Rottweiler

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The Rottweiler is an amazing guard dog who loves their family. Read our guide for all the information on this popular breed.

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
9 to 10 years
Size:

Large

Maintenance Level:

Medium

Shed Level:

Medium

Temperament:
AloofLoyalSmart
Coat Color:
Black

Best For

The Rottweiler is best for active homes without small children or cats and an experienced pet parent.

Rottweiler Traits

What makes a Rottweiler a Rottweiler? Let's find out how they stack up.

Rottweiler Temperament

A well-trained Rottweiler dog is calm and confident. Unlike a Golden Retriever who readily welcomes guests to your home, a Rottweiler may hang back and assess the situation, not ready to make a friend. To their family, they are ready to play and ready to protect in a split second. Despite their size, your Rottweiler may think they’re a lap dog and squeeze as much of themselves onto your lap as possible.

This highly intelligent and protective dog needs a confident, experienced family. Rottweilers were bred to be guard dogs, and they are really good at it. They have a deep growl they use to alert their families to a potential threat, but they have an equally famous “rumble” sound they make when they are happy and content. (It frequently accompanies a belly rub.) Because of their protective nature, Rottweilers have high biting tendencies. So, it is important your Rottweiler starts their training as a puppy.

Rottweilers do best in homes where they are the only pet, as they tend to make their BFF their family instead of another dog or a cat. If your Rottie is properly socialized and well-trained, they can be a good dog for your family.

How to Care for a Rottweiler

The Rottweiler dog breed may be easy to groom, but that doesn’t mean you can take it easy. They need daily exercise, regular brushing and training. Rotties also need structure, regular interaction and are at their happiest when they have a job to do.

Rottweiler Health

Like all dogs, Rottweilers have a few health problems you need to be aware of. Be sure to talk with the breeder about these issues and check their parents’ medical history. If you’re adopting your Rottweiler, ask the rescue or shelter for the dog’s vet record. While they can’t give you the pup’s family history, these organizations often take care of the dog’s vaccinations and make sure they have a wellness check before finding the dog’s forever families.

  • Cancer: Rottweilers are very susceptible to cancer, particularly bone cancer (osteosarcoma), which shows up as leg pain and lameness. Often, the tumor will need to be removed surgically. Lymphoma is a very treatable form of cancer that afflicts Rottweilers more than other breeds. It shows up as abnormal lymph nodes and can appear anywhere on the body. Chemotherapy is used to treat this cancer in Rottweilers.
  • Bone Health Issues: Rottweilers are prone to musculoskeletal problems and can develop a bone condition called Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD) that occurs in rapidly-growing and giant-dog breeds. The outer part of the bone grows too rapidly, and it can cause intense pain while they’re puppies. Rottweilers are also prone to developing painful inflammatory diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis, resulting in bone loss.
  • Obesity: Sometimes, well-meaning pup parents overfeed their dogs, and Rottweilers are known for their speedy eating tendencies—so you might still think they are hungry and keep feeding them! Rottweilers have a higher tendency toward obesity which may be due to a lack of physical exercise. You can help keep your Rottweiler in peak shape by following the recommended feeding guidelines from your vet and ensuring your pup gets plenty of exercise.
  • Eye Health Issues: Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a degenerative eye condition that can lead to blindness in dogs. This eye condition can go from acute and impacting daylight vision to complete blindness. Unfortunately, it’s incurable, but you can screen for it at an early age. Make sure your Rottweiler’s parents are PRA-free if you’re adopting your puppy from a breeder. Entropion is another eye condition that is commonly seen in Rottweilers. It’s when one of the eyelids flips under. It can be corrected with minor surgery.
  • Gastrointestinal Issues: Rottweilers can get a stomach issue called bloat that often happens in large breeds and occurs after eating too quickly. In severe cases, it can turn into a potentially deadly condition called gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV), which is when the stomach becomes overstretched and twisted. You can help prevent this by ensuring your pup eats more slowly by using a slow feeding bowl at mealtimes.
  • Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is a joint condition where the femur doesn’t fit in the hip socket. This is a common condition of larger breed dogs. It can be diagnosed by your vet and treatment ranges from slowing down your dog’s activity level to surgery, depending on the severity.

