Rottweilers are a lovely breed and can be your best friend and most loyal companion. Even if you have small kids in the house, a Rottie can be a delightful addition to your family.
They’re one of the most recognizable breeds in the world and have actually been around for a long time. They have a reputation for being dangerous – as they’re used as police or guard dogs. But, they are a loving, playful, fiercely loyal, and extremely intelligent breed.
The Origins of the Breed
While the American Kennel Club or AKC formally recognized the breed in 1931, this breed has been around since Ancient Rome. The ancestors of this particular breed were first bred in ancient Rome and Germany, where they were bred to be “drovers”.
They are cattle dogs that are used to control and manage large herds. From the early 1900s, Rottweilers started to be used in the city police departments as a highly effective police dog.
The Temperament of Rottweilers
There is actually a big misconception regarding the temperament and nature of Rotties. Many people think that Rotties are “dangerous” and are not suitable as pets.
Despite being a working breed, a Rottweiler is affectionate and loving. They make wonderful companions and they are fiercely loyal towards their loved ones and family.
In fact, most grown-up Rotties bond with kids in the family and become protective towards them. They often guard and watch over them.
Rotties are also social and it is highly recommended that you train your puppy to interact with other dogs from an early age. Rottweilers do not warm quickly to strangers and are a good breed if you want something dependable, loving, and loyal. They are highly sensitive and intelligent – which is why they bond quickly with their family. They are also active and energetic animals, which is why they need a lot of exercises.
Appearance and Physical Requirements
Rottweilers are large dogs, however, they are not large. They are indoor-friendly dogs but they require some space to stretch out and be comfortable. A Rottie is not the right choice if you live in a small apartment.
Having a dog like a Rottie means that you should have a house at least that has a spacious garden or backyard. Rottweilers are beautiful dogs.
They have a black coat with different colored markings. Rotties are not particularly heavy, but they can be stocky and big. Rottweilers also have sort of an intimidating appearance – which is mainly due to their history as a police dog.
However, they are very cuddly and playful – and they are really good with kids. Their coat is not heavy but they do shed seasonally. Like all dogs, you need to groom and bathe your Rottie properly. In general, Rotties weigh somewhere between 90 and 110 lbs. on average.
Should You Dock the Tail?
Historically, Rottweilers get their tails docked a few days after they are born. While the AKC requires that Rotties should have docked tails, there is actually no medical reason behind this practice.
In the olden days, Rottweiler tails were docked for a variety of reasons. First of all, they were police dogs that couldn’t appear to be submissive. Secondly, they were employed as working dogs and tails would get in the way of their efficient work.
Last of all, tail docking was done by people practicing dogfighting – since the tail is an easy target to grab on to. This is the same reason why many people crop pit-bull ears. Despite being legal in the US, it is completely illegal to dock Rottweiler tails in other areas in the world. It is a barbaric and unnecessary practice that doesn’t have any benefit for the dog. In fact, bad docking jobs can cause chronic pain and discomfort.
Health Concerns of the Rottweiler
Rottweilers are a healthy breed on average – and with proper care, nutrition and love – they have a lifespan of 12 years at least. However, Rotties are susceptible to a variety of genetic conditions.
To avoid these, it is highly important to avoid getting puppies from backyard breeders, puppy mills, and other illegal breeding houses.
- Dysplasia: One of the most prevalent health conditions that Rottweilers suffer from is called dysplasia. Dysplasia is a condition where the ball and socket joints of the hip or elbows do not fit properly.
There are two kinds of dysplasia observed – hip and elbow. Canine dysplasia is usually seen in large breeds, and it is especially observed in Rottweilers.
- Cardiac Issues: For some reason, Rottweilers are susceptible to developing cardiac issues as they advance in age. There is a chance that they can get something like aortic stenosis, which is a fancy medical term for an obstruction in the heart. Responsible and certified breeders work hard to ensure that their puppies are all 100% fit and healthy.
Training and Expenditure on a Rottie
Now, you should know that a Rottie is not an inexpensive dog to maintain. Rottweiler puppies can be expensive – and their proper training, diet, and medication are also expensive.
Here is a frank statement – please do not get a Rottie unless you can commit to the expenses that you will have to incur. As it is, Rotties have a low adoption rate – so you should consider your situation before making an adoption.
Secondly, you should also know that Rottweilers are intelligent and understanding dogs. They are good at reading moods and they also have tons of energy. You have to give them a lot of time and you have to get games and activities that will keep them engaged. While this is true for any dog, it is especially true for Rottweilers. They need a lot of mental stimulation.
To conclude, a Rottie is right for you if you have a spacious house with a yard, financial security, and a family. If you are a reclusive person, then a Rottweiler is probably not a good choice for you. These are social dogs that need to interact with other dogs and people regularly.