Temperament: Loyal, Loving, Confident Guardian
- Height: 24-27 inches (male), 22-25 inches (female)
- Weight: 95-135 pounds (male), 80-100 pounds (female)
- Life Expectancy: 9-10 years
- Group: Working Group
The Rottweiler is a robust working breed of great strength descended from the mastiffs of the Roman legions. A gentle playmate and protector within the family circle, the Rottie observes the outside world with a self-assured aloofness.
About the Rottweiler
A male Rottweiler will stand anywhere from 24 to 27 muscular inches at the shoulder; females run a bit smaller and lighter. The glistening, short black coat with smart rust markings add to the picture of imposing strength. A thickly muscled hindquarters powers the Rottie’s effortless trotting gait.
A well-bred and properly raised Rottie will be calm and confident, courageous but not unduly aggressive. The aloof demeanor these world-class guardians present to outsiders belies the playfulness, and downright silliness, that endear Rotties to their loved ones. (No one told the Rottie he’s not a toy breed, so he is liable to plop onto your lap for a cuddle.) Early training and socialization will harness a Rottie’s territorial instincts in a positive way.
NUTRITION The Rottweiler should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
GROOMING The Rottweiler has a straight, coarse, medium-length outer coat that lies flat. The undercoat is present on the neck and thighs. He should be brushed weekly and bathed regularly. He sheds only very moderately for most of the year, although he will shed more profusely twice a year, usually in the spring and fall. His teeth should be brushed and nails trimmed weekly. The use of a grinding tool such as a Dremel is especially effective in trimming the nails.
EXERCISE Rottweilers love swimming, walking, and trotting, especially with their people. The breed is muscular and athletic, and should have the opportunity to exercise on a daily basis. If there are jobs to do, Rottweilers learn easily to cart and are excellent workers in herding, tracking, and obedience. There is no limit to the canine activities that the Rottweiler can learn to do. Excess weight is not good for any dog, and exercise can help to keep your Rottweiler fit and healthy.
TRAINING The Rottweiler must be trained starting early in his life. Leadership, puppy socialisation, basic training classes, and living in the owner’s home are key to raising a well-mannered Rottweiler. Rottweilers are “people dogs” who do not do well isolated from humans and life experiences. No matter the breed, dogs must live in this world complete with strange animals and people. One expert in the breed notes, “As a Rottweiler owner, it is my responsibility to spend time, energy, and money giving my dog the opportunities to learn on a day-to-day basis.” The breed is intelligent, highly trainable and wants to please, although some may be stubborn. It is very important that discipline be consistent, fair, and firm, without being rough. Roughhousing with the Rottweiler may encourage aggression and should be avoided. Rottweilers excel in many canine sports, and the breed works with a human partner in many functional roles.
HEALTH Before breeding, responsible Rottweiler breeders have potential sires and dams tested for health problems such as hip dysplasia, a malformation of the hip joint that can be detected via X-ray; eye diseases and heart conditions. Cancer sometimes occurs in the breed, as in all dogs. David Waters, Ph. D., DVM, of the Gerald P. Murphy Cancer Foundation, has done research focused on cancer prevention funded by the Rottweiler Health Foundation. Dr. Waters has discovered that cancer and longevity are linked to a careful vaccination regimen, thus strengthening the immune system, as well as keeping males and females intact until at least six years of age.
Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:
- Hip Evaluation
- Elbow Evaluation
- Cardiac Exam
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation