Ratings by owners.
| Breed Reviews By Breed | Review a Breed
Rottweiler Home Page

Average rating

Breed Notes

The true ancestry of the Rottweiler is unknown though it is believed that they may have been dogs used by the Roman legions to drove and guard livestock as they came north out of Italy into Europe. The breed was established at the commercial and agricultural town of Rottweil where it continued to herd but also to protect against thieves and other predators. During World War I, their strength, stamina and courage led them to becoming dogs used in war for guard and patrol duty. They were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1935 and by the Kennel Club of Great Britain in 1966.
The Rottweiler is a naturally protective animal. Because of his strong-mindedness, the Rottweiler requires an owner who will see that he gets proper training in order to make him a good family pet. He is affectionate, intelligent and easy to train. He is extremely faithful with great courage and a dignified demeanor.
The appearance of the Rottweiler is one of boldness and courage. The head is broad and medium in length with a definite drop between the eyes (called the stop) from the skull to the muzzle. Muzzle should be equal in length to the skull. The eyes are of medium size, dark brown. The ears are small, set high, and hang over about on level with the top of the head. The jaws are strong and muscular with a scissors bite. The neck is strong and muscular as are the shoulders and loin. The chest is deep and broad. The back is level. The legs are strong and muscular. The gait conveys strength, stamina and purpose. The feet are round and compact with well-arched toes. The tail is customarily docked. The coat is a double coat with a top coat of medium length and a short undercoat that cannot be seen through the top coat. The top coat color is a glistening black with tan markings over the inner ridge of the eye, along the muzzle and neck, on the chest and the legs. Average height is between 22 and 27 inches while average weight is between 90 and 110 pounds. of Florida writes:

My friends for life.
I have had up to four at one time (all inside) and am now down to one. I lost one about three years ago and two others within the past year (both aged fourteen). They, as all pets, give back what you give them. When trained with love you get love. I have raised exotic animals (everything from primates to tiger cubs to bentrongs and genets), ALL of the animals were "adopted" by the Rotts and at one point either climbed on, slept with, etc., with them. They can be wonderful with children and other animals as well as protection for all they love.
One thing I plead everyone to think about: They are such large animals and myself as a single woman I could not pick them up to take them to the vet. Hip dysplasia as well as eye entropion were the two major problems I have seen with this breed. Remember, proper training with love and praise will give you a wonderful and devoted friend. of U.S. writes:

My four best friends.
I have four Rotties and they are the best. I have two females and two males. They all get along beautifully; my males are father and son and dad has been there right from the birth and is absolutely the best father. One of the females is also his daughter and the other female is the mother. They are definitely a housedog. They love to be near their owners at all times. They are a very loyal dog and a great protector of their family. They are always ready to give kisses and, of course, drool most often follows, but I don't mind at all. They do require a lot of love like most dogs. Because they have gotten so popular do your homework on the breeder and background of the dog you're considering. I can't say enough wonderful things about my dogs. I love them all very much, they are very easy to spoil. of Michigan writes:

Man's true best friend.
I had the great pleasure of owning a wonderful male Rott. He has past on last September. He was as I refer to him, my first child. He did everything from goose hunting, swimming, pulling my other two children on a sled and was with us no matter where we went. Everyone knew and loved him. He was an awesome protector and our family's best friend. In the search for a new Rott I have come across some pretty scary backyard breeders. The biggest thing when owning a Rott is knowing and realizing the commitment you are making. When my oldest was born our Rott was not happy that he wasn't the center of attention anymore and we had to pay more attention to him. We also got him familiar with baby smells (powder and such) before the time came. Just remember dogs are sometimes more responsibilty than kids, be prepared and don't get it just because you think its "cute." Rotts can be very aggressive if not trained right. But if you do, be prepared for a friendship of a lifetime!

Name withheld by request of Alaska writes:

Gentle giant.
I have had my Rottweiler since he was ten weeks old, he just turned four years old this year. He truly is a gentle giant. He is so loving and tender, yet would give his life to protect me. I did a lot of research on Rottweilers when I got him, along with putting him in obedience classes as soon as it was possible. I believe that knowledge of the breed and proper training will bring out the gentle giant in every Rottweiler. After experiencing the joy that a Rottweiler brings to my life, I know that as long as time allows I will always have a Rottweiler by my side. of Connecticut writes:

All-around wonderful dog that becomes your best friend.
The Rottie is an intelligent, and self-confident breed. When properly trained and loved, they will become the best friend you can ever have. If you love life and want a friend to enjoy it with, no breed beats a Rottweiler. Rotties are calm inside and active outdoors. They love long walks in the woods, and most enjoy a swim.

