So you’re thinking of getting a Rottweiler.
Tell a friend this and you’re likely to hear questions like, Are they dangerous?
Are they too hard to train? Will a Rottweiler harm your children?
Whether you call them Rottweilers or Rotties, this breed is often misunderstood and it’s important for a dog lover like myself to set the record straight.
While there is only one type of Rottweiler, there are different standards for the the American Rottweiler, bred based on its physical appearance rather than its working ability, and the German Rottweiler.
Today we are going to discuss the American Rottweiler.
Read on to discover important Rottweiler dog information to see if this beautiful breed would make a good addition to your family.
- Originally used to drive cattle, and later trained to pull carts for butchers and farmers
- Require extensive socialization and training as soon as possible.
- Without adequate exercise and attention they can become destructive.
- Check your areas guidelines as some cities have a ban on the breed.
- Gets along well with children if raised with them and taught boundaries
- Highly trainable with firm consistency
- Can be aggressive to strange dogs, especially of the same gender.
- Require exercise a few times a day
- Shed heavily in the fall and spring
- Tendency to overeat and gain weight
- Buy from a reputable breeder because of some health issues.
All information is from Dogtime.
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About the Rottweiler Breed
Rottweilers are a strong, smart, and sturdy breed whose loyalty and origins have helped it to become not only one of the most popular privately owned breeds, but also a popular member of the police and armed forces.
Their trainability has also led to success on the big screen in Hollywood, and they were the first breed to become guide dogs for the blind.
- Rottweil Metzgerhund
- Rottweiler Metzgerhund
- Butchers Dog
Historical Origins of The Breed
The Rottweilers origins date back to the time of the Romans.
An Asian mastiff breed that traveled with the Romans as they drove their cattle across the lands they conquered became the stock used to create today’s Rottweilers.
They found work in the cattle town of Rottweil where they moved the herds while protecting them from rustlers and thieves.
This is where they earned the name of Rottweil Metzgerhund, or the Butchers Dog of Rottweil.
Their temperament has changed little since the first German Breed standard was written in 1901.
The American Rottweiler is a large, heavily muscled dog whose height is measured from the shoulder, or hock.
The males are, as a rule, heavier and taller than the females.
Their large size making them wonderful work dogs who can be taught to pull carts.
You and your Rottweiler can earn a drafting title in shows by passing a carting test.
It’s a wonderful way to give your friend the exercise and work that they need to be happy.
Male 24-27 inches (61-69 cm)
The male of this breed should reach between twenty-four and twenty-seven inches from the shoulder to the floor after reaching adulthood, which is between eighteen months and two years of age.
Female 22-25 inches (55-63 cm)
The female of this breed when fully grown (also between eighteen months and two years of age) should measure between twenty-two and twenty-five inches from the top of the shoulder to the floor.
Puppies 13-13.5 inches (33.02-34.29 cm)
At two months of age, a rottweiler puppy should stand between thirteen and thirteen and a half inches at the shoulder.
Up until about four months of age, the females may be slightly taller than the males. This is no cause for concern.
Male 95-135 pounds (43.1 – 61.24 kg)
The male Rottweiler will always be heavier than the females, owing to a heavier bone structure, larger frame, and an all around more massive body than their counterparts.
Female: 80-100 pounds (36.29-45.36 kg)
The female Rottweiler is almost always smaller than the males, and have distinctly feminine features without having any weakness in substance or structure.
Puppies : 12 ounces-1.3 pounds (0.34-059 kg)
A newborn rottweiler puppy should weigh somewhere between twelve ounces and a little over a pound, but this is an estimate and it can vary.
As the puppies grow older, you can keep on eye on their weight, keeping in mind that males will almost always tend to be heavier than their female counterparts.
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Rottweiler Dog Breed Purity: PureBred or Mixed?
The only way to be sure that a Rottweiler is a purebred is if the parents have valid registration papers from a reputable organization, like the AKC.
The breed standard states the tail is docked, the coat colors are Black and Mahogany, Black and Rust, or Black and Tan and secondary color should not cover more than ten percent of the body.
The coat should be short, shiny, and without a wave.
A purebred dog allows an owner to know what to expect in terms of temperament, coloring, and health issues.
While a mixed breed or a puppy without papers is cheaper at the outset, you will likely spend more in vet bills due to hidden health problems that show up from poor breeding or inbreeding.
