Rottweiler: Loyal and Loving Guardian Dogs for you!
The Rottweiler is a breed which possesses great strength and is considered as a robust working breed. They descended from the mastiffs of the Molossus. They are a wonderful, gentle playmate for kids if trained well and the perfect protector for the family. It considers the rest of the world as unimportant and treats them with self-assured aloofness. Originally the Rottweilers were bread to drive cattle. They also helped pull carts for butchers at a later stage. These dogs are among the earliest dogs to serve the police and the military loyally. They are loving and are popular guardians of the family and can become your best friend easily.
They are beautiful with a black shiny coat and brown highlights which suit and compliment their muscular built wonderfully. They have a double coat and shed in the spring. They feel warmer than most dogs in summers and should be kept in suitable environments. These dogs are extremely strong and large and need to be trained from early puppyhood. They are intelligent dogs that can be trained with ease if you are consistent and firm.
They can become destructive and aggressive if left alone for long durations. They are family dogs and should be treated as a part of the family they are brought into. They like to socialize but can be considered as dangerous by some people who are scared of them. Rottweilers carry that notion about them, since they are big, powerful dogs.
In order to make sure that you buy a healthy puppy, choose your dog breeder carefully. Make sure that the person you get the dog from tested their breeding dogs before letting them pass on genetic diseases to its puppies. Also make sure that the parents of the puppy you are getting home have a sound temperament. This is important because a Rottweiler with a bad temperament can be dangerous.
The ancestors of the Rottweilers walked into Germany along with the Romans. They were responsible for driving cattle that they took along with them as sustenance. As the army travelled, conquering the world, dogs that were big mated with the native dogs of the regions that they passed through. This resulted in the birth of new breeds. Southern Germany was also among one of the regions that they passed through. The Romans set up colonies there for agricultural purposes. The Romans built villas there using red tiles this was discovered about 600 years later and inspired the name for a new town das Rote Wil (the red tile).
Over the years these dogs flourished as a market for driving cattle. Butchers also used them to pull their carts full of meat. During long travel journeys cattlemen used to tie their purse with money around the neck of the dog for safe keeping.
Eventually these dogs nearly became extinct, till one nondescript Rottweiler was exhibited at a dog show in Heilbronn, Germany.
The characteristics and appearance of the Rottweiler have changed very little since they have come to be known.
More recently, these dogs have been enrolled with the police and the military force. They are guard dogs that are loyal and loving. They fit well in a family and is ranked 17th out of 155 varieties and breeds that have been registered with the AKC (American Kennel Club).
Heredity, training and socialization are among the main factors that define the temperament of a Rottweiler. A Rottweiler is known by his calm, confident and courageous nature. They are not shy dogs. They have a self assured aloofness about themselves. They do not make friends with people immediately they take time to get comfortable around new people.
These dogs do not show aggression without a cause. They are intelligent dogs that can be trained. Training and supervision is a must when it comes to raising a good friendly Rottweiler. Especially if the dog is going to be around children then it needs to be trained accordingly.
It is important that in the initial years of puppyhood, it is made to meet other dogs, as well as other people so that they get used to being around people and other animals. This can be quite helpful for its social skills.
The Rottweiler identifies with only one leader, and it is important or you to ascertain your leadership or they may try to bully you.
If you are planning to get yourself a Rottweiler make sure that you have the time to devote to your dog since it will require continuous training and supervision. While choosing a puppy try to meet the parents or other relatives of the dog to get a better idea of how the dog’s temperament would be once it grows up.
How to train your Rottweiler?
These dogs are different from a Labrador or a Golden Retriever and they require constant training and supervision. They are friendly but not always towards strangers unlike a Labrador which is overly friendly. Keeping in mind that Rottweilers are guard dogs this should not come as a surprise.
4 to 6 weeks old: this is the right time to start to train your Rottweiler puppy. At this stage they are small and easy to handle. Since they are still in the formative stage it is easy to train it. Here you will need to train your puppy by taking him out on walks in public so that it can get used to the idea of being around people. You should also introduce your puppy to other puppies so that when the dog grows up it is tolerant to other dogs.
10 to 14 weeks old: this is the right time to employ a trainer or take out time on your own to train your Rottweiler regarding basic traits of living in a house. Here, you have to remember not to be too harsh on your puppy this makes dogs aggressive in the long run. Be stern and commanding but not harsh.
9 months old: this the time when you can start to teach your dog other tricks and traits you want it to learn. You can choose to teach these yourselves or can hire a professional to do the same for you. Since the Rottweiler respects and recognizes one leader, you should train your dog on your own or it will consider the trainer as the leader and will eventually disobey you which can be a problem in the long run.
