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The Rottweiler or Rottie (Rott) is a vigorous working breed that descended from the mastiffs of the Roman Army, the Rottweiler inherited the athleticism and stamina of its 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, Rotties' territorial instincts can be used in a positive way to avoid excessively aggressive behaviour. If properly trained, the Rottweiler puppy can grow up to be calm and confident, making it a great family companion.
Are you interested in owning a Rottie? Here is a brief background of this large, assertive dog.
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. The Rottweiler breed was brought to the UK in 1936 by Phil (Thelma) Gray. During the Second World War, the dogs were sent to Ireland for safekeeping but vanished after the war.
During the first post-war Rottweilers were imported to England in 1953 by Captain Roy Smith of the Royal Veterinary Corps. The Rottweiler was then registered as a breed by The Kennel Club in 1965.
The Rottweiler is a large, robust, and powerful dog that weighs between 85 and 130 pounds and stands 55 to 68cm at the withers. The breed’s substantial build and massive frame indicate great strength, dexterity, and endurance. Rottie has a medium-length head and a broad skull between pendant ears. The chest is roomy and broad.
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 on the cheeks, and/or a strip around each side of the muzzle. White markings are considered undesirable.
The Rottweiler’s medium-length outer coat is straight, coarse, and lies flat. The undercoat is noticeable on the neck and thighs. Rottie has a relatively easy-to-maintain coat that requires weekly brushing and regular bathing. The Rottweiler sheds moderately throughout the year, except in the spring and fall where copious amounts of shedding are to be expected.
Rotties' nails need to be trimmed weekly. Ensure that their ears are clean and the skin is free of ticks and fleas.
Never overlook your Rottie's dental health as tooth decay and gum disease can cause various illnesses. Start training to brush your Rottweiler puppy's teeth at an early stage so he gets used to this process. Teeth should be brushed weekly, daily if possible. Provide your Rottie with appropriate chew toys to keep the jaw strong and the teeth clean by reducing plaque buildup.
The Rottweiler, which belongs to the working dog group, is typically a calm, confident, and good-natured dog. He’s not vicious nor aggressive but possesses a guard dog natural instinct which explains the innate desire to protect the home and family.
With a wait-and-see attitude towards different situations in the environment, the Rottweiler remains calm and responds quietly. Rotties can be aloof towards strangers and it takes time before warming up to guests.
Rotties are intelligent, adaptable and hardworking. Male Rotties are more quiet and vigilant, whilst female Rotties are more manageable and warm. Realistically, training a Rottweiler can be quite challenging as it requires time, patience and assertiveness. When leadership is established, the training will be much easier.
The Rottweiler loves children especially if they grow up together. However, since a Rottweiler is a large strong dog, every interaction should be supervised as it can accidentally trample a small child. This breed is best suited for families with older children who understand how to properly interact with dogs. They thrive as guarding and police dogs.
A typical serving of food for a Rottie is 4 to 10 cups of high-quality dry dog food per day, depending on the age, size, build, activity level, and metabolism.
Typical calorie needs of an adult Rottweiler, weighing 110 pounds, per day:
As an active large dog, a Rottweiler needs a lot of protein, which should be around 25% of his overall diet. Protein develops muscles and prevents Rotties 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 like sweet potato and carrots.
Since the Rotties are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, Rottweiler puppies should be fed a diet high in glucosamine and chondroitin which are natural substances that protect the joints. Omega fatty acids from fish would help maintain a healthy coat.
Rottweilers' average lifespan is 8-12 years. Rotties are generally healthy but are predisposed to certain health conditions, including hip and elbow dysplasia, panosteitis, osteosarcoma, aortic stenosis/sub-aortic stenosis, and hypothyroidism. They are also prone to allergies and bloating.
The Rottweiler is an active dog that loves a lot of exercises; a minimum of 2 hours a day. This is not only to maintain a healthy body but also to avoid destructive behaviours as a result of lack of exercise.
The type of physical activities should depend on the energy level of your Rottie. Aside from free time at a fenced yard, introduce structured exercise regimens that would develop their athleticism, obedience and agility.
If you are considering keeping a Rottweiler, you would need to pay about £350-£1000 a well-bred pedigree puppy. To ensure that it grows healthy, you would need to feed it high quality dog food, which can cost from £60-£70 a month. You would also need to buy it treats and accessories such as food bowls, leads, collars, and bed. The initial combined cost for these things can set you back £200 depending on the brands you opt for.
Aside from the initial purchase, pet insurance is another cost that you will have to shoulder monthly, ranging from £60 for a basic cover up to £130 for a lifetime cover. These prices vary depending on your dog’s health and age, size, weight, and where you live in the UK.
You may also need to set aside £1000 a year for veterinary consultations and other necessary procedures such as vaccinations, boosters, neutering/spaying as these are not always covered by pet insurance. To give you a rough idea on how much you will likely spend month on month, it would be within the range of £120 and £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.