Other names: German mountain dog, Rottweiler Metzgerhund, Rott, Rottie
The Rottweiler is a rustic dog with a robustness proportional to his size. He is strong, powerful, and courageous. He is also a protector, particularly loyal to his social group, and suspicious of strangers. Once they have him in their confidence, however, he is an adorable, friendly and affectionate dog, especially among children. Unfortunately, he is the victim of a bad reputation that describes him as naughty and dangerous. This is a 2nd category dog breed, thus he is subjected to strict regulations. His education needs to be initiated at an early age and it needs to be coherent and structured.
Key facts about the Rottweiler
Life expectancy :
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Origins and history
His ancient origin is common to that of all the molossoid-types which have, as their ancestor, the Tibetan Mastiff. Dogs of the molossoid type were present in Germany under different names that varied according to the region. His name comes from the town of Rottweil, where the former “butchers' dog” was common. He helped, accompanied, and protected butchers and their animals. At the beginning of the 20th century, the use of a Rottweiler to drive and watch animals was prohibited. However, he is extremely versatile and is employed to stand guard, defend his master, and perform other activities such as dog-sledding. During the First World War, he was used by law enforcement for his many skills, and he became very popular internationally.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 2 - Pinscher and Schnauzer - Molossoid and Swiss Mountain and Cattledogs
Section 2 : Molossian type
Physical characteristics of the Rottweiler
Female : Between 22 and 25 in
Male : Between 24 and 27 in
Female : Between 93 and 110 lb
Male : Between 99 and 119 lb
The coat is black with some patches of tan (brown-red) on the cheeks, snout, eyes, chest, limbs, and at the base of the tail.
Type of coat
The fur is mid-length but shorter in some areas.
The outer coat is tight, hard to the touch, compact, and smooth. The undercoat is soft and should not be exposed.
The eyes are dark brown.
This dog breed is robust, of medium to large size, and has a massive, muscular body that is capable of incredible strength, flexibility, and endurance. The jaw is very strong and powerful, so owners need to stay vigilant.
Good to know
This breed is regulated, in some places, by law. Owners who want to adopt a dog like this must respect several things:
- Get a holding permit with a qualified canine educator
- Register the dog
- Get him a rabies vaccination
- Take out liability insurance
- Perform a behavioural evaluation of the dog with a veterinarian when he is between 8 to 12 months of age
- Don’t leave him alone with children, or allow minors to walk him alone
- Keep abreast of local dog-related bylaws
- Keep the dog on a lead and wearing a muzzle
It is not uncommon to see the term "Royal Rottweiler". However, no difference is officially recognised between the different sizes; therefore, the Royal Rottweiler does not exist. This term is often used by unscrupulous breeders to add value to their dogs.
It is the same for the white Rottweiler which is often considered rare. Otherwise known as the Snow Rott, you should know that Rottweilers with a white mark on their chest are certainly rare, but it is a defect that invalidates the official standard. The same goes for Rottweilers who have long fur coat.
Therefore, you must be careful when adopting a Rottweiler. You need to avoid falling into the “rare dog trap”. All dogs of this breed are pretty much the same. There is just one official category of Rotts, so nothing justifies an increase in the selling price.
The Rottweiler is a common parent in mixed-breeds. Discover 10 of the most popular Rottweiler crossbreeds.
The Rottie is an adorable, friendly, and loyal dog. He is very balanced and overflows with affection; he does not deserve his reputation as a dangerous dog.
This dog enjoys playing games, especially if they have an educational interest that allows him to stimulate his intellect.
This dog is quiet and very balanced, but public opinion considers bad, dangerous, unpredictable and out of control. He will not be so if he receives a firm and consistent education.
At home, he is calm but always on alert for strange noises.
This dog breed is often used for its physical and mental abilities. The Rottweiler is a smart dog that will quickly understand what is expected of him.
He enjoys learning and working alongside his owner as long as his demands are fair, consistent, and sensible.
This dog is an excellent tracker. He is often used as a search dog, a job at which he excels. However, his predatory instinct is not very developed and it can be easily controlled.
