Rottweiler dogs (or 'Rotties') are large, compact dogs known for their solid black coats with clearly defined rust-coloured markings. Rottweilers are strong, agile, powerful dogs for their size, capable of running and jumping with ease.
  • Dog suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking one to two hours a day
  • Large dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Non Hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks, alerts and it's physically protective
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Rottweiler Key Facts

Life Span 8-10 years

Weight: Adult females 38kg. Adult males 50kg.

Height: Adult females 58-64cm. Adult males 63-69cm.

Colours: fawn, black, blue, brindle and harlequin

Size: Large

Kennel Club group: Working


Family-friendly: 5/5

Exercise needs: 4/5

Easy to train: 4/5

Tolerates being alone: 1/5

Likes other pets: 2/5

Energy level: 4/5

Grooming needs: 4/5

Shedding: 4/5

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Germany

The breed’s ancestors were the mastiff-like, cattle-herding dogs of the ancient Romans who accompanied their armies as they swept across Europe. Some of these dogs were left behind when the army moved on, and in Germany, they bred with local sheepdogs and produced the Rottweiler. The Rottweiler was originally known as the Rottweiler Metzerhund - which translates as the Butcher’s Dog from Rottweil (a market town in South-West Germany). The breed would mostly help move cattle on the way to slaughter but also worked as a livestock guardian and a property guard. They would also protect their owner who, after selling his wares, would be a target for thieves and bandits who would try to rob him. The Rottweiler made sure they didn’t!

When the industrial revolution came along and cattle were moved by train, the breed declined and it was only with the outbreak of the First World War that the breed once again found a role, this time in the service of the German army where they excelled as guard dogs. In 1930 they were first imported to Britain and were recognised by the Kennel Club in 1966.


While they are not dogs who usually show their feelings, even with their owners, they are unconditionally loyal to their handlers and their families and will naturally defend them and their property. A popular breed with unscrupulous breeders, it's important to find a well-bred, well-socialised pup, as temperaments can vary. The importance of socialisation and training from an early age cannot be overstressed! This breed is not suited to the novice/inexperienced owner.

Ideal Owner

The Rottweiler would suit an experienced owner with a large property who wants a loyal one-man dog that they can enjoy training and socialising.

Health and Common Issues

In common with many large breeds the Rottweiler dog may suffer from a specific stomach condition (gastric dilation volvulus) and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.

Exercise Needs

Rottweilers need both exercise and training - and plenty of it to keep them happy and healthy. They enjoy long walks in the countryside, and a well-trained and socialised Rottweiler will usually stay very close to their owner. Ensure your Rottweiler is well-socialised and friendly with other dogs before letting them off the lead - and supervise all interactions with other dogs. Some Rottweilers can be problematic with other dogs and may need to be kept on lead around others.

For an adult, two hours of daily exercise is required to include training and brain games.

Space Requirements

This is a large, active dog who needs plenty of indoor and outdoor space, and a well-fenced garden. As he can guard territory from visitors, dog-free access to your front door or letter box for deliveries is important.

Nutrition and Feeding

Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. Rottweilers are also prone to bloating and stomach problems. Smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.

Grooming Rottweilers

This is one of the easiest breeds to maintain. Give your Rottweiler a good brush down with a rubber glove every now and then – and more regularly during the moulting seasons – and this will suffice.

Training Rottweilers

The Rottweiler is a powerful, active working dog and as such he needs an experienced, firm but fair, owner to make sure he gets all the socialisation and training he needs to be a safe and friendly member of society.

With the right owner, they can be trained to a very high standard, excel in canine sports or blossom with a job to do – in other words be an unbeatable dog. But the amount of work needed to keep them mentally and physically stimulated, and adequately socialised, makes them high maintenance dogs for expert owners.

Did You Know?

While often the subject of bad press, Rottweilers can make fabulous working dogs and can excel in a variety of jobs. For example, Gunner, a search and rescue Rottweiler received the AKC Hero Dog Award for his lifesaving work at the World Trade Centre disaster in New York.

Best Family Dog Breeds

Not an ideal family dog as while he is usually devoted to his own children, he can easily mistake the intentions of their friends. Plus, in his clumsiness, he can knock over small children. With training and socialisation, the Rottweiler may be able to live with older sensible children.

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children, all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

Similar Breeds:



German Pinscher


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What to consider next


It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption. Click here for more information.

Finding a good breeder

If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed. Click here for more information.

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