THINK BEFORE YOU BUY A DOG
Please email your views to firstname.lastname@example.org - we are happy to put them on our opinions page. Or write and tell us about your dogs...we can all learn from each other.
Living with Rottweilers
Before buying a rottweiler, please think carefully about your future plans. Do they include children, moving around, working longer hours or anything else that might make it difficult for you to keep a dog. We are often phoned by people who have not given enough thought to the long term commitment that is needed to owning any dog.
They are often surprised that we are unable to take their dog just because they have grown tired of walking it after a full day at work, or their partner is having a baby. We are here to help dogs that are really in need of rescue, but are overwhelmed by the vast numbers of dogs that owners do not want anymore. In many cases these dogs are very young - some only five or six months old. Surely in many cases it would have been easy to predict that the dog was not going to be a long term member of the family, and should never have been bought. THIS IS NOT A DOG PROBLEM - IT IS A PEOPLE PROBLEM
LIVING WITH INDY
Living with Ern!
Ernie is my 4th Rottie, the previous three being bitches.
We had a lovely bitch called Jade, my second dog who sadly succumbed to cancer of the spleen aged 10.1/2 in January 2011, all very sudden which left a very large hole in our lives. She was a very popular dog and well known around our walking circuit and a credit to her breed. We wanted another dog and we had been looking at the RRT site for some time as I did suggest having a rescue dog rather than another pup, but was overruled by management!!
So when Jade’s breeder had a puppy (related to her) available, rightly or wrongly we jumped at the chance to possibly end up with a similar well adjusted dog. Unfortunately that was not to be, due to various health problems one of which was making her more and more aggressive, after a lot of advice and soul searching the decision was made to have her put to sleep at 9 months old, my wife Val was totally distraught having now lost 2 dogs within a few months of each other, needless to say this particular breeder was no help at all during this period. Unfortunately as I work overseas I was away for the loss of both dogs which Val had to deal with on her own.
Val was now adamant that she didn’t want another dog for the time being having been through a pretty rough time with the previous one, although I was fairly keen to try again.
One day in the pub during a TVR car club gathering Gary a long time friend of Peter’s asked me how we were getting on with the pup and we had to relate the sad tale and the fact she had been put down. He dropped RRT into the conversation and I said we had considered them but went for another pup. After this meeting I decided to give Peter a ring and arrange a meet at the kennels where we could talk over the possibility of rehoming a dog and walk out with a few dogs and see how we felt, this was done and we were welcomed warmly by all at the kennels. During our walks both Val & I found ourselves being accompanied alternately by both Peter and Debbie and seemed to be undergoing a fairly intense yet informal vetting, which it would appear we passed. During our visit Val paid a visit to the ladies and on the way saw a rather large male Rottie in his kennel, we also took him for a stroll around the field.
Having walked out with a few bitches and Ernie (a dog initially never crossed my mind) we left thanking Peter saying we would probably be in touch in time if something we thought suitable came along.
Next morning Val could not be found, I finally tracked her down in the office on the RRT site looking at pictures of this particular large male dog. She said there was something about him that had attracted her and after some discussion I contacted Peter informing him of our interest and discussed the possibility of a house visit to check out our facilities and the possibility of Val accompanied by Peter taking the dog for a walk to see how well she could handle him.
Peter was good enough to agree to this and drove down to the South Coast to meet with us, dog in tow. All went extremely well and welcome one ‘Ernie’ into our lives.
Initially things were a little rocky as Ernie came with a few issues such as a mild case of Foliculitis (in-growing hair) under his chin and back legs and after a thorough examination complete with blood & Urine tests a small kidney complaint was also diagnosed, that we would have to manage. Our main problem with all of this was the fact that we were new to Ernie and due to the fact we were having to squeeze sores to remove hair & muck etc he did not take to kindly to that sort of handling and initially our vet suggested we may have to hand him back. This was a bombshell to us having gone through all that we had with the previous dogs. After a pretty miserable morning we decided we would persevere, thankfully we did as it wasn’t long before Ernie would lift his chin for the daily squeeze and the application of the tweezers to pull out in-growing hair, after a couple of weeks we began to see distinct improvement and after a month the foliculitis was virtually healed. The kidney issue is ongoing and we manage it as well we can with his diet. He also has a very sensitive skin which has to be carefully managed to prevent him breaking out in spots around face and neck. Muddy stagnant ponds are now out of bounds!!!
