Rottweiler Dog Breed: A Great Family Protector [Ultimate Guide]

Rottweiler: two sisters and their little brother

“Rottweilers are dangerous.“ “They are not safe.” “A Rottweiler attacks unexpectedly.“ “Rottweilers are hard to train.”...

These are a few misconceptions about the Rottweiler dog breed that somehow spread across the continents. But since you are here, that means you want to learn more than just what the word around says.

In that case, you came to the right place.

At the end of this article, you will know more about Rottweilers than any average dog lover.

  A quick reminder:

All dogs are unsafe when trained to be so.

This Rottweiler dog breed guide will cover a lot of the details about the breed. However, before we get into that, the following infographic summarizes the main points of the article. In case you find the article too long to read, consider the infographic a shorter version of the guide.

Rottweiler Dog Breed Infographic

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Origins of the Rottweiler Breed

The Rottweiler origins go back to hundreds of centuries ago. It is believed that the breed was first seen in the Roman armies in the years 73 and 74 AD. The dog world assumes that the Rottweiler breed was developed from the cattle dogs in that time period into the big dogs we see today.

Since its early days, the dog breed was used for guarding and hunting purposes. The Rottweiler’s first job was to keep cattle from straying away at night. Their secondary uses were hunting bears in the wild and protecting their owners whenever necessary. This meant that the dogs were bred to be strong, exactly like how we know them today.

German Rottweiler

A German Rottweiler ready to protect their owner.

Photo credit: thehappypooch.com

After cattle herding had been forbidden, butchers used the Rottweilers for pulling little carts. Thus, the breed’s name was actually Rottweiler Butcher but was later shortened to simply Rottweiler.

The first standard Rottweiler breed was first produced in 1901 by the German club that goes by the name International Club for Leonbergers and Rottweiler Dogs. In 1907, after the breed’s near extinction, another group worked on preserving the Rottweiler’s purity and improve on its working qualities.

Rottweiler is a great guard and police dog

A Rottweiler’s job is to serve and protect.

Photo credit: Força Aérea Brasileira (Brazilian Air Force) / CC BY-NC-SA

Today, the Rottweiler’s primary use is protection and rescue. Many countries around the world use the breed as a police dog. They, also, use them for mountain rescue mission, as the breed is very strong, with a very sensitive nose. This brings us to the Rottweiler’s characteristics down below.

Find more on the Rottweiler breed history and origins. Or click here for more on the breed in general.

Rottweiler Breed Characteristics

If you are thinking of getting a Rottweiler puppy, then you are probably wondering how the dog will fit with your small family. In that case, I have some good news!

Rottweilers Are Family-Friendly

The Rottweiler puppies, if they grow surrounded by a loving family, they will show a huge amount of affection toward everyone in the household. They are even kid-friendly, but of course, if trained well.

Rottweiler's great personality

A Rottweiler being cute next to a cute little girl.

Photo credit: Steve C / CC BY

Just like humans, Rottweilers have different personalities. Therefore, Rottweiler breeders must make sure that their dogs are trained to remain calm and friendly around kids, otherwise, bad things may happen. [This goes for all breeds, even the tiny, small Chihuahuas.].

Rotties Shed a Lot But Aren’t (Unnecessarily) Loud

When you are looking for an excellent family pet, you need to make sure that you can handle their grooming needs.

Unfortunately, a Rottweiler is easy to handle. They shed twice a year and need more frequent hair brushing around that time.

Shedding is usually an issue when getting a Rottweiler (a good vacuum can help significantly). However, it is only heavy in the spring and fall.

  The good news is:

Your Rottweiler won’t be bothering you with unnecessary barking.

They will howl every once in a while. Most Rottie owners find it cute and amusing. However, if unwanted strangers are near, they will let you know about it with loud barking.

Female and Male Rottweiler Differences

Understanding the differences between a female and a male Rottweiler may be essential to making your mind about which to pick as a pet. The two are large and strong. However, the males tend to be a little bit bigger and stronger. That is just the nature of the breed.

