Welcome to the BarkPost guide to dog breeds where we belly flop straight into the depths of dog breed origin, evolution, and purpose. Follow along each week as we publish new guides that highlight the strangest, most interesting, and most surprising stuff about these creatures who have been our best buds the last 30,000 years.
Intro / Overview
(All dogs are individuals, which means any single dog from any breed can be any number of ways, both good and not so good. Keep that in mind as we discuss breed generalities!)
A good, healthy relationship requires constant effort, dedication, and, yes, training. It’s no different with the magnificent Rottweiler. A robust, muscular, working breed with a profound capability for love, these loyal pups are a wonderful addition to a pack that’s willing to put in the work to harness their seemingly limitless power and capabilities.
Though they make excellent companions and guardians, these large and powerful dogs are not for everyone, as they require extensive socialization and training from early on. If you’re looking for a dog you can spoil and cater to, this is not the breed for you. Rottie’s are smart, hard workers and are capable of immense love and plenty of fun. If you’re willing to put in the work, they certainly will too.
Also Known As…
Rott. Rottie. Rottweiler Metzgerhund. “You’ll never be as cool as a person as a Rottweiler is as a dog.”
Descended from the mastiffs of the Roman Empire, Rottweilers are of the oldest of the herding breeds. Their German name, Rottweiler Metzgerhund, means Rottweil butcher’s dog. Rottweil is a town in Southwest Germany, where these dogs were used to herd livestock and pull market carts filled with butcher’s meat. One the railroad came along in the mid-19th century, the need to drove livestock diminished. While Rotties are still used as herding dogs in many parts of the world today, they are now also used as search and rescue dogs, guard dogs, and police dogs.
The average height for Rottweilers is 22 – 25 inches for females and 24 – 27 inches for males.
The average weight range for Rottweilers is 80 – 100 pounds for females and 95 – 135 pounds for males.
The calm and confident rottweiler is smart enough to size someone up, rather than blindly befriending them. Too courageous to be shy, they are simply waiting for newcomers to prove themselves worthy of affection. And these dogs have plenty of affection to give! They want to be with their families whenever possible, on the job, having fun, or simply lying on top of you while you sit on the couch.
Leadership must be established in order to keep these powerful pups from becoming bullies. They thrive on boundaries being set and respond well to kind assertiveness. But once you’ve earned a Rottie’s respect, you will truly have a best friend for life.
Intelligence / Trainability
Rottweilers are intelligent, highly trainable, and eager to please. It’s up to their humans to put in the time, effort, and money to help them be their best selves. Firm and consistent, but never harsh, training is required to channel their power and protective nature. Without it, these loving guardians can become ferocious bullies.
While not the dog for everyone, if you’re willing to put in the work, a Rottie’s potential is seemingly limitless. Excellent workers in herding, tracking and obedience – if you’ve got a job to do, you can train a Rottie to do it, or at least help you with it. And, oh yeah, they’re excellent snugglers as well.
Big dogs need their space. Apartments or small living spaces are not ideal. Left alone for long periods of time without enough exercise may resort to destructive behaviors. Of course, with
Good For Families And Kids?
Properly trained Rotties make wonderful family guardians and friends. These guard dogs are excellent protectors, but do require training to keep them from becoming overly protective.
If raised with children and trained to properly behavior around them, these strong dogs make for gentle playmates. Be aware that their natural instinct to herd may cause them to “bump” children, which, being large dogs, may result in accidental injury. Proper training and socialization allow Rotties to shine as the loving family members they are known by so many to be.
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t leave your dog alone with young children at any time – to make sure that both dog and child are treating each other respectfully.
The average life expectancy for Rottweilers is 8 – 10 years.
While robust and generally healthy, Rottweiler’s are prone to certain health issues which you should be aware of and discuss with your veterinarian, including hip and elbow dysplasia, aortic atenosis/aub-aortic stenosis (a heart defect), and osteosarcoma (bone cancer). Also, while it is unknown why, Rottie puppies are more susceptible than other breeds to become infected with parvovirus.
There’s no standard level of energy when it comes to Rotties. While this working breed certainly has its examples of overachievers, there are quite a few sluggish pups in the group as well. So, it’s good to know which will fit best with your pack if you go looking for a new member. However, all rotts were born to work, and they need to put that energy to use. It’s your job to make sure they put it to good use.
