Rotaries are truly wonderful dogs, they lovely brown eyes and those eyebrows over course. Sadly Rotties were the devil dogs of the nineties, they were depicted in the media as being the vicious man eaters who would turn at any point like a ticking time bomb waiting to go off, much the same way the pit bull is depicted today. Many people will still avoid Rottwielers simply because of this image that has stuck in there mind.
Rottes in truth are pretty much like any other dog, they are a little more stubborn and tenacious, probably not recommended for very inexperienced dogs owners for this reason but other than that they are just dogs. They like to cuddle and play and spend time with their family. They are pretty good with kids too.
Rotties are naturally a very protective breed, if they are poorly socialised as puppies they grow up to be suspicious and weary of anyone they don't know. Proper socialisation is very important of any breed but especially so with Rotties. They will fight tooth and nail to protect their loved ones from any threat or perceived threat.
In my experience a properly socialised Rottie is a big teddy bear. A poorly socialised one is fearful and weary, this a large,powerful dog the last thing you want if for them to be fearful and weary around people. But again is not a breed issue, any dog who is poorly socialised can have problems regardless of their breed.
Many Rotties really enjoy having a job and do well in Schunzhund training. But mostly they will just want to be with their owners whom they are wholly devoted to.
When I met my ex in 2001 I managed to "inherit" a rottie by the name of raphie. So called as a dubious accolade to the teenage mutant ninja turtle himself, Raphaelo. I kid you not. I have always been a dog lover and have since extended that into the field of training and am hoping to undertake a grooming and microchipping course in the very near future. I have always been a "big dog" person and have helped with lots of police dog training and as such developed an affinity with German Shepherds. Never had I considered a rottie as a pet.
But raphie had me at woof. He really did and I soon fell as in love with our constant companion as I did with his dad. I do not need to mention the poor press that this breed has. The amazing, distressing and uncalled for prejudice that we faced on a daily basis will be covered later and I guess that is my reason for writing this review. That if i can help to adjust even one persons opinion, even slightly, to this breed then I will have fulfilled my job.
Rottweilers have a reputation as being a "guarding" breed. This in itself conjures an image of viciousness, not helped by the oft used image of them guarding a hollywood car lot while the "baddie" actor is being chased over a metal fence by "Fang". Raph, indeed every single rott that I have met has never ever conscribed to this image. The Rott was originally bred and used during the middle ages as a herding breed and even today many members of the breed are used to pull milk carts and take part in cart pulling competitions on the continent. Miles away from the stereotype that we see. Anyway, I digress. Raphie, xoh and I spent many happy years together with young Raph being the poster dog for the breed, loving kind loyal and, as stated, our constant companion. We took him out 3 times a day and although we carried a lead we never had cause to put him on it other than walking along the edge of a road. His heelwork and recall was perfect. He had many many human and doggy friends and due to his sheer size was always recognised when he was out and about. I felt completely safe when I had him by my side, not because he would ever do anything to hurt someone, he'd more than likely lick them to death but due to the sheer deterent of his size. He loved anyone and anything, unless you were a rabbit....
I went to New Zealand for a month and came home to see my two boys. I took one look at Raphie and knew that there was something wrong. Rotts, indeed the vast majority of large breeds, are terribly prone to bone cancer. Raph had a lump the size of a tennis ball on his back hock, a large solid horrible lump that I knew immediately was bone cancer. I gently broke the news to XOH who claimed not to have noticed it (I think he was turning a blind eye to be honest) and we booked an appointment at the vets the next morning.
Following a lovely long walk raphie sat proud as punch in the back of the car enjoying the trip and waiting for his next adventure.
We walked into the vets and was immediately handed a muzzle by the vet. Raph had been to his vets many many times in his life and positively loved the experience. But on this day a locum vet was on that made it perfectly clear that she did not like rottweilers. To keep the peace we put the muzzle on, fully expecting to be able to remove it once he was sedated. we were not allowed to. Raph went and had Xrays, deeply anaesthesised and the devastating news was broken to us that he had cancer and furthermore it had spread. We had no choice but to make the devastating decision then and there to put him to sleep with the memory of a happy walk and car ride in his mind. He was laid flat out on the floor, out for the count, so deeply anaesthesised he was oblivious to the world around him and still fast asleep. We still weren't allowed to remove the muzzle. I shouted at the vet that he was fast asleep and what on earth could he do. I wasn't going to allow our beloved gentle soppy dog to die with a muzzle on. The vet shouted back "that muzzle stays on until he is dead or you find somewhere else to put him to sleep!" Not wishing to put raph through that XOH and I backed down and so our gentle giant died, as he did not deserve, with the indignity of wearing a muzzle. All incase he happened to miraculously fight off the effects of the sedation, leap up and savage the vet!!!! well he is a "vicious breed" dont you know!!!!
It broke our heart and added more trauma to the pain that we were feeling.
Since that moment I have been a massive ambassador for the breed. Educating people wherever possible that it isnt the breed that is vicious, it is the way that the dog is trained and the way that it is raised. ANY breed of dog can be "vicious" I have lost count of the times that my two boys have been attacked by much smaller dogs, looked at them without a thought of retaliation and carried on their way. At my training school I have seen an 8 year old girl doing obedience and agility with any one of her families 4 rotts and the great big galumphing dog grins as much as the child on the way around.
Raphie was such a massive part of our lives that a week after his death we truly did not know what to do with ourselves without him. Our daily routine went to moosh and enthusiam for life kinda wasnt there. 10 days later I found a breeder In Canterbury and thus two wriggling fluffball bundles of rott entered our lives. Litter brothers... Baaaad idea everyone said.. you've got a world of trouble there said others.. why on earth would you buy 2 rotts!!! I wouldn't even buy one! was a response from a colleague. But my goodness what a good decision we made. well, I say that, we are convinced that the boys were born with one brain cell between them and flip a coin for it on a daily basis they are that stoopid! but we love them and they are our boys. Once again we have put a great deal of effort and time into their training. They started puppy classes at 12 weeks old. A firm routine was established and any sign of a challenge for dominance was nipped in the bud quickly. A firm hierarchy between ourselves and them was established and i can honestly say that I have not had one moment where I have been concerned to their temperament or behaviour. Until X and I seperated I trained them in competetive obedience and agility and they proved to excel in their training. Once again they have been subject to prejudice while out and about on local walks and I have on 3 occasions now been told "have those f***ing dogs put to sleep" and been told "you should be ashamed of yourself owning dogs like that!" all for walking down the road with them in a calm and controlled manner. I still see my boys on a regular basis. XOH and I are extremely close friends and although I am not in a position to have them with me currently they are my boys and every time I can get down to kent to take them out I do. I really miss having a dog in my life and once I have more room I will not even hesitate to have a rott again.
This breed is gentle, loyal, affectionate, courageous, bags and bags of laughter and absolutely amazing companions. Please do not believe everything that is in the press and if you see someone out with a rott, be pleasant to them and give the dog a chance.
The rott gets 5 stars for being the perfect companion
I know Rotweilers get a really bad press and my own opinion of them were that they were a vicious breed. So when my ex boyfirned talked about getting one i was not very happy and tried to talk hime out of it. However he went ahead and got a male puppy, which i imediately fell in love with: he was so gentle and placid, i grew quite fond of him. A year later i split with my partner and moved out into my own house. I m,issed the dog terrible and felt lonely and vulnerable in my own house so decided to get myself a Rotty.
I got 'sadie' in October 2006 and have never looked back. I cant imagine life without her, she is the most softest, gentle big bear ever. She can be quite demanding and is a bit of an attention seeker but i wouldnt change her for the world. We look out for each other and i feel safe with her around, despite after 2 1/2 years i have never her seen her get mad. I walk her daily and let her off the lead, she is very obident and plays with all dogs who she meets while we are out. However, i have decided that she prefers humans to other dogs, after a couple of minutes playing with dogs she will always go and want petting of the owner.
Whenever i tell people i have a rottweiler, they always pull their face and go 'oooh' but when they met my soft sadie they just fall in love.
I put the temperament down to how they have been trained.
I have found a true friend in Sadie.
