The words Dog Breed Info with the letter D inside of a black paw print

The Purebred Rottweiler

Information and Pictures

Left Profile - A black and tan Rottweiler is standing on a blacktop surface with concrete steps behind it and it is looking to the right. Its mouth is open and tongue is out. The dog's coat is shiny.

Talon the female Rottie at 4 1/2 years old

Other Names
  • Rottie
  • Rott
  • Rottweil Metzgerhund - Butchers Dog



The Rottweiler has a muscular, massive, powerful body. The head is broad with a rounded forehead. The muzzle is well developed. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. The wide nose is black. The lips are black and the inside of the mouth is dark. The medium-sized eyes are dark and almond shaped. Some Rottweilers have been known to have blue eyes or one blue and one brown eye. This trait is not recognized in the show world and does not meet the breed’s written standard. The ears are triangular and carried forward. The tail is customarily docked. Note: docking tails is illegal in most parts of Europe. Rear dewclaws are often removed. The chest is broad and deep. The coat is short, hard and thick. It is black with rust to mahogany markings on the cheeks, muzzle, paws and legs. A red color with brown markings also exists. There is a deficiency in the hair gene that makes the coloring a lighter red.

German Rottweiler vs. American Rottweiler: some claim there are variations of Rotties, the German Rottweiler and the American Rottweiler. German Rotties are said to be shorter, stockier and have a bigger, blockier head, while American Rotties are said to be taller and leggier without as blocky a head. Others claim a Rottweiler is a Rottweiler and there is no such thing as a German Rottie. Some who have stated this argument have said, "A German Rottweiler is one born in Germany and an American Rottweiler is born in America." In any case, there are breeders breeding for the German Rottweiler look of larger and blockier, while others are breeding for the American Rottweiler look, less blocky.


The Rottie is powerful, calm, trainable, courageous and devoted to its owner and family. Loyal and protective, it will defend its family fiercely if needed, seemingly immune to pain. Serious, even-tempered, brave, confident and courageous, this breed needs an owner who is strong minded, calm, but firm and able to handle this dog’s massive size. The Rottie is a docile, natural guard dog with a laid-back, reliable temperament. It is highly intelligent and has proven its worth beyond question in police, military and customs work over many centuries and can be trained for competitive obedience. Because of its size, training should begin when the dog is a small puppy. This breed needs a lot of leadership and socialization. It will not be happy confined to a kennel or backyard. The objective in training this dog is to achieve pack leader status. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in its pack. When we humans live with dogs, we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader. Lines are clearly defined and rules are set. You and all other humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog. That is the only way your relationship can be a success. When the Rottweiler receives consistent leadership and is trained, it will be a good playmate for the children. It will accept cats, other dogs and other household pets as long as the dog has been socialized well and has owners who assert their authority over the dog. Friends and relatives of the family are normally enthusiastically welcomed. Strangers from whom the dog senses bad intentions can get no further than the sidewalk.

Height, Weight

Height: Males 24 - 27 inches (61 - 69 cm) Females 22 - 25 inches (56 - 63 cm)

Weight: Males 95 - 130 pounds (43 - 59 kg) Females 85 - 115 pounds (38 - 52 kg)

Health Problems

This breed is susceptible to ACL damage. Prone to hip dysplasia. Also prone to entropion (narrowing of the slit between the eyelids). Tends to snore. Can overeat easily.

Living Conditions

The Rottie will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. These dogs are relatively inactive indoors and a small yard will be sufficient.


The Rottweiler needs plenty of exercise. You can't give these robust dogs too much work or exercise; they thrive on it. They need to be taken on a daily walk or jog. Running in the woods and in open country makes them very happy and they have no desire to wander from you. Swimming or running beside a bicycle are perfect activities for this dog and it also loves retrieving a ball.

Life Expectancy

About 10-12 years

Litter Size

Large litters; often can have 10 - 12 puppies


The smooth, glossy coat is easy to groom. Brush with a firm bristle brush and bathe only when necessary. This breed is an average shedder.


