All About the Rottweiler Dog Breed

Should You Get a Rottweiler?

rottweiler dog breed
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The Rottweiler, or "Rottie," is a large, muscular and rugged dog with a hard-working and confident demeanor. The breed is intelligent and very loyal to its family. The Rottie can be an excellent working dog, watch dog, or guard dog. 

Rottweiler Details

Group: Working

Size: 80-130 pounds

Colors: Black with Tan, Rust or Mahogany

History of the Rottweiler

Though the exact origins of the Rottweiler are not known, it is believed that the breed derived from the Mastiff and that its ancestors can be traced back to ancient Rome.

Later development of the breed occurred in the German town of Rottweil, where it worked as a cattle dog and sometimes a police dog before its popularity diminished. At one time, the breed was referred to as the Rottweil Metzgerhund (butcher dog).

In the early 20th century, the breed was once again used as a police dog and began gaining popularity in the U.S. The hard-working nature of the Rottweiler has made its popularity grow over the years.

Caring for Your Rottweiler

The Rottie has a short, somewhat coarse, but shiny hair coat. This breed has a moderate shedding rate and requires little more than basic grooming care. Use a curry brush or similar tool to brush your Rottie periodically and keep the coat healthy. Some Rotties will naturally wear down their nails, but it is important that you inspect them regularly and trim the nails as needed. This will keep your dog's feet healthy and comfortable.

The Rottie has a drive to work, high endurance, a commanding presence and a potential for territorial behavior. Ideally, a Rottie should get vigorous exercise on a daily basis. Many Rotties will benefit from some type of "job," such as guarding the home, obedience competition, or tracking.

Few Rotties have an aggressive nature, despite what some people think.

They are usually very calm, loyal and loving companions to those they trust. However, they may be suspicious of strangers due to their protective nature. It is essential that all Rotties should be put on a strict training program to best utilize their intelligence and energy, thus keeping them happy, healthy and safe. In addition, proper socialization is essential and will help your Rottie feel comfortable in many situations.

Rottweiler Health Problems

Responsible dog breeders work hard to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health problems. However, there are some hereditary health issues that may occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:

Should You Get a Rottweiler?

The Rottweiler is intensely loyal and protective of trusted family members. This breed also has a playful and affectionate side that it reveals when at ease. Rottie can be excellent companions for all kinds of families, including those with children (provided you train your dog to behave around kids and also teach your kids how to act properly around dogs).

Unfortunately, the Rottie has a bit of a reputation as a “dangerous breed” and may even be subject to breed-specific legislation. However, this is an unfair generalization. The truth is that any dog can be aggressive, regardless of breed. Most Rotties are calm and affectionate. The key is training and socialization. No matter the breed, if you adopt a dog, discuss temperament testing (rescue groups and shelters usually do this before placing pets up for adoption). If you are buying from a breeder, ask about the line's temperament history and meet the puppy's mother (and father if possible). Behavior traits to be inherited, but good breeders breed for good temperament. Sadly, some irresponsible breeders will purposely breed dogs for aggression.

If you think you are ready to have a Rottweiler of your own, it's important to do more research first.

Get opinions from veterinarians and pet professionals. Ask Rottie owners, responsible breeders, and rescue groups for more information.