Rottweiler

80-110 lbs
22-25"
Germany

Rottweilers — or Rotties — are a strong, muscular breed that are sometimes portrayed as aggressive. But, they have a soft side and are a loyal, protective breed that loves their family. They are also incredibly intelligent, being both police dogs as well as search-and-rescue dogs.



If you have a Rottweiler you’ll want peace of mind that your pup is covered for any health issues. It’s quick and easy to compare the best pet insurance plans from top providers. 



In this guide to Rottweilers , you’ll discover:

  • A brief history of the breed
  • Rottweiler health risks
  • Appearance, temperament and characteristics
  • What it’s like to own a Rottweiler 

Rottweiler breed overview

Rottweilers are popular family dogs as well as service dogs. They are territorial and loyal which makes them excellent guard dogs but they’re also very sweet natured. 

There are two main types of this breed — American Rottweiler and German Rottweiler. 

The rottweiler lifespan is around 9 to 10 years, although they have been known to live several years longer than this, with females often living longer than males. Their life expectancy is shorter than other breeds due to their large size. 

You can rescue an adult Rottweiler. But, if you want to buy a Rottweiler puppy you’re likely to pay anywhere from $1500 to $4000 from a reputable breeder. Rottweilers are considered one of the most expensive breeds. The average cost is $1500 — you’ll pay more for those with a champion bloodline or those from Germany. 

purpose Purpose
cattle driver, guardian, draft
history Date of Origin
ancient times
ancestry Ancestry
mastiff, german shepherd, roman drover dog

Rottweiler Health

Sketch of Rottweiler
Average Size
Male Rottweiler size stats
Height: 24-27 inches Weight: 85-135 lbs
Female Rottweiler size stats
Height: 22-25 inches Weight: 80-110 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Hip And Elbow Dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis
  • Lymphoma
Minor Concerns
  • Entropion
  • Panosteitis
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Von Willebrand's Disease
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Hip
  • Elbow
  • Blood
  • Blood Test
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Physical Examination

Rottweiler Breed History

The Rottweiler dog we know today is the descendent of Roman drover dogs.

It’s commonly believed that the Rottweiler evolved around 74 AD when Roman soldiers of the 11th Legion of the Roman Empire settled in the Wurttemberg region of Germany. They were used for herding and guarding cattle as well as guarding the camp and later for pulling carts and wagons.

This area became known as ‘das Rote Wil,’ which referred to the red roof tiles of the small villas in the town, and has since evolved into Rottweil, giving the breed its name. 

By the mid-19th century, the railways were being built, which began to replace Rottweilers. The breed then gained popularity with butchers, where they were again used to pull carts of meat, and were given the name ‘Rottweiler metzgerhund,’ or Rottweil butcher dog. The breed’s numbers declined significantly, and the breed was in danger of becoming extinct. 

In Germany, fans of the breed established the International Club for Leonbergers and Rottweiler Dogs in 1899. By 1901 they had created the first breed standard. Rottweilers began to be used as police dogs, working during World War I. The American Kennel Club recognized the Rottweiler in 1931, and the dog has since grown in popularity in the United States. 

Today, the breed is still used in Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, and Norway as police, customs, guard, and rescue dogs.

Rottweiler Breed Appearance

This large breed has a strong, stocky, solid frame. You’ll notice the female Rottweiler does  have a more feminine look than the male and is slightly smaller.  

They are agile and powerful dogs with a wide skull, broad muzzle and strong jaw. Their dark eyes have an alert expression and their triangular ears hang down towards their cheeks. They have a broad chest and muscular legs. 

Their tail is often removed (known as docking.) While this is illegal in some parts of the world (including Germany) it isn’t in the US, although it’s regulated in some states. This is seen as a breed standard and is purely done for cosmetic reasons. It will be done shortly after the dog has been born. 

The Rottweiler has a double coat. The outer coat consists of medium length hair that’s flat, coarse, dense, and resistant to water. This visible coat is black with clearly defined markings in brown shades from tan to mahogany. The undercoat is present on the neck and thighs. It doesn’t show through the overcoat and is generally a lighter color in gray or tan but can be black as well. 

Although they are not seen as the breed standard and therefore are very rare in the US, you can also get a long-hair Rottweiler. 

Rotties are confident and fearless with a laid-back attitude and can be quite funny characters.

