A powerhouse with a fur soul – that’s how people who live with a Rottweiler know this dog breed. A Rottweiler is deeply devoted to his human and will accompany and protect him.
Rottweilers are friendly “dog powerhouses”. The males weigh up to 50 kg and are up to 68 cm high. That’s a lot of dogs to keep just in case:
So a Rottweiler is not a dog for frail old ladies. A Rottweiler bitch can still weigh up to 42 kg and grow up to 63 cm tall.
Rottweilers have a short black coat with auburn markings on the face, chest, legs, and base of the tail. The build of the dog breed is straight and strong – they have a broad chest.
Its ears are triangular and set fairly high on the head. They are on the head. A Rottweiler’s broad skull is particularly impressive. Regarding life expectancy: If you are lucky, you can spend up to 12 enjoyable years with your Rottweiler.
Other names: Rotti, Rott.
Size: male: 61-68 cm (ideal: 65-66 cm); Female: 56-63 cm (ideal: 60-61 cm).
Weight: male: approx. 50 kg; Female: approx. 42 kg.
Color: black with red-brown tan on cheeks, the underside of neck, muzzle, chest, legs, above eyes, and under the base of the tail.
Coat: medium-length, dense, and tight-lying topcoat with undercoat, hind legs with slightly longer hair.
Life expectancy: 8 – 10 years.
Temperament: fearless, self-confident, friendly, reliable, concentrated, affectionate, obedient, willing to work, strong nerves.
Disease: risk hip dysplasia, obesity, osteochondrosis, degenerative spinal cord inflammation, cruciate ligament rupture, cardiac vein narrowing.
Facts about the Rottweiler
- FCI Standard No. 147, Group 2: Pinschers and Schnauzers – Molossoids – Swiss Mountain Dogs, Section 2: Molossoids, 2.1: Mastiff-type dogs (with working trial)
- country of origin: Germany
- Was given the name Rottweiler in the Middle Ages because it was particularly common in the area around Rottweil (an important cattle trading center in today’s Baden-Württemberg).
- In the ADRK breed standard, Rottweilers are classified according to their size as “small”, “medium”, “correct size”, and “very large”.
- The first established breed standard allowed even more color variations in the Rottweiler than today. Including a pure red fur pattern. It still occurs in some litters today but is extremely rare.
- The butchers and cattle dealers often tied a collar with a leather purse around the Rottweiler’s neck, in which they reliably kept their earnings.
- The ancestors of the Rottweiler were used for driving, guarding, and herding livestock.
- The Rottweiler’s tail remains natural. However, some Rottweilers are born with a congenital bobtail.
- The Rottweiler is the largest and heaviest of the six service dog breeds.
Rottweiler Origin: A Dog with a Long History
As with many other dog breeds, it is not possible to fully understand who contributed to the origin of the breed and which dog types were crossed with each other so that the Rottweiler exists in its current form. Dogs were purely utility animals and were selected and bred for their qualities rather than a uniform type.
Presumably, his ancestors came with the Roman legions over the Alps and to the area around Rottweil in the 1st century AD. The city in today’s Baden Württemberg is therefore considered to be the origin of the Rottweiler breed and also gave it its name. The Romans who arrived there were accompanied by mastiff-like dogs (Molossians), which drove, tended, and guarded the herds of cattle they had brought with them. These herds of cattle served as living provisions and were intended to ensure the supply of the soldiers. But the dogs had even more tasks: the Molossians were also used for war purposes and for show fights in the Coliseum against dogs, other animals, and even gladiators.
The mastiffs of the soldiers were eventually crossed with the already existing dogs in the areas occupied by the Romans and quickly enjoyed great popularity thanks to their excellent qualities. In the course of time, dogs eventually became indispensable helpers for butchers and cattle dealers. Hence the name “Rottweiler Metzgerhund”.
Although there was a lull in breeding towards the end of the 19th century and the population of Rottweilers declined rapidly, some breeders took responsibility, formed clubs, and thus ensured the preservation of this wonderful breed. At the beginning of the 20th century, the police and military also recognized the excellent qualities of the Rottweiler and it was recognized as a service dog.
Celebrities with Rottweilers
Some stars also appreciate the qualities of the Rottweiler and have fallen in love with the beautiful breed. There are, among others, the following VIPs who call or have called a Rotti their own:
- Will Smith (Actor and Singer) – Had up to 5 Rottweilers at one time
- Bruno Mars (singer)
- Leonardo DiCaprio (actor)
- Robbie Williams (singer)
Rottweilers are friendly “canine powerhouses.” The males weigh up to 50 kg and are up to 68 cm high. That’s a lot of dogs to keep just in case:
So a Rottweiler is not a dog for frail old ladies. A Rottweiler bitch can still weigh up to 42 kg and grow up to 63 cm tall.
Rottweilers have a short black coat with auburn markings on the face, chest, legs and base of the tail. The build of the dog breed is straight and strong – they have a broad chest.
Its ears are triangular and set fairly high on the head. They are on the head. A Rottweiler’s broad skull is particularly impressive.
What is the nature of the Rottweiler?
The basic nature of the muscular dog is friendly and peaceful.
The Rottweiler is rarely nervous or willfully aggressive. In the hands of an experienced dog owner, he is usually relaxed but always alert and at the service of his master.
The fundamentally peace-loving nature of the four-legged friend, which sometimes inspires respect, has made a significant contribution to the preservation of the breed, which today is mainly kept and bred to assume guard and protective functions.
Its territory, its house, its master
Originally, the Rottweiler, who is believed to be the descendant of the Saupacker, the wild boar-hunting pointer, helped with the handling of cattle for slaughter at large cattle markets in the Middle Ages.
This dog always had to be willing to work, courageous and at the same time have strong nerves and be extremely self-confident. Characteristics that Rottweiler lovers still value in him today. The fearless character of the Rottweiler predestines him for guard duties and protective functions of all kinds.
If necessary, he will defend his territory with all his means and switch gears at lightning speed in dangerous situations.
The Rottweiler acts quite suddenly and without much announcement. Controlling him and guiding his sometimes impulsive and decidedly territorial nature into the right direction requires expertise and a sure, experienced hand on the part of the owner.
