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Rottweilers: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Fierce protectors or loyal love bugs? If you're considering a Rottweiler, here's what you need to know about the often misunderstood breed.

Man holding young Rottweiler


Rottweilers are considered one of the oldest dog breeds, originating as far back as Roman times.

They are named after the town of Rottweil, Germany, where they were bred as cattle herding dogs for their intelligence and strength.

Though some are still used for herding and guarding, today's Rottweilers are popular as family pets due to their affectionate nature and protective instincts.

Similar breeds

If you're looking for similar dogs to the Rottweiler, check out Doberman Pinschers, Beaucerons, Manchester Terriers, Great Swiss Mountain Dogs, and Hovawarts.

Are Rottweilers hypoallergenic?

Rottweilers are not hypoallergenic. While they have short hair, they still shed and produce dander, which can trigger allergies in some people.

However, some people with mild allergies may be able to tolerate being around Rottweilers.

Looking for an allergy-friendly dog? We've got you covered with our guide to hypoallergenic breeds.


Rottweilers are known for their loyal, protective nature. They are intelligent and affectionate dogs that make great family pets. However, they can be stubborn and require strict training.

Rotties usually have a calm and confident demeanor, which makes them great guardians. They are extremely loyal to their owners and will do anything to protect them. They can also be wary of strangers and unfamiliar situations, so it's important to properly socialize them early.

Rottweilers thrive with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. Many Rottweilers enjoy playing fetch, tug-of-war, and other games with their owners. They're also known to be great swimmers, so taking them to a lake or pool can be a fun weekend activity.

Illness/health concerns

Like all dogs, Rottweilers can contract bacterial and viral infections such as parvo, rabies, and distemper. However, these infections can be prevented through vaccination.

Rottweilers are also prone to a few common health problems like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, eye issues (including cataracts), and gastric dilatation-volvulus (bloat).

Make sure to work with a reputable breeder who can identify inheritable problems in the dog’s lineage and is known for raising healthy pups.

How big do Rottweilers get?

Rottweiler can reach up to 27 inches in height and weigh between 80 and 135 pounds.

Adult dog size can be influenced by age, sex, and activity level, and it can be more challenging to predict for mixed breeds.

Life expectancy

The average life expectancy of a Rottweiler is relatively long for larger dogs, ranging from 8 to 10 years.

Regular veterinary visits and preventative care can help manage common health concerns and ensure that your Rottie lives a long and healthy life.

Expected lifetime cost

The lifetime cost of a Rottweiler can vary, but you can expect to spend around $15,000 throughout your dog's lifetime. On average, that’s about $1,500 per year.

This cost can vary depending on food, routine vet visits, preventative medications, grooming, and other essential pet care items.

Estimated cost to insure

Pet insurance can help you manage unexpected medical expenses. The cost of insuring a Rottweiler can vary based on age, health, and location. You can expect to pay around $30-$50 per month for coverage.

The good, the bad, the ugly

Are you considering getting a Rottweiler? These dogs are known for their loyal, protective personalities but can be a handful. Here are some traits and health factors to keep in mind:

  1. Temperament: Rottweilers are known for their loyal and protective personalities. While they are prone to aggression, Rottweilers are often misunderstood. When properly trained, they are loving, calm, obedient, and respect the authority figure in their homes.

  2. Need for Attention: Rottweilers are a social breed and require a lot of attention from their owners. They can become destructive or develop behavioral issues if left alone for long periods without mental and physical stimulation. Spending time with your Rottweiler daily is important, whether playing, training, or just cuddling.

  3. Health issues: Rottweilers are prone to certain health conditions, including hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and bloat. A balanced diet and exercise can help mitigate some of these issues, but they should be considered before getting a Rottweiler.

  4. Joint health: Rottweilers often have joint problems such as hip dysplasia, which can be painful and debilitating. Consistent veterinary care and a healthy diet can help mitigate these issues.

  5. Protectiveness: Rottweilers are loyal guardians to their owners. While this can be a great trait, it may also make them wary of strangers and unfamiliar situations. It could lead to dangerous, reactive behavior. Early socialization is critical to help them develop good behavior and prevent aggression.

Rottweilers make great companions, but like all breeds, each dog has its own characteristics and personality traits to be aware of. A Rottweiler can make for a great pet with the right training and care.

So you want a Rottweiler...

Before bringing one of these sweet dogs home, consider the potential challenges and how others often perceive the Rottweiler's reputation.

If you're looking for a loyal, protective pup (and you’re committed to their training), a Rottweiler might be the perfect breed to be your loyal and protective companion for many years.

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