Rottweiler Temperament & Personality
Whether or not you’ve heard about them before, Rottweilers are slowly increasing in popularity. In 1997, the dog breed ranked second, but gradually kept ranking down due to the increasing appeal for smaller dogs.
According to the Seattle Times, Rottweilers took the eighth spot as America’s most popular dog breed in 2017. Aside from their adorable appearance, Rotties are known for being protective and loyal.
Owning a dog takes a lot of responsibility, so it is recommended that you are informed about the specific breed. If you are interested in adding a Rottweiler to the family, this article will give you a complete insight on what to expect.
As stated earlier, Rotties are described to have huge heads with blocky bodies. A majority of their bodies are black, whereas areas around the mouth and feet are highlighted in rust.
All Rottweilers have a broad, black nose. They bear dark brown eyes that are almond shaped.
Their ears are placed directly on the top of their head, which flop downwards. Rottweilers have a moderate tendency to drool since they have loose lips.
Size (Male & Female)
In comparison to other breeds, Rottweilers are large-sized dogs. This may come as a shock since their puppies are generally small in size. It takes a total of 18 months for a dog to be considered fully grown, as they take a long time to age.
According to popular belief, male pups tend to take after their father’s size and female pups after their mother’s. This fact, however, has not been scientifically proven.
Height (Male & Female)
Similar to other dogs, males are likely to be bigger than females. However, there is a possibility for females to be larger since genetics can play a major role on the size of a dog.
Additionally, female puppies are slightly taller than males until they are 4 months old.
Fully grown male dogs can grow from 61 – 69 centimeters (24 – 27 inches), whereas fully grown females range from 56 – 63 centimeters (22 – 25 inches.)
To check if your puppy is growing at an average rate, here is a growth chart you can refer to.
2 months: 13 inches – 13.5 inches
3 months: 18.5 inches – 19 inches
4 months: 19.5 inches – 20 inches
5 months: 21.5 inches – 22 inches
6 months: 23 inches – 23.5 inches
8 months: 24.5 inches – 25.5 inches
10 months: 25 inches – 26 inches
12 months: 25 inches – 26.5 inches
24 months: 25 inches – 26.5 inches
Rottweiler Weight (Male & Female)
In contrast to the Rottweiler’s height, male dogs consistently stay heavier than females.
Because of this, it is important to remember that the following estimates should be taken into consideration. These estimates are based on the average, healthy Rottweiler.
Birth: 12 oz – 1.3 lbs
1 week: 1.8 lbs – 2.6 lbs
2 weeks: 2.9 lbs – 3.7lbs
3 weeks: 3.7 lbs – 4.9 lbs
4 weeks: 4.9 lbs – 6.5 lbs
5 weeks: 6.5 lbs – 8.6 lbs
6 weeks: 8.8 lbs – 11.0 lbs
7 weeks: 10.2 lbs – 13.5 lbs
8 weeks: 12.0 lbs – 15.8 lbs
3 months: 33 lbs – 38 lbs
4 months: 43 lbs – 50 lbs
5 months: 53 lbs – 60 lbs
6 months: 63 lbs – 70 lbs
8 months: 75 lbs – 85 lbs
10 months: 85 lbs – 95 lbs
12 months: 90 lbs – 105 lbs
24 months: 105 lbs – 120 lbs
Rottweiler Life Span (Male & Female)
When it comes to dogs, larger breeds have shorter lifespans, and vice versa. On average, Rotties can live up to 8 to 12 years. Females usually live longer than males by 2 years.
Health complications can crucially affect a Rottweiler’s lifespan. This will be further discussed later in the article.
In one way or another, you might know that Rottweilers are often associated with a bad reputation. They receive this negative standing from past cases of aggression, but this isn’t true for most Rottweiler dogs. Despite their large appearance, they have the softest hearts.
A dog’s personality heavily depends on how they are bred, raised, and exposed to socialization. In contrast to popular belief, Rottweilers are one of the most intelligent dog breeds. When they are well bred, they can easily adapt to new environments and learn new things.
Rottweilers are often distant when first meeting strangers. They like to observe who they’re dealing with first. This characteristic may make them appear standoffish, but becomes tolerable when you understand their history.