Although the Rottweiler is always in charge and keeps an eye on his surroundings, the large, powerfully built dog loves to be cuddled and cared for by his family.
Rottweilers bond closely and loyally to their owner and a group or family, but are not direct family dogs.
The Rottweiler, often affectionately called Rotti, loves to play, exercise and romp outdoors. Diverse, sporting activities are extremely important for his balance.
The Rottweiler is generally outgoing and gentle with children. He doesn’t generally act in a hectic or frantic manner. However, an experienced adult should always be present and take the lead during the exuberant game and wild chase for the ball, especially with smaller children.
The stately weight of the imposing four-legged friend, which can be up to 50 kg for males, and his boisterous, often playful temperament alone can quickly bring down a steppe.
The Rottweiler: a strong companion
As loyal as Rottweiler is to people he knows, he is aloof and usually very reserved towards strangers and strangers.
Characteristics that, in addition to assertiveness and willpower, are ideal prerequisites for working as a service dog.
Rottweilers are one of the recognized service dog breeds and are often found in police service and border protection. The essentially good-natured and relaxed dog has also proven itself when working as a tracking and guide dog.
Uncompromising leadership by its owner is always important when it comes to the tasks assigned to it, so that the dog’s impulsiveness, claim to leadership and independent action always remain under control.
Education and control from the start
Since Rottweiler reacts extremely suspiciously to unfamiliar people or situations, he should be introduced to strangers or the unknown early on, cautiously, with patience and consistency.
Integration into a family or group should also be completed as early as possible. In order to express the peaceful and easy-going nature of the Rottweiler and to form his good-natured, loyal, and particularly affectionate character traits, an upbringing with sovereignty, prudence and expertise is essential right from the start.
The strong-willed dog with pronounced protective and territorial behavior needs consistent, competent action and a loyal management style.
Dog and owner: a good team
The Rottweiler, one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, combines many excellent characteristics and traits.
Even the Romans valued the Rottweiler’s ancestors as a driving and herding dog. Great strength, agility, and enormous endurance characterize these dogs to this day.
His strength of character and uncomplaining willingness to fulfill the tasks assigned to him make him an ideal companion dog these days provided he is kept and cared for in a species-appropriate manner.
Its muscular, well-proportioned body is resilient and fairly resistant to disease, and its short, coarse coat is easy to care for.
For a good human-dog relationship, a solid, determined character and clear, constant behavior on the part of the owner are of fundamental importance and guarantee a lasting and successful partnership between two-legged friends and four-legged friends.
What is Typical Rottweiler?
Although their imposing appearance might suggest otherwise, the Rottweiler’s basic mood and nature is friendly and peaceful. In fact, the Rotti loves the attention and cuddles of its people and can be described as fond of children and compatible with other animals. One reason why it is often kept and valued as a family dog. Of course, these traits are not automatically put into the Rottweiler’s puppy box, but develop over time and depend a lot on their rearing, socialization, and training.
The latter is particularly important as it is also thanks to its earlier use that the breed is also gifted with a natural protective and guarding instinct. He is brave, reliable and self-confident, and extremely loyal to his owner. He is rarely nervous or willfully aggressive. Provided he trusts his owner and has been raised consistently and well. The Rottweiler tends to be reserved and wary of strangers.
Intelligent, willing to work, and capable of learning, paired with his loyal and fearless character, the Rottweiler is ideal as a guard, service, and protection dog. In some countries, he even pursues one of his original uses as a herding dog.
- Needs a caregiver (one man dog)
- Friendly and peaceful
- Loyal and affectionate
- Willing to work and obedient
- Fearless, courageous, and self-confident
- Strong protective drive
- Excellent watchdog
- With appropriate socialization and education suitable for families with children
- Rather reserved towards strangers
Attention! Attack Dog?
The muscular and powerful Rottweiler does indeed have an imposing and, to some people, intimidating appearance. However, he is much better and less dangerous than his reputation. Nevertheless, it is listed as a list dog in some federal states of Germany.
There the Rottweiler is one of the presumably dangerous breeds or breeds with a higher potential for aggression. In a character test, however, the Rottweiler can prove that he is not dangerous. This proof can also exempt him from the leash and muzzle obligation.
It is best to always obtain precise information before making a purchase as to the conditions under which keeping a Rottweiler is permitted, as these can vary depending on where you live. In addition, Rotti owners sometimes have to reckon with hostilities and unpleasant comments from other people, since the breed is unfortunately still afflicted with prejudices. But maybe you and your well-behaved and friendly Rottweiler can do away with such prejudices in the future?
What is the Life Expectancy of a Rottweiler?
Unfortunately, the Rottweiler’s life expectancy of 8-10 years is slightly below the average in the canine world. After all, larger and heavier breeds like the Rotti age faster than small and light dogs.
However, if you pay attention to a few things, you can contribute a lot to a healthy and long dog life:
- A species-appropriate attitude with family connection contributes a lot to the well-being of the Rottweiler
- Sufficient employment in the form of physical exercise and mental tasks.
- Quality feed and avoiding obesity
- All-round care from head to paw
- Contact with peers
Veterinary care in emergencies and general preventive care (vaccinations, deworming, regular check-ups for the aging Rotti, avoidance of tartar, etc.)
On the other hand, breed-specific, genetic, or age-related diseases can reduce the quality of life and life expectancy. If you buy a Rottweiler from a reputable breeder, you will at least give the puppy the best possible start in dog life. After all, he pays attention to healthy parent animals and the flawless nature of his breeding animals. The breeding selection is apparently crowned with success. After all, many owners report that their Rottweilers now live up to 12 years.
But no matter how well and lovingly you care for the Rotti: Even the best and most exciting dog’s life comes to an end and the Rottweiler crosses the rainbow bridge. A difficult and often tearful farewell. After all, the Rottweiler is not just a four-legged friend, but for many a permanent and beloved family member who is sorely missed. Fortunately, there are many ways to commemorate and say goodbye to your dog with dignity these days. Cremation or burial is just as conceivable as creative and beautiful souvenirs to remember the deceased Rottweiler. Especially for children, this can help in coping with grief.
