Rottweiler Dog Breed

Rottweiler At-a-Glance

Rottweilers have a long and storied history, going all the way back to the mastiff dogs used by Roman legions! During the middle ages, these mastiff-like dogs intermingled with native dogs in the Rottweil area of Germany, producing what eventually became today’s familiar Rottweiler breed.

They played an important role in herding cattle and protecting them from rustlers and even using a special neck pouch to carry money to market for their owners. Today, this versatile and powerful breed serves mostly as loyal and protective companions, both for their owners as well as law enforcement agencies.

Weight (pounds)
Male: 95-135
Female: 80-100
Height (inches)
Male: 24-27
Female: 22-25
Lifespan (years)

Dog Breed Group

Characteristics Ratings

We rate 19 characteristics for each breed, divided into three categories:
Highest Rated – Characteristics for which this breed is rated 4 or 5 stars (on a 5 star scale).
Neutral Rated – Characteristics that rated 3 stars.
Lowest Rated – Characteristics that rated only 1 or 2 stars.

Highest Rated

  • Good Family Dog
  • Kid Friendly
  • Likes to Play
  • Protective Nature
  • Handles Change Easily
  • Easy to Train
  • Low Amount of Barking
  • High Intelligence

Neutral Rated

  • Good With Other Dogs
  • Low Shedding
  • Low Drooling
  • Friendly to Strangers
  • High Energy Level
  • Tolerates Hot Climate

Lowest Rated

  • Suitable for Small Yards/Apartments
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone
  • Tolerates Cold Climate
  • Good General Health

General Overview

Despite their size and intimidating experience, Rottweilers make excellent family dogs. They are affectionate, calm, confident, fearless, and will go to any lengths to protect their family from harm. But these are also big, powerful dogs, so they need to be socialized and properly trained very early in life.

They can be great playmates for children and are generally loving and gentle with them. That said, their sheer size, strength, and energy make them better suited to families with older children.

Note, though, that their loving and gentle nature doesn’t necessarily extend to strangers. Rottweilers won’t welcome every Tom, Dick, and Harry with open paws and they can display some aggressiveness if they sense any threat. This natural aloofness can be reduced with early socialization and exposure to new people in a variety of environments.  

This same aloofness applies to other dogs. Rottweiler’s natural protective instincts and need for dominance make them sort of hit or miss when it comes to strange dogs, especially males. Here too, early socialization and training can minimize these issues.

When it comes to protective instincts, Rottweilers are pretty much off the chart and will not hesitate to put themselves in harm’s way to keep their family safe. Very few, if any, intruders will challenge a muscular and powerful Rottweiler.

Loyalty and protectiveness were bred as natural instincts long ago and they make excellent watchdogs and guard dogs. So much so, these traits can result in aggressiveness and become problems unless you provide proper training and socialization.

Due to their love of family and need for attention, Rottweilers do suffer from separation anxiety. They can become anxious and even destructive if left alone for long periods. Because of this, they are not the best choice for families that are away from home frequently.

Fortunately, from a maintenance standpoint, Rottweilers are pretty easy to have around. They are not heavy shedders and require only a few minutes of weekly brushing. They do drool a bit when eating or drinking, but less so than many of the larger breeds.

As to living arrangements, Rottweilers are better suited to houses with lots of space to move around in. These are large and energetic dogs, so apartments and small yards may not give them enough exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy

Rottweilers were bred as working dogs and are known for their strength and endurance.  They are great exercise companions and are well-suited for long hikes and other outdoor activities. If you’re looking for a couch companion, they are probably not the best fit.

Rottweilers get high scores for intelligence and can quickly and easily learn new commands. While this makes them easy to train in many respects, they are strong-willed and independent thinkers, so it’s important to establish clear boundaries and expectations.

This also means they are not the ideal choice for first-time dog owners. These are large, powerful dogs and they can be intimidating for people who have never owned a dog. Even though their basic nature is affectionate and loving, it can be unsettling when you first confront a 125-pound mountain of muscle!  

From a health standpoint, they are susceptible to issues common to large breeds, such as hip dysplasia, arthritis, bloat, and obesity.

They are also at a higher risk of developing Osteosarcoma, which is a type of bone cancer. Rottweiler owners should keep a close eye on signs such as limping and swelling around the bone. Early detection and treatment for this ailment is critical.

Like most of the large breeds, Rottweilers have a modest lifespan of 9-10 years.

Overall, regular checkups, exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight are particularly important for Rottweilers.

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