Rottweiler Breed Guide
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Rottweiler Background & History
Often referred to as Rotties or Rotts, the Rottweiler breed descended from a mastiff-type of dog called the Molussus. The Romans brought the Molussus with them as they marched into Germany and used their strength to drive cattle. As they passed from town to town, the Molussus mated with local dogs – laying the foundation for new breeds.
One such location was Southern Germany – where Romans set up colonies and built villas with red tile roofs. These bright red roofs inspired the new town name, das Rote Wil (the red tile), which in turn, inspired the name of the Rottweiler dog breed.
Throughout the years, Rotties were used by butchers and cattlemen to drive cattle into town for butchering as well as pulling heavy carts full of meat. However, with the advent of rail transport, came the decline in cattle driving – causing the Rottweiler breed to become nearly extinct. In fact, only one Rottweiler was present at a dog show that took place in Germany in 1882.
However, things began to change when the Rottweiler & Leonberger Club was founded in 1901 and the first breed standard was written. The Rottweiler first came to America in the late 1920s and was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1931.
Rottweiler Temperament & Personality
Calmness, confidence, and loyalty are Rottweiler personality traits that make them excellent companions. While most Rotties take a little while to warm up to people, once they have determined that you are worthy of their affection, they shower you with love and devotion. In fact, most Rottweiler owners report that their dog doesn’t fully understand how big they are – constantly wanting to cuddle on the couch or bed.
In general, Rottweilers are not highly excitable dogs. Rottweiler temperament tends to be composed and self-assured. However, there are a few notable differences between male and female Rotties. Male Rottweilers tend to be more quiet and watchful than their female counterparts who oftentimes have a more affectionate personality.
Training a Rottweiler
Despite their sometimes stubborn and self-assured behavior, Rotties are highly trainable dogs that make for dignified companions. However, it is important to note that training must start early and be reinforced often. Therefore, this breed is not a good fit for someone who doesn’t have time to dedicate to consistent training and socialization.
Training your Rottweiler starts with earning their respect. If you react with anger or physical punishment during the process of training Rottweiler behavior, your dog will disregard you as a leader and assume the role himself. Therefore, you must remain confident and firm throughout the training process, setting clear rules and boundaries.
As with any dog, training should begin early. Consider enrolling your Rottie in a puppy class in order to teach them basic commands and start socializing them with other dogs and people. Because Rottweilers are naturally wary of strangers, it is important that you introduce them to a variety of new people, places, and experiences at an early age.
Rottweiler Exercise Requirements
Rotties are large dogs that require a moderate amount of exercise each day to maintain good health and an even temperament. Take your Rottweiler out for a few 10 to 20 minute walks each day as well as allow for an hour of running time.
If your Rottweiler does not have ample time to burn off energy during the day, they will expend their pent up energy chewing up toys and furniture or digging holes in your yard. Rotties enjoy having a job to do. Therefore, they enjoy agility exercises, hiking, and playing with balls and other toys.
Not all Rottweilers are extremely active. In fact, many Rottie owners report that their dog prefers to lounge on the couch all day and has no desire to go outside and exercise. While it may be easy to give in and let your dog nap on the couch all day, it is important that you take them out a few times a day in order to prevent obesity, which can lead to a variety of different health problems.
Rottweiler Life Span & Longevity
A Rottweiler life span typically ranges anywhere from 8 to 11 years.
How popular is the Rottweiler breed?
Despite almost going extinct in the late 1800s, the Rottweiler breed is extremely popular today – ranking 17th most popular among the 155 AKC registered breeds. However, the height of the Rottweiler’s popularity occurred in the mid-1990s when more than 100,000 Rottweiler dogs were registered with the AKC.
Rottweiler Feeding Recommendations
If you have a puppy Rottweiler, you should be feeding them several times a day. The younger your Rottie, the smaller and more frequent these meals should be. However, as they grow older, you should slowly wean them onto larger, less frequent meals.
It is recommended that you feed your adult Rottie four to ten cups of high-quality food each day. This portion should be divided into two meals that are administered at designated meal times as opposed to allowing the food to sit out all day.
Of course, it is important to take into account that each dog is different. More active Rotties will require more food per day than a Rottie who spends the majority of their day lounging on the couch.
When looking for appropriate dog food for your Rottweiler, look for food that contains meat as the first ingredient and stay away from foods that list grains, by-products, or meat meal as the first ingredient.
Grooming Your Rottweiler
Rottweilers have a short, straight double coat with black and brown markings. Their markings are very distinct and appear on the eyes, cheeks, either side of the muzzle, chest, legs, and beneath the tail.
Because Rottie’s have a coarse coat, it is important that you brush them on a weekly basis using a firm b