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Rottweiler, also known as Rott or Rottie, is a vigorous working breed that was descended from the Mastiffs of the Roman Army. The breed inherited the athleticism and stamina of his predecessors and developed a courageous temperament.
The Rottweiler breed comes across as aloof to the outside world, but a gentle protector within the family. With proper training and early socialisation, the Rottie’s territorial instincts can be used in a positive way to avoid excessively aggressive behaviour.
Rottweiler puppies can grow up to be calm and confident with proper training, making him a great family companion.
Are you interested in owning a Rottweiler? Here is a brief background of this large assertive dog.
Rottweilers are classified as one of the Mastiff breeds. The earliest Rottweilers were believed to have come from Roman cattle dogs brought to southern Germany. They were called Rottweiler Metzgerhund, which means Rottweil butchers’ dogs. They were used by butchers to drive cattle to market and at the same time served as protectors from robbers.
A Rottweiler dog is quite versatile as he is capable of carrying out other jobs. He pulls carts to deliver meat and milk to customers, and he also guards his family.
In the Middle Ages, the Rottie was trusted to carry money, which is kept in money belts tied around his neck, back and forth from the market. Aside from that, the Rottie also served as a herding dog, guard dog, messenger dog, draught dog, and a police dog.
Despite the breed’s usefulness, he nearly became extinct in the 1800s. It was because of the rise of motorised vehicles and preference in using smaller dogs, which robbed all of his jobs. Fortunately, the Rottie was saved by the efforts of the breed’s fanciers in Stuttgart, Germany.
The Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub or German Rottweiler Club (DRK) was formed in 1907. It was then followed by the establishment of Süddeutscher Rottweiler-Klub or South German Rottweiler Club (SDRK) in the same year.
Rottweilers were brought to the UK in 1936 by Phil (Thelma) Gray. During the Second World War, the dogs were sent to Ireland for safekeeping. Unfortunately, they vanished after the war.
It wasn’t until 1953 that Rottweilers were imported to England, all thanks to Captain Roy Smith of the Royal Veterinary Corps. The Rottweiler was then registered as a breed by The Kennel Club in 1965.
Today, the Rottweiler proved his excellence in herding, tracking, guarding, competitive obedience, search and rescue, guide dog, and Schutzhund.
The Rottweiler is a large, robust, and powerful dog. He weighs between 36 and 61 kilograms and stands 56 to 69 centimetres at the withers. The breed’s substantial build and massive frame indicate great strength, dexterity, and endurance.
The Rottie has a medium-length head and a broad skull between pendant ears. The chest is roomy and broad.
The Rottweiler’s medium-length outer coat is straight, coarse, and lies flat. The undercoat is noticeable on the neck and thighs. According to the Kennel Club (KC) breed standard, the Rottweiler should come in black with clearly defined tan markings.
There is usually a spot on each eye and the cheeks, and/or a strip around each side of the muzzle. White markings are considered undesirable.
Grooming the Rottie includes weekly nail trimming. Ensure that his ears are clean by applying a dog-safe ear solution and wiping them using a cotton ball. Note that the cotton ball should not go deeper than the first knuckle of your finger when cleaning the dog’s ears. Skip using a cotton swab as it pushes dirt further into the ear canal.
Mind your Rottie’s dental health as tooth decay, and gum disease can cause various illnesses. Start brushing your Rottweiler puppy’s teeth at an early stage. This will get him used to dental cleaning. If possible, brush his teeth every day. Provide your Rottie with appropriate chew toys to keep his jaw strong. It also keeps his teeth clean by reducing plaque build-up.
The Rottweiler sheds moderately throughout the year. Spring and autumn are exceptions, as copious amounts of shedding are to be expected around these seasons. Thus, the Rottie is a non-hypoallergenic breed and therefore not the best choice for dog lovers with allergies.
When it comes to grooming, the Rottweiler has a relatively easy-to-maintain coat that requires weekly brushing using a soft bristle brush or a rubber hound mitt.
During shedding season, brushing should be done more frequently to get rid of loose and dead hair effectively. Bathing should only be done when it is required to prevent his skin and coat from drying out. Wiping him down with a damp towel once a while will also help keep his coat clean.
Do not forget to regularly check his skin for ticks, fleas, injuries, or skin infections that need medical attention.
Rottweilers are calm, confident, and good-natured. He’s not vicious nor aggressive but possesses guarding instincts. This explains the dog’s protective instincts to keep his home and family safe.
Rotties should be kept indoors, which is contrary to the belief that he is fine living outside in kennels. That’s because he is very sociable and deeply family-oriented. Thus, he cannot stand the lack of human interaction, which can lead him to develop separation anxiety and a slew of destructive habits.
With a wait-and-see attitude towards different situations in the environment, the Rottweiler remains calm and responds quietly. He can be aloof towards strangers, and it takes time before he warms up to any guests coming to your home.
