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Are Rottweilers Dangerous?


Rottweilers, with their large stature and specific breeding for tasks such as guarding, herding, and pulling carts, are a fascinating breed. These working dogs possess a protective nature that can be misconstrued as aggression towards strangers or perceived threats. However, with proper training and socialization, they can be loyal and loving companions.

Their territorial behavior makes them excellent guard dogs, which led to many labeling them as a dangerous breed. Are Rottweilers dangerous or just loyal dogs? The Rottweiler breed along with the pit bull has been associated with some fatal dog attacks over the years in the U.S. 

Although Rottweilers can be more dangerous than other dogs, various factors play a role in their aggression. There are specific laws and breed legislations in place for Rottweilers, and the truth is somewhere in the middle. If you are a dog bite victim or a Rottweiler owner, there are certain things that you should know about this dog breed, dog bite laws, and other useful information. If you are considering filing a dog bite claim, contact Agruss Law Firm, LLC, and let a dog bite lawyer help you with your claim. Here is what you should know about Rottweilers, aggressive dogs, and the laws in place.

Overview of Rottweilers as a Dog Breed

Rottweilers are large dogs that originated in Germany but have a long history that goes back to the Romans, making them one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. They have a muscular build and powerful jaws, with a bite force of 328 psi (pound per square inch), which places them at the tenth spot in the dog breeds with the most powerful biting force. 

Male Rottweilers can reach 27 inches in height and 132 lb in weight, while female Rottweilers are smaller and lighter, reaching 25 inches in height and 106 lb in weight. According to the American Kennel Club, Rottweilers didn’t just pull carts and herd cattle but also protected the cattleman’s money.

The American Kennel Club also stated that the protective nature of Rottweilers may have contributed to their bad rap as dog attacks occurred against thieves and trespassers. Just like pit bulls, Rottweilers tend to be seen as dangerous dogs.

Although they can inflict serious damage on an adult human or even a fatal attack, most instances of Rottweiler’s aggressive behavior can be traced back to an inadequate dog trainer, poor socialization, or abuse.

This can be backed up by the breed’s temperament tests. Rottweilers rank amongst the most well-behaved dogs on ATTS scores. They had an 85% score on temperament tests, surpassing other breeds such as the Doberman Pinscher or Akita and being slightly surpassed by the golden retriever, pit bulls, or the Siberian Husky. They require more mental stimulation than other animals, as their entire life is based on having a purpose, and they are eager to please.

Rottweiler owners should also be aware that this breed of dog can suffer from separation anxiety and destructive behaviors if isolated, which further highlights their sensitivity and devoting nature. Puppies reach adulthood at around 2 or 3 years of age. 

Common Misconceptions about Rottweilers: Are They a Dangerous Dog Breed?

In many instances, Rottweilers are naturally aggressive as they were specifically bred for protection, just like pit bulls were bred for bull or bear hunting and, therefore, fighting. Still, they can become a loving family pet through proper socialization and if they are trained properly and cared for from a very young age.

Since this breed was involved in fatal dog attacks, many consider their biting power as among the most powerful. Although a Rottweiler has a bite force of 328 psi, it isn’t even in the top 5. The Kangal, for example, has a biting force of 734 psi, which is more than two Rottweilers combined. 

Some who consider having a Rottweiler as a family dog are sometimes worried about the safety of their children and might even avoid this breed due to statistics. Although Rottweilers are territorial and more prone to aggression, they are no more dangerous to children than any other dog breed.

If properly trained from an early age, their loyalty and protective nature will make family members feel at ease. However, some statistics do point out that Rottweilers are involved in more serious dog bite incidents than other dogs. Are Rottweilers dangerous if they are so high on these lists? Turns out, most dog breeds aren’t as dangerous as other animals. Dogs involved in attacks do not necessarily reflect their breed’s aggressive tendencies but rather that they were owned by irresponsible owners and abused.

Some dog owners specifically choose large-frame dogs for their aggressive reputation and use them in illegal dog fights. Other owners do not provide the necessary care, training, or socialization for their Rottweiler, making them unpredictable and even dangerous to other humans. If you have been involved in a dog attack, seek medical care urgently and contact Agruss Law Firm, LLC, for a free consultation on your case and learn more about dog bite laws.

Factors That Contribute to Dog Bite Incidents

Irresponsible owners contribute the most to dog bite incidents. When owners abuse dogs, they acquire fear. A Rottweiler may not carry vengeful emotions, but abused or neglected dogs are prone to lash out faster at things they perceive as threats, just like other animals do.

Proper training and socialization play crucial roles in dog bite prevention. Owners who do not socialize their dogs from an early age are more likely to attack other animals or people. Since Rottweilers are more territorial than other dogs, they will bite to protect and safeguard their home or owners. 

Owners also contribute to dog bites when they don’t properly restrain their dogs or prioritize their health. When dogs are in pain, they are more likely to bite, and through veterinary medical care, dog owners can discover possible diseases or other factors that might cause pain to their dogs, which makes them more aggressive or prone to bite. Keeping your Rottweiler in good health will make them less likely to engage in undesirable behavior and make you a more responsible dog owner.

Genetics can influence behavior and temperament in many breeds, but overall, it still comes down to proper training and responsible dog ownership. 

