Between the year 1997 and 1998, 27 people died from dog attacks across 17 states, according to a 2000 report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Two-thirds of the fatalities involved Rottweilers and pit bulls.
In another 20-year study conducted by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Rottweiler was second in a list of the top 10 most dangerous breeds, ranking just behind the pit bull. In that study, Rottweilers were the cause of 37 fatalities.
The American Kennel Club standard lists the Rottweiler as a calm, courageous and confident dog. Rottweilers are natural guardians; loyal and protective. Their protective instincts can turn into aggression without proper training and socialization.
Rottweilers possess a strong territorial instinct and prey drive, and they require consistent and early training, socialization, and handling. They may be aggressive with other dogs of the same sex and have a temperament that competes for dominance. Socialization and interaction with a wide variety of people and circumstances help to create a dog that can distinguish between threatening and non-threatening behavior. Rottweilers respect and need an authoritative, strong trainer who is also calm, confident and fair.