With that in mind, ask yourself this:

Which Sex Do I Need Most?

If you are looking for a house protector mostly or a hard-working dog, then a male Rottie is your perfect choice. But, if you want a loving, caring dog, a female is the one to pick. They are instinctively less aggressive than males and more gentle with children. Their protective instinct is also higher, but their strength is not to be compared with the male.

A female Rottweiler

Dolly, the female Rottweiler.

Photo credit: hmerinomx / CC BY-NC-SA​

Other Female and Male Properties to Consider

On the one hand, a male Rottweiler is an alpha-male by nature. He is big and strong and needs to establish his dominance at all times. Therefore, he is more aggressive with other dogs, he will pee in your house to mark their territory, and he needs you to work as hard as he does.

On the other hand, a female Rottie needs to be carefully watched. Her heat cycle begins at one year of age, and a lot of blood is involved. Also, male dogs may get access to her in that period. That means you will have a pregnant female dog at the house.

Choose carefully which sex you want, because it will determine how you will train and engage with them.

Rottweiler Colors

You won’t be surprised that your standard Rottweiler is mostly black. That’s just how they are. However, they usually have an added color to their body. Therefore, a Rottie has one of these three tones:

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

Other Rottweiler Characteristics

Rottweilers are very intelligent and impressively strong. Therefore, they need maximum guidance since their puppyhood. They can be a bit aggressive with other dogs; that is their way of proving their dominance. However, a well-trained Rottweiler will behave as directed by their owner.

Also, the Rottweiler breed tends to gain weight if they are not active enough. It is advised to keep them busy with any type of work, as that is their whole breed’s purpose.

  One thing to bear in mind:

You DO NOT want them digging around the house. They can do a lot of damage with their strong paws.

A Rottweiler’s lifespan is about 12 years. In that time, they can grow to weigh around 100lbs, and as tall as 26 inches, with the male Rottweiler slightly bigger than a female.

Find more about the dog characteristics on DogTime and the American Kennel Club.

Types of Rottweiler Dog Breed

Here is a question that you will be hearing every time a dog lover sees you walking your Rottie:

Is this a German or an American Rottweiler?

So, what is the actual difference between these types of dogs? Here is a hint: the difference is in the name.

American Rottweiler Dogs

To keep fairly short and simple, an American Rottweiler is a Rottweiler that was born in the United States. That’s about it.

There are a few minor differences that separate this dog from the others, but it is only a question of what the American Kennel Club (AKC) requires for the breed to be considered American.

Generally, however, an American Rottweiler is smaller than a German, and its tail is cut off.

German Rottweiler Dogs

Guess where it comes from? France? Oh! Come on! You know better by now!

Jokes aside, this type of Rottweilers is simply born in Germany, the country of its origin. As for the differences, you could easily guess that a German Rottweiler is the larger dog and it still has its tail.

The Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler­-Klub (ADRK) have more strict rules when it comes to what they consider a standard Rottweiler. They are more concerned with the dog’s temperament and try to work on enhancing it to the maximum of their abilities. They, also, do not allow breeders to cut their Rottweilers’ tails. Tail docking is a big No-No for the ADRK.

Training Your Rottweiler Puppy

To give your Rottweiler the best personality traits, you need to give it the best training possible. As established above, a well-trained Rottweiler is your family’s best friend and guardian.

  The bad news is : 

Rottweiler puppies are not suitable for a first-time dog owner, not even for a second-time or an n-time. 

It does not matter how many dogs you have previously owned, as much as it matters how much affection you are willing to show to your Rottweiler puppy, and how much time you are going to spend with it.

For your family’s sake, and yours too, you should get your Rottie puppy from a respected dog breeder, who knows (and loves) what they are doing. That will ease the training process for you when you first start it.

Rottweiler training

A Rottweiler puppy in training. Just cute!

When to Start Training Your Rottie?

You don’t have to worry about when you should begin training your Rottweiler. They are, by nature, ready to be trained as soon as they learn to run. Also, the sooner you start training them, the easier it will be.