If all the requirements for keeping a Rottweiler are met and a good breeder has been found, long weeks of waiting will pass for the soon-to-be dog owners until they can finally pick up their new protégé and bring them to their new home. But this waiting time can sweeten the future owner something.
For example, by buying the initial equipment for the Rottweiler puppy and making the apartment, house, and garden dog-proof. So everything is well prepared when day X finally arrives. Reading parenting guides or Rottweiler books can’t hurt either. If you like, you can also find out about the courses offered by the local dog school.
When the puppy arrives, it is particularly important to have a permanent reference person who, ideally, has several weeks of vacation to make it easier for the clumsy whirlwind to settle in and to start training it right away. Because this should not be put off on the long bench. No matter how cute a Rottweiler puppy is, it will grow up faster than you think!
Please make sure not to expose the puppy to too much physical stress. Wild and long romping and playing may have a negative effect on his musculoskeletal system and can lead to premature signs of wear and tear. Climbing stairs should also be avoided for as long as possible, as should jumping into the car or onto the sofa.
This is How You Can Tell if the Rottweiler Puppy is Healthy:
- Clear eyes, without discharge or adhesions
- Ears are clean and do not smell strongly
- No crusting or discharge from the nose
- Clean teeth and healthy gums
- Anus and hind legs are free of adhesions (otherwise signs of diarrhea)
- Shiny and healthy coat, free from parasites or bald patches
- The puppy looks neither skinny nor overweight
- The stomach does not appear bloated (otherwise there may be signs of worms)
- No shyness or even fear of the breeder or visitors
- Playful and curious
Training and Husbandry of the Rottweiler
The Rotti is certainly not a typical beginner’s dog. Dog experience or a lot of commitment and motivation are absolutely necessary when keeping and training the dog. He needs a reliable reference person he can trust and who shows him where to go. After all, his natural protective instinct has to be channeled in the right direction. It is important for the Rottweiler to learn that all other family members always rank above them, not just their primary caregiver. Consistency, clear rules, and boundaries are therefore a must, as is good and early socialization.
- Let a dog school help you with training and guide you competently (especially for beginners)
- Get the puppy used to everything that he will later have to do constantly (varies depending on where you live and the housing conditions)
- Socialize the Rottweiler with fellow dogs and other animals
- Socialization also means getting the Rotti used to people of all ages
- The Rottweiler can weigh up to 50 kg. Leading on a leash should therefore be trained early on.
- Practice staying alone.
- Rules, once set, apply always and everywhere
- The Rottweiler will be housebroken faster the more opportunities you give him to do his business outside. At night, too.
With appropriate socialization and habituation, other (pet) animals are usually not a problem. A lot of contact with conspecifics and regular playing with other dogs would be desirable. He is also open and friendly towards visitors and friends of the family. With strangers, however, he remains somewhat reserved and alert.
Keeping the Rottweiler in the apartment is quite possible with appropriate space and physical balance. Because the dog usually behaves calmly in the house, but would like to be challenged outside and needs a task.
If you live for rent: Always get the written permission of the landlord before buying. The Rottweiler is a list dog and you might face resistance.
Training the Rottweiler
As the owner of a Rottweiler, you should be aware that the education of your dog is an important cornerstone of his life.
The relationship between Rottweiler and humans only works if dog and dog owners have a trusting relationship with each other.
Due to his muscular body, but also his instincts that he cannot shed, it is important that he listens to his owner’s word and reacts accordingly.
It is in the hands of man to encourage the positive qualities of the Rottweiler through good training.
After buying the puppy
Before you pick up your puppy from the breeder, you will certainly have visited him a few times in advance to get to know each other. In this phase, it is good to find a suitable name for the little rascal. So he can already be addressed directly by the breeder but also by you. Getting to know each other begins: Your dog learns to distinguish your voice from others and slowly gets used to its name.
Then, when you take him home, the little dog is comfortable hearing an already familiar voice and his name. This is where the first phase of training begins: Your Rottweiler listens to his name and your voice.
The Rottweiler learns his name
But of course you can still easily teach the Rotti his new nickname after you have moved in.
What do you expect from the dog?
Most owners use the dog’s name as an attention signal. The four-legged friend should therefore turn to his owner and wait for further commands. On the other hand, some want the call name to make the Rottweiler come running. For the latter, however, there is actually the command “Here” or “Come”.
The following training method is, therefore, more about gaining attention.
You can use the following situations for this:
Start by training in an environment with few distractions. Your Rotti shouldn’t be sleeping or busy with something else.
- He is probably particularly alert in the morning when there is food. But before you put the full bowl down in front of him, address the puppy by name. For example “Rex, now we’re going to eat!”. Then he can empty the food bowl.
- If you want to go for a walk, take the leash and call out “Rex, it’s time for a walk!” or something similar.
- If it’s time for training or a game, you do the same.
- If your Rotti loves soothing grooming, address him by name before and during the beauty routine.
- If your puppy is looking forward to visitors or likes to play with other dogs, the same applies.
Soon the connection will be made that it is worthwhile to turn to your master or mistress when your own name is heard. After all, something exciting or enjoyable always happens afterward.
Of course, you can also just call your puppy like that without anything special coming up. If he looks at you, he gets a small reward. Treats can be used as a positive reinforcement in such situations. But also pats or a little game work.
It’s easy to get a dog’s attention in a low-stimulus environment. But how does it look in the garden, when you go for a walk, in a busy area or in a crowd? The level of difficulty should be gradually increased here.
It would also be important to keep rewarding the Rottweiler and to slowly wean off the treat. Even later, the dog should always get a bite if he has obediently answered his name.
The first weeks and months
As a small puppy, the Rottweiler is still very playful in the first months of life. Therefore, the right toy should be made available to him. Ropes with knots or softballs are wonderful here. But don’t leave him alone with his toys.
Spend lots of time with your Rottweiler. There are plenty of games that you can play together indoors or while you’re out. Here you already give your dog the first commands, such as: “Sit!” or “Down!”. If he reacts correctly, he gets a treat as a reward, for example, or can pull on his rope. Two points are important in the first few weeks:
- Don’t scold the dog / certainly any punches!
