Originally posted on 10-15-2000
My web site, The Rottweilers of Abby's World had been visited by thousands of people from over 50 countries world wide during the 10 years it was on line. One of those visitors was Kim Dearth, an editor of Dog Fancy magazine, and a author of several books on dogs.
My web site had several stories about the day to day experiences living with our Rottweilers and Kim asked me if she could put a few of them in her book. Of course I said Yes. Kim Dearth has compiled a guide with everything you need to know about owning and living with Rottweilers. As she goes through each phase, from bringing a puppy into your home to acquiring a rescued Rott, she adds some real life experiences from Rottweiler owners from around the country. I am particularly pleased that Kim chose a few of my own experiences with my Three Bears to include in her book. Thank you, Kim, for making our three clowns so famous.
A few years later, Kim Dearth has wrote another book, The Compassion of Dogs. It, too, contains a story about our beloved Felony.
How dangerous are Rottweilers? Mother Nature knows.In our house we have two cats and three Rottweilers and everyone lives in perfect harmony. One of the cats, a female, six years old, goes outside and hunts every day. Since we live in a populated suburban community we seldom see any wildlife other than birds, squirrels, chipmunks, moles, garden snakes and an occasional rabbit. Casey, the cat, has managed to catch everything except the elusive squirrel. One day my wife and I were in the back yard with one of the Rotts, Felony, the old momma. Casey spotted a rabbit in the next door neighbor's back yard and began to stalk it in her usual fashion. She crouched down and slowly inched her way across the grass toward the rabbit. Now you have to picture in your mind that Casey was on the other side of the neighbor's yard furthest away from us, my wife was moving away from me toward the back of the property, Felony was between my wife and my position and the four of us has the little rabbit surrounded. The rabbit spotted Casey and looked around and saw that the two humans and the large dog were all closing in. So which direction do you think the rabbit chose to flee to safety?
Of course, the rabbit decided that the Rottweiler was the least dangerous of the four creatures. In a few short hops it headed straight for the Rottweiler and for a moment sat in front of Felony with its little nose twitching away. Felony lowered her huge head and went nose to nose with this little creature before it hopped right past her and bounded off across our property.
We are still learning Rottie Rules.In our house there are two humans and three Rottweilers and sometimes this presents a problem that we have had to learn how to deal with. Not the kind of problems that you would expect, its just a matter of learning what the Rottie Rules are. For instance, one rule we have observed is that no human can be alone in any part of the house without a Rottie present for protection. Since we don't have a fenced yard it is necessary for us to take them out back on leashes so they do their business (poops and pees). But when they are called to go out, if either my wife or I remain in the house one Rottie will always stay behind while the other two go out. And they do take turns at this.
If one of us gets up early and goes downstairs to start the morning coffee pot, at least one Rottie always remains on the second floor to protect the human that has not gotten up yet. If one of us is upstairs taking a shower there will be a Rottie laying outside the bathroom door waiting.
Here are a few more of my favorite stories that show the true nature of the Rottweilers, the side that is ignored by Hollywood and the newspapers.
Rottweilers are very protective and do not like violence.I was sitting on our front porch one day with Nikko Bear the largest of our Rottweilers. We were just enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. A woman walked out of the house diagonally across the street from us and as Nikko followed her with his gaze she entered the house next door to hers. A few minutes later this same woman exited the house accompanying an old white-haired woman and was holding her arm to help her walk. Nikko again looked on with great interest as these two slowly walked back to the first woman's house, only this time I heard a low growl coming from him. He continued his intense gaze and low growl until the two women entered the other house.
Rottweilers (in this house anyway) seem to sense that when anyone puts their hands on another person it must be a form of violence and they don't like it. This Rottie Rule, as we call it, even extends to our own home where our Three Bears get very upset whenever my wife and I hug and kiss each other or even hold hands while sitting on the couch. (Yeah, OK, we've been married almost 40-years, so what.) We have begun to refer to the old mama Rott, Felony, as the Mother Superior. Whenever she spots us hugging or kissing she gets a look on her face that seems to say, "Oooooh!".
One day a man and his adult son were visiting us and when they were about to leave, the son shook hands with my wife to say goodbye. Nikko Bear was sitting nearby and literally snapped his head in the direction of the man's hand when he was took hold of my wife's hand. Nikko's sense of alertness came on like a light switch and his usually placid expression turned to instant intense seriousness. I explained to the two gentlemen that no one is allowed to touch the Momma and demonstrated by putting my arm around her shoulder. They learned very quickly when they saw the reaction from the three Rotts.