Breed GroupWorking Group
Life Span9-10 years
HeightMales=24 to 27 inches; females=22 to 25 inches
WeightMales=95 to 135 pounds; females=80 to 100 pounds
OriginGermany
Best ForExperienced dog owners

Rottweiler Overview

Dog Breed:
Rottweiler
Breed Group:
Working Group
Characteristics:
Loving, brave, strong, watchful, intelligent
Height:
Males=24 to 27 inches; females=22 to 25 inches
Weight:
Males=95 to 135 pounds; females=80 to 100 pounds
Life Span:
9-10 years
Coat Colors:
Black with rust, tan, or mahogany
Area of Origin:
Germany
Best For:
Experienced dog owners

Rottweiler Characteristics

Friendliness
Intelligence
Good for First-Time Owners
Good with Children
Easy to Train
Exercise Requirements
Ease of Grooming
Amount of Shedding
Amount of Drooling
Tendency to Bark

About The Rottweiler

  • Commonly referred to as a “Rottie”

  • Known for its strength and courage

  • A very confident dog

The Rottweiler is a breed with a heart to match its size. A breed commonly referred to as a “Rottie,” the Rottweiler hails from Germany where it was put to work driving cattle and pulling heavy loads of meat and produce for local purveyors. 

The Rottweiler is easily recognized by its immense chest and impressive musculature. The breed’s movement is sure and strong, easily displaying the dog’s ability keep pace with the work its was bred to do. Though strong of body, the Rottweiler’s heart is full of affection and warmth. The breed is renowned for being laidback but is also in possession of a tremendously brave nature. 

Rottweilers should display natural confidence, remaining cool in the face of danger or conflict. The breed views strangers with a natural wariness but does not shy away when approached. It takes time and patience to win over the heart of the Rottweiler, but once achieved, the person has a friend for life. 

A breed intended to function as a guard dog, the Rottweiler has the physical presence and temperament to fulfil this role well when called upon to do so. The Rottie is well-suited to work in the military and on the police force but is equally at ease as a much-loved family companion. 

The Rottweiler has natural protection instincts and will defend its family with fierce intensity in the face of a threat. This natural propensity should be tempered by socializing Rottweiler puppies early and often to as many different people and situations as possible. The Rottweiler also requires an authoritative leader for training to be effective

If proper socialization does not occur, the Rottweiler can lean towards aggressive behaviour. Care must be taken to select a puppy from a reputable breeder that places a high priority on producing puppies renowned for their natural intellect and laidback ways. A Rottie that acts overprotectively towards its family should be a serious cause for concern. The breed should possess the discernment to identify threatening behaviour from that which is non-threatening. 

Though the Rottweiler has been much maligned due to its immense size and protective nature, the criticisms levied against the breed are largely unfair. If carefully bred and properly socialized and trained, the Rottweiler’s temperament is consistent and even without even a hint of unwarranted ferociousness. Rottweilers should be patient and affectionate with their family, eagerly displaying their love of play time and fondness for people. 

The Rottweiler can be a handful, and thus, is best suited to families with previous dog experience. A dog breed with a relatively high energy level, the Rottie needs consistent daily exercise and will not thrive in an apartment setting. 

Rottweiler Breed History

  • Traces its origins to Germany

  • A combination of local dog breeds combined with Roman Molosser dogs

  • Originally intended to drive cattle

rottweiler-running-on-snow

The Rottweiler owes a portion of its heritage to the Roman Empire. Since dogs assisted the Romans with many different tasks, they prioritized the breeding of working dogs with the desired traits for each job. 

Each time the Romans invaded or passed through a nation, they brought with them their dogs. The Roman soldiers had great need of dogs with the stamina and tenacity to drive their cattle forward. Their original breeding dogs were of Asian mastiff descent, a dog type commonly referred to as a Molossus. Through careful breeding choices of these dogs, the Romans were able to produce an early prototype of the Rottweiler

After the Roman Empire fell in Germany, the dogs they developed moved on to continue their work in an area called Rottweil. It is from this town that this dog breed takes its name. 

When railroad cars became the preferred method of transporting cattle, the Rottweiler found itself out of a job. However, the Rottweiler is both an intelligent and versatile breed and was soon employed in police work and as a guard dog. A little-known fact is that the Rottweiler was one of the earliest breeds selected to work as guide dogs for blind people. They are also highly skilled at search and rescue and were utilized during rescue efforts at the World Trade Center. 