Rottweilers are known to be hard-headed at first, but with time, they learn to follow instructions and actually enjoy the training part of the day. They have a lot of energy to burn, and spending on learning positive things is definitely going to be their favorite task ever.

Rottweiler Training Dos and Don’ts

MUST DO


  • Start as young as possible
  • Understand and prove dominance
  • As much socialization as possible
  • Positive reinforcement always
  • Be very patient

MUST NOT DO


  • Yell at your Rottweiler
  • Keep it hidden away
  • Physical discipline
  • Train to harm

Read this article to help you understand the step you need to take to train your dog. Watch the video below to get an idea on how to do it.

Rottweiler Nutrition

Your Rottweiler’s diet will determine how energetic and strong it is. And just like humans, unhealthy eating habits can lead to obesity and overweight, loss of energy, and (god forbid) a shorter lifespan.

The bottom line is

What you feed your Rottie will either make it strong or weak. So, it is very important to know what to look for and what to avoid when buying your Rottweiler its food.

Avoid These Ingredients As Much As You Can

No Wheat At All

First and foremost, there is no way your Rottweiler diet should have any wheat included. Any food bag that contains wheat as an ingredient, even small amounts, DO NOT purchase it.

Why?

Rottweilers are known to have strong allergies to wheat, and you do not want to see your best friend suffer because of bad food you’ve given it.

By-Products

Simply put, by-products are unknown food sources that you just do not want to risk your dog having a bite of. The term has a broad use and can mean anything from chicken feet to sick intestines.

In general, you do not want to let your Rottie feasting on unknown ingredients. These include products that say “poultry” and “meat” instead of more specific ingredients such as “chicken” and “beef.”

No Fillers in Your Rottie’s Food

“Filler” is a term used to describe the ingredients that you find in dog food products which are there to fill your dog up. They are inexpensive, of course, but they have almost no nutritional value.

Feeding a Rottweiler filler foods will only get it to gain a lot of weight and no muscle strength. Ultimately, the dog will have some health issues. And I don’t even want to get to that.

Unhealthy Rottweiler

A fat Rottweiler, although cute and smiling, is very unhealthy.

Photo credit: dailymail.co.uk​

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s see what you should be really feeding your Rottie.

What To Feed Your Rottweiler

As I mentioned above, you are better off with Rottweiler food products that specify what ingredients they are using. That way, it is easier to monitor what your Rottweiler’s diet.

Protein Levels

To have a large, strong, healthy Rottweiler, you need to provide food that has a certain level of proteins. Usually, for a Rottweiler puppy, 22-25% of protein is enough and healthy. The dog grows strong and well-fed.

However, exceed those levels, and your dog will suffer many joint problems. There needs to a balance between how big the muscles are and how strong are your Rottweiler joints.

The bottom line is:

Your puppy will need a lot of protein and fat to grow to be the large Rottweiler you want it to be. However, it is up to you to make sure it does not grow faster than it should.
Healthy Rottweiler

A pretty big and healthy Rottweiler.

Photo credit: Wayne Seward / CC BY-NC-SA​

Can Your Rottweiler Be Vegetarian?

Contrary to popular belief, a Rottie does not need to be always a carnivore. It is, just like all dogs, a meat lover, but it does not mean it must eat it.

If you want your dog to be vegetarian, you have to make sure that there is always a balance of the essential nutrients. However, you can always opt to fulfill your Rottweiler’s carnivorous needs; it is better to feed it RAW meat.

  But there is a downside:

You must make sure that the meat is not infected. Rottweilers have a weak immune system, and it will show when they are underfed and/or sick.

​Getting Your Rottweiler

Now that you know almost everything you need about the Rottweiler Breed (I highly suggest that you check the sources for more information); it is time to find out how to get one.

  But before that, here’s a tip for you:

The better the breeder, the better the dog.

Adopting a Rottweiler

It is safe to assume that when you read adoption, you directly thought of a Rottweiler puppy. That is very understandable considering that we have said that the puppy needs a lot of training to be a family pet.

