Rottweiler Dog Breed at a Glance
The Rottweiler dog breed, also known as the Rott or Rottie, is a stocky, fearless and extremely strong dog recognizable by its large and broad head. An excellent guard dog, the Rott usually only displays aggressive behavior when raised poorly, but it should be noted that it has exceptional strength and will do whatever is necessary to protect its family. It has been used for years in police work and search and rescue, as well as guide dogs and in herding. It’s not a breed recommended for kids, unless it is raised among children where they both live through pleasant experiences together. It is also not recommended for new owners, although it is fairly easy to train, thanks to its high level of intelligence. Regardless of its aggressiveness, the Rottweiler is ranked as the 9th most popular breed by the AKC.
Breed Group: Working
HISTORY of the Rottweiler Dog Breed
A descendant of Roman drover dogs, this is one of the oldest herding breeds dating back to the Roman Empire. During that time, Rottweilers were used to herd the cattle that accompanied soldiers for food. Later, they accompanied traveling butchers, guarding money pouches safely tied around their necks. When transportation needs changed, the Rottweilers were on a decline, but they regained popularity in World War I, where they found their place as police dogs, messengers, and guard dogs, among other jobs.
The Rottweiler is a loyal, stubborn, protective, fearless, and courageous dog that is independent, quiet, and very intelligent. It is also a sensitive dog that does not respond well to reprimanding or punishment. Always keep it on a leash when out and about as it has a strong hunting drive. At home, the Rott may not be ideal for every family with children, but it is a cat-friendly dog that barks only when necessary. It’s not uncommon for the Rottie to follow his favorite person around so that he/she is in its view at all times. This is a “people” dog, so it needs to be around its family and not be left alone for long periods of time, which could result in destructive and agressive behavior.
Biting statistics dating back to 1982 prove the Rottweiler is ranked among the top 10% of dog attacks on humans. These attacks include injuries that require professional medical attention, maimings, and fatalities. The Rott was involved in 571 human attacks, resulting in 314 maimings and 88 deaths. Further research indicates 310 child victims and 153 adult victims. As such, it’s crucial to exercise caution near this breed which is known to be aggressive.
According to the statistics and breaking them down to determine the average deaths per year, the Rottweiler stands at 3 deaths per year. This is a high number when comparing to other dog breeds.
Physical Characteristics of the Rottweiler Dog Breed
The medium-to-large sized stocky Rott is extremely powerful and muscular. Its triangular ears flop over and align with its large head and its neck is thick and muscular.
The common colors of this breed are black with rust markings. The double-coated dog has a medium-length, dense, coarse, and flat outer coat.
The Rottie weighs between 80 and 135 pounds, placing it among the heaviest of dog breeds, and stands between 22 and 27 inches tall.
Shedding is constant with this breed. Brushing reduces shedding but prepare to vacuum nonetheless. This is not a hypoallergenic breed, and the Rott has a high tendency to drool.
HEALTH and CARE of the Rottweiler Dog Breed
The life expectancy of the Rott is between 8 and 11 years, which is far shorter than the average lifespan of large dogs.
Common Health Concerns
Each dog breed is susceptible to certain health issues. The Rottweiler is generally a healthy breed but is at a high risk of developing:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Osteochondrosis of the Shoulder
- Subaortic Stenosis
- Osteochondrosis of the Ankle/Spine
Provide your Rottweiler plenty of exercise twice daily, as this dog breed is at a high risk for weight gain. Start obedience training very early on to raise a well-behaved dog and keep his protective drive in check. This is not a suitable breed for apartment-living and is best in a home with a fenced yard. It is able to handle cold weather, but does not fare well in hot temperatures.
Feed your dog a high-quality dog food to ensure health and longevity. Your Rottweiler should eat between 4 and 5 cups of dry dog food each day.
The Rottweiler has minimal grooming needs. Brushing reduces shedding and helps keep its coat clean, along with the occasional bath.
The AKC officially recognized the Rottweiler in 1931.