Rottweiler – Everything you need to know

Rottweiler Basic Information

  • Name: Rottweiler
  • Size: Large
  • Height: Males: 23 to 27 inches & Females: 22 to 25 inches
  • Weight: Males: 95 to 134 pounds & Females: 80 to 100 pounds
  • Coat: Short
  • Lifespan: 8 to 10 years
  • Color: Always black with markings ranging from rust to mahogany
  • Energy: Medium
  • Origin: Germany
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Activities: Herding, Obedience, Tracking, Police Work, Therapy
  • Barking Level: Low
  • Shedding Level: Shed heavily during Spring and Fall seasons, and moderately rest of the year
  • Litter Size: 8 to 12 puppies
  • Group: Working Group
  • Other Names: Rottie
  • Breed’s Original Pastime: Guardian

Different Types of Rottweilers

Usually, three different Rottweilers are familiar. Those Rottweilers are American, German, and Roman. 

Some breeders state that there are even more Rottweilers types, unlike the three standard ones, making the situation more complicated. Those include European, Serbian and so-called Rare-Rottweilers. So, let’s take a look into the Rottweiler types mentioned above and see if there are noticeable differences or not.

  1. American Rottweiler

The American Rottweiler Dog, originating in America, looks plain and simple. In America, the American Kennel Club (AKC) is the governing body that manages the official breed standard. In America, it is customary to cut off Rottweilers’ tails, which is specified in the American Breed Standard. This is done in puppyhood and often when a dog is spayed. The female American Rottweiler adult will look distinctly “feminine” versus a male Rottweiler having a “masculine” look, which is absent from the German Breed Standard. “Black” is the specified color with rust to mahogany accent for the American Rottweiler. At the same time, the German Rottweiler’s coat color is black with rust.

  1. German Rottweiler

German Rottweilers are somewhat larger, stockier and heavier than their American cousins. The German Rottweilers have naturally long tails as they are not involved in dock(cut-off) tails, unlike American Rottweilers. A docked tail is a serious fault, according to German Rottweiler. 

  1. Roman Rottweiler

The Roman Rottweiler is the original Rottweiler breed from which all the other types have descended. The Roman Rottweiler dog breed looks large and lean with long legs and a long tail.

  1. Serbian Rottweiler

The Serbian Rottweiler is sometimes called the Russian Rottweiler. The only difference between the Serbian Rottweiler (or Russian Rottweiler) and the other types is the breed’s birthplace. If the dog or its lineage was born in Serbia (or Russia), then the breed type is Serbian Rottweiler.

  1. Rare-Rottweilers

The Rottweiler dogs with unusual coloration and features are called “Rare-Rottweiler,” like single-color coats or long hair coats. The rare breed is usually the result of breeding outside the official breed standard. Unprofessional breeding or breeders who intentionally bred to charge a high price might be the cause of this type of breed’s origin.

Rottweiler History

The Rottweiler is probably a descendent from the Italian Mastiff, which accompanied the Romans’ herds when they invaded Europe. During the Middle Ages, the Rottweiler dog was used as a herder, a guard, messenger dog, draught dog, and police work. Rottweiler was bred in the German town of Rottweil in Wurttemberg. Almost went extinct in the 1800s, the breed population began to rise in the early twentieth century due to enthusiastic breeders’ efforts centered in Stuttgart. On January 13th, 1907, the Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub, also called the German Rottweiler Club, was established in Germany. Shortly after, on April 27th, 1907, the SDRK (Suddeutscher Rottweiler-Klub (South German Rottweiler Club)) was formed, which later changed to the IRK (International Rottweiler Club). The Rottweiler standard was then set. The AKC first recognized the breed in 1931. Some of Rottweiler’s talents include tracking, guarding, herding, watchdog, search and rescue, guide dogs for the blind, police work, competitive obedience, carting, and Schutzhund.

Rottweiler Breed Overview

The Rottweiler dogs are muscular and devoted to the owner-dog breed appreciated for their calm confidence, strength, and good-natured character. The Rottweiler strikes an unlikely balance between a world-class guardian and a goofy companion. Courageous but not overly aggressive, this hardworking dog benefits from early training and socialization to positively direct its territorial instincts. Rottweilers are hardworking, healthy, and loyal “people dogs.” Despite its imposing manner, a Rottweiler is often described as a goofball by its enthusiasts. Though silly and affectionate with the ones close to its heart, it is also territorial. Early socialization and training are essential to raising a well-mannered Rottie. Rottweilers are also extremely intelligent, highly trainable, and thrive when working alongside their human partners, making them exceptional therapy, search-and-rescue, guard, draft, and police dogs. 