There are quite a few previous reviews on Rottweiler as pets and all list knowledge of the bred standard ect. The following is my own experience of owning one, as a much loved pet.
In 1982 I had never heard of Rottweiler's, when my husband said he wanted to buy one, we researched the bred for six months before we brought her from Barbara Butler chairman of the Midland Rottweiler club in Shropshire.
Over the past thirty years I have know a lot of people who own Rottweilers and you should never be tempted by a puppy, whom parents you have not seen and the family history is unknown. These are wonderful dogs but with the wrong breed lines can be a disaster waiting to happen.
Helga as we called her, her kennel club name was Upend Gay Roslindis
was the most psychic, gentle, natured dog I have ever met, she cost £350 in 1982. We wanted a dog bred from the right stock for intelligence, loyalty, gallantry, we were not disappointed, for twelve years she excelled at all of those things.
Helga was of show quality and my husband, after taking her to training classes for a year, entered her in a few shows and she did win a couple of times. He then went to work in the USA for six months, leaving me in charge of his dog, it took me a while to get into control mode and you do have to be in control with this type of dog, or they will do whatever they please, when they please. After I had gained control and she understood , who was in charge, she became my dog until the day she died.
I can still remember being in the breeders house and Helga was an eight week old puppy, her father a very large dog with very big teeth, I remember the teeth mainly. As he pinned my husband against the wall standing on his hind legs (the dog) Churchill was his name, stood nearly two feet taller than my husband and was growling at him, teeth barred, my husband had picked the pup up without Mrs Butlers permission, she was out of the room and she came back in and simply said to my husband "Its ok, he won't kill you unless I say he can", we both knew it was a true statement. No one should ever, under estimate the power of a Rottweiler, they have 60lbs of jaw pressure, one of the hardest things for them to learn is drop and leave.
We went to live in the USA when Helga was two, the bred were not very well known at that time, we could have smuggled anything through customs as the officers were more interested in walking the dog around JFK airport than looking in our stuff.
My son was born when she was four and she idolised him on sight and he was besotted with her, his first word was not mommy or daddy it was Helga. I would never, be stupid enough to leave a baby or small child alone with her, although I trusted her with any of our lives, she was capable of great strength but not infallible.
You do not have to encourage this type of dog to guard, it is instinct with them. When my husband was working away and we lived in a very quite area no immediate neighbours I would always send her in to check the house out and she would go from top to bottom and then come to me and lead me in if all was ok. I remember when we came back to the Uk years later and we had work men in the house, four arrived before lunch, after lunch someone was shouting "come and get this dog off me" a fifth person had arrived and not been given permission to enter and she knew who he was and would not let him in until I gave the ok.
One evening we counted all the words she understood and it was over 80 not just the usual sit, stay, walk, car ect but all 37 toys in her toy-box, she fetched every single one by name. If I was going out she would read my mind, so if I did not want to take her I could never look at her and think I am going out, because she would immediately stand in the way. I have also looked at her and mentally said "sit" and she has done so. They are the most empathic bred, if I was upset she would sit with her head in my lap and share my sorrow, it still makes me cry now after all the years to think how wonderful she was. My last dog a cavalier, in the same position, would just look and turn the other cheek almost to say whats your problem, not Helga, if you were upset she was upset. She was also a bit of a madam, if someone was nervous of her she would deliberately sit right next to them and just look at them with a smirk on her face.
If you want a friend who is loyal, you have plenty of time for walks and dog training then this dog is ideal for you.
The merits of the bred.
Usually very easy to train they have a desire to please.
Generally of good health.
Do not need a lot of grooming
Will defend you with their life.
Need experience if choosing a Male.
Can be rebellious you need to be in control
Need plenty of exercise (over 18 months)
Large dog expensive to feed.
Likes to chase sheep ect( generations of cattle herding)
Likes to run vets around table.
Can make you appear stupid.
One thing you should also be aware of is not to overexercise large bred dogs as you can damage their joints. Also until they are over one year they should never be allowed to climb stairs or jump in and out of the boot of the car for the same reason.
Rotties, I have had two, both bitches, both bought from breeders when they were puppies.
The first one was called Bella, she was lovely,
I remember one day I had to go out so I shut her in the kitchen, when I came home I could see her stood with her paws up against the livingroom window.
She was very happy to see me, but I was not very happy to see her in my livingroom, Shee had knocked plants all over the floor, chewed a few photograhs up and generally made a right mess, but I could not stop mad at her for long.
Sadly Bella died of Bone Cancer.
I now have Mia, she is 3 years old and she is a doll, I adore her.
She loves everybody and is a bit giddy when people come to see me, She is just like a child, wanting all the attention.
Her favourite people are children she loves to play with them.
This dog lets me do anything I want to her, she has such a kind and loving nature.
I know that the breed has a bad reputation, but I agree strongly that the dog is not to blame for the way it behaves, It is down to the owners and how they bring them up
I have kept rottweillers for over 40 years so I thought I would pass on some of the knowledge and tips I have learned over the years to try and help you with what can be a difficult breed to look after.
To start with, I have to say that if you are looking to buy a rottweiler puppy then do not be deceived by the cute bundle of black fluff that will jump on you to be fussed. This sweet little thing that you can pick up with one hand will grow into a powerful 10 stone animal. If you have anyone in your household who is frightened of dogs then I would think again about whether a rottweiler is right for you as they have an intimidating appearance once fully grown and any nerves people, especially children, have will only get worse.
I have always brought my rottweilers from recommended breeders where I can see both the mother and father and read references. I have walked out without a dog in the past because the breeders home did not look like a dog lovers house and I felt he was using his bitch to breed and make money. Ask any questions, go home and think about the answers and then if you still want the puppy then go back and get him. A good breeder will want you to make the best decision for you and your prospective puppy so will not mind if you want to spend some time thinking about it, after all he has a good litter of rottweiler puppies so he will sell them whether you buy it or not so he should not rush you.
Unfortunately a lot of rottweilers end up in rescue centres and this is another way of getting your dog. Go to a reputable rescue centre and ask about the dogs history, they are not allowed to rehome aggressive dogs and many have simply been abandoned because the owner did not realise how big their dog was going to get.
Rottweilers have a very bad press at the moment and have had for some years for I have owned 5 rottweilers from cradle to grave and none of them have had a vicious bone in their bodies. Yes, they are very loyal and make extremely good guard dogs but they have a good understanding about people who you have invited into your home and people who are up to no good.
It is important to socialise your rottweiler as early as possible because a dog who only gets to see you and people in your household can quickly become territorial and this may pose a problem should you decide later in the dogs life that you want to introduce it to more people. In my experience, a rottweiler that has been properly socialised from a puppy will grow up to be a well balanced dog and will not find people generally as threatening as a dog who has not met a wide selection of people.
The thing that most worries people about owning a rottweiler is that adults will panic if there are children around. I have 2 children and had the same rottweiler as a pet when they were both born. Cassius was just 11 months old when my oldest daughter was born and he instantly bonded with her as soon as she came home with me from the hospital, 5 years later when my second daughter was born he was equally loving towards her even though he was an older dog then. If you have children then you really have to decide what is best for yourself as you have to with any breed of dog. Another rottweiler I owned was not fond of children at all and when I found myself getting wary of the dogs behaviour I knew I had to do something or else I would have to rehome her. My husband took her to behaviour training and using a combination of food treats and attention we made big improvements in her temperament and I was proud of that. I always was on my guard still with this particular dog when children were around and unfortunately had to use a muzzle when we went to the park but I was confident with her around my own daughters who were teenagers by then.
Rottweilers have a very strong character and you have to really be the boss with them. I always made sure that I was as strict with our dogs' as my husband was and when he died I successfully brought up the rottweiler pup we had at the time who was about 6 months old. It is important you set boundaries for your rottweiler from a very early age because I have found that the sooner you start to discipline them the easier they will be to handle in the long run. When you have set your rules for your rottweiler then you have to stick to them rigidly because if your dog sees that you are wavering then they turn into the embodiment of the saying 'give them an inch and they'll take a mile'. Let a rottweiler on the sofa once and he will think of it as his bed from then on and it will take 3 months to make up for this one lapse.
