We’ve seen them on television and in the movies and most likely in real life…the Rottweiler.
Few other breeds strike fear in folks like this misunderstood canine.
Unfortunately, due to the misconceptions of Hollywood and some indiscriminate pet owners, the Rottweiler now needs to fight its way out of the myths and outright lies that surround it.
To help this breed get a better rap, we’ve composed 64 fun and interesting facts about the Rottweiler.
It’s In the Past
1. The Rottweiler was originally used by the Romans as they began to settle in Germany.
2. The Romans used the Rottweiler to drive cattle and to pull carts for farmers and butchers.
3. The Rottweiler descended from a Roman Mastiff-type dog called the Molossus.
4. This breed was also used to protect the money the cattlemen received for their livestock by putting it in a purse and tying it around the dog’s neck.
5. Once the railway was put into place, the Rottweiler nearly became extinct as their services were no longer needed.
6. In 1882, at a dog show in Heilbronn, Germany, one nondescript Rottweiler was exhibited.
7. By 1901, a club for the Rottweiler was founded and the breed standard was written, which has changed very little over the years.
8. Although several Rottweiler breed clubs have formed over the years, the Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub (ADRK), founded in 1921, has stayed the longest.
9. Since this breed was no longer needed for farmers, they began to be used in police work, for which they were well suited.
10. It’s thought that the first Rottweiler came to the U.S in the late 1920s with a German emigrant.
11. The first Rottweiler registered by the American Kennel Club was in 1931 and named, Stina von Felsenmeer.
12. After World War II, the breed started becoming more popular. At that time, it was primarily known as an excellent obedience dog.
13. In the mid-1990s, the Rottweiler was at the height of its popularity; more than 100,000 were registered with the American Kennel Club.
14. Unfortunately, with the popularity of the Rottweiler also brought a high demand for the dog, which brought out irresponsible breeders and puppy mills. These people breed inferior pups for pure cash. Once the bad publicity began in regards to the dog’s temperament the demand for them decreased.
15. Dedicated, reputable breeders are now taking the breed and turning it around to ensure that Rottweilers are the type of dogs they were meant to be.
So Good Lookin’
16. This Working dog can grow from 22 inches to 27 inches at the shoulder.
17. The Rottweiler can weigh from 85 to 130 pounds and live up to 11 years-of-age.
18. The breed is black with tan markings on the chest (which has two distinct upside-down triangles) on the cheeks as clearly defined spots, on the muzzle which continues over the throat, two eyebrow spots and markings on the legs about a third the way up, with each toe having a black ‘pencil’ mark.
19. The head of the Rottweiler is typically blocky with warm brown eyes and forehead wrinkles when it is alert. It has small ears that lie flat against its head.
20. The Rottie’s coat is of medium-length and consists of a waterproof undercoat and a course topcoat.
Personality…Looks Aren’t Everything
21. Rottweilers should be calm, confident, courageous and never shy.
22. This breed has a wait-and-see attitude, which means it can be aloof to new people and new situations.
23. With the Rottie’s family, it is affectionate and will often follow them around the house. It also has an inherent desire to protect its loved ones and its property, but it should never be aggressive toward people without a good reason.
24. The Rottweiler is not a highly excitable dog. It is also smart, adaptable and has a strong desire to work.
25. Male Rotties tend to be quiet but watchful, while constantly assessing his surroundings for threats. Females tend to be more affectionate and somewhat easier to control. However, both sexes tend to be stubborn, but are also highly trainable.
26. The personality of this breed is affected by heredity, training and socialization, or the lack of all three.
27. Rottie pups with good personalities should be curious, playful, willing to be held and approach people.
28. Meeting the Rottweiler parents of the puppy you are considering is the best way to define the puppy’s inherited qualities.
Things I’m Prone To…
29. Hip Dysplasia is a genetic condition in which the thighbone doesn’t fit snugly into the hip joint.
30. Elbow Dysplasia is a genetic malformation of the elbow joint.
31. Aortic Stenosis/Sub-aortic Stenosis (AS/SAS) is a common problem for Rotties and is when the aorta narrows below the aortic valve, forcing the heart to work harder to supply blood to the body.
