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Rott, Rottie

Family: Canidae Rottweiler PictureCanis lupus familiarisPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Justin Brough
Latest Reader Comment - See More
Zeus is a rescue puppy. We were told he is part Rottie and part German Shepherd.  However, I'm not sure if that's the case. He kind of resembles the Rottweiler... (more)  Amber Kush

The Rottweiler has a very long history, highly prized and favored as a companion and helper!

With a history dating back to the Roman Empire, the Rottweiler has been used as a herding dog, a guard dog, and a war dog. In more modern times it is a valuable police dog as well. This medium sized muscular dog is classed as working dog breed. It is very handsome, smart and devoted to its keepers.

The Rottweiler is a highly protective dog that will go to great lengths to defend its family. With proper training and socialization the Rottweiler is calm, loyal and loving. They can also get along with other pets if introduced with them while young, This breed does well in obedience and tracking. When selecting a Rottweiler, look for hip and elbow dysplasia, heart disease, and Von Willebrand's disease.

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Canidae
  • Genus: Canis
  • Species: lupus familiaris

Common Name(s) Rottweiler, Rott, Rottie

The American Kennel Club (AKC) describes a set of standards for the Rottweiler, and currently they recognize just one type of Rottweiler. But there are some who suggest there could be two types of Rottweiler, a German Rottweiler and an American Rottweiler. Going beyond where they are born, the German variety is said to have a bigger and more blocky head, with a body that is shorter and stockier. The American variety is then less stocky, longer legged, and has a less blocky head. Although the "German" traits are outside the standards set by the American Kennel Club (AKC), some are working on developing Rottweilers for these "German Rottweiler" characteristics. So we'll have to wait and see, eventually perhaps two types of Rottweilers become recognized.

Breed Type A working breed, the Rottweiler is a large, protective dog that has been subject to breed bans in some areas. The Rottweiler has served as a herder, assistant to merchants, and war dog.

Background The Rottweiler's history goes back to the Roman Empire. Thought to be a descendent of the Italian Mastiff, the breed was developed in Rottweil, Germany. The Rottweiler nearly became extinct in the late 1800s, but was revived due to increased demand for police dogs in World War I.
Some make distinctions between the American Rottweiler and the German Rottweiler. The German is said to be shorter and more solid with a larger head. The AKC makes no such distinction, but those considered German Rottweilers often fall outside the club standards.
Mutations of the breed include the red Rottweiler, and popular hybrids are the Boxweiler (Boxer and Rottweiler mix) and the English Mastweiler (Mastiff and Rottweiler mix).

Description Rottweilers are muscular dogs with broad heads and prominent muzzles. Their eyes are dark, their ears triangular, and their noses black. Their short coat is black with brown markings. Males are 24-27 inches tall and weigh 95-130 pounds. Females are 22-25 inches tall and weigh 85-115 pounds.

Care and Feeding The Rottweiler's diet should consist of lamb, poultry, wheat and dairy. This breed needs puppy food until it is 1 ½ to 2 years old. Regular brushing is all that is necessary to keep your Rottweiler's coat in good shape. Baths should be given only as needed. It is customary to dock the Rottweiler's tail, and to remove rear dewclaws if they exist, at 1-3 days of age.
Annual checkups are advisable. Vaccinations should be given on the following schedule:

  • 6-8 weeks: Distemper, Leptospirosis, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvo, and Corona virus (DHLPPC)
  • 10-12 weeks: Second DHLPPC
  • 14-16 weeks: Third DHLPPC and rabies
  • Annually: DHLPPC and rabies booster

Rottweilers shed moderately. Regular vacuuming is necessary if kept inside.

Housing Your Dog Rottweilers do not need a large amount of space indoors. A small yard will be enough for them to get the exercise they need.

Social Behaviors Properly trained and socialized Rottweilers can be trusted around children, friends and relatives. They can get along with other pets if introduced with them while young.