However, that does not mean an adult Rottweiler will not be a good fit. It is even possible that an adult Rottie to be safer than a puppy. Considering how sharp the teeth are, you would want your dog to be calm. A puppy, no matter what breed, is never calm.

Wait, there is more!

You will need to train the puppy and hoping that it turns out a good Rottweiler. On the other hand, an adult Rottweiler’s temperament can easily be seen. You can safely choose one that is a good fit for your family based on its interaction with them.

Rottweiler for adoption

How can you not adopt a dog that looks at you with those eyes?

Photo credit: Keshet Rescue / CC BY-NC-SA

Where to Adopt?

You may think it is hard to find a Rottweiler for adoption. However, many shelters and rescue groups have a long list of Rottweilers that are in desperate need of love, affection and most importantly, a home.

Most of these Rotties are already trained, and you can check with their foster homes to make sure they are the right fit for you and your family. It is necessary to take your time before selecting the one you want.

Learn more about the steps you need to take before adopting a Rottweiler here and here.

Find where you can rescue a Rottweiler here. Or simply check Petfinder.

Buying a Rottweiler

It is understandable to choose the safer method of getting a Rottweiler; buying a new one. However, buying and adopting are almost the same. The breed remains dangerous until YOU change that.

There are many dog breeders out there, and if you are buying from one, you MUST make sure that your breeder is a reliable one.

How to make sure of that?

It is not easy, but this article helps a lot. It shines the light on what to expect and what to ask before giving your money (and safety) away.

  It is my duty to warn you that:

A Rottweiler may not be the best choice for you. Read this article to find out whether you REALLY want to buy a Rottweiler.

How Much Does a Rottweiler Cost?

The younger the Rottweiler puppy, the more it costs.

Usually, you can find quality breeders that have a Rottweiler for sale at a price of $2000. It is expensive, but remember that you should not judge the dog by its price tag.

  But there’s good news:

You can buy dogs from their previous dog owners for almost half the usual breeder’s price. Once again, cheaper does not mean a bad dog.

Rottweiler Breed Mixes

Since a purebred Rottweiler may turn out to be dangerous and hard to train, breeders tend to make softer, or even stronger dog breed mixes. These mixes are a way to personalize the dog for your needs.

If you want an attack dog, a kid-friendly dog, a rescue dog, then a Rottweiler breed mix is exactly what you are looking for.

Here are 26 Rottweiler breed mixes that you can choose from.

List of Famous Rottweiler Mixes

Bernweiler

Bernese Mountain Dog and Rottweiler mix

Photo credit: petbreeds.com

The Bernweiler is a Bernese mountain dog and a Rottweiler mix that is designed specifically to keep your family safe. Considering how the purebred parents look, a Bernweiler is sure to be very intimidating but remains a family pet nonetheless. Read more here.

Boxweiler

This mix is also designed to be a family guard dog. The Boxweiler is a Boxer and Rottweiler mix; i.e. not to be messed with. Both purebred parents have an instinct to protect that is boosted when combined together. Your home is definitely protected with this dog around. Read more here.

Rottweiler and Boxer mix

Photo credit: petbreeds.com

Brottweiler

Rottweiler and Brussels Griffon mix

Photo credit: petbreeds.com

The Brottweiler is a sweet dog that can play all the time with your kids and keep everyone else safe. This mix between a Brussels Griffon and a Rottweiler is designed to maximize the friendliness of the Rottweiler and boost the courage of the Brussels Griffon. Read more here.

English Mastweiler

This mix between a Mastiff and a Rottweiler is the combination you need to have if you want a lovely dog, seeks your undivided attention and is ready to attack when there is a threat. They will protect you, love you, play with you, and most importantly, never leave your side. Read more here.

Rottweiler and Mastiff mix

Photo credit: petbreeds.com

Jackweiler

Jack Russell Terrier and Rottweiler mix

Photo credit: dogbreedinfo.com

The mix between a Jack Russell Terrier and a Rottweiler produces a very defiant and courageous dog named the Jackweiler. Both parent breeds are fearless but loving dogs. Thus, the Jackweiler is, without a doubt, strong and ready to protect your family. Read more here.