- Give him a small reward after he responds correctly
Learn from a young age
For example, if you don’t want the dog to choose the sofa as his sleeping place, it is important that you make this clear to him from the start. A quick “No!” or “Down!” will help the dog understand that this is not his place.
Of course, you have to make him understand that he should sit in his own dog basket. This is how you show the young Rottweiler his place and lead him there.
Under no circumstances should you entice him with a treat! The reward is only given AFTER the dog has responded correctly. Otherwise, it could happen that your dog later only reacts if he gets his reward beforehand. You are the dog owner and your dog must listen to you at all times and not the other way around.
Even if the dog is so cute in the first few weeks and months – the Rottweiler grows into a stately dog.
If he is allowed to sleep with you as a small puppy, he will also get this right as an adult dog. As a dog owner, you must be aware at all times that a dog does not think like a human.
He follows his instincts and reacts according to his character. It is therefore important to show him boundaries as a puppy. The most important thing is the consequence of your actions!
Proper animal love consists of taking a lot of time for him to exercise and play. After being allowed to romp outdoors, the Rottweiler will feel settled and will willingly go to his seat. Above all, it is also about meeting the need for attention and the urge to move.
How will my Rottweiler be house trained?
The answer to this question is simple: give your little puppy the opportunity to empty its bladder several times a day.
At the same time, you have to know that the little dog will not be able to control his intestines before 10 weeks. So if he has selected a corner for his needs, show unmistakably with a sharp “Ugh!” that this is not desired.
The same applies here: No beating for the dog! He won’t learn anything from it, on the contrary. He gets scared and may later react aggressively – just to protect himself from the hit!
You can easily tell that your dog wants to defecate by the fact that it gets nervous and sniffs and moves around the room until it finds a suitable place. If you observe this behavior, you should quickly take him outside where he can defecate. In this way, he will continue to show you in the future that he wants to do his business.
Leave the dog at home alone
Not only the Rottweiler, but any dog of any other breed will feel terribly lonely as a young animal if left alone for several hours.
He has just separated from his mother and siblings. Lots of new impressions hit him. Like every animal, he longs for security, which should now come from the new owner.
Therefore, the date for a puppy purchase should be well considered. If your job is stressful or you travel a lot, it is better to choose another time.
Basically, it is ideal if the young Rottweiler is not left alone in the first few weeks and months. For several hours it can happen that he looks for something to do alone and chews on shoes, ruins the sofa, and defecates.
This will happen again with joy (!) as soon as you walk in the door. It’s up to you to give the dog security and love, especially in the first few weeks, instead of shining with absence.
Leash Aggression – A serious problem
A male Rottweiler can measure up to 69 cm and weigh up to 60 kg. When this mass of people work hard and give the bully on the leash, many owners simply can no longer control the dog. As a result, there can be a serious confrontation between two four-legged friends, which in the worst case can end in a biting attack.
There is also a risk for the owner. The Rottweiler could trip or even trip you up. Some dogs bark so furiously that the aggression sometimes turns against the owner.
If you cannot 100% rule out that your dog bites or snaps, you should start muzzle training.
A positive side effect of the muzzle: You are usually more relaxed because biting incidents can be ruled out, which in turn has a positive effect on your dog. If you are relaxed, the dog is usually too.
What is behind the leash aggression?
There are a number of reasons why the Rottweiler exhibits such behavior when on a leash. Most often the reasons are due to improper upbringing, but not always.
For example, if your Rottweiler has had bad experiences with other conspecifics, this can have a lasting effect on him and cause him to react defensively. True to the motto: Don’t come too close to me! Maybe he was bullied as a puppy or was once bitten by another dog.
Sometimes dogs are also very badly socialized and simply had too little contact with other dogs. It is quite possible that the Rotti has never learned how to communicate with other dogs and what dog etiquette there is. This can lead to misunderstandings.
A Rottweiler is also a guardian and protector. Therefore, he may want to defend or protect the person on the other end. Even if this is actually not necessary. A well-behaved Rotti who knows his place in the hierarchy should always look to his owner and not the other way around.
What can I do?
It is better not to work on this problem alone. Get help from a dog trainer so that you can have a lot of fun with your Rotti again and you can enjoy the walks to the fullest.
The trainer will first investigate the cause and possibly accompany you on a walk to see the problem on site. Afterwards, you will often practice on a training ground under controlled conditions before you return to your usual environment.
Precautions to take if your Rottweiler is showing leash aggression:
- Wear a muzzle. The handler should be a physical match for the Rottweiler in order to be able to hold him in an emergency.
- Temporarily goes for walks in areas where few other dog owners are out and about with their four-legged friends.
- If you meet a strange dog, cross the street or take a different path.
- Even if it sounds funny: Hide with your Rotti. Behind cars, hedges, trees, walls or fences. So that your dog cannot see its fellow dog.
- Intensify your training and value a good upbringing. You can work with your Rotti for the companion dog test or you can do a dog sport like obedience together. Spending a lot of time together will also strengthen the bond between you and your dog will learn to trust you.
- Don’t forget the leash training.
- Provide more social contacts for your dog. You can discuss this with a trainer.
- Have your Rotti checked out by the vet to see if everything is in order from a health point of view. Sometimes an undetected ailment causes discomfort in the dog and pain can increase the dog’s potential for aggression.
- Distract your dog. For example with the tastiest treats ever. Liverwurst or pieces of chicken, for example. Whatever your Rotti desires very much. If you meet a fellow
- Rottweiler, give the Rottweiler a treat. He may spot his counterpart, but should not have reacted to him yet. Keep feeding his favorite little treats until the other dog has passed you. If the Rotti no longer accepts the bites (because he is too tense) or still ticks off, you should of course not offer anything anymore.
- If the Rotti plays the Rambo, let’s go. Turn around, walk away, ignore the dog and the situation. If you can do it physically, with the mad Rotti in tow. However, the dogs are often totally surprised when their master simply turns around and runs after them.
- Exude self-confidence and ensure a clear ranking at home. Consistency is the be-all and end-all. Anyone who says hey and hot sends the wrong signals to his dog, which only confuses him.
This is Why a Solid Education of the Rottweiler is so Important:
- The cornerstone for a harmonious coexistence of dog and human.
