The Rottweiler is a natural protector and a reliable guard with a strong independent character. It is serious and endlessly loyal to the owner.
Rottweilers are demure energetic big guys, whose main purpose is to serve man. It is the Rottweilers who are considered the best rescuers and guides, ready at any moment to risk their own lives in the name of saving human life. Out on the street, these muscular handsome dogs are a real threat and a watchful eye.
Aggressiveness: mild (3/5)
Education: easy (5/5)
Need for care: low (2/5)
Health: mild (3/5)
Attitude to solitude: mild (3/5)
Noisiness: mild (3/5)
Activity: above the average (4/5)
Molting: below the average (2/5)
Friendliness: mild (3/5)
Owning cost: above the average (4/5)
Intellect: very smart (5/5)
Security skill: excellent (5/5)
* The characteristics of the Rottweiler breed are based on an assessment by lapkins.ru experts and feedback from dog owners.
The ancestors of the Rottweilers, the Molossians, entered western Europe with the legions of Claudius Augustus after Roman wagons crossed the Alps and dominated the southern part of modern Germany. The soil of the new colony was fertile, so the Molossians quickly found a worthy occupation there: large and ferocious dogs began to protect and graze cattle.
The breed was named after the town of Rothwell in southwestern Germany. Located at the crossroads of trade routes and surrounded by the turbulent Neckar, that province was the main supplier of meat to the German principalities. Since there were many hunters to enjoy this nutritious product for free in the Middle Ages, specially trained dogs were attracted to guard the meat carts in Rothwell. By the way, first, the four-legged guards were called Metzgerhund, which literally means “butcher’s dog”.
Rothwell burghers willingly used strong and serious animals not only as watchdogs but also as carriers of meat products. The Rottweilers in the carts delivered juicy steaks and tenderloins, thus sparing their owners the need to keep the draft animals. However, after the railroad was laid through Rothwell and the pastoralists were able to transport their goods in a new, faster way, the need for breeding dogs disappeared, and the Rottweiler breed began to slowly degenerate.
Breeders remembered about Rottweilers only at the beginning of the 20th century, thanks to a curious incident widely covered by the German press. The essence of the incident was that during a scuffle with tipsy sailors, the sergeant of the Stuttgart police set his Rottweiler against the troublemakers. In a matter of minutes, the animal “settled” a dangerous conflict, turning the brave sailors into a shameful flight. After this incident, the breed regained its previously lost popularity and by 1921 had acquired its own “fan club”.
Rottweilers were introduced in Russia in 1914. Initially hardy and executive «Germans» were imported as working dogs, able to fight predators and guard cattle. However, after the end of World War II, they were entrusted with another «honorable» mission: guarding the prisoners of the Gulag. Soviet breeders spent a lot of time and effort trying to create a new guard dog, distinguished by particular cruelty. Finally, such animals were bred, but it became absolutely impossible to consider them as pets.
Everything changed in the 80s when the Rottweiler Harras Steinkopf was brought from Germany to the USSR. Outwardly, this handsome dog stood out against the background of his rough and fierce brethren. In addition, the animal possessed a calm and peaceful disposition, which gave hope that its descendants could get along with humans as a friend and companion.
Rottweilers are often named athletes of the dog world. These strong and «pumped» handsome dogs attract by their harsh power. They literally make you feel calm and reliable. The weight of males is about 50 kg, the weight of females is about 45 kg.
The skull is medium-sized, with developed cheekbones and a convex forehead. There is a noticeable occipital. The muzzle is flat, broad at the base and narrow at the nose.
The nose is black, slightly «stretched» wide, with big nostrils.
The jaws of the Rottweiler are massive, moderate of width. Dogs have a scissors bite. The teeth are strong. The ideal number of teeth is 42.
The eyes are almond-shaped, small, with eyelids closely attached to the eyeball. The reference shade of the iris of the eyes is brown. Eyes are wide open, bold, but without aggression and malice.
The ears of the Rottweiler are small, triangular in shape. Their stand is tall and wide. The edge of the ear is close to the zygomatic zone, which creates the illusion of a wide, massive forehead.
The neck is muscular but lean and not very long. There is a slight bend at the top.
A strong, well-developed back combined with a short, firm loin and a rounded croup. The chest is wide and deep. The sternum is massive. The groin area is noticeably fit.
