Owning a Rottweiler

Perhaps by now you are thinking of purchasing a Rottweiler. Good! Rottweilers are a perfect family dog, gentle, yet powerful enough to pull a sled or give a prowler second thoughts. If you care and love your Rottweiler properly, he or she will be a loyal friend for life. The bond will be unbreakable and wonderful. They become protectors of your family and will bond with all family members.

Once you’ve owned a Rottweiler, you will never be content with any other breed! They are the most loving, pleasing, entertaining, energetic, intelligent, powerful, friendly, protective and are beautifully built in structure. They have a wonderful combination of characters… They are the most adaptable… They are pleasers… They seek instruction instead of running from it… They are protective with a natural instinct to protect and bark when necessary… They are easy to train with the correct techniques and lots of love… They respond the best with love and affection… They demand love actually… They are fantastic with kids, can be very gentle and protective when raised correctly… I LOVE when they get the zoomies and go into a running rage making everyone laugh… They love attention… They are also very vocal, making noises constantly, even trying to talk sometimes… A Rottweiler enjoys being a “loyal companion”, they get very attached to their family. After having one like this, you can never live without one!

Those of us who own them find they are wonderful pets and dearly love them. BUT… although we believe the Rottweiler approaches being the perfect dog, THEY ARE NOT FOR EVERYONE. Owning any dog involves certain responsibilities and this is particularly true of a large, protective breed. You as a Rottweiler owner, have the obligation of caring for and controlling a dog who is probably going to be stronger than you are. Unless you take this responsibility very seriously and are willing to put the time, energy, and thought needed into raising your dog properly, your Rottweiler will be a burden instead of a joy.

A puppy requires feeding, attention, exercise, training, regular veterinarian visits, and lots of affection 365 days per year for its entire life. Purchasing a Rottweiler puppy solely “for the kids” is not a good idea. Young puppies and children must be closely supervised. A four month old Rottweiler will weigh 35 to 45 pounds. It is equipped with sharp claws and needle-like teeth. Its “practice” growl can sound menacing.

Knowing and understanding the temperament of your Rottweiler is your responsibility. They are good with children – a combination protector, and playmate. You need to teach the dog to respect your children, and teach your children to respect the dog. Infants and children should never be left unattended around any dog.

If you plan to leave the puppy alone for long hours, postpone the purchase. Puppies can’t be properly raised via “long distance”. Enrolment in puppy and obedience classes will promote suitable attitudes and responses in your Rottweiler.

Before you decide to buy a puppy, consider whether an adult Rottweiler might better suit your needs and lifestyle. Puppies are loads of fun, but they require a lot of time and effort before they grow up to become the dog of your dreams. An adult Rottie may already have some training and will probably be less active, destructive, and demanding than a puppy. With an adult, you know more about what you’re getting in terms of personality and health.

Rottweiler: The Misunderstood Dog…That’s Actually Calm, Devoted, and Loving
Rotties are highly intelligent and require socialization and training from an early age. They also need plenty of exercise and should never be confined to a kennel or backyard. Take him/her for a daily walk or jog. Let him/her run in open country. He/she will also love swimming and ball retrieving. The Rottweiler is a working dog and is happiest with a job to do, so consider involving your Rottie in obedience events, tracking, carting, or Schutzhund. You might also consider training him/her for therapy work.

Rottweilers are also known to be quite entertaining and goofy around the people they love. Rottweilers are serious droolers. While eating or drinking they tend to slobber profusely – especially bigger individuals with large heads and loose jowls.

Your Rottie will want to be in physical contact with you much of the time, and he might even climb up on your lap if you let him. He may also show a tendency to lean against you, which is a result of his heritage as a cattle herder. His ancestors learned to lean against the cattle to get them to move in a desired direction.

Rottweilers aren’t usually considered adult until around the age of 2, and some individuals don’t reach their full adult size until age 3. Female Rotties often have large litters of from 10 to 12 puppies. The average life expectancy for a Rottweiler is between 9 and 12 years.

Despite their short coats, Rottweilers are average shedders, and some individuals shed more than others. Regular brushing and baths as necessary will help control shedding.

Tips From My Experience
Kids Rotties are great family dogs. They love children. These are not “one man” dogs. They belong to whichever family member they are with at the time. No one will feel left out. Be prepared though – if given their way, they will spend most of their time with the kids; they really love kids. For those with small children, remember: NEVER leave a young child alone with any dog for any amount of time!

House Pets Rotties love to lounge around the house and soak up love and laziness with their masters. They enjoy being “house dogs” as long as they have a yard in which to play and plenty of attention from their master. Rotties tend to follow their masters around the house from room to room, settling in wherever you do. They are part teddy bear, part best friend, part draft horse and part guard dog, all in one truly beautiful package. They love to be handled and you should get them used to having their mouths and paws handled to make your vet’s job easier down the road. This is really important – they should allow you to handle any part of their body without stiffening up or getting stressed. Keep gently doing it until they get used to it.

