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Are Rottweilers Banned in Some States? Facts & FAQ

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

Rottweiler walking on sand beach

Are Rottweilers Banned in Some States? Facts & FAQ

Rottweilers are often characterized as being aggressive. If you have a Rottie, you know how untrue that is. Unfortunately, though, some places still try to make it hard for people to own this breed via the use of breed-specific laws. This type of legislation restricts or bans certain dog breeds in locales based on their appearance (or because they are presumed to be a “danger”).1

If you are looking for a Rottweiler of your own or already have one and are planning to move, you should know what, if any, breed-specific legislation is in place. While there are no outright state bans of this breed, you may still have to deal with state restrictions or bans put forth by a city or local housing authority. Here’s what you need to know.

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Why Is Public Opinion of Rottweilers So Negative?

There are a few reasons the general public tends to have a negative reaction to Rottweilers.

These include:
  • How Rottweilers are portrayed in the media. Whether it be a local news story about a dog biting someone or a TV show portraying a Rottweiler as a vicious guard dog, the media often paints this breed as aggressive and dangerous, making people fearful.
  • Inexperienced owners. A Rottweiler is a breed that requires a great deal of training and socialization from an early age to help integrate them into a role as a pet and family member. However, some owners adopt this breed without realizing this. If the owner doesn’t train their dog as needed, it could lead to an adverse situation later.
  • Intimidating appearance. This breed of dog is large—often weighing well over 100 pounds—which can make them look scary to some people.

Essentially, the poor general opinion of Rottweilers boils down to a lack of education about the breed.

What Is a City Ban?

A city ban is when a city or town bans anyone from owning a Rottweiler or other so-called “dangerous” breed. These bans will usually have gone through court and will have been upheld as constitutional, so trying to fight them likely won’t do much good. For example, Clinton, Mississippi, has a ban on Rottweilers, as does Wapato, Washington. You can find what cities in what states have banned this breed via the BSL Census.

man with his pet rottweiler outside
Image By: Srqntrz, Shutterstock

What Do Restrictions on Breeds Entail?

Some places choose not to outright ban breeds like the Rottweiler but instead decide to put several restrictions on them or their owners.

These restrictions include but are not limited to:
  • Breeds being declared as “vicious” or “high risk” or something similar
  • Kenneling requirements
  • Requiring muzzles while in public (the Village of Argyle, Wisconsin, requires muzzling of Rottweilers, along with other restrictions on this list)
  • Spaying/neutering requirements
  • Being a certain age to walk the dog in public (usually 16 years and up)
  • Keeping your dog within a fenced-in yard so that they can’t escape
  • Obtaining special permits
  • Carrying an insurance policy (an example of this would be White Sulphur Springs, Montana, where owners of Rottweilers must carry liability insurance of, at a minimum, $500,000)

Restrictions like these place a burden on those wanting to own Rottweilers and other breeds, making it harder for them to do so. You can find restrictions on breeds at the BSL Census (though it’s best to check your specific city’s website for pet policies as well).

Housing Laws and Rottweilers

Even if you find a city without bans or restrictions, you may still have to deal with housing authorities. Certain housing properties will ban Rottweilers because of their perceived “dangerousness,” like the Housing Authority of the County of Dekalb in Georgia, which has a ban on Rottweilers. Sometimes these rules and regulations for Rottweilers won’t be put forth by an official housing authority but by the owners of an apartment complex or other rental property. You’ll need to check your city’s website first, then with the specific property where you want to live to determine whether Rottweilers are allowed.

The Military and Rottweilers

If you’re in the military and will be living on a base, you’ll find that Rottweilers have been banned by the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines. Each military base will have its own rules and regulations, of course, but these are the standardized policies. There was some hope of breed-specific legislation on military bases being done away with in 2020. Language to repeal these bans was included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, but ultimately, that language was taken out.

military man with rottweiler dog
Image By: Dmitriev Mikhail, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

If you own a Rottweiler, you may have issues finding a place to live with them due to breed-specific legislation. While no state has an outright ban on this breed, plenty of cities and housing do. You’ll need to be sure to check all pet policies, rules, and regulations before making any moves with your Rottie. It’s unfortunate this breed has been misaligned to such an extent. Still, rules are rules, so check carefully when deciding where to live.

Featured Image Credit: everydoghasastory, Shutterstock

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