The Rottweiler is a robust, powerful muscular breed like the Dobermans and Boxers, varying in size from medium to large. Originating in Germany, these dogs were referred to as Rottweiler Metzgerhund in German, translating to Rottweil butcher’s dog. The name perfectly justifies the job they were employed to do – pull butchered meat-laden carts. They were even efficient herding dogs, used to tend livestock. Their function at present doesn’t just remain confined to herding as the Rotties also serve as rescue, search, police, and guard dogs.
The Rottweiler ranks pretty high when assessing the World’s dangerous dogs, perhaps at number 2, just after the pitbull. It is essential to mention that aggression is mostly reserved for outside, upon encountering a stranger. However, when in the comforts of their home, the Rottweiler displays a change of their demeanor. They appear devoted, loyal, obedient, playful, and even silly in the company of their loved ones.
|Other Names||Rott, Rottie|
|Coat||Outer coat – Medium length, straight, coarse, dense, and flat Undercoat – Present on their thighs , and neck|
|Color||Black & tan; black & mahogany; black & rust|
|Height||Male-24-27 inches Female– 22-25 inches|
|Weight||Male – 95-135 pounds Female – 80-100 pounds|
|Litter Size||6-12 puppies|
|Personality||Courageous, alert; confident; loyal; fearless|
|Good with Children||Yes; mostly the older ones|
|Barking Tendency||Low; not a vocal breed|
|Climate Compatibility||Good; can do well in colder climates than most other breeds and can also live outdoor even when it is freezing|
|Do they shed||Moderately|
|Are they Hypoallergenic||No|
|How much do they cost||$800-$4000; American puppies cost around $1450, while those with a German bloodline come for about $2700 at the minimum|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/ Information||VDH, FCI, UKC, AKC|
What does a Rottweiler look like?
They appear agile, athletic, and strong, generating a fierce appearance.
Head: Medium length, broad in between the ears
Eyes: Medium-sized, almond-shaped, deep-set, dark brown, with a noble and alert expression
Ears: Triangular-shaped, set well apart, lying close to their head, hanging forward; the ears aren’t cropped, though, as this is against the breed standards
Neck: Well-muscled, slightly arched of moderate length
Tail: Short, shortly docked, lying close to its body
History and Origin
Rottweiler is one of the oldest breeds originating as early as the times of the Roman Empire. As the Roman legions traveled worldwide and set out to conquest, they carried their herds along as an essential food source. They needed durable, alert guarding dogs to manage and control the herd. The Asian mastiff-type breeds used in this regard became the ancestors of the present-day Rottweiler. As the Romans reached Rottweil, a town in southwest Germany, their big dogs encountered the native breeds, and a natural crossing followed. The dogs brought by the Romans eventually went on to become the foundation stock of not just the Rottweiler but several other German breeds too. The Rottweilers carried on the lineage of their ancestors. Besides their herding abilities, they even became efficient butcher dogs, bringing cartfuls of butchered meat to the market.
Their role as herders ended after railroad cattle cars developed. However, they found new jobs as police, service, and guard dogs, particularly after the First and Second World wars that saw them in multiple roles. The Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub, Germany’s first Rottweiler club formed in 1914. The AKC recognized it in 1931, while the Rottweiler got the United Kennel Club’s recognition in 1950. It has always been on the list of popular breeds, ranking 8th as per the American Kennel Club’s Most Popular Dogs.
Types of Rottweilers
They belong to three distinct categories- German Rottweiler, American Rottweiler, and Roman Rottweiler.
German: Rotties born in Germany are the German Rottweilers. They are bigger than the American Rottweilers with a broader body, squarer head, and more muscular chest. They even lack the docked tails, unlike the ones displayed by the AKC-registered breeds.
American: They have attained the American Kennel Club’s recognition and are medium-sized to their German counterparts.
Roman: Also called the Giant Rottweiler, they aren’t primarily purebred and are a Rottweiler-Mastiff cross.
