Rottweilers are a distinguished breed that has become well known for their guarding and companionship potential. With their fierce loyalty and their love of serving their families, they have become a beloved breed in the working dog and family dog world.
In this article, we’ll discuss the specific qualities of the Rottweiler, and ways you can accommodate them in your life.
Rottweilers originated in Germany where they were used to drive cattle and pull carts for butchers and farmers. Their broad chest and muscular bodies made them ideal for labor, and their loyalty to their work makes them dedicated to getting the job done.
There are even stories of how Rottweilers would help butchers haul carts of their meat around town, then carry back the money that was made from the beef in bags they wore around their necks. Since the Rottweiler appears threatening, they were able to protect the money and deter thieves.
The Rottweiler also has a long history in military and police work due to their mellow disposition and natural ability to work and protect. The Rottweiler has always excelled in service work and is still prevalent in all kinds of service work to this day.
Rottweiler Physical Appearance
The Rottweiler generally weighs anywhere from 85 to 130 pounds and can stand up to 27 inches in height. With females typically being smaller than males, Rottweilers can range greatly in terms of size.
Rottweilers have a double coat that is typically short and quite coarse. Their outer coat is medium in length and is typically shorter around the head, ears, and legs.
The Rottweiler has a plush undercoat for protection against the elements and will vary in thickness depending on the environment in which they live.
One quality that is set in stone with the Rottie is their coat color. They always have a black coat with markings that are tan to rust in color. The markings appear over the eyes, on the cheeks, on each side of the muzzle, on the chest and legs, and beneath the tail.
Their markings appear over the cheeks, eyes, each side of their muzzle, on the legs, on their chest, and around or beneath their tail.
The Rottweiler is calm, confident, smart, courageous, and extremely sure of themselves in many situations. They are not highly excitable, and often prefer to sit back and examine the room or sniff someone out before they actually involve themselves in a situation.
Though they are hesitant to interact when they first meet someone, they form extremely close bonds with their humans. They will often follow their people around the house and sit by them at all moments of the day.
Because of the bonds they form with their families, they are often quite protective. This is an endearing trait, but it can be dangerous when the Rottweiler is not properly socialized.
Though they generally have a calm and collected temperament, their overall personality will also have a lot to do with their heredity and socialization habits.
A well-socialized Rottweiler from a reputable bloodline will often be well mannered and laid back, while an unsocialized Rottweiler with a questionable breeding history may be more skittish and on edge.
Rottweiler And Potential For Aggression
Just like with any other protective breed, the Rottweiler does have the potential to be dangerous if they are not properly socialized. Protective qualities are considered one of their best qualities, but their protective instincts can easily get out of control if they are not in an environment that best suits them.
Rottweilers will need plenty of daily interaction with humans and animals if you plan to have other pets.
If a Rottie is left in the backyard to live as an outside dog with little interaction with others, they can become fearful and possibly aggressive with any human or animal interaction they have. They become extremely protective over their home, so without proper interaction with others, they may see everyone as a threat.
Socialization from the point that a Rottweiler enters your home is a must, as the lack of socialization can result in unfavorable behavior.
By exposing them to other people, animals, places, sights, and sounds, you can help them feel confident in an array of situations. A confident and socialized Rottweiler is less likely to be aggressive and can be a wonderful addition to your family.
Proper socialization can also show them what a positive interaction looks like, so if you are ever in a dangerous situation or a stranger enters your home, they can better understand that this is a hostile interaction that warrants an aggressive response.
Overall Health Of The Rottweiler
While Rottweilers can lead a generally healthy life of 8-11 years, they are prone to a few medical conditions that you should be aware of. These conditions include:
1. Hip & Elbow Dysplasia
Hip and elbow dysplasia is the abnormal arrangement of the hip or elbow joint that can lead to grinding of the joints. Since these conditions are often hereditary, these conditions can begin at any point during their life and can result in troubling symptoms.
Dogs with hip or elbow dysplasia experience pain, limping, lameness, difficulty getting up and down, slowing down, crying out, and other evidence of chronic pain.
Since these conditions are hereditary, it’s important to get a clean medical history and x-ray report of both parents of the Rottweiler you are looking to adopt if the parents are known.
Osteosarcoma is an aggressive bone cancer that is common in Rottweilers.
Osteosarcoma will essentially eat away at the bone that is affected leading to pain, lameness, swelling, and possible fractures of the bone.
When treated with amputation or chemotherapy, there is a decent prognosis when caught early. They can often live for 1-3 years after initial diagnosis when treated effectively.
3. Gastric Bloat
Bloat (GDV) is a life-threatening condition that affects deep-chested large breed dogs. During gastric bloat the stomach will flip on itself, trapping the stomach contents and cutting off blood circulation.
Symptoms of bloat include wretching with no vomit produced, distended abdomen, weakness, and even collapse. When not treated immediately, this condition will be fatal.
Rottweilers are among the breeds of dogs that are prone to allergies. Allergies in dogs can be from their food, an allergen in the environment, or a contact allergy.
5. Panosteitis (Pano)
Pano, or often referred to as growing pains, is common in Rottweiler puppies between 4-8 months of age. Puppies will often start limping with no known injury in their past. This condition is often treated with cage rest alone.
Training Your Rottweiler
Training your Rottweiler should be a fairly easy process, as they are generally smart and eager to please. Though they can have a bit of a stubborn attitude, they do well with an experienced and firm trainer at their side.
Since their attitude can be more of a challenge, the Rottweiler is not recommended for first-time dog owners.
Rottweilers do learn well with a firm trainer, but they still work best with positive reinforcement style training. Being firm should simply mean that you are confident in your stance, and work hard to set a well-inforced routine for your Rottweiler.
Rottweilers love mental stimulation, so they should be eager to please and excited to learn something new!
Exercise And Your Rottweiler
The Rottweiler is known tor range in energy levels from dog to dog. While some Rottweilers are a constant ball of energy, some enjoy a lazy day on the couch with their human.
No matter their energy level, each Rottweiler will appreciate 15-20 minutes of daily exercise. If it seems like you ended up with one of the wild Rottweilers, then, of course, increase their daily exercise time.
Important Tips For Owning A Rottweiler
Before you bring a Rottweiler into your life, there are a few tips that you should review! Helpful tips to owning a Rottweiler include:
- Socialization is EXTREMELY important to prevent aggression, as they are known to be very protective of their family and their home.
- Since Rottweilers bond heavily with their owners, they won’t do well in a home where they are left alone for long hours.
- Rottweilers are extremely intelligent, so they crave mental stimulation. They love to learn new things!
- Make sure to get a health certificate that ensures their parents are free of hip or elbow dysplasia if possible since this condition is hereditary.
- Even if you do not have other dogs in your home, it’s best to expose your Rottie to other animals as often as possible, since they are known to be aggressive with other animals if they are not properly socialized.
Owning A Rottweiler – Conclusion
The Rottweiler is a beloved breed that has a long history of protecting and loving their owners.
With proper socialization from an experienced dog owner, a Rottweiler can make an incredible addition to your life.