Fearful / wary of strangers
The Rottie is highly protective and will naturally be wary of strangers, so he will need time to analyse the possible danger in any situation. Once he is reassured by his analysis, you will discover the sweet, affectionate, and friendly character of this dog.
But beware, if he senses a threat, he will not hesitate to attack in order to protect his social group.
The Rottweiler’s character can sometimes seem paradoxical. Indeed, he knows how to be affectionate, loyal, even clingy with his masters, but he will take initiatives and act with determination and courage if he feels that it is necessary.
In fact, he may come across as independent while remaining very attached to his social group.
Behaviour of the Rottweiler
This dog is not a great loner. He needs to be surrounded by his social group but he does not usually show signs of excessive clinginess.
He will always prefer to be in the presence of his owners and will not tolerate isolation or confinement.
However, if he is taught to tolerate the absence of his masters, he will be able to cope with longer, but not excessive, periods of loneliness.
Easy to train / obedience
The Rott has a rather strong character and it is not easy to educate him despite his intelligence and docility. Early education is needed and educational methods must be consistent and firm without the use of violence.
This dog is not to be entrusted to people outside his social group because he could quickly get out of control if he hasn’t been properly educated.
Moreover, this breed requires safe and substantial teaching to discourage the further spread of that bad reputation of which he is a victim.
Try to teach him to wear a muzzle and walk on a lead without pulling. This way you guarantee that walks are safe, respectful of the law, and serene for both the dog and his owner.
Moreover, a rich lesson in socialisation is needed so that the Rottweiler puppy can behave as required throughout adulthood.
It should be noted that the female Rottweiler is more docile than the male and accepts the authority of her master more easily. However, this will vary depending on her character, education, and relationship with her social group.
This dog doesn’t bark often. He uses his imposing physique more than his voice to intimidate intruders.
Tendency to run away
The Rottie is very attached to his social group and particularly loyal to its individuals, so is not a runaway dog. He prefers to stay with his family.
If his needs are not met and he is not properly stimulated, he can destroy anything in his reach to pass the time and channel excessive amounts of energy despite his generally calm and quiet nature.
Moreover, the strength of his jaw is considerable so he can quickly destroy a toy by biting it with the slightest expenditure of his awesome strength.
Greedy / Gluttony
The Rottweiler will never say no to a treat; treats are an excellent way to motivate him to work.
However, caution should be taken not to overfeed him in order to maintain his weight and physical form.
This dog is an excellent watchdog because guarding skills are in his blood - plus he can be very brave when called upon to guarantee the safety of his social group.
In addition, his musculature and impressive size make him a very deterrent dog with little need to attack when making a potential intruder back down. Nevertheless, he will not hesitate to do so if he considers it necessary.
The Rottweiler is not compatible with beginner dog owners. A poor knowledge of the breed and a lack of experience in dog training could make this dog very hard to deal with.
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Rottweiler in a flat
This breed of dog can adapt perfectly to city life if his daily energy expenditure needs are met.
One might think that his power and size are incompatible with city life, but he will not necessarily be happier in a large garden by himself.
This dog simply needs to be surrounded by his social group.
If he lives in an apartment, several daily excursions will be essential to maintain his physical and mental balance.
While the Rottweiler is not specifically picked out by the UK Dangerous Dogs Act, adherence to good sense and particularly to official advice is essential to avoid misunderstandings.
Need for exercise / Sporty
This dog is very calm at home, but when carrying out an activity he shows great energy and endurance.
Rotts need long walks every day, sports activities, and work sessions to stimulate them mentally.
Rottweilers enjoy playing sports related to traction, so his owner should be sufficiently dynamic and athletic in his pursuits to find athletic harmony with this dog (cani-cross, bikejoring, cani-scooter, etc.).
In addition, the Rottie loves swimming and water games in general. They allow him to burn off excess energy but also to maintain and strengthen his muscles.
However, you need to be careful! Strenuous exercise should not be pursued until their growth is complete (around 3 years of age).
They will appreciate all tracking-related activities due to their incredible skills and their mental and olfactory needs.
Travelling / easy to transport
It is not advisable to take a Rottie on public transport, more for the over-reaction of onlookers than his own likelihood to cause trouble. In some places, this breed is banned from public transport.
