The Rottweiler is a medium-to-large or large breed of domestic dog, originally named in German Rottweiler Metzgerhund, meaning “Rottweil butchers’ dogs”, because their main use was to herd livestock and pull carts laden with butchered meat to market!
The modern-day Rottweilers are well known to be powerful, protective, and loyal, famous for their instinct for guarding which makes them popular choices as guard dogs. And they are all those things – so much so, in fact, that the American Rottweiler Club states that, “owning a Rottweiler carries a great deal of responsibility and commitment,” and that “it is not a dog for everyone”, but owners who have owned a Rottweiler are unswerving in their love of the breed.
On the whole, they are calm, quiet dogs. Rottweilers are not breed that will bark for no reason and certainly won’t bark mindlessly for hours on end. Your Rottweiler will bark if there is a good reason to bark, so pay attention when he does – but generally the breed is calm and quiet.
Rottweilers love people and are happiest inside with their family – they are loyal and affectionate towards their families and have been known to follow their favourite person through the house, so they don’t lose sight of you! Although Rottweilers are good with children, as with any canine-child interactions, supervision is ALWAYS recommended – especially with small children who may unintentionally be rough with or hurt your dog.
Rottweilers are extremely intelligent and respond well to training, but you need to be firm and consistent, as your Rottweiler will test you to see if you really mean what you say! Be clear in what you’re asking of your dog, and don’t leave any loopholes open for them to exploit – the socialisation and exercise of Training Classes, starting right with Puppy Classes will encourage bonding, and help you to get to know each other. Although they may not look very energetic, Rottweilers require walks or playtimes daily especially if your property is on the small side.
Whilst your Rottweiler is generally good natured and obedient, and very unlikely to show any aggression towards you, as the owner, they are very territorial and can be more aggressive than average towards strangers, especially if the owner is not present, or if the dog sees the stranger as a potential threat, hence the Rottweiler being a popular choice for people wanting an imposing and protective dog. Rottweilers walk a fine line between protectiveness and aggressiveness. If they aren’t carefully bred for a calm, intelligent temperament and properly socialised and trained, they can become overly protective.
Male Rottweilers tend to be more dominant, aggressive, stubborn and challenging by nature, and while female Rottweilers are more obedient in behaviour, they are just more naturally protective due to that motherly instinct but are also more affectionate and easier to housetrain!
One of the most common health conditions to watch for is “Hip Dysplasia” which is where the thighbone doesn’t fit snugly into the hip joint. Some dogs show pain and lameness on one or both rear legs, but you may not notice any signs of discomfort in a dog with hip dysplasia, until, with age, arthritis can develop. With a healthy diet and regular exercise, you can look forward to your Rottweiler having a life expectancy of 8 – 11 years