Rottweilers naturally have a defensive instinct because of their history as guard dogs. This is what makes them great for police and military operations, and also even in households.
The breed is meant to live an active lifestyle, just like with any large dog. Rottweilers need 1 to 2 hours of exercise a day, specifically a morning and evening walk. If you have a backyard where the dog is free to run, just an hour of walk a day is enough.
Dogs like Rottweilers need exercise to release their built-up energy. Otherwise, they can become destructive.
Puppies shouldn’t be forced to exercise until they have reached 15 months. They don’t have fully developed growth plates, which could lead to future joint injuries.
Because these dogs are strong, it’s best to have them trained to make them easier to handle on walks. Plus, there are many types of activities that you can practice with your dog. Playing fetch is a great way to give your dog a workout while staying home. You can also use agility or heel-work to music as an exercise, as it simultaneously teaches them obedience.
For owners that have more time on their hands, you can spend hours exercising with your dog since they have such strong endurance. Rotties with joint problems shouldn’t be put against their limits, as this could worsen them. It would be best to consult a veterinarian before exercising your dog for more than 2 hours a day.
Although they make great guard dogs, you should make sure that they receive proper training. If they aren’t trained to have a calm mindset, they can become overly protective. This makes them view everyone as a threat, which could lead to dangerous situations.
Training should also include being able to discipline your dog without using physical force or anger. By doing so, you are telling him that you are his leader. This is important as Rottweilers are dominant by nature.
It is recommended that you begin training as early as 6 weeks to 6 months. Older dogs will be harder to train and will require more patience, but don’t let this discourage you. Rottweilers are generally obedient and loyal, which make them easier to teach.
There may be some instances when your dog may feel distracted from its training sessions, which is understandably frustrating. Let your dog understand that you are in control. This doesn’t mean you should show aggression towards your dog, rather you should let them know the rules they should abide by.
Note: Although it may be difficult, you should try to involve all family members in the training. Your dog will become obedient to everyone, instead of just its trainer.
Keep Commands Simple
When commanding your dog, you should keep your words to a minimum. This prevents any confusion as dogs can’t understand the human language. Try your best to keep your voice as even-toned as possible.
Discourage Bad Behavior
All bad behavior should be frowned upon. With a dog as cute as a Rottweiler, you can easily let things slide. This won’t teach the dog discipline. Simply ignore the dog whenever it does something wrong.
Dogs have a short term memory. They might not remember when they have done something wrong, which makes yelling at them useless if you haven’t caught them in the act.
If you manage to see your dog doing something they shouldn’t do, you should also take action right away. For example, you caught your dog chewing on a shoe. You should say “no” and remove the shoe from his mouth.
When the dog has calmed down, you can proceed to give him a chew toy to remind him of what he is allowed to chew.
The most effective way of training your dog is by rewarding them immediately after they have done something right.
Using the same treats over and over can become boring for the dog after a while. Instead, you should use duller treats for easy tricks and delicious treats for difficult tricks.
Stick to a Bathroom Routine
Housebreaking is defined as the process of potty training a domestic animal. Consistently bring your Rottie to the same place every time they feel nature calling. It is best to go through the same door so that your pup becomes accustomed to it. Don’t forget to give the dog a reward every time they use the certain spot.
When it comes to picking a spot, you should choose an isolated place that is close enough for the dog to hurry to.
As mentioned before, it is important for dogs to develop social skills at a young age. This will lessen the chances of aggressive behavior. However, you should make sure that all vaccines have been given before your dog interacts with others.
It is said that Rottweilers are from Greek descent. Their ancestors were known as the Molossian Mastiff. Rottweilers have powerful behavior embedded in their systems since their ancestors were great herding dogs.
As a group of Molossian Mastiffs assisted the Romans and their herd of cattle to reach South Germany, they mated with other native dogs along the way.
During the Middle Ages, early Rottweilers were trained to be guards, messengers, and herders. In order to keep their money safe, the owners would often tie their wallets to the necks of their Rottweiler since no one would be brave enough to steal it.
Rottweilers were named after ‘Rottweil’, a German town. These dogs were popular for guiding the cattle to the town’s butchery, while protecting them from hunters and thieves along the way. The breed continued to decline in numbers once railroads became a more popular way of transporting cattle.
