How much do Rottweilers eat?
A Rottweiler will not “eat you out of house and home”. Depending on size, age, and activity level of your dog, it will eat between 5 and 10 pounds of high quality kibble a week. I advise feeding additional meat, vegetables and cottage cheese to puppies.

Are Rottweilers aggressive?
This trait varies among individuals. All Rottweilers have strong territorial instincts. If socialized properly as a puppy, your Rottweiler will defend you and your property against intruders. Rottweilers have been known to bully or bluff their owners. This trait can be most disconcerting and needs to be overcome when the puppy is very young.

Are Rottweilers easy to train?
Because of the size and strength of the animal, the Rottweiler must be trained early in his life. Fortunately, Rottweilers are intelligent working dogs and begin responding to commands as soon as they understand what you want of them. Usually Rottweilers have good working abilities, and are willing to please. Occasionally there are exceptions. It is very important to establish control over your dog. Obedience training is the easiest and best way to do this.

Avoid very rough trainers. Rottweilers can often be controlled using verbal reprimands. While they occasionally require strong physical corrections, some trainers tend to be much tougher than necessary. Physical mastery of the dog is often less important than sensitive and positive training methods, time, and patience. Women have been very successful with Rottweilers in obedience and Schutzhund (protection) training.

How much room do they need?
A large yard with a six-foot fence is ideal, but Rottweilers have been successfully kept in large apartments. A yard is essential if you are getting a puppy or young dog. A yard will help keep the dog exercised and reduces boredom, possibly preventing some destructive behaviour. If you do not have enough space for a Rottweiler consider another breed. Personal commitment on your part is most important. Walking your dog on a regular basis develops a better bond and more personal relationship with your dog than just letting him run in the yard.

Will my Rottweiler get along with other pets in my home?
Rottweiler puppies frequently adapt well to older dogs or cats in your home. However, older Rottweilers can be more difficult to integrate into a new home with other pets. Bringing in a new dog after your Rottweiler has been “ruler of the roost” for a while can also be a problem. Dog-to-dog aggression is affected by your dog’s socialization experience as a puppy, bloodlines, and sex. Neutering can lessen aggressive behaviour toward other dogs without diminishing territorial protectiveness.

Generally speaking, they are tolerant of other animals if introduced in a sensible way. There is of course an inherent desire to “chase” (as with all dogs), but this can be channelled into some form of obedience training, and should never be encouraged. Many households share their Rottweilers with other breeds of dogs, cats, rabbits and birds – even ducks!

Are Rottweilers reliable with children?
Mutual respect must be established between a Rottweiler and younger members of the family. Provided children are encouraged to treat the Rottweiler with kindness and respect, and are not allowed to tease it, then yes, they are reliable around children. However, the Rottweiler’s large size and exuberant nature can lead to them becoming boisterous if the children themselves are allowed to run around screaming and getting excited. So it is up to parents to ensure this does not happen. Any dog should not be left unattended with children or babies.

Do they shed?
Rottweilers shed twice a year. Usually in the Spring and Autumn, they lose much of their coats to help them adjust to the changing seasons. For the remainder of the year, there is seldom any annoyance from shedding.

Should I get a male or a female?
This is strictly a matter of personal preference. Both are equal in pet qualities. The male is bigger, heavier, stronger, more arrogant and more impressive when first seen. He is sexually aware 365 days of the year, though this is not an oversexed breed. He needs a firmer hand than the female and is not suitable for those inexperienced with dogs of strong character. The female, however, should be considered his equal in all other respects. Females are more amenable and are maternal with the younger and older members of the family without losing their essential guarding qualities. They come “on heat” twice a year.

Should I get a rescue dog rather than a puppy?
This is purely a matter of choice. If you do not have the time to devote to training a young puppy, then an older dog who is already house-trained for example, would be an excellent choice. There are many in rescue kennels that need a permanent, caring home.

Are Rottweilers best suited to the town or the country?
The versatile nature of the Rottweiler means he will adapt well to either environment. It is the quality of ownership which is the more important. Provided a Rottweiler has been bred for good temperament he can be an excellent dog for city or country life.

How much exercise will a Rottweiler need?
They are a very active breed and will relish as much exercise as you are able to give; they do enjoy walking with the family, so you should expect to give them at least a half hour walk twice a day (once morning and once evening).

How big will my dog grow?
A fully grown male will be between 25-27 inches at the shoulder, and weigh approximately 50 kg, a bitch is smaller measuring 23-25 inches at the shoulder, and weighing approximately 40 kg.

What age can I expect my Rottweiler to live until?
With a bit of luck, you can expect a dog in this breed to live about 10 years, give or take a year.

Any health issues with the breed?
I consider the biggest health problem in the breed is cancer, you can breed for excellent temperaments, but it’s the luck of the draw if your dog’s get cancer. Other problems that you should be aware of include, Hip and elbow dysplasia, cruciate problems, and skin problems.

How do they handle heat and cold?
Rottweilers can tolerate cool temperatures better than warm temperatures. Rottweilers should never be left outside in direct sun during the summer. Heat stroke comes on very quickly because of the dog’s black colour. Dogs must have shelter regardless of where you live.

Rottweilers were bred to be companions, and are not physically or emotionally equipped to be left outdoors away from people. In warm weather leaving your dog in a car with the windows closed or barely open can be extremely dangerous. Rottweilers, with their black coats and short muzzles are more susceptible to heat stroke than many other breeds.

Is the Rottweiler the right breed for me?
A Rottweiler is an intelligent, powerfully built dog that is not suited to everyone. The breed should not be considered to be a passing fad, owners should be responsible, and with responsibility comes a lot of hard work. Essentially all new perspective owners should carefully research the breed prior to buying a pup.

What is it that makes Rottweilers a rewarding breed to own?
They are loyal, affectionate, trustworthy, easy to train and comedians as well – what more could you ask?

Please don’t get a Rottweiler if:
♦ you are unwilling to train and educate your dog
♦ you are unassertive
♦ you dislike regular daily exercise
♦ you don’t value constant companionship
♦ you are fastidious or a house-proud person
♦ you think dogs should ‘run free’
♦ you cannot afford proper food and veterinary care

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