Search for Adoptable Rottweilers Near You

Rottweiler History

The Rottweilers find their origin in the Mastiffs of the Roman legions. The Roman army needed tough working dogs to guard the herds they relied on for food, so they bred them from Asian mastiffs. The Romans brought these guard dogs with them as they conquered the known world. The dogs remained behind after the collapse of the Roman empire in the town of Rottweil to protect cattle herds. Here, they were called “Rottweiler Metzgerhund,” or Butcher’s Dog of Rottweil and became the main stock used for many German breeds over the next few hundred years.

After the rise of cattle cars in the 1800s, Rotties fell out of favor with cattlemen, so they found work as police dogs. The Rottweiler’s size, quick-learning abilities and training capabilities made them excellent at heavy-duty tasks—from search and rescue to guide dogs for the blind or disabled. Rottweilers have served in militaries as guard dogs and working dogs since World War I.

The first German Rottweiler breed standard was created in 1901. The Rottie made their first appearance in the US in the 1920s; the first dog registered by the American Kennel Club was Stina v Felsenmeer in 1931. By the mid-90s, more than 100,000 Rottweilers were registered with the AKC, and the Rottie has been one of the most popular dog breeds in American for the past several years.

So, where’s the best place to find a Rottweiler puppy? You can find a list of reputable Rottweiler breeders on the American Kennel Club’s website. What’s the average Rottweiler price? Depending on the breeder, expect to pay between $1,500-$2,500, with some puppies priced higher. But with that, you’re most likely getting a pedigree pup with papers. You could also adopt from a local Rottweiler rescue or keep an eye out for the breed at your local animal shelter.

FAQs

Are Rottweilers dangerous?

Rottweilers are often perceived to be dangerous and aggressive because they are an imposing breed. And sometimes TV and movies cast them in the role of “villian.” But Rottweilers aren’t necessarily dangerous. With proper and consistent training, a Rottweiler can be a loving, protective dog to their families.

Are Rottweilers hypoallergenic?

No, Rottweilers are not a hypoallergenic breed. They shed moderately, and people with allergies are often triggered by shedding fur, dander and pup saliva.

Are Rottweilers good with kids?

Yes, a Rottweiler can be good with older kids if the dog is well-trained and the kids are taught how to act around dogs of this size. Rottweilers have a strong bite force and great jaw strength, so it is unwise to allow a Rottie and a small child to play together unsupervised. As with dogs of this size and strength, never leave your Rottie unsupervised with kids or babies around.

What are the most popular Rottweiler names?

Some of the most popular Rottweiler names are Zeus, Max, Harley, Rocky, Bella, Roxy, Bear, Luna, Bella, Boomer, Bandit, Captain, Levi, Brandy, Nitro, Tank, Titan, Zoe, Coco, Butch, Rex, Holly, Lucy, Maximus, Outlaw, Rex. Get more dog names here.

What are the most common Rottweiler mixes?

Some of the most common Rottweiler breed mixes include:

  • Rottweiler-Pitbull mix (Pitweiler)
  • Rottweiler-Miniature Pinscher (Pinweiler)
  • Rottweiler-Jack Russell terrier mix (Jackweiler)
  • Rottweiler-German Shepherd mix (German Rottie)
  • Rottweiler-Husky mix (Rottsky)
  • Rottweiler-Labrador Retriever mix (Labrottie)
  • Rottweiler-Doberman mix (Rottweiler Doberman)
  • Rottweiler-Golden Retriever mix (Golden Rottie)
  • Rottweiler-Boxer mix (Boxweiler)
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Top Takeaways

Rottweilers are very smart, confident dogs who are easy to train and make excellent guard dogs. Bonding with your dog through lots of playtime and training can help your pet find their place in your “pack.” If you have the experience and energy to keep up with a Rottie’s training and exercise needs, this may be the breed for you.

Expert input provided by veterinarian Ernie Ward, DVM, CVFT, and certified dog trainer Mark Forrest Patrick.

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