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Rottweilers: a docile, family oriented breed

Updated on December 29, 2011

My two sweet Rottie puppies

Amazing Rottweiler shirts for Rottweiler fans!

Learn more about this breed and stay away from negative stereotyping

 

Name the breed Rottweiler and very likely you will get two reactions: people imagining a massive and vicious dog and people imagining a loyal and devoted family oriented dog.

Truth is, those imagining the vicious dog are people that never had got to know the breed well and those imagining the friendly dog very likely own a Rottweiler.

Rottweilers originated in Germany and were bred as herding dogs. Later on, they were used to pull carts full of wood and merchandise. They have been working dogs throughout history and have developed a special eagerness to please their owners.

Personality wise, the Rottweiler is a loyal, friendly dog that seeks human interaction. They tend to be fond of children and may get along even with cats if raised together.

They are a protective breed that need proper socialization to avoid becoming suspicious of strangers. During training they will need an owner with good leadership skills. Consistency is the key to overcome those subjects that are particularly obstinate. Careful research should be done before purchasing a puppy to avoid bad temperaments.

Rottweilers are pretty frugal creatures that do not require much care. Their glossy black coats mostly shed slightly at times and heavier at others and require just a brushing every now and then. Regular walks are required as with many other dogs to keep them mentally stimulated and in proper shape. Most Rottweilers may live up to 10-12 years of age. Their major weaknesses are hip displasia, bloating, parvo, heart disease and cancer. Some dogs tend to slobber and often snore and suffer from flatulence.

Once fully developed, male Rottweilers may weigh up to 130 pounds and females up to 115 pounds. They can easily take up a whole couch or your whole car. Many Rottweilers like to sleep on their owner's feet and lean their body against them as a sign of affection. Rottweilers should be always carefully monitored when around children, their bulky bodies may easily cause injuries. They should as well be taught at an early age not to jump onto owners, 130 pounds later they can easily knock anybody over!

Physically, Rottweilers are characterized by a nice black glossy coat with scattered rusty markings. Their head is broad, heavier in the German bloodlines and much lighter in the American version. Eyes are brown and very expressive. Teeth are scissor sharp. Most Rottweiler's tails are docked and rear dewclaws removed at an early age. Overall, their body structure is very sturdy and powerful.

Unfortunately, in the wrong hands Rottweilers may turn out aggressive. Irresponsible owners have been known to encourage aggressive traits and subject Rottweilers to abuse. These unfortunate events have been the cause for the negative stereotyping of the breed. More and more insurance companies have started blacklisting this breed creating unnecessary hardship for responsible owners. Muzzle laws passed in some countries such as France and Germany have as well contributed to the negative image Rottweiler pose. Just as Pitbulls, Rottweilers have been unjustly accused of bad temperament and are now considered a major liability.

Fortunately, there are many Rottweilers out there that prove all these negative believers wrong. Rottweilers have been able to prove to be trustworthy service dogs, corageous police dogs, sensitive seeing eye dogs and loyal companions particularly fond of children. It is sad that those few bad elements that were the result of improper training have been able to ruin a whole breed's reputation. More effort should be put out to properly educate people about this mellow breed's personality. Try to own a Rottweiler yourself, chances are you will very likely be amazed at how affectionate and loyal this breed can be, just a note of caution: they may lick you to death!

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    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      3 years ago from USA

      Hello, unfortunately not much emphasis is put on socializing puppies, but more and more books now are coming out on the importance of this. Don't beat yourself up for that. Even when socialized well, Rotiies around the age of 2 as they reach social maturity start becoming more aloof and not all will tolerate other dogs--especially the hyper ones that get in their space. There are effective methods to reduce territoriality. In my recent Hub on territoriality, you'll see a video of a game I play with my Rotties to let them tolerate people coming in the yard. It's called "look at that and come back" Take a peak if you have time, it has worked wonders for their territorial behavior in the car and behind windows! Please note though that behavior modification comes with risks, so best to consult with a professional for safety and correct implementation. Rotties are the best!.

