Rottweilers are tough, strong dogs. And they know their own strength. Their uflappable self-confidence and intelligence—when properly trained and socialized—can result in a loving, devoted and sometimes laid-back companion.
- 85 - 130 pounds
- 22 - 27 inches
Ideal Human Companions
- Experienced dog handlers
- Active, sporty types
- A-type personalities
- Outdoorsy types
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What They Are Like to Live With
Extremely energetic, Rottweilers love playing catch in the back yard, tagging along for a morning run or taking a big hike in the woods. They crave attention and companionship from their owners. Without it, they tend to get bored and destructive. A neglected or mistreated Rottweiler can do a terrible number on your favorite shoes.
A happy and properly trained Rottweiler can be a devoted friend to children, not to mention an extremely effective watchdog—often having to do nothing more than stand there to keep trespassers away.
Things You Should Know
Before you consider a Rottweiler, be prepared for its massive size and challenging temperament. Rottweilers appreciate a confident handler who can show them who’s in charge. Some may test your authority, so stay on top of their training and obedience. They respond to commands and are eager to please.
Coming from a long line of herders, Rottweilers also appreciate stimulating tasks and activities. Keep them busy with agility and obedience games. But remember to always keep them on a leash in public, as they can be slightly confrontational with other dogs.
A healthy Rottweiler can live as long as 12 years. Common health issues include hip dysplasia and eye problems. Their coats are easy to care for and don’t shed excessively.
Most likely descended from the sturdy, powerful, Mastiff-like drover dogs of ancient Rome, Rottweilers were named after the German cattle town of Rottweil, where these dogs managed herds for hundreds of years. In the mid-19th century, cattle driving became outlawed in the area, making the Rottweiler somewhat redundant. However, in the early 1900s they suddenly became popular police dogs and by 1924 the German Rottweiler Club was formed. Today they serve time as both working dogs and beloved companions.
The Look of a Rottweiler
Rottweilers have medium-sized, rugged, powerful builds with dense, straight and glossy coats. They have broad heads with rounded skulls and straight, well-developed muzzles. Their dark, almond-shaped eyes have a friendly and devoted look, and their triangular ears hang forward. They have strong necks and firm backs and (normally) docked tails. Their coats usually come in black with rusty patches. Overall, Rottweilers have a look that suggests courage, agility and strength.
Talk About Rottweilers
A loyal and brave breed
I love my Rottweiler! He is loyal and brave and is able to protect my family while being loving and gentle. He's always glad to see me and always wags his little tail and gives doggie kisses when we're feeling down.
The kids love to play with him and he loves everyone he meets. I take him up to the VA hospital and sit on the bench outside. Everyone who passes pets him and tells me how beautiful and gentle he is. The first time he went there with us he had never seen a motorized wheelchair but he paid it no mind and just enjoyed everyone petting him. And with some people he would give his paw to shake hands. It made my day to bring a smile to so many veterans who fought for our country.
I love Rottweilers because they are so smart and love to learn things. They love being with people. They are very loving, loyal, unselfish, brave, have a great temperament and disposition, and will always give their family unconditional love no matter what. They will protect and guard you until they die. This is a great breed for families, but you need to spend a lot of time with them, brushing, teaching commands and so on. If you don't have a yard, you'll have to walk your dog 2-3 times a day everyday. Make your next pet a Rottweiler, you will not be sorry that you did.
~Janie N., owner of a Rottweiler
So loving when raised right
My sweet Rottweiler, Lucy, was rescued from a local shelter on Christmas Eve with her nine puppies. Luckily for her and for me, she found her way to the North Carolina Rottweiler Rescue. Lucy loves every person and every dog. She is excited to play with her canine friends at day camp or on a play date. We went to a Dog Olympics last weekend and she made sure that everyone had a chance to pet and love her. Children were all over her and she just leaned against them in pleasure. Rottweilers are an excellent example of the nurture vs nature theory: when raised in loving homes they are the most loving and loyal dogs you could possibly have.
~Joanne A., owner of a Rottweiler
Big, Huggable Teddy Bears!
I just love Rotties! They have a bad reputation with some people and I think it's so sad. Yes, they are very powerful dogs, but they are also so affectionate and loving. My baby girl Rott wakes me up with kisses every morning and cuddles with me all night.