The Rottweiler is probably descended from the Italian Mastiff, which accompanied the herds that the Romans brought with them when they invaded Europe. During the Middle Ages, it was used as a herder, as a guard, messenger dog, draught dog and for police work. It was bred in the German town of Rottweiler in Wurttemberg. Practically extinct in the 1800s, the breed population began a comeback in the early twentieth century due to the efforts of enthusiastic breeders centered in Stuttgart. In Germany on January 13, 1907, the DRK (Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub (German Rottweiler Club)) was established. Shortly after on April 27, 1907, the SDRK (Süddeutscher Rottweiler-Klub (South German Rottweiler Club)) was formed, which later became the IRK (International Rottweiler Club). The Rottweiler standard was then set. The breed was first recognized by the AKC in 1931. Some of the Rottweiler's talents include: tracking, herding, watchdog, guarding, search and rescue, guide dogs for the blind, police work, carting, competitive obedience and Schutzhund.


Mastiff, AKC Working

  • ACA = American Canine Association Inc.
  • ACR = American Canine Registry
  • AKC = American Kennel Club
  • ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club
  • APRI = American Pet Registry, Inc.
  • CKC = Canadian Kennel Club
  • CRC = Colonial Rottweiler Club
  • CKC = Continental Kennel Club
  • DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.
  • DRK= Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub
  • FCI = Fédération Cynologique Internationale
  • IRK = International Rottweiler Club
  • KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain
  • NAPR = North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
  • NKC = National Kennel Club
  • NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club
  • UKC = United Kennel Club
Front side view - A small black and tan Rottweiler is laying on a brick surface and there is a white hard boiled egg in front of it. Its front paw is about the same size as the egg.

Max the male Rottweiler puppy at about 7 weeks old—"This is my Rottweiler Max. He is shown here at 48 days old. He is really an obedient fellow but a bit headstrong too. He has a lots of energy so I take him for atleast 3 walks per day. In this pic he is sitting patiently for me to break the covering of that hard boiled egg, because he can't do it on his own lol. I just love him."

Front side view - A huge black and tan Rottweiler is sitting on a blacktop surface and it is looking up and to the right. Its mouth is open and tongue is out.

Talon the female Rottie at 4 1/2 years old

Four Rottweilers are sitting in a row on a concrete surface. They are looking up, they are panting and it looks like they are all smiling. Two of the dogs are wearing black collars with spikes in them.

Hercules, Harley, Hannah and Angel the Rottweilers—"I took this photo with the help of some grilled chicken. Hercules (almost 2) is the clown of the bunch. Harley (2 years old) is the enforcer. Angel (about 8) is the mom figure and a rescue. Hannah (about 2) is another rescue that has all the energy. They go for walks almost every night and to a huge cornfield to run about twice a week. They sleep inside at night and don't really disturb anything. Cesar Millan has been a great contributor to the training of these dogs. Herc and Harley went to obedience school and with the help of watching The Dog Whisperer, they have turned out very well. This breed is one that wants to please it's pack leaders. You should be in good physical shape to own these dogs as their strength is sometimes overwhelming."

A black with tan Rottweiler is laying on a carpet with a rope toy in between its front paws and to the left of it is a black with tan Rottweiler puppy. They both are looking up and there mouths are open. The dogs look happy.

Royce (left) the Rottie puppy at 5 months old with Barracuda aka 'Cuda (right) the adult Rottie at 3 1/2 years old—"'Cuda is a very tall Rottie and weighs 139 pounds. Royce weighed 115 pounds when he was 11 months old and is taller than his brother! I wish Royce was as laid back and as well behaved as 'Cuda, who goes to work with my husband every day. No leash is needed and he is extremely friendly and social. Royce, on the other hand, is a ball of energy. Absolutely wild, but friendly. He cannot sit still and loves to play with 'Cuda, who will interact willingly until Royce crosses the line and nips his ears. Never a fight between them, but Royce knows when to back off. Just hoping time and patience will settle him down. I love them both and would never own another breed!"

Front side view - A black and tan Rottweiler puppy is sitting on a brick surface in front of stone steps.

Mila the Rottweiler puppy at 5 months old

A black and tan Rottweiler puppy is sitting on a concrete surface. It is looking down and to the left.

Mila the Rottweiler puppy at 5 months old

A black and tan Rottweiler puppy is walking across a concrete surface and it is looking to the right. It is holding its head low and level with its body.

Mila the Rottweiler puppy at 5 months old

Close up head shot - A black and tan Rottweiler dog is sitting down looking forward.

Ruckus the Rottweiler at 3 years old—"He is friendly and clownish and loves to cause a ruckus and that is how he got his name."