We have now had Ernie for almost 7 months during which time he has been a total joy. He is very laid back and extremely affectionate dog who likes the simple things in life such as food, walks, cuddles and being groomed. His confidence and tolerance have grown to the point where Val is able to trim his claws, brush his teeth, clean his ears and generally check him out, this was a slow process requiring a lot of patience and cannot be achieved in a couple of days. Not withstanding shampoo and blow drys accompanied by lots of grumbling but we have discovered Ernie is generally very vocal, but enjoys being pampered. (He now has his own turbo hair drier !!!)
Being left at home for a few hours is no problem for him, he will retire to his bedroom under the stairs to await our return. Since we have had Ernie he has only come up the stairs once, one morning we could not find him for a while, finally located him curled up fast asleep in a guest bedroom (on the carpet not the bed). Also he has never attempted to climb on the furniture unless its onto mum’s lap for a cuddle!!
We have continued with his training when out and about and reappear at RRT on a Sunday where we can to do some training with the other dogs, which apart from being good for him helps with the socialisation of some of the other less fortunate dogs.
Walking out with Ernie is a very stress free event and when we can in secure areas (no traffic) he spends a good deal of his time off the lead, his recall and willingness to react to remote commands makes this fairly easy. He is very well socialised with other dogs and likes to greet (and play) with them, size immaterial. Some dogs are not too keen on interacting with him and have snapped at him, he has never retaliated but prefers to walk away.
We Knew Ernie liked water and now with the good weather he has discovered he can swim and this is a real joy to him, drive down to the sea (or any stretch of water) and on sight of it he is hopping around in the car impatient to get in there. We have encouraged him as it is extremely good exercise for him without putting undue stress on his joints as is the case with too much running about.
Last Sunday after attending RRT training were went to the pub for lunch, meeting up with a number of friends all keen to meet Ernie. Even surrounded by (duly briefed) strangers he took it all in his stride and seemed to enjoy the attention he got. After which he went for a walk around a local lake and even managed a swim.
Today we spent the morning on Camber Sands which was absolutely heaving with people and dogs, Ernie met up with a couple of dogs who were equally keen to play with him, he spent a happy hour in and out of the sea. On the way back to the car we stopped off to wash off some of the sand and Ernie found himself surrounded by small children a few of whom wanted to meet him, their parents were extremely impressed with how gentle and calm he was. One little girl even filled her bucket with fresh water for him!! He then proceeded to show everyone how to eat an ice cream cone!!!
It is unfortunate that there appears to be a bit of a stigma attached to rescue dogs in as much as the attitude seems to be there must be something wrong with them. Because Ernie is such a good looking and well behaved dog and we are very proud of him I make a point now of telling people in conversation that he is rescued which generally elicits one of two reactions (or even both), they are either very impressed with how good he is and/or then admit that their dog is also a rescue. In some ways it is good to know there are so many people willing to take on a rescue dog but extremely sad to think of how many dogs are out there looking for new homes, in a lot of cases through no fault of their own.
We can’t now imagine life without our Ern’ I know when I am away at work Val has a close friend in the house and she loves him to bits.
It was a big decision to take him on, as to look after him properly is time consuming and not without its costs in food, vets bills & insurance. But to see him come on and gain in confidence and become a much loved part of our family has been well worth the effort. We know we are on a winner as a number of our friends who have met and admire Ernie have offered to look after him should we need to go away, which we are very grateful for but will have to give serious thought to before agreeing.
This is a message to anyone who is thinking about having a rottweiler join their family.
We have had the pleasure of our rotty Hugo for 8 years now, in that time he has been an extension of our human family. Hugo comes virtually everywhere we go, he loves going for walks and thinks everyone who we meet on the walk is only there to see him. Over the years we have met many people who were not sure about him, some terrified but within 5 minutes of meeting him they became just another Hugo fan. He loves BBQ's/ parties especially balloons, he loves cuddles especially off of small children and they get him to dance by scratching his back which he loves. His life long companion has been a feisty jack russell called Tilly (boss) and two aged cats which sadly we have no longer. We recently acquired a mastiff x rottweiler x german shepherd male puppy called Henry in need of a home which Hugo is showing the ropes and they are playing lovely together, Hugo has also been with us constantly at the stables and has attended lots of horse events where he happily sits and watches the days event.
