Get to know the Rottweiler
All you need to know about the breed
Often depicted in films and in the media as an aggressive or dangerous dog, the personality of the Rottweiler couldn’t be more different in real life. While it’s true that they are strong, powerful and can be trained to tackle a criminal if required, they are generally big softies at heart. With the right guidance from an experienced owner, they are docile, respectful and very gentle dogs who will soon become a devoted companion.
Naturally protective of their clan, Rottweilers form very strong bonds with their human families. But, as existing owners will attest, they have a great sense of playfulness too. They enjoy snuggling up with their preferred humans and will even try to sit on your lap if you let them.
One of the oldest breeds in the world, the history of the Rottweiler dates back to Roman times when they were used for herding cattle. Today, as well as being a much-loved family pet, the Rottweiler’s powerful, bulky frame and innate intelligence means they are often utilised as guard dogs. Always tuned in to what is going on around them, they respond well to working situations.
As well as being a popular choice for the police, they are often seen at the side of security guards, and are used as search-and-rescue dogs, too. Undoubtedly, this has added to their reputation.
With their statuesque size, the Rottweiler certainly makes a formidable sight. Large, muscular and energetic, they are also very beautiful animals. Sporting a smooth dark coat, peppered with flecks of rust, they have expressive, dark-brown eyes and a powerful, waggy tail.
One other thing to bear in mind with the Rottweiler is that they do need plenty of exercise. Ideally, they should have a minimum of two hours physical activity every day. Yes, at least two hours. But as long as they get this, along with the right training and socialisation, they are sure to become an integral member of your family pack.
2 facts about Rottweilers
Things to look out for
From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Rottweiler
Watch out for wear and tear on their limbs
One of most common health problems in Rottweilers is a hereditary condition called ‘hip dysplasia’ – a malformation of the joint. When this occurs, dogs will often show pain or lameness on one or both rear legs, though that isn’t always the case. In later life, the condition can often lead to arthritis. However, a reputable breeder will have the hips and elbows of all parent dogs X-rayed, thereby minimising the risk. High-quality nutrition, regular exercise and maintaining a good weight in your Rottweiler can all help to support healthy joints.
They can also be prone to a specific stomach issue
Like other large-breed dogs, Rottweilers can be at risk of something called gastric dilatation-volvulus (or ‘bloat’). This is a potentially serious condition caused by a build-up of excess gas in the stomach. Thankfully, there are plenty of preventative measures that can be taken. For example, as it can often be triggered by eating and/or drinking too much in one go, their food allowance should be divided into several meals a day. Also, a specially designed bowl can help slow their eating. Importantly, your Rottweiler’s exercise should also be left as long as possible after mealtimes. Symptoms can include a distended abdomen, excess salivation and retching – and, as immediate treatment is vital, your vet should be consulted right away.
Look out for any unexpected lumps or bumps
Like all dogs, Rottweilers can sometimes develop growths or masses on their body. While these are often nothing to worry about, such as warts, cysts or fatty lumps, they can in some cases be ‘mast cell tumours’ – a form of cancer that should be treated as soon as possible. Rottweilers can also be susceptible to a type of bone cancer called osteosarcoma, which is more common in larger dog breeds. As it most often occurs in the shoulder, wrist or knee area, one of the first symptoms is usually limping. So, as always, it’s important to look out for any unexpected changes in your dog – and, as early detection is key, the sooner you can get them to the vet, the better.
Caring for your Rottweiler
Grooming, training and exercise tips