The Second Bite

I was looking pretty happy as we turned in for the night while camping.

A long time Rottie breeder I consulted with after the first bite told me if I was afraid of getting bit, Rollo would definitely sense it and bite me. I told her, if anything, I’d get bit because of my over-confidence at not getting bit, then doing stupid things more knowledgeable Rottie people wouldn’t do… like sleeping in the back of my truck with him.img_6640After a couple hours of sleep, I finally had to move Rollo who wasn’t giving me space. I turned on the light to make sure he was awake, talked to him and shifted his front end. When I shifted his back end he snapped. None of that namby-pamby growling stuff. Right down to business..img_6645I look a little shell-shocked don’t I? πŸ™‚ It’s partly eyes dilated from the dark, part shock, part anger at the betrayal. In truth, he couldn’t have been trying to bite. In fact, I don’t think this was really a “snap.” Judging by how far apart his teeth marks are, I suspect he did a lunging snarl and misjudged it, hitting me with his teeth. Still, unacceptable.

He was displaced to the front of the truck thereby ushering in a new era: when camping, Mak sleeps in back with papa, Rollo sleeps up front

6 thoughts on “The Second Bite

  1. I absolutely love how completely and utterly honest you are being about Rollo. I’ve not mentioned this before, but I have experience with Rottweilers and Dobermans. I grew up with both breeds. I have a healthy respect for them. My five year old Irish Setter regularly plays with a five year old
    Rottie. Seamus O’Malley (my dog) regularly defers to Atticus, which is what makes the relationship work. Atticus is a powerful specimen but has a good nature with some limits. Today Seamus was being “pushed around” by a Rhodesian Ridgeback. Atticus quickly got between them and warned the Ridgeback away. Atticus was policing bad behavior on the part of the Ridgeback. Luckily the RR understood Atticus’s determination. I fear it would not have ended well had the RR decided to ignore the Rottie’s warning.

    1. Thank you for sharing of yourself and your life. Feel free to supply opinions on Rollo and his, as well as my, behavior. Despite having sought a protective dog, I really didn’t want to get into dominance issues. I know they’re common with Rottie males, particularly unneutered ones. I have a very strong personality myself and am naturally authoritative which caused Zeus and I to butt heads. It ended up with me being bit 4X and therefore giving him the dirt nap, ultimately with me feeling horrible about having lost him though still feeling I did the right thing.

      As you can imagine, things have been less lovey-dovey since this second bite. I see it as betrayal on some level despite that fact that it was just a “warning.” …And loyalty is very, very important to me. I hope we can mend things but once trust is broken it’s super hard to regain. I understand moving a Rottweiler is dicey, particularly in sleep, which is why I so deliberately woke him up first.

      The reality is there are many times throughout the day that I need to move him. Every time I get out of the truck, I’ve got to move him out of the driver’s seat when I get back in. Most dogs I’ve had have been this way, but other than Zeus, I never worried about them taking my face off.

      1. I think what you are doing is admirable. You write that you have a strong personality and naturally authoritative which is ideal. You are, of course, the pack leader.

        For me, I’d be very concerned over the second bite, but I am NOT you. I am not in the least qualified to deal with such a dominant dog. Quite frankly, Rollo has his best chance at becoming a well adjusted dog with you. You’ve really not had him very long, so you’ve got to give yourself, and Rollo, time.

        Are you sure there is no underlying pain in Rollo’s hindquarters? Could there be underlying issues other than aggression? Just an idea.

      2. Thanks for your kind words of encouragement and support. This isn’t actually an entirely selfless altruistic venture, of course! πŸ™‚ I had chosen a potentially difficult dog because of the challenge he/she might present.

        I wouldn’t say I’m qualified to deal with a dominant aggressive dog either. My lack of success with Zeus proved that. But I’m older, more patient and more moderate in my approach now. I guess in a way, I’m doing this to prove things to myself. On the one hand, I’m flying by the seat of my pants, on the other, I’ve been in a position of authority for thirty years. Authority over humans is different, but the patient, persistent, firm but gently implacable push might not be so different.

        I’m 110% sure Rollo has no pain in his back end. You should see him and Mak wrestle and play fight! πŸ™‚ Of course, I stand vigilant over the entire proceedings and periodically call a timeout when they get highly stimulated. They’ve always responded instantly to my voice.

        Today was mellower for all of us and as time passes and that midnight instant will fade but remain as a cautionary note to my lovey-dovey folly and pit bull naivete. πŸ™‚ Thanks again for reading and commenting!

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