The true history of Rottweillers is somewhat hazy. One theory claims that the ancestors of the breed were the dogs used by the Roman legions to drove and guard their livestock as they crossed the Alps, which may mean that they are connected to the Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs and Entelbuchers which are also descended from Roman dogs. At this time, it was also the theory that they were used to hunt wild boar. By the Middle Ages, in Rottweil, Germany these dogs had been crossed with local sheepdogs to create the 'Rottweiler Metzgerhund', the Rottweil Butchers' Dog. Butchers used these dogs to drive and guard their livestock as it made its way on foot from town to town. In the 19th century cattle-driving became illegal in Germany and the Rottweiler suffered a decline in popularity until 1914 when they were once again brought into use for the war, which proved their physical and mental abilities. The breed entered the United States in the 1930's and was accepted into their Kennel Club in 1935, being accepted by the British Kennel Club the following year.
Rottweilers are medium to large, compact dogs known for their solid black, flat-lying coats with clearly defined rust-coloured markings. Although they have double coats, the under coat is very fine and not visible through the outer one which is coarse and of medium length. They are one of the strongest and most powerful dogs in the world for their size. Built for trotting, Rotties are well-balanced and move with a purpose giving an impression of harmony and positivity. For their size, Rotties are very agile and capable of running and jumping with ease.
|Colour||Rottweilers are always black with tan markings.
|Coat Length||Short Medium
|Weight/Height Range||Bitches measure 58 to 64cms at the withers, weighing around 38kgs, while dogs measure 63 to 69cms weighing around 50kgs.
|Ailments||Puppies must be chosen from parents who have been temperament-tested and who have been hip-screened and given a good rating. Rottweillers have become unusually susceptible to parvovirus which is somewhat concerning for breeders. Because dietary problems have occurred in the breed, make sure the breeder gives you a recommended feeding plan when purchasing your puppy. The most common causes of death in Rotties are heart disease, cancer and bloat.
|Breed Classification||Rottweilers belong to the working group and are used as guard dogs, watch dogs, police dogs, companions and seen in the show-ring.
Feeding & Ownership
When they are puppies, it is important to follow the breeder's recommended diet sheet. As adults, they should be fed twice a day because of their tendency to bloat, a dietary condition which can be serious.
|Food Cost||More than $20|
Rottweilers are unconditionally loyal to their handlers and their families and will defend them and their property to the end. They are protective and brave, and like many other dogs, can be jealous if attention is given elsewhere. Temperaments can however vary: some being independent, aloof and less-friendly, others being outgoing and gregarious with everyone. So please choose your puppy carefully! Please remember that some Rotties can be aggressive and, as such, are unsuitable for timid or unconfident owners.
|Intelligence||The importance of socialisation and training from an early age cannot be overstressed! These are intelligent dogs but can be rather dominant in nature. They require firmness and consistency from an early age from an equable, calm handler. The breed is extremely sensitive to your voice so use this to your advantage when it comes to praising the dog. Attack training is highly discouraged in case it overstimulates their already protective natures and they become uncontrollable.|
|Suitability for Children||Medium
|Tendency to Bark||Low|
|Overall Exercise Requirement||Rotties need exercise and plenty of it! Failure to do this can cause all sorts of behavioural problems. They love to run through woods and in the open countryside with no desire to wander far from their owners. They adore swimming and will quite happily run alongside a bicycle. Do be careful though when they are running off the lead to ensure their safety.|
|Suitability as a Guard Dog||High|
|Ease of Transportation||Medium|
|Level of Aggression||High|
|Other Animal Compatibility||Medium|
One of the easiest breeds to maintain, give them a good brush down regularly with a rubber glove during the moulting seasons and this will suffice. The shine comes from correct feeding!
|Grooming Requirements||Up to once a week|
|Amount of Hair Shed||Little|
Discover Other Dog Breeds
Welsh Corgi (Cardigan)