Along with a variety of inventions that we use up until this day, the Ancient Romans tried their hand at dog breeding, too.
The expansion of the Empire required Roman Legions to spend lots of time on the road. Back then, the quickest means of transport was a horse and there were no fridges. In order to have food, they had to bring along livestock. So, they had strong and sturdy dogs to herd the animals and protect their camps.
These were drover dogs, a breed that Romans developed from Asian Mastiff-type dogs.
During the 1st century CE, Romans crossed the Alps into Germany. Their dogs interbred with local ones and this eventually led to the development of several German dog breeds. Romans were eventually driven out, but the new breeds stayed. One of them was named after a town called Rottweil.
Butchers used these dogs to herd cattle and pull carts to and from the market and tied small pouches for money around their necks.
With the development of railroads, Rottweilers were no longer needed by the butchers.
However, new jobs for them were found. They became police dogs, search-and-rescue dogs, guide dogs for the blind, and personal protectors.
There’s plenty more to the Rottweiler origin story.
Are Rottweilers Good Family Dogs?
Rottweilers are not the best choice for first-time dog owners and do best with experienced owners who have a firm hand and are kind and patient by nature.
Rotties are excellent guard dogs and one of the favorite dog breeds in the US.
Yet, they have their soft side.
This breed loves family life. They are devoted and obedient and tend to be good with kids. They can also get along with other animals that have been raised in the same house.
Yet, it’s important to provide Rottweiler puppies with proper obedience and socialization training.
Otherwise, they can grow up to be incompatible with families who have children and other pets.
With good care and adequate nutrition, Rottweilers can stay healthy and happy and live up to 10+ years.
Let’s dig into what it means to care for your Rottweiler.
A mature Rottweiler will require about the same amount of daily calories as an adult human.
Its diet should consist of:
- 25% protein
- About 12% fat
- The rest should be vegetables and complex grains
Rottweilers love meat.
So, you can opt for home-cooked meals if you have enough time to dedicate to them. However, high-quality commercial dog food can be an excellent alternative as it can help keep your dog’s teeth healthy.
Make sure to always plenty of water, especially in the summer.
A healthy and balanced diet is a must to keep a Rottweiler healthy and in good spirits. Your dog will be able to maintain a healthy and shiny coat as well as sustain its muscular look and activity level.
Proper nutrition will also prevent obesity and other health issues, so you’ll be able to save on vet visits.
Rottweilers are on the low-maintenance end of grooming needs.
Yet, don’t be fooled! They still need grooming.
And Rotties shed. Quite a bit, actually.
Brushing your dog once a week should be enough. Yet, during shedding periods, your dog will need more frequent grooming sessions. Make sure not to rush through them but use them as an opportunity to show your dog love and affection. Pay attention to any inflammation, bites, hot spots, and similar as you brush your dog.
Go easy on baths as too much bathing can develop doggy dandruff.
In addition to brushing, regularly inspect and wipe your dog’s eyes and ears. Trim its nails once every two to three weeks.
Rottweilers are a working breed and are naturally active.
So, they’ll require about 2 hours of exercise a day. To provide that, take your dog out on two 20-minute walks a day. Dedicate the rest of the time to active play.
A few things that you can do with your Rottie are:
- Playing fetch
- Hide and seek with a toy (or a treat)
- Obstacle courses
- Obedience training
- Tug of war
If you notice that your dog starts plumping up, slip in some more exercise and activity.
There is a reason why Rottweilers make good police dogs. They are highly intelligent and pick things up very quickly. Yet, untrained dogs of this breed can be unruly, unsocial, and hard to manage in general.
Rottweilers are large and powerful dogs and tend to be dominant. If you don’t show them that you’re the boss, guess who will be in charge?
Hint: that won’t be you…
Therefore, it’s important to start training a Rottweiler when it’s still a pup. As early as at 6 weeks of age. This way, you can get it to for good habits before it even gets the taste of bad ones.
Reprimanding or scolding them for mischievous behavior or accidents later in life can be pointless and make your dog fear you.
When training, arm yourself with patience, dedication, and time and stay consistent.
Be firm, but loving.
Establish yourself as the alpha dog in the relationship, yet provide plenty of positive affirmation.