Having said all that it is very important to give your rottweiler lots of affection and set aside some play time as much as possible. You can see the difference between a rottweiler that has lots of stimulation and one that is not given a lot of attention, and dogs who are secure will behave much better and have a calmer temperament in general. I have always found rottweilers to be loving and gentle dogs who love to be played with and fussed. I had my first rottweiler in the 1960s and at that time the way to train a dog was basically to beat it into them, people thought I was mad because I am 5 feet and had this huge dog and trained it like it was nothing more than a poodle. People were not familiar with this breed of dog at all and a lot of people were frightened of him but he soon became a favourite on my road and I enjoyed being the only person in my circle - hell, in my town! - to own a rottweiler.
I have been lucky with my rottweilers as all have died in relative good health of old age except for Cassius who I mentioned earlier. He suffered with a hip condition that is very common in rottweilers and is called canine hip dysphasia. This is a disease that my vet told me begins when the dog is a pup and becomes obvious with age although can also effect very young dogs. Cassius first started to show symptoms and suffer pain in his joints when he was about 7 years old and he could not run properly, these days there are effective treatments if the dysphasia is caught in time but then there was not a lot we could do other than control the pain if he had over done things. His illness progressed very quickly and he got osteoarthritis so badly within a matter of months that we very sadly had to have him put to sleep. As with any breed of animal it is very important to do some research into health issues that may affect a rottweiler and take precautions against problems that can be avoided.
A rottweiler will eat anything within reason. I have always fed my rottweilers with a mainly red meat and pasta diet for no other reason than my first dog thrived on eating this and I have stuck with it through five generations of rottweiler. It is recommended that you use a Eukanuba type complete diet of the appropriate variety and there is nothing wrong with this but I like to see my dog eat a proper meal than a bowl of dried food. My attitude towards feeding may not impress a vet. A dog of this size obviously needs a good balance of protein and fat, but rottweilers can easily gain weight so it is important to balance their meals. Your rottweiler should not get fat as long as you are prepared to give him the exercise he needs because they burn a lot of energy when they run and go on long walks although they do slow down with age and that is when they start to get a bit podgy if you don't watch their diet.
I think you can tell now that I am a rottweiler fan and cannot recommend the breed highly enough. Rottweilers are proud and loving, they do not deserve the bad press they are getting because it is bad owners that cause bad dogs. I think they were bred originally to be guard dogs, not fighting dogs like many people think, and guard dogs are bred to be big and intimidating rather than wanting to bite for the sake of it like a pit bull or certain strain of mastiff. Rottweilers have made the news many times when they have been involved in an attack and I am not making excuses for the breed, but when you read more than just the headlines it usually becomes clear that had the owner not shown some stupidity then most of the attacks would not have happened. It's not just rottweilers that can turn, all dogs are capable of it. But you do not leave a huge dog in the living room with a toddler, you do not let the dog sleep anywhere near a newborn baby and you should use your common sense at all times. I think there probably should be some restrictions on who can own certain dogs including rottweilers because the wrong people buy this dog for the wrong reason so they can look tough. I have seen a man by me who deliberately makes his rottweiler growl at people and needless to say he wears an Adidas tracksuit, burberry cap and answers to the name of Chav - my grandaughter taught me that word and she pointed him out as she said it.
Unfortunately I am writing this with a tear in my eye because my rottweiler days are over. I am 61 now and cannot look after a rottweiler properly because of my health, the main problem is I cannot walk very far without my mobility scooter and only have a very small insecure garden. I had a rottweiler until last year but sadly had to part with her because she craved exercise and I was not able to give it to her. Jet would escape from my garden and even though I knew she had not got a vicious bone in her body I was aware of how frightening it is to have a rottweiler lose, however sweet her temperament was. I rehomed her with a lovely couple who had also kept rottweilers for years and they bring her to see me every now and again. She has turned into a beautiful dog now she has the attention and exercise she needs.
I hope this helped and don't ever expect such a long review from me again because this has taken me all day to write but I have enjoyed it and it has been nice to remember some memories of absent friends.
After all the bad publicity this breed of dog has had recently i decided when i saw this topic to tell you about our rotty.
My rotty is an old man now, he is 8 years old and just starting to go grey under his chin.
We did not have our dog from a puppy, we got him as a rescue when he was 18 months old.
I had always loved rottys and always said when i had my own house i would get one so i did.
I didnt see the point of going out and getting a puppy when there are so many unwanted rottys in dogs homes so we went there, i chose our dog in particular as the manager of the dogs home had explained that they didnt think they were ever going to be able to rehome him as he was a total nightmare.
We had a look at him, gave him a fuss and took him for a walk around the grounds or should i say i got dragged around the grounds by him, when we took him back into his kennel he looked so sad and as we walked away he began to whyne, that was it i had to have him.
We went every day for 7 days to see him and they came to check our house which was pet free at the time, they agreed we could have him.
We gave them a £50 donation and home he came, his name is tyson but i have nicknamed him tigger as he is so bouncy.
The first night at home he groweled at us every time we moved, but ran off when we told him off, he wouldnt sleep so ended up in bed with me, i awoke the next morning to find he had eaten the heels off my shoes, bad dog.
What the hell had i let myself in for.
when we first had hin he growled at everything that moved even us, chewed anything that would fit in his mouth, ate anything he could, stole every bit of food you ever took your eyes off and pulled me every where on a lead.
We have progressed a long way, i have realised that he is all growel and no bite, we got burgled and he never bit them. He still growels at all bin men but as i dont know his history before i got him i dont know if there is a genuin reason for this.
He loves women and children and will tolerate anything from them, when we had our first baby i was realy worried how he would react but he loved her, he used to lye under her cot and run down stairs to bark at you if she woke up.
Now the children are older he plays in the garden with them, they put bobbles in his fur and generally harras the poor dog, when he gets fed up he untill he is loosed out to get away from them.
Thankfully he lost his instinct to chase and kill every thing that moved except other dogs so walking him is a real battle of strengths but he tolerates cats, rabbits and a whole host of other pets at home.
We have a dragon called buddy who climbs onto the dogs head and sits there for hours because he knows eventually he will go to his water bowl for a drink where buddy slides down his nose to play in the water.
Sometimes i cant believe how daft the dog has got compared to the monster i brought home.
He has got better with his chewing, in the last 2 years the only thing he has chewed up is my mobile phone.
That said though he seems to be going through his second childhood, butting his way through fence pannels and ripping up my rubbish bags, he never even did this as a teenager.
He is very boystruss and bounces around everywhere hence the name tigger, i think sometimes he forgets how big he is, he will see the cat sitting on your lap having a fuss and try to climb on for a fuss, i think he forgets he is a bit big to sit on peoples laps.
He loves to play with his tugger and his kong toy but wont fetch a ball, if you throw a ball for him you have to run with him to fetch it back then chase him to get it off him.
Luckily he is a lazy sod and tires out quicker these days.
He loves to swim, there is a pond just up the street from the house where he enjoys swimming in the water but if you try to get him to go out in the rain you have got no chance, iv never understood this.
His ability to swallow food is immence, he walks past a plate and with one slurp half your dinner has gone, i dont think i have ever had a meal without him attempting to pinch something but he doesnt steel from the children, they can leave food unattended and he wont touch it which is good i suppose.
Jump, jump iv never seen anything jump as high as him,i have seen him hit his head on the ceiling
he is loving and affectionate, he always seems to know when you need a cuddle.
He is fun to play with, loyal to our family
He does have his bad points, he eats loads hence this results in a lot of poo to clean up, he is very boystrus and most people only take one look at him and are scared.
Dogs only turn out the way there owners treat them, there is no such thing as a bad breed of dog just bad owners.
Rottys make just as good pets as anyother dog would if treated right.
Where do I start when introducing the Rottweiler?!