You can get a “pet quality” rottweiler that does not meet AKC standards, and it will usually be cheaper to purchase and have papers.
A pet quality rottie could have a wavy coat, long hair or a red coat.
It’s unclear if the red base coat comes from a mixed breed or a rare recessive gene that both parents would need to posses.
Temperament and Intelligence
The Rottweiler is a loyal, devoted, and courageous animal that will fiercely defend its family when needed, and has a reliable and even temperament.
When cared for and trained well, they can accommodate a household with children, cats, and other dogs.
This breed thrives when the owner acts as the pack leader.
They are a breed that is always aware of what is going on around them and their owners, a quality needed as a guard dog.
This allows them to thrive in the mode of protector and guardian.
This is an important trait for a thinking dog, as it allows them to assess the situation before reacting.
Rottweilers, if socialized well early on and given lots of attention, are a pretty friendly dog overall.
They do well with children and can accept other pets in the home if raised with them.
They can be aggressive towards strange dogs, especially ones of the same gender, but are friendly with human strangers.
Rotties can be considered a gentle breed, but this disposition is largely based on their personality.
The best way to make sure your puppy will have a kind and gentle disposition is to look at the parents.
If they have this trait the offspring is more likely to have the same gentle demeanor.
These dogs are very intelligent, bred for their decision making and concentration, one of the reasons they are members of the working group and make wonderful additions to the military, police, and search and rescue.
They need early training and interactive toys to give them the mental stimulation they need to not engage in destructive behaviors.
When selecting a puppy, you want to find one that has an outgoing personality.
While this is a wonderful trait in a well trained Rott, it is also one that can turn against you if your dog is improperly trained or doesn’t get enough attention, turning into a bully that will take charge of a situation.
If you are looking for a friendly, loving dog that is loyal and obedient, cherishes your family and would protect you with their life, this is the dog for you.
They love to play and it is important to keep them entertained so they bond with you and stay happy.
The coat of a Rottweiler is a short, straight, double coat that is course in feel.
The undercoat, found mainly on the neck and thighs, should not be longer than the outer coat that is medium in length on the body, and shorter on the head, ears, and legs.
There are long haired Rottweilers but the long haired coat is not an AKC breed standard, but they can still be a purebred.
There are three color combinations for the coat colors, Black and Tan, Black and Rust, or Black and Mahogany.
The black base coat must cover at least ninety percent of the body to be considered a purebred and adhering to breed standards.
The secondary color markings will appear over the eyes, on the cheeks, each side of the muzzle, on the chest and legs, and beneath the tail.
The eyes should be of an almond shape with tight fitting lids, wide set apart at a ten to fifteen degree angle above the bridge of the nose.
The colors should be black to dark brown, and there are charts that show breed acceptable shades.
Light colored eyes are a disqualifying characteristic in show dogs, but just fine if you just want a rottweiler to love.
The breed is also prone to cataracts and Progressive Retinal Atrophy, or PRA, and eyelid deformities.
It’s a good idea to get your dog’s vision checked every year.
The AKC standard for the nose states that it is broad rather than round and always black.
This is close to the German standard that states faults are split noses, a convex nasal bridge, and pale or spotted noses.
They also have a great sense of smell and a willingness to track human scents making them great tracking dogs.
American Rottweilers still have a docked tail, though this practice has been banned in most countries.
The reasoning behind of this is to prevent damage during rigorous physical activities, or to prevent harm when working as a guard dog.
The truth is, there is no proof that tail docking is better for the health of your dog.
If it is performed, it is done at a young age for cosmetic reasons.
anywhere between 4-12
The number of pups in a litter can range anywhere from four to twelve, though they often number around the higher end of ten to twelve
One Rottweiler mother named Terrie (belonging to Ms. Morris of Britain) breaking the previous world record of thirteen when she gave birth to a litter of eighteen puppies!
While this is an extreme example, and there is no written information on an ideal litter size, it seems it would be six to eight so the mother can feed them all easily.
A healthy and well cared for Rottie has a life expectancy of eight to twelve years, with the females living on average of two years longer than the males.
While this gives you an estimate of how long they can live, it’s not unheard of to have a Rottweiler live under or over this estimate, especially if yours is prone to health problems or exceptionally healthy.
