More to love
At over 100 pounds (females can be as much as 114 pounds and males usually max out at 130), the Rottweiler is considered a Large Breed and as far as they are concerned that just means there is more to love.
You might be surprised to find out that the Rotty was originally bred to herd sheep as far back as ancient Roman times.
It is hard to imagine a dog with a reputation for being aggressive (see 9 Most Aggressive Dogs) being trusted with something as passive and gentle as sheep.
The Rottweiler is sometimes referred to as the “Butcher Dog” which might be partly responsible for their bad reputation.
But the nickname has nothing to do with the Rottweiler temperament and everything to do with the fact that they would actually haul carts full of meat to and from the butcher’s shop.
The Canine three C’s
In general, the Rottweiler temperament can be described using the “three C’s” of dog temperaments.
But like most dogs, if left alone or not given enough exercise their calm nature can turn into bad behavior.
On the list of Most Intelligent Dogs, the Rottweiler comes in 9th out of 80 breeds!
Having a smart dog can be wonderful, but just like with really smart children, if their minds are not kept occupied it can lead to trouble.
A few more activities that you can use to bring out the best in your Rottweiler temperament include:
Herding – As mentioned, Rottys were originally bred to be herding dogs and, with the right kind of training, this can be a fun activity for both you and your dog. Your dog can earn awards for herding ducks, geese, sheep or cows.
Carting – You can have a harness made for your Rottweiler and hitch him to a cart which he will proudly tow around the neighborhood!
Flyball – This exciting sport combines the canine favorite Fetch with agility type obstacles. As a team sport consisting of 4 dogs and their handlers, it is vital that your Rotty be well socialized before participating in this or any other group activity.
Their courage is one of the aspects of a Rottweiler’s temperament that is both a blessing and a curse. Fiercely loyal and alert, they make wonderful guard dogs.
You can find many news stories about Rottys protecting their family, even to the death from danger.
In the wrong hands, however, this courage can be turned into aggression towards other dogs and humans.
You can teach your Rottweiler to be an obedient and safe guard dog by using gentle but firm training techniques and by giving him plenty of love and affection.
I have heard a veterinarian say that he was more worried about handling Chihuahuas than Rottweilers. When I asked why, he explained that Chihuahuas lack confidence and a scared dog will do whatever it thinks it has to protect itself.
It is this confidence and fearlessness that has led to negative press regarding the Rottweiler’s temperament because this self-assuredness is something that can be ruined by poor handling.
It may be hard to believe that these big, tough dogs aren’t indestructible but like many large breeds, the Rottweiler has its share of health issues.
Bloat and Gastric Torsion
Big dogs tend to gulp their food which can lead to a bloated stomach which in turn can lead to a very painful gastric torsion.
Dogs who eat or drink large amounts can cause excess gas and fluids to build up which can cause the stomach to expand and possibly rotate.
You can avoid this problem by feeding your Rotty smaller amounts several times a day and by keeping him calm after meals.
Many Rottweilers are prone to hip dysplasia but you can help stave off symptoms by keeping your Rotty from becoming overweight, by feeding him a high quality food and by giving him with joint supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin.
Is the Rottweiler the right dog for you?
These big, beautiful dogs can be wonderful family pets for the right person.
If you want a confident dog that will be a loving part of your family, the Rottweiler temperament might be a good match for you.