People started gaining interest in Rottweilers during World War I. There was a high demand for police dogs to serve as messengers, guards, ambulance, and draught.
Rottweiler Health Problems
Although Rotties are expected to have a lifespan of 8 to 12 years, it could be shortened due to health problems. Here is a list of common health problems among Rottweilers:
Cancer is one of the most common causes of deaths in Rottweilers. The most common type of cancer is Lymphoma. This happens when their bodies produce abnormal white cells called Lymphocytes. Fortunately, Lymphoma can be easily detected through a blood test. It is treatable.
Aside from Lymphoma, Rotties can suffer from bone cancer. It is crucial to report any early symptoms to your vet, which may include leg pain and lameness.
- Neurological Illnesses
Though it may be difficult to see an internal disease, neurological diseases can be spotted through symptoms like seizures, sleeping excessively, tremors, weakness, and imbalance.
A common neurological illness Rottweilers face is the Wobbler Disease. The disease is triggered when the dog’s vertebrae narrows so that it pinches the spinal cord and nerves surrounding it. You can detect the condition when the dog walks as if it were drunk.
- Digestive System Problems
Inflammatory Bowel Disease, otherwise known as IBD, is an autoimmune system disease where the lining of the intestines is overpowered with white blood cells. This prevents the absorption of nutrients from ingested food, which leads to diarrhea or vomiting.
Another digestive disease Rotts can develop is Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV). The disease is more likely to develop in dogs that have narrow chests like Rottweilers. GDV is caused when the stomach twists and fills up with gas, otherwise known as bloating. The twisted stomach prevents blood from flowing through the stomach and spleen.
- Diseases in the Joints and Bones
Large dogs are relatively prone to problems with their bones and joints, especially as they age.
Hip dysplasia is when the dog’s hip is put in an irregular position where their upper thigh bones aren’t fully covered by the hip socket. If it isn’t fixed right away, it could lead to severe arthritis and lameness. It can usually be treated with surgery.
On the other hand, elbow dysplasia is when there are bone abnormalities in the dog’s forelimbs. Failure to fix it as the dog matures will result in joint degeneration.
Panosteitis (or Long Bone Disease) is when puppies’ legs grow at a rapid speed. The excessive bone production usually causes inflammation. Although this is a temporary problem that dogs usually get over when they are 18 months, it can cause them unnecessary pain. To protect your dogs from Long Bone Disease, you should observe the amount of protein in their food.
Rottweiler puppies can suffer from visual problems like congenital cataracts. It is usually genetically inherited or caused by toxins. Although the cataracts can improve as the dogs age, you should consider consulting a veterinary ophthalmologist to see if surgery is necessary.
How to Care for Rottweiler
Each dog breed falls on a scale of how high maintenance they are, and Rottweilers fall somewhere in the middle. They need constant attention, but don’t need to visit the groomer’s frequently.
Before inviting a Rottweiler into your household, here are some necessities you should consider buying:
Fenced Area (for the Puppy)
Fences reassure pet owners that their puppy is restricted from stray dogs and other safety hazards. They are recommended to be built in backyards so that the dogs can enjoy time outdoors, without you having to watch their every move.
Crates can be useful, especially when you are trying to teach your dog to be obedient. They restrict your pet from other parts of the house and can serve as temporary bed. Additionally, they provide easy transport.
Feeding and Drinking Bowls
Although they may seem like a popular option, it would be best if you avoid vibrant, plastic bowls. Because of their similarities with toys, dogs could end up playing with their food and causing a mess.
Plus, Rottweilers are energetic eaters and simple plastic bowls could encourage them to eat quickly. This could later lead to bloating.
Try finding anti-gulping bowls that allow the dog to take more time to eat their food and water. You can also opt for heavier bowls to help prevent any spillages or mess.
Having a puppy indoors can make the home’s environment feel a little happier. However, the aura can be ruined by the infamous smell of dog urine. With pet deodorizers, you can allow your dog to stay inside without having to deal with unpleasant smells.
