You might have known Rottweilers as vicious and hot-tempered. But let me tell you, this is far from the truth. Rottweilers are very loving and loyal to their families. With proper training, a Rottweiler is very calm and confident. They don’t just jump on strangers without evaluating them first.
They need consistent training, and with leadership that they can trust. Never use physical force as this can turn them aggressive. They are intelligent and strong dogs, and if the needs arise, they would jump in and become a top dog. Because of this, they will make excellent guard dogs as they can become very protective of their owners as well.
Rottweilers are not meant for everyone, but if they make an excellent fit for your needs, they surely make the best companions.
|Dog Breed Group||Working|
|Height||24-27 inches (male); 22-25 inches (female)|
|Weight||95-135 pounds (male), 80-100 pounds (female)|
|Friendly with family|
|Friendly with kids|
|Friendly with strangers|
|Friendly with other dogs|
It was believed that Rottweilers descended from Molossus, a Mastiff-type dog that Romans used for herding cattle. They were one of the oldest herding breeds and displayed extreme intelligence and herding instincts.
Around 73 A.D., Romans founded the town of Rottweil, right in the south of Germany. Germans then started breeding and populated these Mastiff-like dogs in the town. For centuries, the town became one of the essential cattle-herding regions, and it finally, people have recognized the capability of the breed to protect cattle. They deliver cattle for butchering and even assists butchers to pull meat-loaded carts.
Sadly, when industrialization came, trains slowly replaced the jobs of these dogs. There was no more need for them, and they almost became extinct. There was a significant decrease in the breed’s numbers that only one breeding female was found.
Afraid that their Mastiff-like dogs will be gone, the Germans bred this one female to similar Mastiff-like dogs. It was around the same time that they named the dog breed Rottweiler after the town Rottweil. Then, in 1901, the Rottweiler and Leonberger Club were founded.
From then, Rottweilers became part of the police force. In the 1920s, the first Rottweiler came to the US and, in 1930, produced its first litter.
When World War II was over, the popularity of Rottweilers increased for being obedient. However, some greedy breeders started breeding for cash and never gave the dogs the training they need. At this time, Rottweilers’ good reputation started going bad, followed by a decrease in demand.
Despite that incident, good breeders still wanted to turn the reputation of Rottweilers to normal. They started breeding dogs that have the right temperament that Rotties should be. And I guess it worked. Now, Rottweilers ranked 8th as the most popular dog breed in the US.
Rottweilers are more known for their bad reputation, which is aggressive, mean, and vicious. However, though this might be true to a few Rottweilers, most are generally loyal, loving, and confident guardians. They are one of the best dog companions to be around.
There is a fine line between the rottweilers’ aggressive and calm nature. And usually, this would depend on how you breed them while they’re young. As a Rottweiler owner, you need to be someone they can trust – a leader. Never inflict pain or show any aggressive attitude towards them as they will likely defend themselves. They are powerful and confident dogs. They know their capabilities. And, for sure, if they need to, they will stand up for themselves.
Rottweilers need firm and consistent discipline, but never to the point of being harsh. With this kind of treatment, these dogs are very affectionate towards their family and will remain loyal. They also may tend to become overprotective, but you can control this with early socialization.
When it comes to strangers, Rotties don’t jump right up at them and treat them as an enemy. These dogs are the watchful type and will observe things first before taking any action.
This breed might not be great if you’re not the assertive type. Also, you would need a lot of time and patience too. You need to show them that you are someone they should respect because they can be pretty stubborn.
Rottweilers need training at an early age – Socialize them with people and other animals in the parks every day. If you’re not confident with your training skills, you can enroll them as a puppy.
Rottweiler Care Requirements
- Nutrition: As muscular and energetic dogs, Rottweilers need a diet rich in protein (at least 22-26 percent). You can get this from whole proteins like chicken, turkey, or lamb. It’s also best to keep in mind to avoid ingredients such as BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin, and high-sodium foods. Weighing 85-125 pounds, Rottweilers would need at least 2,100 calories in a day. Of course, this would depend on his activities and overall health. Measuring calories will help prevent obesity, which is a common problem for dogs. Watch out for any signs of allergies to particular ingredients so you can avoid them. Some of these ingredients can be fillers and grains. You can add vegetables to reduce any symptoms of allergies if you detect them. Fish oils containing omega-3 fatty acids are also great additions to their diet.
- Grooming: Rottweilers are not very hard to groom. They have a short, flat coat that requires frequent brushing to maintain its shiny and healthy look. They shed moderately, more of a seasonal occurrence, and regular brushing will help minimize the hair you need to clean. They need regular bathing as well, which mostly depends on his day-to-day activities. Some owners even bathe their Rotties about three or four times in a year. However, the number one thing you need to clean every day is your dog’s muzzle. Rottweilers have deep muzzles that trap excess saliva. Wiping it up with an old towel will help to prevent the spread of saliva in your home. Another thing that you should clean is their teeth. If you find brushing hard, you can opt for dental treats. Make sure also to check and trim their nails so they can comfortably walk all the time (long nails can be painful).
- Exercise: Rottweilers are dogs from the working group. They enjoy a lot of activities and would undoubtedly appreciate everyday exercise with their owner. As very active dogs, they would require at least one hour of exercise in a day. Or if you’re feeling generous, you can extend their playtime to up to two hours. However, this may not fit all Rottweilers and would still depend on their overall health. Some activities that they love that you can offer are swimming, walking, and trotting. They especially love doing this with their humans. They can also do herding and tracking if you need them to, and you can even create an activity where they can use this skill.
- Health: Just like most breeds, Rottweilers are also affected by the genetic disorder hip dysplasia. This is a deformity where the head of the femur doesn’t fit into the hip socket. You might want to watch out for signs of pain as this can be really painful. Other than that, Rottweilers are also prone to eye problems such as progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, and eyelid deformities. They can also develop heart problems, epilepsy, allergies, chronic diarrhea, cancer, and bloating. Most of these diseases are more on genetics, so you might need to check your Rott’s background to know what conditions exist in his parents (if they do have one). Also, it’s best to let them undergo some tests and regular check-ups as well.
- Lifespan: Rottweilers have a life expectancy of 9 to 10 years.
- Balou: One of the best German Rottweiler stud dogs; he is world-famous for producing some of the best bloodlines today
- Baby: Leonardo DiCaprio’s dog
- Missy: Robbie Williams’ dog
- Happy: A stray dog adopted by Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth
- Wynd: A Therapy Dog who served military members at TAPS, and works with veterans suffering from PTSD; won the AKC Human Fund ACE Award for the Therapy Dog category
- Carl: Main character of the “Good Dog Carl” children’s book series by Alexandra Day.
Fun Facts About Rottweilers
- Rottweilers were named after the town Rottweil.
- They almost became extinct because of industrialization.
- Rottweilers were used as rescue dogs during the 9/11 attacks.
- They have strong jaws and a powerful bite.
- Rottweilers had a Roman origin.
- Their coats are waterproof.
- They are dedicated, loyal, playful; you should not fear them.