Name withheld by request of Indiana writes:

Unconditional love.
The Rottweiler is an amazing companion and trustworthy friend. They are loyal, protective and loving of their family. Of course they can also be stubborn, headstrong and have selective hearing at times. If you are not willing to share your life, time and home, please do not get a Rottweiler. Not only you but everyone else in the family and the dog will be misreable. This is not a dog you can put in the backyard and toss food to once a day. A Rottweiler takes a deep personal committment of time and love. Obedience training is a must and should begin the day you bring your Rottweiler home. I was amazed how quickly my Rottweiler learned, but you always have to remember that he is doing it
for your approval. All they ever ask for in return is your love which they prize more than the food they eat or the air they breathe. If you are considering this breed, read and understand the dog. Contact reputable breeders, backyard breeders are definitely NOT the way to go. Understand the time commitment involved with the training and the financial responsibility of proper vet care and food. If after careful consideration you still want a Rottweiler, you too will understand that you have gained a new special friend and member of the family, not just a dog.

Name withheld by request of Chicago, IL writes on 8/.10/01:

An all-around dog.
Althought I'm aware that all Rottweilers possess a strong territorial instinct, I'm not so sure about our dog's "guard dog" abilities. She will bark at noises of people (or something) lurking outside our apartment, but she has never even so much as show her teeth (snarl) at a stranger. She is EXTREMELY affectionate, and seems to LOVE everyone, including strangers! We're very lucky to have a Rottie with an excellent temperament. Fortunately, all the people that she has "met" so far have been nice ones, I'm really not sure what she would do if someone tried to attack me, and I hope I never have to find out. She does, however, goes on "full alert" when someone is RUNNING in our direction while we're walking down the street. She puts on this VERY SERIOUS face and stand stiffly right in front of me.
But for now, I'm thoroughly happy with our Rottweiler. She's the goofiest dog I've ever seen (on the contrary, our little American Eskimo is a TERROR to anyone she doesn't know already). All she ever wants to do is to be with us all the time, and she's all kisses (too much). I don't even see how ANYONE could be afraid of her.
If you live in the city, depending on the kind of neighborhood, I have to let you know that you should expect some pretty uncalled-for remarks from certain ignorant people when you walk your Rottweiler. Some people tend to go right ahead and assume that you have a mean and vicious dog once you own certain types of breeds. Recently, one woman even threatened to shoot us just because her grandchild got freaked out by the sight of her (who was NOWHERE near her). Be prepared for that. You can't change some people's minds.
Do your research. Know that with a Rottweiler comes a lot of responsibilities, and expenses. We've spent quite a bit on getting her professionally trained, and it was worth every penny. They CAN be quite hyper as puppies, although not as much as some smaller breeds, but the main difference is that Rotties are BIG... and you'll feel as if you have daily tornadoes in your home. I know of many cases where people just purchase Rottweilers on impulse, and then a few months down the road gave up trying to raise the puppy, and off to the shelter it goes. That's just plain disgusting. As with ALL dogs, take the time to raise them well, be patient but firm (not cruel), and you'll be richly rewarded soon enough. Their unconditional love is priceless.

Name withheld by request of Reidsville, NC writes on 5/8/01:

A very loving breed with the proper care.
We have owned a Rottweiler for about 3 years now. They are very affectionate dogs when trained right. Our dog has never bitten anyone, but she is a good guard dog to strangers. They are very loyal, and are sometimes trained to be mean, but they also have very friendly natures to their owners and also to friends. Our dog has no problem with neighbors, but she is wary of people passing and will bark. She was stolen from us before and not treated well. We got her back, but that has made her alert us of strangers. She has never lost her loving nature though. She looks scary, but she is the most loving dog, in the neighborhood. Everyone should own a Rottweiler! of Pennslvania writes on 4/20/01:

The best dog I've owned.
Rottweilers are very headstrong dogs, they're social climbers who will do whatever you let them do. Obedience training is a definite must for these big brutes. My dad got my Rottweiler for me from a guy who was going to have him euthanized because he bit one of his children. He was still teething at this time and he nipped a lot. After I taught him that biting humans is a no-no, I've never had a problem with this. He's a real joy and my best friend in the world, but he needs his space. You have to respect the Rottwelier's space, or they'll let you know they're unhappy. As for food guarding, he has bit of a problem with this. He doesn't like anyone in the kitchen while he's eating. I've made this a non-issue by just ignoring him while he eats and just let him be. Other than that he's the doggie love of my life! In my eyes he's the greatest dog in the universe. :) Always by my side and alert, if anyone is walking in the front yard he knows even when he's in the house. And if I'm not feeling quite up to par he knows and follows me around the house, licking me to death when I finally settle down on the couch. This breed takes a lot of patience and training. Respect the dog, train him well and keep him in his place. Always remind him that YOU are the alpha, otherwise he'll walk all over you. If you think you've got what it takes to dedicate the time and love a Rottweiler will be your best friend until the day they cross the Rainbow Bridge.

