The Rottweiler is one of the most popular breeds in the world. Their appearance is unique, as well as their expressive look and their great guarding skills. Despite an undeserved reputation for violence, they are affectionate and calm in the home.
In addition, because of their sensitivity and obedience, they can be trained as police or assistance dogs. Let’s see in detail what are the characteristics of this beautiful breed and what care it needs. Shall we start?
Characteristics of the Rottweiler
These dogs have an imposing body, very robust and athletic. They are neither too heavy nor too light, showing great vigor and an uncommon power. The neck is muscular, somewhat arched and without dewlap. The back is strong and deep, while the chest is broad and well developed.
The legs end in round feet, with tight toes. The tail, thick and rather elongated, may exceed the level of the hock. There are two lines with different builds. The American variety is taller and more stylized; they are also heavier specimens. The European line has less height and a more compact body.
On the other hand, they have a wide and short skull. In the alert position, wrinkles usually appear on the forehead. The muzzle is straight and rather short. The nose is broad and not very rounded, while the jaws are powerful. The eyes are almond-shaped and dark brown in color. The ears are triangular and droop on both sides of the head.
The coat of the Rottweiler is double-coated, fine on the undercoat and very thick and tight on the top coat. On the hind legs the coat is more profuse. The typical color of the breed is black with tan markings on the cheeks, muzzle, chest, legs and tail. Another standardized feature of the breed is a brown spot between the eyebrows.
- Height between 61 and 68 cm in males and between 56 and 63 cm in females.
- Weight of 50 kg approx. in males and 42 kg approx. in females.
- Medium length and harsh coat
- Loyal, affectionate and protective character
- Good health but with predisposition to suffer from certain pathologies
- Estimated life expectancy between 9 and 10 years.
What is a Rottweiler’s temperament like?
When well-behaved, Rottweilers are reliable companions and very attached to their family. It is common for them to follow their favorite person around the house. A female is the best choice for households with children, as they integrate more easily and tend to be more affectionate.
In any case, they will get along better with older children. However, you should always supervise their games and interactions. In this breed it is essential to control their innate tendency to push, a behavior that derives from the way they handled cattle in their origins.
Their protective temperament makes them wary of strangers. If well socialized, they are stable in new situations or with new people. They are also great watchdogs that will defend their family at all costs.
You need to limit their territorial instincts from day one. Rottweilers require strong leadership, consistency in education and a firm but non-violent manner. Never mistreat a Rottweiler, as you will lose his respect. Moreover, he may try to become the leader of the pack, which will increase his aggressiveness.
Do not leave them isolated in a yard for long periods of time either, as these dogs need to be in contact with their family. If they are alone, they can become shy or sullen, something you should avoid. If they get bored, they may show destructive behaviors.
When you live with an adult Rottweiler, there will be no problem to adopt a second dog as long as both are properly socialized. It is recommended, however, that they are not of the same sex.
The care that every Rottweiler needs
Bred as working dogs, Rottweilers need a lot of daily activity. Establishing a routine of exercise and play will help to keep them healthy and balanced. Despite their energy, a daily 20-minute walk will be enough for their well-being and the dog will be calmer at home.
They are used to being with people, so sharing games or practicing a sport is a good way to strengthen this relationship. The most recommended sports for these big dogs are Agility, Obedience, Tracking and swimming.
When going outdoors you should always keep them well leashed and muzzled, because in Spain they are considered a potentially dangerous breed (PPP). Supervise also the interactions with strange dogs; they should be done with a lot of tact, especially if they are males.
Brushing should be weekly. Do it firmly to distribute well the natural grease of his coat. In moulting season (twice a year) it will be necessary to intensify this maintenance to avoid the accumulation of hair in the home. Baths are only indicated when they are really dirty.
History of the Rottweiler breed
The ancestors of the first Rottweilers traveled with the Roman legions and took care of the cattle that fed the troops. In this way, the variety spread throughout Europe. In Rottweil, in southern Germany, it was mixed with native dogs to give rise to the Rottweiler.
In the Middle Ages, these dogs were the right hand of the butchers. Because of their vigor, they were perfect for keeping livestock at bay or pulling carts. They were also good watchdogs. At a time when travel was fraught with danger, they were a good deterrent to raiders. In the early 20th century they became a favorite of security forces.
Curiosities of the Rottweiler dog
The Rottweiler’s appearance has always inspired respect and confidence. In the Middle Ages, merchants who traveled with a Rottweiler tied the bag with the money collected during the flea markets on the neck of these dogs, as it was considered the safest place.
Their courage and audacity did not go unnoticed in World War I and World War II either. In addition to guarding camps and pulling wounded wagons, they were used to infiltrate enemy territory.