The Magnificant Rottweiler

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Rottweiler (Rottie)
Weight: 85 — 135 lbs
Height: 24” — 27”
AKC Rank 2008 #14
Lifespan: 10—12 yrs
Group Working
Origin Germany

Dog Breed Info - The Rottweiler

Rottweiler ready to play "Frisbee-catch."
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Breed Overview

Original duties: Guarding, draft, cattle drover. Current duties: Security, herding, carting.

The Rottwiler's ancestors were probably Roman drover dogs, responsible for driving and guarding herds of cattle as they accompanied Roman troops on long marches. At least one of these marches led to southern Germany, where some of the people and their dogs settled. The breed prospered and became the center of general commerce. The dogs drove and guarded cattle, guarded money earned by the cattle sales, and served as draft animals.

The Rotties continued to grow, and in 1931 arrived in America and obtained AKC registration.

The breed posses natural guard or protection instincts and has the weight and power and will to follow through when challenged by a stranger or another animal.

The Rottie and his Lady
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Very trainable. The breed has trained as police and guard dogs with great success. This dog is quite intelligent and willing to learn. Use clicker training and positive reinforcement for excellent results. Dogs love the method and it is very simple to use.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Rottweiler puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

Rottweiler puppies are usually easy to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.



Confident, bold, alert, imposing, the Rottie is a popular choice for it’s protection abilities. As befitting its self-assured nature, it tends to be headstrong and stubborn. This dog is reserved, often guarded toward strangers. It may be overly protective if it perceives it’s family is being threatened. This is a powerful breed that needs socialization, consistent training and daily exercise!

Give the Rottweiler strong, tough alpha leadership in training and heavy socialization and the dog will become a wonderful, obedient and loyal protector and companion. If socialized heavily as a puppy and throughout life, the dog will be good with your friends, relatives and children. This is not a breed for first-time pet owners.

If you happen to get a Rottie with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

A Happy Rottie Pup!
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Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Yes and No. Rottweiler's pick and choose their canine friends.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Yes. Will adapt to other animals in the household if introduced on common ground, or especially if raised with them.

Friendly Toward Strangers

NO. They view strangers as enemies until introduced and gets used to the new person being around.


Somewhat.. A Rottie will roll on her back and bark a few times, or chase and retrieve a ball. They can be more playful than they look, given the chance. As long as there is no threat present, and she is surrounded by family, she can be a lot of fun. I know first hand.


Rottweiler’s show affection mainly by strong loyalty, stretching out at your feet and napping while you read the paper and guarding you everywhere you go.

Good with children?

IF socialized as a pup, the Rottie can do just fine with children. The disposition will not take the nonsense kids dish out. Rottweiler's are no-nonsense dogs. I HAVE known of several families with kids and Rotties that worked out fine though. There are no hard, fast rules.

Good with Seniors over 65?

Yes, if the senior has a fenced back yard for the Rottweiler to potty in and is well trained. This dog will totally protect the senior and give him/her an alert to any trouble.

Living environment

House with fenced yard, farm.


Energy level

Moderate energy. This is not a rambunctious dog. He’d rather take a nap than run around in the park.

Exercise needs, daily

One or two long walks daily are needed.


Superb. One of the best of all breeds.

Guard dog

Superb. One of the best of all breeds. They can kill the intruder.


Yes, they shed.


Brush your Rottweiler two or three times a week to get rid of loose fur. This is healthy for the dog and he will enjoy the extra attention too.



Suggested Reading - The Rottweiler

  • Book at the left is "Training Your Rottweiler" which says it all.

  • 2nd book from the left is "Schutzhund" - A training book for guard dogs. If you want to train your Rottie for guard work, this is a good book.

  • 3rd book from the left - "50 Games Tp Play With Your Dog." This is a fun book full of simple, easy to teach-and-execute games for exercise and play.

  • The book on the right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog health, emergencies, illnesses and injuries. It's a valuable reference manual intended for every dog owner. Vol 2, 2008, includes a DVD.

Rottweiler Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Rottweiler puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been VERY well socialized and started in obedience training.
Rottweiler Breeders with puppies for sale.

Rottweiler Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of a Rottweiler and are looking for a Rottweiler rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Rottweiler Rescue - (Nationwide)
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site that may give you some ideas. Remember to check Rottweiler rescue groups locally where you live and also kennels.

Dog Health Issues For The Rottweiler
Below are the dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Rottweiler by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical problems this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, back leg acts lame. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing great pain and difficulty walking. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

  • Elbow Dysplasia—This, as with hip dysplasia, is something the dog is born with. Wear and time in the front legs (elbow joints) cause lameness by the time the dog is roughly a year old. If you have a dog prone to this disease, have an early x-ray to see if surgery to the joints will stave off further damage to the joints. Typically, there has been no cure, but recently doctors have come up with some ideas. 1) Keep the weight of your dog down. 2) Use anti-inflammatory medication. 3) Look into injections of stem-cells to help regenerate bone-covering cartilage to cause the bones to line up properly again. (This is new research and some vets may not know about it so ask around.)

  • Osteosarcoma—A leg bone cancer in large breed dogs of any age but usually in large, older dogs. Osteosarcoma in the limbs is “appendicular osteosarcoma.” The dog will be in great pain as the disease destroys the bone from the inside out. The dog’s inability to walk will progress over only about 3 months time as the bone is destroyed by the tumor. Unfortunately, surgery to remove the leg is the only way to give your dog the only total relief needed.

  • Gastric Torsion—Sometimes called Dog Bloat or “Twisted stomach.” Mainly in larger, deep-cheated dogs. Here's a brief description of the problem. Symptoms include excessive drooling, nervous pacing, agitation, weakness, attempt to vomit, bulging stomach area, heavy breathing, retching and gagging, shock or total collapse.

