Are Rottweilers Good Family Dogs?

Are Rottweilers good family dogs?

Let’s talk about the Rotties suitability as a family dog, are Rottweilers good family dogs? 

The strong and powerful Rottweiler has a long history of guardianship. Whether used as a personal guardian as by German soldiers in the second world war, or as a police service dog as used by American police forces to this day, the breed has served as a protector for hundreds of years. 

Their guardian temperament and worker dog physicality makes them a force to be reckoned with, and let’s face it they have long been perceived as one of the more aggressive breeds. That’s because statistics show that the Rottweiler has been involved in many bite incidents over the years, especially in the USA. And although this doesn’t always represent the full picture of the breed, this data is hard to ignore. 

Okay, so what about their softer side? 

It’s true that the Rottweiler has faced somewhat of a revival these past few years. More and more responsible owners are embracing the softer side of the breed’s loyal and family focused temperament. Their eagerness to please and affectionate nature towards those who it considers family are undeniably attractive traits for many Rottweiler admirers. 

And yes, you’ll find many cute videos of Rotties on Instagram, but what’s the full reality?

Are Rottweilers good with kids?

Rottweilers can be good with kids, of course they can, but so can most breeds. 

The Rottweiler in particular has a very strong bond with its family, which includes children. Raising a Rottweiler puppy around children is a joy. It can create an exceptional bond between dog and child. Your Rottweiler will protect and remain loyal to your children its whole life. 

Rottweilers enjoy living in an active household where children play a big role in physical and mental stimulation for your Rottie. Your Rottweiler is going to consider them key members of the pack and may ultimately see themselves as protectors and guardians to your kids. 

rottweiler puppy

However, you likely landed on this page because you have some reservations. And as a responsible dog owner you want to know the reasons why some accidents may occur. 

To be clear, incidents of Rottweilers attacking kids are very low, that doesn’t however rule it out from happening completely. The dog does come with a certain level of reactive aggression when compared to say a golden retriever, let’s not kid ourselves here. 

So what are some of the reasons a biting incident might occur: 

  1. The Rottweiler is kept outside and chained up – Some incidents occur because owners mistreat the dog and keep him outside. As established, Rottweilers are family orientated. However, if they only ever see one member of the family, they may be completely unfamiliar with other members such as kids of which they have spent no time building a connection.
  2. The owners have deprived it of training and socialisation – Rotties need a lot of socialisation and obedience training. They must be aware of rules boundaries and respect the guidance of all family members. All members of the family need to demonstrate calm leadership. 
  3. A lack of supervision – Rottweilers are fond of playing with children within their own pack. However, supervision is necessary at all times to ensure that the dog is also sociable with kids outside of the immediate family. An unsocialized Rottweiler that incorrectly senses a threat to a member of its pack can be very dangerous. 
  4. A severe lack of physical and mental stimulation – All dogs need physical and mental activity in order to thrive. Depriving a dog of this is cruel and can sometimes lead to a dog lashing out.  
  5. Very high prey drive – The Rottie does have a high prey drive, this goes for most dogs with Mastiff type origins. Much of this will abandon them with good training and socialisation, however it can sometimes be triggered by sudden, quick movements.

All in all, the Rottweiler can be good with kids, but they need firm leadership and an experienced handler to ensure that rules and boundaries are respected at all times. 

Owners should take advantage of the Rottweilers eagerness to please its family members. Their innate desires to protect, serve and to please are all extremely well intentioned, but have to be fostered with good, consistent obedience training.

Are Rottweilers good with other animals?

Rottweilers can be good with other pets and animals around the house. The chances are that if socialised with other pets and animals around the house from an early age, the Rottweiler will consider them to be part of the pack. 

The Rottie loves play, it’s a wonderful quality that many owners adore. However, once again, supervision is ultimately key. 

Younger Rottweilers who still have a youthful exuberance and naivety about them may not be fully aware of their size and power advantage compared to other household pets such as cats or smaller dogs. 

Rottweiler puppy running

As a responsible Rottweiler owner, you should ensure that play is kept safe by ensuring your Rottie respects your rules, boundaries and commands. 

As mentioned previously, the Rottweiler also has a high prey drive which needs to be kept in check with adequate obedience training, whilst also ensuring there is plenty of mental and physical stimulation in their day to day lives.

What  are Rottweilers like around other dogs?

If well trained and socialised, Rottweilers are fairly well behaved around other dogs. However, the breed may not necessarily initiate play or interaction with other dogs. This likely goes back to their guardian instincts and being more wary of outsiders. 

Rottweilers do have an element of reactive aggression that is hard to ignore. Male Rotties in particular are typically more stubborn and headstrong. If they feel like they are being provoked or that their territory is being threatened then they become aggressive. Again this ultimately comes down to how they are raised and their daily environment.

