Are Rottweilers Sensitive? (We Asked A Veterinarian)

Rottweiler holding a sunflower in a field
<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">     <span style="font-size: 21px; color: black;">Fact Checked & Reviewed By: </span>     <strong style="font-size: 20px; color: black;">Dr. Nita Vasudevan Patel, DVM, MS</strong> </a>

Dr. Patel is a Florida-based veterinarian with over half a decade of experience.

<a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">     <span style="font-size: 19px; color: black;">Fact Checked & Reviewed By: </span>     <strong style="font-size: 19px; color: black;">Dr. Nita Vasudevan Patel, DVM, MS</strong> </a>
Fact Checked & Reviewed By: Dr. Nita Vasudevan Patel, DVM, MS

Dr. Patel is a Florida-based veterinarian with over half a decade of experience.

Rottweilers are powerful and robust dogs known for their strength, loyalty, and protective instincts. Even though these dogs have a reputation for being tough, they’re surprisingly sensitive in some ways. This is often the case with large working dogs. They are perceived one way but tend to be big softies (in more ways than one.) But would they be considered sensitive?

Rottweilers are emotionally sensitive, forming strong bonds with owners and reacting to their emotions, which sometimes gets mistaken for aggression.

They can have food sensitivities, reacting poorly to certain ingredients, leading to skin and digestive issues. Environmental sensitivities to heat, cold, and terrain affect them due to their dense coats and physical build.

Noise sensitivity varies, with some Rotties showing anxiety to loud sounds. Managing their sensitivities involves high-quality, appropriate food, proper training, socialization, and regular exercise to help them adapt and reduce stress or anxiety related to their sensitivities.

But overall, it’s fair to call the Rottie a little sensitive! 

In this article, we’ll go over each of these sensitivities in more detail. But first, let’s clarify exactly what we mean when we say a dog is sensitive.

What Does It Mean For A Dog To Be Sensitive?

Understanding what it means for a dog to be sensitive is essential in assessing the sensitivity of Rottweilers in various aspects of their lives.

Dog sensitivity encompasses a wide range of characteristics in reactions that can significantly impact a dog’s behavior and well-being. For some people, sensitivity automatically makes you think of an emotional response.

While this is part of assessing a dog’s overall sensitivity, there are other factors that go into the equation. Sensitive dogs usually aren’t tolerant or easy-going and can startle easily. This is behavioral sensitivity and can vary amongst breeds and individuals.

Sensitivity is also a word we use when we’re talking about allergies in dogs. Dogs often have sensitivities to food, and these can affect their ability to tolerate specific ingredients or types of kibble. Dogs can also be sensitive to environmental factors like cold or hot weather and different types of terrain like rocky or sandy terrain.

So when we answer the question of whether a dog is sensitive or not, we’re really answering a ton of different questions at once. Let’s discuss emotional sensitivity first since that’s the most typical type of sensitivity we think about.

Are Rottweilers Emotionally Sensitive Dogs?

Emotional sensitivity refers to a dog’s ability to perceive and respond to human emotions as well as their own emotional experiences. If you’ve ever had a furry friend, you know that they feel emotions in their own ways.

Like all other dogs, Rottweilers have emotional capabilities, but their sensitivity can vary from one individual to another. Let’s look at some of the traits that can make Rottweilers extra sensitive.

Loyalty And Bonding

Rottweilers are one of the dog breeds that are renowned for their loyalty and strong bonds with their owners (it’s one of the pros of owning this dog breed). They form deep connections with their families and are often described as “velcro dogs” due to their tendency to stay close to their loved ones.

This close bond might allow Rottweilers to be emotionally sensitive and pick up on the emotions of their human companions.

Protective Nature

Rottweilers are protective by nature and their protective instincts are another testament to their emotional sensitivity.

Among other various jobs they now perform, these dogs were bred to guard. They need to be able to assess when their owners are uneasy. Once a Rottie senses that their owner is uncomfortable, they’ll respond accordingly. Their protective nature requires that they’re sensitive to the emotions and attitudes of those around them.

Empathy And Intuition

Again because of their history as guard dogs, Rottweilers are empathetic and intuitive. Not only are they able to provide their owners with protection but can also provide comfort when their humans are upset or stressed. These behaviors demonstrate a high level of emotional sensitivity.

While Rottweilers may exhibit emotional sensitivity, it’s important to remember that their strong protective instincts can sometimes be misunderstood as aggression, especially when they perceive a threat to their loved ones. Proper training and socialization are crucial to ensure that their sensitivity is channeled in a positive way.

Do Rottweilers Have Food Sensitivities?

Food sensitivities refer to a dog’s tolerance to specific ingredients or types of food. Just like any other dog breed, Rottweilers can have food sensitivities, which may manifest in various ways.

Common Allergies

There are plenty of common allergens found in commercialized dog food that cause sensitivities in many breeds. These allergens include grains like wheat or corn, as well as certain proteins, such as chicken or beef.

Rottweilers can even be allergic to certain spices in dog food. Dogs with food sensitivities may experience, skin issues, gastrointestinal problems, or even behavioral changes.

Not A Bully’s Advising Veterinarian Dr. Patel explains that “these allergies do not typically present as acute food reactions as they do in humans (acute vomiting, diarrhea, hives) but are slow progressive changes in GI or skin. Your veterinarian can talk to you about limited ingredient diets or hydrolyzed/novel protein diets that can help.”

