German Rottweilers – Everything You Need To Know

German Rottweiler is a medium to a large-sized dog bred for domestic purposes. They originated in Germany and were primarily used to herd livestock and pull carts loaded with butchered meat to the market. For the same reason, they were called Rottweiler Metzgerhund in German, meaning Rottweil butcher dogs. By the mid 19th century, railroads replaced driving, and these dogs were used for different purposes. Eventually, German Rottweilers were also used as police dogs, guard dogs, search dogs, and rescue dogs. However, they are still used for herding livestock around the world. The standards of German Rottweilers are set by Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler(ADRK) in Germany. Most Rottweilers found in America are bred in the USA and are as per the AKC standards. Although Rottweilers are a common and popular breed in America, German Rottweilers are quite rare.

German Rottweiler Pros and Cons

Perfect working dogsStubborn
Great working dogsShed a lot
Smart and intelligentShort life span
Easy to groomDifficult to train

German Rottweiler Basic Information

  • Name: German Rottweiler
  • Origin: Germany
  • Group: Herding dog
  • Size: Medium to large
  • Height: 24 – 27 inches
  • Weight: 77 – 130 lbs
  • Coat: Double-coated
  • Color: Black with markings in tan
  • Energy: High
  • Activities: Watchdog, companion dogs, working dogs
  • Barking Level: Medium
  • Shedding Level: High
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Litter Size: 8 – 12 puppies
  • Other Names: Rott, Rottie
  • Original Pastime: Herding, pulling carts
  • Life Span: 8-10 years
  • Club Recognition: Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler(ADRK)

History of German Rottweiler

German Rottweilers are one of the oldest dog breeds, and their origin dates back to Roman times. These dogs were initially bred for herding livestock and pulling carts. They accompanied the Roman legions along the Alps, protecting their owners and herding their cattle. These dogs mated themselves naturally with the native dogs in the region of Rottweiler. They acquired their name from this old city, and thus the dog breed was born. Their primary purpose was to herd cattle and guard livestock and their owner’s property. In German, they were called Rottweil butchers dogs as the butchers bred them purely for their performance. By the 19th century, when cattle carts began to fade, they were used as police dogs and were one of the earliest police dog breeds. They were also used as rescue and guard dogs and were officially recognized as police dogs in 1910. 

German Rottweiler Highlights

  • German Rottweilers are large, powerful, and highly energetic.
  • They are hard-headed and need extensive training and socialization.
  • German Rottweilers love to be around their owners and suffer separation anxiety when left alone.
  • They get along with kids with early socialization
  • They have a natural herding instinct and may get into herding toddlers.
  • They are not good with other animals and pets and aggressive toward strange dogs.
  • German Rottweilers are intelligent and can be trained at their best.
  • Interestingly, all Rottweilers snore.
  • They also tend to overeat and are prone to obesity.

German Rottweiler Personality

German Rottweilers are medium to large-sized dogs and grow up to 24 – 27 inches. They are muscular and weigh about 77 – 130 lbs. German Rotties are robust, stalwart dogs that are neither heavy nor light. German Rottweilers are slightly larger than the American Rotties and will not have docked tails. They have compact bodies proportionately built for agility, strength, and endurance. They are powerful dogs with sweet dispositions and can make great working dogs and family companions when trained well.

Friendliness Overview

Affection level                           High
Kid-friendlyMedium to high
Pet-friendlyLow to medium
Strangers-friendlyMedium to high

Adaptability Overview

Good for New Pet OwnersLow
Good for Apartment LivingLow to medium
Sensitivity levelMedium to high
Tolerates being aloneLow
Heat toleranceMedium 
Cold toleranceLow to medium

German Rottweiler Physical Features

Head: The skull of the German Rottweiler is of medium length and broad between the ears. The nose is black, broad, with large nostrils, while the muzzle is strong with a broad base. 

The eyes are almond-shaped, medium-shaped, and dark brown. The ears are triangular, wide apart, and set high. 

Neck: The neck is long, strong, slightly arched, and well muscled.

Topline and Body: The topline and the body is straight, strong, and firm with short, strong, and deep loins. The chest is broad with well-developed forechest and ribs.

Tail: The tail is strong, level in extension of the upper line.

Forequarters:  The front legs are straight and not too close. The forearm is seen straight with the shoulders laid back well. The forearm is strong and muscular. The upper arm is close to the body. The forefeet are round, tight, and well arched with hard pads. The nails are short, black, and intense.

Hindquarters: The legs are straight and not close. In between the upper thigh and hip bones, obtuse angles are formed. His upper thigh is quite long, broad, and muscular. 

The lower thigh is long, strong, and athletic. Further, the hindquarters are slightly longer than the forequarters. Finally, the toes are strong and arched.

