It is common for a small dog to think it is bigger than it is. Less common is a big dog that thinks it is small. Read next the curious case of the Rottweiler ‘lap dog’.
By Published on 5 Mar 2019
Mike Flanagan wanted to own a Rottweiler. He discussed the matter with his wife and kids who agreed that such a dog would be the perfect addition to the family. For the Flanagans the decision to buy a Rottie pup couldn’t have been easier.
‘Gus’ was an instant hit; an adorable and playful dog that settled in straight away. But there was one member of the family who didn’t approve: Mr Flanagan’s 80-year-old mother-in-law.
‘She likes all dogs,' Flanagan told The Dodo, 'but at 80 years old and being pretty small herself giant dogs are a knockdown risk’.
Mrs Allen (AKA ‘Grammy’) didn’t live with her daughter and son-in-law, but she was nervous about what would happen when they came to visit: ‘A Rottweiler?’ Grammy said. ‘Well, I must admit I have always preferred lapdogs.’
Despite her reservations the initial meeting went well. Grammy and Gus quickly became friends, and Gus learned that he could jump onto the sofa to cuddle Grammy, albeit when invited to do so.
My, haven't you grown!
On the family's next visit with the dog nine-months later, the Flanagans were less sure things would go well. Gus now weighed 100 pounds and was almost fully-grown. The prospect of his jumping onto Grammy's lap was a worry.
But as it happened no-one had cause to be alarmed.
‘Gus didn’t leave her side that whole visit,’ Flanagan recalled. ‘He slept by her bed. He waited outside the bathroom door. When she left and came back he let out an “AROOOOOOOO” of happiness that Grammy had come back.
‘When my wife said, “Mom, Gus sure does love you,” Grammy casually replied, “We have a thing.”’
A Rottweiler that is well-socialised and properly trained is thought to be one of the most affectionate dogs in the world. Furthermore, the breed ranks in the Top Ten for intelligence, according to animal psychologist Stanley Coren.