Forelimbs are flat. The shoulders are close to the sternum, the elbows are pressed against the body of the dog. Hind limbs of the Rottweiler are flat, placed at some distance from each other. The thighs are of elongated type, with good muscle. The angles of the joints are obtuse. The paws are round, firm. The pads are elastic. The claws are short but strong. The hind limbs are noticeably longer than the forelimbs.
The tail of the Rottweiler is elongated, continuing the upper backline. The docking is not necessarily the case; therefore, this procedure is carried out exclusively at the initiative of the owner.
The dermis is smooth. It forms skin-deep longitudinal wrinkles at the head if the dog is curious. According to the standard, skin folds on the skull of an animal are not acceptable in a calm mood. The fur cover is uniform. The Rottweiler has a short, thick underfur, a rigid fur that tightly covers the body. On the hind limbs, the fur is longer.
Rottweiler has black color with brown-red stains. The stains are located on parts of the body such as the throat, chest, legs, cheekbone area, and area under the eyes.
The Rottweiler is a born fighter, ready to defend his owner 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In an informal setting, these muscular bodyguards turn into charming, lubber who loves napping or fooling around with the people they like. They get along well with children, patiently enduring their pranks and whims, and gladly carry out small assignments for the rest of the family. However, the kindness of representatives of this breed does not extend beyond the limits of their own apartment. Any stranger, be it a small child or an adult, is viewed by the Rottweiler as a potential threat, and the dog never changes this rule.
The Rottweiler is “monogamist”. It is difficult for these animals to tolerate with a change of the owner. In such situations, they can fall into depression, rush into the run, and reveal uncontrolled aggression. If you treat another animal in the presence of a pet, be prepared to observe the dog’s discontent and jealousy in all its glory. Rottweilers do not like to share the attention of the owner with other four-legged brethren.
Paradoxical as it may seem, representatives of this breed are very sensitive to noise, vanity, and everyday conflicts. If the owners are often fighting with a raised voice, this will certainly affect the mental health of the pet. Rottweilers who grew up in such a nervous environment tend to have behavioral deviations and show aggression even towards their own owners.
The Rottweiler attacks the assailant quickly and without warning. When the dog is infuriated, it feels no pain, so it is almost impossible to pull off an attacking dog from a human. At the same time, the Rottweilers are not vindictive: after a fight, the dog cools off quite quickly, without making repeated attempts to attack.
Keeping a Rottweiler at home without training is a serious extreme, which in the future will cost the owner too much. When buying a puppy of this breed, start looking in advance for an experienced trainer for it. Paid training courses are also relevant in those cases when it comes to the upbringing and socialization of an adult who previously lived with another owner.
In order to save money, the owner can take the role of the trainer. Start training the puppy from the day it came to your house. Start with the simplest commands, gradually making the tasks more difficult, but remember that young Rottweilers cannot focus on one thing for long. Accordingly, the duration of one “lesson” should not exceed 10-15 minutes.
The main skills that the puppy must acquire by the year is:
Half-year-old puppies are often stubborn and willful. In addition, during this period of life, the animal has a passion for domination: young Rottweilers start growling and sometimes biting the owner. If you want to put a puppy in his place and assert his authority, use punishment. These include depriving the dog of a treat, raising it from the ground, accompanied by shaking, and squeezing the muzzle.
While walking on a leash, the Rottweiler must firmly learn that the owner has the sole right to planning the path.
The puppy must be socialized from the first weeks of its life. The animal must walk with other dogs. The owner should take the dog to visit his friends, walk the dog in noisy and crowded places. The puppy must understand that the world is not limited by the walls of the house and there are many other living creatures. During walks, behave calmly so as not to irritate the animal once again and not provoke it to attack passers-by and other dogs.
Keeping a service breed dog is always a big responsibility, as such animals require a firm hand and constant control. The Rottweiler, of course, can take root in an apartment, but the perfect place of abode for bodyguard dogs will be a country house with a kennel equipped in the yard. In the warm season, the animal can be left in the kennel 24 hours a day, but with the onset of frost, it must be moved to a heated room or taken to the house.
Rottweilers are supposed to walk twice a day, at least 10-20 minutes, and preferably an hour. Walking must be combined with intense physical activity and active games to keep the pet in shape. By the way, not all representatives of this breed love physical activity: many individuals prefer lying on the couch for many hours to jogging. In such cases, the dog will have to be artificially stimulated with praise or a promise of treats.