Coat:  German Rottweilers bear a medium length top coat and an undercoat. The top coat is coarse, flat and coarse.

Color: Black with defined markings of tan on cheeks, muzzle, throat, chest, legs, over the eyes, and under the tail base.

Gait: The gait is steady and energetic with a good stride. Well-balanced with good reach and strong drive.

German Rottweiler Temperament

German Rottweilers are loyal, loving, and confident guardians. They are highly intelligent, love to be busy, and are always eager to learn new things. They do well with children when socialized early. German Rotties make excellent family dogs that love cuddles. With puppy training, they get along well with cats and other animals in the house. They are obedient and respond well to commands and training. Their overall temperament includes

  • Loyal
  • Fearless
  • Gentle
  • Intelligent
  • Aloof
  • Playful
  • Friendly,
  • Affectionate

German Rottweiler Training

The German Rottweilers are intelligent, always eager to please, and highly trainable. Like any other dog, they need early socialization and puppy training classes. The training requires patience and consistency during the period. They are sensitive to any adverse reactions and need positive reinforcement while training. They love being around people, and treats and cuddling do wonders while training. They are active and look forward to the training sessions, playing fetch, which helps in training regarding behavioral corrections. They do not respond to harsh commands, and lots of praises, cuddles, and treats work wonders during the training. Obedience training and socialization help behavioral correction and bring out the best in any dog. German Rotties need to be always busy. Hence it is necessary to keep the training interesting. Their training can include the following:

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Trainability Overview

Easy to trainMedium to high
Prey driveHigh
Mouthiness tendenciesMedium
Barking and howling tendenciesHigh
Wanderlust tendenciesLow

German Rottweiler Exercise Needs

German Rottweilers are highly active and energetic and need adequate exercise. A daily exercise routine of 30 – 60 minutes is ideal for keeping the dog’s mental and physical stimulation intact. Walking 2 – 3 times a day with a bit of running and play keeps the dog happy and healthy. They learn easily and excel in herding, tracking, and obedience. They enjoy running, walking, hiking, agility, and trotting. A proper exercise routine helps the dog with the following benefits.

  • Social interaction
  • Weight control
  • Stress relief
  • Behavioral corrections like excessive chewing, persistent barking
  • Brain stimulation
  • Strengthening muscles
  • Routine toileting
  • Mental health and happiness

Exercise Needs Overview

Energy levelMedium to high
Exercise needsHigh
IntensityHigh to medium

German Rottweiler Grooming

German Rottweilers have a straight, coarse, flat outer coat. They shed moderately throughout the year and are also seasonal shedders with profuse shedding during spring and fall. They are easy to groom, and the coat needs to be brushed 2-3 times per week. They may need extra brushing during their shedding season. Brushing helps remove clump hair and pull out the loose fur during shedding. One of the essential parts of grooming is bathing which keeps the dog clean. However, frequent bathing causes dry skin and itches. Bathing your dog using shampoos with ph. Balanced for dogs, pet wipes will keep your dog’s coat fresh, clean, and shiny. They can also be bathed once a week. However, daily brushing helps to keep the fur from knots and tangles

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They are prone to collect ear wax quickly. Hence, Ears should be cleaned and regularly checked as they are prone to ear problems. Brush their teeth daily to prevent plaque and other dental problems. Never brush the teeth with a stiff brush as it will harm the gums and teeth. Also, make sure to use dog-friendly toothpaste. 

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Also, clean their eyes and trim their nails as a part of everyday grooming needs. Their toenails must be checked weekly as longer nails may harm and injure the dog. You can trim the toenails with a commercial dog nail trimmer or with the help of a vet or professional groomer.

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Grooming Overview

Easy to groomHigh
Drooling tendenciesHigh 
Amount of sheddingHigh 

German Rottweiler Health

The German Rottweiler is a healthy and active dog. Yet, it’s always wise to be aware of the health conditions they are prone to. 

Health Overview

General healthLow 
Weight gain tendenciesHigh 

Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is an abnormality of the hip joint where the socket portion does not entirely fit the ball portion, resulting in an ascending risk for joint dislocation. Hip dysplasia may occur at birth or in early life. As the dog ages, arthritis can develop. Some dogs exhibit discomfort and lameness on one or both rear legs. The Orthopedic Foundation or the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program does x-ray screening for hip dysplasia in animals. Dogs who suffer from hip dysplasia should not be bred.

Elbow Dysplasia: This disorder occurs when the elbow joint bones don’t fit appropriately. This condition generates abnormal pressure at the joint, leading to chronic rubbing and painful osteoarthritis.


