Animal-World’s Featured Pet of the Week: The Rottweiler
Animal-World’s Featured Pet for this week is: The Rottweiler!
Rottweilers often get a bad rap as being aggressive dogs. It is true they can be aggressive, but with the right socialization and training they can turn out to be good pets. I have known several Rottweilers or “Rotties” as they are often called. Once they got to know me, most of these dogs seemed quite friendly and loving towards me and I felt safe. All of them had fantastic owners who really spent time with them and helped shape them into great dogs!
A major appeal of the Rottweiler is its propensity for being a great guard dog. They become extremely loyal to their owners and will protect them at almost any cost. If they are well socialized with other pets while they are young, you can expect your Rottie to get along with just fine with them. Other characteristics they are known for are being calm and affectionate towards their family, including children. You can expect to have a wonderful addition to your family with a trained Rottweiler!
Rottweilers have a very long history stretching all the way back to the Roman Empire. They were first bred in Rottweil, Germany and are most likely descended from the Italian Mastiff. They were used first as herding dogs, and may very well be the oldest herding dog breed in the world. They were also used as war dogs and guard dogs and were highly valued during times of turmoil. But as the need for them subsided due to other technological advances, this breed diminished in quality and quantity, nearly becoming extinct. In the early 1900′s, while gearing up for World War I, there was a renewed interest in the breed as a need for police dogs came about. In 1931 the American Kennel Club recognized the Rottweiler as an official breed. Today the Rottweiler is a very popular dog, having more registrations than any other breed! Hybrids such as the Boxweiler and the English Mastweiler are also becoming more popular.
Rottweilers are impressive looking dogs and many consider them beautiful. They are heavy dogs with a muscular build and forefront muzzles. Their coats consist of short hair and are predominantly black with some brown markings. I have been asked in the past if there are all-black Rottweilers. Curiously, purebred Rottweilers cannot be all black! They will always have some brown on them. These dogs also reach a good size, with males weighing up to 130 pounds! Females are usually somewhat smaller than this, with a maximum weight of 115 pounds.
This breed of dog needs to be trained from an early age. From the beginning, you should let your dog know you are the boss. Once this is established, most Rottweilers are eager to please. They are obedient, very good at following commands, and fearless. In general they have a very good-natured temperament and are alert. When trained for a particular task, they can be relied upon to get the job done. Guarding and herding are their most notable strong points.
The reason this dog sometimes has a bad reputation is because of irresponsible owners. These dogs have the potential to be aggressive and have serious behavior problems if not trained and socialized. Their problems often stem from an owner not investing enough time to spend with them, or worst case scenario completely neglecting or abusing them. Rottweilers are also very strong dogs, which can increase the risk for problems in a neglected or untrained dog.
Basic Care of Rottweilers
Because Rottweilers have short hair, they don’t need much grooming other than just a quick brushing once a day or so. Regular vacuuming is a must for inside dogs, because they do shed and dog hair will accumulate! Rottweilers need a lot of exercise. Large yards which provide room to run and play in are ideal. Daily walks and/or swims are helpful too. They love to let their energy out, and regular activities also provide good opportunities to keep up on their socialization and training skills.
Puppies should be fed a good quality puppy food until they are close to 2 years old. After this, you should feed them a diet comprised of mostly protein (such as poultry and lamb) mixed with some wheat and dairy. Most good quality dog foods will provide the needed nutrients.
Vaccinations. Vaccinations are very important for dogs to keep them healthy. They should be given their first shot at 6-8 weeks of age. This shot is the DHLPPC or Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, Parvo, and Corona virus shot. They should get their second shot at 10-12 weeks, their third shot at 14-16 weeks, and then annually from their on out. A rabies shot should also be given and 14-16 weeks and then annually as well.
If Rottweilers are given their vaccinations, they are a pretty hardy breed. They don’t have a lot of problems with disease or many physical problems. They can be prone to hip or joint dysplasia because they are a larger breed. It is also important to take note of a puppy’s genetic history before selecting one. Heart Disease and Von Willebrand’s Disease are hereditary problems that should be taken note of.
Availability of Rottweilers is widespread. They can be found in most areas of the United States from reputable breeders. $800 to $1000 is a price you can expect to pay for a puppy with a good genetic background.
Do you have experience with Rottweilers? What do you like or dislike about them? Are there any tips you would like to share?
Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.