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Your Pet, Our Passion.

Rottweiler

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.

The need-to-know
  • Dogs suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Need to be aware of potential health issues
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
  • Large dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks, alerts and may be physically protective/suspicious of visitors
  • Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
  • May need additional training to live with other pets
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a large garden
  • Can happily live in the city
  • Can be left occasionally with training
This breed may encounter health problems

The Rottweiler breed may suffer from:
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia 
- Gastric dilatation volvulus
- Osteochondrosis dissecans
- Cruciate disease which is where the ligaments in the knee become diseased and damaged which can lead to pain and limping.
- Juvenile laryngeal paralysis and polyneuropathy which is a condition where the nervous system deteriorates. The disease affects the nerves in the throat first which can obstruct breathing.
- Subaortic stenosis¹ which is a narrowing of one of the passages leading out of the heart.
- Multifocal retinal dysplasia which is an inherited eye condition that can seriously affect a dogs vision.
- Osteosarcomas which are a serious type of bone cancer.
- Lymphoma² which is a cancer in some of the cells that make up immune system.
- Hot spots, which are patches of skin which become sore and infected.
- Leukoencephalomyelopathy which is a nervous disease affecting the spinal cord.

Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
- Hip dysplasia screening scheme
- Elbow dysplasia screening scheme 
- Eye screening scheme 

Key Facts

Lifespan: 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

Ratings

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
Rottweiler standing on the road

Personality

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.

Rottweiler lying in the grass

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.

did you know?

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.