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Your Guide To Rottweilers 

Written by Ella White


Two gorgeous Rottweilers in the fall

One of the most majestic and loyal dog breeds in the world, Rottweilers are known for their striking appearance and robust personalities. These lovable dogs have captured the hearts of dog enthusiasts and families alike. So if you’re considering getting a Rottweiler, or just want to know more about the breed, we’ve created this comprehensive guide to help you understand their characteristics and temperament, their training and exercise needs, and whether there are any restrictions around owning a Rottweiler.

On average, Rottweilers live for around 9 to 12 years. However, with proper care, a healthy diet, and regular exercise, they can easily live longer. Genetics, lifestyle, and overall health play significant roles in the lifespan of your pet. Which is why it’s so important to understand the specific needs of your breed, to help them live a long and healthy life.

Despite being fairly short-haired, Rottweilers do shed. They have a double coat that’s made up of a dense undercoat and a medium-length outer coat. This helps protect them from colder weather conditions. Which means that, twice a year as the seasons change, they shed as they ‘blow out’ their undercoat. Regular grooming, including brushing, can help keep shedding to a minimum, and will ensure that their coat looks neat and healthy.

Rottweilers, like any other breed, can display aggression under some circumstances. However, aggression is not an inherent trait of the breed. Rotties are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and protective nature towards their families. The misconception that they’re inherently aggressive can be attributed partly to their protective instincts, as well as other cultural factors. 

One reason is their historical use as guard and herding dogs, as well as media portrayal and sensationalized stories of dog attacks that often focus on certain breeds, including Rottweilers. Irresponsible ownership and lack of proper training can also lead to behavioral issues, which, when exhibited in a powerful breed like Rottweilers, can be mistakenly interpreted as aggression. 

However, it is essential to base our understanding of dog behavior on individual temperament and not on generalizations. Early socialization, proper training, and responsible ownership are key factors in shaping a Rotties temperament. And when raised in a loving environment with proper guidance, they can be gentle and affectionate companions. 

Rottweilers are loyal by nature, which can help them to develop a strong bond within a loving family. They are known to be good guardians that are gentle and patient with children and affectionate with people. However, they are big, strong dogs that need thorough training and socialization to ensure good behavior, obedience, and control. And despite forming positive relationships with small children they should never be left unsupervised. 

Rottweilers are best suited to active families, as they need regular exercise and mental stimulation to keep them healthy and well-balanced. As a powerful breed, they are not ideal for first-time dog owners, or those who are not well-educated on the needs of large, strong dogs.

The average adult Rottweiler typically stands at around 56 to 63 cm, with females generally being smaller. Male Rottweilers will usually weigh between 43 to 61 kg, while females weigh around 36 to 45 kg. Their sturdy and muscular build, combined with their imposing size, contributes to their role as skilled herders and guardians, making them a formidable presence despite their friendly and affectionate nature.

Rottweilers are naturally intelligent which makes them easy to train, and is one of the reasons they have historically been favored as working dogs. They are also eager to please, and are receptive to positive reinforcements. 

Though they are able to learn commands quickly, Rottweilers do have a strong and independent nature, and can be stubborn at times. So early socialization and consistent training from puppyhood is essential to ensure they develop into well-behaved adults. It's also important to establish clear boundaries and maintain a firm, yet gentle approach to training to ensure that your Rottie becomes an obedient and well-mannered companion.

Like all dog breeds, Rottweilers can be prone to certain health issues. Some of the most common conditions include:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia, which can lead to joint problems and arthritis. 
  • Heart conditions, such as aortic stenosis, and certain genetic disorders like von Willebrand's disease, a bleeding disorder. 
  • Gastric dilatation-volvulus (bloat), where the stomach twists, potentially leading to life-threatening complications. 

Responsible breeding practices and regular veterinary check-ups are crucial to minimize these risks. While not all Rottweilers will experience these issues, awareness and proactive care can contribute to a healthier and happier life for your dog.

Breed-specific legislation (BSL) is a set of laws or regulations that impose restrictions or even outright bans on owning specific breeds or types of dogs that are deemed to be dangerous or aggressive. However, BSL is controversial, as it often unfairly targets breeds based on stereotypes rather than individual behavior.

Some regions have breed-specific legislation that may restrict or regulate Rottweilers due to misconceptions about their temperament. The specific laws and regulations related to Rottweilers can vary widely depending on the city, county, or country. In some areas, owning a Rottweiler may require additional insurance, registration, muzzling in public, or other restrictions. It's essential to be aware of local laws and regulations, including any potential requirements or limitations, concerning Rottweilers before considering bringing one into your family.

While no US states have an out-right ban on Rottweiler ownership as of 2023, some regions and cities do, including Walkerton, Indiana, Wapato, Washington, and Clinton, Mississippi. Other cities and some states have restrictions in place such as muzzling in public, spaying/neutering requirements, containment in a specific kennel, leash restrictions, warning signs, and making the dog wear certain tags. 

In the UK, Rottweilers are exempt from the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. However, they should never be left in the control of a child or anyone who does not know how to handle them as it is always illegal to own a dog that is considered ‘out of control,’ regardless of their breed.

Rottweilers are sometimes considered part of a list of "restricted breeds" by certain insurance companies. This can affect homeowners' insurance policies, so it's important to check with your insurance provider about any restrictions before bringing a Rottweiler into your home.