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Rottweilers and Pugs are both ancient breeds with a long history of living with humans, but they have developed along very different lines. Whereas Rottweilers have been working dogs and guardians, Pugs have always been treasured family companions. When you consider their differences, you may wonder whether Rottweilers and Pugs are breeds that can get along with one another.
So do Rottweilers and Pugs get Along? Rottweilers and Pugs may get along well since Pugs are so sturdy and because both breeds are bold and fearless. However, because of potential dog selectivity in both breeds, protectiveness in the Rottweiler, and a Rottweiler’s tendency to play rough, there can also be trouble between these breeds.
Here’s what you need to know about why Rottweilers and Pugs may or may not get along well and some tips for helping them to have a positive relationship in your home.
Why Rottweilers and Pugs May Get Along
It’s hard to imagine two breeds that are more different from one another than Rottweilers and Pugs, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that these breeds won’t get along. In fact, it is entirely possible for Rottweilers and Pugs to get along under the right circumstances.
Here are a few reasons why:
Bold and Fearless
Both Rottweilers and Pugs are known to tend to be bold, confident dogs that aren’t afraid of much. Many people may assume that the diminutive Pug would back down from a Rottweiler, but in fact, this is often not the case.
Pugs can be very intense little dogs that won’t back down from anything. Most are quite fearless and more than willing to assert themselves. This can be a beneficial characteristic when they are interacting with a much larger dog like a Rottweiler.
Your Pug is very unlikely to allow themselves to be bossed around or taken advantage of by the Rottweiler. Most Rottweilers are willing to give the Pug space where they demand it. However, since Rottweilers are also very bold and fearless, they’re unlikely to overreact and be fearful of a Pug’s assertiveness.
Pugs are Sturdy Little Dogs
Pugs can have some health problems, but the term “fragile” does not come to mind when it comes to how they’re put together. On the contrary, Pugs are sturdy, tough little dogs that typically have a very vivacious play style.
This rough-and-tumble personality means that Pugs can usually handle taking the occasional hit from a Rottweiler without being seriously injured the way a more delicate breed like a Chihuahua or Italian Greyhound could be. That’s not to say that you should allow your Rottweiler to rough-house with your Pug as much as they like and they aren’t ready for rough play the same way a Doberman or other large dog might be. Still, it does mean that if your Rottweiler accidentally bumps into your Pug, knocking them over, the consequence is unlikely to be something as serious as a broken bone.
Why Rottweilers and Pugs May Not Get Along Well
Although there are a few good reasons why Pugs and Rottweilers can be a good match, this is far from a perfect breed pairing.
Pugs and Rottweilers are very different, and their differences may result in problems with how well they can coexist. Here are a few of the primary issues that could occur:
Dog selectivity describes dogs that like some dogs but not others. Both Pugs and Rottweilers are bold, confident dogs, which can occasionally result in dog selectivity. They may not begin to show aggression towards other dogs until they are mature, typically around a year and a half or two years for the Pug and two to three years for the Rottweiler.
This can come as quite a surprise to the owner if their dogs had previously gotten along well. While many people may not take dog aggression from the Pug seriously, the Pug takes themselves very seriously, and your Rottweiler may take them seriously as well.
Pugs are an ancient breed with their origins shrouded in mystery, but they may have descended in part from the Tibetan Mastiff, a breed that can be prone to dog selectivity. Today’s Pug is a bold, vivacious dog who won’t back down from much and may pick a fight even if they have very little chance of winning.
Rottweilers are not one of the breeds most prone to dog selectivity and typically get along well with other dogs, but they can be dog selective. Some Rottweilers may not take a Pug’s aggression seriously, but others may take it very seriously. If a fight does occur between a Pug and Rottweiler, the consequences are likely to be very serious for the Pug.