- Unfortunately, the Rottweiler does not have a good reputation among many. For example, if your specimen pulls on the leash or keeps barking, this is not only nerve-wracking for you, but also does not exactly help to break down prejudices.
- A well-behaved Rottweiler is allowed to enjoy a lot more freedom and privilege because he knows how to behave.
- The Rotti can easily be taken anywhere.
- Training and obedience can protect the Rottweiler from danger (e.g. dumping poison bait, reliable retrieval even when distracted).
Rottweiler Puppies Only From Reputable Breeders
A reputable breeder is the No. 1 contact point when it comes to stable and, above all, healthy Rottweiler puppies that combine all the good qualities of the breed and comply with the FCI breed standard 147. The higher purchase price from a good Rottweiler breeder is always worth it because after all, you want an agile and jolly Rottie dog and not one with which you might later be a permanent guest at the vet. Always be skeptical about “bargain Rottweilers” and ask yourself why the puppy can actually be sold so cheaply. Or the other way round: What does a reputable breeder pay attention to and what is particularly important to them?
What Makes a Good Rottweiler Stud Dog?
Anyone who is toying with the idea of mating their bitch with a Rottweiler male should think twice about it. Raising puppies is an exciting and certainly enjoyable undertaking, but it also involves a great deal of responsibility. In addition, breeding and selling the puppies does not make a living. Anyone who breeds with Rottweilers does so solely out of love and fascination for the breed.
Of course, the selected bitch could in principle be mated to any Rottweiler. However, if you do not pay attention to a few essential things when mating, you are taking a high risk. Not all Rottweilers are created equal, after all. After all, you want healthy, strong, and strong puppies who have had a good start in life and have good character traits.
That’s why there is a whole range of advantages if you decide on a Rottweiler stud dog that first had to qualify for breeding in a test. Rotties who have taken and passed a breeding suitability test were put through their paces and found to be suitable.
The advantages of a certified stud dog are:
- Conforms to the breed standard
- Outstanding grades at breed shows
- Passed character test
- Passed performance test/endurance test
- Passed and passed the breeding suitability test
- Possibly passed licensing
- Pedigree (pedigree can be traced back)
- Medical examinations for possible hereditary diseases with unremarkable/harmless findings
- Possibly already successfully used in breeding with excellent offspring
Typical Rottweiler Diseases
Of course, the Rottweiler will also get sick at some point. These can be minor ailments and illnesses, such as parasites or diarrhea, but unfortunately also hereditary conditions or breed-specific diseases that sometimes afflict the breed.
The Rottweiler does not have to be presented to a veterinarian immediately with every illness. Some problems can initially be observed or treated with home remedies, other illnesses, on the other hand, require immediate clarification by a doctor and therapy or medication.
You should always bring your Rottweiler to the veterinary office in these situations:
- In the case of absolutely unusual and atypical behavior
- If the dog shows pain or adopts a protective posture
- Changes in drinking or eating behavior (e.g. extreme thirst, refusal to eat)
- Persistent diarrhea or vomiting
- Purulent or bloody discharge
- wounds and injuries
- foreign bodies
- bumps under the skin
- Skin problems such as hair loss or dandruff
- listlessness and constant tiredness
- coordination problems
- Frequent scratching and/or shaking of the head
- worms or other parasitic infestations
- suspected poisoning
Of course, you should always go to the practice if you are unsure. It is better to visit the vet once too often than once too little.
There are also a variety of genetic conditions and breed issues that some Rottweilers struggle with. This includes:
- hip dysplasia
- entropion (ingrowth of the eyelids)
- Cruciate ligament tear
- Very rare leukoencephalomyelopathy
- Heart disease on the rise (e.g. narrowing of the heart veins)
- thyroid problems
Of course, not every Rottweiler suffers from these diseases, but dubious breeding and especially puppy multipliers can lead to such diseases within the breed. This is why breeding selection and healthy parents are so important when breeding Rottweilers and prospective buyers should only buy from a reputable breeder and specialist.
Vaccinations: Important Preventive Health Care for Rottweilers
Rottweiler puppies receive their first vaccinations from the breeder. All administered vaccines are noted in the yellow vaccination book or EU pet passport, which is handed over to the new owner when the puppy is handed in. From this, it can be read exactly when which vaccinations have to be repeated so that the Rottweiler remains completely protected.
Once the basic immunization is finally completed, the adult Rottweiler only needs its boosters about every 3-5 years. Annual vaccination repetitions have been abandoned for a long time and vaccination serums are only injected as little as possible and as often as necessary in order not to unnecessarily burden the body.
The Standing Vet Vaccination Commission makes recommendations, which dog owners strongly recommend. The so-called core vaccinations are the most important because they protect the Rottweiler from the most common and often most dangerous dog diseases:
- Canine hepatitis (HCC)
If the majority of the canine population were vaccinated against these diseases, there would be comprehensive herd protection, which would also protect all other conspecifics who are too young or perhaps too ill and decrepit to receive an injection. Many typical dog diseases could be finally done away with.
Other vaccinations (non-core), on the other hand, depend on the housing conditions, contact with other animals, and the use of the Rottweiler. They are administered based on individual risk. The best thing to do is to discuss the optimal vaccination plan with a veterinarian and, if necessary, have the package inserts for vaccination serums and their refresher intervals shown to you.
Rottweiler Parasites are a Health Risk
Not very pleasant for both dog and owner: parasites in Rottweilers! As quickly as your four-legged friend can catch these annoying crawling animals or worms, you will usually get rid of the lodgers again as quickly. A dewormer removes parasites in the gastrointestinal tract quickly and reliably, and spot-ons for external pests also quickly free the Rottweiler from itchy vermin such as fleas, ticks, or mites.
Prompt treatment for parasites is always advised as an untreated infestation can severely affect Rottweiler’s well-being and can even make him seriously ill. In addition to problems such as hair loss, severe itching, or eczema, even worse consequences can occur organ damage, slow starvation, or the transmission of diseases such as Lyme disease.
It is therefore advisable to check the Rotti for ticks after every walk and to look out for parasites when caring for them (use a flea comb!). Ticks can often be removed before they have found a suitable spot to suck on, otherwise tick tweezers or tweezers will help to get rid of the arachnids quickly.