On average, Rotties require several 20-minute exercise “sessions” a day. Whatever you want to do, they’ll do it with you. They love walking, or trotting along with their humans, swimming, and, of course, playing. And if you’ve got a cart that needs pulling, look no further!
Friendly With… (Dogs, Strangers, Cats, Other Pets?)
Most Rotties will get along just fine with dogs and other pets that they grow up with. However, be cautious introducing new animals to an adult Rottie, as they can be reactive towards dogs they don’t know, especially those of the same sex. But with your firm and loving guidance, they should have no problem making new friends.
Coat & Grooming
Rotties are double-coated doggies, with a straight, coarse, medium-length outer coat that can be black and tan or black and mahogany. The undercoat is on the neck and thighs. They require brushing once a week and should be bathed often. A rott won’t be much of a shedder except for twice a year, usually during spring and fall. They also require a weekly nail trimming and a good tooth brushing 3 times a week.
Whose snoring is keeping you awake? Most likely it’s your Rottie’s.
Toys Rottweilers Would Like Best
Check out our “What Are The Best Toys For Rottweilers?” post for more insight and recommendations.
Recommended Diet Or Supplements
Feeding your Rottweiler (or any dog) the freshest whole food diet you can afford (trying to eliminate fillers, grains, or inflammatory proteins such as chicken), can go a long way to decrease health issues and increase longevity.
Coconut oil can also help to prevent inflammation, and can help protect the nervous system, while locally-sourced, season-appropriate honey can help with allergies.
These delicious, vet-formulated chews are made with all-natural ingredients including Omega 3, 6, 9, and Vitamin E. They are designed to support immune health, provide relief from itchy allergic skin, and promote a healthy coat. ($19.99)
BARK’s Full Spectrum Hemp Oil is made of organically grown whole plants, grown in Colorado, and is non-psychoactive. It comes in 100mg, 250mg, and 500mg varieties, and can help with pet anxiety and pain relief. ($17.99-22.99.)
For Rotties with joint issues – or any dog who just loves to lie around! – a nice comfortable bed with orthopedic support is probably a good idea.
This ultra plush orthopedic dog bed provides support for even the most active of dogs! The combination ergonomic memory foam and gel foam relieves pressure points, and helps ease body aches caused by hip dysplasia, arthritis and other orthopedic issues. It offers the best therapeutic support for your Rottweiler. ($27.99-64.99.)
Notable Rescues To Find The Rottweiler Of Your Dreams
R.E.A.L. Rottweiler Rescue is a small, private rottweiler rescue in Ashland, Ohio that had has over 1,000 successful adoptions since its founding in 2003. While the rescue is dedicated to the Rottweiler breed, they are committed to finding any dog in need the best home possible.
MidAmerica Rottweiler Rescue (MARR) was formed to fill the need for a rescue network in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. Volunteers work to rescue and/or rehabilitate abandoned, homeless or unwanted Rottweilers that are found to have sound temperament by placing them in qualified, suitable and approved foster or permanent homes.
Southern States Rescued Rottweilers, Inc. (SSRR) is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated primarily to the rescue and subsequent placing of Rottweilers that have been lost, abandoned or abused.
Notable Instagram Rottweiler
Fritzi is a Rottweiler living her best life in Germany! Also, she’s hilarious!
Wondering how much love a Rottie has to offer? Look no further! Gus is a “certified loverbutt” who enjoys spending time with his humans. Whether he’s taking beautiful scenic hikes, swimming, or just lounging and eating popcorn, Gus is living the good life of a good boy.
Luna and Klaus are living it up in Las Vegas, spending their days by the pool and their nights in snuggling the fam.
This older good boy is living his best life in Brisbane. Zulu loves, walks, swims, and catching up with his friends. Just watch where you throw that thing. He’s also ball crazy.
***Looking for a gift to blow your Rottie’s mind? Spoil them with a Super Chewer BarkBox! Every month Super Chewer delivers 2 super-durable toys, designed in-house, 2 full bags of all-natural treats, and 2 (!!!) meaty chews. Sign up here and receive a free extra toy every month.
Featured image via Rottie_Fam/Instagram