Rottweilers are a robust working breed hailing from Germany.
While these powerful dogs are often characterized as great protectors of the home, Rottweilers have a tender side inside a family setting.
Rottweilers are playful with funny personalities which they’ll share with their fellow family members.
The American Kennel Club rate the Rottweiler as the eighth-most popular dog breed in the world alongside other well-known dogs such as Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds.
If you’re researching Rottweilers, you’re probably wondering what to expect if you get a Rottie and what to expect when caring for these wonderful German dogs.
In this article, we’re going to take a close look at the Rottweiler breed, examining the pros and cons of the breed.
We’ll also hear from some current Rottweiler owners to learn about what they perceive to be some of the advantages and disadvantages of living with these powerful dogs.
In this article we’ll hear from Lola (@ourgirllola_) and Lara (@thescottishrottie).
You won’t be surprised to learn that Rottweilers are considered an extremely loyal breed. They’ll develop a bond and attachment to their dog owners and fellow family members that will only deepen over time.
Asked why Rottweilers are so popular, Laura believes the breed’s loyalty and protectiveness are two of their most-appealing characteristics.
Their beauty, their strength, their loyalty, their protective instinct – to name a few. They are an amazing breed. I find Rottweilers are like marmite – people are either obsessed with them or want nothing to do with them.
If you’re asked to name one trait associated with the Rottweiler breed, there’s a good chance you’d reference their reputation as supreme guard dogs. The Rottweiler’s breed standard underlines their “inherent desire to protect home and family”, being dubbed “world-class guardians” by the American Kennel Club. The AKC rates the Rottweiler as five out of five for being a vigilant dog breed. So if you’re looking for a guard dog then the Rottweiler could be a good candidate for you, although you may still want to secure the services of a dog trainer to help harness their protective instincts in a constructive way.
You shouldn’t be fooled by their guard dog reputation. Rottweilers can excel in a family setting as much-loved pets. Their considered an example of a “lovey-dovey” dog breed by the AKC, with a five out of five for affectionate with family members. They’re good with young children but Rottweiler owners should never leave younger members of their family alone unsupervised with a Rottie – or any dog.
Rachel shared some of Lara’s (@thescottishrottie) experiences around children.
Lara has been around my nieces and nephews from them being babies and her being a pup. She loves them and is just a big sook.
Easy To Train
If you think about smart dog breeds, your mind may go to the German Shepherd or the Border Collie. But Rottweilers are clever canines. These German dogs are rated as the ninth most-intelligent breed in the world, understanding new commands in fewer than five repetitions and obeying the first command 95% of the time or better.
Laura underlined the Rottie’s intelligence based upon her experience training Lola (@ourgirllola_).
We’ve found it fairly easy to train Lola as she is a massive foodie and loves to please us. We stick to “little and often” for her training and try to train her in different environments. She can get stubborn if we get lazy so we try to do at least some form of training every day whether that be while out on a walk, tricks before her meals or little sessions in the garden.
Rottweilers have this stigma for being aggressive, intimidating and powerful dogs but they’ve got an affectionate and loving side. This trait is referenced by the AKC in their breed page on their website, being rated as extremely affectionate with family members. Rotties like to be part of the family and receiving lots of attention.
Laura described her Rottweiler (@ourgirllola_) as a “lovable clown”.
She ALWAYS has to be where people are and hates being left out. She has sassy moments and is quite confident around new people, dogs and environments. If anything, she’s over friendly. I always joke that someone would be able to break in as long as they gave her a belly rub and some chicken!
Rottweilers are confident dogs. Their breed standard states the following about the self-confidence under the sub-section temperament:
The Rottweiler is basically a calm, confident and courageous dog with a self-assured aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships. A Rottweiler is self-confident and responds quietly and with a wait-and-see attitude to influences in his environment.
Rottweilers are prone to some health issues that prospective owners will need to consider before getting a Rottie. It’s a good idea to research pet insurance companies so you’ve got coverage if any issues do arise. Rottweilers are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, cancer, eye problems, ligament damage, obesity and more. You read more about Rottweilers health problems heres.
Rachel shared her experience with some of Lara’s (@thescottishrottie) health issues.
Rottweilers in general do have a lot of problems all varying. We do know this as Lara herself does have mild elbow dysplasia. She has also just gone through surgery 11 weeks ago for tearing her cruciate ligament. So she now has a plate fitted to that one knee. Which there is an 80% chance of the other knee going as well.
Some breeds need a lot of mental stimulation prevent destructive, unwanted behaviours. Rottweilers are one such breed. These large dogs require a lot of mental stimulation to keep their active minds busy. While exercise will help, it’s a good idea to consider some mentally-stimulating games or training sessions to fulfill a Rottweiler’s desire to work.
Laura shared some of the ways she likes to keep Lola (@ourgirllola_) busy.
This can be walking, playing, swimming, scent games and fetch. Sniffing is a great way to tire out your Rottweiler! Hide a treat or a toy and teach them “go find”.
Require Constant Training
Rottweilers are powerful and smart dogs so they require training in order to put in place some understanding of basic commands. As we’ve already touched upon, they’re smart dogs and they need lots of mental stimulation. The Rottweilers owners that we spoke to for this article emphasised that Rotties benefit from constant training. We heard Laura share earlier in this article that she sticks to a routine of “little and often” for training Lola.
It’s not cheap owning a Rottweiler. Aside from the initial cost of purchasing a Rottie which can cost anywhere from $1k and $5k (£1k to £5k) depending on the breeder, there’s monthly costs to consider. They’ll require pet insurance seeing as their prone to some health conditions and your premium could be quite high as a result. These big dogs have voracious appetites so they’ll require plenty of food to fuel their active lives. There’s other costs such as basic equipment, training sessions and vaccinations to consider.
Rottweilers are big shedders so you should be prepared for a lot of hair around your home. They have a straight, coarse outer coat and a thicker under coat. They’ll need to be brushed on a weekly basis to remove dead hair and debris caught in their hair.
If you’re considering a Rottweiler for your family and home, you’ll need to be prepared to encounter some stereotyping of your dog (as sad as that is). Rotties have to face the stigma of being aggressive or dangerous dogs. While some poorly trained Rottweilers may have issues, this can happen to any dog irrespective of breed or mix.
Laura explained some of the frustrating stereotypes she’s faced as a Rottweiler owner.
If people don’t know anything about the breed they tend to wrongly assume all Rottweilers are aggressive and dangerous. It’s frustrating for us as we know Lola is SO friendly and playful and it often means she misses out because people don’t give her a chance. We’ve had people change direction or put their dogs back on lead to move them away when they’ve seen Lola coming which is a shame. We also feel like Lola has to be extra well behaved so that people aren’t given any reason to justify their feelings toward Rottweilers. For example – when Lola was teething, we had people say she was “biting” because she was a Rottweiler and ignored the fact that all teething puppies bite. Some people are so quick to blame the breed.