Appearance of Rottweiler
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Rottweiler eyes
Brown
Nose Color Possibilities
black Rottweiler nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
black Rottweiler coat
Black
Coat Length
coat
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
coat density
pin
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
coat texture
Rottweiler wiry coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Rottweiler Breed Maintenance

Do Rottweilers shed? Yes, they shed all year round and more so in the spring. However, the Rottweiler’s short coat will only require minimal grooming even during this time. Use a bristle brush weekly and wipe them with a damp cloth. 

Their nails will need to be trimmed regularly as they do grow fast and you’ll need to clean their ears and teeth. 

This breed can become destructive if they get bored, so need plenty of mental and physical stimulation. Ideally they need two workouts a day — which, as well as a walk, can include playtime activities and obedience training

They love being with people and spending time with their family and won’t do well if left on their own for too long. 

They do best in colder climates as they can easily become overheated in the warmer weather.


Rottweiler health risks 

Rottweilers are prone to a number of health conditions. Those you need to be particularly aware of, include: 

  • Osteosarcoma 
  • Hip And Elbow Dysplasia 
  • Bloat 
  • Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis 
  • Lymphoma

There is also a chance of entropion, panosteitis, progressive retinal atrophy, von willebrand's disease, osteochondritis dissecans - although these are only minor concerns.  

As Rottweilers have a higher chance of getting health issues than some other breeds it’s important to have a good insurance policy. Browse and compare top pet insurance providers to find the best option for you and your dog. 

Osteosarcoma 

Osteosarcoma is a bone tumor. The leg bone of large breeds is most commonly affected. The first sign of this is a swollen, painful area on their leg. This is the most serious cancer a dog can have so you should see a vet as soon as possible. 

Hip And Elbow Dysplasia 

Hip dysplasia is when the ball and socket of the hip joints rub and grind together. Similarly, elbow dysplasia is arthritis of the elbow joints — which is common in larger breeds. Both can be inherited and will be noticeable due to limping, stiffness or reduced activity. 

Bloat 

Bloat is when gas causes the stomach to dilate and is common in large breeds with deep, narrow chests. Your dog can go into shock when this happens and needs to be seen by a vet as soon as possible. 

Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis 

Subvalvular aortic stenosis is when a part of the aorta in their heart is narrowed. It can be genetic, and dogs who get the disease tend to be born with it — although this may not be diagnosed when they are puppies.

Lymphoma

Lymphoma is cancer of the lymphocytes or white blood cells. It originates in the immune system and can be found in the lymph nodes. It’s one of the most common cancers in canines. The symptoms can vary but include swollen lymph nodes. 


Feeding a Rottweiler — what’s the best diet?

Some of the health conditions this breed can get are due to growing too quickly. To help avoid this, you need to keep a close eye on what Rottweiler puppies are eating and be sure not to overfeed them. 

Of course, their large size means they do eat more than smaller breeds. But, once older, they are prone to obesity so it’s important to continue monitoring their diet — as well as making sure they are getting enough exercise. 

Rotties will benefit from a high-quality dog food specifically formulated for larger breeds with protein as the main ingredient. 

Do you think you’re feeding your Rottweiler the best possible diet that’s both tasty and beneficial to their health? Why not take a look at the advice from our friends at Dog Food Advisor such as the best dog food for Rottweiler puppies and the best large breed dog food?

Brushes for Rottweiler
Slicker Brush
Slicker Brush
Deshedder
Deshedder
Nail Clipper
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
fur daily fur weekly fur monthly
Rottweiler requires weekly brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Rottweiler Temperament

The Rottweiler temperament is much calmer and more relaxed than you might think. They’re very affectionate with their family, often following their favorite person everywhere they go. 

You may have seen images of an angry Rottweiler. So, are rottweilers good dogs? Yes, generally they are but, at the same time, Rotties are a powerful and loyal breed. They can be very territorial and suspicious of strangers (including children) which makes them good guard dogs but without training (or the wrong kind of training) they can become aggressive and dominant. A Rottweiler bite force can reach up to 328 pounds, which is incredibly powerful. 

Early socialization will help this breed which can also become territorial with other dogs. Introducing them to people and animals will also help to prevent a Rottweiler's behavior from becoming aggressive. 

So, are rottweilers good with kids? They are, but something to keep in mind is that they are better with older children than younger ones. 

They’re intelligent dogs and easy to train, but this will need to continue throughout their lifetime. They actually do very well in the service industry, making excellent herders, therapy dogs, police dogs, and service dogs.

