Why Do Rottweilers Growl?

Are you a Rottweiler owner? I grew up with a Rottweiler myself, but if he suddenly starts growling at me during the playtime, shivers flow down my spine. Yes, he’s like my brother, but these massive dogs indeed look scary when they growl. So, why do Rottweilers growl?

Owning a growling Rottweiler is a worrying problem that requires urgent attention. Sometimes growling is an aggressive expression, and other times it’s just their way of communicating.

Dogs often growl to demonstrate various emotions, from fear and aggression to encouragement to play. Let’s discuss in detail why do Rottweilers show teeth and find a solution.

Why Do Rottweilers Growl?


So, first of all, if you wish to stop your Rottweiler dog from growling, you need to find the reason why they do it. I’ll break down all the reasons what might occur tooth-bearing behavior in your Rottweiler.

Expressing Aggression

In some cases, growling is one of the Rottweiler aggression signs. Once you notice your dog growling, it’s best to start observing his body language. Note that it is important not to challenge aggressive dogs as this may trigger aggression. [1]

What Is The Body Language Of An Aggressive Rottweiler?


When Rottweilers show aggression, they tend to stare directly and make eye contact. They also try to make themselves look as big as possible: they prick up their ears, puff out their chests, and let their tails stand up.

Greatness and size symbolize the authority of a pack of dogs. Being taller or above another dog means being above their social status. So, once you notice your Rottie tries to look big, he simply tells you that he’s in charge, he’s above you. This already is a problem you have to solve.

An aggressive dog is unpredictable because you never know when it will strike and what he will do. They might be playful and affectionate one minute but growl and bite the next second.

Thus, if this body language in your dog is accompanied by growling, you know why Rottweilers growl – out of aggression. [2]

Expressing Assertiveness

Unsocialized dogs often try to appear confident when noticing other dogs. Hierarchy rules are carved into their nature, so when he encounters another dog, your Rottweiler may start to growl to show his dominance.

Aggressive behavior from one dog to another stems from not having enough contact with other dogs when they are young. When other dogs make your Rottweiler nervous, he will lash out as a protective mechanism.

A dog that doesn’t have enough contact with other dogs tends to think they’re the only dogs on the planet. So, your dog might start growling to express his assertiveness when coming across another dog. [3]

Expressing Protectiveness

As mentioned earlier, Rottweilers are great guards or service dogs. They easily develop good protective skills and become faithful companions in the family. This instinct often translates into their growling. But why Rottweilers actually growl? They tend to protect their food bowls, toys, houses, territories, etc.

Growling from protectiveness is their natural behavior. However, you can still train them and teach them proper manners. [4]

Expressing Anxiety Or Stress

Anxiety and stress can be the next reason for growling, as it is common causes of aggression in dogs. If you can isolate the factors that trigger the fear response, you can help the dog overcome it. Monitor your Rottweiler’s interactions with people and other dogs and praise the dog when it behaves well.

Again, unsocialized dogs might be unfamiliar with strangers petting them. Do not allow people to approach and pet the dog without your permission, as your dog might think he is being attacked and start growling or even biting out of fear.

Ask your dog to sit, let him smell the scent of the other person, and then let that person to pet your dog. This way, your pup will overcome the fear or anxiety once being around strangers. [5]

Being In Pain

Rottweilers tend to lose appetite or joy to play once they feel pain. They would lay down all day, not touch the food bowl, and ignore your fetch too.

When Rotties feel pain, they feel insecure, making them uncomfortable if someone touches or pats them. This reaction would be expressed with growling. Thus, if you notice your dog is not in his best condition, plus growls to you, it definitely means he’s in pain and needs an urgent visit to the vet. On the bright side, he’ll stop growling once the pain ceases. [6]

Do Rottweiler Growl And Show Teeth When Happy?


Sometimes, yes. Showing teeth is not necessarily associated with angriness, but growling is often an outcome of positive emotions. There are many different reasons why your dog may decide to bare its teeth positively, so let’s discuss them.

 Saying ‘Hi’

Surprisingly, your Rottweiler might show you teeth when you greet him after a long day. However, this does not have to be an aggressive growl.

If you’ve been at work all day or on a long vacation, it’s okay if your Rottweiler starts growling and barking as soon as you arrive.

It doesn’t mean they’re not happy to see you or have forgotten about you. Dogs never forget their beloved owners. Instead, your Rottweiler grumbles at you as he’s delighted to reunite with you. So, don’t be scared or angry. It’s just how they say hello.

Smiling At You

Did you know? Sometimes, your Rottie is showing you teeth to smile at you. Just like you do to him!

Yes, their smile is not as gentle and soft as humans’, but they do their best! Rottweilers smile and show his teeth to let you know that he accepts you as the leader, that he respects you.

