Rottweiler Breed - Dog & Puppy Information & Characteristics

Rottweilers are categorised as large dog breeds and they are German in origin. Their aggressive looks scare people but they are real softies on the inside. The Rottweiler dog breed was used to herd livestock and even pull small carts. Rottweilers sport a rugged appearance and this often scares a lot of people but they are gentle creatures. A Rottweiler dog has a double coat and a short tail. They have a medium-length snout and their short ears do not reach down till their jaws. If you notice closely, their eyes are brown and snout black. Their strong hind legs are testimony of their strength and hard-working ancestors. 

Rottweiler dogs sport a gentle temperament which contradicts their tough appearance. Despite their looks, they make for great companions and are very loyal to the family members they love with. Rottweilers are obedient and are not overly energetic. They also sport a sharp intelligence and exhibit seasonal shedding of their fur. These dogs fall in the working breed group, meaning they do not shy away from doing hard work. Rottweiler dogs also mix well with children and other pets if you train them well from an early age. They also only bark when necessary and do not go about howling unnecessarily. 

The Rottweiler is considered to be one of the oldest breeds of dog with its origin to Roman times. These dogs were kept as herders or driving dogs. They marched over the Alps with the Roman legions, protecting the people and driving their cattle. Then at the beginning of the 20th Century, various breeds were needed for police service, the Rottweiler was among those tested. It soon became evident that the breed was highly suitable for the task and therefore they were officially recognised as police dogs in 1910.

Key Specifications of Rottweiler Dogs

  • Weight

    - A healthy Rottweiler weighs about 36-61 kg.

  • Height

    - An adult Rottweiler could stand anywhere between 22-27 inches.

  • Lifespan

    - A Rottweiler’s average lifespan is 9-10 years.

  • Coat

    - They have a double coat of medium length.

Behavioural traits of Rottweiler Dog Breed

  • Rottweiler dogs are easy to train and are extremely obedient canines.
  • They are very loyal and attached to the family they have been adopted in.
  • They are quiet in nature which sometimes looks like they are aloof.
  • The Rottweiler dog breed does not like to remain alone for long hours and you will have to impart proper training for the same.
  • These dogs are highly protective of their loved ones and will not go easy on strangers.

Physical appearance

Rottweilers are sturdy and muscular in appearance. When Rottweiler puppies are born, they have curled tails that are long. But as they grow up, their tails grow short. They have short ears that do not droop below their jaws. They also have wide jaws that add more to the rugged and intimidating look. A unique facial feature sets them apart from other dog breeds: these dogs have two brown spots inwardly on their forehead which are distinctly noticeable, too. A Rottweiler’s coat mainly comes in 3 colours -

  • Black and Mahogany
  • Black and Rust
  • Black and Tan

A Rottweiler’s coat displays rust-coloured markings on its chest, face and legs. Other than these, you will find no other markings on its coat or body. Its medium coat is coarse in texture and its undercoat is visible on its neck and thighs. Their gait is characterized as trotting and they walk confidently. Rottweiler dogs do not prefer to stay alone at home and you will have to train them properly in this situation. It is also advisable to buy a good quality harness or leash and also train your Rottweiler in loose-leash walking. If you want to adopt a purebred Rottweiler or want to know how to identify one, here are some of its classic characteristics -

  • A purebred Rottweiler’s appearance is always muscular and robust, never lean or lanky.
  • Their coats only come in the 3 aforementioned colours.
  • Their tails are not very long or thick or furry.


A Rottweiler’s temperament is gentle and playful. They do not make a lot of noise by barking excessively. It is advisable for experienced dog owners to adopt a Rottweiler, for it would be comparatively easier for them to provide mental and physical learning opportunities to these dogs. Given their hard-working roots, these dogs like to have some activity to do. This is when they are in their elements entirely. This dog breed also behaves well around kids and adapt to the noisiness when you train them properly. Rottweiler dogs also get along with other animals if they are raised in a household where other pets reside. Rottweilers are prone to experiencing separation anxiety and may go digging or barking to keep themselves occupied.

Care requirements for Rottweiler Dog

Here’s more information on Rottweilers that you should know if you are thinking of adopting one:

  • Health

    Rottweilers are a generally healthy breed and they do not develop any genetic disorders or diseases. But like all other dog breeds, these dogs are prone to a few health issues. They are likely to experience elbow and hip dysplasia, they can also develop cancer of the bone, liver and spleen and lymphoma. Rottweiler dogs also can experience eye problems like entropion wherein the eyelids curve inwards and ectropion wherein the eyelids curve outwards. The Rottweiler dog breed is also prone to developing obesity therefore, it is very important to monitor the quantity of food you feed your dog.

  • Grooming

    Rottweilers are low maintenance when it comes to grooming. As the owner of this dog breed, all you have to do is brush its coat thoroughly a few times a week and bathe it every few weeks to make sure its coat remains clean. Rottweiler dogs do not shed much fur round the year except twice a year which is the shedding season for Rottweilers. It is also important to brush your dog’s teeth every day to keep its mouth germ free and healthy. You also have to make sure you cut your Rottweiler’s nails regularly to avoid getting scratched by it.

  • Exercise

    Historically, Rottweilers were known to be hard-working animals and they are used to keeping busy. A Rottweiler needs 2 hours of exercise or playtime every day. They love playing with their owners and spending time with them as well. You could play interesting games like fetch, hide and seek and tugging with your Rottweiler. It is not advisable to take your Rottweiler dog to a dog park without instilling proper training. If you take your untrained dog to a dog park, it may scare other animals there.

  • Nutrition

    A Rottweiler can be fed 2 meals every day which can include 2 to 5 cups of dry food. The quantity of the food you feed your dog depends on its life stage, activity levels, and age. Rottweilers do not have very good self-control and will end up eating everything you put on its plate. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a vet before deciding the quantity of the food. Overfeeding could lead to obesity which could further lead to other health complications.

  • Training

    It is easy to train the Rottweiler dog breed because of their compliance to their owners. Training your dog is very important as it will discipline it and make it adaptive to different situations. Playing rough with a Rottweiler could bring forth its aggressive nature. You will also have to train your dog to socialise.

History of Rottweiler dog breed

A Rottweiler’s origin can be traced back to Germany where the dog was bred as drover dogs and these dogs would take care of livestock for the army. In German, Rottweilers were called ‘Rottweiler Metzerhund’ which translates to ‘Butcher’s Dog from Rottweil’. Rottweil is a place in South-West Germany. Then, in the German town of Rottweil, these dogs were trained and bred as cattle dogs and police dogs. They were used as police dogs again in the early 20th century. The Rottweiler dog breed’s hard-working nature has made it one of the most popular breeds in the world. They were also used as messengers and rescue dogs during World War 1 and 2.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Smith, Robbie Williams, Brody Jenner, Bruno Mars and Miley Cyrus are some of the famous Rottweiler owners.

Interested in learning about all the different types of dog breeds? Our breeds category page has everything you need to know about them.

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