AKC Dog Breeds: Rottweiler

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Working  Group
Height:22-27 inches   Weight: 85-130 pounds  Color: Black with tan/rust or mahogany markings

Robust and powerful, the Rottweiler is happiest when given a job to perform. His intelligence, endurance and willingness to work make him suitable as a police dog, herder, service dog, therapy dog, obedience competitor and devoted companion. An inherent protector, the Rottweiler is self-confident and responds quietly and with a wait-and-see attitude to influences in his environment. The Rottweiler's ancestors were the drover's dogs accompanying the herds the Romans brought with them when invading Europe. The controllable herding and guarding instincts were recognized by the Germans, and dogs were selectively bred for these traits. As need for its services diminished, the Rottweiler almost fell into extinction. In the early 1900s, a newly formed club established a breed standard. The breed has not appreciably changed since that time.

General Appearance
The Rottweiler has a massive, powerful body. Muscular and athletic, it has a broad head and rounded forehead. The muzzle is well-developed with a scissors bite. Its eyes are dark with an expression of goodwill and loyalty. The ears are triangular, carried forward, and its nose is wide and black. The lips are black and inside the mouth it is dark-colored. The tail is customarily docked. Often born with rear dewclaws, these are usually removed when the tail is docked. The coat is short, hard and thick. It is black with brown markings on the cheeks and muzzle, paws and legs. Some claim there are variations of Rotties, the German Rottweiler and the American Rottweiler. German Rotties are said to be shorter, stockier and have a bigger blockier head, and American Rotties are said to be taller and leggier without as blocky a head. Others claim a Rottweiler is a Rottweiler and there is no such thing as a German Rottie.

The Rottweiler is a dog that loves to work, and has plenty of stamina, power, and endurance. These dogs are fiercely loyal and protective, and will do whatever it takes to defend their loved ones. Many tend to bond to one particular person more than others. They are confident, powerful, serious, and courageous. However, they are not the right choice for timid and inexperienced dog owners, as they do require proper training and handling. He is responsive and intelligent, and with an assertive trainer who uses positive training methods the Rottweiler will learn extremely quickly. He is an extremely territorial creature, and early socialization for this breed is essential. The Rottweiler needs firm discipline and consistent training. Rottweiler's tend to get on well with children when brought up with them, and with older children that will not pester them. He tends to be aloof around strangers, and care must be taken because of his strong protective streak - again, early socialization and proper training is a key factor. Early exposure to pets is also important, and the Rottweiler can be aggressive towards cats and dogs. However, with the right family and owner, the Rottweiler can make a loyal, devoted, and loving pet.


Rotties have a relatively short coat and not much grooming except brushing is needed. They have a double coat and shed twice yearly, usually in spring and again in the fall. Daily brushing is a needed and will prevent large amounts of hair from being released all over the home. This will also keep the coat soft and shiny.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
As with many large dogs, the Rottweiler has a shorter life expectancy than many other breeds, and lives to around 9-10 years. Rottweiler's are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, a malformation of the joints which can lead to crippling and a bone and cartilage problem called OCD. This can be prevented by properly exercising the dog and making sure that as a puppy, they don't suffer any joint stress. You can do this by limiting access to stairs, not allowing jumping and not over running the dog.  Also ask the breeder if the dam and sire were tested for health problems, as most of the problems Rottweiler's experience are hereditary. They can also develop panosteitis, an intermittent lameness cause by varying bone density in young dogs. Eye problems are also a health issue with Rotties and are inherited. Like all barrel chested dogs, Rotties are susceptible to bloat. Bloat can be prevented by limiting the amount of food fed at one feeding. Spreading out the daily food amount throughout the day is best advised. Also limiting excessive exercise after eating can prevent this condition from forming.

Activity Level

The Rottweiler should have at least a large sized yard. They aren't really active indoors, so they need plenty of exercise outdoors, off lead preferably. This breed loves long walks and should have at least two long walks per day totaling at least two hours of exercise per day.


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