Rottweilers have a reputation for being viscous attack dogs, but despite what television and movies may say, this is not their true nature. Rotties are incredibly loyal, which makes them superb watchdogs, and they will protect their family fearlessly – but to be viscous, they must be trained that way. When properly trained, socialized and exercised from puppyhood, Rotties are even tempered and dignified companions. They do not buddy up to just any newcomer, but rather take their time to decide who is worthy of their time and affection. With their families they are affectionate and playful, and most Rottweiler owners note that their dogs seem to not know how large they are, wanting to cuddle up on the couch or the bed. For experienced dog owners who have the time to commit to a large breed, the Rottweiler is a true blue friend.
Rottweilers need moderate exercise to maintain health, happiness and an even temperament. They are far too large for apartment life and are much better suited for the suburbs. Rotties should be walked several times a day, and allowed to have an hour or so of running time, as well. It is important for your Rottie to burn off as much energy as possible during the day, as a bored Rottweiler will chew and can destroy your living room in no time flat. In the summer months, a Rottweiler's exercise should be limited, however, as their black coats make them prone to overheating.
Rottweilers are not the most agile dogs in the world, but they do appreciate the extra time and exercise involved in agility activities. Rottweilers were originally used to drive cattle and haul carts, and they enjoy having a “job” to do. Agility requires them to think and obey, this giving them a “job.” If you can't do agility, walking your Rottie with a backpack can help make him feel as though he is “working” and also provides a more extensive workout.
Rotties can be a handful to train, and novice dog owners can sometimes become overwhelmed by the task. This large breed often exhibits dominance and assumes he is the one in charge of the house. Rules and boundaries must be enforced with 100% consistency – if you give a Rottweiler an inch, he will take a mile (and then some).
Training should be conducted confidence and firmness, but never harshness. A Rottweiler needs to respect you in order to accept leadership from you, and his response to anger and physical punishment is t disregard you as the leader and assume the role himself. Training should begin early, before any bad habits can develop. Socialization should also be conducted early and often. Rotties are naturally wary of strangers, so they must learn that guests are welcome into his home.
Well bred Rotties can be a joy to live with and are never aggressive toward strangers, no matter how wary they may be. Indiscriminate breeding of this popular dog, however, has caused many Rotties to be born with unstable blood lines. It is important that potential owners conduct extensive research on a breeder before adopting. Aggression is not a natural Rottweiler tendency, and any breeder who claims otherwise should be avoided.
Rottweilers love to chew, and if not properly exercised or given enough of his own interesting bones to chew, he will become bored and turn to household items. Their jaws are tremendously strong and Rotties can make quick work of furniture.