If you use flea treatment, you should also treat the environment at home, otherwise the dog can get infected again and again (e.g. via berths). After all, only a small percentage of fleas colonize the dog for their blood meal and the rest of the brood are otherwise close to their food source. In addition, it goes without saying that multi-dog owners always have all four-legged friends treated at the same time, regardless of which parasite one or more of their dogs are infected with.
Am I Ready for a Rottweiler?
But put down the rose-colored glasses for a moment and, despite all the anticipation, check the requirements for keeping a Rottweiler:
- Do you have enough time for education and employment? Every day? Also on weekends, public holidays or when you are ill?
- Is there enough room for the Rottweiler?
- Are dogs allowed at all?
- Would the dog be home alone for hours every day? That would not be ideal.
- Does everyone agree to the purchase?
- Are there allergies or fears that speak against a purchase?
- Is owning a dog financially possible? Is there a cushion in the account for unforeseen emergencies or surgeries?
- What to do with the Rottweiler when you are seriously ill or going on vacation?
In addition, keeping Rottweilers also has some disadvantages or limitations:
- Dog hair and dirt in the apartment
- A Rottweiler may sniff after a bath or after a walk in the rain
- Daily walks in any (!) weather
- Lots of time for work and training and therefore less free time for fun, other hobbies, etc.
- Picking up feces while walking
- Costs, costs, costs (vet, food, taxes, insurance, dog school, toys…)
- Possibly hostility from fellow human beings because of the race
- Special requirements if you live in a state that lists the Rottweiler as a dog.
- An old dog is often a bit more work or needs more care/attention
- Possible restrictions on vacations, leisure planning, spontaneity
But of course, there are also many wonderful advantages when a Rotti moves in with you:
- Is there anything cuter than a Rottweiler puppy? Hardly likely!
- It is a pleasure to watch the dog grow up and train it according to your own ideas.
- The Rottweiler is a loyal friend
- You will get a good guard dog to take care of you, your family, and your house
- Training, education, and dealing with the dog simply put you in a good mood. Especially when there is progress and success to celebrate.
- Ambitious ones can practice a dog sport with the Rottweiler and/or participate in competitions.
- Dogs can be soul comforters and close confidants (especially for children)
- You are regularly outside in the fresh air and move more
- Playing and cuddling are balms for the soul
Play, Fun, and Activity for Your Rottweiler
Nothing is worse for the Rottweiler than sitting at home with nothing to do and doing nothing. The four-legged friend loves to exercise, lots of action, and enough play and occupation with his people. He also likes having a meaningful job to pursue. Walks alone are far from enough for the Rotti.
An under-challenged Rottweiler will therefore often develop unpleasant behavior and bad habits that their owners will not like at all. Such annoying habits are difficult to break later on, which is why it is best not to get that far in the first place.
The Rottweiler is an all-rounder and a powerhouse at that. Give him the attention he deserves and needs. You should not only challenge him physically but also present his distinctive head with new challenges. Mental activity can also be exhausting for the Rottweiler but keeps him mentally fit. So make sure you have a good mix of exercise and brain work.
Be creative! Make walks varied, try out intelligence toys, or do some tricky tasks for your dog yourself. Attend workshops at the dog school, ensure solid training, try a dog sport together or aim for special training (rescue dog, protection dog, companion dog, etc.). Time and attention are the best things you can give your Rottweiler.
Basic rules for playing with the Rottweiler
- Puppies and young dogs should not romp too much and for long. Avoid sudden changes of direction, frequent jumping, and abrupt stops when playing, all of which put a strain on the musculoskeletal system.
- Physical exertion is not good when the dog has just eaten.
- Provide sufficient motivation, e.g. with treats or a favorite toy as a reward.
- Don’t overwhelm the rottweiler and slowly increase the difficulty.
- Coercion never brings the desired success, at most, it ensures refusal and rejection.
- Use only positive reinforcement.
- Keep your Rottweiler’s play preferences in mind, but add variety and new challenges every now and then.
- Safety first! Play according to your dog’s age and condition and never let him play with new toys unsupervised.
There are many Rottweiler mix breeds. Some are purposefully bred, while others are the result of random mating. When planning litters with another breed, there is often a desire to give the mixed breed certain attributes from one or both parents. These include, for example, coat texture, character traits, stature, size, coat markings, or color.
Of course, this doesn’t always work out and a Rottweiler mix can be a real grab bag. So if you are interested in a mixed breed, you should always study both original breeds in detail and find out about their characteristics, size, and appearance. This gives you at least a small overview of how your Rottweiler mix could become one day.
If the two parent animals are similar in terms of appearance and character, the offspring should of course also have corresponding characteristics. But what if the mating partner has completely different characteristics or is much smaller or larger? Patience is required here, because the final height at the withers or character traits often only become apparent in young dogs or even adult Rottweilers.
The Rottweiler is often mated with the following breeds:
- German shepherd
- German boxer
- Swiss mountain dog
Healthy diet and food for the Rottweiler
Initially, you will probably feed the Rottweiler puppy the same food they are used to from the breeder. This makes it easier for him to get used to your home, where everything is new and unfamiliar anyway. If you later want to switch to a different type of feeding or a different brand, please do not do this overnight. The puppy’s digestive system is very sensitive, so a gradual transition would be better.
Whether you offer ready-made food or prefer to prepare your Rottweiler’s meals yourself depends entirely on your preferences, your time, your wallet, and, of course, the dog’s taste. Regardless of whether you ultimately decide on dry food, canned food, or BARF (raw feeding) … the Rottweiler’s diet should be balanced, species-appropriate and healthy. A diet that is too one-sided or even wrong can cause deficiency symptoms or an oversupply of certain nutrients and make the dog ill in the long term. This can even happen slowly and insidiously over several years. In addition, Rotti, unfortunately, tends to be overweight, which is why it is all the more important to pay attention to a suitable diet and to adapt it to his age and level of activity.
So don’t just look at the price when you’re shopping for commercially produced dog food. A look at the ingredient list is much more important and crucial. As a rule of thumb: the fewer ingredients are listed and the more understandable the ingredients, the better the product is usually. Preservatives, colorings, sugar, and plenty of fillers without real nutritional value should not be included. A high proportion of meat, on the other hand, would be right and important, but also fruit, vegetables, valuable oils, and other tasty and healthy ingredients.
