Wednesday, October 22, 2014

After 19 years I finally learned something about my Rottweilers.

Since 1995 I have been privileged to have shared my home and my life with seven wonderful Rottweilers and be allowed to witness how they live among themselves. One of the things I've learned is that all of the females in our home were always the leaders of the pack. I have seen the generations of the older Rottweilers pass on to the young the qualities we recognize as being so noble. A friend some years ago told me to be careful of falsely attributing human traits and characteristics to my Rottweilers because it was called being anthropomorphic. But besides the hugs and kisses all species share some common things like compassion, devotion and leadership.  In the last two months since I adopted a 7-week old baby Rottweiler girl I have mentioned the play-school that Bessie has been put through by our almost 8-year old male, Ruffin. But now I see some differences going on from what I saw in the past with our other adopted pups.

In 2003 we adopted another baby girl we named Sassy who was about the same age as baby Bessie was when we got her.
Our 8-year old female, Mocha immediately became Sassy's foster-mother. Mo never had any puppies but she was raised by her mother Felony who ruled our house like a Drill Sergeant.  We were constantly entertained by Sassy's playfully combative attitude with her adopted mother and the fierce and strict reactions she received from Mo. Mocha was teaching Sassy that she was the leader of the pack and that someday Sassy would also become the leader. Then we bought baby Ruffin from a breeder and another round of training began. Ruffin was the only one of our seven that came with a pedigree. Technically, Mocha wasn't adopted, she was a gift from my daughter but we did adopt Mocha's parents, Nikko and Felony.

Sassy's determined schooling teaching Ruffin discipline and respect almost seemed the same but it had a minor quality that didn't become obvious until I began to watch Ruffin teaching baby Bessie. Sassy was teaching Ruff that she was the leader to be respected and obeyed while Ruffin is teaching Bessie to become the leader. Ruffin was letting Bessie get away with things that Sassy never allowed.

At the very young age of 3-months, (she will be 4-months old November 1st), I saw baby Bessie already acting like the protector and leader of the pack. She has become unusually brave and outspoken when she is outside. She loudly challenges everyone and everything. And then it occurred to me that her self-confidence has come from the fact that for the last two months she has been allowed to beat the crap out of a 130-LB male Rottweiler and get away with it every day whereas Ruffin was never allowed to beat up Sassy because she was the boss.

A few weeks after we got Bessie I noticed there were some things she was afraid of and being so little it was to be expected. If I took her outside alone at night and she heard a train whistle or a barking dog off in the distance, she would run as fast as could back to the front door for safety. It was so cute to see when Ruffin was outside with her at night she would run and stand behind him for protection when she was frightened. She doesn't do that any more. Now she stands firmly with her legs apart and listens to the sounds as if she is thinking about them or she challenges the sound with loud barking if it is close by. Another new thing Bessie does is after I put on her leash - as soon as I open the front door she lets out a few barks to let the world know she is coming out. Bessie is becoming our new warrior Queen and Ruffin is her trainer and champion and knight in shining armor. So much for being anthropomorphic.


  1. I enjoyed this insightful post, it's given me a lot of food for thought with my own Rottweilers. Maybe Bessie's new nickname will be Bossy? haha I really had to laugh when you talked about her beating the crap out of a 130 lb Rottweiler. Our girl was just the same as a pup!

    1. Ella, But of course, Bessie thought she was beating the crap out of Ruffin and Ruffin was letting her. Can't think of a better way to instill self confidence in a puppy. Yes, she IS getting bossy. We had a nickname years ago for one of our cats when we lived with cats and dogs, el exigente. It is pronounced El Ex hey Hentay. It means The Demanding One.