Well, firstly, I suppose they aren't most peoples ideal breed for a pet. The media has portrayed them all as bloody thirsty beasts that will savage everything in sight, and the breed has got a long way to go before it can even begin to shake off this reputation. Hopefully this review however, you may start to see that there is infact another side to Rottweilers, and realise that the well mannered, well brought up and well socialised ones of this world are amazing dogs, who would give their life for their owners, and entertain and love you, until the very last beat of their heart.
* The History of the Breed*
The history of the Rottweiler is still rather unknown, some sources claim they were used in Roman times to guard livestock as they crossed the Alps, whereas others claim they were originally bred to hunt wild boar, and for cattle driving in Germany. Nowadays, however the Rottweiler or Rottie for short, can generally be found either working as guard dogs, with the police force or simply, as pets.
* Is The Breed Right For Me ? *
To cut to the chase, if you are a first time dog owner or have minimal time to devote to your companion, then quite simply, the answer is 'no'! The Rottweiler, although generally relatively easy to train and very keen to please, has a very strong stubborn streak and are incredibly head strong- believing that their way of doing things is the only way, and that you too, should abide by their way of thinking! Of course, a Rottweiler being allowed to act in this way however, will result in a unsociable, aggressive animal that you can not do anything with- that is the same for any dog, not just a Rottie, so firm, humane and consistent training will be needed from day one, and to cope with this, you are going to need to be able to be firm yet fair, and have a reasonable amount of experience with training dogs under your belt. The Rottweiler, is by no means, a dog for the novice.
The next thing you will need to take into consideration is the sheer size and strength of these loveable rouges. The Rottweiler is an exceptionally strong dog, with tremendous muscle power and is a relatively large breed too. Do you have room for a dog of this size in your home and are you able to restrain a dog with such strength if the need should ever arise?
Despite what the media may have you believe, Rottweilers love children, and if trained to be gentle around them, can make an ideal family pet. It's common sense however that no dog should ever be left unattended around a child. Also, do bare in mind that Rottweilers do not know their own strength and can be very boisterous dogs. If you have small children in the house, extremely careful consideration will be needed before committing to the ownership of a Rott.
Lastly, are you able to cope with the general demands of a Rottweiler? They eat lots, need an awful lot of exercise, hate to be left alone, can suffer severe health problems and general up keep is costly- can this be afforded? We'll cover all these bases in a little more depth later on in the review.
The most important question you need to ask yourself however is - ''Can I cope with the discrimination and prejudice that comes with owning a Rottweiler?''. If you are easily offended, the Rottweiler is not for you. When out and about with this breed you will have people tell you what vicious beasts they are, how they should be banned or put to sleep, how they are all bloody thirsty killers and you'll get endless people cross the road purely to avoid you. Despite what brave face you put on, it will hurt deep down, believe me.
* Purchasing a Rottweiler *
Once you have decided the Rottweiler is the breed for you, then it's time to start planning how you are going to go about obtaining one.
The first option is, of course, purchasing one from a puppy. When doing this, I can't stress enough how important it is to purchase from a reputable breeder, it could save you so much trouble and heartache in the years to come with your dog. Websites such as ePupz and the like are terrible and should ideally, not even be something you considering looking at to find your pup.
The best way to find a reputable breeder is contact the Kennel Club, who will in turn put you into contact with some trusted Rottweiler breeders, whose dogs will be registered with the Kennel Club- this ensures your dog is a pedigree and that the dogs will be fine specimens of the breed, your dog must also be registered if you wish to show them, so this really is the best option.
When you go to look at a litter of puppies, make sure you spend at least fifteen minutes with the litter, observe them all together and then separately if you are allowed. Check that the area in which they are kept is clean, with adequate bedding and fresh water provided and that the pups are happy and apparently healthy- this means bright clear eyes which are free of discharge, clean noses and clean eyes free of harden wax and with no foul smell. Coats should be clean, glossy and free of dandruff whilst the skin should be free of sores or redness. Lastly, the pups bottoms should be clean, with no evidence of diarrhoea or bleeding and the pups should be happy to come to greet you and willing to play. Demand that you see the puppies mother, if not allowed, walk away instantly.
If you are not happy with the litter or the conditions in which they are kept, again, walk away. You will know the right breeder when you come across them- they will love their dogs, and the bond between them will be clear for all to see and they will grill you intensely about your lifestyle and suitability for owning a Rottweiler, do not let this offend you!
My Rotties breeder questioned me for 20 minutes before I was even allowed to have a look at the puppies and I had to travel half way across the country to this breeder!
My Rottweiler- a female with a 7th generation pedigree, cost £900.
Alternatively, rescue centres are over flowing with young and adult Rottweilers abandoned often through no fault of their own, so do consider these if you would.
* Appearance *
The Rottweiler is a huge, powerful dog which stands between 23 and 27 inches at the shoulder, and weighs in at between 38kg and 50kg, it has an attractive short jet-black coat with distinctive tan markings on the face, chest, legs and above the eyes. The Rottie is almost always seen with a docked tail, however this is now illegal in England and breeders can no longer legally dock tails unless for medical reasons, although it takes some getting use to- a Rottweiler with a tail is gorgeous, after all if they weren't meant to have tails, they wouldn't be born with them!
Power, Beauty & Elegance. That's the Rottweiler.
* Health Care *
Due to a Rottweilers sheer weight and size, they can often suffer from a number of conditions including Pancreatic problems, Heart disease, various Cancers and Arthritis. As with any puppy, a Rottie will need its two initial vaccinations normally given at 8 and 12 weeks, and then annual booster vac's every year for the rest of its life.
Being a large breed of dog- Gastric Torsion or 'Bloat' is a major concern, this is when the dogs stomach turns around inside its body and can be fatal if not treated immediately, to minimise the risks- adult Rotties should be fed two smaller meals a day rather than one large one and not be exercised for at least an hour after eating.
Cancer is another huge killer amongst Rotties, especially older ones, so do be sure to check your Rottweiler on a regular basis for any unusual lumps, bumps or abnormal activity, and get them straight to a vet if you find anything that concerns you, cancer treatment is generally highly successful if caught early enough.
Dental care should also be a paramount concern- be sure to include hard crunchy foods in your Rotties diet and provide rawhide or dental chews at least weekly to help scrape teeth clean of plaque and tartar. Your vet or online research can advise you more on providing a good dental care regime.
Like any dog, Rottweilers will catch worms and fleas if allowed to, so be sure to douse your Rottie in a flea preparation every two months such as Frontline and administer worming tablets- Drontal and Milbemax are two very good brands- at least 4 times a year.
* Temperament *
Rottweilers will sadly always be in the public eye for all the wrong reasons including devastating attacks on humans but there is something you should remember, Rottweilers are not born aggressive. Humans make them that way- there is something I always go by and that is that there is no such thing as a bad dog- just an awful owner.
Although not a dog suitable for everyone, the Rottweiler is extremely loyal to its owner and its family, and will protect them with its life if it needs to, they are easy to train, willing to please, brave, courageous and out-going. It's common sense than no dog, never mind a Rottweiler, should be left alone with children no matter how well trained you think the dog may be, it only takes a second for an accident to happen and once a Rottweiler has its jaws around something- they will not let go and that is a sad fact that needs constant attention.
A well trained, socialised Rottweiler, in my eyes- can make an excellent family pet, but in the wrong hands- I am not going to lie or try to sugar coat things- they can be highly aggressive and extremely dangerous dogs capable of serious harm.
* Feeding & Exercise *
Feeding a Rottweiler is quite an easy task, for the simple reason they tend to eat everything and anything you give to them, but because of that they can be prone to weight gain if their diet isn't carefully watched. I personally prefer to feed a high quality dry kibble feed to my dogs, divided into two meals a day, with an unlimited supply of fresh water. The two brands I always use are either James Wellbeloved or Burns, as I personally feel these are the two very best dog foods available. A Rottweiler will get bored of the same food everyday however, just like we would! So be sure to provide a wide variety of foods to help keep the diet interesting. Raw egg, fish oil, veggies, fruit, natural yoghurt and low fat cheese all make tasty, healthy additions to your Rotties diet.
