If you are a cat parent and think about getting yourself a Rottweiler puppy or vice versa then the “are Rottweilers good with cats” must wander your mind. Yes, your thinking is rather rational. As there are certain myths about Rottweilers being a vicious dog breed, Those are not true. Rottweilers are extremely brave and protective of their family.
Whether dogs and cats get along is an archaic debate and cannot be answered in a simple yes or no. The truth being many dogs ad cats can learn to co-exist peacefully if properly socialized. Primarily, it depends upon the upbringing of your puppy. It will partly depend, of course, on the behavior of your cat and the characteristics of your pup.
Before you decide to bring a Rottweiler puppy we think you ought to learn something about the breed.
Understanding a Rottweiler:
Originally, the Rottweilers were dogs bred to drive cattle to market. They were later used to draw carts for butchers. They were among the first police dogs in the military and served with distinction.
They are most importantly, famous guardians and friends of the family. Parents of inexperienced pets should be alert, as these dogs are strong and intense. They need treatment and preparation with experience. Consistent, enthusiastic pet parents will find in a Rottie a caring, loyal, and intelligent companion for life!
To defend their families, Rottweilers have an instinct and can be ferocious in their protection. By providing early socialization, firm, equal, consistent training and leadership, and a daily role to perform, it is important to channel their power and protectiveness.
A Rottweiler, well-bred is relaxed and optimistic. Usually, he’s aloof to outsiders, but never shy or scared. When faced with unfamiliar people and circumstances, Rottweilers display a “wait-and-see” attitude.
Rottweilers walk a rather fine line between aggressiveness and temperament, if not properly trained this could lead to them being over-protective.
The Rottweiler is a natural guard dog with a mellow temperament when these attributes come together as they should.
Introducing a Rottweiler to a cat home:
For animals, a sniff can do the job of getting them familiar with the other individual. Both dogs and cats depend upon their sniffing instinct to decide whether they like the other animal or not.
The first step you could do is giving both your Rottweiler and the cat something that smells like the other animal. This may include giving them a whiff of each other’s stuff. Get them used to each other.
The next step you could follow is introducing them through a barrier, enough for them to take a good whiff but not get too close. Let them have a good look at each other.
The final step is of course introducing them properly, you first bring the cat in the room and then your Rottweiler. Bringing the cat after you bring your pup could spark a sense of territorial defense.
Bringing a cat into a Rottweiler home:
Bringing a cat or a kitten into a Rottweiler household could be a tad tricky than the previous scenario. Rottweilers are notorious for being a territorial breed. If your Rottweiler is fully grown, any animal approaching its territory will not be taken kindly.
Introducing a cat to a Rottweiler that grew up with other cats will make things easier for you. However, you will need to take steps similar to those described in the previous scenario if your dog has never met another cat in your home before.
Many individuals appear to believe that dogs frighten cats rather than vice versa. However, with other cats, many big dogs can get scared very quickly. You should make sure you keep them tight on a leash when you introduce your Rottweiler to your new pet. During their first proper encounter with a cat, this will give them some comfort and encouragement.
Your pets will learn to tolerate each other’s presence with sufficient time and effort. However, when they are together, you can always stop leaving them unsupervised.
Potential reasons, Why your Rottweiler does not get along with your cat:
Rottweiler is a tough breed to train but, it is not impossible. Rottweilers can be trained to get along with other animals, it involves a struggle and it may not always work out in the end, here are some of the reasons as to why your efforts might squander:
The primary instinct of Rottweilers:
Rottweilers were first introduced as a herding breed. Before moving on to our homes and police work, this breed first came about as a strong robust cattle-herding dog. Herding breeds are smart but they can be stubborn. They are often wired, often to the extent of herding their owners, to herd any moving animal.
Rottweilers rarely go to the point of attempting to herd human beings, but any moving thing will always be pursued by them. If this is not dealt with the dog would be the cat’s daily nightmare.
The difference in size:
A big dog, weighing anywhere from 40-60 kilos, is your average Rottweiler. And rarely does your average domestic cat make it to 5 kilos. That’s an incredible difference in scale. That size does not necessarily mean violence, you may argue, and you’d be right.
Yet there is a natural pecking order in the animal world. The size of your Rottweiler puts him way above your cat and leaves the cat feeling intimidated. While your dog hasn’t done anything to warrant violence, it could result in the cat lashing out on principle.
You have an older Rottweiler:
If you adopt a Rottweiler pup, you have every chance of socializing well with your dog. But maybe yours is an older one from another home or even a rescue dog. He may not be accustomed to being around other livestock, and may not even be socialized at all.
All his innate instincts would be at the forefront of such a Rottweiler. By showing hostility, he’ll probably respond to any cat (or other animals). You’ll need a lot of patience to get your dog to tolerate cats in a situation like this. There is also a possibility that it can never work absolutely.
Naturally, Rottweilers have a very powerful desire to track down whatever moves quickly. Anything that moves swiftly enough is viewed by your Rottweiler as prey that needs to be captured and subdued. Cats, that are naturally agile and fast on their feet, may be included.
This inherent prey drive can be a major barrier to having your dog and cat to coexist if not restrained. The Rottweiler would just keep trying to capture the cat, causing both pets to get hurt.
The behavior of your cat:
It is a common conception that cats can be a tad brusque and mean. This could be a prologue to why your Rottweiler might not get along with the cat.
Rottweilers are rather energetic yet sensitive dogs and the mean behavior of the cat could lead them to not get along with it. This can be settled by proper behavior management of the cat. Cats, despite being smaller are not a push-over. Cats are territorial animals are not a fan of their personal space being shared by any other animal.
It may mean no harm to your new Rottweiler, wanting only to introduce itself or play. Or maybe he’ll try to intimidate the cat, dreaming of showing her who the boss is. The cat would certainly not take stuff lying down and lash out either way.
How can you train your Rottweiler to get along with a cat?
Training a Rottweiler can be a bit more challenging than other breeds but, if done impeccably, Rottweilers let alone get along with strangers will also love other animals, cats inclusive. Be prepared regularly to spend some time training your puppy, and be patient. Here we have explained some of the steps you could make sure that your rotty gets along with your cat.
Start with basic commands
Regardless of if your Rottweiler is a puppy or a fully grown dog he needs to learn basic commands like sit, look, and stop. These basic commands come in quite handy while controlling your pup around the cats.
A brilliant way to distract your dog when necessary is the command to look. Start by having a sitting dog for you. Then hold a treat in front of his nose and move it up to your nose bridge in a straight line. Hold the treat between your eyes, say ‘look,’ and reward your dog. Continue to practice and increase the length of the look. Ultimately, for minutes at a time, the dog should be able to look at you.
The easiest to start with is the sit command. Get the attention of your dog with a treat. Lift the treat slowly over and behind his head in a low arc. His behind will go down as his eyes follow the treat. Say firmly but non-aggressively, ‘sit’ and reward him with the treat. Keep training until the order is solid, and phase the treatment out gradually.
The most important command that will take you all the way is the stop command. Teaching your dog this command could prevent any mishaps that might transpire.
Socializing your dog in his puppy days:
To ensure the proper socialization of your Rottweiler puppy you need to teach him to socialize at an early age. Dogs at a younger age are easier to train.
From an early age, you need to teach your tog to walk on a collar and a leash to carry out the walks as safely as possible. You can take your dog to walks in a park or an animal care center so he can properly learn to get along with other animals. Such places are rife with different species of animals of all sizes providing your dog the diversity he needs to feel safe in the company of other animals.
Older dogs are harder to train and it might take you a great deal of struggle to let alone teach him a single command but obey your orders, You’d rather have the job done by a professional.
Teaching your Rottweiler to ignore:
This strategy can prove to be quite helpful only if your dog has learned to obey basic commands. Before escalating things to this step your dog should be comfortable with walking on a leash and a collar.
The philosophy here is to reward the relaxed behavior of your dog around cats and discourage excitement. The best way to do this is to collaborate with a friend to support you in a controlled atmosphere.
Start by putting on the collar and leash of your Rottweiler. Have him sit there next to you. Then make a friend carry a cat to the room (crated). Let your boyfriend and cat stay away from the puppy.
Praise him and praise him for good behavior if your dog stays calm. If he starts lunging or barking instead, give the leash a short tug and a sharp ‘Leave it!’ ’. To distract him, get him to look at you and calm down.
Have your buddy put the cat a bit closer until you have the dog lying peacefully again. Again, thank the dog for behaving peacefully. What you’re going to do is to show him that he gets plenty of attention and treats from avoiding the cat.
In a day or two, don’t expect excellence. Taking it cautiously, and repeat these experiences, making the cat closer each time. You should up your game until the dog is no longer paying much attention to the cat. Begin to encourage the cat to wander about the room openly when supervising the dog.
RED FLAGS you should observe:
You still need t pay attention to your Rottweiler and keep a keen eye for his behaviour, whether he is showing signs of disapproval. You can act soon you as see these red flags and prevent them from being a prologue to a potential tragedy:
- Stiff posture
- Excessive panting
- Ears laid back
- WHALE EYES (whites of the eyes are visible)
- Raised hackles
DOs and DON’Ts of when introducing your Rottweiler to a cat:
Getting ready to share your personal space with another animal is not as easy as it sounds. It may take a while before your Rottweiler is completely comfortable with a cat and you must be patient.
- DON’T force them proximity
- DON’T punish or yell at either of the pet
- DON’T surprise either of them
- DON’T leave your cat stranded ( always leave your cat a way to escape)
- If the situation escalates DO remove either of the animals from the scene.
- DO try at another time.
- DO reward them as a prize for their good behavior.
So, are Rottweilers good with cats? Every dog is a person, and situations can make an enormous difference. But yes, contrary to common opinion, Rottweilers can get along pretty well with cats. They can be taught to embrace them as members of the pack, and will also defend them against harm.
Socializing your puppy at an early age and getting him familiar with cats is your best bet to cat-proof him. Making your Rottweiler get along with a cat is easier when you bring a Rottweiler in a cat home rather than the opposite. Even an elderly Rottweiler can overcome his prey instinct with a little bit of preparation and persistence on your part and come to tolerate cats.
Your Rottweiler will without doubt, inevitably meet another animal that he doesn’t like. But hey! It also happens with people! But overall, with proper socialization and proper care, a Rottweiler will surely get along with cats.