    • evancat profile image

      EvanCat 

      3 years ago from USA

      I also own a rottweiler. She is two years old and the one mistake that I can't take back is not associating her with many, many other dogs as a young puppy. She is not aggressive, but she is extremely territorial. I have issues with her putting her head through glass windows in the front of my house because people passing by need to know she's the owner of the property they are walking by. She is extremely smart and the most loyal dog I've ever seen. She is still only two years old but I would caution people that do not have a lot of time to correctly train them as puppies. Once they have learned the correct traits, these dogs are basically self-sufficient. She is amazing with my son and guards his door when he sleeps. I have been working fervently to correct the mistakes I've made as a new dog owner with her and am praying now that I can undo the damage I've created. Again, my fault, not hers.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      6 years ago from USA

      My advice is to purchase a Rott from a reputable breeder that does health/temperament tests, gives health guarantees and has a history of breeding Rottweilers. Skip backyard breeders, ads on newspapers, pet stores. Make sure you are willing to do loads of training and sociaization. This is a must not an if...here is a helpful website:

      http://trainyourrottweiler.com/index.html

    • profile image

      Ladysamurai 

      6 years ago

      I am seriously thinking about getting a Rottweiler as a pet, I just love the look of them, but more importantly I like the sound of their positive traits. I don't want a guard dog, but understand just the look of a Rotti will be a deterrent. I have seen many snappy, vicious small dogs in my life, and wonder if it because they are small, and do not do as much damage with their bite that their behaviour is tolerated? Attacks by smaller breeds never seem to hit the headlines? Just thinking out loud there. Also I am in no hurry to buy my Rotti...I want to take my time and look around for one that is right for my family. Any advice is welcomed.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      7 years ago from USA

      I would not say it is in their nature to be aggressive, if you read the standards, they have a more ''wait and see'' approach and may be aloof towards strangers. Any aggressive Rottweiler is excused by the show ring as it does not meet the standard, they should be confident and only react to real threats.

    • profile image

      susan 

      7 years ago

      it is irresponsible owners ~ who don't properly train their dogs ~ because as articles on rotties state WITHOUT proper training socializing a rottie's temperment will be aggressive ~ it is their nature to be aggressive ~ as you will read into what they were and are used today as ie protectors/herders.

    • profile image

      lynn 

      7 years ago

      i have a rescued 62 pound rottie mix, 4 YO. Had her since 8 weeks of age. she is the best dog i have ever owned! She is obedient, smart and loyal, protective of her property, a fast runner, great with kids and oh so very playful with her toys. I adore this breed and would even not think of another.

    • profile image

      Chris 

      7 years ago

      I have a 120lb female Rotti and She is my Girl what a sweet heart, She goes where I go she loves to be with me, shes great with kids and shes good with our 6lb Pom. She was so easy to train and she obeys like a dream. If not properly trained and breed big or small can have issues. Rottis love to be loved and be with you, I don't use her as a guard dog shes my pet, with the love she has for me she gaurds naturally. Note ot future Rotti owners if you let them on your bed their there for life.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      7 years ago from USA

      I have two of them and am just amazed of how intelligent they are! I do canine freestyle with my female see below:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ybtls6XSDDs

      One thing I must say, but I am sure you already know owning pitbulls: socialize, socialize, socialize and do not use to them guard property, just to relax and live in the home.

    • Eternal Evolution profile image

      Eternal Evolution 

      7 years ago from kentucky

      Great article! My boyfriend and I have been wanting a rottweiler for years now and are seriously thinking about getting one. We are experienced dog owners and currently own an American Pit Bull Terrier. I will be researching the breed more before actually committing to getting one, as with any breed i feel one needs to do their homework before adding an addition to the family.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      8 years ago from USA

      There is no way to tell this, it is sort of asking will my kids get along with the neighbors next door upon moving? Same sex dogs generally make a bad match. If you have an adult Rottweiler, getting a husky of the opposite sex may help but there is no way of telling if they will always get along.

