If your Rottweiler has recently snapped at you this post will show you why and what you can do about it.
So, why does my Rottweiler snap at me? Possible reasons are that it is injured, it feels threatened, mistreatment, a lack of training or possessiveness.
Your Rottweiler might actually do it for many different reasons 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 figuring out the most likely causes.
Why your Rottweiler snaps at you
Below are some common causes of Rottweilers snapping at their owners and what would make them more likely to be the reason why yours has been doing it.
It could be the case that an injury is what caused it to snap at you. This would be more likely if it has been showing other signs of being injured such as being fatigued or limping. If it does seem like an injury could be the cause the best option would be to take it to a vet.
It could also be the case that it snapped at you because it was feeling threatened. This would be more likely if you approached it in a threatening way by doing things such as make large movements, shout or by trapping it in a corner.
The reason why it did it might also be that it thought that you were mistreating it. This would be more likely if it did it when you were being aggressive towards it or you were neglecting it in some way such as by not feeding it.
It would help to consider if your own actions could have made it feel like it was being mistreated in some way.
A lack of training
If you do not give your Rottweiler training, it will behave the way that it feels like behaving. The way it feels like behaving is unlikely to be the way you want it to behave which is why it is important to give it training. It would help to start by training it to do simple things and then to build up from there.
It could be the case that it did it because it was being dominating. This would be more likely if it did it in a situation such as when you were trying to sit in the spot that it normally sits in or to get it to move. It would also be more likely if it does dominating things such as sit in higher spots than you or be unresponsive to your command.
Sometimes dogs will snap out when they are protecting things that they think belong to them. This will commonly happen when someone tries to take something such as a bone away from them or when going near them while they are eating. This could be the reason why your Rottweiler has been snapping at you. This would be more likely if it does it in situations such as when it is eating or sitting in a certain spot.
In this case, it would help to do lots of leave it training. But, if it is aggressive, getting the help of a dog trainer or behaviorist would likely help the most.
Being frustrated could also be why it did it. This would be more likely if it did it after you had been telling it to do something repeatedly or after you had been touching it in a way that it did not like.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when trying to figure out why your Rottweiler has been doing it.
When it started lashing out
It would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.
If it started doing it suddenly it would be more likely to be due to things such as being mistreated, getting injured or feeling threatened.
What is different when it snaps at you
It would also help to consider the timing of when it does it since the timing might also have something to do with it.
If it snaps at you when you are shouting it would make it more likely that it feels threatened. Whereas, if it does it when it is eating it would make it more likely that it is resource guarding.
How many times it has done it
It would also help to consider how many times it has done it.
If it only snapped at you once then it would make it more likely to be because it was feeling threatened or because it was in pain at the time. However, it could still have been due to one of the other reasons mentioned above.
How to get your Rottweiler to stop snapping at you
Below are a number of options you have when getting your Rottweiler to stop snapping at you. Using a combination of them will likely be the best approach.
Make sure that it is not ill or injured
If it seems like it might be ill or injured the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular Rottweiler and to rule out injury as a possible cause.
If you think that your Rottweiler is likely to bite you or be aggressive in certain situations such as when it is eating it would be best for you to get the help of an expert in your area. Experts could include certified dog trainers or certified dog behaviorists.
By doing so you will be able to get expert guidance tailored to your particular Rottweiler and they will be able to show you the most appropriate course of action to take in a safe manner.
Make sure that you are feeding it correctly
It would also help to make sure that it has been getting the right diet. It would help to consult with your local vet on what you have been feeding them when you see them next. You can also look here to see what you should and should not be feeding your Rottweiler.
Avoid punishing it
It might be tempting for you to punish your Rottweiler when it misbehaves but you should avoid doing so. If you punish it your Rottweiler might not know why and it could lead to it having feelings of resentment. Instead, it would help to give it lots of positive reinforcement training as discussed below and to be consistent with the training.
Use positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training is where you reward your Rottweiler for behaving the way that you want it to and avoid rewarding it when it does not.
If you have not trained your Rottweiler to behave the way that you want it to then it would help to start doing so. I have written about how you can use positive reinforcement training to get it to lay down here and to come on command here.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
It would also help to avoid giving it things that it wants when it behaves in a way that you do not like. Instead, it would help to train it to behave a certain way with the use of positive reinforcement training.