If you are interested in purchasing or adopting a dog, one breed you might be interested in owning is the Rottweiler. If so, you are not alone. In fact, many people adore these strong, powerful dogs. But, before you bring a Rottweiler home, there are many things you need to know and to understand about this breed in order to make certain your home is a good match for your pet.
The Rottweiler Personality
Rottweilers are very strong dogs that have a natural protective instinct. As such, they are often chosen by those who are looking for a guard dog to help keep their family and property safe. Unfortunately, when improperly trained, a Rottweiler can also be quite aggressive, which is why this breed has been selected by those interested in participating in illegal dog fights. When properly cared for, however, a Rottweiler can be an excellent companion who will generally only bark when an unwelcome intruder has entered the property.
Rottweilers are very alert dogs that often appear to be fearless when in the face of danger. Because they are such strong and potentially aggressive dogs, however, it usually is not a good idea to bring home a Rottweiler if you have small children. Rottweilers are often intolerant of the antics of small children. On the other hand, they do tend to form very strong bonds with their owners.
The History of the Rottweiler
Taking a look back in history can make it easier to understand how Rottweilers became such a strong and courageous breed. According to historians, the drover dogs from which Rottweilers descend where at the side of the Romans as they conquered lands across Europe. When the Roman troops settled in Germany in 74 A.D., the breed was named after the town of Rottweil. The breed was ultimately categorized as a working dog by the American Kennel Club in 1931.
The Size and Appearance of the Rottweiler
Rottweilers are considered to be medium-sized dogs, with the typical size being 90 to 110 pounds and 22 to 27 inches tall. At the same time, they have very deep, broad chests as well as a broad head. Rottweilers are also characterized by their triangular ears and their medium-length coats, which have an almost coarse feel. The Rottweiler’s coat is primarily black, but contains rust markings. In addition, many Rottweiler owners choose to have their tails shortened to just one or two vertebrae.
Training a Rottweiler
Rottweilers are very intelligent animals that are eager to learn. In fact, Rottweilers were commonly used in the early 20th century as police dogs. It is due to their willingness to learn that many people find it easy to train them to be aggressive, which has given the Rottweiler an undeservedly bad reputation.
Rottweiler Health Concerns
Some Rottweilers have a tendency to snore while they sleep. As a result, they may also occasionally cough while snoozing. If this only happens occasionally, it should not be considered a matter of concern. If your Rottweiler coughs regularly, however, it could be a sign of a serious heart or lung problem and should be addressed by your veterinarian. Other health concerns that have been reported in the breed include:
o Cataracts – loss of lens transparency
o Diabetes – pancreas disease characterized by inadequate insulin production
o Gastric torsion – the stomach filling with air and becoming twisted
o Hip dysplasia – hip joint malformation
o Osteochondrosis – joint disease
o Osteosarcoma – cancer of the bones in the limbs
o Progressive retinal atrophy – nerve cell disease that leads to eye degeneration
o Retinal detachment – retinal separation
o Retinal dysplasia – congenital disease of the retina
o Ruptured cranial cruciate ligament – tearing of the ligament in the knee
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