Right Profile - A black and tan Rottweiler is standing in grass, it is looking to the right and it is panting. The dog's tail is cut very short so you can hardly see it.

Eyk Vom Wendehammer SchHi ZTP, photo courtesy of GLI Antichi Molossi Italy

A black and tan Rottweiler is laying in a pile of brown fallen leaves looking up. Its head is tilted to the left.

"Tyson was saved right before being sent to the pound in Feb. of 2008. He was kept in a cage in the back of a house and was a little wild when we got him (9 months / 80 lbs). Being my first dog, I was very excited. He caused trouble around the house,  chewing things up until I realized that he had an extreme amount of nervous energy (thanks, Cesar) and needed more exercise. Now we go for long walks, he runs next to my bike, pulls my skateboard, plays at the dog park and even tries to herd cattle at my fiancé’s family farm. He is now 1 year and 8 months old. He went from no discipline to following almost 20 different commands. It’s amazing and he is incredibly smart. He’s also so in tuned with me and responsive that I never need a leash. He won’t go very far without watching to make sure he knows where I am. Walking up a steep hill once, I fell and he came sprinting to make sure I was okay. Through a lot of dedication and research, he has become a very well-balanced dog. He doesn't get too excited, is never aggressive and hardly barks unless commanded to or if he is startled by something. I have applied numerous Dog Whisperer techniques and all have proved successful. Sit, stay, come, down, downstairs, no, up, outside, inside, lay, ok, go get it, get your ball, go see, too far, heel, speak…. These are some of the things I was amazingly able to teach this dog. Have you ever seen a Rott walk backwards? Mine will. He makes us laugh every day and provides us with a great sense of security. This may be a biased statement, but he’s the best dog that has ever lived."

The left side of a black and tan Rottweiler that is sitting in grass and it is looking to the left. It is wearing a choke chain collar.

"This is my recently departed male Rottweiler named Hank (11?). He was adopted through the local shelter when he was about two. The previous owner beat him and accused him of not being "mean enough."

"I have read Cesar Milan's books and apparently Hank had already read them, because I could not pinpoint any bad habits to correct. We would take frequent walks and although he spent way too much time smelling things I was good with that as I have to slow down, too. He almost always stayed close to me and didn't like to let me out of his sight when we were gardening. He would survey the neighborhood and make sure the kids were having fun. Just in case there was someone with a free hand or a tennis ball he was ready. Hank very rarely barked, but did talk to me if he needed to go out. He was calm and knew that Mama had it under control. Strangers were amazed that on command he would stop what he was doing and sit and stay, even if another dog or cat caught his eye. If I needed help he was there.

"He slept in the sunroom on his own bed with plenty of ventilation and sunlight and heat in the winter. He jumped on my bed only once and figured out quickly that he wasn't invited. While I worked on the computer or watched television he would lie at my feet and relax. I think I have been truly blessed to have had a great companion such as Hank."

DBI Side Note: For a dog, it's all about the moment and the moment Hank moved in with his new owner, he had a pack leader and he was truly one well-balanced, happy dog. If only all dogs were as lucky as Hank. He had an owner who gave him what HE needed, instead of only taking what the human needed. RIP Hank

Top down view of a black with tan Rottweiler wearing a prong collar sitting on a concrete surface. It is looking up and to the left.

Female German Rottweiler at 12 months old

Front side view - A black and tan Rottweiler is standing in grass and it is looking forward. Its mouth is open and tongue is out. The dog looks happy.

Bear, a male Rottie at 1 year old standing out in the yard.

Close up head shot - A black and tan Rottweiler is sitting in a room and it is looking forward.

Bepo the Rottweiler

Front view - A black and tan Rottweiler is sitting in grass, it is looking to the right, its mouth is open and its tongue is out. To the right of it is a white plastic bowl of water.

Adult Rottweiler

Side view - A black with brown Rottweiler is laying across a grass surface and it is looking to the left. Its mouth is open and tongue is out. Next to the dog is a white plastic water bowl.

Adult Rottweiler

A Rottweiler puppy laying across the lap of a girl who is sitting in the grass with people and a split rail fence in the background

Kelly with a Rottweiler puppy

Front view - A black with brown Rottweiler is standing in grass. Its mouth is open and it looks like it is smiling.

Ella the Rottweiler from Indonesia