Activity Level
low activity medium activity high activity
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
10 miles
walk mileage
Minutes of Activity Per Day
75 minutes
activity minutes

Rottweiler Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
3.3 cups
cup per day cost cup per day cost cup per day cost
Daily Cost
$1.50 - $1.90
food bowls daily cost
Monthly Cost
$39.00 - $52.00
food bag monthly cost

Rottweiler Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of Rottweiler at six months
Male Rottweiler size stats at six months
Height: 20.0 inches Weight: 55.0 lbs
Female Rottweiler size stats at six months
Height: 18.0 inches Weight: 46.5 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of Rottweiler at 12 months
Male Rottweiler size stats at 12 months
Height: 23.5 inches Weight: 72.5 lbs
Female Rottweiler size stats at 12 months
Height: 21.0 inches Weight: 69.0 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of Rottweiler at 18 months
Male Rottweiler size stats at 18 months
Height: 25.5 inches Weight: 102.5 lbs
Female Rottweiler size stats at 18 months
Height: 23.5 inches Weight: 87.5 lbs

Top Rottweiler Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Rottweiler breeders of 2024.
Top Rottweiler breeder Twin Creeks Rottweilers
Twin Creeks Rottweilers
Vashon, Washington
Top Rottweiler breeder Silverhill Rottweilers
Silverhill Rottweilers
Kenly, North Carolina
Top Rottweiler breeder LUCENE KENNELS
LUCENE KENNELS
Alpine, California
Top Rottweiler breeder 2Infinity Rottweilers LLC
2Infinity Rottweilers LLC
Dallas, Oregon
Top Rottweiler breeder Hidden Oaks Working Farm
Hidden Oaks Working Farm
Oviedo, Florida
Top Rottweiler breeder Von Evman Rottweilers
Von Evman Rottweilers
Groveland, Florida
Top Rottweiler breeder Dreibergen Rottweilers
Dreibergen Rottweilers
Battle Ground, Washington
Top Rottweiler breeder  Bolles Rottweilers
Bolles Rottweilers
Warrensburg, Missouri
Top Rottweiler breeder King Rottweilers
King Rottweilers
Spokane, Washington
Top Rottweiler breeder Ostenberg Rottweilers
Ostenberg Rottweilers
Snohomish, Washington

