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Intimidating, confident, powerful – Rottweilers are certainly all of these things. But they are also calm, loving and protective companions.
With origins going back perhaps as far as the Romans, Rottweilers came to prominence in Southern Germany where they were known as butchers’ dogs. Their imposing presence meant merchants used to tie money round their necks for safekeeping. The dogs were also put to use pulling carts and herding livestock.
Rottweilers are big, muscular dogs. Their coats are always black with brown highlights. Adults are around 65 centimetres high and weigh in the vicinity of 50 kilograms. On average they live eight to 10 years.
Despite the perception Rottweilers are vicious attack dogs, this is not their true nature.
Raised correctly, Rottweilers are protective, loyal, stable and affectionate. In capable hands, they can and do become much-loved members of the family.
As former working dogs, Rottweilers’ herding instincts run deep. Their size means it is easy for them to bump small children and knock them over.
Rottweilers are physically big and take up a lot of space. But once they’ve had their daily exercise they should be a pretty relaxed presence around the house.
Their loyalty means they don’t make friends with everybody and take time to warm up to new people. That said, a well-bred Rottweiler should never be aggressive towards strangers.
Their short coat is easy to groom but they do slobber. And Rottweilers’ powerful jaws make short work of the furniture if they get bored.
Energy levels vary and can be very dependent on the traits of the dog’s parents. Some need 30 minutes of exercise per day and are content to laze about after that while others require more.
You will need to judge your Rottweiler’s exercise needs carefully as a bored Rottweiller can be troublesome.
Though Rottweilers are not naturally vicious, it is important to socialise your dog early and often to encourage a stable, trusting outlook. You need to demonstrate to your dog that guests are welcome in your home.
This breed is strong-minded and inclined to dominate. Training is not always straightforward due to their liking for power plays. As owner, you need to take charge.
Grooming-wise, their short coat is easy to maintain.
Rottweilers have short lives by dog standards.
They are vulnerable to hip dysplasia and joint issues because of their size and are also particularly susceptible to parvovirus. The most common form of death is cancer.
Be sure to check the temperament and health history of your puppy’s parents.
As puppies, follow the breeders’ diet advice. Adults should be fed twice a day. Beware of obesity.