32. Osteosarcoma is an aggressive bone cancer.
33. Gastric Dilatation-volvulus (GDV) or Bloat is a life-threatening condition that can happen after the dog ingests a large meal very rapidly and drinks a large volume of water, then exercises vigorously. GDV may occur when the stomach is distended with gas or air and then twists (torsion).
34. Panosteitis (Pano) usually occurs in puppies around four months-of-age and will show has lameness.
35. Hypothyroidism is a deficiency of the thyroid hormone where the thyroid produces less hormones to help the body function properly.
36. Allergies can appear and be related to certain foods, a reaction to something the dog touches or an Inhalant allergy which is caused by airborne allergens such as pollen, dust, and mildew.
Caring For Me
37. Rottweilers need to have an established leader in their training.
38. This breed requires firm, consistent training, but not harsh discipline (often a sharp word is sufficient reprimand).
39. A Rottie needs someone who is assertive and has time to devote to its training and supervision.
40. You will earn a Rottweiler’s respect when you set clear boundaries. This will take time and patience.
41. Rotties need early socialization which includes exposure to many different people, sights, sounds and experiences. This needs to be done when they are puppies. Socialization helps ensure that your Rottweiler puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.
42. Puppy classes are a great way for your little pal to meet new people and other dogs. You will also want to invite visitors over regularly, take her to busy parks, stores that allow dogs and on strolls around the neighborhood to meet new people and other dogs.
43. The Rottweiler needs to live in the home with its pet parents. If left alone in the backyard it will become bored, destructive and aggressive.
44. Even though this breed is large, it is relatively inactive indoors.
45. This breed tends to be aggressive towards other dogs and people when they encroach on its property, for this reason the Rottweiler should have a fenced-in yard to roam around in.
46. The Rottweiler can have various energy levels from couch potato to whirlwind. When choosing a Rottweiler puppy from a litter, be sure to observe the puppies and choose which one exhibits your own energy levels best.
47. This breed is known for their athleticism, intelligence, and trainability so they are well suited for agility and obedience competitions, as well as tracking, therapy work, and of course their traditional job, pulling a cart or wagon.
48. Rotties thrive on mental stimulation and they like to learn new things, as well as being eager to please their pet parent; keep this in mind when training your big buddy.
49. The Rottweiler may demonstrate some willful behavior at times. Handle this with fairness, consistency and firmness to get the best from your canine.
50. Rottweilers will test you to see if you really mean what you say, so be prepared to hold your ground.
51. Rottweilers require a couple of 10 to 20 minute walks and play times each day.
52. Rottweilers have a double coat and shed heavily in the spring and the fall, although only moderately throughout the rest of the year.
53. Many Rottweilers snore so you may want to invest in some earplugs
54. Rotties have a tendency to overeat and can gain weight very quickly so their food intake should be monitored. This includes all those extra treats!
55. Rottweilers get along fine with children (if raised with them). However, they must be taught what is acceptable behavior around little ones.
56. Rotties have a natural instinct to herd in doing so they may “bump” children, but because of their size, this “bump” may cause toddlers to fall down and injure themselves.
57. Some Rottweilers have a strong prey drive and for this reason they may get overly excited when children run and play. Always supervise your Rottweiler when around children.
58. Unfortunately, even if you train your Rottweiler, you may still be subjected to sometimes unfair advance judgments about your dog. This is due to the fear some people have about the breed.
59. Because of its powerful jaws, you will need tough, indestructible toys for your Rottie to play with.
Fun Furry Facts
60. Today, Rottweilers rank the 17th most popular breed among all the 155 breeds and varieties registered by the AKC.
61. Despite their large size, Rottweilers believe they are lap dogs and will try to crawl up on your lap to cuddle.
62. Due to the “bad press” the Rottie gets, it has been banned in certain areas of the United States.
63. Rotties rank in the Top Ten Smartest dog breeds.
64. Celebrities like Will Smith, Bruno Mars, Hayden Panettiere and Leonardo DiCaprio all have or once had a Rottweiler.
These fun facts about the Rottweiler cannot compare to being the pet parent to this awesome breed.
If you are considering embarking on the journey of having a Rottweiler, be sure to research out reputable breeders or look to your local rescue group for available Rotties looking for a second chance at a great life.