Rottweiler Temperament

A quick word on Rottie temperament. The Rottweiler is strong willed, dominant, intelligent, loyal and protective. Males are often a bit more stubborn than their female counterparts and require strong but calm leadership. 

Over the years variations from the original Roman Rottweiler have created slight differences in temperament that eventually impact its suitability in a modern day family home. The three dominant variations are Roman, German and American Rottweilers. Each has slight differences in characteristics and temperament. On top of this, there are other offshoots such as the Serbian versions which are less regulated. 
It’s always best to do your research and seek a Rottweiler breeder that specialises in your desired type. You may also consider a mixed if you’re looking to bring in a more mellow personality into your home. There are many spectacular Rottweiler mixes in need of adoption and a new home.

Creating a positive environment

A positive, caring and loving environment makes all the difference when it comes to nurturing a dog from a young pup. This is especially true for protective, guardian breeds.


A positive home environment starts with good leadership. A Rottweiler is loyal but headstrong. They are typically not for first time dog owners. An owner should come from a place of “calm leadership”. The Rottweiler needs to trust you, respect your boundaries and see you as the leader of the pack. 

If your Rottie doesn’t trust in your leadership, then it may look to assume the role for itself in order to keep the pack safe. This often leads to disaster. 

But it doesn’t just stop there. All humans in your household (even your kids) hold a responsibility for providing calm leadership and assertiveness.


I feel like a broken record here, but a commitment to consistent socialisation is absolutely critical to raising a well behaved and likeable Rottweiler. You want other dog owners to adore your Rottie just like you do. This starts with socialisation from an early age. 

Take the time to be picky with breeders, choosing one that places emphasis on early socialisation and dedication to introducing the puppy to other animals and humans from early on. It is then your job to ensure that this continues when the puppies transition into their new home. 

The Rottweiler is naturally wary of outsiders. It needs to be exposed to as many friendly people, friendly dogs and other household pets to learn what constitutes a friend from foe.

Mental stimulation

The Rottweiler isn’t just all muscle, it’s also a smart breed. They are also eager to please. This is great because it means that the breed takes to learning new tricks and helping out around the house very well. Their worker dog background means they typically love a job. 

Keep things fresh by playing new games every now and then. Hide and seek, nose work games, obstacle courses, shell games are all great ways of keeping their mind engaged.

Physical stimulation

Just as the mind needs a workout, so does the body. The Rotties worker dog background means it’s a moderate to high energy dog with a lot of strength. 

This is why it’s so important to consider your lifestyle when choosing to commit to any given dog breed. The Rottweiler does not suit someone who does not enjoy an active lifestyle. 

They need daily walks, but this should also be mixed with a bit of swimming, hiking and agility training. All this working out is great for burning off their energy. What’s more, variety in physical activity also helps keep their mind active as they’re constantly discovering new stimuli.

General maintenance

The Rottweiler is not generally a high maintenance dog. However, their love of exercise means that they often get dirty (as any dog should). This means semi-regular baths and grooming are in order. 

On top of this, Rotties love their food. Use this as a great tool for rewarding good behaviour. Good nutritious food and a healthy reward system go a long way to ensuring you are setting up a positive environment for your dog to thrive within.

Impact on family members

An interesting question to ponder is, what impact does having a Rottweiler have on your family? 

The Rottweiler enjoys creating strong bonds with all family members. Remember your dog is a friend for a small part of your life, but you are their friend for their whole life… 

A loving, loyal Rottie is immensely beneficial to the wellbeing of each family member from a physical and a mental perspective. The Rottweiler can become the ultimate companion. 

Rottweiler family puppy

Raising a dog can teach your children a lot about many aspects of life. Be that discipline, loyalty, love or respect. A well behaved and well rounded pet Rottweiler may well have a hand in shaping your child’s character and personality as it goes through life.

Paws For Thought

Rottweilers obviously have a guardian instinct to protect. However, they also have a strong instinct for family and bonding with their owners. With socialisation, training, physical and mental stimulation, owners are able to keep any potential temperament issues to a minimum to create a truly well-rounded dog. 

Coming at this from an honest and transparent angle, whilst trying not to be negative, we also have to point out that the breed has recorded many dog biting incidents over the years and although that doesn’t always tell the complete story, we still have to at least acknowledge it as a fact.  

It’s essential that you research and analyse your dog handling skill set, needs and lifestyle to match it up with a breed that suits you perfectly. By doing this, you are setting yourself and the dog up for success and long lasting companionship.  

The Rottweiler can make a wonderful family pet, there are many countless examples of this when speaking to owners. But any potential new owner has to be aware of the work they’ll need to put in to create a loving, well rounded pooch.

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