Is a Rottweiler for You?
My fiancé and I JUST welcomed our second Rottweiler to our homestead, and I couldn’t be more in love (with my finance or my Rottweiler for that matter). Rottweilers are strong, majestic dogs filled with resilience, curiosity, and a need to sleep on your feet. After having the Rottweiler breed in my home for over ten years now, I could never see my home without one. If you’re considering a Rottweiler for your home, give this a read!
The training is continuous:
A Rottweiler like most breeds, will fare well with training starting as early as possible. This breed is highly intelligent and will pick up quickly on any implemented training. Rottweilers have the capability to be service dogs, police & military dogs, and even emotional support dogs with the proper training of course. The training does not stop after a two-week puppy boot camp, or one lesson from a trainer. I consider the training to be more of a lifestyle of how you interact with your dog. If you spend four weeks training during puppyhood until your rottie knows how to sit, stay, speak, and walk nicely on a leash and then never follow up on what they’ve learned it will most likely go out the window. What I mean by that is training is a muscle you need to exercise, if you drop the ball your dog won’t necessarily forget his commands/behavior training but he’ll choose to ignore you when you try to implement it.
Tip: The entire family should be using the same commands and adhering to the same set of boundaries. If you are trying to get your Rottweiler to stop begging at the table, and your brother is feeding your rottie from the table at every breakfast, guess who will be begging at dinner?
They’re lovers not fighters:
Have you ever heard the person in the rom-com, or your friend who always has a new BF to match the season, say, “I just love, love”. Well, Rottweilers love, love. They are not the dog that’s going to be chained up outside while you're at work, or the dog that can be closed in a room while you have company over. They are the dog who is laying at your feet while you eat dinner, leaning up against you while you slice cucumbers in the kitchen, and the dog that will give you and all your friends kisses. Rottweilers are a family dog; they want to be part of a pack and they want attention. If you’re looking for an independent low maintenance dog energetic-wise, the Rottweiler is not for you. Not only is it in just about every book you can find on Rottweilers but in my experience as well, Rottweilers always want to be touching you in some way, shape or form. It could be a paw on your arm, sitting on your feet, laying on top of you, or doing the classic Rottweiler lean. Get ready for an affectionate furbaby!
Rottweilers are moderate droolers in general. Now that’s not to say there aren’t Rottweilers out there who barely drool, or some that are excessive droolers. When food is in the mix, they smell something delish cooking on the grill, or if you are holding their favorite bone or toy…expect drool. When you play fetch, maybe consider a special glove for throwing a drooly ball back and forth.
Note: Standard size tennis balls pose a huge choking hazard for Rottweilers, avoid these and similar sized balls. Rottweilers need a larger size ball to safely play with.
Everyone in my household knew after Romeo (my first Rottweiler) finished eating to steer clear of him or grab his bib. This dog would seek out a poor soul who was unsuspecting and wipe his drooly, food filled face on their pants—every time. Eventually we caught on and started keeping a special bib to wipe his face after each meal, but my point is… there is drool.
Toys are temporary:
Puppy, teen, adult– any life stage of a Rottweiler is tougher than any toy you’ll find. The roughest, toughest bones and toys are just no match for the Rottweiler. Not only does this mean you’ll have to get creative in terms of toys, but it means you have to pay attention to your Rottweiler as they enjoy them. A tough toy can turn to confetti in the time it takes you to check the mailbox, and that doesn’t mean they’ll stop playing. Once a toy is in shreds the next step for many dogs is to start eating their beautiful masterpiece of what once was a toy. Be sure to moderate your Rottweiler to ensure safe play!
As our Rottweiler grew into an adult he began to take better care of his toys. Instead of shredding them immediately he’d carry them around for a bit and began sleeping with them.
They are active:
Rottweilers don’t require you to take them to the track and run for hours and hours, but they do need daily exercise and play sessions. We’d go outside after work and kick the soccer ball back and forth, play fetch, play tug-o-war, go for walks, while reserving the weekend for hikes or bigger trips! This is crucial to keep them happy, and in tip top body condition.
They can get fat:
Rottweilers are meant to be lean, muscular dogs. For some reason people think “I want my rottie to be 150lbs”. No. Just no. An overweight dog is an unhealthy dog, that long term will live a shorter life. I’m putting this bluntly because it’s 100% true, and I want your Rottweiler to live a long, beautiful, healthy life. There are soo many reasons to not feed table scraps but this is a big one! Rottweilers can be prone to hip problems and arthritis so keeping them at a lean weight will aid in minimizing the progression of these conditions.
My first Rottweiler had hip dysplasia, and him being ten pounds overweight is how we discovered it. We just couldn't put our finger on why he'd be limping on and off until a few x-rays revealed hip dysplasia. When the vet recommended cutting back his food and helping him ditch the extra weight, the limp as GONE! Keeping him lean played a huge factor in keeping added pressure off his already sensitive structure.
With a healthy diet, the right food, and adequate exercise you won’t have any problems.
Rottweilers are working dogs:
The Rottweiler is a working dog, and even though times have come where we don’t necessarily need a Rottweiler to pull a wagon for us, we have to remember it’s in their DNA! Giving your Rottweiler a job to do in your home can be a fantastic way to engage them with a mental challenge.
Our new Rottweiler is still just a baby, but once he is fully grown, we have plans to train him in wagon pulling to help retrieve vegetables from the garden and bring them to the house!
They are stubborn. You can absolutely see the look in their eyes when you tell them to come inside and they 1000% understand you..and continue to just sit there. Patience is key with this breed; they will always respect a calm and confident demeanor.
Are they super vocal?
Rottweilers can be vocal dogs when they want to be. A rottie will typically let out a strong, deep–and I mean DEEP– bark when they think they see someone trying to break into your home (a.k.a. The UPS delivery), but in my experience it’s pretty seldom. I have heard stories of Rottweilers embracing their voice more and more out of boredom, so keep your pup happy and active!
A little more about the breed:
Rottweilers are big, truly gorgeous dogs. Their size is impressive, and people will either gravitate towards you to come check out your awesome dog–or they will get off of the hiking path until you walk by. They are unmistakable with a velvety black and rich mahogany coat that sometimes seems to be glistening (fur should be glossy and never dull and flat, a dull coat can indicate a health problem).
These dogs are bold & brave, and will be the first one up leading a perimeter search when something goes bump in the night (even if it’s just the ice maker).
They are worth every second of your time, training, patience and love. Everything you give to these dogs they give right back. Although their size can be a challenge during training, they are overall fabulous with families and children provided they are receiving proper training. They are loyal, intelligent and always looking to please you.
Rottweilers will make you laugh once a day, guaranteed. These big lap dogs can lead healthy lives averaging at 8 years, but can live anywhere up to 12 in some cases. The Rottweiler will adopt all of your friends & family as part of their lifelong pack, making them a worthwhile dog.
This breed will always be found on my homestead.