the popularity of the breed (13th most popular breed in
2002, based on AKC registrations) and have released
Rottweilers to people who do not understand responsible
ownership. As a result, Rottweilers have gained a poor
reputation with both the press and general public. You are
likely to hear remarks about the breed's viciousness and
In foster care, the dogs learn or
relearn basic house manners, begin basic obedience, get
crate trained, and receive basic training to make them good
house pets. Foster care is also the time we address other
situations that will determine what type of family is
appropriate for the dog.
You, the adoptive family, must
continue with what the dog has learned in foster care. No
dog will walk into your home and immediately identify it as
his or her home. Chances are your dog has lived in a home,
been in an animal shelter or a boarding kennel, and then
lived in a foster home prior to being in your home. With all
this change, you need to set the ground rules on how you
expect your dog to live in your home. Remember, you are the
one in charge, and the dog is the dog.
Refrain from viewing your dog as a
poor homeless creature and do not attempt to compensate for
what the dog may have experienced before becoming your dog.
Dogs don't feel self-pity. Set the rules. If you don't want
your dog on the sofa in the future, don't let your dog on
the sofa now. If you don't want your dog to beg at the table
in the future, don't let your dog do it now. If you don't
want your dog to jump up on people in the future, don't let
your dog do it toady.
Now is the time to make sure you set
up the situation for the future. For the first several
Pack order is especially important to
Rottweilers. A pack needs a leader, and YOU are the pack
leader. It is up to you to ensure your dog remains in its
DOG status-dogs don't consider themselves humans in fur
coats. Humans have privileges that dogs do not, such as
sitting on furniture, eating first, and walking through
doors and down stairs first. Dogs expect a human, as the
leader, to do these things first. If you show your dog that
these things are not important to you, your dog will assume
the leadership role in these cases. Since your dog is not
clear on which leadership roles ARE important to you, your
dog will likely to investigate and possibly challenge other
leadership options-such as marking your bed.
We strongly recommend crate your dog
when you are not home. Crating is not cruel; it is not
inhumane. Dogs don't consider a crate "jail." Canines are
denning animals, and a crate to your family dog is similar
to a den. As long as you use the crate in a positive manner,
your dog's crate is your dog's safe place. The first few
weeks are critical in defining appropriate behavior.
Allowing your dog free run of your
home when you are not there sets your dog up for failure
because your dog will make up his or her own rules. These
can include soiling in the house, sleeping on furniture, and
destructive behavior. A crate is especially useful in
housetraining, or helping to remove confusion as to where
elimination is appropriate. Dogs are tidy animals and
generally will not soil their crates unless they are ill or
unable to wait.
Confining your dog to one room is the
next best thing; however, it is a poor substitute for a
crate because the dog has too much room to explore and
opportunities to take advantage of the space. A small
bathroom, for instance, has rolls of toilet paper to shred,
toothpaste to eat, a door to scratch and gouge, a window
sill to chew, a shower curtain to pull down, and towels to
Give your dog privileges as the dog
earns them. With some dogs, this can take months. It is
critical you don't immediately give your dog too much
freedom because you want to avoid an overly confident dog
with habits and expectations that may be difficult to
overcome in the future.