Handling and Training Training requires a firm hand, but usually goes well if you let the dog know who is in charge. It is crucial that the trainer be able to handle a large, powerful dog effectively.

Activities Rottweilers need plenty of exercise. They enjoy daily walks or jogs, swimming, and games of fetch. It is important to take care not to overwork them while young, because this can damage their bones and joints. With adults, take care to avoid overheating in hot weather.

Breeding/Reproduction When selecting a mate for your Rottweiler, it is important to check for hereditary disorders. Ones to look for include joint dysplasia, heart disease, thyroid problems, and Von Willebrand's disease.

Common Health Problems Bloat is a concern with Rottweilers. It is important not to overfeed them, and not to exercise them too soon after meals. Extra weight can also contribute to joint problems.

Availability Rottweilers are easy to find in most areas, but it is important to buy from a reputable breeder. Improper breeding tends to produce puppies with behavior problems. Prices are usually $800 to $1,000 and up.


Lastest Animal Stories on Rottweiler

Amber Kush - 2014-07-20
Zeus is a rescue puppy. We were told he is part Rottie and part German Shepherd.  However, I'm not sure if that's the case. He kind of resembles the Rottweiler and I guess I can see German Shepherd, however, he looks to me to be more of a terrier. I have searched all over the internet to try to find a puppy that looks like him so I can try to determine his mixed breed. I still want to keep him, no matter what, but let's face it, every dog owner wants to know what breed their dogs are. Zeus has a very special place in our hearts. He was found in a dumpster tossed away like a piece of trash at the age of 5 weeks. I guess he culd have been the runt, or possibly stolen from his litter, or just the 'unwanted or unsellable' puppy. But, to us he is our little baby boy, and an explosive burst of energy. He has all the active traits of a Rottweiler puppy.  At first we were just going to take him and get him to the vet to make sure he was healthy. We were going to find him a forever home and trust me numerous people wanted him, but we were so picky as to who he would go to, and that's when we decided that we were so picky because he already had found his forever home, and that was right here with us. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what breed he may be?

  • Clarice Brough - 2014-07-22
    He sounds simply darling! As far as breed, without knowing where he came from, it is just a guess. The rescue's guess is about as good as anyone's.
  • Amber Kush - 2014-07-22
    Thank you for your feed back. We actually got him from the police dept the same day they found him. We took him straight to the vet. He has gained almost two pounds in a week and a half. He is doing great and fitting in very well with the rest of the family!
  • GT - 2014-07-26
    He looks like a German Rottie because of his snout, color and markings, but his hair is really long and he has brown on his ears. That would suggest a mix of something else... I think you need to wait until he gets older to see what characteristics come out from his parents. You're lucky to have him no matter his mix. Rotties are great dogs... I have one and he's the best! Congrats!
  • Chenoa - 2015-12-28
    He is a Rottsheperd.. long hair or not. German Shepherds also come in long hairs, medium length and short hair. I come from a family of Professional German Shepherd Breeders/Show Dogs/Obedience Training... Registered and Club. His paws are huge which suggests exactly what you were told... he is a German Shepherd X Rottie
azmina zazu aboobaker - 2012-10-14
I have a 11 month old rott and I wanted to find out at what age will he start barking?thanks :)

  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-10-14
    There is no age that they start. Really depends on the dog.  He may not have found a reason to bark yet.
  • Romit - 2014-01-22
    Same problem with my 5 month rottie too
  • GT - 2014-07-26
    When he needs to protect you, bring your attention to something or feels a threat. That is the only time mine barks and he's 5! :o)
Danielle van Zyl - 2014-07-14
Can a male dog get aggressive???

  • Clarice Brough - 2014-07-22
    Yes, an unneutered male can become aggressive and hard to manage. They usually require a very experienced dog owner who can maintain discipline. Neutering males helps to reduce aggression from developing. 
Danielle van Zyl - 2014-07-14
My Rottie is very funny. He loves bubbles and he loves peeping in my room. He is very inquisitive and lovable. I couldn't ask for a better Rottie