Sensitive Stomach

Some Rottweilers can have sensitive stomachs, which means they are prone to digestive issues when fed certain foods. This sensitivity can lead to symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, or excessive gas. Owners should be vigilant in choosing a diet that fits their Rottweiler’s specific needs.

Food Intolerances

Food intolerances aren’t necessarily an allergy but they can still cause gastrointestinal discomfort and other health issues.

To determine if your Rottweiler has food sensitivities, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian. They’re able to conduct tests and recommend appropriate diets, including hypoallergenic options that can address your dog’s needs.

Do Rottweilers Have Environmental Sensitivities?

Environmental sensitivities in Rottweilers, refer to the reactions to the various elements in their surroundings. These sensitivities can encompass weather, terrain, and other external factors.

Because of their selective breeding, different dog breeds are sensitive to different types of environments. Great Pyrenees, for example, are incredibly cold-tolerant, and do well on rocky mountainous terrain. Chihuahuas, on the other hand, are heat tolerant, but don’t do well in cooler weather.

Here are some of the ways that Rotties are sensitive to their environments.

Heat Sensitivity

Rottweilers have a dense, double-layered coat that can make them more sensitive to high temperatures. Their black fur absorbs heat, making them extra hot on a sunny day. These dogs are definitely prone to overheating, especially during the hot summer months. If you own a Rottweiler, it’s important to provide them with shade, and water, and never leave them unattended in warm weather.

Cold Sensitivity

On the flip side, Rottweilers are not particularly fond of extremely cold weather either. Their short fur, while dense, does not provide enough insulation, and can be sensitive to chilly temperatures. To keep them comfortable you should consider providing them with protective clothing, and keeping them indoors during very cold weather.

Terrain Sensitivity

Rottweilers, due to their large size and weight, may be sensitive to certain types of terrain. These dogs can experience strain problems, such as hip dysplasia, which can be aggravated by running or walking on uneven surfaces. It’s important to be mindful of the terrain you choose for walks, especially if your Rottie is old or overweight.

Are Rottweilers Sensitive To Noise?

Noise sensitivities are common in many dog breeds, and Rottweilers are no exception. However, noise sensitivity often tends to vary among individuals and can have a lot to do with their environments.

Loud Noises

Dogs have incredible hearing, but this can be e negative thing in the wrong environment. Things like thunderstorms, fireworks, or construction sounds are enough to set some dogs off.

Dogs with noise sensitivities may exhibit anxiety, restlessness, or even panic during these events. If you already own a Rottweiler, you probably know your pup’s particular noise triggers.

Separation Anxiety

When Rottweilers form a close bond with their owners, they can sometimes develop separation anxiety.

How is separation anxiety related to noise sensitivity? When experiencing anxiety, Rottweilers can be even more sensitive to loud noises than usual. This can cause stress, destructive behavior, or excessive barking.

What To Do For Overly Sensitive Rottweilers

Just like any other dog, Rottweilers are pretty sensitive. So, what should we do to help overly sensitive dogs and make their lives less stressful overall?

Provide A High-Quality Food

Providing high-quality food is probably one of the best ways to ensure that your Rottweiler avoids food sensitivities and intolerances.

The first step is to pick a food. To do this, check out our article on the five best foods for Rottweilers with sensitive stomachs by clicking here. Then, you’ll want to ensure that the food you’ve chosen, doesn’t contain anything your dog is allergic to.

In order to figure this out, you’ll need to visit a veterinarian and run a series of tests. But, if the food isn’t sitting right with your sensitive Rottweiler, you’ll figure it out pretty fast. Hives, diarrhea, and inflammation are common symptoms of food sensitivities.

Train And Socialize

Proper training and socialization are crucial for Rottweilers. This helps them manage their emotional and social sensitivities and become well-rounded, well-behaved pets.

Early exposure to various people, animals, and situations can help them adapt, and respond positively to different environments. If your Rottweiler is sensitive to a specific type of noise, you can also use training to desensitize them to these sounds.

The video below shows a great example of a trainer working with a dog to desensitize them to handling.

You should be able to take the concepts demonstrated here and apply them to your specific situation. Rotties are smart and trainable dogs, even if they have a stubborn streak. If your dog doesn’t seem to be responding well to the training, you can always opt to hire a professional and I recommend working with CPDT-KA trainer. If you happen to be in Colorado Springs, you can work with me here.

Give Them Plenty Of Exercise

Rottweilers can be energetic dogs that require regular exercise and mental stimulation. Making sure they get enough physical and mental activity can help reduce stress and anxiety that come from environmental, emotional, and noise sensitivities.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Rottweilers can definitely be sensitive in various aspects of their lives, including emotional sensitivity, food, sensitivities, environmental, sensitivities, and noise sensitivities.

While they’re protective, instinct and loyalty, highlight their emotional sensitivity, and it’s crucial for owners to understand and manage these traits effectively. It comes to food, sensitivities, recognizing potential allergens can help you provide the right diet for your Rottweiler.

Additionally, being mindful of their environmental sensitivities, such as hot and cold, weather is always good. You can identify and address noise sensitivities through proper training and socialization.

Understanding what areas cause your Rottweiler to be sensitive will help you foster a strong, loving, and mutually beneficial relationship with these remarkable dogs

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