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Pantops Pet Salon & Spa
Charlottesville's Professional Dog Grooming

It's what we do -- it's all we do.

(434) 293-2424
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504 Pantops Center
Charlottesville, VA 22911

Breeds We Don’t Do — The Rottweiler

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006 by Mike Cronk

Archived from “The Paw Report:”  Issue #4, October 

There are several breeds that we don’t groom including Rottweilers, Chows, and Siberian Huskies.  I did not make the decision to deny these dogs arbitrarily.  In fact, I groomed all breeds for a full 25 years (even groomed cats too).  It was a difficult decision—saying no to a customer means I don’t make the money, a situation I couldn’t afford when I was starting my family.  I’m in the business to groom dogs so why would I say “no” to these dogs–not just an impossible individual dog, but entire breeds?  Why, after 25 years did I finally say, “That’s enough!  I quit!”

I don’t get bitten in the business anymore—after working with dogs for 31 years I’ve developed a sense about their dispositions and can usually predict when a dog will bite.  In the salon, dog bites most often are rooted in fear as opposed to pure aggression.  The last time I was bitten was by a large male Rottweiler that was dropped off for a bath.  The main problem I have with this breed is that I honestly can’t read Rotties.  The expression on his face when I was petting him was the same expression that I saw when he bit me.  He being a large, powerful dog with that Rottweiler “scissor jaw,” that bite hurt!

On top of the unpredictable body language, some Rottie owners choose their dog in order to portray a “bad guy” image.  The extensive training necessary to keep them under control usually isn’t applied.  The February ‘06 issue of “Dog Fancy” states that “not everyone is suited for the time and responsibility this breed requires, but if you can put in three or four months of working with that puppy every single day and if you picked out the friendliest, nicest puppy in a well-bred litter, you’ll get the best from your Rottweiler.”  Don’t forget, Cesar Millan (the “Dog Whisperer”) instructs us to walk our dogs 45 minutes everyday anyway—and that’s for the average pet.  Add into that time equation an hour or two of behavior training—in my experience, I just don’t see the average person making that type of time commitment with a Rottweiler puppy. 

So, the untrained, unpredictable, protective breed ends up in my lap—what a way to make my job a nightmare!  Now that I’m in the financial position to enjoy grooming, why would I want to ruin my day by accepting a dog like that?  I’d much rather avoid the problem to keep myself as well as my groomers safe and comfortable with the dogs we groom.

What’s to be gained by owning a Rottweiller unless you’re looking to engage that protective behavior to some degree?  If you’re looking for a strong, short-haired large dog that doesn’t require as much training, supervision around people (children in particular), etc there are a host of other breeds to choose from—Labs, Boxers, or English Pointers.  Why take the chance with a Rottie?

But you don’t have to take my word on the Rottie disposition and owner irresponsibility—read about it yourself by going to www.dogbitelaw.com.  The next time you read about some child or elderly person being attacked by Pit Bulls or Rottweilers (or mixes thereof) you may get just as angry as I do!  I’ve already written both to “The Daily Progress” and SPCA about our responsibility to educate the public about the way things are rather than how we wish they should be. 

Am I profiling in my no-Rottie policy?  You bet!  But I’ve got the experience to back up my decision.  Stay away from ill-bred dogs who haven’t been trained extensively—especially Rottweilers and Pit Bulls!  Amen!

-Mike

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