About the Rottweiler Breed

About the Rottweiler Breed

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If you're looking for a large breed dog with a protective demeanor, the Rottweiler may be the breed for you. Learn all about the Rottweiler here - it may be the dog you are looking for.

The Rottweiler is a large, heavily muscled dog with a reputation as a guard dog. Prospective owners should understand the breed and their needs before getting one, as it takes a substantial commitment of time and effort to raise a rottweiler puppy to be a safe, sound companion as an adult. With proper training and socialization, the "rottie" is an excellent family pet who will be devoted to the entire family.


Rottweilers are directly descended from dogs that pulled carts and drove cattle into Europe as the Romans invaded new lands. Valued for strength and intelligence, the Rottweilerโ€™s ancestors helped protect the herds, and were valued for their strength and intelligence. Germans later recognized the many strengths of these dogs, and selectively bred them for their guarding and herding abilities. At one point, Rottweilers almost disappeared, because they were no longer needed for such work. Since the breed was revitalized in the early 1900s, the Rottweiler has become a beloved family companion and protector.


The Rottweiler has a calm nature, and is inclined to take a wait-and-see attitude when confronted with new situations. This breed can also be very pushy and stubborn. If the Rottweiler's owner does not take a leadership role, the dog will do so at about 18 months old, and this trait often causes owners to fear their Rottweilers. Young Rottweilers are very active and need plenty of exercise. They eventually settle down as they mature, at about 3 years of age. This breed must be kept safely behind a secure fence, as the Rottweiler's prey drive will cause them to chase joggers, bikers, and even cars if they are allowed to get to them.


Rottweilers are highly intelligent dogs who are devoted to their families, but very reserved with strangers. They are naturally protective, but it is essential that they be well socialized so they can learn to distinguish real threats from what is simply unfamiliar. It is important to socialize Rottweilers as early as possible, since dogs who are not well-socialized may wind up being fearful of strangers, which can cause aggression and bullying. Rotties do best when they are enrolled as early as possible in puppy-training classes, which gives them regular opportunities to become used to other people, places, and pets.


It is not enough to do a little bit of training with Rottweilers and then stick them in the backyard and leave them there. This breed thrives on work and responsibility. Their stamina and intelligence make them ideal candidates for all kinds of active dog sports. Training also reinforces your role as leader, and that is essential with a breed as intelligent and powerful as this one. Rottweilers enjoy advanced obedience training, agility, herding and carting. When properly socialized and trained, these dogs make excellent therapy dogs and service dogs,, proving Rottweilers are at their best when they have a job to do. They often find their way into police work, where they make loyal partners for their human companions.

Rottweiler Information: Health

The Rottweilerโ€™s origin is the town of Rottweil, Germany, where it was bred to herd livestock and to pull butcherโ€™s carts to market. Currently, the breed is widely employed in police and rescue work, as guide dogs for the blind, and as a companion species. Like many larger dogs, the Rottweiler can be subject to hip and elbow dysplasia as well as gastric torsion. The breed may also be prone to von Willebrandโ€™s disease and bone cancer. The Rottweiler will typically live to an age of 8 to 11 years.

Primary Health Conditions of the Rottweiler

This large breed can be especially susceptible to hip and elbow displasias, in which genetic deformities of the bone and joint cause inflammation and pain in the dog. These conditions can be treated medically or with surgery. Keeping the dogโ€™s weight in check will help manage the condition. Proper breeding of dogs without dysplasia is the best preventative. Also common to large dogs like the Rottweiler is gastric torsion, or twisting of the stomach. This problem can be painful to the dog and quite serious without immediate veterinary treatment. Rottweiler owners should provide high quality food without grain fillers to help prevent torsion.

Secondary Health Conditions of the Rottweiler

Recent over-breeding in the Rottweiler has been thought to increase the dogโ€™s susceptibility to cancers, in particular bone cancer. While its cancer can be treated with surgery, radio- and chemotherapy, in many cases the prognosis is not favorable. The Rottweiler can also be susceptible to the genetically inherited condition known as von Willebrandโ€™s disease. In this disease, the dogโ€™s blood does not properly clot. The condition is not curable, and the owner of a dog with von Willenbrandโ€™s should be alert to injuries the animal receives and to profusely bleeding wounds.

Rottweiler Exercise and Walking Needs

The Rottweiler is a stout working dog that needs and enjoys a great deal of physical activity. This breed will therefore thrive with long daily walks, room to run and play, and the opportunity to retrieve toys and balls. A Rottweiler that does not receive enough exercise is particularly prone to weight issues and may display destructive behaviors and excessive barking. Daily exercise will also help to stave off the joint and bone troubles that can afflict this breed of dog.

Rottweiler Nutritional Needs

The Rottweiler has a healthy appetite and requires a high quality food rich in proteins, carbohydrates, and nutrients to stay active and fit. A good quality food that does not contain corn or soy will also help to prevent gastric torsion in this breed. Food portions should be closely regulated to the Rottweilerโ€™s age and level of activity since obesity can be of special concern in this dog.

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