Rottweilers are very robust and beautiful dogs. Powerful and fiercely loyal, they are believed to have ties back to the ancient Romans, where their ancestors helped to drive cattle on the long war marches. Today’s Rottweiler no longer drives cattle, but has instead become a favored companion animal, particularly in the United States. Owning a Rottweiler requires a great commitment and a lot of responsibility, however, and it’s important to research this breed, and your individual dog, very carefully.
Believed to be a descendant of the large mastiff-like “drover dog” of the ancient Romans, the Rottweiler’s ancestors were used as both herding and pack animals, often traveling with the large Roman armies as they warred with other people. Due to the fact that there was no refrigeration available, the armies had to drive cattle along with them as they moved. These dogs were capable, not only of doing this task, but also of guarding the camp supplies at night.
When the Swabians drove the Romans from the area in 260 A.D., they would keep these drover dogs, allowing them to continue their job of guarding the cattle. Due to the fact that the Swabians relied upon farming and the trading of cattle, the dogs’ future seemed secure and, for centuries, they prospered.
In 700 A.D., it was decided that a Christian church be built where the Roman baths had once stood. When the excavation unearthed the red tiles of former Roman homes, the area was renamed “das Rote Wil” (which means “the red tile”) and the Roman drover dog became known as the Rottweiler Metzgerhund, or “butcher dog.”
The breed would be threatened in the middle of the 19th century, when the practice of driving cattle was outlawed. For several decades, the number of Rottweilers dwindled, with the dogs seeming to have no apparent use any longer. Fortunately, he was picked back up and employed as a police dog at the turn of the 20th century, and this unique breed would be salvaged.
The Rottweiler is the epitome of sheer, raw power. A medium-to-large dog, he is built for strength and endurance, as well as being surprisingly agile for his size. Slightly longer than they are tall, Rottweilers possess a massive bone structure and are built, not only to take a blow or kick from agitated cattle, but also to be able to powerfully leap and dodge incoming attacks. Sadly, this also made them a favorite of those who would breed dogs for the inhumane practice of dog fighting.
Perhaps the most noticeable traits of the Rottweiler would be his massive head and the dog’s beautiful coloration. Rich black with markings that range from rust to a deep mahogany, the Rottie has a beautiful and noble appearance that has long made him a favorite of artists and photographers across the world and through the ages.
These massively-built dogs are generally very loving and doting, in regards to their family. While they tend to be very loyal and territorial, unethical breeders have either sought to emphasize this quality in the breed or didn’t bother considering temperament prior to breeding, and the result has been a rash of poor quality Rottweilers being sold to the general public. Dogs that exhibit extreme aggressiveness, shyness, nervousness, or are overly jumpy should not be bred, nor should they be considered a suitable pet. A good Rottweiler is friendly, dependable and often tends to have a clowning personality, that strives to please and amuse his owner.
Rottweiler Exercise Info
Rottweilers, especially puppies and young dogs, need a substantial amount of exercise. Ideally, they should have access to a sturdy-fenced yard, though they can also benefit from long walks or jogging excursions with their owners, and most Rottweilers enjoy visiting the local dog parks. Many people who own Rottweilers find that obedience and endurance classes are a great deal of fun, for both dogs and owners alike. Rottweilers love to find exercise in any way that they can – this can include climbing or jumping fences or, if left alone and without ample exercise, can also turn to more destructive methods of entertainment.
Rottweiler Grooming Info
The Rottweiler is easy to groom and take care of. While you may get a few stray hairs, here and there, he generally only sheds twice a year; in spring and in fall. Because of this, merely brushing him once or twice a week, gently using a soft-bristled brush, can give his coat a nice shine and your Rottweiler in a beautiful and shiny coat. Trimming his nails is also an important step in dog grooming, and should be started when he is young and can be taught to stand obediently for tasks, such as toenail clipping.
Rottweiler Training Info
The Rottweiler grows into a big and powerful dog, very quickly, so it is essential to establish control and teach him basic obedience while he is still a puppy. Be forewarned that this dog is extremely intelligent and crafty, and can often exhibit a great deal of stubbornness. Much like when dealing with a child, you must set rules for this dog to follow and, if he disobeys, you should not let it slip or ignore such behavior. Fortunately, with most, a few stern words will suffice, if he knows he has displeased his beloved human.
Rottweiler Health Info
Rottweilers tend to be very hearty and robust dogs. While they are not as susceptible to the various genetic disorders many other purebred dogs suffer, there are a few concerns to take into consideration, prior to purchasing a Rottweiler puppy:
Sub-aortic stenosis (SAS)
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)
Is a Rottweiler Right For You?
Simply put, owning a Rottweiler requires an enormous amount of responsibility and commitment. Due to poor breeding ethics, many of the dogs that are being made available as pets are sub-standard animals or, in other cases, the environment in which some good animals are being raised in is the part that is sub-standard. Because of this, one must be very selective when choosing a Rottweiler puppy.
Rottweilers can be very playful and fun-loving, but when it is a dog that weighs over 100 pounds that’s bouncing around the living room, it’s fairly easy to see where there can be problems. Remember that the Rottweiler does not care about the good china, nor does he seem to realize his own size and power. For this reason, it is not advisable that an elderly person take on a Rottie as a pet, nor should they be left alone with small children. Not only is there a risk of a dog bite occurring, but your happy-go-lucky Rottweiler puppy can easily knock a small or delicate person down.
In addition to this, the Rottweiler can also be very destructive when left alone for long periods of time. When he’s bored, he can chew, dig, and claw, which can lay waste to a yard or a room in no time. It’s essential that the dog always has things to play with, and that he is not left alone for too long a period of time.
If you have a lot of time and dedication to devote to this dog, you’re sure to find a great companion in the Rottweiler dog breed. While they have received a lot of bad publicity in recent news, they are still an excellent pet for the right household.
More Information About the Rottweiler Dog Breed