More Than One? Having two Rotties is great fun and they provide each other extra exercise. If you want two, I strongly recommend getting a male and a female instead of two males. Males are far more aggressive than females and if they get in a fight, they are going to be badly hurt, possibly killed. If you have two Rotties I also recommend getting your dogs neutered after they reach 2 years of age. This does not reduce their effectiveness as watch dogs.

Intelligence Rotties are incredibly intelligent. Ours learnt to turn light switches on and off and open interior doors. They can also learn on their own! We have taught them tricks in addition to the standard obedience commands. They are really fun dogs. They actually plan complex diversions to distract the other Rottie’s attention while they steal the desired toy. Think ahead if you want to be their boss because Rottweilers are problem-solving smart.

Crates Get a crate and use it! This is the place your dog will go when he doesn’t want to be disturbed. Respect that – always. Never try to pull him out of his crate for anything, including punishments and treats. His crate is his one place that you must respect. It is also the place you will put your dog when you don’t want him to disturb you. He won’t mind. After all, it’s “his place.”

I do not recommend having the dog’s food dishes in his crate unless absolutely necessary. Because Rotties have such warm coats, I strongly recommend wire frame crates instead of the plastic ones. The extra ventilation is very important. Wire crates have the added advantage of folding for transport.

Grooming and Maintenance Rotties only need to be brushed once a week. A slicker brush is good. Of course, you can brush them as often as you like, but only bathe them about two-four times a year. Over-bathing will dry out their skins and their coats. They are clean smelling dogs and their coat should not develop any odour unless something is wrong.

Because they have folded-over ears, you should clean their ears once a month. You can buy a solution at a pet store or from your vet for this. Some dogs don’t mind it and some hate it but it really needs to be done at least once a month.

Trimming toe nails is really not hard with good sharp clippers, some practice and a regular routine. I do it every 4 weeks. If you start all these routines when your Rottweiler is a little puppy (8 to 10 weeks), they are much easier to do when he is grown. That way he just accepts them as the routine order of life.

Food Feed your Rott a high quality food if possible. If your dog needs weight control, I suggest controlling portion size instead of going to a lower protein-lower fat dog food.

Guard Dog Or Pet? You do not need to train a Rottweiler to protect you and your family. It is a strong instinct in them and is absolutely trustworthy. Trust me. Here is an example from my own experience: Despite the fact that she knows I am above her in the pack order, when I was playing with a child with gusto and she got to really laughing hard, my female Rottie came over and butted her way in between us to separate us. She never threatened me but the message was clear: It’s getting too rough – settle down. That’s instinct! Can you doubt what their reaction would be if a non-pack member tried to hurt me? They do not need guard dog training!

What’s Good About ‘Em – What’s Bad About ‘Em
Typically steadfast, sensible, and serious (though some are happy-go-lucky clowns!), the Rottweiler tends to respond quietly and with a wait-and-see attitude to influences in his environment. This muscular dog needs some space and exercise: brisk daily walks, interactive romping sessions, and regular opportunities to stretch out and run. Mental exercise (advanced obedience, agility, retrieving a ball, Schutzhund) is even more important and appreciated.

Rottweilers must be thoroughly socialized at an early age so that their territorial instincts are controlled rather than indiscriminate. They can be aggressive with other dogs of the same sex, and while many Rottweilers live peacefully with the family cat, other individuals are predatory toward cats. Most Rottweilers are inclined toward dominance and will test for position in the family pecking order, but they will respect an assertive owner who knows how to lead a strong-minded dog.

Overall, the Rottweiler is a splendid, capable companion in the right hands, but without ongoing companionship, socialization, obedience training, and supervision, he is “too much dog” for many households.

If you want a dog who…
♦ Is large, stocky, muscular, and powerful
♦ Is handsome and easy to groom
♦ Is calm, steady-tempered, and confident
♦ Is very loyal to his family
♦ Makes an intimidating-looking deterrent
A Rottweiler may be right for you.

If you don’t want to deal with…
♦ A heavy dog who wants to sit on your feet, lie on your lap, and lean his weight against your leg
♦ Rowdiness and exuberant jumping, especially when young
♦ Destructiveness when bored or not exercised enough
♦ Providing enough socialization so their protectiveness doesn’t become aggression
♦ Potential aggression toward other animals
♦ Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
♦ Slobbering and drooling (in individuals with massive heads and heavy jowls)
♦ Gassiness (flatulence)
♦ A multitude of serious health problems and a shortish lifespan
A Rottweiler may not be right for you.

