by Lauren R. Tharp
Opinions of Rottweilers vary wildly. While many remember Alexandra Day’s Good Dog, Carl children’s book series, still more remember the breed as the “evil” dogs from The Omen.
The one thing everyone seems to agree on? Rottweilers make excellent guard dogs! Most commonly used as guard dogs, this breed is also commonly used for Police work, search and rescue, and sometimes as guide dogs for the blind. Officially recognized by the AKC in 1931, Rottweilers are currently the 16th most popular breed in the United States.
Size & Weight: Large. Definitely large. Rottweilers grow to be 22-28 inches at the shoulder and can weigh 90-140 pounds!
Coat & Color: The Rottweiler’s coloring is so “classic,” you’re probably already familiar with it, even if you didn’t know you were looking at Rottweiler at the time. Their black coats with rust markings are so recognizable, it makes you say, “Oh, it’s one of those dogs…” As for the texture of the breed’s coat: It’s coarse, dense, and generally very straight. Rottweilers have medium-length hair with thicker “undercoats” on their necks and thighs.
Other: This breed sometimes has their tails docked (stubby tails). Tail docking for this breed is most common in the United States and New Zealand.
Life Expectancy: 8-12 years.
Rottweilers are so known for being difficult, that the AKC itself has accepted it as simply a part of the breed personality, stating, “An aloof or reserved [Rottweiler] should not be penalized, as this reflects the accepted character of the breed. An aggressive or belligerent attitude towards other dogs should not be faulted.” What’s that? “Aggressive or belligerent?!” Well…yes. Rottweilers can have that temperament. But Rotties can also be calm, loyal, brave, and hard-working. With extensive training and early socialization, this breed can make a lovely pet. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, your dog will too!
- Excellent guard dogs.
- Grooming needs are minimal.
- If you’re highly athletic and enjoy running or swimming on a regular basis, a Rottweiler will definitely be able to keep up with you. (They require daily exercise!)
- Their reputation precedes them… Unfortunately, since Rottweilers have gotten such a bad rap over the years, many insurance companies have been refusing to insure homeowners with Rotties as pets. Check your policy!
- They get bored very easily. This can lead to destructive behavior of the house-thrashing variety.
- NOT for first-time owners. Rottweilers require a good deal amount of obedience training and socialization. They need an owner who is as confident, strong-willed, and hard-working as they are.
If you are looking for a Rottweiler, please check your local shelters or visit: Adopt a Rottweiler