(aka: Germany Rottweiler, Mertzerhund [Nicknames: Rottie, Rott])
The Rottweiler is a large dog, with a sturdy, muscular build. He has a handsome yet rugged look about him, and an intelligent expression. His coat is short, close fitting, and has a coarse texture. The coloring of the Rottweiler is black with mahogany or tan markings. The Rottweiler weighs in at around 80-100 pounds for females, and 95-135 pounds for males. The height of these dogs is around 22-25 inches for females, and 24-27 inches for males.
The Rottweiler is a dog that loves to work, and has plenty of stamina, power, and endurance. These dogs are fiercely loyal and protective, and will do whatever it takes to defend their loved ones. Many tend to bond to one particular person more than others. They are confident, powerful, serious, and courageous. However, they are not the right choice for timid and inexperienced dog owners, as they do require proper training and handling. He is responsive and intelligent, and with an assertive trainer who uses positive training methods the Rottweiler will learn extremely quickly. He is an extremely territorial creature, and early socialization for this breed is essential. The Rottweiler needs firm discipline and consistent training.
It is important to provide regular exercise, plenty of interaction, and mental stimulation for the Rottweiler. These dogs can be a handful, and do have a fair amount of energy. A safe, secure area is essential for these dogs to play and exercise, and he will need plenty of space, as he is a large creature. Rottweilers tend to get on well with children when brought up with them, and with older children that will not pester them. He tends to be aloof around strangers, and care must be taken because of his strong protective streak - again, early socialization and proper training is a key factor. Early exposure to pets is also important, and the Rottweiler can be aggressive towards cats and dogs. However, with the right family and owner, the Rottweiler can make a loyal, devoted, and loving pet.
The grooming requirements for the Rottweiler are not high, and you can keep his coat in good condition with a once weekly brushing. However, you will need to increase this when he is shedding more heavily. He is a medium shedder, and therefore may not prove ideal for allergy sufferers.
Rottweilers originated from Rottweil, Germany.
They are believed to be descendants of the drover dogs used by the Roman Empire. Rotties accompanied the ancient Romans on their quest to conquer Europe, guarding the herd and camps. The Romans ended up in what is now Southern Germany and the city of Rottweil. The Rottweiler was used to herd the cattle to and from the markets in town. Cattle dealers and butchers especially favored this breed of dog and they started breeding programs to make the ideal dog, one that excelled in herding, guarding, loyalty and strength. Butchers used them to guard their meat and shops and cattle drivers used them for herding their stock and keeping them safe. In honor of the great dogs that were bred from the town Rottweil, the breed became known as the Rottweiler. Originally bred for herding pig and cattle, they also excelled in guarding against highwaymen intending to rob and murder their owners on their journeys.
The last century put up railways and a ban on cattle driving dogs was implemented. Because of this, Rottweilers were almost forgotten because there was not much use for them. In 1905, there was only one known female Rottweiler in Rottweil, Germany. Butchers and farmers still kept this breed, probably for its protection and this was the main reason the breed survived and once their ability in police work was discovered, breeding programs to keep the Rottweiler breed going started.
Rottweilers are very intelligent and easily trained. They should be taught from an early age what is acceptable behavior and what is not. Like any dominant breed, Rottweilers must be handled with firm and consistent training. They need to be trained to respect and obey all family members. Socialization should start early by introducing the puppy to other dogs, strangers and new situations. These dogs love to play hard and could unintentionally injure or knock down a child. Proper manners must be taught to ensure that they behave properly around children. Rotties love to please and learn new tasks, making them quite fun to train. They do well in tracking, police work, agility, obedience and anything you put in front of them.
If left alone for long periods of time, or if allowed to become bored, a Rottie can become quite destructive. Crate training is recommended. Start from an early age and be firm and consistent, don't give in to a crying puppy. Once a dog is comfortable in a crate, they will most likely be quiet and sleep, waiting for their loved owner to come home. To keep the dog busy in the crate, try giving him a Kong filled with frozen peanut butter. This will keep them busy and entertained.
As with many large dogs, the Rottweiler has a shorter life expectancy than many other breeds, and lives to around 9-10 years. There are a number of health problems to look out for with this breed, and this includes heart problems, eye diseases, bloat, thyroid problems, cancer, OCD, HD, seizures, and allergies. The parents of the Rottweiler puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates and heart clearance.