Rottweilers are intelligent, adaptable, and hardworking. Male Rottweilers are quieter and more vigilant, whilst female Rotties are more manageable and warm. The breed thrives as guarding and police dogs.
The Rottie is one of the smartest dog breeds in the world. However, realistically, training a Rottweiler can be quite challenging as he has a protective and domineering nature.
Rottweiler training requires a lot of time, patience, and assertiveness from the handler. When leadership is established, training will be much easier.
Positive reinforcement is also necessary to keep your Rottie focused and motivated to cooperate during training sessions. Whilst you can give lots of praises every time he successfully carries out commands, moderation should be done when rewarding him with treats as the breed is prone to obesity.
Avoid incorporating punishments and harsh training methods as these are counterproductive. It will not only lead the Rottie to lose interest in learning but will also damage your bond with him. If you feel frustrated with him, it is best to walk away and try again later.
Rottweilers love children especially if they grew up together. However, the Rottie is known to playfully bump livestock back in the days when they were used as cattle herders. Although the breed is now seen as a family pet, some Rotties have not outgrown this behaviour.
Rotties can get along with your children, however this does not mean that he can handle other kids. For these reasons, every dog–child interaction should be supervised. This breed is best suited for families with older children who understand how to interact with dogs properly.
The Rottweilers is a good companion for other pets too, so long as he received proper training and socialisation at a young age. Early and gradual introduction to other furry buddies is essential as well to safely make them get along.
Rotties can be aggressive towards dogs of the same sex. So consider neutering or spaying both dogs to prevent territorial behaviour. The Rottie also has a high prey drive and may chase smaller pets such as cats and rabbits. To prevent accidents, closely monitor their interactions.
Rottweilers need a typical daily food serving of 4 to 10 cups of high-quality dry dog food, depending on the dog’s age, size, build, activity level, and metabolism.
Typical calorie needs of an adult Rottweiler, weighing 110 pounds, per day:
Older Rottweilers and less active: up to 2,000 calories daily
Typical adult dog: up to 2,200 calories daily
Physically active/working dog: up to 2,700 calories daily
As a large active dog, the Rottweiler needs a lot of protein, which should be a minimum of 25% of his overall diet. Protein develops muscles and prevents your pet from becoming overweight, as protein is secreted through the kidneys and not stored as fat.
Choose a high-quality brand that lists animal protein (beef, bison, chicken, or turkey) as its main ingredient. Wheat, corn, and other glutens should be avoided as they are prolific skin and digestive allergens for this breed. Carbohydrates should be from vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots.
Since the Rottweiler is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, a Rottweiler puppy should be fed a diet that is high in glucosamine and chondroitin. These are natural substances that protect the joints. Omega fatty acids from fish would help maintain a healthy coat.
Rottweiler’s average lifespan is 8 to 12 years. He is a generally healthy dog, but he is predisposed to certain health problems.
The most common health issues for Rottweilers:
Find a reputable Rottweiler breeder who screens their breeding stock for these diseases, ensuring that your puppy will less likely develop these health problems. Suggested health tests for the breed include hip, elbow, eye, cardiac, and VWD evaluations.
The Rottweiler is an active dog that needs plenty of exercises. A one-hour walk twice a day is recommended to keep him fit and healthy and will also prevent destructive behaviours from developing.
The type of physical activity should depend on the energy level of your Rottie. Besides some free time in the garden, introduce structured exercise regimens that could develop their athleticism. These include obedience and agility.
Remember to incorporate activities that can provide mental stimulation, like puzzle toys and training sessions. The breed can be dominant towards other dogs, especially of the same sex. Prevent dog aggression towards other dogs by keeping him on a lead whilst walking in dog parks.
The Rottie is very sensitive to high temperatures. So, avoid leaving him outdoors for long periods and provide him with enough shade and plenty of fresh water.
Moreover, make sure to walk him during the cooler hours of the day, specifically in the evening and early morning, to prevent heatstroke or overheating.
The average cost of a Rottweiler puppy is around £600 to £1500 for a well-bred pedigree puppy.
Before you buy your Rottweiler puppy, you would need to purchase all the necessary pup accessories such as food bowls, lead, collar, crate, dog bed, puppy pads, and some toys. The set-up costs will add up to £200. Have it in mind that you might have to replace them if they get damaged by your Rottweiler puppy.
For the ongoing monthly cost, high-quality dog food can cost around £40 to £60 a month. Pet insurance can range from £25 for a basic cover to £80 for a lifetime cover. These prices vary depending on your dog’s health, age, size, weight, and the pet insurance provider that you chose. On top of these, you also need to factor in the vaccinations and spaying or neutering costs after he reaches six months of age.
Raising a Rottweiler will cost you a monthly average of £85 to £160. This is exclusive of walking or grooming services that you might want to use at times.
Are you sure the Rottweiler is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Still not sure if a Rottweiler is the right breed for you? Try taking our Pet Finder to help you choose the best breed match for you.
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