Rottweilers Can Be Protective
Rottweilers tend to guard their family and home against perceived threats. They have been guardians throughout their history, and the instinct is very deeply ingrained in them. Not every Rottweiler will show guarding behavior, and the intensity of guarding instincts varies between dogs, but it is perfectly normal for a Rottweiler to guard their home and family.
When Rottweilers are showing guarding behavior towards strangers walking past the house, your Pug, who does not experience guarding instincts, may be confused and not know how to respond. They may even behave aggressively towards the Rottweiler, which could result in a fight. Your Rottweiler may also redirect the aggression they feel as a result of their protective instincts towards the Pug, with disastrous consequences.
Rottweilers may also be protective of the home or family towards the Pug. They may show aggression if you take your Pug out but leave your Rottweiler home when you return with your Pug. Some Rottweilers may also show possessiveness over their owner, putting themselves between their owner and the Pug and showing aggression towards the Pug when they try to push past. This certainly won’t occur with every Rottweiler and Pug, but it may come up.
Rottweilers May Play Rough
Rottweilers tend to have a rough and tumble play style with lots of wrestling and play fighting. As a result, the best companions for them are often bigger dogs but because Pugs tend to be so outgoing and vivacious, they often are more than willing to join in with this kind of rough play.
Needless to say, the diminutive Pug is not the best match for the large and powerful Rottweiler. Some Rottweilers may be very gentle and aware of how small the Pug is and adjust their play accordingly. Other Rottweilers may tend to play much too roughly with the Pug, who may not back down until they get hurt.
How to set Your Rottweiler and Pug up for Success
If you want a Pug and Rottweiler in your life, there are certain steps that you can take to make success more likely.
Here are a few tips for successful cohabitation between Pugs and Rottweilers:
Choose Opposite Genders
Aggression between dogs may be slightly more likely when they are the same gender, so it is best to choose a Rottweiler and Pug of opposite genders. Since female Rottweilers are slightly smaller, it may be better to choose a female Rottweiler and a male Pug, but since the size difference is already so significant, this may not be very important.
Get Them at Least Six Months Apart
Puppies that are raised together from the same age can be prone to developing littermate syndrome, which can result in codependency and/or aggression between dogs. While the term makes it seem as though it would only occur between dogs of the same litter, in fact, the syndrome can occur between any dogs of roughly the same age. Getting dogs at different times also enables you to have some time to train the dog that you get first before you bring home another dog which will be a distraction to training.
Separate When Offering High-Value Items
Both Rottweilers and Pugs may protect items that they consider to be of high value from each other, which can lead to a fight. Therefore, it is wise to always separate dogs when they are eating, chewing on valuable chew toys, or have access to anything else that you notice them being protective of. Protective behavior typically involves a dog standing stiffly over the item, and often involves growling or snapping as well.
Never Allow Jealous Behavior
Both your Rottweiler and your Pug may try to keep the other dog away from you by putting their body in between you or the other dog, or growling or snapping when the other dog comes near when they are with you. The Pug is most likely to do this from your lap, while the Rottweiler may stand between your knees and the Pug when the Pug tries to approach. Never allow this kind of behavior. Separate yourself from the dog who shows possessiveness and never reward with attention when dogs behave in this way.
Give the Pug an Out
Sometimes it can be hard to tell whether your Pug is enthusiastically enjoying playing with your Rottweiler or whether they are getting tired of the play. Setting up a double-door pet gate is one of the easiest ways to do this. Gates like this one on Amazon are big enough to block your Rottie but have a smaller pet door that your pug can fit through. This gives your pug an easy out to a separate part of the house where they can relax or take a break when they need to.
Enjoy a Happy Pug and Rottweiler Relationship
Pugs and Rottweilers may not be a match made in heaven, but that does not mean that they can’t coexist peacefully. Your Rottweiler and Pug may be the best of friends if you set them up for success. However, it is also important to realize that even if you do everything right, it doesn’t always work out. Always be attentive to signs of tension between your Rottweiler and Pug and separate them before anything negative occurs.