2 years old: at this stage you can train your dog according to your needs, if you need for your Rottweiler to be a guard dog you will need to train it appropriately. This is the right age for it. Rottweilers are intelligent dogs and hence training them shouldn’t be much of a hassle.
- Size and Weight: the male Rottweiler is typically 25 to 28 inches tall and can weigh from anywhere near 95lbs to 130lbs. A female Rottweiler however is 21 to 24 inches tall and can weigh from anywhere near 85lbs to 115lbs.
They are huge and powerful dogs, they have enormous strength and a weak and lean person should not risk walking a Rottweiler.
- Colour and Coat: Rottweilers have a double coat that is coarse and straight. It is of medium length and is shorter over the ears, the head, and the legs. The undercoat is mainly on the thighs and neck. The coat of a Rottweiler is always black in colour with rust or mahogany markings on it. There marks are found over the eyes, on either side of the muzzle, on the cheeks of the dog, the chest and the legs. There are brown marking beneath the tails of Rottweilers as well.
These dogs tend to shed their hair twice a year, during this time you will need to brush the coat twice every day. During any other period of the year this can be limited to once or twice a week.
- Running Ability: these dogs are very athletic but can act lazy at times. To make sure that they do not become lazy make sure to take them for 10 to 20 minute walks every day after each meal. Playtime should also be made a part of your Rottweiler’s routine.
- Other Characteristics: they are guard dogs and hence are extremely alert when they need to be. They are intelligent and can mostly gauge danger, when the need arises. They can be trained according to your needs.
- Life Span: a Rottweiler’s average life span is of 9 to 12 years.
Just like any other dog, the Rottweiler is also prone to certain specific health conditions. Not all Rottweilers suffer from any or all of these diseases, but it is important to have knowledge about it so that you can make an informed choice.
The following are the diseases that a Rottweiler may suffer from:
- Hip Dysplasia: this is a condition in which is hereditary. In this the thighbone does not fit properly into the hip joint causing pain and discomfort to the dog. A dog with this condition should not be bread. Injuries can also cause hip dysplasia for a Rottweiler.
- Elbow Dysplasia: Elbow dysplasia is also a hereditary disease of the elbow joint. It can only be detected with the help of x-ray and for correction the vet may recommend surgery.
- Osteosarcoma: this disease generally affects large breeds. This is an aggressive bone cancer that can be determined by x-rays. It can be treated with chemotherapy and dogs do not experience the same side effects as humans.
- Gastric Dilatation-volvulus (GDV): this is a disease in which the stomach becomes distended and bloated due to rapid eating or drinking. This can also happen due to vigorous exercise after eating. This disease is more common among dogs that are old.
- Hypothyroidism: this disease is caused due to the deficiency of a hormone called thyroid in the dog. It causes lack of energy in the dog, and also makes the coat of the dog coarser than usual. This problem can be solved by taking a daily thyroid pill.
These dogs are generally healthy they only ever fall prey to diseases is if they are neglected or are not treated with the care they deserve. Keep an eye out, so that you can be an efficient master who cares for his dog.
The Rottweiler like all other dogs requires regular exercise. In fact, some Rottweilers, who are a little on the aggressive side need for their energy to be drained. They should be taken out for regular walks. These walks should be of 10 to 15 minutes each and should be after each meal. Other than this there should be a playtime that should be fixed and you need to make sure that it is adhered too.
If the Rottweiler is not exercised regularly they become destructive and aggressive. These dogs have a lot of energy and it needs to be channelled into walks and play times.
It is important to make sure that the Rottweiler stays fit because an unfit Rottweiler will attract diseases. It is important to maintain a certain standard of care, when you decide to get a Rottweiler puppy.
Finding the right puppy for you!
Finding the right puppy can be a difficult task. For this first you need to make sure that the Rottweiler is the dog for you. That you are ready to take up the responsibility of taking care of a dog which requires constant attention for the first and the second year. Once you have made up your mind on the breed then you need to find the right breeder.
Find a breeder who breeds Rottweilers exclusively, these breeders will be an expert of the breed which is highly advantageous. To make sure ask the breeder for certain certification to prove that he conducted the required genetic test before breeding. This genetic test shows if there are any problems and then those dogs are not bread further.
When choosing a puppy you can decide as to what temperament you want your puppy/dog to have. If you pick a puppy that is too hyper it can cause problems in the future. If the puppy is too lazy that can pose a problem as well, hence it is important to choose a puppy which is in-between the two as far as the temperament is concerned.
Do not fret too much about choosing the right puppy, when you go to a breeder you will know just by one look which one you like the most, and if it likes you back, that is the pet for you!!