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Caring for Your Rottweiler
Living between ten and twelve years, this can be considered a good lifespan for such a large dog.
Be sure to keep up with their grooming, training and exercise to keep them in tip-top shape.
Rottweilers require a bit of money because they are prone to quite a few health problems specific to their breed.
These dogs require daily brushing with a short brush, more in the spring and fall when they shed the most.
Their muzzles and folds in their face should be wiped out with a towel, as it holds excess saliva.
This is a great way to keep drool to a minimum in your home. Their nails need trimmed if they grow too long.
They require a bath around four times a year, and be sure to brush their teeth once a week.
- High energy dogs
- require at least an hour walk daily, ideally split up into two daily walks
- healthy dogs are able to exercise as much as they want
- this heavier breed is susceptible to joint problems, in which case you want to limit their exercise to the daily minimum
- too much exercise before fifteen months old can cause elbow dysplasia or cartilage problems because the growth plates haven’t closed.
- Other exercise ideas include fetch, agility training, and heal work providing your dog is old enough to safely participate in these activities
- Can develop joint problems, including Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, and Panosteitis (an intermittent lameness).
- Circulatory issues called Aortic Stenosis and Von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD) (an internal bleeding disorder).
- Prone to Eye issues including Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and cataracts.
- Other issues including bloat (a gas distension of the stomach) and cancer.
- Start young, between six weeks and six months
- Establish dominance. This means consistent rules, not showing dominance over your dog.
- Socialize early so they are friendly not fearful.
- Use positive reinforcement. Give rewards to behaviors you want repeated.
- No negative reinforcement, it can cause them to become fearful discourage them from learning your commands.
- Be prompt to reward and correct behaviors.
- Start with simple commands, like sit and no.
- Practice patience. It takes time to teach a puppy, and the calmer you are the calmer they are.
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A Rottweiler is a loving, loyal dog that comes in three color combinations.
A stockly, heavy dog, this highly intelligent breed is a member of the working group.
They are used in search and rescue, and because they are considered a thinking dog they also make great companion animals.
They are probably best known as guard dogs.
Loyal, Fierce, and with a bite that packs 328 pounds of bite force, they are incredibly strong dogs.
This dog is not very adaptable, needing a fair amount of attention and they do not generally tolerate noisy environments well.
They are not good for cold climates with their short hair, and do moderately well in hot environments.
They need skilled training so they are not a good fit for new dog owners, or owners not well versed in dog training.
Other Dog Friendly
The Rottweiler can be friendly with other dogs when raised together in the same home and socialized early and often.
Generally they prefer to keep to themselves, especially once they reach maturity.
Careful training will ensure that they don’t become indiscriminately aggressive to other dogs.
For a short haired dog this breed sheds quite a bit. If you enjoy brushing your dog but don’t have time to do it daily, a Rottie may be for you.
They are moderate shedders, and excess hair should be removed about once a week through brushing.
A soft bristle brush is good for this.
During the spring and fall their seasonal undercoat will shed and require more frequent brushings to help the new coat come in faster, and keep extra hair off the furniture and your clothes.
Rottweilers are affectionate and loving, often following their owner from room to room around the house.
They also like to sit near you, and I’ve known a few that act like they’re lap dogs.
They are good with children and will be a valued member of your family if you are a patient owner that socializes them well and trains them appropriately.
Quality time with your pet is important, and one of the easiest ways to do this is to play with them and take them on walks.
Rotts love to run and play, and spend all the time they can with their owner.
If your dog is healthy you can exercise them as much as you like, making sure they get around an twenty to thirty minutes of walking or running twice per day.
Do you enjoy spending time in dog parks or having people over to your home often?
If you do, a rottweiler would be a good addition to your family.
They are playful, but require extensive socialization to be a well adjusted member of the family.
They also require this from an early age, and need it continually through their life to keep their protective tendencies from becoming aggressive tendencies.
If you make the time daily to exercise and play with your Rott, they can adapt well to an apartment setting.
They are a working dog and boredom can create undesirable behaviors, such as digging, chewing, and barking.
Two walks a day and ample time to play will keep everyone happy.
Grooming a Rottie is more than the occasional bath and brushing.
It requires nail trimming, cleaning the eyes, ears and teeth.
These are more aggressive dogs so start when they are young so a brushing isn’t seen as a dominance issues.
