Known as Rottweiler Metzgerhund in German, the Rottweiler is a medium-large sized dog breed that falls under the group of domestic canines. This breed was initially bred to herd & guard livestock and pull heavy carts loaded with meat.
However, nowadays, this dog is a big hit as a family pet due to its super-loving and loyal nature. This canine is also known as a people dog since it values spending time with its family. At the same time, it makes a strong candidate for the guard dog as it can stand firmly against every danger, just for the security of its owner.
At first glance, this dog might seems wild and imposing, due to which many people assume Rottweiler dogs to be extremely violent and dangerous for the human community. However, all the negative assumptions and impressions, directed at this dog breed, are nothing more than gibberish and myths.
Contrary to common misconceptions, Rottweilers are not aggressive, stubborn, or untrustworthy around children. Instead, expert says that this dog can be incredibly reliable, gentle, friendly, and playful around people of all ages if trained properly.
Even a recent study has shown that a Rottweiler is far less aggressive than a chihuahua. Thus, to debunk other myths about this magnificent canine, below we’re going to pen down all the details about this dog breed.
Keep reading the article since it will help you make a more confident and well-thought-out decision regarding adopting a rottweiler puppy. Let’s begin!
About the Breed
The Rottweiler dog breed comprises super muscular and powerful working dogs, which are believed to be descendants of canines belonging to the great Roman legions. Due to their remarkable traits, these dogs also have the title of being the earliest military and police dogs.
When inside the house, these serious-looking canines could be the most adorable four-legged companion one could ever have. However, when outside, you’d witness a swift change in its personality traits as it will turn aloof and alert suddenly.
As mentioned before, this dog was originally developed to herd and guard livestock, the modern-day rottweiler dog also has the same protective nature and high guardian instincts. Note that Rottweilers are not like other dogs that only bark to alert their owner.
Instead, when seeing any stranger approaching its owner’s house, this dog will leap onto him, to keep him off its territory. However, it happens only when Rottweiler doesn’t like the stranger, or that stranger tries to misbehave with this canine master.
Otherwise, Rottweilers typically maintain a wait-and-see attitude and don’t initiate fights. Besides, they are high-energy dogs which means they also come with vigorous exercise and activity needs.
Even though Rottweiler dogs are smart, their high pent-up energies make them nearly impossible for a novice to train. So adopt this dog, especially an adult Rottweiler, only if you have experience training such hyperactive dogs.
In addition to this, while owning a Rottweiler, you shouldn’t only be prepared for handling such a strong-willed and burly canine but also to face negative impressions from people.
Dogs of this breed have caused safety hazards to many people, in the past few years, due to which, this breed is banned in several states.
So before you make any decision about adoption, ask yourself whether you are ready to take complete responsibility for this canine. Don’t forget that owning a Rottweiler is far different and difficult than owning other dogs from large dog breeds.
History of the Rottweiler Dog
Rottweilers are considered one of the most ancient and most surviving breeds. It is believed that this dog shares lineage with the Mastiff dog named Molossus. No one knows the exact origin date of this dog breed, but it is said that it dates back to Great Roman times.
When Romans conquered Germany and started living on this newly-conquered land, they took their livestock and drover dogs along with them for survival. However, soon the Romans found out about the richness and fertility of Germany’s soil, so they quit the idea of trading livestock and began taking interest in agriculture.
Those Roman drover dogs were bred with the local breeds, which resulted in the formation of several new breeds. A few centuries later, Romans founded a new city in Southern Germany and named it das Rote Wil, meaning the red tile.
This city turned into a flourishing market area, over a couple of decades and people from other cities began taking their cattle and meat there, to sell. To bring cattle to the town of Rottweil, Molossus dogs were used.
However, soon after that, traders began to utilize rail transport which in turn put a pause on the usefulness of these dogs. However, since these dogs were still the favorite of all the butchers, they continued the crossbreeding program, which resulted in the formation of guard dogs, watchdogs, and drought dogs.
Due to their decreased demands and frequent crossbreeding, the count of original Rottweiler dogs began to drop alarmingly, causing this breed to become nearly extinct. Thus to preserve the same breed, the very first Rottweiler dog club was formed in 1901 that laid down the Rottweiler breed standard.
