|Size:||Large, 54cm – 70cm|
|Coat:||Short, thick and prone to shedding, needs to be groomed once a week.|
|Exercise:||2+ hours a day for adult dogs, with plenty of opportunity to run free.|
|Life span:||8-10+ years|
|Breed group:||Working breeds were developed to perform tasks such as guarding and rescuing. They are physically and mentally tough, but require careful training to respect their owner as ‘pack leader’.|
Highly intelligent and confident, Rottweilers traits include a strong instinct to guard and protect due to originally having been bred as working dogs for farmers and butchers.
This has resulted in them been unfairly branded as an aggressive breed, however they make playful and gentle family pets and are loyal to anyone they perceive as part of their ‘pack’. Rottweilers thrive on stimulation and exercise, grasp new commands quickly and are excellent service and police dogs. Experts recommend them as good pets for more experienced owners, as previous knowledge of training and handling can be helpful to ensure they grow into well-rounded pets which can help prevent dog behaviour problems.
Vets recommend that the best food for a Rottweiler is a high-quality pet food. As the breed can be prone to bloat (where, in extreme cases, the stomach can become twisted), it’s important to feed two smaller portions a day, instead of one larger helping. Check the back of your pet’s food packaging for guidelines, keeping their age, activity levels and size in mind.
Rottweiler puppies can occasionally have tummy trouble, but initially sticking to the same feeding schedule and routine as your breeder will help to prevent any upsets. If you do change your pet’s diet, at any stage of life, aim to do so gradually. Slowly increase the amount of new food you add to their usual diet over the course of a few weeks, making sure to decrease their previous food accordingly. If you do notice any digestive issues, speak to your vet straight away.
It’s important to start introducing exercise slowly from around the time a Rottweiler puppy is four months old, so that their growing bones and joints strengthen gradually and aren’t overexerted. Allow your pet to go at their own pace, starting out with 30 minutes at a time and making sure to look for any signs of tiredness such as thirst and excessive panting.
Adult Rottweilers are highly energetic and can stay just as playful as puppies well into adulthood. To help your pet keep both physically and mentally fit, experts recommend at least two hours of exercise and interactive games daily, with plenty of secure space to run free.
As this breed’s natural instinct is to protect their families, it’s vital to channel their defensive capabilities from early on with good socialisation and positive reinforcement training. Rottweiler puppies can be taught simple commands from eight weeks old, and safely exposing them to lots of new experiences and people will ensure they grow into happy, confident and sociable dogs. Find our puppy training tips advice page to help set you and your pet off on the right path.
Their black and tan coats are thick and medium-length. You may also come across long-haired Rottweilers, although this variation is slightly less common. While their grooming needs are low maintenance, they can be prone to shedding and so should be brushed at least once a week to remove any loose hair and keep their coat shiny and healthy.
Take the opportunity to bond with your dog while grooming, and use it as a chance to check their bodies for any lumps or signs of parasites. Rottweiler ears should also be checked for infection – look out for a strange smell, or buildup of black or brown wax. Brush their teeth regularly to prevent tartar from forming, keeping their gums healthy and ensure that bad breath stays away.