Also, remember that RAW bones are fine- a dog can eat raw chicken and raw chicken bone- it is fantastic for them and will help keep their teeth clean and healthy. COOKED bones however must always be avoided, as they splinter, whereas raw bones do not. Search online for the ''BARF Diet'' (bones and raw food diet) if you want qualification of this!
Once fully grown, you should expect to have to exercise your Rottweiler for around two hours a day, including some off-lead running and some mental obedience work, to prevent them from becoming bored and destructive. Rottweilers don't reach their full adult size until 18 months old, so exercise should be limited before then, to avoid putting pressure on developing bones. Like a lot of dogs, they have a high chase drive and a natural urge to chase sheep and cattle, so always have your Rottie on a lead around these animals- a dog could potentially do them serious harm and a farmer is well within his rights to shoot dead any dog seen worrying his animals.
Swimming is a fantastic form of exercise and great for a Rottweiler as it puts minimal stress on both their joints and heart, so try to get your Rottie into swimming in a lake/the sea from an early age, if not, why not see if there are any canine hydrotherapy pools in your area where you can take your Rottie a couple of times a month?
Rottweilers also tend to enjoy immensely, and often excel at, activities such as fly ball and agility. So that may be something worth looking into once your Rottie reaches 18 months old.
* Grooming *
Rotties have very short coats that require very little attention, a twice-weekly brush over with a grooming-glove or rubber brush will be more than enough, and they very rarely, if ever, need bathing- unless they decided to have a roll in a rather unpleasant substance of course- something all dog owners know about!
In your grooming box for your Rottie you should include a slicker brush, rubber brush/grooming glove, fine tooth metal comb or flea comb, a conditioning/finishing spray and a packet of general wipes, to help keep your Rottie fresh and clean in between washes.
* What Basic Equipment will my Rottweiler Need? *
- A Bed: A big dog needs a big bed, and good quality ones don't come cheap. I personally use Vet Bed, which is easily to keep clean, and readily available, as well as various other pet beds- my Rott is massively spoilt!
- Bowls & Stand: Your Rottie will need two bowls, one for food and one for fresh water. Stainless steel bowls of Rottie-size cost around £4 each and seeing as Rottweilers should always be fed at shoulder height, you'll need a raised feeding stand too.
- Lead & Collar: Every dog needs these. One made from good quality soft leather are comfortable for both the dog to wear and the owner to handle, and very long lasting too. These cost around £12 each.
- Grooming Equipment: As I listed above!
- Training Aids: I personally use the clicker method, so a clicker is a must for me, as well as a training whistle, long line lead and training treats. You will need to decide what training method you would like to use and then research what items you will personally require.
- A Crate: Your dog will treat his crate as his own personal den and as somewhere private to sleep and relax. They are essential in my eyes, but the choice is yours! Some owners and dogs like them, whilst others don't.
- I.D Tag: It is the law that all dogs must have visible identification whilst out in public, the easiest way of meeting this law is to attach an metal tag to your dogs collar engraved with your name and contact details. Even if the dog is micro chipped, they must still wear a tag.
- Toys: Good quality chew toys will save your furniture and prevent your dog from becoming bored when left alone. Rotties have very strong jaws, so be careful with what toys you give to your dog. My personal favourites would be Kongs and Nylabones, as they have generally proven to be able to stand the test of time with my Rottweiler.
* Living With a Rottweiler *
Right, now I've finished giving you some general information about this near flawless breed, I'd like to introduce you to my own Rottweiler!
Her name is Grace and she is now just over 20 months old and for those who regularly read my reviews over on dooyoo, she is one half of my canine duo, the other mutt is question being Grace's ''brother'' - Benson, the Bernese Mountain Dog.
Grace is the second Rottweiler I have owned, and I honestly, hand on heart, have to say that she is one of the most amazing dogs I have ever owned and has just confirmed to me even more what a fantastic, truly breathtaking breed the Rottweiler is. She is a true clown and as daft as a brush- there is not a day go by where she doesn't make me laugh and smile and her happy go lucky outlook on live is to admired by anyone. She does not stop from the moment she wakes up in the morning until the moment she is practically dropping with exhaustion at the end of the day!
I'm not being biased, but she really is a fine example of what a marvellous dog the Rottweiler can be- she doesn't have a bad bone in her body and after a lot of work by both me and her- she has a temperament and level of training that is second he none and I'm extremely proud of her.
No one ever told this girl she is a Rottie! She loves nothing more to try and cuddle up on my lap and although she tries her best to maintain her tough Rottie imagine, she is as soft as they come and the worst damage she could do to anyone is lick them to death! That said, with Grace at my side, or even just with Grace around the house, I feel incredibly safe. She may have a fantastic and gentle nature, but if she needed to, I have no doubt in my mind she would do all she could to protect myself if I was ever in danger.
Her and Benson are joint at the hip, you never see one without the other a couple of yards behind. They try to eat from the same bowl, share the same toys and chews, snuggle up to sleep in the same bed and pine for one another if they are separated for more than a couple of minutes. They have such a strong bond.
I'm a Veterinary Nurse and Grace, along with Benson, come to work with me every day, they love to mooch around the surgery, keeping patients and their owners alike company in the waiting room and helping to demonstrate a variety of tasks when I run various health care work shops at the surgery.
All in all, Grace is a beautiful dog, through and through, on the inside as well as the out and I'm utterly honoured to have her as my girl. I couldn't have asked for a better dog if I had hand picked her myself.
* Finishing Up....
So to conclude, no, the Rottweiler isn't a dog for everyone and they are certainly not an ideal dog for the novice or those not entirely confident with handling and owning large dogs. They can be stubborn, troublesome and yes, in the wrong hands, they can display a considerable amount of aggression if not taken care of responsibly. But if you put in the time, the love and the dedication, you'll get it all back ten fold.
If after reading this review you have deceided that you might just have what it takes to own this marvellous, powerful and stunning breed, then congratulations, you are about to acquire a friend like no other.
