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 Rottweiler’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.