And treats. Healthy ones. Leave candy for the kids. ;-)
Rottweiler Health Issues
Rottweilers are fairly healthy dogs. Especially if they are provided a healthy and balanced diet that suits their age and activity level.
However, like any breed, they are prone to developing certain health problems. The most common health issues associated with Rottweilers are:
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- Knee and shoulder osteochondrosis
- Cruciate ligament rupture
- Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
- Various vision and eye problems such as cataracts and eyelid deformities
- Von Willebrand’s disease
- Addison’s disease
- Heart issues
Things to Know About Rottweilers
1. To Dock or Not to Dock
I know you’ve seen quite a few images of Rottweilers. However, take a moment to picture one.
Close your eyes if need be and come back to me.
Did it have a tail?
Rottweilers are one of the breeds that still gets its tail cut. The process is called docking. The practice became popular for a myriad of reasons:
- People believed that Rotties could run faster.
- Have stronger tails.
- A better center of gravity.
- Some even claimed that Rottweilers with docked tails were less prone to getting rabies.
Yet, none of these are actually true.
There’s nothing wrong with a Rottweiler’s tail and it doesn’t look bad either. So, many countries such as Germany have banned docking. It’s considered inhumane because it’s done to puppies that are only a few days old with no anesthesia. Yeah…
Yet, the US is one of the countries that still allows it, and a docked tail is one the of AKC’s breed standards.
So, if you decide to get your Rottweiler pup’s tail docked, make sure to choose an experienced vet to do that and get them to use anesthesia.
2. Rottweilers Can Get Lonely
A well-trained Rottweiler can be an excellent family dog.
A lonely one can the exact opposite.
And quite aggressive and destructive one. However, that’s not what they are naturally like. They simply crave love, affection, and company. Just like anyone else.
To prevent that, make sure that your pup does through early obedience and socialization training. In addition to that, a Rottie needs to live indoors with its owners. If left alone outdoors, this breed won’t tolerate it very well. They can even suffer from separation anxiety.
3. Be Ready for Snoring…
While you may attribute snoring to Pugs, Bulldogs, and Boxers, you may be surprised to find out that Rottweilers can snore, too. While it’s not typical of all dogs of this breed, it does happen to quite a few.
And some can put up a hell of a snoring concert.
If your dog looks healthy and happy, then most likely there’s nothing wrong with it. So, you may want to start looking up some high-quality earplugs.
4. … Drooling…
Rottweilers tend to slobber after they eat and drink.
On a scale from low to Saint Bernard, Rottweilers are moderate droolers.
Yet, you can expect more drooling from larger males or females who have larger heads.
5. … and Farting
Don’t let the cute Rottweiler pup face fool you. They can have some serious emissions and put cows to shame. Sometimes, you’ll get tiny odor bubbles. Other times…a gas bomb able to clear a room in seconds!
Regardless of its severity, you’ll be surprised that your dog’s dangerous end will always point in the right direction…
Certain products such as dog foods from cheaper brands that include lots of grains, corn, and high-fiber foods make farting worse. So, that’s another reason to feed your dog high-quality food.
6. Celebrity Pups
If farting, drooling and snoring weren’t enough…Rottweilers grumble (some call it purring, but that’s too feline for a Rottie), too.
7. Celebrity Pups
Despite the drooling, the snoring, and even the farting, Rottweilers are the favorite breed of many.
Bruno Mars, Robbie Williams, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Hayden Panettiere have chosen this breed as their pets at some stage of their lives.
Will Smith has not one, but four Rottweilers. He even has a treadmill that his dogs can use to get their daily dose of exercise when Will himself is too tired to take them out.
8. They are Actually Lap Dogs. Sort Of
Rottweilers may be classified as working dogs and they may have herded cattle and pulled heavy carts.
However, that’s not what a Rottweiler will think that it is.
They are not aware of their size and no matter how large they get, they think that they will always fit in your lap. You’ll love it either way. Even if your limbs start falling asleep.
That is until they fart. Don’t tell me you forgot about that.
9. One of the Smartest Breeds
Rottweilers aren’t just smart. They are one of the 10 smartest dog breeds worldwide.
So, frequently they’ll observe and think trying to figure out the situation before taking action.