I was horrified when I came home from work one evening to find my parents had been out and bought a new dog – a Rottweiler! They had been talking about getting one for ages and I never actually thought they would. So there, I am after a hard days work in the world of politics and this fur ball is running round the room like a chocoholic in Cadburys world. They got Cody, the name I gave to him, because mother wanted to call him Duke, which my dad said he would change to ducky if she did!! Therefore, I won! My sister wanted to call him Lugsy!! There is no way im shouting that down the street. Anyway, people assume that Rottweilers are these nasty teeth wielding horrors that bite anything that gets in their path! Im sure many of them do if that’s the way they are trained or if they are a crossbreed in which their temperament is then changed. Cody came from a Rottweiler Breeder and cost £500, so if your thinking of getting one of these dogs, then think carefully because yes they are very cute little fur balls when they are tiny, but they are expensive and they do need a lot of looking after. When my parents bought him, he had already had most of his injections, he had been given his pedigree name, which is Roman Swordsman, and his parents T’pau and Connor are show dogs that he still sees on a regular basis. Cody also had his hips and things checked when he was 9 months old to make sure he was forming and growing properly. One thing you should always check when buying a pedigree of any kind – they should have papers to prove they are a pedigree and they should have a pedigree name, if they don’t have the papers then don’t believe they are a true pedigree. *-*So what else did I learn about looking after a Rottweiler and their appearance?*-* The general appearance of a Rottweiler is a medium large, robust and powerful dog, black with clearly defined rust markings as it is stated
in "Basic Guide to the Rottweiler : Written by Breeders Who Know the Breed-- For Those Who Are Interested in Learning More About the Rottweiler by Stephen W. Jones." (ive edited this to add in the authors name as my mum always says "in Stephens book") Cody wields extreme strength when he is playing games and often knocks my brother over who stands well over 6ft. When he was a year old, we took Cody to the vets for his annual check up and he weighed in at nine stone. As Jones states once again "The dog’s build denotes great strength, agility and endurance". Rottweiler dogs are massive with a very larger frame; Cody is no exception, and heavier bone than bitches. The most obvious way to tell the difference between a Dog and a Bitch is the size of the head; the female head is always a lot smaller. Cody’s current size (after a conversation with mum) is--24 inches to 27 inches, which is the average size of a Rottweiler dog of his age. You measure the length of body, from front to the rearmost projection of the rump. The next important thing to measure is that the depth of chest is approximately fifty percent (50%) of the height of the dog (this is very important when and if you show the dog), with his bone and muscle mass must be sufficient to balance his frame, giving a compact and very powerful appearance. It is also important, and the vet re-iterated this repeatedly, that a dog of Cody's nature does not get over weight as this affects his balance and his appearance. The Head is one of the most important features of a Rottweiler and as I have mentioned before it is one of the best ways to tell the sex of the dog. Rottweilers get a lot of their power from their necks Cody’s eyes are deep dark brown and when he is angry they expand and that is the time to stop irritating him. Cody has 42 teeth in total and they are extremely sharp and very, very powerful. It takes both my brother
and I to play tug of war with him because he is so strong. Cody’s tail is docked short, close to body this was done when he was 3 weeks old and the breeders arranged to have this done, so I don’t know where or how you go about sorting this out for yourselves. The set of the tail is more important than length. When he gets excited his stump wiggles as a tail would and he is aptly nicknamed in our house as Stumpy. I cant really imagine a Rottweiler with a tail, ive seen one and its curls round like the tail of a pig which is why they are docked at a few weeks of age. Cody’s Coat is straight and coarse but is very soft and very shiny. His coat is shortest on head, ears and legs, where he has little tufts of hair, which stick out. One good thing about Cody is that he does not malt as often as other dogs and even when he does, because his fur is short it is hard to see and notice but easy to get rid off. The temperament of a Rottweiler is not all you read about in the newspapers, sure if you anger any dog they will defend themselves, much in the same way as any human being would do. Cody is a calm and confident dog who often walks round the house as if he owns it. He is very patient but does have an overwhelming desire to protect me when im at home. For example, if my dad pretends to punch me then Cody will jump in and defend me by removing my dad’s hand and standing in front of me so my dad cannot reach me. Likewise, when he takes him for a walk or vice versa he will protect us if someone walks to close, he gives out a growl to warn on comers that he is there. His bark is very loud and very deep and is he thinks there is danger he does show his teeth, but at home, he is behind a 6ft gate, which he cannot get over, and there are warnings displayed around the house that he is there. We were told to do this for our own protection, incase someone does come into the garden and he attacks them. Cody ha
s his own food which is designed especially for Rottweilers and it isn’t cheap, he goes through a bad of food within 2 weeks and it costs £20 a bag. The other thing is, you cant just buy it from any dog food retailer, my mum goes back to the couple who bred Cody to get it and they order it from a factory somewhere in Scotland. So once again you will need to check which food your dog can have. Cody started off one some puppy mixture which looked like porridge and stank and then he moved on to the junior stuff which didn’t feed him very well and now he is on his adult food and anything else people will give to him at any hour of the day. Because Cody is such a good natured dog we don’t find we have to muzzle him when we take him out of the house, he is very good with children, especially when they try to use him like a horse. He is also very cheeky, being such a large dog he isn’t allowed to lay on the furniture, so he waits for mum to go out of the room and he is straight up onto the chair where she has just been sat, pretending to be sound asleep when we try to shift him off, it normally takes the two of us to move him. Because he is such a large dog he likes to have a lot of walks, my mum and dad take him out 2 or 3 times a day for 2 and 3 mile walks or for a run in a huge field which we have near our house, so a Rottweiler isn’t one of those dogs that you can take round the block. Cody loves to play games, although his strength often puts you off because he does not realise how strong he is, tug o war is the worst game to play with him because he always wins, even if my brother and I are on the same side. Okay so I think I have told you as much as I can about my dog and what I know about Rottweilers as a breed, my mum has enough books on them for a library. Recently my dad sent me this email saying, “I wander if Cody thinks this”, ******Dog Pet Peeves About Humans********** 1. When you run away in the middle of a perfectly good leg humping. 2. Blaming your farts on me...not funny. 3. Yelling at me for barking...I'M A FRIGGIN' DOG YOU IDIOT!! 4. How you naively believe that the stupid cat isn't all over everything while you're gone. (Have you noticed that your toothbrush tastes a little like cat butt?) 5. Taking me for a walk, then not letting me check stuff out. Exactly who's walk is this anyway? 6. Any trick that involves balancing food on my nose ...stop it. 7. Yelling at me for rubbing my ass on your carpet. Why'd you buy carpet? 8. Getting upset when I sniff the crotches of your guests. Sorry but I haven't quite mastered that handshake thing yet...idiot. 9. How you act disgusted when I lick myself. Look, we both know the truth, you're just jealous. 10. Dog sweaters. Have you noticed the fur? Imbecile. 11. Any haircut that involves bows or ribbons. Now you know why we chew your shit up when you're not home. 12. When you pick up the crap piles in the yard. Do you realize how far behind schedule that puts me? 13. Taking me to the vet for "the big snip", then acting surprised when I freak out every time we go back. 14. The sleight of hand -- fake fetch throw. You fooled a dog! What a proud moment for the top of the food chain, you nitwit. 15. Invisible fences. Why do you insist on screwing with us? To my knowledge, dogdom hasn't yet solved the visible fence problem!! Oh and remember - a dog is for life, not just for Christmas!!
Well having read several opinions that people have written on rotties I have to agree with them rotties are a totally misunderstood breed. Two years ago somebody asked me if I would take a rottie in as their friend had just bought one as a puppy and then decided they really did'nt want it. Well I wasn't sure as I already had a golden retreiver and a small mongrel and did not know how they would react to a new dog in the house. So I persuaded my partner to take me just for a look and you know what happens when you look at puppys, well we went to see him he was only 3 months old and he was just so sweet that guess what I ended up with a rottie. At first I thought my god what have I done but it was too late, we got home and introduced him to the dogs the mongrel thoght he was fantastic a little playmate the retreiver on the other hand wouldn't have a bar of him but that changed over time. Anyway within the first week I had him trained to sit,stay,come and lie down I was so amazed at how quickly he learnt things as even the retreiver wasnt that bright and they learn pretty fast.The only problem at that stage was he was a bit of a food theif and several times was caught on the benches eating our tea but he has grown out of that thank goodness! We did have a problem finding a food to suit his stomach as most things did not agree with him and made him lose a lot of weight.But we then found a food which was fairly cheap and is used for greyhounds but it suits him so we dont mind. He is so intelligent and learns so easily you only have to show him something a couple of times and hes got it, the rottie is a fantastic guard dog and is always protective of me but at the same time is friendly to people who visit, on the other hand he really won't tolerate any other dogs except the ones he knows which can be a huge problem when walking him as it limits us to when we walk him and where and quite often we muzzle h
im which is such a shame because he really isn't a threat to people but as soon as they see rottie and muzzle you can see their reactions to him. I would thoroughly recommend a rottie but you must always make sure he knows who is boss or you may get problems as they are highly dominant. Mainly in the males and make sure you also have pet insurance as they can grow very large and can injure themselves which can prove costly, touch wood mine has not had any problems and hopefully never will. They do eat quite a lot and likke plenty of exercise on the other hand mine likes to lounge around all day if he can, bit of a lazy lump and he loves nothing better than a cuddle all day if he could. All in all I would reccommend a rottie they are just like any other dog except bigger. Remember its how you bring them up any dog can be nasty if brought up the wrong way.