He really has been one in a million - everyone loves him, and he is one of the only dogs that pulls you into the vets room when they call him, everyone at our vets love him including the other patients.
Our advice to anyone seeking a rotty would be basic training, common sense, lots of praise and love and plenty of socialization and just being with you, in return you will have a loving addition to your family.
Diane and Hannah
TRAINING CAN BE FUN!
These photos show Tia learning to weave in between legs.
Tia has also learned to sit and wait for the next command.
Look at the concentration on Tia's face!
Even heelwork can be fun
Tia's trick - roll over!
RIO - A DOG WITH A FUTURE!
We got Rio from the Rottweiler Rescue Trust when he was 12 weeks old. He lived the life of a perfect puppy, then when he was just over a year old we found out he ruptured both his cruciate ligaments. The first operation went well and he recovered very quickly. However, the second operation on his other leg took a lot more time to heal, due to an infection. This hindered his exercise routine and as he was such a young playful dog, made him very restless. So to compensate for his injuries, and lack of long walks we began to baby him, feel sorry for him - which we shouldn’t have done as this led to him having control over us. He never showed any aggression - we would just let him get his own way. Nearly a year after his first operation, we had our first child and when we brought her home from the hospital, our other dog Lyla was not phased by it but Rio was very focused on her and really wanted to 'check her out'....
Because of our lack of discipline with him in the past, he didn’t listen to us when we gave him a command to 'go and lie down'.....with all the emotion of just coming out of hospital we thought at the time that the best thing to do would be give him back, which was a knee jerk reaction.....this absolutely broke our hearts!!!!!
We were in contact with Shelley and Peter every other day to
see how Rio was coping without us. (We were
After a week or so in the kennels, Rio calmed down and Peter and Shelley started to work their magic on him. We asked them if we could work together so that we could to try to bring Rio back home to us. We said we would do anything we could to help him.
We visited the kennels on 6 occasions with our baby daughter and our other dog and each time we saw him and worked with him it got better every time......he is now happily back at home with us with no problems whatsoever.
We can’t thank Shelley
and Peter(and the team) enough for their time and hard work with helping Rio become a balanced dog and helping us become better
Ben and Tamaryn Webb
YOU CAN SEE RIO ON 2011 HAPPILY REHOMED PAGE 2.
Note from Shelley....Rio is a lovely dog, but as Tam and Ben have explained - even the nicest of dogs can be wilful and refuse to listen if it has been spoiled and babied. Also, knee jerk reactions when a new baby is in the house are common, every one is tired and emotional, and it is very easy to see the dog as the whole problem....In fact, Peter and I were very pleased to work with Tam and Ben - who showed commitment and really put themselves out for the dog that they love.
P.S. The bonus is that as Ben is still continuing with Rio's training, both indoors and out over the park, Ben's father's dog is becoming much more obedient too as he walks with them!!
The arrival of Mr Murphy.............
When you collect your rescue dog things are very different from the start. If it is your second/third animal you naturally think it will be the same as the previous one.....wrong.
The older the animal, the more they seem to crave direct attention and become needy - they basically go back to being puppies. (If you take on an animal from 6 months to 12months they are puppies). It takes them time to share you if you have any other animals. They demand all the family's attention all of the time. I have been lucky enough to have two rescues but with the sad passing of my boy I'm now on my 3rd. Murphy is 4 years old and we have had him now for 4 months. He is such a sweet dog, very inquisitive, and always eager to please - sometimes a bit too eager. We have found out in the two months (which is about the time the true colours start showing) that if he is tired, or he doesn't want any fuss we get the growl and the show of teeth routine which, in the beginning, we were a bit wary of but as soon as he's had his nap it's back to being a puppy again. Just like people, some dogs just like their own space when they are tired. He is and always has been food aggressive which, if he was young enough, he may have grown out of. The quick solution is just feed him by himself - he's more than happy not sharing his space and, when he's woofed down his dinner, he then waits by the door for his sister to finish - just in case she may have left something for him to clear up - dream on.