Even the gentlest, well-behaved Rottweiler can put children, the elderly, smaller adults, and anyone unsteady on his feet at risk. Rotties put on weight quickly and need at least a couple of 10–20-minute walks daily, including mental stimulation in the form of training and puzzle toys to keep their bodies and minds in shape. Even five minutes of training obedience skills will give them a feeling of success. Rottweilers thrive when they have work to do, be it obedience competition, competitive protection work, carting, agility, therapy dog work, or herding. Rotties love people and want to be with their families. If the Rotties are left alone for long periods or don’t receive adequate exercise, they may become destructive.

Rottweiler Pros and Cons

Highly Intelligent & LoyalMay not get along with children and pets
Exceptional Guard DogBossy & Intimidating
Intensely Trainable, Confident & AgileHigh Prey Drive

Rottweiler Highlights

  1. Rottweilers are active and powerful dogs that require early socialization and training.
  2. Even after good training and socialization, there can be an unfair judgment about these breeds by strangers.
  3. Rottweilers are social and cannot live alone for long periods, and can become destructive if they do not exercise properly.
  4. Rottweilers have natural herders’ instincts and may bump children. So, one should be cautious when the kids are around them.
  5. Rottweilers can be aggressive towards strange dogs, so introduce new animals, especially dogs, carefully.
  6. Rottweilers are intelligent and can be trained easily.
  7. Rottweiler requires regular exercise and playtime.
  8. Be specific with what you ask the Rottweiler, don’t leave any loopholes.
  9. During spring and fall seasons, the Rottweiler sheds heavily, and throughout the rest of the year, it sheds moderately.
  10. Rottweiler is prone to obesity and may overeat if they are not appropriately monitored.
  11. To get a healthy puppy, always buy from good breeders, not from a pet store or puppy mill.

Rottweiler Personality

The ideal Rottweiler is a medium-large, muscular, and powerful dog, coated black with clear rust markings. His compact and sturdy build signifies superior strength, agility and stamina. Rottweiler males are characteristically more massive throughout, with a larger frame and heavier bone than females but without any weakness of structure or substance. The Rottweiler male sizes 23 inches to 27 inches and female sizes 22 inches to 25 inches, as the preferred size is mid-range of each sex. Accurate proportion of the Rottweiler is of primary importance as the size is within the standard’s range. From the prosternum to the rump’s rearmost projection, the body’s length is slightly longer than the height at the withers, as the most desirable proportion of the height to length is 9 to 10. The Rottweiler dog is neither coarse nor shelly. The depth of the chest is nearly fifty percent (50%) of the dog’s height. His bone and muscle mass must be adequate to balance his frame, giving a compact and compelling appearance. Rottweiler dog breed’s serious faults include lack of proportion, oversized, undersized, reversal of sexual characteristics.

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

Trainability Overview

Easy to TrainMedium to High
Prey DriveMedium to High
Tendency to Chew, Nip & Play-biteMedium
Tendency to Bark or HowlMedium to High
Wanderlust AbilityLow to Medium
Tendency to DigLow
Tendency to SnoreLow
Attention/Social NeedsHigh

Rottweiler Physical Features

The Rottweiler’s head is of medium length that is broad between the ears, forehead line seen in profile is slightly arched, zygomatic arch and stop well developed with strong upper and lower jaws. The aspired ratio of backskull to muzzle is 3 to 2. The forehead of the Rottie is preferred dry. However, some wrinkles occur when the dog is alert. The expression is noble, attentive, and self-assured. Eyes are of medium size, almond-shaped with well-fitting lids, moderately deep-set, neither pointing nor falling. The desired color of a Rottweiler is a uniform dark brown. Rottweiler breed’s serious faults include yellow (bird of prey) eyes, eyes of different color or size, hairless eye rim. Disqualifications are Entropion and Ectropion. Ears are medium-sized, pendant, and triangular. When carried alertly, the ears level with the top of the skull and appear to broaden it. Ears are set well apart, hanging forward with the inner edge lying tightly against the head and terminating at approximately mid-cheek. Severe faults may be improper carriage (creased, folded, or held away from cheek/head).

