Rottweiler Puppy with a Flower

Getting to Know Your Rottweiler

The Rottweiler is a strong and loyal breed but there size and needs can make them a bit high maintenance. If you’re willing to put in the effort to care for them, you will be rewarded with an affectionate and loving friend for life.

Before you can really decide if you’re willing and able to put the effort in, you’ll need to learn more about the breed so you know exactly what will be required. Read through this short guide to get a better idea of what it takes to care for a Rottweiler properly.

Physical Characteristics

The Rottweiler has been bred from the beginning to be a working dog. They were meant to pull carts, drive cattle, and they even worked as police dogs and served in the military. Due to this breeding, they are an extremely large breed.

Rottweiler Body Look

By adulthood, they will reach height of around 2 feet and weigh an impressive 85 to 130 pounds. That’s as much as some people! They have a very strong, sturdy build with a lot of muscle. So you’ll need to be prepared to care for a large and strong dog.

Their coat is short but dense. The coloring is mostly black with markings around the eyes, cheeks, chest and legs that is usually a shade of brown or orange.

Personality and Temperament

Despite their large size, Rottweilers are calm and affectionate. While they are usually not quick to aggression, they are cautious of new people (and new animals). They won’t make friends easily but once they accept you as a friend, they will be loyal, affectionate, and even cuddly.

They are truly the ideal guard dog because they have a natural desire to protect their family and their territory against threats but are also able to control their aggression. They will not immediately assume every new face is a threat. They have a wait and see policy.

Rottweiler with a Bunny, a Cat, and Chick

In general, Rottweilers enjoy children and can take to them more quickly than adults. This is especially true of the children they were raised with. Of course, as with any large, powerful breed, you’ll still want to keep an eye on playtime with small children because the Rottweiler may accidently knock them over.

Common Health Issues

This is an extremely strong and robust breed but, as with any breed, there are still some health conditions you’ll have to be aware of just in case:

  • Obesity: Rottweilers are large and do require a lot of food but if they are allowed to access food anytime they want, they will devour far more than they actually need. Portion control is very important.
  • Bloat: this is a condition in which the stomach fills with gas or air and then gets twisted so that gas is trapped. It’s very painful and can be fatal if untreated. The key symptoms are bloated abdomen, lethargy, and attempting to vomit without anything coming out. You can prevent this by dividing your Rottweiler’s food into 2 or 3 meals throughout the day rather than all at once. You should also prevent him from being overly active for about an hour after eating.
  • Osteosarcoma: this is a kind of bone cancer that tends to affect large breeds. The first symptom you’ll be able to notice is lameness. However, it is a good idea to take your dog for annual screenings because the earlier you catch it, the better chances you have of treatment being effective.

Cute Rottweiler Puppy Eyes

Basic Care Instructions

Here are the basic guidelines for taking good care of your Rottweiler:

  1. Your Rottweiler should eat anywhere from 4 to 10 cups of dry food per day, depending on activity level. Divide this into at least 2 separate meals. If he is eating closer to 10 cups per day, we recommend dividing into 3 separate meals to prevent bloat.
  2. Rottweilers should be kept primarily indoors. They need (and want) to be with their pack so leaving them outside and alone for extended periods can make them aggressive and destructive.
  3. Your backyard will need a good, sturdy fence to keep your Rottweiler safely contained when he is playing outside. Underground electric fences are generally not very effective with Rottweilers as they have a high pain tolerance and their urge to protect their family and property will be stronger than the urge to avoid the electric shock.
  4. Some Rottweilers are full of energy while others are actually quite lazy. However, for the sake of their health and weight, all Rottweilers need a minimum of 40 minutes of exercise per day. If you’ve got an energetic Rottweiler on your hands, he’ll need much more than that, though.
  5. Fortunately, Rottweilers don’t shed a lot year round but during fall and spring, his coat will shed a lot more. During these times, we recommend daily brushing to contain the problem. Otherwise, a weekly brushing is more than enough.

Rottweiler Jumping Over Obstacle

Rottweilers can be a bit on the stubborn side so you need to use firm, authoritative training techniques. You can use positive reinforcement as part of your method but the key is to establish yourself as the alpha of the family from the beginning so that your Rottweiler respects you.

Final Word

The Rottweiler is a great family pet because he will love and protect your home and family with everything he’s got and when he’s not on the alert for threats, he’ll enjoy spending some quality lazy cuddling time with you and playing with your kids.

However, they can be a bit high maintenance due to their need for exercise and you’re going to find yourself spending a lot of money on food because they do need to eat more than most breeds. But if you’re willing to accept these responsibilities, your Rottweiler will be your best and most loyal friend.

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