If you have cats in your house and are planning to get a Rottweiler, you might be wondering are Rottweilers good with cats.
Rottweilers are one of the most loyal and protective dog breeds around. Most Rottweiler owners have nothing but nice things to say about their courageous companions. However, many new owners often have difficulty understanding their dog’s behavior.
One of the biggest questions on their minds is whether or not Rottweilers get along with cats. This question is difficult to answer without first understanding the typical Rottweiler’s temperament and biological instincts.
So if you want to know whether are Rottweilers good with cats, then read along.
What Are Rottweilers?
Rottweilers are a German dog breed descended from Asian Mastiffs that were brought to the northern borders of the early Roman Empire. These dogs were trained to move and guard herds and keep food supplies safe for soldiers.
Once the Roman Empire collapsed, these “drover” dogs were brought to Rottweil’s German cattle town. After settling here, these canines quickly found work protecting cattle from predators and bandits when transported from the pastures to markets.
However, it wasn’t until the 1800s that these dogs (now known as Rottweilers) gained wider popularity as police and other working dogs in blue-collar fields. They were capable of carrying out various heavy-duty tasks, but they also gained popularity in less physical roles, such as guiding dogs for the blind.
Today’s Rottweilers still possess the protective qualities that their ancestors displayed. Due to this reason, many people believe they are an aggressive breed that is undesirable outside of their role as guard dogs. Their reputation is also poor due to their association with law enforcement and their strong muscular builds.
What Kind of Temperament Do Rottweilers Possess?
A fair amount of a Rottweiler’s temperament is inherited. However, your Rottweiler’s general temperament will be shaped by socialization and upbringing to a large degree.
According to the American Kennel Club, well-bred Rottweilers that have been raised properly will be calm, confident, and courageous without unnecessarily aggressive towards others.
Conversely, Rottweilers that were raised improperly and in abusive environments may exhibit aggression towards other animals and humans. This could be cause for concern for Rottweiler owners who are thinking of getting a cat or bringing a Rottweiler into a home with a cat.
Do Rottweilers Get Along With Cats?
Rottweilers possess high prey drives due to the breed’s history as herding and guard dogs. Most of these dogs aren’t being used for working purposes anymore, but they still have an innate urge to chase moving objects. In some cases, these “moving objects” could be your household feline friend.
Media depictions typically portray cats and dogs as worst enemies. However, these views are usually exaggerated due to how frequently cats and dogs contact one another. In reality, cats and dogs can get along in a variety of situations.
If you want your Rottweiler and cat to get along, both species will need to undergo proper socialization.
Watch the video on a Rottweiler getting along with a kitten.
Why You Need to Socialize Rottweilers Around Cats?
Both dogs and cats need to be socialized from an early age to get along with other animals. This process typically involves handling your animals when they are young and teaching them to accept being touched by others.
The socialization process for dogs also exposes them to new situations, people, and pets in a safe and monitored environment. When socialization is done correctly, your dog will learn to trust other people and act less aggressively around family pets and other dogs.
Socialization is essential for any dog that is a family pet. Canines that do not undergo socialization develop behavioral conditions such as separation anxiety and being easily distressed.
Poorly socialized Rottweilers may attack other people or animals close to them when they feel afraid. This can be extremely dangerous as fully grown Rottweilers have a bite pressure of around 328 pounds. Individuals that own this breed need to exercise extra caution if they wish to keep them around other pets.
How to Socialize Your Rottweiler Around Cats?
Dogs usually undergo socialization at an early age (usually when they are 3 – 17 weeks old) because that is when they are most open to learning.
The saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” holds somewhat true when it comes to socialization, but you may still be able to socialize an older Rottweiler to some degree with enough time and effort.
Some techniques for socializing a young Rottweiler are shown below.
Your dog’s socialization should start as soon as you bring them home. Assuming they are old enough to walk, your Rottweiler puppy should be exposed to as many different dogs and animals as possible. This process is crucial, as puppies who do not learn socialization from an early age may have trouble communicating with other dogs properly when they are older.