Muzzle Bridge is straight, broad at base with slight tapering towards the tip. The end of the muzzle is comprehensive with a well-developed chin. The nose is broad rather than round and always black. Lips are also black, and corners are closed. Inner mouth pigment is preferred dark mostly. Serious Faults include a total lack of mouth pigment (pink mouth). The Rottweiler’s teeth are 42 in number (20 uppers, 22 lowers), strong, correctly placed, meeting in a scissors bite that is lower incisors touching inside of upper incisors. Severe faults in teeth include level bite and any missing tooth. Disqualifications considered in the breed are overshot, undershot (when incisors do not touch), twisted mouth, two or more missing teeth.

The neck is well-muscled, moderately long, slightly arched, and without slack skin

The back of the Rottweiler is firm and level, extending in a straight line from behind the withers to the croup. The Rottweiler’s back remains horizontal to the ground while it is moving or standing.

The chest is spacious, broad, and deep, reaching elbow, with well pronounced fore chest and well sprung, oval ribs. The back is straight and strong. The loin is short, deep, and well-muscled. Croup is broad, medium-length, and only slightly sloping. The underline of a mature Rottweiler has a slight tuck-up. Males must have two normal testicles adequately settled into the scrotum. Disqualification includes unilateral cryptorchid or cryptorchid males.

The shoulder blade of a Rottweiler is large and well laid back. The upper arm is equal in length to the shoulder blade set, so elbows are well underbody. Distance from withers to the elbow and elbow to the ground is equal. Legs are built strongly with straight, heavy bone, not set close to each other. Pasterns are firm, springy, and almost perpendicular to the ground. The Feet are round, compact with well-arched toes, turning neither in nor out. Pads are thick and hard. Nails are short, strong, and black. A Rottie’s dewclaws are removed.

Rottweiler’s angulation of hindquarters balances that of forequarters. The upper thigh is relatively long, very broad, and well-muscled. The stifle joint is well turned. The lower thigh is long, wide, and powerful, with extensive muscling leading into a tight hock joint. Rear pasterns are almost perpendicular to the ground. When a Rottweiler is viewed from the rear, hind legs are straight, strong, and wide enough apart to fit a properly built body. Rottie’s feet are somewhat longer than the front feet, favoring neither in nor out, equally compact with well-arched toes. Pads are thick and robust. The nails of a Rottweiler are short, strong, and black. Dewclaws must be removed.

The outer coat is straight, rough, thick, of medium length, and lying flat. Undercoats should be present on the neck and thighs, but climatic conditions influence the amount of fur. Undercoat should not display through outer coat. The coat is shortest on the head, ears, and legs, longest on breeching. The Rotties are to be exhibited in the natural condition with no trimming. A wavy coat is considered faulty. Serious faults include open, excessively short, or curly coat, total lack of undercoat, any trim altering the natural coat’s length. A Rottweiler with a long coat is a disqualification.

The Rottweiler’s color is always black with rust to mahogany markings. The distinction between black and rust is to be precisely defined. The color markings should be placed as follows: a spot over each eye, as a strip around either side of the muzzle, but not on the bridge of the nose, on the cheeks, on the throat, triangular mark on either side of prosternum, on forelegs from carpus descending to the toes, on inside of back legs showing down the front of the stifle and broadening out to front of back legs from hock to toes, but not wholly eliminating black from the rear of pasterns; under the tail; black penciling on toes. The undercoat is gray, tan, or black. Quantity and location of rust markings are essential and should not exceed ten percent of body color. Serious faults include straw-colored, excessive, insufficient, or sooty markings, rust marking other than described above, white marking on the dog at any place (some rust or white hairs aren’t faulty markings). Any base color other than black or absence of all markings is noted as a disqualification for the Rottweiler breed.

The Rottweiler is a trotter. His movement should be balanced, rhythmic, sure, compelling, and unhindered, with strong forereach and a powerful rear-drive. The motion is effortless, efficient, and ground-covering. The Rottie’s front and rear legs are thrown neither in nor out, as the imprint of hind feet should touch its forefeet. The forequarters and hindquarters are mutually coordinated in a trot while the back remains level, firm, and almost motionless. As speed increases, the legs will unite under the body towards a centerline.