It is believed that Rottweilers made their way to the United States when a German family emigrated there in the early 20th century. Following World War II, the breed’s popularity began to soar worldwide. One of its main attractions for owners was its natural affinity for excelling at obedience work. 

Rottweiler Size & Weight

  • Males stand at 24” to 27” and weigh between 95 and 135 pounds

  • Females stand 22” to 25” and weigh from 80 to 100 pounds

  • A powerful breed, the Rottweiler requires an experienced owner

rottweiler-sitting

The average male Rottweiler stands from 24” to 27” at the shoulder. His weight can range from 95 to 135 pounds. By comparison, females can reach heights of 22” to 25.” Their weight spans from as low as 80 pounds to as high was 100 pounds. 

The Rottweiler is considered a large breed dog. A dog type that is immensely powerful, the Rottweiler requires an experienced dog owner. This breed will not respond well to weak leadership and will usurp authority from an owner that does not set and enforce consistent boundaries.

Rottweiler Personality & Temperament

  • Loving and affectionate

  • Can be prone to dog aggression

  • Very intelligent but can be stubborn

rottweiler-happily-playing

A breed that is known for being both loving and affectionate, Rottweilers reserve a particular fondness for children. Because the breed is quite large and powerful, all interactions with children should be carefully supervised for the safety of both parties. Rottweilers are best suited to homes with older children. The breed can become irritated by overly exuberant play and may attempt to guard its family members. 

Though the Rottweiler can get along with other animals, it is best that they be raised with them from puppyhood. Some Rotties will find it difficult to learn to live peaceably with new animals added into the home. Same sex aggression can be common in the breed. To add a Rottweiler puppy to an established multi-pet household, it is best for introductions to occur on neutral ground. 

Since the Rottweiler can be prone to displaying bully-like behaviour towards other dogs, this breed should never be taken to a dog park. Early socialization with other appropriate dogs offers the best hope for the Rottie to learn to interact well with other dogs. 

In temperament, the Rottweiler should display calm behaviour. The breed exudes a natural confidence and is brave in the face of danger. Shyness is an extreme fault in the breed and to be avoided. 

Rottweilers do not take to strangers naturally, taking time and effort to warm up to new people. However, Rotties are exceptionally affectionate with their family and will protect them from threats at all costs. 

A highly intelligent breed, the Rottweiler loves to work and to learn new skills. However, the Rottweiler does need a strong leader that will teach then enforce boundaries. 

There are some differences which can be detected between male and female Rottweilers. In general, male Rotties are quiet yet remain alert to readily identify the presence of danger. Females are less wilful and are more likely to lavish their owners with affection. Though the Rottie can display a stubborn streak, they are generally quite easy to train. 

Though the Rottweiler requires a strong leader, the breed will not respond well to aversive training methods. The breed is quite sensitive, requiring only a verbal correction to respect the authority of its owner. Owners that fail to establish their leadership may find themselves with a dog that attempts to take charge of the home. 

Rottweilers are not a breed that is well-suited to apartment living. A dog with relatively high activity requirements, a home with a fenced yard where the dog can stretch its legs is ideal. 

Rottweilers bond deeply to their people and do not enjoy being left alone for more than a short time. The breed’s short coat allows it to spend time outdoors in warm weather, but in general, the Rottie is not a fan of extreme heat or cold. 

Rottweiler Health & Grooming

  • Low grooming requirements

  • A heavy drooler

  • Prone to weight gain

rottweiler-health-and-grooming

Rottweilers are a breed that typically enjoy excellent health. However, as with all dog breeds, the Rottie can be predisposed to certain health conditions. All breeding stock should be screened prior to mating to ensure no genetic illness is passed from one generation to the next. Among the health problems which can be common to Rottweilers are hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, aortic stenosis/sub-aortic stenosis, osteosarcoma, gastric dilatation-volvulus (bloat/torsion), panosteitis, hypothyroidism, and allergies. 

The Rottweiler possesses a double coat that is wiry to the touch. Its outer coat should be of a moderate length with short hair on the head, ears, and legs. Undercoat is primarily located on the neck and thigh portions of the body. The volume of undercoat varies according to the climate of the region where the dog resides. 

