Rottweiler Breed Guide

Rottweilers are medium to large dogs. They have double, black coats with rust-colored markings. The breed's outer coat is coarse, straight, dense and of medium length, and the amount of undercoat depends on climatic conditions. The eyes are almond shaped, medium sized, and dark brown, and the ears are medium and triangular. Rottweilers measure 22 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder and typically weigh 75 to 110 pounds. Some dogs may weigh as much as 135 pounds.

They are not welcoming when it comes to strangers, but they are devoted and loyal to their human family members.

Loving and clownish, but also fiercely protective, Rottweilers make good companion animals if they receive proper training and socialization. They are not welcoming when it comes to strangers, but they are devoted and loyal to their human family members. These dogs require minimal grooming and lots of daily exercise.

Rottweilers have a negative reputation, partly due to their large and muscled appearance and partly as a result of poor breeding practices in the past. Training and environment are partially responsible for an individual dog's temperament.

Rottweilers are generally calm, confident, and intelligent dogs that are happiest when given a job to do. These dogs are adaptable and courageous and make great guardians and companions. With proper training and socialization, they make good family dogs, especially for active people. These dogs are very energetic.

This breed craves attention and affection and will become lonely, depressed, and destructive without it. These dogs do not do well when relegated to the backyard for days or even hours at a time. They enjoy spending time outside and require a lof of exercise, but they also need time indoors with their family.

Long walks, daily jogs, and vigorous play provide an outlet for the Rottweiler's energy. Because this breed is sensitive to heat, care must be taken to provide plenty of shade and cool drinking water during warmer weather. These dogs tend to be confrontational with other dogs and should be confined to a securely fenced yard or held on a tight leash when out in public.

A generally hardy breed, Rottweilers are known to be affected by a number of disorders that can interfere with mobility or reduce quality or length of life. Congenital hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, OCD, osteosarcoma, and osteochondroisis of the shoulder and knee are all seen in these dogs. Rottweilers are also prone to developing arthritis later in life.

Panosteitis, epilepsy, gastric torsion, von Willebrand's disease, folliculitis, gastroenteritis, hypothyroidism, Addison's disease, and some heart conditions, including subaortic stenosis and cardiomyopathy, are all more common in Rottweilers than in some other breeds of dog. These dogs are also prone to various eye conditions, such as entropion, ectropion, cataracts, and progressive retinal atrophy. While some of these are treatable, others lead to permanent blindness.

Routine veterinary care, proper nutrition, regular exercise, and timely vaccinations all help Rottweilers live a full and active life of up to 10 years.

Training is an essential part of caring for a Rottweiler. When properly trained starting early in life, these dogs make devoted and happy companions for both adults and children. Anyone responsible for training a Rottweiler needs to be strong, patient, and experienced, though, as these dogs can be domineering and challenging to work with. With proper guidance, they respond well to commands and are eager to please.

Although they are frequently the target of laws meant to control or ban dangerous dogs, Rottweilers are naturally gentle and friendly. A history of unhealthy breeding policies and breed mistreatment has led to the Rottweiler's negative reputation. While these dogs should never be left alone with children or the elderly, selective breeding, proper training, and early socialization typically produce calm, easy-going, and family-friendly dogs.

Socialization should begin within the first months of life to ensure these dogs grow into tolerant, welcoming, and confident adults. Puppy kindergarten classes are beneficial. Later in life, walks around town, trips to the dog park, and visits to neighborhood businesses will provide continued socialization. However, because this breed is naturally protective and can be aggressive toward unfamiliar dogs, it is always best to keep these dogs on a leash when in public.

Rottweilers don't require much grooming, but they do shed moderately. A weekly brushing with a soft bristle brush or rubber hound mitt is usually enough to remove loose hair, distribute skin oils, and keep the coat healthy. During spring and fall shedding seasons, the breed will "blow out" its coat. During this time, brushing may need to increase to every other day.

Only when the Rottweiler gets especially dirty or rolls around in something stinky or harmful is a bath necessary. A gentle, pH-balanced canine shampoo will clean the coat without irritating the skin. Some Rottweilers enjoy bathing; if this is the case, a weekly bath will not damage the coat. A thorough rinsing is always important.

Regularly clipping the nails will prevent them from snagging, breaking, and clicking against the floor. The teeth should be brushed every day with a canine toothpaste and toothbrush, and the ears should be checked and cleaned weekly with an otic cleanser and cotton balls. Any signs of ear infection, such as redness, itching, discharge, or odor, should be reported to a veterinarian right away so that treatment can begin.

Rottweilers likely descended from Mastiff-like drover dogs that accompanied the herds the Romans brought along with them when invading Europe. The breed was named after the German town of Rottweil, where the dogs worked for several hundred years. When cattle driving became illegal during the mid-1800s, the Rottweiler's numbers decreased and the breed nearly became extinct.

To help save the breed, dog fanciers formed a club and established a breed standard in the early 1900s. Around this same time, Rottweilers surged in popularity as police dogs. By the 1930s, the breed's numbers had increased significantly and the dogs began competing in competitions.

Today, Rottweilers are one of the most popular breeds in the United States. The breed's intelligence, protective nature, endurance, and eagerness to work make it great in police work, herding, therapy and service work, and as a companion animal.

The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Rottweiler in 1931.