Rottweilers are excellent companions (often built like a tank), and they make for ideal guard dogs due to their sheer size and power.
But it can be terrifying if your Rottweiler decides to growl at you.
So what might it mean when your Rottie starts growling at you?
Why Is My Rottweiler Growling at Me?
Your Rottweiler is growling at you to communicate a certain mood or feeling it is experiencing.
While a growling Rottie might seem scary, it could be growling for reasons, including when it’s happy, playing, scared, or in pain.
In this article, we’ll look at why your Rottweiler may be growling at you and what could be the underlying cause.
Related Post: What Do Dogs Think About Their Owners?
Rottweilers Growl as a Means of Communication
While all dogs communicate in similar ways (through sounds, facial expressions, and body language), some breeds have distinct methods of getting their message across.
For example, pugs are vocal dogs and often yap, grunt, and snort to communicate with their owners.
Similarly, rottweilers growl to express a range of emotions.
They can growl when they’re happy, sad, or anxious, and it’s up to you as an owner to try to understand why they’re growling so you can take the appropriate action.
Below are a few possible reasons why your Rottweiler may be growling at you.
1. Rottweilers Growl in Excitement
When you’re playing tag or tug of war with a Rottie, it’s pretty standard for them to growl as they pull on the rope.
This breed loves spending time with family members, and you can think of their growling like a cat purring in these situations.
It’s crucial to be mindful of when your dog is growling. If you notice it growling while playing, it’s likely that your dog is happy or excited and is trying to communicate this feeling to you.
Rotties may also growl when you come home from work or on an extended absence.
Like most dogs, Rottweilers get excited to greet their owners, and they express this by growling and barking.
NOTE – You may also want to read this post looking at 11 sounds dogs hate.
2. Growling Often Communicates Anxiety
Sadly some dogs experience separation anxiety when their owners leave them alone for a significant period.
If a dog has frequently changed homes and owners, the separation anxiety is often more pronounced.
You may notice your Rottweiler growling at you when you prepare to leave the house.
Don’t automatically assume that this is aggressive behavior.
It could be that they are growling because they are worried about being left alone without you, and it should eventually settle down.
NOTE – You might want to take a look at this post answering the question: why is my dog not excited to see me?
3. Rottweilers Growl When Experiencing Fear
While most Rottweilers aren’t afraid of other dogs or people, they’re still dogs, and sudden loud sounds like fireworks and lighting strikes can startle and scare them.
Your dog may be growling out of fear rather than aggression in these instances.
For example, a Rottweiler will growl when afraid in an attempt to chase away the thing that’s causing it to fear in the first place.
They will also growl when their owners are nearby, hoping to protect you from this ‘fearful’ thing they have identified.
NOTE – You might also like to read this post asking the question: Why are Rottweilers so aggressive?
4. Rottweilers Growl To Assert Dominance
If you have other pets at home, your Rottweiler may feel like they are threatening its turf. In this case, the dog may growl to let everyone know that it’s the boss of the house.
You may also notice your dog growling when he sees other dogs during a walk.
Remember that Rottweilers are fiercely loyal—in his eyes, you’re his owner.
It may seem that other dogs are competitors infringing on their territory.
Growling signals to these rivals to stay away.
It’s imperative to establish your dominance at home, so your dog defers to you.
The dog has to learn that you’re the boss and avoid challenging your authority.
NOTE – Check out this post if you are interested in the question – would my dog protect me if I was attacked?
When You Should Worry About Your Dog Growling
In most cases, Rottweilers will growl for specific reasons.
You can learn why your dog is growling by paying attention to the context and environment at the moment.
Here are some more reasons why your Rottie may growl at you:
- Your Rottweiler may be growling because it’s in pain. If your dog has gotten into a fight, has an upset stomach, or is experiencing other serious illness, they may growl to express their pain. If you notice your dog growling without provocation, consider taking it to a vet for a checkup, especially if it appears to be in pain.
- They may feel territorial. When new people or dogs come into your home. Your Rottweiler is introduced to a whiff of smells it probably hasn’t encountered before. Your dog sees its home as its territory and may growl at strangers to warn them off.
- Your dog may growl from food aggression. In some instances, rottweilers will growl if you come near them as they eat. This behavior is natural and built into their DNA from ancestors who had to fight for food scraps. Luckily, there are many ways to reduce and even stop food aggression.
- Puppies may growl due to survival instincts. Most puppies compete with their siblings for their mother’s milk and affection. As such, they’re used to growling at each other. This behavior may remain for a few months even after moving them to a new home away from their mother and siblings.
NOTE – click here if you want to learn how to tell if your dog is scared of you.
Final Thoughts On Why Your Rottweiler is Growling at You
While growling is often seen as hostile or aggressive behavior, Rottweilers growl to communicate a complex variety of moods and feelings.
As an owner, it’s crucial to explore the context in which your dog is growling to determine whether the behavior is aggressive or not.
If you have a healthy relationship with your dog, the growling, in most cases, will be playful or loving.
Before You Go
We did not want to leave this post without saying something positive about this fantastic breed.
So here is a video look at Rottweilers and why they can make great family pets:
NOTE – Click here if you want to read this post asking: do dogs know when they hurt you?
Tim is a proud, vetted, and experienced dog foster carer for a charity helping dog owners escape domestic abuse.
He has years of experience training and caring for dogs, both his own and other people’s.
He is an expert in canine behavior and is highly skilled in dealing with all dogs but specializes in the difficult ones that other people may struggle with.
When he isn’t fostering dogs, he is making friends with other people’s pups!