If you do choose to take the bus or train with your dog, he needs to be muzzled, kept on a lead, and handled by an adult. This can complicate certain trips.
In addition, the large size of some Rotts (up to 54 kg and nearly 70 cm at the shoulders), makes their transportation a delicate operation.
Rottweiler and cats
If the Rottweiler puppy grows up with a cat, they may get along well, and he may even grow fond of her.
On the other hand, his strength is considerable and his vigilance instinctive, so he may act awkwardly towards small animals like cats.
Rottweiler and dogs
This pooch, perceived wrongly by many as a bad dog, can have problems with socialization since his owners are simply afraid to let their dog play and interact with others.
Moreover, the wearing of a muzzle during walks can affect communication and the development and strengthening of bonds with other puppies and adult dogs.
These two aspects can create problems with the Rottie’s socialization, thus making interactions with other dogs complicated.
Nevertheless, nothing is impossible and Rottweiler owners should act with courage and intelligence when setting up positive and regular meetings with well-socialized dogs of a similar size to the Rottie’s.
However, it should be noted that males will find it more difficult to tolerate other dogs, particularly of the same gender.
Rottweiler and children
Since this dog is friendly, playful, and affectionate, he is particularly gentle with children, as long as they respect his tranquillity.
Of course, as with any dog, you should not leave children alone with him without supervision. Safety measures must be put in place to guarantee the safety of all, and to ensure a harmonious cohabitation.
Rottweiler and the elderly
Sedentary owners are absolutely not compatible with a Rottweiler dog. He needs to expend energy on a daily basis through outdoor excursions and regular sports activities.
Additionally, his great strength and size are not suitable for fragile people.
The price of a Rottweiler varies according to his origins, age and gender. They cost on average £920 when registered with the Kennel Club.
A monthly budget of £60 is necessary to offer this dog a quality diet and all the veterinary care that he needs.
This dog is very easy to maintain; a simple brush will maintain the beauty and shine of his coat.
Too many baths, however, could damage the coat.
Loss of hair is moderate but is more intense during moulting periods such as autumn and spring.
Nutrition of the Rottweiler
A rich diet is mandatory for this large dog so that he develops and maintains his strong bones and powerful musculature.
Whether his meal consists of dry (kibble) or raw foods, the quantities must be adapted to his body type, age, daily energy expenditure, and physical condition to avoid obesity.
The puppy's diet will define his adult health, and must be rich enough to support his rapid growth.
It is advisable to provide two meals a day to avoid him eating too much in one meal. Also, have him eat in a raised bowl to encourage better digestion.
Health of the Rottweiler
The Rottweiler lives for about 9 years.
Strong / robust
He is particularly robust, enduring and strong. He is rarely ill.
The Rottie is not good at tolerating heat and will need to remain cool, so he should avoid intense physical stimulation when temperatures are rising.
Provide fresh water and renew it regularly.
This big chap is very resistant to bad weather thanks to the tight fur and undercoat, which give him good protection against the cold.
Tendency to put on weight
This dog’s greed can sometimes play tricks on him, but a balanced diet and regular physical activity will allow him to keep his weight in check.
Frequently asked questions
Is the Rottweiler a good family dog?
The Rottweiler is an excellent family dog because it is loyal, protective and affectionate. This breed is particularly gentle with children but do keep in mind that, with any dog, you should never leave a child alone with your dog without supervision.
Is a Rottweiler a good first dog?
The Rottweiler isn't the best breed for first time owners. However, as long as you are willing to learn everything about the breed and training is consistent then the Rottweiler could potentially be a good first dog for you.
Are Rottweilers hard to train?
The Rottweiler is very intelligent and has a strong personality, therefore it can be a little bit challenging to train. Now, with that being said, early training and sociabilisation will help your dog in his training sessions. Make sure you are consistent, use positive reinforcement, keep him entertained and never use violence.
What is the price of a Rottweiler?
The price of a Rottweiler will vary according to the origins, gender and age of this breed. If a dog is registered with the Kennel Club, the price will be on average £920. If the dog isn't registered with the Kennel Club, it will cost on average £600 to buy a Rottweiler.
How long do Rottweilers live for?
The lifespan of a Rottweiler is between 8 to 10 years.