I don't think he had ever been in a car or van so as soon as he got in the van it wasn't registering that he was actually going for a walk (he may have thought we were returning him to Peter/Shelley) he would hyper ventilate and then be sick, so we used to take him out every other day just round the block and then back home. Then after two weeks it was to the park then home. He's a lot better now but we still get a bit of the heavy breathing so at the moment we are having trouble taking him on any journey longer than 25 minutes, but I am sure we will get there eventually. We did consult our vet and he said it wasn't travel sickness but more of an anxiety/panic attack, so don't make a fuss when he is in the van just ignore him and to be honest it is slowly working.
After three weeks we let him off the lead. He is a good as gold but unfortunately we have to put him back on when we see another dogs; he can't push his sister around she will have none of it, so the next best thing is to try and bite any dog that happens to be near him. So at the moment when we see another dog we call him back, he comes running over so no problem with him returning, give him a treat, put him on the lead and try to distract him from looking over. Sometime it works and he's only too pleased just to walk in the trees or sniff with her, but on a bad day you cannot avert his eyes - not even with treats and he then does the lay down ready to pounce routine so more training is needed.
We also have the jumping up when you walk in the door (not too great when he's been outside and you have a beige coat on) so rather then keep telling him to get down (which is annoying) I just turn my back on him. He then tries to go around the side so I move around. I know he's just excited to see me but you don't want it happening to visitors every time someone comes round. He is getting better but again if there hasn't been any training done then he doesn't know right from wrong.
I try to remember some of the basic rules:
Try not to move too quickly around them as this makes them nervous - they either jump up every time you move near them (which can cause you to trip over them) or start jumping around all hyper - so now it has become like moving around my Nan.
Be especially conscious when moving your hand when you want to give them a stroke...the eyes follow your hand everywhere but it does ease as time goes on (sometimes we don't know if they have been cruelly treated and even though your intentions are good they may think they are getting a smack)
Make sure they have their own space. Rotties are very sociable animals but as soon as they are tired you get two sorts of animals - one that needs to be near you (laying on their backs, legs in the air or wants to lay all over you!) or the ones that tend to just want to be by themselves (I have both, in fact Murphy can be both, depending on his mood).
Try not to smother them when you first get them with cuddles and kisses - they have to get to know you first and we discovered that our boy doesn't like you holding him around the neck; he will accept kisses, but only on his head.
Also we used to hit the charity shops for the toys but he's just not a toy kind of boy.
Lay down the ground rules with them first, and get both you and them into a routine. You may experience with dogs just one wee in the house, that's him making his mark but it doesn't seem to happen again.
If possible try not to let them on the sofa or the bed - with Murphy when he arrived he had a thing for sitting on the sofa which is very strange considering he spent most of his life outside but we just keep saying the most used word in our house....OFF and you just know as soon as you are out the house, he's back on it again so when you catch him he obviously he knows he shouldn't be on there but just keep saying OFF and now he never gets on it but it did take a month. He has found his own space with his beds and for some reason that's where he prefers when he's tired until someone comes in then he's back to being full of energy. But I've broken the golden rule because at bedtimes he has a bed in our room on the floor (well we can't all be perfect)
The most important thing is just to enjoy your animals - all they want is love - it costs nothing and after a rotten day the best thing for me is to see their happy faces as I walk through the front door.
OWNING A RESCUE ROTTWEILER.
Jeff woke up at 6.30am and came downstairs to let Jake (our rescue rott) out for his morning wee. Jake comes back in quickly, as he does’nt like staying out in the garden until he has had his breakfast.
Jeff feeds Jake and goes back upstairs to wash and dress and get ready for work.7am Jeff has his morning cup of tea. I'm (Gini) just getting up, waking kids up and telling them to get ready for school.
We have 3 children. Our daughter who is 16yrs, our son who is 13yrs and our youngest son who is 5yrs. 7.30am and Jeff leaves to go to work. I come downstairs. Jake is waiting at the bottom of the stairs to greet Kian and myself.(Kian and Jake are the best of friends).
