Dog Breed Guide – Rottweiler

All You Need to Know About Rottweilers

Everything You Need to Know About Rottweiler’s

History

Rottweiler’s commonly known as Rotts are descendants of the Italian Mastiff. They were named after the old free city of Rottweil and were originally from Germany. They were used as working dogs to herd and drive cows to the market and to pull carts to the butcher. They were later used as police dogs and in the military. Nowadays they are popular as family pets and guard dogs.

Physical Characteristics

Male rottweillers are 24 to 27 inches tall from the shoulders weighing between 95 to 130 pounds. Female rottweillers on the other hand are 22 to 25 inches tall and weigh between 85 to 115 pounds. Read more about the rottweiler breed standard here.

Rottweilers are classified as large breed dogs. They are muscular, proportional and compact. They are black in color and have tan and mahogany markings over the eyes, on the cheeks, each side of the muzzle, chest, and legs and beneath the tail.

Tan lines resembling pencil markings can also be found on the toes.

They have a double coat. The outer coat is straight, course, dense and medium light. The under coat is found on the neck and thighs. Its density and amount varies with the climate.

Personality and Temperament

Rotties are intelligent, alert and fearless. They are affectionate, loyal and protective of their owners making them excellent guard dogs. They are also very smart and adaptable with a strong work ethic.

Male rottweilers are not easily excitable. They are quiet, watchful and alert. Females on the other hand are more playful, affectionate and easy to control.

If not well trained they can be aloof and aggressive to strangers. They lack the ability to discriminate between good and bad guys and can be very ferocious.

Early socialization to people, animals, sights and sounds coupled with consistent training they can be very calm, playful, gentle, loving and confident.

Their temperament is also very dependent on heredity. When choosing  rott puppies avoid the bully in the litter as well as the one that hides in the corner. It is also good to meet the mother to give you a slight idea of how their temperament will be like as they grow older.

Rottweiler’s require good leadership and for the owner to be assertive and firm. If not they can be pretty stubborn and take charge in stead.

Family Life

Rottweilers are loyal, affectionate and love their family. Most times you will find them following their owner around. They are prone to separation anxiety therefore should not be left alone for long periods of time lest they turn destructive.

They also do well outdoors and can live in a kennel. They are quite tolerant to cool temperatures but can overheat during hotter months. Make sure to fence your home to prevent them from attacking strangers as well as protect them from oncoming traffic. Rottweiler’s do not do well in apartment buildings.

It is advised to put a sign at the gate of a resident dog to warn strangers when coming in without your escort.

Due to the prejudice that rotties are aggressive dogs, they have been banned in some states. Always check with the authorities before bring one in.

They also get along with children though should be supervised when with small children\n. They have a natural instinct to herd and therefore might bump and topple over small kids as they play. They natural prey drive might cause them to be overexcited and chase after small children which might also be dangerous. However they get along pretty well with older children.

Rotties if not socialized early can be aggressive to other pets, family members and strangers alike. They are particularly aggressive towards dogs of the same sex. Always introduce new animals slowly.

In terms of exercise, it solely depends on their level of activity. Some rottweilers are couch potatoes while some are very active active. Those that are moderately active may need a 10 to 20 minute walk daily, a hike or play with balls at the back yard. Those that are very active, longer exercises and well structured activities are more appropriate.

Rotts are also predisposed to being overweight and being obese. Four to ten cups of high quality food daily divided into 2 meals is sufficient. This is however heavily dependent on their level of activity, size, age, metabolism and build.

Grooming

Rottweillers have a double coat of fur which should be brushed weekly with a firm bristle brush. This helps to remove dead hair as well distribute skin oils.

They also shed twice a year and may require frequent brushing at this time.
Bathing should be done as needed depending the environment the dog lives in.

Their teeth should also be brushed at least 2 to 3 times a week to keep away gum disease, tartar and bad breathe. Ear cleaning should also be done to prevent infections.

Dogs are usually very touchy about their feet which can make nail clipping problematic. Handle his paws frequently especially when they are puppies to get used to their feet being handled.

Always make grooming a fun experience to prevent aggression as the dog grows older. It should be filled with rewards and praise!

Training

Rottweiler’s are easily to train but can be stubborn. The trainer should be firm and assertive otherwise he may end up being bullied.

Always show you are the leader. Always show respect and don’t use physical force otherwise he may retaliate with anger.

Early socialization is essential for them to grow up to be well rounded dogs. Don’t shy away from taking them for leisurely walks, dog parks, puppy kindergarten and inviting visitors over. This will help them to get used to different people and environments.

Health

Rottweiler’s are generally healthy animals. However they are predisposed to certain diseases due to the structure of their bodies and genetics. Some of the common conditions affecting these dogs include:

Before purchasing a puppy always ask the breeder for a health clearance certificates to ascertain that he or she has been tested and cleared of any ailments. One can also check the OFA web site (offa.org).

Conclusion

Rottweilers make excellent companions as well as good guard dogs. They are loyal, alert, intelligent and affectionate to their owners.

However they can be aggressive towards strangers and animals alike.  Early socialization and training is essential to have a well rounded, calm and confident dog. One should be firm, assertive consistent and positively reinforce instructions.

They get along with children especially if they were brought up together. They have a tendency to herd and may topple over small children during play and should therefore be supervised.

They can do well outdoors and can stay in a kennel. However during hot months they have a tendency to overheat. They tolerate cool temperature very well.

Make sure to get health clearance form from a breeder before purchase. This ascertains that the puppy has been tested and cleared of any diseases.

Dr. Winnie
About Dr. Winnie 351 Articles
My name is Dr. Winnie. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Duke University, a Masters of Science in Biology from St Georges University, and graduated from the University of Pretoria Veterinary School in South Africa. I have been an animal lover and owners all my life having owned a Rottweiler named Duke, a Pekingese named Athena and now a Bull Mastiff named George, also known as big G! I'm also an amateur equestrian and love working with horses. I'm a full-time Veterinarian in South Africa specializing in internal medicine for large breed dogs. I enjoy spending time with my husband, 2 kids and Big G in my free time. Author and Contribturor at SeniorTailWaggers, A Love of Rottweilers, DogsCatsPets and TheDogsBone

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