If you want to be absolutely sure of what ends up in your Rottweiler’s bowl every day, you should take a closer look at raw feeding. It is considered to be particularly species-appropriate, prevents allergies, bad breath, and bad teeth, ensures a shiny coat, and, on top of that, tastes extremely good to most four-legged friends.
Of course, not everything should be served to the Rottweiler. Many foods that are healthy and tasty for humans can be extremely dangerous for dogs. Although the Rottweiler, weighing around 50 kg, is an imposing and a rather heavy dog that is not easily knocked over by anything, it can still get a bad stomach upset or even poisoning if it is fed the wrong things.
The Rottweiler’s Diet
Even if the Rottweiler likes to sit in front of the set dining table with a begging look, owners should deny their four-legged friend the little treat from the table.
Like other dogs, the Rottweiler needs a special and species-appropriate diet. Confectionery, sausage and Co. are not included.
Obesity can quickly become a problem for Rottweilers due to their stately size, because if they have too much fat on their ribs, hip and other joint problems are almost inevitable.
A diet that is not too greasy and, above all, low in carbohydrates is therefore the be-all and end-all for the Rottweiler. A balanced protein intake is also important. Value high-quality protein sources and avoid products that are poor sources of protein, such as corn, soy or animal by-products.
In moderation instead of in bulk
The Rottweiler is naturally stable and powerfully built. He is muscular and appears stocky, but never stocky. A well-trained and well-fed Rottweiler alone weighs 40 to 50 kilos.
It is therefore clear that obesity should be avoided as a matter of urgency. The Rottweiler tends to lash out over the rigor when feeding. That’s why it’s important for dog owners to feed their Rottweilers in moderation.
It should be avoided at all costs that the Rottweiler can help itself all day long from too large a food ration.
Because he will. The breed tends to be overweight, as evidenced by the multitude of round-fed Rottweilers on our streets. The choice of feed should therefore be well thought out. Feeding the Rottweiler too little is of course not the right way either.
Which is better: dry or wet food?
When it comes to Rottweiler nutrition, opinions differ. Some clearly favor wet food, others are supporters of dry food chunks. In addition, the selection in the pet shops is simply overwhelming. How are you supposed to decide?
Many puppies prefer to eat what they have already received from the breeder. You can keep feeding this for a while and later switch to adult food (possibly the same brand). Otherwise, you have to try out what suits Rottweiler well and what he likes. What you ultimately decide on, of course, also depends on your budget.
If you want, you can combine both types of feeding in order to combine the advantages of both variants. The dog will be happy when he has a little variety in his bowl. However, there is still the alternative of barfing your four-legged friend.
In any case, both feeding variants have their advantages and disadvantages. The most important are summarized here:
Advantages of dry food
- Is often the cheaper feed variant
- It has a long shelf life and can be stored well in advance
- Low odor
- Dry food contains more energy than a comparable amount of wet food
- The dog needs smaller portions to be satisfied
- Scattered remains around the feeding place can be picked up quickly
- Hard chunks of food support the dog’s teeth cleaning (but only if the dog does not swallow them whole)
- Easily portionable (suitable for on the go / when traveling)
- Can be used as a reward for training
- Environmentally friendly, as less packaging material is used than for cans, bowls or food bags
Disadvantages of dry food
- Little taste of its own, which is why flavor enhancers are often used
- The need for fluids increases after eating. This is disadvantageous for dogs who are lazy to drink.
- Hard chunks are not suitable for all dogs, e.g. seniors
- Often contains preservatives
- The chunks of food swell up in the stomach. The dog only notices a feeling of satiety later, which is why it may eat more than necessary.
- Some varieties are high in grains and other nutrient-poor fillers
- Dog may drop a lot of faeces due to unusable ingredients
- Inaccurate labeling of various ingredients possible.
Diet for Rottweiler puppies
Rottweilers need energy, vitamins, minerals, and proteins – of course also when they are puppies. Above all, the puppy needs proteins in order to grow and build muscles. But be careful: You should make sure that your Rotti puppy does not gain weight too quickly. Too much protein in the feed can lead to growth spurts, which in turn are detrimental to health. The musculoskeletal system and joints are unnecessarily burdened by the rapid growth. Too many proteins also promote the development of hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. OCD, another joint disease, can also be accelerated by too much protein.
A few weeks after birth, a Rottweiler will eat solid food on its own.
In the beginning, it can make sense to feed them wet food, but many owners and breeders feed their Rottweilers, who already tend to be overweight, dry.
In the first few weeks and months, puppies can be given additional food, such as quark for strong bones.
Basically, dogs are omnivores. Special feed mixes tailored to the needs of individual breeds are also available in retail outlets, including the Rottweiler.
It is a good idea to feed a puppy special puppy food that is less greasy than adult Rottweiler food but is rich in vitamins and nutrients important for healthy bone, cartilage, and tooth development.
By the way:
Too many proteins can have a negative effect not only on Rottweiler puppies. Care should also be taken with adult or old dogs. If your Rotti has kidney or liver problems, only high-quality protein sources of animal origin should be fed and the four-legged friend should be fed a rather low-protein diet.
Nutrition in old and neutered Rottweilers
When the Rottweiler reaches senior age, it is often no longer as active as it used to be and snoozes more. If he continues to get the same food in the same amount, he will of course gain weight because his level of activity is far less pronounced. Since the Rottweiler tends to be overweight anyway and this is not good for the joints and the entire musculoskeletal system, additional kilos should not be forced.
Accordingly, the amount of food should be reduced or switched to a lower-calorie version especially for old dogs (senior food). In addition, senior dogs often prefer a somewhat softer diet. If the Rottweiler is given dry food, this could be moistened a little or you can occasionally feed them some canned food as well. Due to dental problems, it could also be the case that your Rotti can no longer chew large bones well or does not tolerate them particularly well. Constipation is often the result. Therefore, if necessary, remove these delicacies from the menu or only offer them rarely.
What about the neutered dog?