The tail is short, close to the body, leaving one or two tail vertebrae. The position of the tail is more crucial than length. A properly set tail gives an impression of the topline elongation, carried slightly above horizontal when the dog is excited or moving.

Rottweiler Temperament

The Rottweiler is a calm, bold, and courageous dog with a self-assured aloofness that does not permit itself to immediate and random friendships. A Rottweiler is self-confident and reacts quietly and with a wait-and-see attitude to the situations in his environment. Rotties have an inherent passion for protecting their home and family. An intelligent dog of extreme hardness and flexibility with a strong enthusiasm to work, making him especially suited as a guardian, companion, and general all-purpose dog.  

Pet owners should control the Rottweiler’s behavior in the show ring, willing and adaptable, trained to submit to examining the mouth, testicles, etc. A reserved dog should not be penalized, as this reflects the breed’s accepted character. An aggressive or combative attitude towards other dogs is not a fault of this breed.  

A judge shall exempt from the ring any shy Rottweiler. A dog is judged fundamentally shy if refusing to stand for examination shrinks away from the judge. In the judge’s opinion, a dog that threatens him/her, or shows any sign that it may not be safe to approach or be examined by the judge in the usual manner, shall be excused from the ring. In the judge’s opinion, a dog that attacks any person in the ring shall be disqualified.

Rottweiler Exercise

Moderately active Rottweilers enjoy a couple of 10-to-20-minute walks each day. They also like playing with balls and going hiking. Rottweilers love swimming, walking, and trotting, especially with their lovable. More energetic Rotties may need longer exercise sessions and more structured activities. Their intelligence, athleticism, and trainability make them well suited to agility and obedience competition, as well as tracking, therapy work, and their traditional duty, pulling a cart or wagon.

When training, keep in mind that your Rottweiler thrives on mental stimulation. He likes learning new things and is eager to please its owners. Be fair and firm, and your Rottweiler will reward you with his quick skill to learn. There is no limit for canine activities that the Rottweiler can learn to do. Excess weight is not suitable for any dog, and proper exercise can help keep your Rottweiler fit and healthy.

Exercise Needs Overview

Energy Level                                Medium to High
Exercise Needs                           High
Playfulness                                  High
IntensityLow to Medium

Rottweiler Grooming

The Rottweiler dog breed has a straight, coarse, medium-length outer coat that lies flat and colored black with tan to mahogany markings. The undercoat lies on the neck and thighs. Rotties should be brushed every week with bristle brushes to remove the dead hair, and regular baths are mandatory. He sheds moderately for most of the year, although he will shed more extensively twice a year, usually during spring and fall. Brush your Rottweiler’s teeth 2-3 times a week to remove tartar and bacteria and trim its nails every week. Daily brushing is even more effective if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath.

Grooming Overview

Amount of Shedding                  Medium to High
Tendency to DroolMedium
Easy to GroomHigh

Rottweiler Health

Rottweilers are usually prone to several diseases that pet parents should be aware of. Your best chance at avoiding Rottweiler’s health issues is to purchase a pup from an ethical, authorized breeder who has papers to show that the dogs are free of genetic disease. If you prefer to adopt, be sure to get as much medical history as the rescue organization can provide.

Health Overview

Basic HealthLow to Medium 
Weight Gain PossibilitiesHigh
  • Joint Dysplasia: Joint dysplasia, a disease that affects the growing joints, predisposes Rottweilers to early-onset arthritis and joint problems. Rotties are known to develop several dysplasias, including Rottweiler hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and also OsteoChondritis Dissecans (OCD). To avoid joint dysplasia problems in Rottweilers, try purchasing dogs from breeders who certify their dogs as joint dysplasias free through either the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or PennHIP. 
  • 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 does x-ray screening for hip dysplasia for Animals or the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program. Dogs who suffer from hip dysplasia should not be bred.
  • 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. 
  • Cancer: They 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.
  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus: Commonly called bloat, this is a life-threatening disease that affects large, deep-chested dogs like Rottweilers, especially if fed one large meal a day, eat fast, drink large volumes of water after meal, and exercise vigorously after eating. Bloat occurs when the stomach is swollen due to pressure with gas or air and then twists. The dog cannot vomit to get rid of the excessive air in their stomach, and the average remit of blood to the heart is impeded. Blood pressure falls, and the dog goes into shock. Without prompt medical attention, the dog can expire. Suspect bloat if your dog has a swollen abdomen, is drooling excessively, and retching without throwing up. They also may be restless, lethargic, depressed, and weak with a rapid heart rate. It’s crucial to get your dog to the vet as soon as possible.
  • 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 a condition in which 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.
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Problems: In Rottweilers, the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in the knee is known to tear and cause severe hindlimb lameness. The precise cause for this disease is unknown, but genetics, conformation, ligament laxity, and obesity are believed to play a role. A torn ACL creates uncertainty in the joint 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. 
  • Allergies: Few Rottweilers suffer from various allergies, differing from contact allergies to food allergies. Allergies in dogs are similar to those in humans. If your Rottweiler dog is scratching, licking at their paws, or rubbing their face a lot, suspect that they have an allergy and take them to the vet.
  • Heart Disease: It causes abnormal heart murmurs and heart rhythm. The best way of diagnosis is through an X-ray, an ECG, or an echocardiogram. Treatment includes medication, dental care, and weight control.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes mellitus is a common disease among dogs. In diabetes, the dogs cannot metabolize the blood sugar, causing increased drinking, eating, and urination along with weight loss. Treatment includes medication and insulin injection.
  • Dental disease: It affects 80% of pets by the age of two. It causes tartar build-up on the teeth, infection of the gums and roots, and in extreme cases, loss of teeth and damage to the kidneys.
  • Infections: The Rottweiler is prone to certain bacterial and viral infections such as rabies, parvo, and distemper. The viral infection can be prevented by giving a vaccination based on the dog’s age.
  • Parasites: The Rottweiler can be infested with worms, bugs, fleas, and ticks that can get into their systems through unclean water, contaminated soil, or bitten by an infected mosquito. It can also be transmitted to you and your family. Symptoms include discomfort, pain, and even death.
  • Obesity: It is a significant health condition in Rottweilers. Excess weight can cause joint problems, back pain, digestive disorders, and heart disease. The best way to prevent this lifestyle disease is a healthy diet and regular exercise.
  • 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 also decrease the likelihood of certain types of cancer.
  • Hip Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Cardiac Exam
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation

Rottweiler Diet and Nutrition

The Rottweiler should do well on high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-made, with your veterinarian’s guidance and approval. Any diet should be a fit for the dog’s age. Some dogs are prone to obesity, so watch your Rottweiler’s calorie consumption and weight level. Dog treats can be an essential aid in training, but giving too many can cause weight gain. Proper knowledge is necessary about which human foods are safe for dogs to feed. Check with your veterinarian if you have any issues with your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available for your dog at all times.

Rottweiler Required Living Conditions

The Rottweiler will do okay in an apartment or urban life if it is properly exercised and trained. These dogs are inactive indoors and a small yard will be good.

Did You Know?

  1. Rottweilers are descendants of Roman Drover Dogs.
  2. The AKC registered the Rottweiler in 1931.
  3. In the year 1901-07, Rottweilers were used as police dogs.
  4. In 1971 the Rottweiler club was formed.

Rottweiler Club Recognition

  • ACA = American Canine Association Inc.
  • ACR = American Canine Registry
  • AKC = American Kennel Club
  • ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club
  • APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc.
  • CKC = Canadian Kennel Club
  • CRC = Colonial Rottweiler Club
  • CKC = Continental Kennel Club
  • DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • DRK= Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub
  • FCI = Fédération Cynologique Internationale
  • IRK = International Rottweiler Club
  • KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain
  • NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
  • NKC = National Kennel Club
  • NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club
  • UKC = United Kennel Club

Adding a Rottweiler to Your Family

Rottweiler Rescue Groups

There are countless Rottweilers in need of adoption and/or nursing, and there are several breed-specific rescue associations across the country that are listed below: 

  1. Rottweiler Rescue Foundation
  2. Southern States Rescued Rottweilers

To Buy a Rottweiler Now

Buy Now

Rottweiler Photos

Rottweiler Videos

Rottweiler Dog Breed – Dogumentary TV

Rottweiler Dog Breed – Dog World

Rottweiler Dog Breed – The Dogs

Rottweiler Dog Breed – Historymotion

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