The Rottweiler is a medium-large size dog breed whose origins have historically been linked to ancient Rome. The modern Rottweiler is nearly identical to the large mastiff type dogs used by roman armies to guard the cattle they kept on long marches. They are a capable working breed that up till the mid-19th century were used extensively for herding livestock and pulling carts laden with meat and various other products to market.
Today Rottweilers are mostly is used as guard dogs, police dogs, guide dogs for the blind, search and rescue dogs and herding cattle or sheep. It is a highly versatile breed capable of functioning in many different environments and a number of different roles.
The Rottweiler is a medium to large size dog with a stout, muscular and powerful body. Males can grow up to 27 inches tall while females are usually smaller and grow up to 25 inches. Males can weigh anywhere from 43 – 59 kg. Females can weigh between 38 to 52 kg.
Their head is wide between the ears and of medium length with a broad nose and large nostrils. The ears are triangular, set wide apart and laid forward, close to the head. They have a strong straight back. Both, front and back legs are straight, muscled and not placed close to each other. They have a short black coat that is usually low maintenance.
A Rottweiler has a naturally confident and fearless attitude. They are usually reliable, calm, courageous and devoted to their family. It is an easily trainable breed because of these characteristics. As with all dogs, a Rotweiler’s owner needs to assert his or her authority early in the dog’s life. This is doubly important with a Rottweiler because of their strength. A Rottweiler can become difficult to handle if the dog considers himself to be the leader of the pack.
A poorly trained Rottweiler is a danger to itself and those around it. They have a naturally protective nature and early socializing is required with this breed for it to accept other pets in the household or guests. Females are generally more docile then males.
3. Exercise requirements
This is a hardy breed and thrives on physical exertion. They need plenty of exercise for a long healthy life. A Rottweiler is usually laid back indoors but can easily become restless if not exercised properly. Long walks, jogs or a simple game of fetch will keep them happy.
4. Use as work dogs
Rottweiler’s were bred to be a working breed and they excel in a number of fields and roles. They are highly trainable and willing to work. They are particularly well suited to herding livestock, especially stubborn cattle who can sometimes ignore other breeds like border collies. A Rottweiler can and will physically move a stubborn animal if needed.
They are also well suited to guarding duties. Their muscular build and menacing appearance will keep most people away anyway but in a serious situation a Rottweiler is more than capable of defending his owners. This breed has been extensively used as search and rescue dogs, police dogs and sometimes as guides for the blind.
They are also well suited for the dog sport of Schutzhund.
Rotweilers are average shedders. Their short black coats are easy to maintain and a firm bristle brush should be used. Rottweilers have sensitive skin and should only be bathed when necessary. A mild shampoo must be used when they are bathed.
5. General Health
The average life expectancy of a Rottweiler is 9 to 10 years. They are generally a healthy breed with few health problems. Hip dysplasia and Osteochondritis Dissecans (a condition affecting the shoulder joints) can be a problem as with most large dog breeds. Parvovirus is a particular problem for Rottweiler puppies and can be avoided by following the recommended vaccine protocol suggested by a vet.
Rottweilers are gluttons and susceptible to obesity if not exercised properly and/or overfed. This can cause a number of problems like diabetes, heart problems, arthritis, skin disease and reproductive problems.
6. Recommended for
Rotweilers are all round dogs and can become a part of any family and perform multiple roles. Whether you want a playful companion, a great guard dog or herder for your livestock a Rotweiler will duly comply. Or they can be used in a professional capacity like a police dogs or search and rescue dogs. The problem with a Rottweiler is always going to be his owners!
As described above, this is a hardy working breed that needs sufficient exercise and a firm hand. Training and early socializing will always be important with any dog but it becomes especially important with strong willful breeds.
We recommend this breed for owners who have previous experience with dogs and training them. Families with young children also have to be cautious as a Rottweiler does not know his own strength and might knock down a child accidentally.