More Traits and Characteristics of Rottweilers
If you are considering a Rottweiler, you should be most concerned about…
Potential aggression. Too many idiots are breeding Rottweilers to be dangerously sharp, thinking that these dogs will protect them. The reality is that “sharp” dogs aren’t protective – they’re simply over-aggressive, which makes them more likely to attack an innocent person, child, or another animal. If you want a good family dog, you do not want an aggressive Rottweiler. If you want a Rottweiler puppy, you need to go for breeders whose main focus is good-natured temperament and you need to carefully evaluate the temperament of BOTH parents for good nature.

Providing the proper balance of exercise. Young Rottweilers need enough exercise to keep them lean, but not so much that their growing bones, joints, and ligaments are over-stressed and damaged. Adult Rottweilers need enough exercise to keep them in shape, but not miles of running, and never in hot or humid weather – their black coat makes them prone to overheating. Since you need to minimize their exercise, young Rottweilers can be rambunctious. They will romp with uncoordinated gawkiness all over your house. You need to substitute extra quantities of companionship and supervision at this time. Otherwise, left alone, young Rottweilers become bored and destructive – and their powerful jaws can destroy your living room.

Providing enough socialization. Most Rottweilers have protective instincts toward strangers. They need extensive exposure to friendly people so they learn to recognize the normal behaviours of “good guys.” Then they can recognize the difference when someone acts abnormally. Without careful socialization, they may be suspicious of everyone. However, note that many Rottweilers have minimal protective instincts and are big cuddlebugs who LOVE everyone.

Potential animal aggression. Many Rottweilers will not tolerate another dog of the same sex. Dog-on-dog aggression is a common issue in the breed. And though many Rottweilers are just fine with the family cat, some individuals have strong instincts to chase and seize cats.

The strong temperament. Most Rottweilers are not eager-to-please Golden Retrievers. The best Rottweilers are versatile working dogs, capable of learning a great deal, but they are not pushovers to raise and train. Some individuals are obstinate and dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say. You must teach your Rottweiler to respect you. A dog who respects you will do what you say and will stop what he’s doing when you tell him “No.”

Slobbering. Rottweilers with loose jowls (typically large males ) tend to slobber or drool after eating and drinking.

Gassiness (flatulence) that can send you running for cover. Commercial diets make flatulence worse by including fibrous or hard-to-digest ingredients such as corn, soy, and other grains. Instead, feed your Rottweiler an easy-to-digest, meat-heavy, homemade diet.

Shedding. For such a shorthaired dog, Rottweilers shed more than you might think – on the high side of average.

Keeping him healthy. Unfortunately, Rottweilers have become a risky breed for long-term health. Many Rottweilers do live to 12 or 13, but many others are lost at age 6 or 7 to crippling joint diseases, bone cancer, heart disease, bloat, or epilepsy.

A Rottweiler May Be the Perfect Breed for You
You already know there’s more to Rottweilers than their stereotype a tough-as-nails guard dog. The breed has been around since the Roman Empire and has personality to spare. They can also be incredibly sweet: Loyal and loving, brave and protective, this breed may just be what you’re looking for. What’s true, however, is that a good fit goes both ways. A Rottweiler requires a particular kind of owner.

You’re calm, confident, and assertive
While a strong, self-assured dog might sound like a helpful contrast to those with timid personalities, a Rottweiler needs to know their owner is the “alpha” from day one. They’ll challenge uncertainty and can outsmart lesser humans. They have a strong desire to understand chains of command and pecking order. Fortunately you’re not the shy type, and consistently demonstrate leadership in your household. You’re the leader of the pack.

You place a high value on training and discipline
Even the cutest canine face can’t con you out of enforcing the rules. You keep your own daily regimen and are ready to adopt a new family member that needs structure from day one. You’re prepared to ignore whining, and can be all business until your Rottweiler is good and calm – and then you’ll lavish affection. Since you already love daily exercise and have a routine, you simply have to shift your time and activity to walks and games that also work out the energy of this muscular, powerful pooch.

You’re not a complete neat freak
While you’re big on discipline, your demands don’t extend to an overly-immaculate house. You’re ready for a companion who wants to be in the home with you, a pack animal that needs their human close by, a happy playmate who can deal with being kennelled or crated sometimes but needs human contact to remain sociable and happy. The upsides of your furry friend outweigh the realities of shedding, that broad body brushing magazines off the coffee table, or tipping something over. You’re understanding and are prepared to share your house with a rigorous Rottweiler.

You crave quantity time and proximity
A Rottweiler likes to be near their owner, with their head or paws in your lap. You’re not only comfortable with that closeness, but you appreciate it. As they follow you from room to room and even lean against your leg, it doesn’t get old. You’re fond of a dog that, while imposing and powerful, really loves to snuggle!

You play the long game
You’re in it for the long haul and your Rottweiler won’t be an exception. Since this dog will be fiercely faithful and bound to you, you’re willing to go the distance for them. Whether it’s a puppy or Rottweiler rescue, you’re ready for a long term relationship.

