It can be quite concerning when Rottweilers act timid, scared or afraid. In this post, I will show you why yours might be doing it and what you can do about it.
So, why does my Rottweiler act afraid? Possible reasons are that it was mistreated, it’s in a new environment, illness, injury, it’s going through a more timid phase as a puppy or you might have been inadvertently rewarding the behavior.
Your Rottweiler might be acting that way for a number of reasons and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are also a number of things you can do about it that will depend on the most likely cause.
Why your Rottweiler is timid scared or afraid
Below, I will show you a number of reasons why your Rottweiler might be doing it and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
The reason why it does it could be that it can hear noises that it does not like. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more at certain times such as when there are construction works or fireworks outside.
In this case, it would help to try to reduce the loudness of the noise or to use desensitization training.
The cause could be that someone mistreated it. This would be more likely if you recently adopted it from a shelter.
In this case, it would be likely that it will become more comfortable over the course of weeks and months as it gets used to its new environment. However, you could help by giving it lots of training, exercise and attention.
It might also be the case that someone has been mistreating it recently. This would be more likely if it starts to act afraid around certain people.
It’s unsure of its environment
If you recently adopted your Rottweiler it could be the case that it is unsure of the safety of its new environment.
In this case, it should begin to improve over the course of a few weeks or months. It would help to give it positive attention in the form of training, exercise and play. If it does not improve it would help to get the help of a vet or dog behaviorist.
Illness or injury
The cause could be that it has gotten an illness or injury. 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 does seem like illness or injury might be the cause, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
It’s still young
If your Rottweiler still a puppy it could be going through a timider stage that many go through. This would be more likely if your puppy is around the age of 6 weeks old since it is not uncommon for Rottweiler to become slightly timid at around that age. In this case, it would be likely that it will become less timid as it gets older.
You intimidate it
The reason why it has been doing it might be that you intimidate it. Instead of approaching it quickly, aggressively or by getting emotional with it, try to interact with it in a calm manner.
You have inadvertently reinforced the behavior
The cause might also be that you have inadvertently encouraged the behavior by giving it things it wants when it acts that way. Instead, it would help to give it rewards when it is behaving the way you want and to use positive reinforcement training to change its behavior.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider about your Rottweiler being timid, scared or afraid.
If it has always been timid, scared or afraid
If it did not always act afraid, it would help to consider what else occurred when it first started behaving that way. It could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.
If it started doing it more suddenly it would make it more likely to be due to things such as being mistreated, a change in its diet or getting ill or injured. It would help to consider if anything else changed at around the same time that it started doing it.
Whereas, if it has always been that way it would be more likely that it learned to be that way by rewarding the behavior, being in a new environment, being a puppy, illness, injury or previous owners mistreating it.
When it does it more
It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that it tends to become afraid. It could be the case that the timing also has something to do with it.
For example, if it tends to become scared when you are about to leave then it would be a sign that it has some separation anxiety. Whereas, if it does it more when there are certain noises outside it would be more likely to have something to do with the noises.
How old it is
It would also help to consider the age of your Rottweiler since its age will have an impact on the most likely cause of it being afraid.
If it is a puppy, it would be more likely that it will stop doing it as it gets older but it would still help to give it lots of training, exercise and positive attention.
Whereas, if it is an adult, it would be more likely to be due to one of the above reasons.
What to do about your Rottweiler being timid scared or afraid
Below are some things you can do about your Rottie being afraid.
Take it to a vet
If it has been behaving that way excessively or it has been showing signs of being ill, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored to your particular Rottweiler and to rule out medical causes.
Make sure that it is getting the right amount of exercise
When Rottweilers are not able to get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally and it might be part of the reason why it has been being afraid. Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day as healthy adults.
Avoid negative reinforcement
It would also help to avoid encouraging it to be afraid by making sure not to reward the behavior and to use positive reinforcement training to change its behavior instead.
Be calm around it
Since your own actions might be contributing to it acting that way it would help to be calm around your Rottweiler and to avoid making intimidating gestures. It would also help to give it lots of positive reinforcement training as opposed to punishment-based training.
Make sure that it is getting the right diet
The reason why it has been behaving that way could be partly due to an issue with its diet. This would be more likely if it acts that way more when it eats certain foods or if it has started behaving differently since a change in its diet.
It would help to make sure that you have been feeding it correctly and it would help to make sure that no one else has been feeding it without telling you.
Get help from a dog behaviorist
If you are unable to get it to stop behaving that way, consider getting 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.