I owned a Rottie for six years, but sadly he died a few years ago. He was brought as a puppy and was an obedient, beautiful and soppy dog. Yes soppy! This breed of dog has been given a bad name, which in my experience was wholly unjustified. I realise that some Rotweillers will be nasty – but then show me a breed of dog in which every individual is perfect. I have met far more ferocious Jack Russells. My dog, Jed, was a fabulous dog, very easy to train and got on superbly with our other dog Ben who was a German Shepherd cross. When Jed was a puppy – a very cute on at that, he would hang onto Bens tail and Ben would walk around for hours with this puppy dangling behind him – he never minded. The only hick-up we had with Jed was when he decided to mark his territory over and over again – this being our living room, kitchen etc. The answer was to give him the “chop”. He didn’t seem to mind this either and it solved the problem. He was quite a sickly dog and we were glad that we had pet insurance – he has two abbesses – very nasty which took a long time to treat and heal. Our vet was always very surprised at how laid-back Jed was with all is treatments, he never once became nasty or angry. Even when he once cut his paw very badly and we had to go to the emergency vet with me holding his foot in the air in the back of a taxi to help stop the excessive bleeding. He was lucky not to have lost his foot and he remained docile throughout the trauma. My partner had several nephews and nieces who used to ride on his back and generally mess him about something rotten, but he relished in the attention. He just loved people. It broke my heart when he died – sadly large dog breeds tend not to live too long. Anyone asking my opinion on rotties would be told – as long as they know who is the boss and are properly trained, I see no reason why they cannot make ex
cellent pets. Where children are concerned, I would advice that an adult always be present when in the dogs company – but I would advise this whatever the breed. However tame and docile your dog is, any child can push it to distraction with their constant shouting, pushing pulling etc. I would not hesitate in having another rotweiller, sadly my working hours make it impractical and cruel to own a dog at present.
Rottweilers were probably developed from Roman Cattle Dogs. He was then used as a draught animal in the late 19th Century and became known as the Rottweil Butcher's Dog, named after the German town. They are powerful and compact dogs of above average height, the tail is usually docked, although it is common to see them with long tails. They are black with tan markings. They need careful handling. They are very intelligent dogs and need firm and sensible disciplining from puppyhood. I think that they are one of the most misunderstood breeds of dog, having been branded Devil Dogs. They are extremely loyal animals and are good with children. Obviously you shouldn't leave them with children unattended, nor should you leave any breed of dog with children unattended. When I first met my husband he had a Rottie bitch called Tiny. Needless to say she took exception to me, sseing me as a rival for her masters attention. Whilst my husband was on Night Duty at the local factory, he used to leave her at the bottom of the stairs to guard my daughter and myself from intruders. Huh!! She guarded alright, she would let my daughter go past her with a wag of her stump, but when I tried, no chance. So I had to wait for my husband to come home and put her out. She also snored so badly I didn't get a wink of sleep. Bless her! The worst thing of all was when I was with her on my own, if I turned my back she would bite my bottom, try explaining that to your husband who is on nights, and when he was about she would be all licks and affection. She lived to a grand old age of 14 which is very good for Rotties. In her later years we became good friends, she had bags of character, and would have protected us with her life, we still miss her today. My advice to any would be Rottie owners, do visit a reputable breeder and see the parents of your pup and go to obedience classes with him. Treat him with a lot of love and respect and you will be rewarded 10 fold.
Rotties I was flicking through Doo-Yoo the other day when I came across an excellent opinion on the subject of Rottweilers by wishywalshy. I don’t know wishywalshy, but as I read on I found, to my amazement, that she could easily have been writing about the dog my wife recently received for her birthday – a rottie bitch, she has called Sadie. Actually her real name is “Darwinian Light Princess”! She has such a posh bloodline that if she could talk, she wouldn’t speak to us! I was sorry to read that wishywalshy’s dog (Bruno) had recently died and thought that this might serve to cheer her up a bit – bring back happy memories - and back up her well informed opinion of Rotties. Some friends of mine bought a rottie bitch about three years ago (Rebel). They recently put her to stud and six little black and tan bundles were the result. We had always wanted a Rottie but could never afford one, now we were being offered the dog of our dreams for free – pick of the litter even. Trouble was that we already had a dog – Jasper, a three-year-old Jack Russell/Staff cross who is very special to us, (story for another day) and as a result is spoilt absolutely rotten. How would he take to this invading attention seeker? Then there was the fact that we live in a flat! The biggest stumbling block to having a pup was the fact that we recently acquired a new landlord. He said Jasper could stay because the previous landlord had agreed to it, but no more dogs! We pride ourselves on being responsible dog owners. To us, dogs are family, not pets. If we couldn’t provide Sadie an environment where she could thrive then, regrettably, we could not have her. My wife and I discussed all the options for about two weeks and came to the conclusion that ,as much as we wanted one, we weren’t sure of the practicalities. My friends kept asking if we were going to have one, and we kept puttin
g a decision off. As we saw the puppies everyday, we fell more and more in love with them. They were tiny. How could something so small turn into an 8 stone plus dog? The only give away was the size of their paws, completely out of proportion to the rest of their quivering little bodies. As time wore on we were developing a favourite amongst the pups. He was the biggest by miles and a right little character, that my friends had nicknamed “big boy”. If we were going to have one it would surely be him. As the days passed we noticed that one of the pups was looking very thin and under developed. My friends said she was the runt and that the other pups would not let her feed. Day by day she got weaker, by now she was barely half the size of the others, and as a result was being picked on mercilessly. Of course, as you have probably already guessed, this pup would later become Sadie. I must mention quickly that my friends should not be allowed to keep dogs. As people I love them to bits - but as dog owners…The 6 pups were kept locked up all day in a 4ft by 2ft room with one change of newspaper in the morning. The adult dogs are NEVER walked (but they do have access to a small back garden). The dogs get fed when my friends remember! The list of litanies is long, but I think you get the idea, and no good would come of dwelling on it. I’m told that a K.C. Club registered vet is the only person legally allowed to perform tail docking, at a charge of £800 for the six to be done. My friends (to their credit) don’t believe in it. But this fact did seem to influence potential buyers. They came, they saw, they left – without a pup. To be fair, I had never seen a Rottie with a tail (well, only Rebel), but why cut a part off a dog if there’s nothing physically wrong with it? If you want to mutilate your dog for the sake of fashion, you shouldn’t be allowed to keep one. In my naïve ignoran
ce I thought they were bred to have a stumpy tail. It came as a shock to learn my brothers dog (a boxer) must have been docked (butchered?) at birth to keep it’s breed traits, I had just never given it any thought before. I had heard the expression “docked”, but just didn’t associate the word with the actual consequences. Sadie uses her tail a lot. It’s a very effective tool in her communication armoury. I’m so glad it’s still there. Anyway the upshot was that by week 12 or so, my friends were at the point of doing something unthinkable and equally unmentionable. The half dozen tiny terrors were escaping their cell, and doing the things that growing, learning puppies do best – mischief! For my friends it was all becoming too much too cope with. Their inconsiderable patience had ran out, we made the decision to take Sadie home with us. (Incidentally, the other 5 were subsequently sold for a reduced rate and all of them now have good homes). So, that’s how we came to have her, now what about the dog itself? Sadie has been part of our family for 10 weeks now. Jasper won’t go for a walk without her. She loves him just as much, they are inseparable. He is teaching her everything he knows, especially how to worm your way around an owner! There is some jealousy. Sadie wasn’t that jealous at first, but now she has learnt from Jasper. Before Sadie, it was like arriving home to a mate. All excited to see you, where have you been, what did you do, what have you got me - kind of thing. Now it’s like opening the door to a mugger, come here and have some Rottie lovin’ cos I missed you. Some people find this undesirable, and it can be easily discouraged, but we love it! Because of her potential size we don’t encourage her to lounge on the furniture, she much prefers to lie on something cooler anyway. Jasper sleeps on the bottom of our bed, but he’