One thing that has stood out to me as an owner of these wonderful dogs is how serene they are when handled properly. As long as you have a strong pack leader role established they are very quick and steadfast in their obedience. They have a lot of energy but know how and when to use it. By my Rottie's 12th week of age, she was potty trained, sat, lay down, and came immediately when called with relatively little time invested in teaching.
My one piece of advice would be to make sure you have a good handle on them when new or unfamiliar people come around, as their first instinct is to protect their loved ones! Socialize them early and a lot, but don't take for granted that they are so loving with you, because when they decide they don't like someone the reaction is defensive and quick! Hey, sometimes people rub you the wrong way and it is the same with dogs.
~Stephanie S., owner of a Rottweiler
Rottweilers are in my heart
I love this breed - the dogs are very sweet and kind and should be loved by a person with these same characteristics. They tend to take up a lot of room but other than that they make great dogs. They are very good with children and very family-oriented. I would tell anyone they are making a good choice with this breed as these dogs can learn to be very well trained and are naturally protective.
~Tyece J., owner of a Rottweiler
A dog that loves going to work
My Rottweiler goes to work with me every day. I work at a personal care home and she is the house dog. She loves everybody and sits with them on the floor or couch. If someone is feeling down she will gently lay her head on their lap to let them pet her on the head and they will cheer up. She is gentle and affectionate yet loyal and protective when need be.
Raised right and made part of your family life, these dogs can be the ones you always have to have around as long as your situation in life allows. There is never a bad dog, just bad owners.
~Lindsey B., owner of a Rottweiler
Lizzie, a gentle giant
My rottie, Lizzie, is on the large side at 115 pounds, but she is so obedient and laid-back that I don't worry about taking her anywhere. She proved to be an awesome walking tool for my niece when she was toddling.
Living with Lizzie is easy. She only barks when there is someone coming on our property, and has several distinct barks: one for me, people really close, strangers, and animals. She is protective yet not aggressive. She will stand between strangers and myself and will slightly push my legs back till I am out of their reach if she does not know them.
Rotties require much attention and devotion in the younger years, you have to have a lot of time to spend with them to train them to be well-behaved. But they are very quick to learn each thing. Lizzie not only understands verbal commands, she also understands hand gestures and snaps. You will never find a more loving and devoted creature as your rottie, and they love to be spoiled. She loves a little love seat that I got for her.
~Julie D., owner of a Rottweiler
Protective, not aggressive
I love the Rottweiler breed and have two loving, gentle giants. One stays home with me, and the other travels the country with my husband in his truck. I have had Rotties for about 17 years, and would not consider owning another breed. I love their gentle nature, but also enjoy their protective skills since I live alone.
With Rottweilers, you get what you give. If you show them attention and love, they will fight to their death to protect you from danger. They are very misunderstood and are often mistreated by people who do not understand them. Both of my dogs were rescues who had been mistreated by previous owners. It took them a little while to learn to trust but once they did, they knew they were No. 1 with us and now act goofy and entertaining.
~Melissa O, owner of two Rottweilers
Terrified of little dogs
I have a ten-month-old female Rotty named Ophelia and she is the light of my life! I got her at five weeks, and by eight weeks she was potty trained and could Come and Sit. She learns commands so well most of the time I only have to show her twice.
She is very smart, but most of the time you would not know it because she is such a goofball! She has two distinct personalities -- one for at home and one for new places and or new people. At home she is all over the place, a typical playful puppy full of energy with the attention span of a gnat. But when we go out -- hiking, pet store, vet -- she is as calm as can be. She sits back and watches everything, looking to me for every little cue. People comment on how well behaved she is. I just smile and say, "Yeah, you should see her at home!"
She always knows when I am in a bad mood, and does something to make me smile. I don't know what I woud do without her.
She does have one little quirk -- she is terrified of little dogs! Big ones she likes, but anything smaller than a basset and she hides behind me whining and shaking! I've tried to tell her she is big enough to have them for dinner, but she does not get it ...
I would recommend this dog for an active person or family as long as they have the time and type A personality to counteract the mischievousness.
~Stephanie, S, owner of a Rottweiler