Lots of muscle, tough will: who is the Rottweiler ideal for?

Csupor Erik

2024. April 13 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

Many people know them, almost everyone is interested in them, but few are really for them: the heavy bombers of the guarding breeds, the German Rottweilers.


What should a prospective dog owner consider before buying a Rottweiler and who are Rottweilers really for?

The past and the character

There are theories that the ancestors of the Rottweilers came to the province of Germania (today Germany) in ancient times. No one has yet been able to prove these theories, but what seems certain is that the breed’s ancestors appeared in the late Middle Ages around the town of Rottweil, where the large-bodied local dogs were crossed with various shepherd dogs. Their name showed their original use: for a long time they were called the butcher dogs of Rottweil, who reached their final form and character in the early 20th century. you reached at the beginning of the century. Since then, the Rottweilers have been used as service dogs with great success in almost every part of the world. Currently ranked 8th in the US and one of the most popular breeds in Europe.

The Rottweiler is an extremely brave and confident breed of dog, with great physical strength. It is inquisitive and neutral towards its surroundings, but will immediately go into guarding mode if it senses that its loved ones are in danger. They are more likely to be single-owner dogs, which is one of the reasons why they are not more common in the armed forces, as they have difficulty or no tolerance to change owners. Accepting and kind to its immediate family, despite its great physical strength and tough character, it is not prone to hurting the weaker ones: according to a statistic from 1994 to 2003, despite its popularity, it is at the bottom of the list in bites against children, ahead of even Labradors in the percentage of such cases.

Appearance and trainability

The Rottweiler is a giant breed of dog, ranging from 60-68 cm in height and 40-50 kg in weight. Its coat is dense and short, with both undercoat and topcoat, and its regular colour is black, with typical reddish-brown markings on the lower neck, chest, legs and above the eyes. A bit stocky in build but extremely muscular and strong, the movement of a regularly exercised and trained Rottweiler is explosive.

Rottweilers are extremely trainable and above average, they can be trained to do almost anything, but they excel at guarding and protection work. The trainers of this breed are of the opinion that they are not as versatile as e.g. the Malinois or the German Shepherd but they are very effective as a service dog because they are tough, bright and intelligent. They have a strong nervous system, they can endure a lot and dog trainers who work with Rottweilers never forget to mention that they are also very popular because after guarding training, unlike other breeds, they can bounce back to their basic temperament very quickly, almost within minutes. Training them requires considerable experience, as they are a large, highly dominant breed.

The Rottweiler requires a lot of exercise, partly because of its history and partly because of the need to keep its huge muscle mass in check. In fact, it likes and even demands all forms of outdoor exercise, which is necessary for its socialisation. It loves playing ball, walking, running, swimming, but it is really in its element at doggy day care, where it gets an intellectual challenge. Any activity that requires the Rottweiler to use not only its physical strength but also its brain can become a favourite.

Their average life span is 8-12 years, with females living on average 2 years longer. They are basically a healthy breed, with occasional hip dysplasia, which can be screened during breeding. In recent years, the trend for larger, leathery-headed individuals has led to an increasing incidence of eye and eyelid problems.

Who is a Rottweiler for?

Because of its hardness, strength and dominant tendencies, this breed is not necessarily suited to a novice dog owner. For proper handling and training, determination and experience are needed, and hesitant, self-doubting individuals should not choose a Rottweiler, as this breed can sense weakness and males, in particular, tend to take over the pack. If a Rottweiler does end up with a novice, the inexperienced owner should choose a female and take going to dog school very seriously, where both dog and owner will be taught how to get along.

Erik Csupor German dog breeds guardian-protector guarding-protection dogs rottweiler

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