Some Questions You Should Ask Yourself
So, before you go any further, here is a list of things to consider. This is not meant to frighten you, but rather to make certain that you understand what is required of you as a Rottweiler owner:

1. Am I willing to give my dog regular discipline and basic obedience training?
We believe that any dog, and especially a large protective dog, needs regular day-to-day discipline. Every dog must grow up knowing that he has limits of behaviour, that he must respect people and property, and that he is, after all, a dog.

2. Will I see to it that both the kids and the dog treat each other properly?
Although a Rottweiler makes an excellent pet for families with children, and while they are sturdier than most other dogs, they are not punching bags and are NOT meant to be tormented or harassed any more then is any other living thing. By the same token, the playful pup should not be allowed to jump on the kids, pull their britches, or steal their toys. Too often, when puppy still looks like a fuzzy toy, these antics are cute, but they aren’t so funny when the dog hits 100 pounds.

3. Am I willing to invest the time necessary to raise my Rottweiler?
Rottweilers need human companionship and attention. If your idea of raising a dog is to tie him to a stake in the backyard and feed him once in awhile, do yourself a favour and don’t buy a dog. He will be miserable, you won’t have any fun, and the dog will turn into a problem instead of a joy.
Rottweilers need regular grooming. This should be part of their routine from the time they get home. Regular brushing will reduce the dog hair problem, help eliminate doggy odours, and reduce the chances of skin problems.

4. Am I willing to provide a good home for my Rottweiler?
While a Rottweiler is happy to live in the house with the rest of the family, there are times when you will want to keep him outside. A fenced in yard is ideal when you are not outdoors with him. A ROTTWEILER SHOULD NEVER BE ALLOWED TO RUN LOOSE! His size and demeanour may frighten someone. His big feet and inquisitive nose can be disastrous to a neighbour’s flower bed. He has no fear of cars and could easily become a casualty. And a loose dog is an open invitation to dognappers. Your Rottweiler represents a substantial investment – one which you should protect.
Although it is not a good situation; if your Rottweiler is to live outdoors, be sure that he has a clean, well-insulated, draft-free doghouse that provides a cool shady retreat. He must always have fresh drinking water and some protection from insects.

5. Will I provide proper veterinary care for my dog?
Your Rottweiler will require certain routine health care. Dogs are subject to many of the same diseases as man, plus some of their own. In addition to your regular visits to the vet for “shots” protect against various diseases, a regular check-up by the veterinarian is certainly desirable for your dog. Preventive medication against Heartworm can also be provided by your vet. Your veterinarian should also be contacted whenever you see any signs of illness or abnormal behaviour.

6. Am I sure that all of my family will share in this venture?
It is a big mistake to “buy the dog for the kids” when it requires the rnanagement of responsible adults. It is also unfortunate for a pup to go into a home where it is resented by one family member who might have preferred another breed.

UNLESS YOUR ANSWERS TO ALL OF THESE QUESTIONS ARE “YES”, I URGE YOU TO CONSIDER SOME OTHER BREED OF DOG. You may think it strange that I seem to be discouraging you. In a way, I am, but only because I want to be sure Rottweilers only go to people who will care enough to be suitable owners for a Rottweiler. A fine dog, like a child, does not raise itself. Please take the time to consider carefully if you have the time, the interest, and the resources to devote to your Rottweiler. This is a wonderful breed and deserves owners who appreciate it.

We believe that the Rottweiler should be a useful working dog and possess the correct natural inherited instincts to be not only a reliable guard dog but also a stock dog, family dog with an intelligent disposition, loyal, loving, courageous & highly trainable.

A Rottweiler should first & foremost possess a working character like they were intended to have from the very beginning… to serve their master. We believe that these qualities are being lost & diluted these days because far too many breeders in their pursuit of ‘the perfect’ show dog bred primarily for their appearance paying a lack of attention to proper Rottweiler character… The REAL traditional Rottweiler is an intelligent, courageous, loyal, stable and loving dog that makes a great family guard/companion dog for life. A Rottweiler that is raised properly, makes the perfect “man’s best friend”.

Rottweiler puppies are all cute & sweet, but they grow up into hopefully 50+ kg animals so you don’t just take home the first pup that you see. Each pup has their own personality and combination of genetics. A good breeder should be able to help you find the perfect pup for your home, family & intended purpose. The pup has been with the breeder for 8 weeks whilst he/she has been raising the litter so they will know each pup individually & of course they know the sire & dam as well which will help in the decision making process.
All breeds have their own distinct personality traits and breed-specific characteristics. The Rottweiler is the same & the better you understand them the easier for you to make the right choice. This website should either confirm that this is the right breed for you or not. A Rottweiler is not for everyone & shouldn’t be. Some people shouldn’t even own a goldfish! So make sure that you are prepared to be a responsible dog owner.

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