One of the oldest dog breeds, rottweilers marched along with Roman troops, protecting herds of cattle from marauding wolves. Although this breed makes an excellent guard dog, his gentle and obedient disposition is suitable for a family pet. Rottweilers aren't for everyone, though. Know their pros and cons before you bring one home.
If you are looking for a big black dog who makes criminals think twice about breaking into your home, the rottweiler's 100-pound stature certainly fills the bill. His stamina makes him a good running or hiking buddy for his daily exercise. His short hair is easily groomed, but has an undercoat and sheds in the spring and autumn. A rottweiler has an appetite to match his body. He'll eat 4 to 6 cups of dog food a day and recycle it into plentiful droppings for you to pick up. The loose skin folds around a rottweiler's mouth need cleaning. The breed is also known to slobber and be prone to flatulence.
According to both international and American breed standards, well-bred rottweilers are calm and confident, with an eager-to-please attitude. However, if you don't have experience living with and training a powerful breed, this confidence turns to dominance or -- in extreme cases -- aggression. A rottweiler makes a good family pet when properly trained due to his affectionate nature with people he knows and trusts, as well as gentleness around children. He'll want to sit on your lap or cuddle next to you on the couch, all the while making a contented rumbling in his throat unique to the breed.
Historically bred to be guardians, the rottweiler is instinctively protective of his family and territory. A rottweiler needs extensive socialization to help him learn the difference between friendly strangers or a truly threatening situation. His social training should include other animals as well to ensure he is friendly at the dog park, on the trail and with your friends pets. Lack of socialization results in aggression toward strangers and animals. When properly socialized, your rottweiler is friendly and gentle unless you or your property is under imminent threat.
If you decide to purchase a rottweiler, you may find yourself banned from certain establishments such as some RV parks, beaches and other public places with rules banning powerful breeds. While rottweilers are not banned from any specific states, individual cities in some states have breed specific legislation that prohibit or restrict rottweilers and other powerful breeds within the city limits. Check your city ordinances and homeowners associations regulations to make sure you won't be forced to give up your rottweiler or move. Check with your homeowners insurance company before purchasing a rottweiler, as some companies do not insure homes with rottweilers on site.
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