For a comfortable slumber, you should consider how big your Rottie will grow. To save money, purchase a bed that the dog can grow into. Some other important things to consider are making sure it is capable of withstanding occasional biting, machine washable, and hygienic. Hypoallergenic beds are great for sensitive dogs, but are otherwise unnecessary.
Nutrition and Feeding for Rottweiler
Before feeding your dog, you should always ask for the breeder’s recommendations. Feeding time can be a little complicated with Rotties since they are built with sensitive stomachs.
As puppies, Rottweilers need at least 22% of protein with 8% fat. Find a large breed puppy food to ensure your pup is receiving the nutrients that it needs to grow. Make sure it isn’t too strong in protein to risk any musculoskeletal problems.
For adults, you should decrease the amount of protein to 18% with 5% fat. The protein should help control the fat, so that it doesn’t lead to obesity.
The metabolism of a Rottweiler is expected to decrease as they age. This means that they are more prone to developing obesity. You should switch them over to a food that is low in fat to assist in controlling a healthy weight.
Often times, pet owners have trouble satisfying their need for protein without potentially upsetting their stomachs. In general, Rottweilers have trouble ingesting foods that include the following:
- Artificial colors
Coat Color and Grooming
One of the many trademarks of a Rottweiler is their shiny black coat with either tan or mahogany accents. They are one of the easiest dogs to groom, but still require some effort.
Let the dogs become comfortable grooming by starting at a young age. They will become used to the routine, and this will prevent any future struggles with bathing.
Rottweilers should have their coat brushed every day to get rid of any dead hairs. Consider using a rubber brush to help remove excess dirt.
You won’t have to bathe your dog frequently as Rottweilers have little to no smell. Giving baths around 3 to 4 times a year will do. You should only give them a bath after they have rolled around in mud.
Brush your dog’s teeth once every week. Though it may be difficult to have them stay still, you should reward them after brushing a couple of teeth at a time.
Rottweilers only need to trim their nails once a month. To determine if the dog needs their nails cut, most pet owners check if the nail’s curve touches the ground.
Children and Other Pets
Because of their loving nature, Rottweilers tend to be very caring towards children. Nonetheless, they should be taught on how to behave around them. Since they have a natural instinct for herding, they may bump the children around if they aren’t trained properly. Just like any other dog, they do not know how strong they are.
Older Rottweilers can be aggressive to new pets, specifically dogs of the same sex. Gradually let them ease into the company of their new companions, as they will eventually get along.
If you think you are ready for a Rottweiler, you can always consider adopting. Not only does adoption save a dog’s life, but you can consider it as giving a dog a second chance to have a home.
Please refer to the following organizations below:
- A Rotta Love Plus
- Atlantic Rottweiler Rescue Foundation
- For the Love of Dog
- MCM Rottweiler Rescue
- Majesty Rottweiler Rescue Inc.
- Mid America Rottweiler Rescue
- Nova Rottweiler Rescue League Inc.
- Ohio Rottweiler Rescue
- Pet Paws for Love
- Rescued Rottweilers United with Friends and Family Inc.
- Rottie Aid Rottweiler Rescue
- Southern States Rescued Rottweilers Inc.
- True Hearts of Rottweiler Rescue
Breed organizations exist for fans of a specific breed to come together. There are currently two well-known organizations for Rottweilers:
American Rottweiler Club
Established in 1973, the American Rottweiler Club was established to protect and encourage proper reproduction. All members take an oath to follow particular breeding practices. They also participate in volunteer events.
Most of all, they help in disassociating negative stereotypes with the breed.
Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub
Founded in the year 1907, the Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub is the only German association that helps look after the breed. Aside from preservation, the breed club bears similar goals as the American Rottweiler Club.
They assist each other in raising, breeding, and protecting Rottweilers.
More About This Breed
For more information about Rottweilers, you can refer to other Rottweiler owners. If you don’t know anyone who owns a Rottweiler, you can refer to various social media groups. Not only will you be able to participate in interesting conversations, but you can also make a new friend along the way.
Local pet shops can also provide further insight on how they handle Rottweilers. While you are there, you can also shop for the needed equipment to raise your new dog.
The Rottweiler may not be the dog for everyone. However, many pet owners have testified that their Rotties are extremely loyal and are great for those who live active lifestyles.