Rottweiler adult in black and white


Despite their size and fearsome reputation, the Rottweiler has an affectionate, obedient and docile temperament.

About the Rottweiler

Rottweilers are large, muscular and active dogs who are always alert to what is happening around them. Although they can take a while to warm to strangers, they make loyal and rewarding family pets.

Rottweilers started out as cattle dogs that drove herds to the great cattle markets of southern Germany, however, over the last few decades, they’ve become one of the most popular defence dogs in the world.

Source: key facts and characteristics sourced from Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)

Breed specifics

FCI Group 2, AKC Working Group
Size category
Very large
Avg life expectancy
10–12 years

Loving / Even-tempered / Friendly / Loyal / Obedient / Enthusiastic / Confident / Alert

Key facts

  • Needs an owner with some experience
  • Makes a great guard dog
  • Requires outdoor space
Oriental adult sitting down

Origins of the breed

Rottweilers belong to one of the oldest breeds of dog. Their lineage goes back to the Romans, whom they served as guard and livestock dogs. They accompanied the legions over the Alps, protecting the men and driving the herds.

When the legionnaires arrived in the small southern German town of Rottweil, their dogs mated with local canines, producing crossbreeds. They continued to guard and drive large herds, and protect people and property, but they were also adopted by local butchers, who concentrated on the breed’s aptitude for work to produce a robust draught dog.