Rottweilers are serious and energetic, brutal, whose main purpose is to serve people. It is from Rottweilers that the best rescuers and guides are made, ready at any time to risk their own lives in the name of saving mankind. On the street, these muscular beauties represent threat and vigilance. They are energetic, observant, and always in control. However, as soon as the dog returns home, an affectionate lazy puppy wakes up in it, occupying a soft sofa and ready to eat treats in kilograms.
- Breed name: Rottweiler
- Country of origin: Germany
- Time of origin of the breed: mid-18th century
- Weight: males ~ 50 kg, females ~ 45 kg
- Height (height at the withers): males 61-70 cm, females 56-65 cm
- Life span: 11-12 Years
- Rottweilers reach full physical and psychological maturity by two years.
- They require long walks in combination with active games and physical activity.
- They need a serious and strong mentor. They will create a lot of problems for inexperienced owners who do not have the skills to work with service dogs.
- Rottweilers do not tolerate high temperatures, but in the cold, they feel quite comfortable, thanks to the dense undercoat.
- They recognize the dominant role of the owner, but they absolutely do not accept violence against their own person.
- They are smart, capable of making decisions with lightning speed if there is a threat to human life and health.
- They have a good appetite, thanks to which they are able to quickly “eat up” extra pounds and lose their shape.
- They get along well with the pets they grew up with.
- Small dogs and puppies are treated indifferently and contemptuously. In large individuals, they feel rivals, often provoking them to fight.
- Animals that have not passed the obligatory course of training are usually uncontrollable and pose a danger not only to others but also to their own owner.
History of the Rottweiler Breed
The Rottweiler breed of dogs is traditionally considered German, and this is so, however, it appeared on the territory of Germany centuries earlier, when on the site of modern German cities, there were only settlements of semi-wild Germanic tribes. The Roman Empire, expanding its borders, seized new territories, and the lands beyond the Rhine were of great value, as were the people who inhabited them.
The Romans had fighting dogs, and they, of course, in the process of advancing troops, mated with local dogs. The same thing happened in Germany, moreover, the Romans not only passed in this region but also left deep traces in the form of culture, settlements, cities, roads. When in the Middle Ages, during the already new Holy Roman Empire, the inhabitants of one of the Germanic settlements decided to build a church and began to make the foundation, they discovered the remains of an ancient Roman villa, with a red tile roof.
In German, the red tile will be “das Rote Wil” – this became the name of the new city, as well as the dog breed that has become widespread in the region. The Rottweiler was widely used by butchers, who, going to the capital to sell cattle and carcasses, always took these dogs with them as protectors.
Some even harnessed them to small carts, and on the way back, in order to save the money they earned, they were tied around the neck of the animal, knowing its strength, fearlessness, and devotion to the owner. It is surprising that with the emergence of the railway, Rottweilers almost disappeared, and by the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, there were very few of them. The reason is so simple that it’s hard to believe in it – butchers and other traders began to travel on trains, and over the years, dogs increasingly lost their relevance.
In Heilbronn, Germany, only 1 Rottweiler was present at the 1881 exhibition. The situation changed for the better only in 1901 – enthusiasts created the first Rottweiler and Leonberger club, at the same time the first breed standard was written for the Rottweiler breed. By the way, modern standards have hardly changed since then.
The Rottweiler saw the United States in the late 1920s, together with emigrants from Germany – after the First World War, the country was going through an economic disaster, and people left en masse. The first Rottweiler dog in America was registered in 1931, and her name was Stina von Felsenmeer. Already in 1990, the number of owners of dogs of this breed, registered in the American Kennel Club, was 100,000 people.
Rottweilers are the athletes of the canine world. These friendly and “pumped up” pets sink into the soul precisely with their harsh power. They literally breathe calmness and reliability. The standard weight for an adult male is 50 kg, for a female dog up to 45 kg.
Leather, Coat, and Color
Rottweiler’s skin is smooth. On the head, it gathers in shallow longitudinal wrinkles if the dog is curious. According to the standard, skin folds on the skull of an animal in a resting state are unacceptable. The coat is homogeneous: short, dense undercoat + coarse top coat, close to the body. The hair on the hind legs is longer.