Aggressive Behavior in Dogs and Warning Signs

Regardless if you have a Rottweiler or another dog breed, as a dog owner or passerby, everyone should be aware of the warning signs when a dog is about to attack. This can include:

  • Growling or aggressive barking. Although many associate barking with the saying “all bark but no bite,” aggressive barking is different. Rottweilers who bark aggressively are giving a warning signal.
  • Intense stare is also a warning sign in Rottweilers along with stiff posture.
  • Lowering of the ears is a sign a dog is mad.
  • Rottweilers that avoid eye contact might indicate that they feel uncomfortable. If excessive yawning is also present, a Rottweiler may attack later. This is another stress-relief mechanism indicating high stress levels. The licking of the lips is another sign to look for.
  • Lunging, snapping, or baring teeth is a sign that aggression is likely coming.
  • A Rottweiler with raised hackles also indicates that it feels threatened and may attack in response

Each dog breed has its own warning signs, which are more indicative than others, but generally, the warning signs mentioned above apply to most dogs. Aggressive behavior might also be heightened in Rottweilers during mating season.

 The Role of Responsible Ownership and Training in Preventing Dog Bites

A Rottweiler owner should train their pet as soon as possible to prevent dog bites. Training can begin as early as eight weeks. You can use a professional trainer to help your Rottweiler get accustomed to other dogs and people. You can ask them all sorts of useful questions, such as

  • Are Rottweilers aggressive around other dogs, especially during heat season?
  • Are Rottweilers safe around children?
  • What should I do if a Rottweiler is aggressive?

Mental stimulation and training prepare Rottweilers to understand what is to be expected of them and will keep them happy, and allow owners to be prepared in tense situations.

Specific Dog Breeds and Statistical Data on Dog Bites

Rottweilers are usually high on statistical dog bite lists. However, Rottweiler aggression is ultimately tied down to early education, obedience training, proper socialization, owner behavior, and responsible ownership. As stated earlier, Rottweiler temperament scores showcase that they are not inherently dangerous if cared for. The most dangerous dogs are ultimately neglected, abused, and untrained. 

Unraveling Rottweiler Dog Bite Laws and Regulations

Since Rottweilers are large dogs and can be dangerous, various dog bite laws and regulations apply to them. They vary from state to state and sometimes from one municipality to another. Here are a couple of examples of dog bite laws in different states and breed-specific regulations that apply to Rottweilers.

Dog Bite Laws in California

In California, dog owners are strictly liable for dog bites. Even if Rottweilers are properly trained and have no history of prior aggression, you will still get in trouble with the law if an attack does occur. Rottweilers and other breeds aren’t usually subjected to breed-specific laws in California. 

Dog Bite Laws in Georgia

The state of Georgia follows the one-bite system. Here, dog owners can escape liability if they can prove that they have no prior knowledge of their dog’s aggressive tendencies. However, dogs that are labeled as vicious or dangerous will usually result in owner liability if an attack occurs. 

In certain municipalities, Rottweilers in Georgia are prohibited from entering dog parks or other off-leash areas, such as in Marietta. Rottweilers in such municipalities are labeled as potentially dangerous, along with pit bulls.

Dog Bite Laws in Mississippi

Mississippi also follows the one-bite system. Yet, Rottweilers do not necessarily have to bite a person to get their owner into trouble. Sometimes, even growling, snarling, or snapping can be considered dangerous behavior and get the owner in trouble.

Some cities have labeled Rottweilers as dangerous and imposed various housing laws, restrictions, and even bans. For example, in Hinds County, you cannot own rottweilers unless you have a special permit. 

Dog Bite Laws Florida

Florida is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. In some circumstances, dog owners can even face prison time depending on the circumstances of the dog bite case. You can own Rottweilers in Florida, but you will need to adhere to applicable local ordinances in some locations.

Dog Bite Laws in New York

In New York, dog owners are strictly liable for all the damages caused by their dog attacks if they know about their dog’s aggressive tendencies and fail to take the necessary measures to prevent incidents. This includes paying victims medical bills, property damage, and non-economic damages.

The New York City Housing Authority also states that Rottweilers aren’t allowed in households unless they were registered before January 31, 2010. Rottweilers are also subjected to other local ordinances and leash or muzzle laws. In the county of Ontario, for example, Rottweilers and other dogs and animals must be vaccinated against rabies before they are four months old. 

Safety Measures to Prevent Dog Bites & Taking Legal Action

The best way for dog owners to prevent dog bites is to train and socialize them and adhere to breed-specific regulations and local ordinances. This might mean keeping the dog on the leash even in dog parks or other off-leash areas, placing warning signs, and prioritizing their health through regular vaccinations and veterinary visits, and understanding their behavior. 

Are Rottweilers dangerous despite taking safety measures? They still can be, and if attacks happened against individuals in public spaces or where they had a legal right to be, owners would be liable.

If you were the victim of a dog bite, you can recover compensation for your injuries and other damages. Compensation is usually higher if the dog bite resulted in broken bones, brain injuries, or facial disfigurement. 

Contact a dog bite lawyer at Agruss Law Firm, LLC, for a free consultation on your case and learn more about your legal options and how to prepare your claim. Our dedicated dog bite attorneys can help you understand the legal process and guide you through it while ensuring your rights and giving you a fighting chance at receiving fair compensation.

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