s only 12 inches high. Sadie has her own bed next to ours on the floor and from day one seemed to know that was her spot. Like xxxxx we made the decision to make food available to her at all times. When her bowl is empty we fill it up. Consequently she has grown like Digby the world’s biggest dog! She has caught her siblings up and then some! Seriously, these dogs can eat! However, she isn’t a fussy eater, unlike Jasper, she has eaten everything we have tried her on. Food no longer goes to waste in our house. As with Jasper we train her with the aid of a treat called “gravy bones”, which now have to be delivered in a lorry, she eats that many. However, her favourite treat is chocolate. A Finger of fudge being the current preference :) Her temperament is beyond reproach. She is very loving and affectionate. At Christmas our daughter was reluctant to let Sadie stay because she has three young children. Fair comment, as doting grandparents (God that still sounds odd to me) my first concern will always the kids welfare, but she needn’t have worried. From the second that kids and puppy met, it was love at first sight. No amount of poking and pulling could “turn” Sadie into the “Devil Dog” depicted in the papers of a few years ago. The worst our grandchildren got was a germ or two as she tried drowning them with kisses. Not one of those acerbic baby teeth so much as grazed them. Strangers that call to our house are regarded with suspicion and have to be “introduced” before she is fully relaxed, but this is only on their first visit and I consider it a positive trait anyway. I am already of the opinion that these are a loyal, protective, friendly breed. She has shown her aggressive side, to a dog that tried to hump her on the beach, and the potential for her to do a lot of damage was clearly visible. The dog in question was four times her size, but he ran off l
ike he had been shot from a gun. She didn’t hurt him, but boy, when she means it, she means it! Anyway, it wasn’t a very gentlemanly way to behave on a first meeting. I enjoy play fighting with our dogs. Jasper grabs his “tuggy” before we fight, that way he doesn’t get carried away and bite me by accident. Sadie shredded hers in two days! I have never had a dog whose teeth are quite so sharp. The canines are hooked and point backwards in her mouth. Sometimes when we play fight and those teeth get caught against my skin (by accident, not intention), they might as well be made of razor wire, the effect is the same. A lot of people think play fighting isn’t a good idea, but I have found it is a good way to teach a dog some self-control. Sadie soon learnt how hard was too hard. Now when she play fights, she nibbles rather than chomps. I feel it also teaches her who the Alpha male is whilst having fun at the same time. Teach the dog respect for your superior power/weight whilst she’s young (without being cruel) and that respect will stay with her when she’s big enough to eat you! – I hope :) On the advice of our vet we have bought her special dried food called Science Plan. This has been an unexpected cost (£10.99 per bag which lasts about a month), and is given in addition to her normal solid food. But it is well worth buying, as she is thriving on it. It took me half an hour to teach her to “speak” on command, something I have never managed to achieve with Jasper! However, now that she can “speak”, she has become a right “trappy mare”, and playfully backchats us all the time. She will readily “sit” and “come” when asked, walks well on a lead and is sociable to other dogs. She is very intelligent, I had been told they were, but just how quickly they learn came as a surprise to me. Jasper has a more defiant streak than
she does (typical terrier) and was 10 times harder to train. I find myself being harder on him since Sadie’s arrival so that she doesn’t pick up his sometimes devilish, wilful disobedience. She is absolutely adorable. We are thrilled beyond description with this dog. Already we don’t know how we lived without her. When she is tired she grabs your finger in her mouth, and plonks a great big paw over your arm to hold you secure – bit like a comfort blanket. Were convinced that she loves us just as much. None of the family are capable of walking past her without giving her a cuddle or a kiss. I thought I would have to be extremely firm with her from the off (In case you hadn’t guessed, I’m the trainer). This has proven not to be the case, as she responds to a normal tone of voice, better than a stern one. In fact, on the rare occasion a voice has been raised she hides and then sulks, she doesn’t like being told off. Of course it’s early days yet, but from our initial experiences, we don’t think we have much to worry about. Except maybe the landlord finding out :) Doh! Top dog and a top opinion from wishywalshy, which I agree with whole-heartedly. If you are looking to get a dog and have the resources, energy and oodles of love to give, then you could do a lot, lot worse than a Rottweiler. auntmavis
Sturdy, burly, friendly trustworthy, how else could I describe this much misunderstood dog. Rotweillers may appear in the media and films to be ferocious and fierce without a gentle streak in them, but in real life there couldn’t be a more lovable devoted and faithful breed of dogs. Okay, so they are on the large side, I think that is quite evident, but with careful and confident handling, they can be relied on and trusted as a part of a family. Don’t get me wrong, I know that there are bound to be instances where you really do have “the dog from hell”, as seen in those all too familiar with Omen movies, but would I be wrong in stating that you can have a bad dog in any breed? Originally, from Germany, there are two sizes of Rotweiller and I have had previous experience of both. Bred for life in the mountains these dogs have a terrific strength and are very intelligent, they are extremely hardy and can be very humanely kept in a kennel outside or can live a life of luxury in a warm house.(Mine seeks out tiled cool surfaces). Originally, we had one dog (13years ago) named Bruno who was our protector and friend. We did not have any children at the time, so when our daughter was born 9 years ago, I was very dubious. Bruno had a terrible first 3 years of life with his previous owner, and had, with time, learned to trust humans again. I was a little concerned that he would become ferocious and that the baby would be at risk. I could not have been more wrong. Did you ever see a dog smile? I am sure that he did, and as he guarded the baby 24 hours a day, he would let us know if she was crying and would sleep by her bedroom door. As she turned into a toddler he tolerated whisker pulling, eye poking, pinching and every conceivable other punishment that a child can issue. He was her baby walker and her beanbag, but most of all he was her friend. As we
acquired more space, we had another dog, this time a bitch Tara, again so friendly and good-natured, and was more than used to children. Along with the dog came another baby, and in due course puppies…… We kept a lovely bitch Bodacia who is now 4, and is genuinely a children’s dog. We do not believe in tail docking so she was quite an extraordinary sight. She is attentive, great at guarding the house, and so gentle and friendly. Most of our good friends have a dog from our litters, and there has yet to be a difficult or aggressive dog in the lot. Even my mother has her dog, something that she vowed that she would never have, but after seeing ours, took in the last waif of the litter, and when the time came, she just couldn’t give him up. None of our pups has any hip problems, as can often be the case with this breed, I think it is down to not docking their tails. However many of them have an allergy to flea bites, just one bite can cause utter distress for the dog. On the financial side, they can be expensive to keep, but all of our dogs have thrived on the Febo range of dry dog food, whether the puppy mix, or the professional range. When we had 3 dogs we would buy a sack twice a month (Cost £20 per sack), which was usually just a little too much for them, but allowed them never to be short. We encouraged the dogs to trough feed, that is put a large plastic bucket full of dry food down for them, initially they gorged themselves and made themselves sick, but eventually they realised that there was no competition and were happy to pick at it all day, resulting in just the right amount of food daily for them. All of our dogs were gentle, obedient, do exactly as they are told, and have been like one of the family. How long should they live?, some say 13 or 14 years, I can prove 16 years, Dear old Bruno went to the doggy heaven last Monday, and is missed
very much by his daughter and by us all. He never ever turned nasty, and never bit anyone that I didn’t want him to (LOL) However, if you have a bad one, treat with extreme caution, and do not allow too much trust. If, like us you buy one, think very carefully about the space factor, exercise factor (they need a lot of exercise), how much they will cost to keep, and whether you get a good one from a reputable place, and have you knowledge of both sire and dam. You need to get their hips checked, and do not forget to inoculate (Very Very important). They will also need regular worming treatment, They get very very large. A point to make you aware of is that they can be very dominant.We solved this problem by omly walking him at strange hours or with his *friends* They have a funny trait of chasing people out of the door, but waiting until the person is jsut about the close the door and charging at it. They can be very expensive to buy, from £200- £500 Insurance is a grey area, you are not legally bound to insure your dog against bites etc, but along with medical insurance can up the keep of the dogs, and does provide a certain amount of security for both owner and dog. If you can, don’t encourage tail docking, as it is not needed in an environment where it won't become damaged, and seems to help keep their hips in check and gives them good balance. Yes it might look macho with a stump, but is it really necessary? Their house protection is second to none, and one of these barking at the door is a superb deterrent for any would be burglar. Both dogs were easy to train, a little positive mental reinforcement with a few treats thrown in as a rewards resulted in well trained obedient dogs. I have absolute faith and trust in our remaining dog, and although I an not looking to replace Bruno in the near future. Maybe, just maybe one day a little black and
brown dog will find their way into our lives……... They can be highly recommended by me and many others. ******Update***** We recently became owners of a new dog, advertised in the local paper for a moderate amount of money, for sale due to the owners marriage breakdown. He is 15 months old, with his tail and a wonderful temperamnet. He is on the large side and I believe that he will be a big big dog. Obviously he has had constant contact with children, and is a joy to behold. Bodacia seems to be far happier these days, I am sure that she is in love with her toyboy. Guess what he is called?? Bruno Jr.