The Rottweiler is black with brownish-reddish, well-defined tan markings. Locations of tan: throat, chest, legs, cheekbones, under the eyes.
The Rottweiler is a natural-born fighter, ready to defend its master 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. At the same time, in an informal setting, these muscular bodyguards turn into adorable bears who love to take a nap or play pranks in the company of people they like. They get along well with children, patiently endure their pranks and whims, with pleasure they carry out small assignments of the rest of the family. However, the kindness of representatives of this breed does not extend beyond the limits of their own apartment. Any stranger, be it a small child or an adult, is viewed by the Rottweiler as a potential threat, and the animal never changes this rule.
The Rottweiler is a dog of one owner. It is difficult for animals to endure a change of owner: they fall into depression, rush into the run, and reveal uncontrolled aggression. If, in the presence of a pet, you pet or treat another animal, be prepared to observe the dog’s discontent and jealousy in all its glory. Rottweilers do not like to share the attention of the owner with other four-legged brothers.
Paradoxically, representatives of this breed are very sensitive to noise, vanity, and everyday conflicts. If the owners often sort things out among themselves in a raised tone, this will certainly affect the mental health of the pet. Rottweilers raised in such a nervous environment tend to have behavioral abnormalities and show aggression even towards their own owners.
The Rottweiler attacks the offender quickly and without warning. Seized with rage, representatives of this breed do not feel pain, therefore it is almost impossible to drag a dog that attacked a person or other animal. At the same time, Rottweilers do not differ with special rancor: after a fight, the dog cools down rather quickly, without making repeated attempts to attack.
Keeping an untrained Rottweiler at home is a serious extreme and will be too costly for the dog owner in the future. When buying a puppy of this breed, start looking in advance for an experienced trainer for him. Paid training courses are also relevant in cases when it comes to the upbringing and socialization of an adult dog who previously lived with another owner.
In order to save the budget, you can take on the role of a coach. Start training your puppy from the day it arrives at your home. Start with the simplest commands, gradually complicating the task, but remember that young Rottweilers cannot focus on one thing for a long time. Accordingly, the duration of one lesson should not exceed 10-15 minutes.
Half-year-old puppies are often stubborn and self-willed, so the “carrot” method no longer works with them. In addition, during this period of life, the animal wakes up a passion for domination: young Rottweilers begin to growl at the owner, and sometimes bite him. Use punishment to put an oversized teenager in his place and establish his own authority. These include: depriving the dog of a treat, raising it from the ground, accompanied by shaking, and squeezing the muzzle.
It is necessary to socialize the puppy from the first weeks of life. Arrange meetings with other dogs for the animal, go to visit friends, walk the animal in noisy and crowded places. The puppy must understand that the world is not limited by the walls of the house and is full of other living creatures. During walks, behave calmly so as not to irritate the animal once again and not provoke it to attack passers-by and other dogs.
Conditions of Detention
Keeping a service breed dog is always a big responsibility, as such animals require a firm hand and constant control. A Rottweiler, of course, can take root in an apartment, but the best habitat for bodyguard dogs will be a country house with a booth and an aviary equipped in the yard. In the warm season, the animal can be left in the aviary around the clock, but with the onset of frost, it must be moved to a heated room or taken to the house.
Rottweilers are supposed to walk twice a day, at least 10-20 minutes, and preferably an hour and a half. Walking must be combined with intense physical activity and active games to keep the pet in shape. By the way, not all representatives of this breed love physical activity: many individuals prefer lying on the couch for many hours to jogging. In such cases, the dog will have to be artificially stimulated with praise or a promise of treats.
Caring for a Rottweiler will not take much time. They comb the dog a couple of times a week, bathe it 2-3 times a year, the rest of the time they are limited only to washing the pet’s paws after a walk. The claws of animals are sheared as needed, which may never occur, since, in an active Rottweiler, the claw plate is ground off naturally. Allocate time once a week to check and clean your ears. The ear funnel is cleaned with a piece of cloth dry or moistened with alcohol-free lotion. Dogs’ teeth are cleaned with a gauze pad and baking soda 4 times a month.