Labrottie

The Labrottie is a mix between a Labrador Retriever and a Rottweiler, which makes it a friendlier version of the Rottweiler. It is a calm dog around the house, less active than a purebred Rottie, but it is, even more, protective. It is usually safe around family and children, but thieves have no chance. Read more here.

Labrador Retriever and Rottweiler mix

Photo credit: petbreeds.com

Mastweiler

Bullmastiff and Rottweiler mix

Photo credit: petbreeds.com

A Mastweiler is a cuter version of the Rottweiler as it is a mix of a Rottie and Bull Mastiff. It is very playful, intelligent, energetic, and loves attention. They, also, keep their protective instinct. Therefore, they can be great dogs to have around the house. Read more here.

Miniature Rottweiler

This mix is between a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and a Rottweiler, and as its name suggests, it’s a small dog. In fact, it is a puppy Rottie that remains in the size of a puppy. It is everything an adult Rottweiler is but condensed into a puppy. I.e., it protects, attacks, hugs, and plays around the house. Read more here.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier and Rottweiler mix

Photo credit: petful101.com

Pitweiler

Rottweiler and Pitbull mix

Photo credit: petbreeds.com

Arguably the most intimidating Rottweiler mix is The Pitweiler. You can assume from its name that it is a Pit Bull and a Rottweiler mix. Therefore, the strength this dog has is incredible and scary. It is not hard to train, but it needs firm and positive owner doing the training. It is the best protector you will ever have as the parent breeds are known monsters. Read more here.

Rottaf

The Rottaf is a calmer Rottie that is a mix between an Afghan Hound and a Rottweiler. It is affectionate and loves attention. It inherits the strength of its parents, but it rarely shows in its appearance. A Rottaf will keep everyone around the house happy and safe, especially its owner. Read more here.

Rottweiler and Afghan Hound mix

Photo credit: dogbreedplus.com

Rotterman

Doberman and Rottweiler mix

Photo credit: petbreeds.com

The two parents breeds for this mix, a Rottweiler, and a Doberman, are German fearless, hard-working dogs. A Rotterman is, therefore, very strong and needs something to do most of the time. It will happily keep your family safe, play with your children, and guard your house. Read more here.

Rottle

This breed mix is by far the cutest on this list. A Poodle and Rottweiler mix usually comes out with a furry and small Rottie. It is full of contradiction as the parent breeds have almost nothing similar. Therefore, the result is a Rottle dog that you so much want to cuddle with, but it has sharp teeth. Read more here.

Rottweiler and Poodle mix

Photo credit: petbreeds.com

Saint Weiler

St. Bernard and Rottweiler mix

Photo credit: petbreeds.com

The Saint Weiler is probably the least aggressive large dog on this list. It is a mix between a Saint Bernard and a Rottweiler, which makes it very affectionate and protective, but not lethal. However, its large posture is enough to scare unwanted strangers away, far away, really far away. Find out more about the dog here.

Weiler Dane

The Weiler Dane, also known as the Great Rottie, is a mix between a Great Dane and a Rottweiler. It can be a very large jogging partner and a house pet. It is a horse, according to your kids, and a beast according to the last ever thieve that tries to step in your yard. Read more here.

Rottweiler and Great Dane mix

Photo credit: dogbreedinfo.com

More Rottie Mixes

French Bullweiler

This mix between a French Bulldog and Rottweiler screams danger. Both dogs have an intimidating origin, with incredible strength and attack abilities. It is ideal for protection of your property and .your family. However, it may not be your kid’s best pal.

Golden Rottie

Another great combination of love, affection, and protection is the Golden Rottweiler. It is a mix between the Golden Retriever and a Rottweiler. Therefore, it does not have that scary look, but it definitely keeps its strength. The mix tends to be just as much protective as it loves to play.