Temperament and Personality
According to the American Kennel Club and Federation Cynologique Internationale, the Rottweilers are obedient, good-natured, devoted, calm, confident, eager to work, and courageous. When in the confines of their home, they barely display any aggression or untoward behavior unless provoked. However, Rotties exhibit complete aloofness with strangers or those unknown to them. They don’t show any inclination to greet them with warmth and affection. They would only break their shell with the unfamiliar person upon getting introduced to the latter, perhaps by their master. The Rotts are highly protective of their family, going to any extent to safeguard them. They are high on separation anxiety and need the constant company of their kith and kin.
Interaction with kids – They would do well with kids of the family, especially if brought up with them. Older children above eight years of age are better suited for the Rottweiler. If you have toddlers at home, supervise their interaction with these big dogs, as the latter could knock them down during play. They were efficient herders in the past, and the Rotts haven’t forgotten this. No wonder they could indulge in nipping or pushing at times.
With other dogs –With dogs and cats in the family, they are fine. Still, the Rotties wouldn’t be so cooperative when interacting with canines outside their household. Teaching them good behavior since their puppy days through proper socialization may help resolve the problem to a certain extent.
Their humorous side – They might not be the typical lap dog like a Frenchie or Pug, yet the Rotts have a silly side to their personality. Because of their intense sense of humor, they make their owners break into peals of laughter.
Their growls and barks –They aren’t vocal and bark only when the need arises. However, they instinctively growl upon sensing danger. Growling is even a way for them to communicate and express their happiness, pain, or even fear.
As leaners – Like the Mastiffs and Great Dane, the Rotties tend to lean against people, preferably their family. They perhaps picked up this trait due to their herding job when they moved the cows in the proper direction using their bodies.
Their aggressive and dangerous side – Their aggression is much spoken of, but the Rotties do so with a cause. There has to be a trigger that leads to these negative outbursts. According to a 2008 survey by certain breed club members, the aggressiveness of Rotts is the maximum towards strangers than their owners and other dogs.
These muscular, athletic dogs enjoy trotting, walking, and swimming. Give them their daily dose of exercise or at least 2 hrs a day, as a bored Rottie often gets destructive and aggressive. You could take them out for daily walks once or twice a day or consider making them your jogging partner. You could even encourage him to take a plunge in the water if there is a swimming pool at your home. They are a pro in carting and would excel in this dog sport. Other canine events such as obedience, tracking, and herding would also suit them.
The Rotties have a flat, coarse, straight, and dense outer coat. Their undercoat remains present on their thighs and necks, the proportion varying with the climatic conditions. They shed moderately throughout but extensively during the shedding season, mainly in spring and fall. Hence, grooming the Rottweiler isn’t too difficult a task. During the nonshedding season, brush them at least two to three times a week with a brush having firm bristles. However, during the shedding season, brush their coats every day to help remove the dead hairs.
Besides the coat, also take care of their nails once every two weeks. A nail Dremel that helps grind down the dog’s nails would be effective. Take care of their dental hygiene, and brush the Rottweiler’s teeth twice or thrice a week.
The Rottweilers are known as healthy breeds with minimal problems. Yet like most other large dogs, most Rotts could suffer from hip dysplasia. Many are prone to suffering from osteosarcoma, a cancerous bone tumor, also being the cause of death in most Rotts. Being a large dog, the Rottweiler is easily susceptible to obesity, especially if fed more or not exercised well. An obese Rottie could be at risk of many health problems like arthritis, heart ailments, and skin disease.
High-quality dog food for the Rottweiler is a must to help it remain active and energetic. An active Rottie requires a daily calorie intake of approximately 2,100, of which 22-26% should comprise protein. Whole proteins such as herring, lamb, and turkey would suffice for their increased protein intake. Whole proteins such as herring, lamb, and turkey would suffice for their increased protein intake. Choose brands like Royal Canin and Blue Buffalo when buying commercial dog foods.
