Breed Introduction: Rottweiler

They are intelligent and highly trainable!

Rottweiler Dog Breed

Rottweilers were originally dogs bred to drive cattle to market. Later they were used to pull carts for butchers. They were among the earliest police dogs and serve with honour in the military. Most important, they are popular family guardians and friends. A well-bred Rottweiler is calm and confident. He’s typically aloof toward strangers, but never timid or fearful. Rottweilers exhibit a “wait-and-see” attitude when confronted with new people and situations. It’s essential to channel their power and protectiveness by providing early socialization, firm, fair, consistent training and leadership, and a regular job to perform. Rottweilers aren’t the dog for everyone. You must not only be dedicated to training and socializing your Rottie, you must also deal with people who don’t understand the breed and pre-judge it. This is a dog who is loyal to his people and wants to be with them. If you give him the guidance and structure he needs, you’ll be rewarded with one of the finest companions in the world.

Vital Stats

Dog Breed Group: Working Dogs
Height: 1 foot, 10 inches to 2 feet, 3 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 85 to 130 pounds

Origins

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Rottweilers descend from the Molossus, a mastiff-type dog. Their ancestors marched to Germany with the Romans, driving the cattle that sustained them as they conquered the known world. As the army travelled, the big dogs mated with dogs that were native to the areas they passed through and laid the foundation for new breeds. One of the areas through which they passed was southern Germany, where the Romans set up colonies to take advantage of climate and soil, which were suitable for agriculture. They built villas roofed with red tile. More than 600 years later, as they were building a new church, inhabitants of the town excavated the site of the ancient Roman baths and uncovered one of the red-tiled villas.

Characteristics

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Rottweilers are large, powerful dogs and require extensive socialization and training from early puppyhood.

Even if you train and socialize your Rottweiler, expect to be subjected to sometimes unfair advance judgments about your dog, maybe even having untrue allegations made about him and his activities, by those who fear him.

Because of the current prejudice against dogs such as Rottweilers and claims that they can be dangerous, you may have to carry extra liability insurance to own one, depending upon the ordinances in your town. In some areas, you may not even be able to own a Rottweiler or may be forced to give up any that you have.

Rottweilers love people and want to be with their families. If they are left alone for long periods of time or don’t receive adequate exercise, they may become destructive.

If raised with children, well-bred Rottweilers get along fine with them. They must be taught, however, what is acceptable behaviour for children. Rotties have a natural instinct to herd and may “bump” children to herd them. Because of their size, this “bump” may cause toddlers to fall down and injure themselves. In addition, some Rottweilers have a strong prey drive and may get overly excited when children run and play. Always supervise your Rottweiler when he’s around children.

If you have an adult Rottweiler, introduce new animals, especially dogs, carefully. Rottweilers can be aggressive toward strange dogs, particularly those of the same sex. Under your leadership, however, your Rottie will probably learn to coexist peacefully with his new companion.

Rottweilers are intelligent and are highly trainable if you’re firm and consistent.

Updated: September 21, 2017.

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