Start slow, with treats and affection, and he will enjoy the time you spend caring for him as much as you do.
This breed is not overly friendly until they build trust with a person, but they shouldn’t be aggressive or fearful when around people.
The best way to ensure you have a dog that acts appropriately around strangers is to know the temperament of both parents and start training them as soon as possible.
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Rottweilers are great watchdogs, but they are first and foremost a thinking dog.
They assess a situation before they act.
This means they generally don’t bark unless there’s a reason, or if their needs aren’t being met.
Training and attention will ensure that your Rottie stays quiet.
Expect to spend some money on your pet if he gets ill, as this breed has some expensive health issues.
They can develop eye problems, joint issues, a rare bleeding disease and they are also prone to cancer.
Regular checkups and monitoring their food is essential to keeping your furry family member healthy.
When in a home or fenced yard, your Rottweiler’s instinct is to guard you.
This is one of the reasons they make such great guard dogs-their want to keep their family and home safe.
New people should be introduced before bringing them into the home to ensure your pet doesn’t feel you need protection.
Rottweilers are generally not cat friendly unless, again, they are trained well and introduced to them at an early age.
The biggest issue isn’t that your dog will harass your cat, it’s that as puppies they grow quickly and are awkward with their bodies.
Make sure their playtime is supervised so no one gets hurt.
These dogs are incredibly smart, ranking in the top ten list of smartest dogs!
This is one of the reasons that they take so well to their training.
Play with them often and make sure they exercise their mind will keep behavior problems to a minimum and keep them happy.
A high intelligence,desire to work, and a drive to please their owners makes a Rottweiler a highly trainable dog.
They tend to stay close to their owners and not wander, which is a good trait for a dog that you are training.
Positive reinforcement, patience, and lots of praise will have your Rottie listening to commands in no time.
Rottweilers are great with children and fiercely loyal protectors; however, the same reason that you supervise them with other pets is the same reason you should supervise them with young children.
They grow quickly and are awkward adolescents that can knock over small children by accident.
They are also a working dog used for herding, and may herd, or lean on, children and the elderly while “doing their job”.
These dogs love to play! It exercises their minds and bodies, and gives you a chance to teach them commands they will enjoy obeying.
Sturdy dog toys that will stand up to their incredible bite force is important.
Some great games to play are hide and seek, find the treat, and go wild and freeze.
Rottweilers make excellent watch dogs.
Their intelligence, ease of training ability, and innate drive to work make this a perfect job for these strong and fiercely loyal dogs.
To make a good guard dog they need good training and owners that understand what these wonderful breeds need to be happy.
Rottweilers can coexist in the home with other pets, but there are things you must do.
It’s best to introduce and raise your Rott with other pets early on as a puppy.
Supervise their interactions to keep everyone safe from accidents, Rotts often don’t understand their size until fully grown.
Finally, train your pet from an early age and socialize them throughout their lives so if you introduce a new pet later on in life, everyone will be happy and safe.
Nutrition and Feeding
Rottweilers love food!
Many of these beloved pets become obese because their owners are not feeding them properly, or because they are fooled into thinking their dogs are hungry.
(They are pretty smart, after all!) It’s important to stick to the recommended guidelines for feeding to make sure your furry friend doesn’t become overweight or develop health issues.
If you leave food out all the time they will eat more than they should and become overweight.
Start out feeding large breed puppy food four times a day. Each days meal should weigh in and two to three percent of expected adult body weight.
They may eat a lit today, and not so much tomorrow, but as long as it’s not constantly like this it will be fine.
Once they start leaving food in their bowl each meal cut down to three meals a day.
Also, picking up the bowl after fifteen minutes helps to establish meal times.
The switch from large breed puppy food to large breed adult food should happen now.
The amount your Rottie will eat varies based on your dog’s metabolism, size, build, age, and activity level.
You can feed them one or two times a day, depending on what works best for them, but the total amount of food for a healthy dog should still be two to three percent of ideal body weight based on the sex of your dog .
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Famous Rottweilers all over the world
#1 Buddy 1928
Owned by Morris Frank from New Jersey. Buddy is considered to be the first American Seeing Eye Dog.
Trained by Dorothy Eustis in Switzerland, he was introduced to Morris in April of 1927, where they began training.
Eventually moving to New York with his owner, they won over journalists when he helped Morris cross a busy street.