Adult dogs are fed twice a day, three meals a day are recommended for puppies under the age of six months. The daily food intake should be no more than 5% of the total body weight of the animal. The amount of commercial feed is calculated according to the formula: 20-40 g of “drying” per kilogram of dog weight.
Since most dogs tend to overeat, the calorie intake of your dog must be carefully monitored. In particular, for animals that overeat excessively or begin to gain weight, it is useful to cut back on “lunch”. The same should be done with older dogs, whose metabolism is no longer so intense. In particular, “retirees” are reduced the amount of carbohydrate-containing foods, but at the same time, the frequency of feeding is increased (up to 3 times). Once a week, Rottweilers are given a fasting day on fermented milk products and water.
List of foods that should be present in the diet of an adult Rottweiler:
- lean meat (lamb, rabbit, lamb, beef) or offal;
- raw or boiled sea fish fillets;
- raw or boiled egg (twice a week);
- fermented milk products;
- cereals (rice, oatmeal, buckwheat);
- vegetable oil;
You should not give your pet:
- sweets and chocolate;
- tubular and fish bones;
- river fish;
The food bowl is placed on vertical support at the level of the dog’s chest, which helps to form the correct posture of the puppy. The dishes from which the Rottweiler eats must be enameled, metal or ceramic, but in no case plastic.
Nutritional discipline for Rottweilers is a dire necessity. The pet’s bowl should be filled with food twice a day and cleaned 15 minutes after the start of the meal. Do not be tempted to give your dog a snack and do not keep leftover food from breakfast or dinner in a bowl, expecting that a hungry animal will eat it in a couple of hours. There should always be clean water in a Rottweiler bowl.
Like most large breed dogs, Rottweilers live 8 to 10 years. There are also exceptions to the general rule: with proper care and tireless care, individual individuals are able to live another 3-5 years in excess of the established norm. Due to their massive build, Rottweilers give the impression of being big, visiting the veterinarian’s office only in case of routine vaccinations. In fact, these dogs have plenty of ailments.
The most common diseases of Rottweilers:
- dysplasia of the hip and elbow joints;
- Addison’s disease (an autoimmune disease associated with dysfunction of the adrenal glands);
aortic valve stenosis;
- retinal atrophy;
- von Willebrand disease (low blood clotting);
- gastrectasia (volvulus).
Some dogs may have kidney problems and nervous system problems. Slightly less common is a congenital disease such as hypotrichosis (baldness).
How to Choose a Puppy
For inexperienced owners who first decided to buy a Rottweiler, it is more advisable to opt for female dogs, which have a softer character and learn commands faster. They make highly qualified watchmen. The only disadvantage of “girls” is that they do not tolerate other female dogs around them.
Male Rottweilers look more high-status, but they need a serious male mentor. Most “boys” are prone to vagrancy, so you should only bring a male into the house if you are ready to carefully adjust his behavior. It is better to take the puppy to the house at the age of 2-3 months since during this period the animals still do not show stubbornness and are easily trained. Be sure to get to know the baby’s mom, remembering to ask the breeder for her age. Ideally, a female dog should be between 2 and 8 years old.
To rule out the possibility of hereditary joint dysplasia, ask the breeder for X-rays of the puppy’s parents’ limbs. Check the living conditions of the future pet: it should be clean and dry in the puppy enclosures. In addition, toys or items that replace them should be present in the cages of babies.
It is wiser to give preference to puppies with a dark tan color because, after the first molt, the coat of Rottweilers often lightens. In addition, individuals of darker color are stronger and more resilient. Examine your baby’s abdomen carefully for signs of an umbilical hernia. Pay attention to dewclaws: in purebred puppies, they should be cropped.
Even if you see a future bodyguard in the animal, discard overly aggressive individuals. A correct Rottweiler is a balanced Rottweiler. In self-respecting kennels and training schools, too evil representatives of the breed are rejected as unsuitable for training and further breeding. At the same time, dog stubbornness is considered an indicator of a strong character. Such individuals make excellent watchmen.
You can test the courage of the puppies with sound effects. For example, clapping your hands or ringing a bell. An adequate Rottweiler will certainly listen to new sounds and show curiosity, and too cowardly kids will scatter.