I originally wrote an article about common things Black and Tan Coonhounds do when we thought our rescue dog Brody had some of the breed in him. Well, we did some DNA testing and turns out he's actually mostly Rottweiler! So I'm redoing the article but, this time, about the Rottie - an awesome yet commonly misunderstood breed. Here are 17 things Rottweiler owners know too well that Brody also does!
1. Rottweilers are devoted to their family.
One of the most commonly known traits of Rottweilers is that they are extremely loyal to their family - not only their humans but also any other members, including pets like dog mates. Because of this, they are so devoted and can be great family dogs. Especially when you factor in that they can be good with children.
2. They can be strong-willed and stubborn but want to please their people too.
Rottweilers are often independent and have a mind of their own, which means you won't always get perfect obedience. You may notice that they pick and choose when to listen to you or comply with your wishes. That being said, Rottweilers do have a desire to please, which can outweigh their independence (and help with training). Their eagerness to please makes sense given how much their people mean to them and how attached they become.
3. They are natural guard dogs who will alert you of things.
Rottweilers originated as guard and herding dogs, protecting and corralling livestock. These instincts are still strong today as Rotties have a natural tendency to protect the family. They will also let you know when someone approaches, enters and even just passes by your territory - usually with a bark.
4. Rottweilers may try to herd you.
As mentioned above, the Rottweiler was a farm dog tasked with herding, in addition to guarding. The breed's size and build allowed them to handle larger animals, like cattle. Those herding instincts are still present in lots of Rotties today.
5. They are energetic dogs that love to play (and play vocally) and may jump.
Because of their origins, Rottweilers are medium to high-energy dogs who need regular physical exercise and mental stimulation. They are quite playful, so having plenty of toys at hand can be useful for short bursts of playtime throughout the day. But don't be surprised if your Rottie doesn't bring the ball back during a game of fetch - they aren't natural retrievers, though they can be trained to do so. Rotties also tend to enjoy a game of chase because of their herding instincts. They can become very vocal during play, almost as if they're growling, which can be confused for aggression (but they're not). Also, with all that energy, many Rottweilers jump on people, especially as puppies or adolescents.
Did you know that Rottweilers are one of the highest jumping breeds, given their size and weight? Their muscular bodies and strength allow them to leap around three feet high, with some reaching up to five or six feet. See what other dogs jump the highest, here!
6. They may bark and become destructive if not exercised enough.
Because they were bred to work and are more energetic, Rottweilers can become unruly if they don't have ways to release pent-up energy. They can become destructive and problem barkers from lack of proper exercise, boredom or anxiety. And their bark is a loud one, as was required to get the attention of livestock or scare off predators and intruders.
7. They are homebodies and couch potatoes when properly exercised.
But even with all that energy, Rottweilers tend to be homebodies. This is because they can become so attached to their family, preferring to be at home with their people as much as possible. In fact, Rotties can often turn into couch potatoes if properly exercised.
8. They enjoy cuddling (and often believe they are lapdogs).
Since Rottweilers love being around their people, it's unsurprising that they often enjoy cuddling. So if you're on the couch or bed (or anywhere really), they may make sure they're next to you and even touching you. They also love pets and will even paw you for more when you stop. And they tend to believe they are lapdogs, despite how big they are.
9. They like to follow you around or be close by and can easily get separation anxiety.
Rottweilers are one breed often considered a "velcro dog," meaning they like to stick to their people as much as possible. They may follow their humans wherever they go, be steps behind you and make sure you're never out of sight. However, this can turn into clinginess and separation anxiety, which Rotties are prone to.
10. Rottweilers are affectionate and have a lot of love to give.
Because Rotties are so loyal and devoted to their humans, they tend to give lots of love and affection. And they do so in a variety of ways - from following you around and being close to cuddling and always touching you and beyond.
11. Rottweilers are leaners.
Rottweilers like to lean their bodies against people, usually as a way to show affection (and, again, make sure they're close by or even touching you whenever they can). It's believed that this behaviors comes from their herding origins when they would use their bodies to steer cattle.
12. They engage in eye contact.
While many dogs stray from eye contact, Rottweilers are known to engage in it. One likely reason is because they are watchful and confident. Another likely reason is because they are devoted to their humans and eye contact is one way of expressing affection. You can engage back, but just make sure it's gentle eye contact so your dog doesn't confuse your affection for dominance.
13. They also grumble and "purr."
Rottweilers make a distinct noise that sort of sounds like a growl but isn't. It's a low-pitched rumble that they emit when happy or extremely content. It's called a "purr," "grumble" or "Rottie rumble" and most often happens while or after showing love to your pup.
14. Rottweilers are food-lovers, messy drinkers and gassy.
Rotties are known to love food - their own food, your food and anything they think is food. In fact, you may catch them eating anything they can get their mouth on, like leaves on the ground or fuzz in the house. They are prone to obesity though, so proper portions and exercise is required to keep Rottweilers at a healthy weight. They also tend to be messy eaters (and even messier drinkers) and gassy.
15. They shed, especially in spring and fall.
16. They have a powerful jaw but also a powerful smile.
Rottweilers are big dogs with large heads and thus a strong bite. In fact, they have bite force of 328 PSI (pounds per square inch), which is stronger than German Shepherds. So you'll want to be a little careful when playing or roughhousing - an accidental tooth to the hand could hurt quite a bit. Also, they can destroy toys very quickly thanks to their strong jaw. That jaw, however, also is also responsible for the Rottie smile. Rottweilers are known to smile (partially because they have shorter noses than other dogs of their size) and it's hard not to smile back.
17. Rottweilers are misunderstood and can be sensitive with big personalities.
Rottweilers are known for being strong, brave and loyal guard dogs but are also misunderstood. While they may come off as intimidating, most are gentle giants. Despite their tough looks, Rottweilers have a soft side and can actually be quite sensitive. They often have big personalities and many have a silly side.