Breed Spotlight: Rottweiler
The Rottweiler is a robust working breed of great strength descended from the mastiffs of the Roman legions. A gentle playmate and protector within the family circle, the Rottie observes the outside world with a self-assured aloofness. A male Rottweiler will stand anywhere from 24 to 27 muscular inches at the shoulder; females run a bit smaller and lighter.
The glistening, short black coat with smart rust markings adds to the picture of imposing strength. A thickly muscled hindquarters powers the Rottie's effortless trotting gait. A well-bred and properly raised Rottie will be calm and confident, courageous but not unduly aggressive. The aloof demeanor these world-class guardians present to outsiders belies the playfulness, and downright silliness, that endear Rotties to their loved ones. (No one told the Rottie he's not a toy breed, so he is liable to plop onto your lap for a cuddle.) Early training and socialization will harness a Rottie's territorial instincts in a positive way.
The Rottweiler has a straight, coarse, medium-length outer coat that lies flat. The undercoat is present on the neck and thighs. He should be brushed weekly and bathed regularly. He sheds only very moderately for most of the year, although he will shed more profusely twice a year, usually in the spring and fall. His teeth should be brushed and his nails trimmed weekly. The use of a grinding tool such as a Dremel is especially effective in trimming the nails.
The Rottweiler should do well on high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian's supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog's age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog's calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog's weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
Rottweilers love swimming, walking, and trotting, especially with their people. The breed is muscular and athletic and should have the opportunity to exercise on a daily basis. If there are jobs to do, Rottweilers learn easily to cart and are excellent workers in herding, tracking, and obedience. There is no limit to the canine activities that the Rottweiler can learn to do. Excess weight is not good for any dog, and exercise can help to keep your Rottweiler fit and healthy.