The situation is similar with castrated dogs. Due to the surgical intervention in the hormone balance, some (but not all!) four-legged friends actually become a bit sluggish. Anyone who previously had a Rottweiler with a very high sex drive may suddenly have a calmer candidate at home after the operation. So when the jittery behavior and stress from the sex drive goes away, some breed representatives actually put on the extra pounds.
In such cases, you should also pay attention to a lower calorie intake and, of course, continue to ensure sufficient exercise and activity. Of course, the Rottweiler senior mentioned above still needs plenty of exercises to stay fit. Here, however, the daily workload should be adapted to his changed physical condition and age.
How Much Food Does a Rottweiler Need?
The amount of food the Rottweiler feeds depends on the ingredients in the feed and the weight of the dog.
So it is clear that Rottweiler puppies get significantly less food than adult dogs. When fed alone with dry food, which is recommended in addition to raw feeding, a Rottweiler puppy gets around 200 g per day, while an adult Rottweiler gets around 400 g.
Since this feeding recommendation is by no means universally applicable, it is worth taking a look at the packaging of the food: here you will usually find weight tables and the corresponding feeding quantities.
The Rottweiler often looks disappointed after feeding and acts as if the amount of food was too little. However, this is due to the nature of the Rottweiler, because he sucks in food of all kinds like a vacuum cleaner and would like to eat more at any time.
Dog food is not the same as dog food – it is worth making a comparison here
Good dog food consists mostly of meat. Very good dog food consists of a single type of meat and a proportion of vegetables. Discounter brands, on the other hand, usually have large shares of wheat.
Wheat is cheap, stretches, and fills you up. However, the effect of wheat on the dog is controversial, so the rule of thumb is: the lower the proportion of wheat, the higher the quality of the food.
Accordingly, good dry food is usually a bit more expensive, but it is worth buying in bulk packs, which are quite appropriate for a Rottweiler. Smaller packs, on the other hand, are often more expensive.
The well-fed Rottweiler
A healthy and well fed Rottweiler will have a muscular, defined build, a shiny coat, be active and have healthy teeth.
When touching the chest, the ribs can still be easily felt, but the spine is not visible.
Depending on the movement and activity, the individual muscle groups are clearly visible in a well-nourished Rottweiler, especially on the hind legs.
The trunk is massive but not round and the belly is taut. Rottweilers that are overfed or malnourished, on the other hand, appear plump, sluggish, and often have trouble walking.
Particular attention should be paid to the diet of neutered male and female dogs. After neutering, there can be a hormonal imbalance, which makes the Rottweiler, who is already prone to being overweight, even more, susceptible to excess pounds.
A change in feed to low-fat and low-protein or moderate raw feed can be worthwhile here.
What can Rottweilers not eat?
Most dogs are certainly given ready-made food or are barred. But what about food and dishes that end up on master and mistress’ plates every day?
Not everything that is healthy and digestible for humans should also find its way into the Rottweiler’s stomach. Some foods are harmful or even toxic. Therefore, begging at the table should not be indulged. And if the Rotti should get a (harmless) portion, then it should be independent of the meal of its owner. This also prevents the pleading look at the table.
The Rottweiler can react to table scraps with illnesses. Sweets in particular, but also certain types of fruit such as grapes or raisins have no place on the Rottweiler’s menu.
Coffee is just as dangerous for dogs, not to mention alcoholic foods.
Even small grams of sugar or alcohol can, at worst, be fatal to a dog.
For example, the following foods may not be fed to the Rottweiler:
- Chocolate (especially those with a high cocoa content)
- Other foods with cocoa
- Different types of nuts
- Spicy dishes
- Boiled or fried bones
- stone fruit pits
- Onions, Garlic, Pepperoni, Leek
- Raw pork / wild boar meat
- raisins, grapes
- Raw vegetables: potatoes, cabbages, eggplant, tomatoes or beans
- Green paprika
- Raw legumes
- Milk (not toxic in principle, but causes diarrhea in many dogs)
- Foods with the sweetener xylitol (commonly found in sweets)
Now, many Rottweilers tip the scales at 100 pounds or even more. Fortunately, poisoning from some foods does not happen as easily as with small and light breeds. Nevertheless, raisins and co can of course have a negative effect on health and damage can also occur very gradually. It is, therefore, better to avoid such foods altogether.
Rottweiler Grooming: The Rottweiler is easy to groom
The Rottweiler has stock hair, consisting of topcoat and undercoat. His coat is short, hard and dense, and absolutely easy to care for. Regular brushing 1-2 times a week is sufficient to remove dust and dirt. During the seasonal change of coat and for bitches before heat, it is advisable to groom them a little more frequently, as hair loss increases here. In this way, you not only free the fur from dead hair but also reduce the amount of hair flying around in the apartment.
However, you should only bathe the Rottweiler in an emergency. Most Rotties are not particularly fond of water anyway. However, a bath may be advisable if your four-legged friend has rolled in foul-smelling things, such as feces or carrion, or has come into contact with something toxic.
Of course, there is more to the holistic care of the Rottweiler than a well-groomed coat. Give the dog a little attention every day and check its mouth and teeth, eyes, ears, nose and paws. In order to reliably avoid tartar, the Rottweiler’s teeth can be brushed regularly. The eyes also need more checks. Especially since the breed is prone to entropion (roll-lid), where the eyelids grow inward. Also make sure the pads are elastic and healthy and shorten the claws if necessary.
The basic equipment you should have at home:
- brush and curry comb
- tick tongs
- flea comb
- claw tongs
- Dental care items such as toothbrushes and dog toothpaste
- dog shampoo
- Fat cream for the balls of the feet and also the nose (important in winter)
- Cloths, lint-free cloths, or kitchen roll for cleaning eyes, nose, and ears
- If necessary, ear lotion and cleaning pads for the eyes
If you get your Rottweiler used to the necessary hand movements early on, you will hardly encounter any resistance later and will have a relaxed dog in front of you who may even enjoy the grooming routine (especially the brushing) a bit. Anyone who now examines their Rottweiler for abnormalities, parasites, and changes while being cared for makes an enormously important contribution to maintaining their health. After all, treatment can be carried out faster and more effectively the sooner illnesses, annoying subtenants, or other problems are identified.