#2 Lord Von Der Teck
Original bloodline of the International Rottweiler club. Born in 1914, this Rottweilers bloodline dates back to 1906, and has at least five more generations of pedigree.
Geronimo is a beautiful black and tan Rottweiler adopted by Bruno Mars in April of 2012.
Bruno Mars, a famous musician, saved this beautiful dog and made him his own, letting the world know in a tweet on April eighteenth.
Baby is a wonderful Rottweiler adopted by Leonardo DiCaprio, famous actor and producer. DiCaprio is also an animal and environmental activist.
He supports the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and The World Wildlife Fund.
#5 Indo and Zhaki
Will Smith, named William Carroll Smith II, is a rapper and actor famous for the show named “The Fresh Prince”, and movies such as I, Robot, and “I Am Legend”.
He, along with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, owns four Rottweilers including these two.
Frankie is a Rottweiler owned by Debra Mitkis.
While this dog doesn’t have international fame, he is well known locally in Nashua.
Debra has a son, and is the guardian of another boy, four year old Cody Taylor.
Frankie came to his rescue when he was viciously attacked by a Pitbull, saving the boy from horrible injuries, and possibly saving his life.
Blade is owned by Ricky Veludo in Johannesburg, South Africa.
A local toddler old was being attacked by a pitbull, and Blade heard.
He fought off the pitbull, potentially saving the child. Ricky said that Blade is very protective.
The child was rushed to the hospital and was in stable condition when the article was written.
An adopted Rottweiler in Gravesend, UK named Rocky heard his owners Kasha Weston and Aryan struggling with four attackers in the middle of the night.
Kasha, five months pregnant, was being held with a knife to her throat. Rocky courageously jumped in the room, bared his teeth, and ran after them.
Aryan was able to hold on to one of the attackers, thanks to Rocky growling at the man and watching him until the police arrived.
This two year old Rottie, owned by Liz Maxted-Bluck, has been praised by a Judge as a hero for his actions.
While on a walk with his owner, Jake heard a woman screaming from nearby bushes.
Taking off, he chased the illegal immigrant away before returning to stand guard over woman that was nearly sexually assaulted.
He circled the woman and his owner until the Police arrived.
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What To Do Now That You Are Ready To Own A Rottweiler
So you’ve read all the information and decided that you are ready to open your home to a member of this incredible breed.
You have the knowledge needed to keep them happy and healthy, and are willing to give them all the training, love, and exercise they require.
First decide if you want a purebred dog, pet quality or show quality, or possibly even a mixed breed.
Then decide if you want to rescue a dog or buy from a breeder.
How Much Does a Rottweiler Cost?
- Purebred show quality dogs will have papers and come from AKC registered breeders.
- The offspring of a registered show dog will be labeled Pet Quality and while cheaper than a show dog, they will still be pricey because of the testing they recieve.
- The average price of a registered purebred Rottweiler is $1500.00
- A Rottweiler from a puppy mill will cost around $850.00 on average.
Mastiff, AKC Working
While the Rottweiler is not a mastiff, it is believed to have descended from the Italian Mastiff that the Romans brought when they invaded Europe.
They do share characteristics, both being members of the Working Group.
Members of the Working Group are intelligent, strong, watchful, alert, and eager to assist their masters .
National Breed Clubs
- United States Rottweiler Club
- Medallion Rottweiler Club
- Dogwood Rottweiler Club of Metropolitan Atlanta Georgia
- Greater Rochester Rottweiler Club
- American Rottweiler Club
- Colonial Rottweiler Club
- Southern States Rescued Rottweilers
- Rottweiler Rescue Foundation
- Happy Tails Rescue
- Big Sky Rottweiler Rescue
- Mountain Rottie Rescue of New York
- NoVa Rottweiler Rescue League, Inc
- Ohio Rottweiler Rescue
- Gulfstream Guardian Angels Rottweiler Rescue
What Do You Like Most About Rottweilers?
I absolutely love Rottweilers, and have given all the information I could to help you understand they are a gentle, loving breed.
Isn’t there anything that you’ve learned today that you didn’t know before?
Is there something you plan on keeping in mind as you go out to adopt the new addition to your family?
Let me know in the comments section!
I can’t wait to hear from you!
Be sure to share this article to let everyone else know why Rottweilers would be a great addition to their family.