    • profile image

      dianna 

      8 years ago

      i want to know if they get along with the husky breed

    • profile image

      Kelly 

      8 years ago

      I have two Rottweilers. I had one prior that died of cancer and I have fostered several. For those who read of an unfortunate circumstance and then judge No.1, you likely do not know all of the circumstances ( irresponsible owner! ) and No.2 it's only one of MANY different breeds who have had bad circumstances. There are no bad dogs - only bad people. The Rottweiler is a phenominal animal, completely loyal, sweet and exceptionally intelligent. As a matter of fact, most Rottweilers will take food from you so carefully you can barely feel it. Read up on some facts, spend some time with one and you will surely change your tune.

    • profile image

      CLK 

      9 years ago

      My Rottweiler is the perfect family pet. If you start training early and they are raised with children they are great. I'm really tired of the Rottweiler mauling stories. All dogs can bite if not socialized properly. Almost every breed is associated with maulings, Rottweiler and Pit Bull maulings sell more papers.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      9 years ago from USA

      While I feel for the parents of this child, I really have no interest in these news articles. Children should always be carefully monitored around dogs epsecially infants. The breed has nothing to do with this incident (see Labrador puppy killing infant below). The mother left her child unattended in the room with the dog, that's just an accident ready to happen. No dog regardless of breed should be left alone with an infant. Also Dogs are the result of what the owners make of them.

      Child mauled by a labrador puppy

      http://newsok.com/article/3275873?topten_check=yes

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Detroit Rotweiler owner jailed for 6 months in death of infant mauled by his dog. He's also being sued for damages by the baby's parents.

      http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=200...

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      10 years ago from USA

      I am now looking for a new place to live and I can't imagine there are places that will not accept Rottweilers. For me this is like refusing people of certain races to become tenants because some people of other races are believed to commit more crime or terrorist attacks. Very unethical and offensive and ignorant!

    • profile image

      rottweilerpuppy 

      10 years ago

      I agree, Rottweilers are so cool. Here is an example of a kid with his mother: A kid and his mother are walking down the street and the child see's a cute dog tied to a parking meter next to a restruant, he runs over to pet the dog. Mother: No! don't touch that aggressive dog! Kid: Ok, yeah that dog is aggressive.

      I totally think that they are great dogs. If someone was deciding whether or not they do or don't like Rotties they should definitely take a look at all the good things about Rottweilers.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      10 years ago from USA

      Yes, I really am tired of the stupid remarks made from people stating "oh you own those vicious dogs" my dogs are the sweetest things on earth and will only lick people to death!

    • profile image

      Bernie 

      10 years ago

      My Rottweiler is ten months old now and what a fantastic dog he is. He is brilliant with my 7 year old daughter loves playing with other dogs in the park and is very approachable to people. This bread has a bad reputation from very ill informed so called other responsible dog owners as well as the general public.

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      10 years ago from USA

      I am happy you agree! My two Rottweilers are the sweetest things, plus they are so gentle with my two kittens! Obtaining a home insurance company  was a hassle, Rottweilers are blacklisted by the most. What a shame, and as you said it's all those irresponsible dog owners fault!

      If you are interested I did write a hub about insurance companies and dog breeds.

      https://hubpages.com/animals/Why-are-certain-dog-b...

    • profile image

      D.Wells 

      10 years ago

      You are absolutely correct on your description of the Rottweiler breed. I have had four rottweiler dogs in my life time (one at a time) and I believe that the Rottweiler has been VERY MALIGNED! You couldn't get a more loyal and protective guardian than a Rott! As in the past, and just like what has happened to any guard dog breed, i.e. the German Shephard, there have been many irresponsible and downright abusive owners who have completely ruined not only the personalities of this magnificient breed; but have ruined the reputation of this breed! I love this breed and while you cannot have certain dog breeds with the Rottweiler, i.e. alpha dogs like terriers or Yorkies, they get along well with other dog breeds that have no alpha/dominance issues, like Golden Retrievers.

      I will always have a Rottweiler because of their loyality, protective instinct for their houshold, and great love for the members of their household (dogs as well as humans!)

      D.Wells

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