Efforts made by these Rottweiler breeders finally paid off, and the count of Rottweiler dogs started to increase. In world war I, the world witnessed the exceptional qualities of this dog as a police dog, service dog, drought dog, and messenger.
Thus, after identifying their value, various other Rottweiler breed clubs were founded that worked to promote and enhance this dog breed.
The most prominent of those clubs was the Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub which was founded back in 1921. However, the very first Rottweiler was brought to America in 1920, whereas this dog registered in 1931 by the American kennel club.
This dog was brought to England in 1936 and by 1990, Rottweiler became the most registered breed by the national breed club.
However, as it became one of the most popular breeds in America, puppy mills and irresponsible breeders began producing more and more Rottweilers, without paying attention to health and quality aspects.
Rottweiler Dog Facts
- The average dog’s life is 8-11 years however some people have reported that their Rottweilers live for 13-15 years.
- The first-time mother may have only one to two rottweiler puppies in a single litter but after this, you can expect 6-12 puppies in a litter. Not only this but even bigger litters (with 18 pups) have also been reported.
- The total gestation period of a Rottweiler mother dog is 63 days.
- According to the breed standards, a rottweiler dog can give birth only to four litters in one lifetime.
- Based on their birthplace, Rottweilers can be divided into three main types; German Rottweiler. American Rottweiler, and Roman Rottweiler.
- When not trained properly or quite aggressive, a Rottweiler dog can bite. Don’t take this biting as some play bites or nipping since these dogs generally bite with an above-average force of 328 psi.
- Since Rottweiler dogs possess moderate tendencies to drool, they might smell filthy, if not groomed.
- Rottweiler dogs although feature decent noses, they aren’t as good sniffers as German shepherds.
- Rottweiler dogs are not very talkative but may communicate with other dogs and humans by barking and growling. However, Rottweilers express their love by staring at their owners or the wage of their tails.
- A Rottweiler named carl earned immense fame in a children’s series where the dog is shown babysitting a girl.
Rottweiler Dog Appearance
Rottweilers are strong, muscular dogs with broad heads, medium-sized, squared muzzles, and close-fitting lips. Besides, other distinctive features of these dogs are their long necks, slightly curved tails, and deep, roomy chests.
Bodies of Rottweilers are more elongated than tall but still, a fully-grown male Rottweiler may grow up to 27 inches tall. On the other hand, the female Rottweiler could be 22-24 inches tall.
Considering this size range, we can’t categorize Rottweilers in the group of large dogs but in that of medium-large breeds.
The weight of a Rottweiler depends on various factors, including its height, gender, exercise needs, and diet. However, a six-month-old, male Rottweiler may weigh between 64-71 lbs, whereas a female, of the same age, may weigh around 60-64 lbs.
Speaking of the healthy weight range, it’s 85-135 lbs for males and 80-100 lbs for females. If not provided enough exercise, these dogs may put on huge weight easily.
Rottweilers feature short, coarse, thick, but straight double-coat, which comprises a medium-length outer coat and a short, profuse undercoat. However, the thickness of their double coats is not consistent as the undercoat is found only in certain regions like the thighs and neck.
Mostly their coats consist of wavy and straight fur, but some Rottweilers also have somewhat curly fur on their backs.
According to the official AKC breed standards, a Rottweiler may have three different coat colors; black & tan, black & mahogany, and black & rust.
Besides the standard base color; black, a Rottweiler may have colored markings on certain parts of their bodies, such as on the legs, tail, eyebrows & cheeks, and throat.
Two other coat colors are also possible, including blue and red, but these are quite rare.
Rottweiler Dog Temperament and Personality
Since this breed was mainly developed for guarding jobs, these canines could be super protective of their owners. Thus, to suppress their aggressive personalities, you should socialize your Rottie, when he’s a playful pup, so he could develop enough tolerance for strangers.
Besides, Rottweiler’s temperament is also influenced by the breeding conditions and temperament of the pet parents. Therefore, before bringing a dog home, do some research about the breeding dogs and the environment where they have been raised.