Name withheld by request of Davenport, IA writes on 12/12/00:

A loving, gentle and loyal breed.
I had the privilege of owning a Rottweiler for 11 years before cancer claimed her just 6 short months ago. A Rottweiler can be a friend for life if brought up properly - well socialized with obedience training a must. I brought my girl up with lots of love and gentleness. She was a sensitive dog. First and foremost, I would say a Rottweiler needs obedience training as soon as you get home! They do very well and only wish to please and love their family. She was the best dog I ever had. She was kennel trained and remained in a crate during the day while I worked for the first three years of her life during which I referred to her as "my destroyer"; after three years old, she was trustworthy and never destroyed or touched anything. It's just a stage they go through. She was a "nanny" to my little boy back then (he was three) - she would follow him everywhere. She never growled, bit, - she didn't have a mean bone in her body. I was lucky or maybe luck didn't have anything to do with it. Maybe I brought her up right. I loved her more than anything. Five stars are not enough! of Portelgin, Ontario writes on 10/6/00:

Know about the breed before bringing one home.
My husband and I have a beautiful, loving, loyal, 8 month old Rottie. We got really lucky though. We went into this with our eyes shut. We got our dog from what is known as a backyard breeder. We had no idea where she came from, or of her family history. we are very lucky we ended up with such a sound -tempered dog. Ee took her to puppy class and obedience training and she was the star of her class. We did a lot of research into the breed, but only after we got her. Our friends weren't so lucky though. They got their little boy Rottie from the same place, they attended the same classes as us but at the age of 4 months they had to have him put down, (on advice of a well-known breeder). From the day they brought him home he was nothing but trouble and at 4 months old he turned on his owner and sent her to the hospital for stitches. The vet believed it was related to the breeding. That was his tempermant what i'm trying to get across is don't make the same mistake. Know about the breed first then decide to bring one into your home. Know the history of your dog, it's parents' and their history. Rotweilers are the MOST incredible breed of dog. Our dog is a wonderful edition to our family. she is great with our three year old daughter, and is very well socialized with outsiders and other dogs, she doesn't like to be caught off guard though. I wouldn't trade her for the world and I look forward to getting her a brother or sister - the right way this time. of the U.S. writes on 9/28/00:

Great fun-loving dogs.
Rottweilers are the greatest dogs in the world. They are great companions,and they love you more than anyone could ever love someone. They have wonderful personalities, but have a bad reputation. The Rottweilers reputation is so bad because people who own the mean Rotties make them mean. I have 2 Rotties of my own. One I have saved from a person who beat him until he was scared of every little movment I made. The other is his son. They are the most loving, gentle, caring dogs you could ever have. And one of the best things about a Rottie is if they love you no one and I mean no one will come around you if you don't want them to. of New Jersey writes on 8/25/00:

Darned good dog.
We've had two Rotts, one American bred, the current one German bred. Both were intelligent, well adjusted dogs. We spent A LOT of time socializing our current boy, and he is loved by pretty much everyone who meets him. He even does therapy work in a nursing home. Despite my glowing praise, I would not recommend this breed as a 'first dog'. Nor would I recommend a Rott if you intend to leave it outside all day and night, as our neighbor does(breaks my heart to see that dog on his hind legs looking through their back-door window at them). These dogs need to be trained and socialized from the day they come into your house. But once they are a true part of the family, they are a joy go out with, and to come home to. of Newton, NJ writes on 7/22/00:

The best companions.
We've had our Rottweiler for three years now. Ever since he was a pup.
They NEED obedience training at a very early age, or they will without
a doubt walk all over you. They need LOTS of exercise in order to prevent
from getting hip problems. Because of their great size they can easily
develop hip problems,which if not handled appropriately hurt them in the
long run. Our puppy is definitely just one of the family, he sleeps all
day, and loves to give, and get kisses. He has an indefinite pataincence
with children. Very protective of our family and house, and can at times be
very hyper. Especially when someone comes to the house. If you are considering
getting a Rottweiler, make sure you do your homework. And treat them good.
They are great pets with lots of love to share, please don't turn them
into a mean, aggressive junkyard dog. They already have a bad reputation
from movies, and junkyards, we have to try and give them the great name they
deserve. of Arizona writes on 6/12/00:

Not for everyone...
Rottweilers can be 5-Star dogs but only in the right home. This breed is not for everyone, and many people don't realize what comes along with the Rottweiler. With protectiveness, you get stubborness. Intelligence and loyalty, yet a challenging nature. This is a breed that can think for itself; and Rottweilers really do have minds of their own. Obedience training at an early age is necessary for a dog that you can control when they reach 90+ lbs. All potential Rottweier owners need to know that Rottweilers take a lot of time, patience, energy, and a good humored owner. It is always important to know that the Rottweiler can be dangerous in the wrong hands. These are not backyard or junkyard dogs. They should not be trained to be aggressive unless the trainer has control over the dog and has experience in such training. A piece of advice for potential owners - ask questions about the breed before you buy. There are too many bad Rottweilers out there (bred by irresponsible back yard breeders and puppymills), so its extra important that you do your homework on the breed and know what kind of dog your committing yourself to. of Belgium writes on 4/11/00:

