Shaytan the Guardian

“My husband brought him home against my will. But I learned to love him“, says Alessandra, 51, psychologist from Lecce, about the male Rottweiler Shaytan, that has been growing up in their garden for two years now. Nonetheless she threatened to divorce Claudio, 53, her husband the heart surgeon, should he dare to bring home a female to keep Shaytan company! And even though the photos taken with the two sons of the family speak for themselves, you better think twice before you get your own: Claudio explains why

Alessandra, you’re saying you didn’t agree when your husband got the Rottweiler puppy. You “ignored him” for quite some time, right?
Yes I did. But it was no point – there he was! And, I must admit, Shaytan grew into a very affectionate dog with great personality.

What kind of relationship do you have?
Our relationship is linked exclusively to the exchange of cuddles. He expects caresses from me and every time he sees me he puts himself in the right position to receive them.

Do you have a “trick” that always works with him, whatever happens?
The only command I need is “Sit” when I take the clothes out of the washing machine. And he obeys immediately.

If your dog was a person – who would he be?
A great athlete because of his physical performance and his discipline.

Why do you love him?
I’ve actually learned to love him, because he has always shown me respect, affection and discipline.

What are your favorite things to do with him?
I don’t spend much time with him. We share brief moments, that’s it.

Is your dog part of the family and the household?
I never let him into the house. He’s always out in the garden watching over us so we all feel protected.

Your advice for someone who would like to get a dog but can’t decide?
Thanks to Shaytan I understood that a dog can be loved like a human being.

Claudio, you’re an experienced Rottweiler owner. Before Shaytan you’ve had two other ones. What’s so special about Shaytan?
He is extraordinarily sociable, independent, balanced and protective. 

What kind of relationship have you established with him?
Our relationship is of mutual love and respect. 

How do you “understand” each other?
Our language is based on the tone of voice and my posture while I’m getting my message across. A “trick” that works for me is a serious gaze with the index finger of my hand pointing upwards. 

If Shaytan were a person who would he be?
Our best friend. 

When you need to go away for a couple of days – what do you do with him?
We leave him in a kennel closeby, where he socializes with everyone. He has been used to it since he was a child so leaving him there never feels like abandonment but it’s a great pleasure. He knows he’ll get to play with other dogs! With other people he behaves in a respectful and helpful manner. 

What do you enjoy with him the most?
Long walks in the meadows. 

Any advice for people who are thinking about getting a Rottweiler?
Rottweilers are certainly not for everyone. I recommend them only to those who know how to educate them from the beginning, due to their character, behavioral characteristics and size. It’s all about educational principles at the beginning, about discipline, coherence and firmness. If you manage to get through the first few months you’ll receive their utmost and total fidelity.


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