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German Rottweiler: The Powerful and Protective Guardian of Your Home


The German Rottweiler is a globally recognized dog breed, ranking among the top ten most popular breeds. Also known as “Rotties,” they are large and robust dogs known for their confidence, intelligence, and loyalty to their human companions when properly raised.

The origins of the German Rottweiler have some elements of mystery. One theory suggests that they have descended from ancient Roman drover dogs. Similar to other working breeds such as the Bernese, Great Dane, Alaskan Malamute, and Mountain Dog, German Rottweilers are renowned for their capabilities as working dogs. They approach tasks with enthusiasm and energy.

 German Rottweiler

Unsurprisingly, German Rottweilers are substantial canines. Adult males typically weigh between 110 and 130 pounds, while adult females weigh around 77 to 110 pounds. The maximum height for a male Rottweiler is about 27 inches, while females can reach a maximum height of 25 inches.

With proper care, a healthy German Rottweiler can live for up to 10 years. As more and more people learn about the exceptional qualities of this breed, there is a growing interest in adding a German Rottweiler to their family.

Quick Facts About German Rottweiler

  • Scientific Name: Canis lupus familiaris
  • Class: Mammal
  • Status: Endangered
  • Diet: Omnivores
  • Habitation: Domestic
  • Distribution: Germany

German Rottweiler Appearance

German Rottweilers differ from most American Rottweilers in several notable ways, making them appear more distinct. Their breeding practices are focused on maintaining the traditional characteristics of Rottweilers, resulting in thicker bones, wider bodies, and “blockier” heads.

While their eyes are similar to their American counterparts and both breeds have a black coat colour, German Rottweilers stand out with their physical attributes. Their ears are trapezoidal with a broad base, resembling those of American Rottweilers.

In terms of physique, German Rottweilers have a noticeably larger build. They have a well-developed rib cage and a muscular upper chest, contributing to their robust appearance.

Unlike some other breeds, German Rottweilers typically have their tails intact as they do not undergo tail docking, which is the surgical removal of the tail. They possess a double coat consisting of an undercoat and a medium-length, rough topcoat that completely covers the undercoat.

Overall, the breeding practices and physical characteristics of German Rottweilers set them apart and give them a distinct presence compared to their American counterparts.

Habitat and Distribution of German Rottweiler

The German Rottweiler is a large and robust dog breed that originated in the ancient Roman city of Rottweil, located in southern Germany. Originally bred as working dogs, they were primarily used for herding cattle and protecting property. Known for their intelligence and loyalty, German Rottweilers excel as both guard dogs and companions.

Today, German Rottweilers can be found worldwide and have gained popularity in many countries as pets and working dogs. They are known for their unwavering loyalty and affection towards their families. However, they require consistent and firm training to ensure proper behaviour and obedience.

German Rottweilers are adaptable to various climates and environments, although they tend to prefer cooler temperatures. They can thrive in urban areas, rural countryside, or even mountainous regions. Regular exercise is essential for this breed, and they may do best in households with a spacious and securely fenced backyard.

In summary, German Rottweilers have a rich history as working dogs, possess remarkable intelligence and loyalty, and can adapt to different environments. They make devoted family pets but require adequate training and exercise to maintain their well-being and contentment.

Diet and Food Chain of German Rottweiler

The German Rottweiler is a large and powerful breed of dog known for its intelligence, loyalty, and versatility. While they are often used as guard dogs, they have a range of capabilities and can excel in various roles such as working dogs, companions, and service dogs.

Like all dogs, the German Rottweiler’s diet should consist of a balanced and nutritious blend of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. High-quality dog food specifically formulated for large breeds is recommended to meet their nutritional needs. It is always advisable to consult with a veterinarian to determine the most suitable diet based on the individual dog’s age, size, activity level, and any specific dietary requirements or health considerations.

German Rottweilers are domesticated dogs and do not have a natural diet of small animals, plant matter, or grains. Their primary food source is commercially prepared dog food, supplemented with occasional treats or approved human foods in moderation.

