Strong willed breed for the strong willed owner

Breeds, last updated 18th, May 2013, DogSpot

rottweilerDo you love a Rottweiler? Anyone who knows Dinkar Singh even slightly, would never ask him this question for he has lived with a Rott for over 20 years! From owning a Rottweiler since the age of 12, hotelier Dinkar Singh is the man you would speak to if you ever wish to get a Rott for yourself. A strong advocate of the breed, Singh firmly believes that a Rott can be spoilt rotten if he is not trained at an early age and trained right. Give him all the attention in the first two years of his life and you would have the most loyal and affectionate dog ever, for life. 
In our series on Rottweiler breeds on FB this week, Singh shares his experience as a happy Rott owner.   
1. Have you come across any myths regarding the breed? How true/false were they?
Yes I have. It is believed that males make better guard dog. But this is not true. Be it male or female, both can make for excellent guard dogsjust as well. Another myth surrounding the breed is that males make better pets. On the contrary, I feel females are easier to keep and more loving.
2. Many believe that a Rottweiler is a very ferocious breed. What are your views on this?
Before we decide to pronounce a judgement on Rotts, we must first ask what was any particular breed bred or developed for. In the case of the Rottweiler, it was developed to be a guard dog and hence it is counted as coming under guarding breeds. Naturally then, all breeds including the Rottweiler need to have traits that will make it a good guard dog. I really don't know what one means by ferocious. To be a good guard dog, a Rottweiler needs to be strong willed, strong physically to protect what is his and its family, alert, protective towards its family and property and cautious towards strangers, to name a few traits. So if you call the above mentioned traits being ferocious, then it is a ferocious breed.This is not a breed for every and anyone and I have mentioned it to everyone who enquires about the breed but people generally don't take it seriously or think they are strong enough to handle any dog breed. But what they don't understand is that being a strong willed dog it needs a owner who has had experience with living and training other big breeds or dogs in general. A Rott is not for the faint hearted person. It is not a breed for people who do not have time to properly train and socialise their dog. A Rottweiler needs a lot of time and patience and if you give that to him in the first two years of its life, you will have a very good family dog. We must understand that it is not the breed which is bad but the type of person who keeps the dog and what he makes of it which spoils the name of the breed regardless of whether its a Rottweiler or any other breed.        
3. Share some important tips on how one can train their Rottweiler. 
The most important thing to be remembered is that a Rottweiler needs to be trained from the very beginning, as soon as one gets a pup. As an owner, you must spend a lot of time with it getting the pup used to different types of places, sounds and people. This is called socialization and this carries on till at least he turns 2 years old and I would also recommend throughout its life. Then one needs to do basic obedience with the pup and again this needs to be done throughout the life of the dog unlike most other breeds like Labradors, etc., whom you teach once and that is it. It would follow it for the rest of its life. A Rottweiler will challenge the authority of owners and family members at different stages of its life and at times it may appear quite scary for the faint hearted. Hence I mentioned it is not a breed for them or anyone who does not have time for and experience of keeping large dogs. If you follow all this specially for the first two years of the dog's life, you will have a very loyal and faithful Rottweiler by your side who will protect you and your family for the rest of his life. If untrained or kept locked up, you are  holding a tiger by its tail.   
4. Lastly, share something about your Rottweiler and your bonding with it. :)
I have had a Rottweiler ever since I can remember. When I was as young as 12 years old, I had a Rott when they were first being banned in the UK. It has now been over 20 years and I have always had a Rottweiler by my side. I am a self employed person and hence have been very fortunate in having a lot of time to spend with my dogs. Right from my childhood I have dedicated a lot of my time to my dogs, which is generally not possible for everyone. I remember when I got married, I used to have three large dogs sleeping on my bed out of which two were Rottweilers. Because they have been so well socialised and trained, my wife did not have any problem adjusting with them. In all these 20 years that I have owned Rotts, no one has got bitten in my house by one. My son has also grown up with a Rottweiler and there has never been a scratch on him. But then, I am always around when he is there with my dogs because children should never be left unsupervised with any dog breed. It is generally not advisable to have a Rottweiler sleep in your bedroom for various reasons, but I have allowed them as I know every move of the breed and my Rottweiler in and out. This breed can grow on you and now even my wife is in love with them.
Believe it or not, a Rottweiler is like any other dog. It is his training that makes all the difference. This is what Dinkar Singh firmly believes in and has enough proof of it too. After all, who would know a Rott better than the man who has spent over two decades with the breed. 
(As shared with: Anisha Tolani; Byline: Anu Bhambhani)

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