Rottweiler Owner Experiences

Champ
1 Year
1 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
cuddle
Walking
Very friendly and extremely cuddly
5 months, 3 weeks ago
Kobe
1 Year
6 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
dog park
Run
Walk
training
Kobe is very stubborn is hard to train but he likes to play with other dogs at the doggy park
1 year, 12 months ago
brina
4 Months
2 People
Apartment
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Play
my dog is a little bit of stubborn 😂
2 years, 1 month ago
Luna
4 Years
1 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Testdaf adsf asd fasd asd
2 years, 1 month ago
Zeus
3 Years
7 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
It’s been a rough patch since we bought him, but slowly getting used to his new environment and family
2 years, 6 months ago
Tennyson
3 Years
2 People
House
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Playing in the snow
I have allways had goof exp with rottweiler
2 years, 8 months ago
Mike
4 Months
4 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Run
My dog fore hands are little band,how do I make?
6 years, 6 months ago
2 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Unexpected behavior
6 years, 3 months ago
3 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Fetch
Play keep away
Play
Run
Brushing
She was careful of new people but once she sniffed you everything was okay. She had a huge thing about balls that if she got one she did not let it go and she would tear it up. She love to play fight. She would also she leafs around and throw them in the air. She was very disciplined and listened amazingly. You never had to tell her twice. She loved to run back and forth to race you and sometimes she would get so excited she would jump on you instead. Cautious but sweet and loving. Didn’t know her own strength at times.
6 years, 3 months ago
3 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Exploring
Walks
Relaxing in the shade
Gentle giant! The guy I had was huge, but very well behaved and trained well. Since it was summer he got hot after awhile and wanted to relax in the shade. Wasn't interested in people or other dogs. He listened to orders and obeyed...very smart breed!
6 years, 3 months ago
5 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
i walk this rottweiler named lexi pretty often. she is super sweet but could certainly protect herself and her loved ones if needed. she's a beast. our walks are so joyous. she just loves to be out in the sun and always finds a tennis ball to chew on during the walk. she always rolls around in the grass too which is very cute
6 years, 3 months ago
1 Year
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Dog Parks
Walks running
Running
My Rottweiler was fun to play with in the dog park. She was very social with other dogs and super sweet. She was a bit of a scaredy cat and would be jumpy when something small would startle her. Because of her size she would tug me really hard.
6 years, 3 months ago
6 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
He enjoyed to short walks and snifing around.
He's a very friendly and calm dog. He is very protective of his little brother (which is another breed) and likes to bite his own leash. He enjoys running if I encourage him. Likes to lead. He is not agressive at all.
6 years, 3 months ago
2 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walking
Playing
These lovely doggy loved walking and jogging.
Leader
Jogging
Tricks
When I was a little kid I was very afraid of them usually they used to aggressively bark.People used them as guards, but, i have wag walked them and they are super friendly and lovely dogs full of energy.
6 years, 3 months ago
1 Year
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Meet Love! Love was one loveable pup! I can also tell that Love is one spoiled little girl and her mom loved her very much - and very well deserved to be! I had to take Love's pearl necklace off before going to the park! Love was full of energy and loved played fetch. Love was really good at jumping in the air and catching the ball before it hit the ground!
6 years, 3 months ago
One Year
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
My Rottweiler experience was mixed; she was extremely friendly at times, but when I went on the ground to scratch her belly she growled and that frightened me. She was extremely strong as well, but given the breed, that came as no surprise.
6 years, 3 months ago
2 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
She was very hyper, but very sweet. She was smart and sharp, anything I commanded she listened right away. One of the smartest dogs I've walked.
6 years, 3 months ago
5 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
In my experience, Rottweilers are self-assured and very calm. They’re fiercely loyal, protective, strong, and they love a good run. Their knowing gaze belies a young and playful soul. I walked two Rottweilers named Poseidon and Titan. It was always hilarious to me because on our walks people would either stare at them out of love and affection or pure intimidation. Sure, they looked intimidating but were actually very sweet and well-behaved once you earned their trust. I was able to gain their confidence by being patient and by giving them treats and affectionate touches from the beginning. The only time I encountered some challenges was during walks that occurred in the evening. I think the boys were far more territorial and cautious of anyone but their owner coming into their home at night. Totally understandable! They would make great guard dogs or alert dogs.
6 years, 3 months ago
3 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Explore the city
Rottweilers are a fun, high energy breed usually in large sizes. They are very cautious so I usually give them plenty of time to warm up to me. There might be a few barks, but once they understand your intention, they can be friendly and come up to greet you. They work very well with authoritative tones so it helps to channel a calm, assertive energy and speak to them in a friendly, confident tone. Try to keep to a brisk pace when on a walk after business in taken care of. They are intelligent and enjoy challenging walks, obstacles and routes. And they are usually happy to walk by your side and should not be pulling too much, though for those that aren’t taught to leash manners, you’ll find yourself being pulled along by a strong-willed dog. I try to avoid other dogs and humans on the walk since I’m not sure how they will react to others.
6 years, 3 months ago
2 Years
People
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Tug-of-war
wrestling
Rottweillers are much more loveable than one would expect. Unfortunately a lot of them do not know their own strength and due to high energy *at least with some* need lots of training to keep them docile. They are fiercely protective of their families which can give them a bad reputation but these dogs are incredibly affectionate and loving. They need training to loose-leash walk because walking a dog that is not trained can be difficult without something like a gentle leader. Generally choke chains and pinch collars do not help much with rottweillers possibly due to their thick neck and stubbornness. If given the opportunity and love these dogs can even be good family dogs and loving, happy pets.
6 years, 3 months ago
Saydee
11 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Walking
My Saydee is an unbelievable dog. I have been so fortunate to have had her for 11 years. She has cancer now and is not going to be around for much longer. I will miss her sooo much. She has been a great companion and and my best friend. Saydee was so easy to train and is really great with my Schnauzer and a kitten that was picked up on the side of the road. I don't think I will every have another one that is as sweet and gentle as her. I love her and will miss her when she is gone.
6 years, 1 month ago
Kapone
5 Years
3 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Fetch
Swim
Soccer
Kapone is very Different compared to other Rottweilers
4 years, 11 months ago
Cain
18 Months
2 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
Ball
Head strong bull headed possessive hyper
4 years, 2 months ago
Maximus
5 Years
5 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
I have had Max for 5 years. He's the best dog i have ever had. He became my emotional support companion when my dad passed away.
3 years, 6 months ago
Patada
5 Years
2 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
My bf got me Patada for a present 4 years ago and she's been stuck to my side ever since! She absolutely loves meeting new people and other dogs but sometimes they don't want to meet her. She does have this uncanny knack for making people pet her and I think it's the cutest!
3 years, 2 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd