If your Rottweiler keeps cowering, you might be wondering why it has been doing it and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of reasons why your Rottweiler might be cowering and what you can do about it.

So, why does my Rottweiler cower? Possible reasons are that someone mistreated it, it’s unsure of its surroundings, previous owners neglected it, illness, injury, being aggressive around it or it might be going through a more fearful stage if it is a puppy still.

There are actually many reasons why your Rottweiler might be doing it and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can do about it and there are some things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason.

Why your Rottweiler cowers

Below are a number of common reasons why Rottweilers start cowering and what would make them more likely to be the reason why yours has been doing it.

Someone mistreated it

The reason why it does it could be that someone mistreated it. This would be more likely if it started cowering suddenly after someone was aggressive towards it or if it cowers only when a certain person is around.

However, if it does seem to get anxious when a certain person is around it could also be the case that it just doesn’t trust them yet. This would be more likely if it has not had many interactions with that person yet or if it is a puppy.

It’s unsure of its environment

The reason why it has been doing it might also be that it does not know if the environment it is in is safe. This would be more likely if you have recently adopted or bought it. In this case, it should become more comfortable as it becomes more sure of the safety of its new home.

In this case, it would help to give it attention throughout the day by training it, playing with it and exercising it. If it does not begin to improve after a few weeks, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

Previous owners neglected it

It might also be the case that it has been cowering because previous owners neglected it. This would be more likely if you adopted it from a shelter and you do not know who the previous owners were.

In this case, it would also be likely that it will improve over the course of weeks and months and it would help to also give it positive attention. If it does not improve over the course of weeks and months, it would help to consult with a vet.

Illness or injury

The reason why it has been cowering might also be that it has become ill or injured. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being ill or injured. If it seems like illness or injury might be the cause, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

You are aggressive or emotional around it

If you are aggressive or emotional with your Rottweiler, it could be why it cowers. This would be especially likely if it only cowers when you are around.

Rottweilers are usually highly responsive to their owner’s emotions. If their owner acts aggressively or emotionally with them, they will likely become uncomfortable because of it.

It is still young

If your Rottweiler is still a puppy, it could be going through a more fearful stage that puppies can go through sometimes. It would still help to follow the tips below. If it does not stop cowering after a few weeks, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider when trying to figure out why your Rottweiler has been doing it.

If your Rottweiler always seems to cower

If your Rottweiler tends to cower at certain times or in certain situations, it might be the case that the timing has something to do with it.

For example, if it does it more when you are about to leave home, it might be because it has separation anxiety.

Whereas, if your Rottweiler always seems to get afraid of things then it would make it more likely that it has something to do with being mistreated when younger or not being able to socialize when it was younger.

When it started doing it

If your Rottweiler did not always cower like it has been, it could also be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.

If it started cowering suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as being mistreated by someone, you were aggressive towards it, illness or injury. It would help to consider what happened when it started doing it.

Whereas, if it has always cowered, it might be the case that you have inadvertently trained it to do it by rewarding it when it does it or it could be because previous owners mistreated it.

Who is around when it cowers

It would also help to consider if it does it more around certain people. If it does it could be a sign that it is being caused by that person.

How to get your Rottweiler to stop cowering

Below are some things you can do to get your Rottweiler to cower less.

Be calm around your Rottweiler

As mentioned above, Rottweilers are usually highly responsive to their owner’s emotions. This is why it is important to be calm around your Rottweiler and to use positive reinforcement training to get it to behave the way that you want as opposed to using aggression.

Give it exercise and play with it

Rottweilers are a breed that is meant to get exercise on a daily basis. When they do not get enough, it can cause them to behave abnormally and it might be part of the reason why yours has been cowering. Generally, they are meant to get an hour of exercise per day as healthy adults.

Reward it when it does not cower

It would also help to reward it when it does not cower when it normally would and to stop rewarding it when it does start coweing.

It would also help to recognize when it is likely to start cowering and to redirect its focus onto doing something else such as laying down.

Avoid rewarding the cowering

It would also help to avoid encouraging the behavior by trying not to give it rewards when it cowers. Instead, it would help to try to recognize when it is about to start doing it and to try to redirect its focus and to reward it when it does not cower.

Avoid physical punishment

If you punish it when it cowers it could also be making the behavior worse.

Instead, it would be better to avoid reacting when it does things that you don’t like and to use positive reinforcement training techniques instead of punishing it.

Get help from a vet

If you are unable to figure out why it has been doing it or you cannot get it to stop, it would also help to get help from a vet. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular Rottweiler and to confirm or rule out injury or illness as the cause.

Another option would be to get help from a dog behaviorist. By doing so, you should be able to see why it has been behaving that way and what you can do to get it to stop.

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I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.