All interactions between your puppy and other animals should be supervised carefully. It’s best that the other cats and dogs you introduce your puppy to have already been socialized. Otherwise, they may attack your puppy when they get too playful or curious.
You can help your puppy associate healthy interactions with positive experiences by giving them a treat after every successful interaction.
Puppies can be curious by nature, so it is essential to satisfy their curiosity in a safe and controlled environment. Before taking your puppy to new places, you should make sure they are comfortable being around different people and objects.
Allow them to meet children, seniors, people with beards, people wearing sunglasses, and other types of people they are unfamiliar with. Similarly, you should introduce them to objects around your household, such as mirrors, umbrellas, kid’s toys, and Frisbee.
You should allow your puppy to get close to these objects so that they can sniff and investigate them to satisfy their curiosity. Avoid pulling your puppy away during their investigations unless they are attempting to chew on these items. It’s also important to avoid letting them get too close to objects that could break off or splinter, thereby causing them harm.
Once your Rottweiler puppy has shown to be comfortable around people and objects around your household, you can start exposing them to new objects and animals outdoors.
However, it’s crucial that your puppy understands and follows basic commands such as “sit” and “stay” before allowing them to move around outside. You should start slow by taking them to your yard and allowing them to run around and interact with objects and animals.
If this is their first time outdoors, they may be too shy to look around or let loose and run around your yard endlessly. In either case, it’s essential to closely monitor your dog and ensure they feel safe and secure in their activities.
When your puppy encounters an object or animal they feel threatened by; they may start to show some aggression towards it. Growling is a natural behavior that used to warn other animals to stay away. Some dogs may also growl when they’re playing with other dogs, so this shouldn’t be cause for concern.
However, if your Rottweiler is growling at an object or animal for an extended period, you will need to step in before they start attacking the offender. Signs of an imminent attack include growling, showing off their teeth, and snapping their jaws repeatedly.
If you find yourself in such a position with your pup, you will need to neutralize the situation as quickly as possible. Owners need to maintain a level head during such conditions as becoming anxious can make your dog anxious too.
Escalating the situation should also be avoided at all costs, as it can make your Rottweiler pup’s aggressive tendencies even worse than before. You should defuse the situation by using verbal commands or calmly moving them away from the offender and walking them until their focus has shifted away from the other animal.
This can be a trial and error process during which you may lose control of your pup. So it’s important to keep them on a leash at all times during their early socialization training. Over time, your Rottweiler will become more comfortable meeting people and other animals in various situations.
It’s important to remember that your dog may not necessarily feel threatened by other animals, but they may feel uneasy about encountering them in certain settings. Your Rottweiler may be fine around other canines at the park, but they could start barking at other dogs on the street if they believe the other animal is a threat to you.
The socialization, as mentioned earlier, tips are useful for getting your dog comfortable around other animals. A well-socialized Rottweiler is less likely to attack or feel threatened by a cat in their vicinity. However, you may still need to take certain steps before introducing your dog to your cat and vice-versa.
Watch the following video on how to train Rottweilers to get along with cats.
How to Bring a Rottweiler Puppy Into a Home With a Cat?
Bringing a new Rottweiler puppy into a home with an existing feline pet can be dangerous if done incorrectly.
You should first ensure that your cat has a portion of the home or refuge they can escape to if they wish to get away from your dog.
This could be a closed room with a cat door that can’t be accessed by your dog. This room should contain items necessary for your cats, such as food and water bowls, a litter box, a sleeping spot, and cat toys.
Before you bring your new Rottweiler home, you should familiarize them with your cat’s scent. You can do this by presenting your dog with a blanket or cushion frequently used by your cat.
Similarly, you should familiarize your cat with your pup’s scent by presenting them with a doggy blanket that smells like your Rottweiler. This step should be performed a few days before they are introduced.
When you first bring your Rottweiler puppy home, you will need to keep them and your cat in separate rooms. A door should separate both animals during their first interaction. This gives them a chance to sniff and hear each other from a close distance without the risk of a fight breaking out.
