Rottweilers originate from Germany and are descendants of Mastiff-type dogs, sharing many of the traits and genetics of that canine lineage. Most likely the Italian Mastiff was spread by the Roman legion as the army invaded Europe around AD 70. Rottweilers are one of the oldest herding and guard dogs and are thought to be descendants of ancient Roman drover dogs. They performed as excellent herders due to their eagerness to control and intimidate cattle. They were once referred to as “Rottweiler butchers’ dogs” because they often pulled carts with butchered meat to market in “Rottweiler”, which was a popular and important trade center. The Rottweiler population dramatically decreased when the railroads were built and the need for them diminished. By WWI and WWI, the need for the Rottweiler increased due to their use as messengers, watchdogs, and guard dogs.
Rottweilers are loyal companions and take their role as guardian of their families very seriously. They are very willing and able to do what it takes to protect their family, even endure pain. They are considered confident, courageous, and brave.
Rottweilers are intelligent dogs with impressive guarding instincts. This breed requires regular exercise and work. Rottweilers enjoy regular exercise and love to engage in activities such as swimming, running, or playing games such as fetch. A Rottweiler that is not properly exercised can become bored and destructive which leads to behavioral issues.
Rottweilers require intense and rigorous training from a very early age. These canines need a physically strong, consistent leader or handler. Their size and power should always be taken into consideration in all situations and circumstances. Due to the delicate nature of interactions with other animals, it is not recommended that Rottweilers participate in dog play groups or dog parks. They need a secure fenced yard. Invisible fencing is not appropriate or dependable to protect the dog as well as children and other animals that may wander onto the premises. Proper fencing is not only to protect the dog, but for the public due to the Rottweiler’s intense guarding instinct. They can also be trained to accept visitors eagerly; however, if they sense anything out of the ordinary, interactions can quickly escalate to aggression. A slow and gentle introduction to strangers is a highly recommended as a safety precaution. Despite all the positive qualities Rottweilers possess, they can be difficult to own and may not work well as family pets, especially if there are small children in the household.
Many property management companies, landlords, and insurance companies have policies against Rottweiler ownership. Some communities have restrictions or bans against the breed. Proper research needs to be done prior to ownership to ensure the dog will be allowed.
Rottweilers are prone to entropion, ectropion, hip dysplasia, cancer, and ACL issues. They can overheat easily and hot temperatures can be deadly. They are average shedders and require little grooming. They are large dogs, weighing 75-130 pounds and have a life expectancy of 10-12 years.