In their natural role as companion animals, German Rottweilers do not play a significant part in the food chain or act as apex predators. Instead, they form important bonds with their human families and contribute to the balance and well-being of their household and community through their loyalty, protection, and companionship.

Mating and Life Cycle of German Rottweiler

The German Rottweiler is a magnificent breed of dog, known for its sheer size and strength. With a life expectancy of 8-10 years, these dogs are loyal companions and excellent guard dogs. One thing that sets them apart from other breeds is their unique reproductive cycle. Female Rottweilers go into heat twice a year and will mate with a compatible male during their 21-day cycle. 

Once pregnant, the female will prepare a den for her litter of six to twelve puppies who are born blind and deaf. The mother will raise the puppies until they are eight weeks old before they can be weaned. Rottweilers should be handled with care and love, as they are fiercely loyal and protective of their family. If you are in the market for a dog, the Rottweiler is definitely worth considering.

Causes of Endangerment of the German Rottweiler

Addressing Overbreeding

Support responsible breeders who prioritise the health and well-being of German Rottweilers. Research and choose breeders who perform health screenings, and genetic testing, and maintain proper breeding standards.

Promote Education

Raise awareness about the specific needs and characteristics of German Rottweilers. Encourage potential owners to thoroughly research the breed, including exercise requirements, training needs, and potential health issues.

Advocate for Responsible Breeding Practices

Support initiatives that promote responsible breeding practices, including mandatory health testing for breeding dogs and discouraging inbreeding. Encourage breeders to prioritise the overall health and genetic diversity of the breed.

Promote Adoption

Encourage the adoption of German Rottweilers from reputable rescue organisations or shelters. These dogs are often in need of loving homes and adopting them reduces the demand for puppies from unethical sources.

Report Unethical Practices

If you come across unethical breeders or pet shops selling German Rottweilers without proper health testing or care, report them to the appropriate authorities or animal welfare organisations. Help prevent the perpetuation of poor breeding practices.

Support Local Animal Shelters and Rescue Organizations

Donate your time, resources, or funds to local shelters and rescue organisations that work tirelessly to rescue and care for German Rottweilers in need. Consider volunteering or fostering to provide temporary care until permanent homes can be found.

By taking these steps, you can contribute to the well-being and future of German Rottweilers, promoting responsible breeding practices, and providing loving homes for those in need.

Donate to German Rottweiler Rescue Organizations

Support organisations dedicated to rescuing and rehoming German Rottweilers. Your financial contributions or donations of resources can aid these organisations in their efforts to save more dogs and provide them with the necessary care.

Educate Yourself and Others

Take the time to educate yourself about the history, characteristics, and specific needs of the German Rottweiler breed. This knowledge will enable you to become a responsible owner and advocate for the breed. Share this information with others to help raise awareness and promote responsible ownership.

Spay/Neuter Your Dog

Taking the responsible step of spaying or neutering your German Rottweiler can significantly contribute to reducing overpopulation. This helps prevent unwanted litter and ensures that fewer dogs end up in shelters or on the streets.

Spread Awareness

Utilise social media platforms and conversations with friends and family to spread awareness about the challenges faced by German Rottweilers. Share information about responsible breeding practices, adoption opportunities, and the importance of proper care and training.

Support Legislation and Regulation

Stay informed about legislation and regulations related to animal welfare, responsible breeding, and pet ownership. Support initiatives that aim to improve the lives of German Rottweilers and protect them from unethical breeding practices or mistreatment.

By donating, educating yourself and others, spaying/neutering your dog, spreading awareness, and supporting appropriate legislation, you can contribute to the well-being and preservation of German Rottweilers.

Interesting features of the German Rottweiler

 #1 Intelligence:

Indeed, they possess remarkable intellect, often surpassing the wit of their human caregivers. Rottweilers, originating from Germany, are canines of high intelligence. They display perceptiveness, thoroughly analysing situations before taking any action. Consequently, it is a common assertion in various resources dedicated to the breed that “German Rottweilers are not suitable for everyone” or “German Rottweilers are not recommended for inexperienced dog owners.” Trainers have discovered that these dogs are exceptionally intelligent and learn new skills faster than their owners, presenting a challenge to keep up with them.