I make Kian some breakfast and Jake is hanging around to see if any food drops on the floor, but it didn’t today (bad luck Jake).When I give Kian his breakfast Jake sits close to him while he eats but Jake does not beg as he knows he will be told to leave the dining room, and he gets very upset if he has to be away from us if we are in the house.
The other two finally come downstairs at about 8am and
Jake goes to greet them both. They have their breakfast and we leave for the school run. Jake rushes to his bed when we leave.
I drop the kids at school, the last one at 8.45am, and get myself of to work,(in a children’s nursery).
12.30pm I leave work and go home to Jake who is always waiting with a waggy tail at the door. I let him out into the garden, but he never wants to go out - he would rather stay with me. I make some lunch and sometimes give Jake a treat. He always sits in the dining room while I have my lunch. He is very well behaved when we are eating..In my spare time I like to do a little training with Jake when Kian is not around as he says that Jake is his dog and gets in the way,(not that Jake minds).
We sit together and watch a bit of T.V., and then at 2.45pm I go to collect Kian from school, and when we get back we change our clothes and get ready for our dog walk. I’m also a dogwalker so I pick up 4 other dogs to take out with Jake. Jake has the most amazing temperament and loves to be with the other dogs. He gets on great with all shapes and sizes, and is very gentle with all of them, although some of the other dogs like to boss Jake around he does not bat an eyelid. We walk for an hour every day and that is fine with Jake, although today he refused to get back in the car and it was starting to get dark so in the end I had to pick him up. (he is not light).
Took the other dogs home, and then went home ourselves. I take Jake to dog training classes on a Tuesday and that starts at 6.20, so I had to clean him up from our walk, which he loves because it means he gets lots of attention. I very much like to walk with dogs. My fishing rods and niblicks for a golf are forgotten in garage, but I am not sorry about this.
Jeff is walking through the door at 5.45pm and Jake and I are leaving for dog school. Jake loves to greet everyone and every dog at the training school as we enter, and they all remember Jake as he is such a friendly boy.
Our class went well, we will have to practice the down command as Jake keeps getting up, (bless him).We got back home at 8pm and Kian rushes to say hello to Jake first and me second!
I have my dinner and Jake always eats after us. Kian has played with Jake and given him lots of hugs and kisses. Jake is so good with the children and just lays there while Kian makes a big fuss of him, after a while we tell Kian to leave Jake alone as he needs some rest.
The kids go to bed around 9pm and Jake usually stays in his bed sleeping unless Jeff or I get up. Then he will follow us to see what we are doing, and once he is satisfied that we are not going out he will go back to his bed until we move again.
Jake is our first rescue dog, so was a big step for us - especially having a rottweiler. We have always had rotties or rott crosses but never a rescue,
We think Jake is great, and the bonus is we didn't have to toilet train him, or have chewed up items that we would have more then likely have had if we had got a puppy.
It is as if he has always been here and I really cannot imagine life without Jake in it. Rottweiler Rescue Trust take great care in who they rehome the dogs to and I think that is so important.
It is not rottweilers who are bad - it is some people who own them. That is why they all need a special homes with people that will give them all the love and attention they so need and deserve.
Gini and family.
WE ALL HAD TO START SOMEWHERE!
Peter and I were discussing how we became involved with rottweilers, and our first experiences of them. We ended up laughing, but there were some relevant points that came out of it.
Peter bought his first rottie when he was 28 (34 years ago). He paid £600 - yes, £600 for it. Mac, as the dog was known, was a big puppy, and like all dogs, needed to go to training. . One day Peter's wife gave Mac a bone to chew on and then discovered that Mac would not let her past him or the bone! She telephoned a local rottweiler owner,who helped her to get the bone away, and gave her some advice on rotts. A few days later Peter came home from work, dropped a piece of toast on the floor and also discovered what Mac's teeth looked like!
Obviously, they were both concerned and only then did the training start in earnest - going to classes every week and practising at home. Mac lived to a ripe old age and never put another paw wrong - but Peter did wonder whether he would have been better buying something cheaper and not as well bred!
Peter and his wife went on to foster dogs for Rottie Welfare - sometimes taking on dogs that were considered difficult or hard to rehome. Peter has always loved a challenge, and learnt as he went along - winning over some of the more difficult dogs with time and patience and the odd "Hail Mary".
