People often think of Rottweilers as one of the most dangerous dogs, but they can be one of the most loyal and affectionate breeds with proper training. Our experts tell you all you need to know to decide if this beautiful breed is a good fit for your family.
The American Kennel Club recognized Rottweilers in 1931, and they are consistently one of the 10 most popular dog breeds. Unfortunately, there is little documentation of their origin, but it’s believed that they descend from ancient Rome. They were originally bred as “drovers,” which means their job was to protect livestock. In the early 1900s, Rottweilers were police dogs.
Today Rottweilers are also recognized by The Kennel Club, the American Rottweiler Club, Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub, The Canadian Kennel Club, Fédération Cynologique Internationale, Australian National Kennel Council, United Kennel Club, Verband für das deutsche Hundewesen, and the New Zealand Kennel Club.
Rottweilers are medium to large dogs, with males reaching 24 to 27 inches and females 22 to 25 inches in height. Males weigh 110 to 130 pounds on average and females 77 to 110 pounds. Although they typically reach their maximum height by age one, they may not be fully grown until age two or three.
The Rottweiler’s coat is straight, coarse, dense, medium in length, and lies flat. You’ll also find an undercoat present on their neck and thighs.
Rottweilers have very distinctive colors. Most of their coat is black, but you’ll find that it’s also paired with mahogany, tan, or rust.
Rottweilers have traditionally had their tails docked. Docking stems from their role as a working dog and the need to prevent injury. Very few Rottweilers maintain those roles today, and docking could be considered cosmetic.
Rottweilers do experience seasonal shedding and are moderate shedders — their shedding increases in the fall and spring when it can be heavy. A good shedding brush can keep you from having a house covered in hair.
Are Rottweilers Hypoallergenic?
Due to their shedding and pet dander levels, Rottweilers are not hypoallergenic. However, there are lots of great non-shedding breeds if your allergies are a concern.
Rottweilers have a variety of grooming needs that you’ll need to consider. Brushing should occur regularly and almost daily when they’re in shedding season. You’ll also need to bathe them at least three to four times a year. The frequency of bathing may increase if you notice an odor or they appear dirty. Be careful not to over-bathe as it can dry out the healthy oils in their skin and coat.
Are Rottweilers good family dogs? Rottweilers are people dogs and are affectionate and loyal toward their families. They are great family members and are excellent guard dogs for families as well. They tend to follow their favorite person from room to room, so they are always within eyesight. They are good with children and other dogs, but you should still supervise them.
Tip: A fenced yard is better than a kennel environment, and they shouldn’t be chained or tied for extended periods because they don’t do well in isolation and can develop unpleasant traits.
These are social dogs and should be around people and other dogs if possible. They are capable of destructive behavior, which could be due to boredom or anxiety. Rottweilers bark when necessary and can be shy around strangers. Rotties are sensitive due to their intelligence and close attachment to their family.
However, many liability insurance companies will not cover Rottweilers because they are considered a “bad breed.” Learn more about dog liability insurance.
Rottweilers are one of the 10 smartest dog breeds, so they respond well to training, and it’s highly encouraged to help them meet their potential. You may consider an online training program like Doggy Dan to meet your needs. However, you may prefer someone local who can work with you and your pup in person. Our experts have tips for helping you find the right trainer.
It’s essential to understand that Rottweilers, like all dogs, can experience some health problems. Some illnesses are more likely than others with this breed.
These illnesses include:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Vision and eye problems including progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, eyelid deformities, and more
- Bleeding disorders, including Von Willebrand’s disease
- Addison’s disease
- Heart defects including cardiomyopathy, subaortic stenosis, and more
- Canine bloat
Prepare For The Cost Of Care
Health issues can happen for any pet at any time, and you don’t want to be caught off guard by the expense. Our experts review the best pet insurance to help you stay ahead of the cost of your pet’s health needs over his lifetime.
The majority of Rottweilers are healthy and have a lifespan of 8-12 years.
Because of their intelligence and energy level, Rottweilers need physical and mental exercise.
Rottweilers are medium to high-energy dogs, and the recommendation is to give them two workouts daily. (Perhaps you could do a short walk in the morning and a long walk in the evening.) Rottweilers can be extremely playful, so it’s a good idea to have some doggie toys around the house. They love to run, and healthy adults can run as fast as 20 to 25 mph.
To stimulate your Rottie’s intelligence, you’ll need to give him some mental exercise. You can accomplish this task by playing engaging, interactive games with your pup or even teaching them tricks. Brain games are another fun way to stimulate intellectual health.
Rotties need a diet that contains 22% to 26% protein. The best choice for protein is whole proteins that come from lean meats and fish. The best way to determine the proper diet for your pup is to talk to your vet. They can help you understand your dog’s proper nutrition and calorie needs based on size and activity level. Our experts help you simplify feeding by reviewing the best dog foods, fresh dog food, raw dog food, and dog food delivery options.
Drool will likely be a part of life if you have a Rottie in your home. Some Rottweilers drool more than others, and it’s more common in large males with loose upper lips (flews). If you notice excessive drooling, it may be a sign of something concerning like gum disease or a tooth infection, illness, or licking or eating something poisonous.
Did you know that there’s more than one type of Rottweiler? The most common types are the American and German Rottweilers. These two types are often confused because they are very similar, with the German being only slightly larger. Interestingly, the only real determining factor between the two is where they are born. That’s right, American Rottweilers are born in America, and German Rottweilers are born in Germany.
If you’re considering a Rottweiler, you may also be thinking about a Doberman Pinscher. These two breeds have many similarities and differences you’ll want to consider. While Dobermans are slightly taller, Rottweilers are 10 to 30 pounds heavier. They both have a similar temperament, but Dobermans have a much higher energy level and require more activity. The health concerns you may encounter with both breeds are average, but a Doberman’s lifespan could be up to two years longer.
It’s important to know ahead of time that Rottweilers are among the most expensive dogs due to the training needed and the cost of initially adopting one.
The average cost of a Rottweiler puppy is between $1,000 and $2,500. That range can vary based on the dog’s quality and lineage and the location and quality of the breeder. It’s essential to find a reputable breeder to ensure quality and proper care. You may also consider adopting a Rottweiler from a rescue organization, and while that may reduce the cost, you might have to wait until one is available.
This compilation of Rottweilers is priceless. Our favorite is the Rottie sitting on the ottoman watching TV.
If you’re looking for a protective family dog that is loyal and loving, a Rottie might be just right for you. Rottweilers are beautiful dogs and can be great companion animals if appropriately trained. However, if you aren’t up for the challenge of providing the physical and mental stimulation this dog requires, you may need to reconsider. To learn more about Rottweilers, check out The Complete Guide To Rottweilers.
Have you explored all your options? Check out our dog breed list to see if there is a breed you might like that you haven’t considered.
What do you love most about Rotties?