#2 Physical and Mental Activity :

On a daily basis, it is important to engage your German Rottweiler in physical and mental exercises, such as brisk walks, jogging, or playing fetch within a secure area. Being a cold-weather-oriented creature, it may be prone to overheating in warmer climates. While it can spend its days outdoors in mild to cold climates, provided it has a safe shelter from the elements, it must spend ample time indoors to foster a strong bond with its human family. Occasional brushing is sufficient to remove any dead hair from its coat.

#3 Origin of the Name “Rottweiler”

In approximately 73 or 74 AD, Roman soldiers and the herder dogs accompanying them set up camp near the Neckar River in Germany. During the Middle Ages, large and robust dogs were employed as herders and for hunting bears. This region eventually gave rise to a small town known as “Dies Rote Wil,” which was later renamed Rottweil. The Rottweiler breed originated in the city of Rottweil and was named after it.

#4 Rottweilers as Drover Dogs in Ancient Rome 

Rottweilers are believed to have descended from the drover dogs utilized in ancient Rome. These dogs served as cattle hounds for the Romans, accompanying their armies and herds during movements across Switzerland and southern Germany. In the Middle Ages, Rottweilers were commonly employed as herding and hunting dogs for bears. They possessed the ability to prevent animals from straying and remained vigilant over the flock, even during nighttime.

#5 Development of the Breed in Germany

The ancestors of the Rottweiler were brought to Germany by Roman troops as they marched through the country on their path to conquer Europe. Due to the absence of refrigeration, the soldiers opted to bring their livestock along for the mission instead of slaughtering them for meat before departure. Naturally, they required assistance in managing the behaviour of their cattle.

These ancestral Rottweilers were exceptional working dogs, characterised by their unwavering determination and formidable strength. They were utilised for various purposes throughout the expeditions, including guarding, transporting supplies, and other duties.

Around 73 AD, when the army halted its movement and set up camp in the Wurtemberg area of Germany, the landscape was adorned with red-tiled roofed villas. The town, known for its attractive red tiles, was named “Das Rote Wil,” and later its name was changed to Rottweil. The Roman dogs excelled in roles such as herding and guarding. Over time, they interbred with native dogs, giving rise to the modern Rottweiler breed.

#6 Stubbornness in German Rottweilers  

The German Rottweiler is often described as strong-willed. These dogs require proper socialization and training. While they are not excessively challenging to train, it is important to avoid excessive repetitions, as it can slow down their response time.

#7 Exceptionally Devoted Nature of German Rottweilers  

German Rottweilers are known for their unwavering loyalty and deep commitment to the individuals who care for them. Due to their natural guarding instincts, they may have a reputation for being intimidating and defensive of their home and family. However, they thoroughly enjoy attention and interactions with their human companions, and the more time they spend with their family, the happier they become.

#8 Endangered Status of German Rottweilers  

During the mid-19th century, as paved roads and railroads became more prevalent, transportation methods for animals underwent significant changes. German Rottweilers lost their roles as herding dogs when it came to transporting cattle, rendering them unnecessary. The decline in the number of German Rottweiler clubs further contributed to the breed’s decline. As a result, the breed faced near extinction. However, a dedicated group of breeders fought to preserve it. Eventually, the breed found a new purpose within the armed forces during the 20th century.

German Rottweiler Health Problems

 Hip Dysplasia  

Genetic skeletal disorders are prevalent in breeds of large size. When the hip’s ball and socket fail to securely connect with the pelvis, it can result in severe pain and reduced mobility. A dog’s hip condition can be assessed and graded as excellent, fair, good, borderline, mild, moderate, or severe dysplasia, which determines the diagnosis and appropriate course of action.