Great Bullweiler

This combination makes your Rottweiler extra-large. The Great Bullweiler is a combination of three breeds that are the Great Dane, the Bullmastiff, and the Rottweiler. These three combined produce a very strong and large dog that is scary but loves your kids.

Great Rottsky

The combination of the three breeds consisting of a Siberian Husky, a Rottweiler, and a Great Dane gives us the Great Rottsky. It is both a lovely, hard-headed, and loyal dog. It is intelligent enough to sense danger and protect you, loves to play around the property.

New Rottland

The New Rottland is furrier version of the Rottweiler and a scarier version of the Newfoundland. It is still a lovely pet that is family friendly and protective of its owners. However, do not let the long hair fool you. They are just as much dangerous and ready to attack thieves as they are hairy. Read more here.

Pinweiler

The Pinweiler is another smaller version of a Rottie. It is a mix between a Miniature Pinscher and a Rottweiler. Therefore, it is pretty strong for its small size. It is very energetic and loves to play with your children. Its purebred parents allow it a great protective instinct. Read more here.

Rottbull

The Rottbull is pretty similar to a Pittweiler in that it scares any strangers lurking around your house. It is a mix between a Bull Terrier and Rottweiler, which gives this mix super-strength. However, it is not hard to handle if you establish yourself as an alpha. Otherwise, you are looking at a dangerous dog.

Rotticorso

The Rotticorso is the larger version of the Rottweiler. It is a mix between a Cane Corso, a large dog itself, and a Rottweiler, a strong beast. Therefore, you get every characteristic of a Rottie inside the large body of a Cane Corso. The result is a huge, strong dog that will show you even bigger love and affection.

Rottmation

What you have here is a more colorful Rottweiler that is more likely to get a speeding ticket. Rottmation is a cute mix between a Dalmatian, a pretty large and fast dog, and a strong Rottweiler. The result is a cute spotted dog that is affectionate and alert at all time.

Rottsky

The Rottsky is the lovely result of a mix between a Siberian Husky and a Rottweiler. It is as cute and intelligent as its purebred parents. It loves to play around, both on its own and with the kids, ready to protect your home; and most importantly, you will fall in love with it. Click here to learn more.

Schnottie

The Schnottie is another cute Rottie breed mix that results of a mix between a Standard Schnauzer and a Rottweiler. It remains a small-to-medium house pet with sharp teeth to attacks and attractive appearance for family pictures. Your children will love it, and it will protect them as tough as it can.

Staffweiler

The Staffweiler is great Rottweiler breed mix. It is designed to boost the friendliness of the Rottweiler as well as its strength. The mix is between an American Staffordshire Terrier and a Rottweiler.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Rottweiler

PROS


  • Loyal and very protective
  • Calm and intelligent
  • Can adapt to the house environment
  • Kid-friendly, gentle even
  • A natural guard dog
  • Fearless in danger

CONS


  • Needs a lot of space to grow
  • Requires maximum attention
  • Demands a lot of patience
  • Very energetic and needs daily exercise
  • Dominant alpha-male nature

Rottweiler Dog Breed: Final Words

Just like most large dog breeds out there, the Rottweilers have a bad reputation. However, as explained in different terms above, it is the owner’s job to make sure it does not live up to it.

And quite frankly, a Rottweiler never wants to be a bad dog. They live to make their owners happy. Therefore, train it to love kids and people, and it will; train it to kill, and it will.

Rottweiler Name Suggestions

We’ll end this article with two name suggestions for your Rottweiler.

  • Name your female Rottweiler Berta. It means “bright and strong”, which is a so much accurate description.
  • Call your male Rottweiler Klaus. It means “victorious”, and your Rottweiler is definitely that.

Do you think a Rottie will be a great companion for your family? Let us know down below! 

About the Author Youness Bermime

Hi, there! My name is Youness, a professional content writer and marketer. I love dogs, and I think Huskies are, for most of the time, better than humans. I am, also, the owner and editor of WritersDo. I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post because I enjoyed writing it. Don't forget to share it with your friends!

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