This process is easier to manage with the help of a second person on the other side of the door. If your pets are calmly interacting through the door, you should reward each of them with treats. This will help them view the interaction as a positive experience.
After a few days of interacting through the door, your Rottweiler and your cat should be ready to meet face to face. You should ensure your pup is kept on a leash at all times during their interaction. Allow them to get close and sniff one another while holding the leash tightly.
Provide positive reinforcement by giving them treats. However, if your cat isn’t feeling up to the interaction, allow them to move away to a separate room. There’s no point in forcing an interaction when one of them is reluctant to participate.
Repeat these interactions daily over the next few days. When you feel both parties are comfortable being around one another, you can allow them to interact without a leash. However, these interactions should still be supervised closely.
Never leave your Rottweiler alone with your cat when you aren’t present. If you need to leave your home for any reason, both animals should be kept in separate rooms until you return. Rottweilers are much larger than cats, so it takes only a small mistake for interaction to escalate into a deadly encounter.
How to Bring a Cat Into a Home With a Rottweiler?
Bringing a new cat into a home with an existing Rottweiler can be more challenging than the previous scenario. If your Rottweiler is fully grown, they may not take kindly to another animal entering their territory.
You will have an easier time introducing a cat to a Rottweiler that grew up around other cats. However, if your dog has never encountered another cat in your home before, you will need to follow steps similar to those mentioned in the previous scenario.
Most people tend to assume that dogs scare cats more than vice-versa. However, many large dogs can get frightened very easily around other cats. When you introduce your Rottweiler to your new cat, you should make sure you are holding them close on a leash. This will provide them with some comfort and support during their first proper interaction with a cat.
With enough time and effort, your pets will learn to tolerate each other’s presence. However, you should still avoid leaving them unsupervised when they are together.
What If My Rottweiler Doesn’t Want to Get Along With My Cat?
If you have an older or poorly-socialized Rottweiler that is set in their ways, it will be more difficult for you to introduce a cat into their life. You may want to avoid bringing any animals into your home until you are certain your canine companion will behave themselves.
One option for owners in the situation is to hire a professional dog trainer to help with training and socialization. As mentioned earlier, older dogs are much harder to socialize, so you will need the help of a professional if you wish to make any progress with them.
Should I Get a Cat If I Already Have an Older Rottweiler?
It’s important to remember that certain older dogs may not be interested in socialization at all. These dogs could have suffered some traumatic experiences, which prevented them from trusting any other animals.
Rottweilers may be large and heavy animals, but they can still suffer the emotional trauma that smaller and more-timid dogs suffer from.
Forcing such dogs to be around cats could be harmful to their long-term mental health. So keep this in mind before you decide to bring a cat into your home.
Parting Words Are Rottweilers Good With Cats
So, to answer the question, are Rottweilers good with cats? Yes, they are good with cats, but you need to socialize them with cats.
Rottweilers are loyal and loving pets who do need a bit of extra attention to remain happy. With the right care, these dogs can be in your life for many wonderful years. If you’re thinking of adding a cat to your family, you should remember to be considerate towards both animals.
It’s unethical for owners to force two animals that dislike each other to live together. If you’re not willing to put in the effort to socialize your Rottweiler properly, you should avoid getting a cat.
- Donovan, Liz. “Puppy Socialization: How to Socialize a Puppy.” American Kennel Club, American Kennel Club, 29 June 2020, www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/puppy-socialization/.
- Greenberg, Aurora. “Rottweiler Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, 6 Nov. 2017, www.akc.org/dog-breeds/rottweiler/.
- “Introducing Your New Rottweiler to Your Cat.” Introducing Your New Rottweiler to Your Cat | Rottweiler Pictures, Information & Forum, www.rottweilersonline.com/general/introducing-your-new-rottweiler-your-cat.
- Nelson, Jennifer, et al. “Do Rottweilers Get Along with Cats?” Embora Pets, 12 Feb. 2020, emborapets.com/do-rottweilers-get-along-with-cats/.