Before You Bring Home a Rottweiler

The Rottweiler is a beautiful breed and it is also one of the gentlest and friendliest dog breeds you will come across. However, this does not mean that the Rottweiler is the best choice for everyone. Before you decide whether or not the Rottweiler might be the best dog for your family, take the time to learn the basics about these dogs so you know what to expect.

The Rottweiler Personality and Temperament

Just because Rottweilers are frequently used as guard dogs does not mean that they are aggressive. In fact, the American Kennel Club standard for the breed states that the Rottweiler temperament is “calm, confident, and courageous”. The Rottweiler may be a little bit aloof around strangers and it certain does have strong protective instincts, but once this breed warms up to you, you will have a friend for life. Many Rottweilers are downright clownish when they have the freedom to be themselves and they can even live peacefully in homes with cats. Individual temperaments vary, however, and early socialization is still very important for this breed.

If you are looking for a dog that will get along with absolutely everyone, the Rottweiler might not be the dog for you. These dogs can be a little strong-willed at times and they do have strong territorial instincts, but the breed is not inherently mean or aggressive toward humans. This breed does, however, have a great deal of energy and they require plenty of daily exercise. Even more important than physical exercise, however, is mental exercise – Rottweilers are very smart and they require plenty of mental stimulation to prevent the development of problem behaviors. A bored Rottweiler can quickly become a destructive one so consider training your dog for a job or for some kind of dog sport to ensure that his needs for mental and physical exercise are met.

Rottweiler Training and Behavior

The Rottweiler is a large-breed dog that achieves an adult size up to 135 pounds. If you cannot handle a dog of this size, the Rottweiler is not the right breed for you. When it comes to keeping a Rottweiler as a pet, however, you have to think about more than just physical space. The Rottweiler does have some innate territorial instincts and they can be a little bit dominant so they are best for experienced dog owners and for people who have plenty of time to devote to training. The Rottweiler needs a strong authority figure who will keep them in line, though punishment-based training methods are never recommended.

In addition to learning as much as you can about the Rottweiler breed before you buy one, you should also be aware that there are certain legal liabilities that come with owning this breed. In many areas Rottweilers are targeted as a dangerous breed on rental agreements and home insurance policies, so do your research before you buy. You also need to consider that even if your Rottweiler is properly trained and socialized, you cannot always trust that other dogs your Rottweiler comes into contact with will be. You will always need to be vigilant with your Rottweiler around other dogs just to be safe.

The Rottweiler is definitely not a low-maintenance breed but that doesn’t make him any less wonderful. If you are willing and able to meet this breed’s demanding needs for exercise, socialization, and training you may find that the Rottweiler is the perfect breed for you.

Photo credit: Andria/Flickr