Caring for a Rottweiler is an easy task. The dog should be brushed twice a week, bathed three times a year. However, you have to wash your dog’s paws after walking at rainy days. The claws of these dogs should be cut off when in necessary. The active Rottweiler may polish his claws in a natural way. Check and clean your dog’s ears every week. The ear funnel is cleaned with a piece of cloth dry or moistened with alcohol-free lotion. Dogs’ teeth are cleaned with a gauze pad and baking soda 4 times a month.
Adult Rottweilers are fed twice a day, and three meals are recommended for puppies under the age of six months. The daily intake shall not exceed 5 percent of the total body mass of the animal. The quantity of dry food is calculated according to the formula: 20-40 g per one kilogram weight of a dog.
Since most individuals are prone to overeating, the number of calories consumed by the dog must be carefully monitored. In particular, for animals that overeat or begin to gain weight, it is useful to reduce the ration. The same should be done with older dogs, whose metabolism is no longer so intense. In particular, for “pensioners” the amount of carbohydrate-containing foods is reduced, but at the same time, the frequency of feeding is increased (up to 3 times). Once a week, Rottweilers are given a fasting day on fermented milk products and water.
List of foods that should be present in the diet of an adult Rottweiler:
The owner should not give his pet:
The food bowl is placed on a vertical stand at the level of the chest cage of the dog, which helps to form the correct posture of the puppy. The dishes from which the Rottweiler eats should be enameled, metal or ceramic, but in no case plastic.
Rottweilers are fed only warm food. The consumption of chilled or overly hot foods provokes gastritis in the animal.
With regard to dry food, the owner should give preference to the premium “holistic” class. It is forbidden to mix “drying” with natural products, while the alternation of wet and dry industrial feed is encouraged.
Nutritional discipline is a necessity for Rottweilers. The pet’s bowl should be filled with food twice a day and hided 15 minutes after the start of the meal. Do not be tempted to give your dog a snack and do not keep leftover food from breakfast or dinner in a bowl, expecting that a hungry animal will eat it in a couple of hours. There should always be clean water in a Rottweiler bowl.
Like most large dogs, Rottweilers live from 8 to 10 years. Exceptions to the general rule also exist: with proper care and tireless attention, these dogs are able to live another three to five years beyond the established standard. Due to their massive size, Rottweilers appear to be large, visiting the veterinarian’s office only in the case of routine vaccinations. In fact, these dogs have many diseases.
Rottweiler’s most frequent diseases:
Some individuals may have kidney problems as well as disorders of the nervous system. Congenital diseases such as hypertrichosis, or baldness are slightly less common.
For inexperienced owners who decide to buy a Rottweiler for the first time, it is better to choose a female dog, because it has a soft character and learns commands fast. The only problem of «girls» is that they do not tolerate other females around them.
Rottweilers look more classy, but they need serious man guidance. Most «boys» are prone to vagrancy, so bring a male animal into the house only if you are ready to carefully adjust his behavior. It is better to take the puppy to the house at the age of 2-3 months, since during this period the animals still do not show stubbornness and are easily trained. Acquaintance with the puppy’s mother is mandatory. Check with the breeder for her age. Ideally, the bitch should be between 2 and 8 years old.
To eliminate the possibility of hereditary joint dysplasia, ask the breeder for x-rays of the puppy’s parents’ limbs. Check the living conditions of the future pet: puppy kennel must be clean and dry. In addition, toys or substitute items should be present in the puppy’s kennel. It is wiser to give preference to puppies with a dark tan color because after the first molt, the coat of Rottweilers often lightens. In addition, individuals of darker color are stronger and more resilient. Carefully examine the puppy’s abdomen for signs of an umbilical hernia. Pay attention to the dewclaws: they should be cropped.
Even if you see a future bodyguard in an animal, you shouldn’t buy a puppy that’s too aggressive. The right Rottweiler is a balanced Rottweiler. In self-respecting kennels and training schools, too angry representatives of the breed are rejected as unsuitable for training and further breeding. At the same time, a dog’s stubbornness is considered an indicator of a strong character. These individuals become excellent watchmen. Noisy effects are a great way to test puppies for courage. Clap your hand over the dog’s head or ring the bell. If the Rottweiler is adequate, it will be aroused by the sound of these sudden noises and will be curious. If the puppy has escaped, it is a coward.
Rottweiler’s not expensive, but it’s not cheap. You can buy an active healthy puppy with the Russian Cynological Federation metric from popular parents for an average of 250-400 dollars. A more economical way is buying a dog with exterior defects or without documents, as well as those born as a result of unscheduled mating. The average price for such dogs is from 60 to 90 dollars.