Rottweilers are intelligent dogs, ranking 9th in the list of Most Intelligent Dogs as per canine psychologist Stanley Coren’s analysis. Rotties are easy to train when it comes to training, despite their stubbornness streaks. However, everything depends on how you carry out the session. It would help if you were firm, tactful, but not harsh. Introduce new techniques from time to time as doing the same thing repeatedly could make them slow.
Socialization: The initial 7 or 8 weeks is one of the essential phases in the Rottie’s life when it needs adequate training. If it is still with the breeder, the latter must spend ample time with the dog. He should even be introduced to different kind of visitors during that time, particularly boisterous kids. Simultaneously socializing with the mates in the litter is also vital then. This training in the early phase of their life is extremely crucial in shaping their behavior in the years to come. A well-trained Rottie is likely to be less aggressive. After the Rotties have come out of the breeder’s homes and gotten their families, the socialization training should continue. Take them to your friend’s place, have people come over, or even tag your dogs along to stores that permit pets. This would eventually acquaint them with new sounds, smells, and sights, being instrumental in their overall development. Yes, do supervise them constantly during their interaction with new people.
Obedience: Start with the basic commands like ‘Sit,’ ‘Stay,’ “Off,’ ‘No,’ and ‘Down’ when they are aged between five and nine weeks. Learning these commands at the earliest would help the Rottie get disciplined as they grow. For instance, if you are sitting on the bed, and it tries jumping on you, say “Off” in a loud and clear voice. If it gets down, then applaud it, and give it a treat. If it resorts to the same thing again, say “Off,” and reward it if it listens to you. Doing this again would help it eventually understand the significance of the “Off” command. It would come to use when it tries jumping upon a stranger at your door; immediately say off. If it has taken the training well, it will detach itself from the stranger immediately upon hearing your instructions.
- The Rottweilers are deemed aggressive. They have been portrayed that way in several films and TV series, negatively presenting the breed. The 1976-horror movie The Omen is one such example. Contrastingly, movies like Half Baked and Lethal Weapon have depicted them in a positive light.
- In the first series of the children’s picture book, Good Dog Carl, Carl is a Rottie who helped a girl named Madeline.
- Jake a 2-year-old Rottie was recognized by the RSPCA for a deed of braverywhen he averted a severe sexual assault by displaying wit and presence of mind.
Not common, though, but the miniature Rottweiler does exist, just a downsized version of the standard breed. Miniature Rotties could either be an outcome of dwarfism or crossing the standard Rottweillers with smaller breeds.
They have a sharp, powerful jaw and long, sharp teeth, with a bite force of about 328 psi. Their bite appears so strong that it might cause severe injuries that can even get fatal.
According to the AKC standards, the Rottweiler must have a docked tail, without which they wouldn’t be allowed in the show ring. However, the non-show dogs needn’t get their tails docked and have it long with a slight curl.
Yes, they do, but they are rare and might result from the recessive gene.
The Rottweilers are deemed dangerous and banned in certain countries like Bermuda Islands and Ecuador. Places like Singapore, Romania, Ireland, and Portugal have restrictions on the Rottweiler’s ownership. Yet, a properly trained Rottie would be much less on the aggression scale. It is pretty high in the ranking in the top 10 list when it comes to popularity, which means that it is a preferred pet choice.
Both the Rottweiler and Doberman are aggressive, intelligent, and fierce protectors. There are umpteen physical and temperamental differences that distinguish the two. The Doberman appears athletic and more slender than the Rottie, which seems bulkier and heavier. Both are loyal and hardworking breeds, yet the Dobermans rank a little higher in loyalty than the Rotties. Pitbulls are more dangerous than the Rotties, though the latter excels more as a loyal, protective breed. However, Pitbulls are more easygoing as a companion dogs than working breeds.
They attain their ultimate height by one and their maximum weight when they turn two.