I was talked into buying a rottweiler by my husband. I was not at all sure that I wanted one of these slightly intimidating dogs. Rosie came into our lives at 10 weeks old. This was six years later than Peter's first rott and although Rosie too was very well bred, the prices had dropped and she was £350. She very quickly won me over with her teddy bear looks and friendly disposition. We had had her about a week. My husband had gone upstairs for a nap, and I carried cute little Rosie upstairs to wake him up. I put her on the bed and she settled down beside him, licking his face. I then got onto the bed and went to move her. The cheeky little madam nipped my nose and growled at me! I have to confess at this point that I cried!
I did realise that with 4 kids and an Old English Sheepdog in the house it was imperative that I got to grips with her - and quickly. I telephoned a member of the Rottweiler Club for advice - who as it turned out was one of the most experienced people in the breed. Her knowledge and reassurance saved both me and my dog from disaster. She recommended a good training class, which I attended with Rosie every week. This meant that I was getting a good network of dog sensible people who I could call on for advice. I grew in confidence, and went on to study animal behaviour - which hopefully helps new people in the breed when we are called on to give advice.
I think the point is - We all had to start somewhere. Even with puppies there are bound to be hiccups, mini dramas and setbacks. You simply have to get off your bum and start working with the dog to solve the problem. And ninety percent of the time it is by training - preferably within a class, with a good, experienced and kind dog trainer - not in your back garden on your own. The worst behaved dogs are always the ones that have been trained by an inexperienced owner, without help from a training class. You send your kids to school - take your dogs to school too!
The other thing that came out of this discussion was that the price of rotts has dropped considerably throughout the years. Of course, the big breeders charge considerable sums for their dogs - but rotts have become easily available anywhere - and nowadays are not out of anyone's price range - often available at under a hundred pounds, to anyone with the money to buy one.
LIVING WITH AN OLDER RESCUE ROTT
Sophie came to live with us in November 2007 at the grand old age of 11 years.
We had often thought about having another rottweiler (myself more than Michael if I'm totally honest!), but hadn't really looked into it. We already had a beautiful but tad boisterous neutered 18 month old male rottie called Burly, (whom I felt in my wisdom, would benefit from a playmate) and then we got the internet!......I just happened to type in Rottweiler Rescue and up came Peter and Shelley's website. Joy! As I scrolled through there was Sophie with an appeal next to a photo of her asking someone to give her a home at her age. For me that was a done deal but I did have a husband and two young children's views to think about! I need not have worried though, the boys are remarkable children who are used to animals coming and going due to my work and if they can help something they will. Michael, (apparently up for perfect husband award!?) had the same attitude, but needed a little more convincing. His questions, more than reservations, were fair. Themain ones being how long we would realistically have her, health, child-friendly etc, but not once did he mention cost bless him!
So I made the call and after a lengthy chat with both Peter and Shelley it was decided that Shelley would bring her to us in Suffolk and do the home check at the same time. I was a bag of nerves on the day! I was concerned that Burly being so mad and desperate for a buddy would hurt her in play, but apart from behaving like a spoilt only child he soon learnt not to push her too far; Sophie is one feisty old girl! To this day she keeps Burley in check which is not an easy thing to do! She has played a huge part in the continuing development of his social graces.
Health wise she has come on in leaps and bounds, literally. Every day her gentle walks got a little further, what began as a 5 minute trek is now an hour of bliss, it was as if she knew the park was just round the corner! She now has a playmate in the shape of Lindsey a Jack Russell (her favourite) who she devotedly follows round the park while Burley continues his exuberant search for an inexhaustable female to love! We take each day as it comes and try to make it as special as we can for her. If its raining she is just as happy with the sofa.
Although being no pushover, she impresses everyone she meets with her gentle manners and soulful eyes(which she uses to full advantage if there are treats around). Seeing Sophie sit gently beside (or on if she can) my 91 year old Nan's lap is wonderful, and despite Nan not being a fan of the breedhas won her around completely! She is my 6th dog and my 3rd rottie but I have never had a dog with such a huge indomitable spirit. Watching the transformation in her has been fantastic, but she does like to play the old dearie when it suits her. If its time for a wee and its raining she couldn't possibly get up but if you leave food on the worktop it mysteriously vanishes!?! It must be the cats!