Therefore, sometimes, they won’t react to strangers. They may seem aloof, but don’t worry. They are simply trying to work out whether they can be trusted.
10. They Almost Went Extinct Due to Trains
Around the mid-19th century, railroads and paved roads became more popular. So, butchers and farmers no longer needed the assistance of Rottweilers to herd cattle and pull carts. So, the demand for them drastically dropped.
Rottweilers nearly went extinct as a result.
Luckily, some people kept them around and half a century later new jobs for them were found. Rotties became police dogs.
11. Some Rottweilers Aren’t Black
A standard Rottweiler coat is black with tan markings. However, some will look drastically different.
Although it’s extremely unusual, sometimes you may come across Rotties that are red rather than black.
That’s because the original Roman dogs intermixed with other breeds before the Rottweilers that we know today came to be. Thus, these different genes in the Rotty gene pool may result in a pup that is red.
Since red Rottweilers are very rare, the chances of you getting a purebred one are very low.
12. 9/11 Rescue Pups
Several breeds served as rescue dogs during the 9/11 events. Rottweilers were one of them.
Other breeds were Labrador and Golden Retrievers, Collies, and German Shepherds.
13. They Have a Bad Reputation (Undeserved)
Rotties have an intimidating appearance. They are large, muscular and powerful. So, frequently people refer to them as aggressive or dangerous.
Some common misconceptions are that they are dangerous around children or incompatible with other animals.
In actuality, any unsupervised dog can be dangerous around children. Even a Chihuahua. Therefore, you should never leave any dog alone with a child. Especially one that thinks that it’s a giant puppy and likes to sit in your lap even if you are much smaller than it.
Another reason why people think Rottweilers are aggressive is that they can become aggressive if not given proper training or left alone for extended periods of time.
Therefore, it’s important to start training a Rottie puppy early. It’s also important to take it to places such as dog parks so that it gets exposed to other dogs and humans. This will ensure that a Rottweiler pup gets accustomed to them rather than become hostile.
Despite their large size, Rotties are actually indoor dogs. Some people may think that they belong outdoors, but that’s not the case.
So, the bottom line is that Rottweilers are not aggressive. They simply need an owner who can dedicate the time, attention, and patience that this breed needs.
14. Rottweilers are Illegal in Some Cities in the US
Because of these misconceptions about the breed, Rottweilers aren’t legal everywhere in the United States.
Along with Pitbulls and wolf hybrids, they are one of the most restricted breeds.
Some cities across the US have banned Rottweilers. One of the cities that has banned them is Collins in Mississippi.
Other locations have not banned this breed, but have restrictions that owners need to comply with or special fees that they must pay.
For instance, in Corinth, Mississippi, Rottweilers are considered a vicious breed. So, their owners must have special insurance that would cover any liabilities if the dog attacks anyone.
In some cities, individual properties may also restrict some breeds. Therefore, it is a good idea to check out all the rules and regulations before you decide to bring a Rottweiler home. Better safe than sorry.
15. Rotties Have Strong Jaws
Rottweilers have incredibly strong jaws.
As a matter of fact, they’re stronger than those of Pitbulls or German Shepherds.
Rottweilers can bite with a pressure of 328 pounds, which is roughly half of that of the shark.
A properly trained Rottie, however, has no need to use all that force for anything else other than crewing its food. Make sure to get some durable toys, too.
16. Always Choose a Reputable Breeder
Rottweilers are among one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the US.
In fact, their popularity soared in the 1990s. So, reputable breeders could not produce enough puppies to meet the growing demands of the people.
Because of that, puppy mills and breeders who were more concerned with their profits stated breeding Rottie puppies at a faster rate without ensuring that they were physically and mentally healthy.
Unfortunately, this resulted in large numbers of dogs with various health conditions or mental issues.
So, if a Rottweiler is your breed of choice, make sure to do your homework and research the breeder beforehand. Meet the puppy’s parents too. This is a great predictor of what your pup will be like when it grows up.
Rottweilers are like big babies that will rival you in size. They’ll drool, chew, fart, grumble and will want to crawl in your lap and cuddle.
You still want one, don’t you?
Guess you’re OK with the farting part then.