Elbow Dysplasia  

Elbow dysplasia refers to a deformity in the elbow joint that can lead to dysplasia. The Orthopaedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) grants certification to dogs based on their results from the elbow dysplasia test, regardless of whether they pass or fail.

Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD)  

Osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) is a condition in which the bone cartilage in developing dogs becomes damaged, resulting in symptoms similar to arthritis. Various factors such as diet, genetics, development, and hormonal imbalances can contribute to its emergence.

Von Willebrand Disease  

Von Willebrand disease is an inherited disorder that shares similarities with haemophilia in humans. Symptoms include prolonged and heavy bleeding following minor injuries, and the condition is not specific to either gender.

Subaortic Stenosis  

Subaortic stenosis is a hereditary condition that can lead to heart complications. It is caused by the presence of excess tissue in the heart, which restricts blood flow and requires increased pressure for effective pumping. This condition is referred to as hypertension.

German Rottweiler Training  

Initiating obedience training is the crucial first step in transforming a German Rottweiler into a well-behaved family pet. Start with teaching simple and basic commands, ensuring consistency among all family members in using the same instructions.

Keep in mind that German Rottweilers possess perceptive abilities, allowing them to pick up on changes in your tone of voice and understand your intentions promptly. Harsh disciplinary measures are unnecessary. Instead, focus on reward-based training methods and adjust your voice tone accordingly to encourage or discourage desired behaviours.

Professional dog trainers concur that training the owner is the most effective approach to mould even the most stubborn Rottweiler into a well-behaved companion. It is also advisable not to wait until your puppy reaches maturity before commencing obedience and agility training; they can start as early as seven weeks old.


Are German Rottweilers Bigger than other Rottweilers?

While there is no definitive answer to whether German Rottweilers are bigger than other Rottweilers, studies suggest that German-bred Rottweilers tend to be larger in size and have a more blocky head shape compared to their American counterparts. 

How do they do around children?

The good news is that many pets are wonderful companions for children, and can even be beneficial for their emotional development. However, it’s important to do your research and choose a pet that is not only compatible with children but also matches the lifestyle and energy level of your family. When introducing a new pet to children, it’s also crucial to teach them about proper pet care and respect for the animal’s boundaries.

How much food do they consume?

It’s crucial to maintain a healthy and balanced diet in order to perform our daily tasks and maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, the amount of food we consume varies from person to person, depending on our individual needs and lifestyles. Some individuals may require more calories and nutrients due to their active lifestyles, while others may require less due to various factors such as age, gender, and medical conditions. 

Should I get a German Rottweiler?

These powerful dogs are known for their versatility and make excellent working dogs, family pets, and show dogs. While some people might be hesitant to get a Rottweiler due to their reputation as aggressive, this breed can be incredibly affectionate and loving when raised and socialised properly. As with any dog, it’s important to do your research and consider if this breed fits your lifestyle and needs. 

Final Words

The German Rottweiler is a formidable breed, known for its exceptional strength, loyalty, and protective instincts. This breed has gained a reputation for its ability to naturally and instinctively protect its family and property. These traits have made the German Rottweiler a popular choice for various tasks, including serving as a police dog, assistance dog, herder, and competitor. 

This breed’s versatility is further highlighted by its ability to adapt to different situations and environments with ease. It is known to be highly trainable and willing to please its owners, always going above and beyond without being asked. 


Author Profile
Jeevan Kodiyan
Zoologist | Wildlife Conservation at Animals Research

An animal enthusiast with an interest in zoology, studying the behavior and activities of animals in the wild habitat. I work on research projects related to species conservation and endangered species protection. I also leverage zoology to become an educator, educating others about the importance of protecting our natural environment and the beauty of animals in their natural habitats.

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An animal enthusiast with an interest in zoology, studying the behavior and activities of animals in the wild habitat. I work on research projects related to species conservation and endangered species protection. I also leverage zoology to become an educator, educating others about the importance of protecting our natural environment and the beauty of animals in their natural habitats.


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