Dog Breed profiles

Rottweiler Breed Profile

Rottweiler fact file

KC Group: Working
Size: Large
Height: 58 - 69cm 
Weight: 31.5 - 54.5kg
Average lifespan: 10 years 
Temperament: Good-natured, determined, and intelligent 
Good with children?: Seek breeder advice
Exercise requirement: Lots
Good guard dogs?: Yes
Moulting level: Low
Grooming: Little
Colours: Black with tan markings on muzzle, chest, and legs
Jogging partner: Yes

Health

The Rottweiler is prone to a number of diseases including:

  • Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD).
  • Hip dysplasia.
  • Entropion.
  • Retinal dysplasia.
  • Aortic stenosis.

Osteochondritis dissecans occurs when cartilage surrounding and cushioning the bones within the joints becomes damaged or grows abnormally. This results in cracking or small pieces of cartilage breaking off, causing irritation, inflammation, and pain.

Hip dysplasia occurs when the hip joint is, or has become, unstable; the condition varies in degree of severity.

Entropion is a condition in which the edges of the eyelids roll inwards against the eyeball, making it appear red and sore. It most commonly affects the lower eyelids.

Retinal dysplasia is a congenital disorder in which the retina does not develop properly.

Aortic stenosis is a hereditary heart defect, caused by a partial obstruction in the flow of blood as it leaves the left ventricle through the aorta, making the heart work harder.

Health tests

The Rottweiler is listed under the Kennel Club/British Veterinary Association hip dysplasia scheme. The average hip score for the breed is 12 (each hip is scored individually and the two figures are added together to give the dog’s final hip score). 

Breeders are strongly advised to use only breeding stock with hip scores well below this figure. They should be able to provide documentation proving this has been done. It is also strongly recommended, but not compulsory, for parent dogs to be tested under the KC/BVA/ International Sheep Dog Society eye scheme, and the KC/BVA elbow dysplasia scheme.

Temperament

  • Loyal and trustworthy.
  • Affectionate — Rotties love a fuss.
  • Courageous and fearless — they will not back down if challenged.
  • Strong guarding instinct.

Lifestyle

  • Rottweilers are brainy and need to be kept occupied.
  • They will not cope being home alone all day — they need space, time, and company.
  • They need lots of exercise, both physical and mental.
  • Rotties will appreciate an area they can call their own. Make sure they have a crate or somewhere to take themselves should they wish.
  • If socialised early, they will get on well with children and other animals. As with all dogs, child/ Rottie interactions should be closely supervised.

Trainability

  • Potential owners must remember that Rotties are first and foremost working dogs.
  • They possess a highly developed brain and are capable of fulfilling a range of tasks.
  • Training must be regular and consistent from an early age. Ground rules must be established and enforced from day one — Rottie pups need to know their place in the family pecking order.
  • Solid obedience training is very important.

General care

  • The Rottie’s coat is short and so only requires a quick once-over every week to keep it looking healthy and glossy.
  • This is a fast-growing breed. In the first six months, exercise must be limited otherwise irreparable harm can be done to growing bones. From seven months old, exercise can be slowly increased. Once fully grown, Rotties can enjoy daily sessions of free running, which enables them to let off steam and build muscle tone.
  • Rottweilers are complex characters and need experienced owners if they are to prosper.

Pros

  • Loyal.
  • Minimal grooming.

Cons

  • Above-average exercise needs.
  • Only for experienced owners.
  • Some health issues.

Did you know?

  • The breed was originally used to guard livestock, and the evolving Rottweiler became a draught dog used by butchers, and a drover’s dog.
  • The Rottie first appeared in Britain in 1936.
  • In 1910, the Rottweiler was officially named as the fourth accepted police dog in Germany.

 

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