  • Mild to moderate pain  
  • Lameness in the forelimbs 

Aortic Stenosis: Aortic stenosis is a hereditary condition where the aorta, the main artery that carries blood to the rest of the body from the heart, is too thin. Aortic stenosis can cause a heart murmur, dizziness, and difficulty breathing. Affected dogs aren’t allowed to breed. Mild to severe cases of aortic stenosis are treated with medication, and, if required, surgery is done. 

Cancer: German Rottweilers are prone to cancer as they grow older. Cancer can be cured by surgical removal of tumors and chemotherapy. It is essential not to ignore the symptoms and diagnose them earlier.

Entropion: Entropion is a condition in which the eyelid rolls inward, irritating the eyeball from eyelashes rubbing on the surface. In critical cases, entropion can cause a corneal ulcer. The treatment for this disease is surgical.

Ectropion: Ectropion is when the eyelid rolls outward, causing irritation, dryness, and damage to the eyeball and conjunctiva (the tissues surrounding the eye). The treatment for this disease is surgical.

Obesity is a significant health condition in Rottweilers. Excess weight can cause joint problems, back pain, digestive disorders, and heart disease. A healthy diet and regular exercise are the best ways to prevent this lifestyle disease.

Spay or Neuter: In spay, the ovaries or uterus in females is removed, and in the neuter, the testicles of the male dogs are removed. It is done to eliminate the possibility of pregnancy or fathering unwanted puppies and decrease the likelihood of certain types of cancer.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Problems: In Rottweilers, the knee’s Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) is known to tear and cause severe hindlimb lameness. The precise cause of this disease is unknown, but genetics, conformation, ligament laxity, and obesity are believed to play a role. A torn ACL creates uncertainty and activates the joint to early-onset osteoarthritis, pain, and movement loss. Surgical treatment is available and recommended at the early stages of the disease to avoid the development of osteoarthritis.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy: Many eye infections involve the retina’s slow deterioration. In the initial phases, puppies become night-blind. As it progresses, they lose their eyesight during the daytime as well. However, most canines slowly adapt to their slight or complete sight loss as long as their home surroundings remain the same.

Cardiomyopathy is caused due to the improper conduction of blood to the heart, causing a sudden rise in heart rate. Sadly, no symptoms might result in normal fainting to unexpected deaths.

Ovarian Cysts: Ovarian cysts are nothing but fluid-filled sacs in or on the surface of the ovary. With regular pelvic examinations, this can be diagnosed. Generally, they show no symptoms, but some notable signs found commonly are:

  • Lower abdomen or pelvic pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Mammary Cancer:  A mammary tumor is a single solid mass of cells or multiple lumps in any female dog’s mammary gland near the nipples. With regular examination and treatment, you can treat this.

Estrus, also termed heat cycle, is a health condition that your female Rottweiler will undergo twice annually. The process begins around one year of age and lasts for 21 days. During this time, the female Rottweiler will have a bloody discharge, and you would need a dog’s diaper to help her. During this time, keep the male dogs away from her.

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Recommended test for German Rottweiler

  • X-Rays 
  • CT Scan 
  • Eye Examination 
  • Physical Examination 
  • Blood Work
  • Vet-certified proof of genetic testing

German Rottweiler Diet and Nutrition

German Rottweilers need a large quantity of high-quality food, and they should eat 4 to 10 cups of meal every day. Each puppy is distinctive, and the correct amount and quality of food depend on age, weight, activity level, health, and more. The meals can also be split into two 2 cups daily. They are prone to obesity, and hence overfeeding must be avoided. German Rottweiler pups can be given dry food, wet food, or both. Ensure the diet contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, chondroitin, and glucosamine. They can also be fed with fruits and vegetables that give carbohydrate energy. Never hesitate to consult a vet to meet your pup’s dietary requirements to keep them happy and healthy.

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German Rottweiler Living Condition

German Rottweilers love to be around their humans and follow them all day and night. They are not apartment-friendly and need sufficient space or homes with bigger yards. They love outdoor activities like walking, running, playing, hunting, and visiting dog parks and are inactive indoors. When allowed in a backyard, the place should be adequately fenced. If left alone in the backyard, they can get bored and be destructive and aggressive. They love the attention of their owners and develop strong bonds. They suit homes with older kids and other dogs well with early socialization and puppy training. They cannot tolerate cold weather conditions and moderately tolerate hot temperatures. They thrive on companionship, playtime, training, praises, cuddles, and lots of work.

Adding German Rottweiler to Your Family

Things to remember before adding German Rottweiler to your family

Getting a German Rottweiler from a reputable breeder is best to prevent unavoidable circumstances like health disorders and provide you with vaccination certificates. It is best to check with the puppy’s parents to ensure his health and happiness.

Cost of a German Rottweiler Puppy

A German Rottweiler’s cost ranges from $1500 to $3000.

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