A most dependable and lovable family friend.
We have had our dog for 8 years. He truly is one of the family. His gentle disposition and friendliness make him the ideal pet. Rottweilers are courageous, dependable and stubborn. I can't imagine ever owning any other type of dog. of Tennessee writes on 3/14/00:

Wonderful family member who takes his job as family guardian seriously.
Our first Rottie was a 3 year old female who was found as a stray and brought back to health by a Rottweiller rescue organization. She was a perfect compliment to our very vocal and more hyper male German Wirehair Pointer. Rotties are quite calm generally and only bark when absolutely necessary. They have "vocal tendencies" and are devoted family members. They can be stubborn and as long as they know their boundaries, they are more secure. Rotts do not like being ignored and left chained near a dog house. This can breed aggressive tendencies. They want to be included in all family activities. In summary, once you own a Rottie and come to appreciate their courage and protective nature, you will never want to be without one at your side. of Bay Area, CA writes on 2/16/00:

Magnificent - but are you worthy?
I proudly share my home/life with a beautiful, well-mannered (rescued) Rottweiler. I have found that to successfully own these dogs you MUST: 1)Be prepared to learn about and accept a full-range of dog behavior 2) Know how to communicate and be willing to take the time (which is a lot) to train a dog based upon respect 3)Be able to defend why you got such a dog (a lot of people do not like Rottweilers and will feel free to tell you so) 4)Be ready to share your time/love/and entire home and lifestyle with your furry friend. This is the first time I've owned a Rottweiler and have to say that my Rottie is everything I've ever hoped for in a dog and then some! Not a dog for everyone, only the lucky ones who are capable and/or willing to commit to such an intense, loyal, intelligent breed. I would have voted five stars except..and I emphasize..this is not a breed for the general dog-owning public. of Golden, CO writes on 12/8/99L

Only have one so far- cannot imagine a better companion.
Our two year old Rottie was easy to train, although she certainly has a mind of her own and is certain that everyone and everything is put on the earth purely for her convenience or enjoyment. Very even-tempered and she would not intentionally harm any of the inhabitants in her domain. Very strong and likes to play harder than most people can tolerate. Can easily cause unintentional injury if improperly handled. We also have an elderly Doberman, two Papillons and two cats that all peacefully co-exist with the Rottie. We have absolutely fallen in love with our hundred pound "lap dog," of Alterta writes on 10/11/99:

I love Rotties more than any other dog breed in the world, because they are sweet, loving, beautiful, and they have a heart of gold! of Cave Junction, OR writes on 10/10/99:

Great dog, but needs firm, consistant handling,. Very loving dog.
I have found the Rottweiler to be a gentle, loyal, playful, and intelligent breed. They are rather independent so you must be a strong "alpha" type to really bring out their true potential. They are willing to try anything and indeed do many things. Two of my boys are therapy dogs. We go to nursing homes and the little old ladies just love them. The dogs have both learned to "work a crowd" and really enjoy the visits. I have a pup in training for SAR tracking. Rottweilers are big enough to be great companion dogs for the physically and mentally challenged. They can pull, cart, herd, and are extremely loyal. They are used in police and military work as well. But the job they can do best is being a loving friend.
I suffer from PTSD and my constant therapists are my boys. The older two have been my reason for living and have been steadfast through all my ups and downs.
The Rottweiler does have some medical problems. The can suffer from thyroid, heart, and joint ailments. Since they are a very strong breed they will often be in very bad shape before they show it enough that it will be noticed.
They are FAMILY dogs. They need to be in the home, inside with their family. They do not do well tied up or stuck out in the backyard. Mine are all convinced, at 100+ pounds, that they are lapdogs. Obedience training is a must for these dogs or they will try to rule the roost. of Anchorage, Alaska writes on 10/1/99:

Intelligent, loving, loyal, powerful, devoted
Earning Obedience titles is my main interest. The Rottweiler has been a very hard working dog, and is quick to learn. I do NOT recommend this breed for everyone due to the fact that it takes a person that knows how to handle problems that may arise (growling, possessiveness, running away when called, jumping up, etc..) while they are growing up. They do need regular training and exercise to be a great pet. If they receive that, you'll never have anything but a Rottweiler. The only reason they didn't get 5 stars is, like i mentioned before, they aren't *for* everybody.

| Breed Reviews By Breed | Review a Breed
Rottweiler Home Page
Dogs Online