  • Hypothyroidism—An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone which reduces the Rottweiler's metabolism level. Hypothyroidism stems from the Rottweiler’s immune system attacking the tissues of the thyroid gland. Bottom line is the dog becomes symptomatic. The cause can be a predisposition for thyroid problems, air pollution and allergies. A FEW symptoms of the disorder include lethargy, weight gain, skin infections, dry skin, hair loss, slow heart rate, ear infections, depression. See your set right away.

  • Osteochondritis dissecans—A common type of elbow dysplasia except it can occur in any joint including the shoulder. Flaps of cartilage run against tissue causing irritation, pain, lameness and in time, joint degeneration disease and arthritis. Pieces can break loose and float around limiting movement, or getting lodged or wedged inside the joint itself. Look for lameness, pain and swelling in joints. Treatments include non-steroid anti-inflammatory meds, weight loss, confinement to rest the joints, and dietary supplements for joint health. Surgery is the last option for very severe cases.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy—An inherited, untreatable disease of the retina affecting both eyes causing blindness. It’s in the genes of the dog and is not painful. Starts with night blindness and progresses as the retina gradually deteriorates.

  • Retinal dysplasia—Caused by trauma, hereditary or damage from an infection.. Abnormal development of the retina with folds in the outer layers.. The folds are small and may not bother the dog, however, larger obstructions can lead to blindness. Retinal dysplasia is a congenital problem that does not necessarily worsen with age.

  • Ruptured Cranial Cruciate Ligament - The tearing of the Cruciate ligament in the knee and NO weight can be applied to the affected leg with the torn ligament. Even sitting can be a painful problem This will cause lameness that may be severe. Knee surgery with total restriction of activity is the only answer.

  • Cataracts—Cloudiness of the eye, similar to humans and will cause blindness if not treated.

  • Seizures - A serious disorder that usually shows upo at around 2 to 4 or 5 years of age in dogs..

  • Diabetes—The pancreas manufactures the hormone INSULIN. If the pancreas stops making, or makes less than the normal amount of insulin, or if the tissues in the body become resistant to the insulin, the result is called “diabetes.” The Rottweiler can NOT control her blood sugar without injections of insulin on a regular basis, but given the insulin, the dog can live a normal life like a human can. If the dog does not receive the insulin injections at the same time each day of her life, the dog will go into a coma and she will die. Some causes of diabetes may be chronic pancreatitis, heredity, obesity or old age, but no one is sure. Symptoms are excess drinking and urination, dehydration, weight loss, increased appetite, weight gain, and cataracts may develop suddenly. Treatment is in the form of the insulin injections daily and a strict diet low in carbohydrates and sugars. Home cooking may be suggested in some cases. Frequent trips to the vet for blood monitoring will be needed but diabetes is not a death sentence.

  • Lymphosarcoma—Cancer of the lymph glands which amounts to “cancer everywhere in the body.” Middle age and older dogs are the likely candidates. No appetite, weight loss, no energy and increased thirst and urination are signs of the disease. When a lymph node become cancerous, you can begin to feel the hardness of the node at the angle of the jaws and in front of the shoulder blades, for example because the nodes become enlarged. There are many other nodes you can’t feel. With chemotherapy, the dog may have a year to live. Without chemotherapy, she has up to 6 weeks to live. About 45% of all dogs in the USA will die of cancer by age 10 and only a third will die of old age. (Current statistics) This disease is common to the Flat-Coated Retriever, Golden Retriever and Rottweiler.

  • Aortic stenosis—Hereditary heart defect. A narrowing of the aorta inhibiting blood flow in the heart in the Rottweiler, causing the heart to work harder If the condition is mild, the dog may never show symptoms and live a long life. If severe, the dog will object to exercise, possibly faint at times or experience sudden death. In 90% of the affected dogs, the condition of the heart would not change from around 1 to 2 years on through it’s life. The dog’s most affected by this condition are the Newfoundland, Rottweiler, Boxer, and Golden Retriever..

  • Von Willebrand"s Disease—A deficiency in clotting factor in the blood. The affected dog does not properly utilize the blood-platelets for blood-clotting. Thus, the dog is prone to excessive bleeding if in an accident or surgery.

  • Renal dysplasia—Disease of the kidney. Improper function of the kidney. If you own a Shih Tzu, or other breed prone to this, check twice a year with your vet for kidney function or.... sooner if you observe any unusual symptoms such as... increased drinking, increased or decreased urination, very little color to the urine, depression, loss of appetite, bad odor in breath plus any other unusual behaviors. See vet immediately!

  • Panosteitis—So called "growing pains" in the legs of 6 to 12 month old puppies. The dogs experience an alternating lameness in the legs due to acute pain. Large dogs and especially Rottweilers and German Shepherds are affected. The pain generally goes away as the dog matures.

  • Entropion—Eye irritation caused by the eyelids and lashes rolling inward. The problem is usually inherited and found in young, adult dogs. It can come from an eyelid spasm. Affected eyes will be held partially shut and tear excessively. Both eyes will usually be affected the same. Treatment for the condition requires eye surgery.

  • Ectropion—A hereditary medical problem. The lower eyelid grows outward leaving a gap between the eye and the eyelid. Excessive tearing and conjunctivitis are common signs of the disease but some dogs will have no symptoms. Blunt trauma and/or nerve damage can also cause the problem. If the cornea becomes damaged or if the conjunctivitis becomes chronic, surgery will be necessary.

Other health problem could occur with your Rottweiler. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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