Generally, the Rotties, that are bred in satisfying breeding environments possess a calm and confident attitude. But still, you shouldn’t expect him to grow friendlier towards strange dogs and humans instantly.
Remember that it’s not in their nature to put their aloofness aside suddenly to make new friends. Instead, they take some time to observe, evaluate, and mark the new person, either a friend or foe.
The good thing is that the Rottie, if properly socialized, doesn’t come with intense urges to attack people.
On the other hand, these dogs are real softies around their families and never get off their backs when inside the house. Unlike other dogs, Rottweilers are not prone to develop destructive behavior too early.
But still, they might develop separation anxiety if left alone for hours daily. To vent their extra energy, consider taking your Rottie to dog parks and making him participate in dog sports since it will impart him well-needed physical and mental stimulation.
There’s a myth that Rotties are not obedient enough but it’s a wrong idea. Since these dogs belong to the category of working dogs, they possess the instinct to obey their master commands.
However, if you want your Rottweiler to obey you, you would first have to prove yourself a leader to this self-assured dog. Experts also claim that the temperament of the male is quite different from that of a female Rottie since male Rottweilers love to stay dominant.
Rottweiler Dog Health and Care
Rottweilers are generally considered disease-free canines but still, like other dogs, they are also prone to develop and inherit some health problems, such as the following:
Hip dysplasia is a hereditary disease, but it might also attack a completely healthy pup when undergoing strenuous activities. In this condition, the hip joint and thighbone of the dog get detached, causing it to slip in and out of its original place.
Common symptoms of hip dysplasia are unusual gait, immobile or limited mobility of the rear limbs, and discomfort. If diagnosed at a young stage, this condition can be treated, without the need for surgery, with good diet and physiotherapy sessions.
The same sort of problem might attack your dog’s elbow (elbow dysplasia), affecting its hind limbs.
Aortic/Sub Aortic Stenosis
In this life-threatening health condition, your dog’s heart functioning gets affected. Aorta, the main blood-supplying vessel, gets narrowed due to which, blood doesn’t reach the required areas on time.
Resultantly, your dog has seizures, faints, and sometimes, may even die. This condition is also transmitted by the parent dogs but is curable in the early stages.
It’s one of the strangest health conditions we’ve ever seen in a dog. In this, some weird pains begin arising in your dog’s body out of the blue. When the condition worsens, the dog stops moving at all, out of fear of feeling terrible pain. The sadder part here is that this condition usually attacks Rottweiler puppies.
Besides, Rotties are also prone to food and contact allergies so it’s better to take your pup for a detailed checkup, to know about elements to which it’s sensitive.
Fortunately, Rottweilers come with short, low-maintenance coats which don’t require too much grooming.
Since Rotties don’t shed too much, brushing their coats once or twice a week will be sufficient to keep them looking neat and shiny. However, you will need to pay extra attention to coat care during shedding seasons.
During autumn and spring, brush the coat almost daily to remove dead hair and debris. To ensure utmost oral health, brush your dog’s teeth regularly. Trim his nail and discuss your dog’s food routine with your vet.
And as these dogs smell and drool, it becomes essential to bathe them at least once a month. Just make sure the water is neither too warm nor too cool for your Rottie.
Rottweiler Dog Training
To make Rottweilers good family companions, the very first thing you should do is start your dog’s obedience training. Choose simple and basic commands to start with and make sure everyone in the house is using the same commands to communicate with your Rottie.
Remember that Rottweilers are intelligent enough to understand your desires even by sensing a change in your voice tone. Therefore, it’s not important to employ harsh training methods. Instead, it’s better to start with reward-based consistent training and change your voice quality accordingly to encourage or discourage behaviors.
According to our expert dog trainers, parent training is the most effective training method with which you can turn even the most stubborn Rottie into an ideal rottweiler. Plus, you shouldn’t wait for your pup to get mature since they would be ready for basic obedience and agility training at the age of seven weeks.
Based on the quality and type of Rottweiler pup, it might cost you anywhere between $1500-$4000. However, before locking the deal, make sure you are dealing with a reputable breeder.
On the other hand, you can get a Rottie from the rescue group too so it’s better to check for availability and prefer adoption over purchasing.