You can easily distinguish this growling from an aggressive dog’s growling with the body posture. While growling positively, they would feel and look relaxed. [7]

Expressing Friendliness

Dogs also show teeth to other dogs or humans to increase friendship. It’s not easy to guess, but remember, when they’re walking around you with growling and wagging tails, they try to tell you that they’re not interested in fighting, and they accept you as a friend.

Express The Joy Of Playing With Other Dogs

Your Rottweiler might show teeth to the other doggos too when playing. So, observe his body language. Light sneezing, low stance with raised hips, raised airs, and wagging tail signals that your dog is in play mode. So, additional growling would mean your Rottie is inviting other dogs to play with him.

How To Stop Aggressive Growl Behavior In Rottweiler?



Rottweiler’s appearance often frightens strangers. Especially when they meet a growling Rottie on the sidewalk, they would turn around or cross the street. It’s pretty uncomfortable and shameful for the owners, so let’s talk about how to change your puppy’s unnecessary growling behavior.

Interacting With People


The key to raising a loving puppy who won’t growl at strangers is always socialization. In addition to getting to know their new family, your puppy should be exposed to other people and situations. This will help him adjust better as he agesand be less prone to shyness or fear of new things he will encounter.

Your Rottie’s socialization starts with the breeder, but it is your responsibility to continue as soon as you adopt him. The most critical is socialization until the age of 12 weeks, as his impression of the outside world is formed during this time. As the dog ages, the lack of socialization can manifest as fear and aggression.

He needs a lot of human contact, affection, handling, and contact with other animals. Be careful during the 8 to 10-week phase (also known as the anxiety phase). The interactions he receives during this period should be gentle and reassuring.

Once your puppy is vaccinated, feel free to walk him (on a leash, of course). Take him around the neighborhood, take him on your daily errands, pet him, meet other people, dogs and pets, and more. Just make sure you monitor each meeting carefully. [8]

Socializing With Other Dogs


Your Rottweiler may be used to human interaction, but not to other dogs he might encounter on the street. Therefore, socializing with other dogs is another important step in preventing their growling behavior.

One way to correct this is to have your Rottweiler approach another dog while on a leash. Watch very carefully, hold your Rottweiler still, and pull him away at the first sign of aggression. Rebuke him if he shows signs of discomfort, and praise him if he neglects or tolerates another dog. Continue doing this until he stops aggressive growling and learns to ignore or accept the other dog.

Behavioral Training


If possible, the best solution is to consult a behavior specialist with Rottweiler experience. Maybe you can work together to find out the reasons for your dog’s growling behavior and do something about it.

Aggressive, growling Rotties cannot be trusted, and untrusted dogs are not safe to keep as household pets, so you might even have to rehome your growling Rottie pup.

So, once you notice your Rottie’s unnecessary growling, get a professional trainer, ask for advice, and train your pup into a well-behaved, aggression-free dog.

Praise Positive Behavior

Rottweilers are smart and easy to train. Therefore, positive reinforcement is the best way to train a Rottie.

Once your dog stops growling at your demands, praise him. Praise can be a compliment, pet, or treat. Act shortly after the event so that your Rottie will realize why he is being praised and won’t repeat it in the future. [9]

What Not To Do When Dealing With  Rottweilers Who Growl?


Dog’s are not the only ones who need to gain new habits once joining a ‘hooman’ family. We, humans, should also get “trained” and educated too.

We, owners, often get angry when we see our dogs misbehaving. However, our wrong actions could bring a worse outcome.

Dealing with aggressive, Rottweilers who growl is not easy. So, we’ve come up with several “DON’Ts” that you should not do to fix the problem correctly.

  • First, it’s important not to stress your dog while he’s growling from stress or fear. If your dog keeps growling at you when you approach it, then stop doing it. His growling is a warning for you not to touch him. So, respect your dog’s wishes and give him a break without further angering him.
  • Also, you should never yell or hit your Rottweiler. Your goal is not to worsen but to deescalate the situation. Sometimes, owners would shout their Rottweilers when they growl to people or other animals. However, this never is the solution. Frightened, confused Rottie might attack you to protect himself.
  • Games play a life-changing role in our pets. They learn basic skills and develop habits through these games. So if Rottie is already showing signs of aggression, try not to play aggressive, domination-based games with it. That means no tug-of-war, run away or chase games. Instead, focus on other games like fetch because these games might encourage aggressive and dominant behavior in your pup—consulate with a vet for proper game suggestions.


Seeing Rottweilers growl might be scary in any way, but you can always teach this intelligent breed to drop the bad habit.

Proper training, socialization, human interaction will help you raise your Rottweiler pup as an intelligent, obedient dog.

Get to know your pet, observe their character, and approach properly.