Are Rottweilers Friendly? (With Strangers, Other Dogs, Or Cats)

With their imposing stature and muscular build, Rottweilers often strike fear into those around them.

In addition, they have a bit of a reputation for being vicious and aggressive.

Their intimidating presence certainly played part in this, but their bad rep is mostly due to irresponsible owners.

The truth is, their real nature is rather different. They’ve served people for centuries and are endlessly loyal to their owners.

Plus, Rotties can be very kind and playful, especially when socialized from an early age. They crave attention and love to make their owners happy.

Still, the stigma that follows them makes many potential owners think twice before getting a dog of this breed.

Many are concerned with questions such as are rottweilers friendly and are they safe to have around the family.

Below, I’ll look closer into these matters and try to help you better understand this breed.


Are Rottweilers Friendly with Strangers?

Rottweilers were initially bred as guardian dogs, the duties they still excel in.

This means that, like other watchdogs, they are naturally protective of their owners. And, their protective instincts indicate that they’re naturally wary around strangers.

If things were any different, they likely wouldn’t be able to perform their job successfully.

However, being reserved around strange people doesn’t necessarily lead to aggressive behavior.

As with most dogs, Rottweiler’s behavior will depend on training. This includes their attitude towards strangers.

A well-trained and socialized Rottweiler will never be openly hostile toward unfamiliar people.

They can even be trained to be rather friendly.

The purpose of their training and socialization is to help them distinguish regular unknown people from the real threat.

Ideally, Rottweiler will only react on their owner’s cue.

So, how a Rottweiler will treat strange mainly comes down to owners and what they want from their dog.

Are Rottweilers Friendly with Other Dogs?

If you’re considering adding another dog to the household when you already have a Rottweiler, then it’s very important to know how they behave around other members of their species.

In most cases, Rotties will get along with other dogs just fine. This is particularly the case if they’re raised together in the same family.

They also tend to behave well around other dogs when they meet on neutral ground, such as in a dog park.

Of course, like most of Rotweiller’s behavior patterns, this depends on proper training and early socialization.

However, if they’re pushed or feel threatened, some Rottweilers may become aggressive towards other unfamiliar dogs.

This happens more with male Rottweilers, as they have a bit of an alpha-dog mentality and sometimes want to establish their dominance over other males.

Females are more level-headed and, generally, more likely to make friends with other dogs.

Are Rottweilers Friendly with Cats?

“Best Friends” by izzyplante (CC BY 2.0)

Rottweilers are certainly capable of getting along with other house pets, even smaller ones, like cats.

However, how well they get along will depend on the individual dog and the way it was raised.

Rottweilers that were raised with cats will commonly be very friendly and enjoy spending time with them.

Nevertheless, some caution is always advised, as they can sometimes see cats and other small animals as prey. Still, as they were never bred for hunting,

Rottweilers don’t have a prey drive as strong as some other breeds.

A well-trained Rottie is generally very calm and can be taught self-control which helps them suppress the instinct to chase cats.

In addition, they’re extremely loyal to their family.

So, if they associate cats with the household, they will also treat them as members of the pack and be kind and protective towards them.

How to Train a Rottweiler to be Friendly?

Rottweilers are among the most intelligent dog breeds and one of those that respond very well to training.

This means that, among other things, you can use training to make them more friendly and gentle around other people and animals.

Below, I’ll list a few tips on how best to achieve this.

Socialize Early and Often

Any dog that grows up without contact with anyone else besides family will likely become unfriendly towards strangers and feel threatened by them.

This is why it’s of the utmost importance to properly socialize your Rottweiler and start as early as possible.

You may start at your own house, by bringing people over and introducing them to your puppy through friendly interactions.

Next, socialize them in different environments. Take them for a walk through the neighborhood or to a park.

Let them meet your neighbors and organize playdates with other friendly and well-behaved dogs.

Over time, they will stop feeling threatened and nervous around other people and animals.

Teach Your Rottweiler Basic Commands

Having your Rottie go through basic obedience training will make teaching them how to behave around others much easier.

A well-trained dog should take cues from the owner when it comes to responding to unknown people and animals.

When the dog has learned common commands, it will be much easier to point them in the right direction.

Make sure to drill your dog in various environments, so they can learn to respond to these commands in new and unfamiliar situations.

Surround Your Rottweiler with Love and Affection

Rottweilers love training but respond best to positive reinforcement. They’re always ready to return all the love they’ve been given.

Treating them with kindness and rewarding good behavior will help them feel more secure and confident while developing a stronger bond with their owner.

Physical punishment and yelling will only scare and confuse them. Plus, it may change their temperament, leading them to become more aggressive.

On the other hand, making them feel like a beloved member of the family will certainly make them more friendly and kind.


Despite their bad reputation, Rottweilers can be awesome family pets.

Sure, they can sometimes get a bit overprotective and defensive, but early socialization, proper training, and affection from family members will make them loving and loyal companion.

They are somewhat reserved towards strangers, but that only guarantees that they will fulfill their duty as watchdogs.

Having them spend time with unfamiliar people and other animals will put these natural protective instincts under control.

The key is teaching them to know friendly strangers from the real threat.

This way, they will be welcoming and kind, but still fearless if they feel that their owner is in danger.

Authored By

Madeline Wright

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