The children have learnt many things in having an older dog; they respect her and play with her in a totally different way to Burley. Also that life is not always about your own needs but helping something that needs it no matter how long you have it or how gorgeous it is. No, Sophie is not a stunner, and yes sometimes she smells but hey, she's old and we love her for it, warts and all! The very long point I'm trying to make is that without people like Peter and Shelley doing their wonderful job and the rest of us stepping up when we can, and giving older dogs like Sophie a chance, many wouldn't be here now. She is a joy to have and very much a part of our family regardless of how long we have her. Thank you to all those who have shown interest in her wellbeing in the last five months (I think fame has gone to her head, though) and have included some more recent photos of her enjoying life! Long may it continue. Dear old Sophie was put to sleep at the beginning of September - please see News and Views page.
ROTTWEILERS AND CHILDREN
We do not rehome rottweilers to people who have children under 5 years old. This is not because rottweilers are not good with children, but because new Mums with young children do not have enough time to do everything! Young dogs are like young children, they need lots of time, attention and training to make them happy members of society.
Many of the dogs we get into rescue will have lived happily with children - even tiny ones. The danger is that when Mum is busy and things get out of hand the dog will always be blamed. This is why we feel that once a child has started school full time, he/she is old enough to understand not to annoy the dog, and Mum has a bit more time to ensure that the relationship between child and dog is happy and safe.
It is very nice to see rotts with children - we get sent a lot of photos with kids and dogs playing happily together and having a cuddle. We do not put them on the website as we feel that many people do not realise the hard work that goes into getting the relationship right between children and dogs, and think that any dog can be fussed by small children. If you feel that your experience is different from ours, please let us know.
A MUST FOR ALL RESPONSIBLE ROTTWEILER OWNERS
DRAWING OF JADE BY SHARON HARVEY
Bella is a rescue dog owned by Judith and Edward. Their little girl is typical of so many rottweilers - affectionate and good natured to all she meets. She likes nothing better than a nap on the sofa!
RESPONSIBILITY OF OWNING A ROTTWEILER
Rottweilers are a guarding breed and all owners need to be aware that their dog will quite naturally protect their family and home.
It is imperative that all Rottweilers undergo training for basic social skills.
Basic obedience should be started from puppy hood but it is never too late to teach a dog good social skills. Teaching a puppy what is acceptable and what is not is far easier than waiting until you have a large, wilful adolescent. Patience and understanding is required when teaching adult dogs.
As a responsible owner you should consider the feelings of members of the public. Even if you have the friendliest of dogs, it should ALWAYS be kept under complete control, and it should be on a lead when in a public place.
Your dog should not be allowed to worry livestock or be aggressive to other dogs.
Above all, it should not be aggressive to people.
HISTORY/LIVING WITH A ROTTWEILER
The Rottweiler is a very old breed. Originating in the town of Rottweil, in Germany, the Rottweiler was first used as a butchers dog. The breed was noted for its versatility - a Rottweiler could pull the butchers cart, defend the money bag or herd cattle. All of these jobs it did remarkably well and as a consequence the breed flourished and grew in popularity.
Nowadays the Rottweiler is most often associated with guarding and protection. The Rottweiler will protect the family without any attempts to train it to protect, or to teach it to be aggressive. Aggression should never be encouraged in this breed.
Rottweilers tend to be strong willed, very intelligent, highly trainable dogs. If they are left to their own devices they will often try to take over the family and this is where the problems can start. A Rottweiler needs to be trained, firmly but kindly, and should know the house rules from day one.
Rottweilers are not generally good with other dogs of the same sex. Most will tolerate dogs of the opposite sex. We never rehome two male Rottweilers together.
Rottweilers are very loyal to their owners, and will give years of love. They are a wonderful breed, but not for the weak willed person. Rottweilers are ‘people dogs’ and should live as part of the family.
Jim O'Halloren, who rescued a dog from us some years ago, has sent us in this lovely photo of the gorgeous old Murphy living happily with a fostered kitten. It just shows how lovely these dogs can be if handled and trained properly. Jim and his wife work very hard for rescue animals and are doing a great job.