Rottweilers have low grooming requirements, requiring only brushing several times a week. The breed does shed profusely. Twice yearly, the dog will blow coat, increasing the amount of shedding for a short period of time. 

Rotties should only be bathed on an as needed basis. Nails should be trimmed at least once per month. Regular dental care and ear cleaning are also an important part of keeping the Rottie healthy and well. 

If not sufficiently exercised, the Rottweiler can be prone to gaining weight. All food intake should be carefully monitored to help prevent this. 

The Rottweiler is known to be a heavy drooler

Rottweiler Training

  • Early training and socialization is a must

  • Extremely intelligent and loves to please

  • A vocal breed that needs to learn a “no bark” command

rottweiler-training

The Rottweiler is a breed that needs training right from the moment the dog enters its new home. In addition to learning basic obedience commands, the Rottie also needs puppy socialization classes and to understand its role in the home. Rottweilers are dogs that bond deeply to their people and need to be near them in order to thrive. This dog will not do well if kept outside the home. 

To help the Rottie learn to interact with the world, the breed needs to be introduced to as many novel people and experiences as possible. These should occur in safe settings where the outcome is controlled. This will prevent any training setbacks. 

Rottweilers are driven by a desire to be near their owners and to please them, making them amenable to training. However, the breed can be stubborn. For best results, owners must approach each training session with the commitment to giving clear instruction and expecting the dog to work consistently. Verbal corrections are all that are required for the Rottie to learn who is in charge. 

Though the breed can be obstinate, their high intelligence level means they can easily learn the basic obedience commands in as little as a month. 

The Rottweiler can be rather mouthy. Since the Rottie is a very powerful breed, it must be taught to use its mouth appropriately. This can be accomplished by redirecting the dog to a toy, bone, or ball when it attempts to connect its teeth to skin. A loud “ouch!” will also act as a powerful deterrent to the dog. 

The Rottie is a highly prey-driven dog but is not particularly predisposed to roaming. 

The breed can be very vocal and must be taught a “no bark” command to keep peace with neighbours. 

Rottweiler Exercise Requirements

  • Early training and socialization is a must

  • Extremely intelligent and loves to please

  • A vocal breed that needs to learn a “no bark” command

rottweiler-exercise

 

Rottweilers are a high energy breed that enjoy any active pursuit. Whether the dog is engaged in swimming, walking, running, or dog performance sports, the Rottie is game to try it all. A breed known for its natural athleticism, the Rottweiler has high activity requirements and needs vigorous daily exercise. It is recommended that the Rottweiler be walked at a vigorous clip for a minimum of 45 to 60 minutes each day. 

In addition to its natural penchant for obedience work, the Rottie also excels at such disciplines as tracking and herding. 

Rotties are a very playful breed that enjoys many different activities including playing ball or fetch with their families equally as much as going for a long walk or jog. The breed also enjoys such active dog performance sports as agility. 

A highly intelligent breed, the Rottweiler requires both physical and mental stimulation. This can be achieved through training sessions or through the judicious use of puzzle toys and interactive games. 

Rottweiler Diet & Feeding

  • Puppies should eat puppy food

  • Adults should eat adult food

  • Adjust portions according to activity level

rottweiler-feeding

To ensure the Rottweiler’s nutritional needs are met, it is an excellent idea to discuss the dog’s diet with a veterinarian. In general, the Rottweiler will excel on a high-quality diet that is properly balanced to meet the dog’s unique needs. 

Puppies should be fed a puppy food to support their developing bodies. Adults should eat an adult formulation with care given to their age, health, activity level, and physical condition. Amounts should be adjusted to reflect activity level. 

To determine how much food to feed a Rottweiler, the bag of food will offer suggested serving sizes. This is an excellent place to start. Adjustments can be made until the correct amount has been identified. The dog’s weight and appetite will serve as helpful guides. 

Since the Rottweiler is prone to weight gain, it is important for all owners to carefully monitor the dog’s food intake

You may also be interested in:

Rottweiler Rescue Groups

rottweiler-angry-personality

For more information about Rottweilers available for adoption near you, we recommend the following comprehensive resources:

Rottweiler Rescue Foundation

http://rottweilerrescuefoundation.org/

 

American Rottweiler Club

http://www.amrottclub.org/

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