Canis lupus

Last updated: May 21, 2021
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff

Strong, loyal and self-assured!

Rottweiler Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Rottweiler Conservation Status

Rottweiler Locations

Rottweiler Locations

Rottweiler Facts

Loyal, affectionate, calm, quiet, sensitive and protective
Common Name
Strong, loyal and self-assured!

Rottweiler Physical Characteristics

  • Black
  • Tan
Skin Type
12 years

Rottweiler Images

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The Rottweiler is also known as the Rottie, the Rott, or Rottweil Metzgerhund (German for “Butcher’s Dog”).

It is the 8th most popular dog according to the American Kennel Club, one of the 10 smartest dogs as well as the most loyal breed. Descended from the ancient Roman drover dog and related to the Italian Mastiff, or simply Mastiff, the Rottweiler originated in Rottweil, Germany, and dates back to Roman times. It was used to herd cattle, for bear hunting, or for pulling small carts. Today, the working dog makes an excellent police, service, guard dog, or family pet.

3 Pros and Cons of Owning Rottweilers

Pros! Cons!
It’s a great guard-dog. This breed is famous for its protectiveness towards its family around strange people. It is also wary of strange dogs. It has a tendency to chew. After the normal puppy teething phase, an adult Rottie can resort to chewing on furniture and other items in the house if it is bored or anxious
It’s very intelligent. This breed was tested and can learn a command after only 5 times. It is adaptable and can even go hunting, as long as the size of the game is appropriate — its strong bite can crush small game. It may have a shorter lifespan than other breeds. Compared to other dog breeds of similar size and weight, its lifespan is shorter. This is due to the prevalence of cancer in the breed. Otherwise, it would have a normal healthy lifespan.
It’s adaptable. Although it’s used to being a strong working dog, the Rottie can easily get used to lounging around on the couch with family at home. Just remember to give it daily exercise and mental stimulation so it doesn’t resort to destructiveness. It’s more expensive. The Rottweiler is one of the oldest dog breeds originating from Roman times. It is also one of the most expensive dog breeds, whether you are getting a pet or show quality. However, the more expensive the puppy and responsible the breeder, the stronger health-wise the dog will be.
Rottweiler (Canis familiaris) - laying on deck

Rottweiler Size and Weight

The Rottweiler is a medium large to large size short hair dog with an average height of 25.5 inches for males and 23.5 for females. Males weigh about 121lbs fully grown, while females weigh about 96lbs fully grown. Rottweiler puppies weigh on average 13.5lbs at 8 weeks of age and are considered adults between 24-36 months.

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Male Female
Height 25.5″ tall 23.5″ tall
Weight 121lbs, fully grown 96lbs, fully grown

Rottweiler Common Health Issues

Purebred Rottweilers have some common health issues. The most common are eye issues such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Cataracts. A heart disease called Aortic Stenosis results in abnormal rhythm and can cause heart attacks. Joint and bone issues such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and osteochondritis dessecans are also unique to the breed. Finally, cancer complications was the cause of death of 43% in a group of Rottweilers in one recent study. The breed is prone to liver, spleen and bone cancer along with lymphoma. In sum, the most common health issues with Rottweilers are:

  • Eye conditions
  • Aortic stenosis
  • Joint problems
  • Cancer

Rottweiler Temperament

The Rottweiler is famous for having a loyal, affectionate, sensitive and protective personality. Due to its calm and quiet temperament it is a popular choice for families, including those with children. It is no more dangerous than any other dog breed but its behavior can become rebellious if it is not trained or socialized properly.

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This does not mean they cannot be trained, though. They are very intelligent and take quickly to obedience training. Traits of loyalty, adaptability and eagerness to work with the instinct to hunt and herd are common to both males and females. However, a 2008 study found that confidence, sharpness, defense and play drives were higher in males than in females.

How To Take Care of Rottweilers

Rottweilers are not recommended for new or inexperienced dog owners. Regardless, they have unique needs, especially if they are puppies. Whether it’s teething, training or health issues, Rottweilers have breed-specific issues that must be considered.

Health and Entertainment for your Rottweiler

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Rottweiler Food and Diet

Rottweilers need nutritious food that gives them the energy they need without resulting in excess weight. As a result, they need a high protein, meat-based diet without produced meals, soy, wheat or corn.

Rottweiler puppy food: Rottweiler puppies need a lot of protein to develop muscles and build strength as well as fulfill the high energy needs of their puppyhood. Their diet should contain 24-28% protein and 14-18% fat .

Rottweiler adult dog food: Like puppy food considerations, pet owners should feed their adult Rottweiler food that is high in protein and low in fat. It should contain 22-26% protein and 12-16% fat.

Rottweiler Maintenance And Grooming

The German breed has a short medium length, coarse, dense and flat outer coat and an undercoat. The undercoat thickens as much as necessary according to the surrounding climate, and it also seasonally gets thicker during winter and thinner during summer. As a result, it changes its coat during spring and fall and so undergo more shedding than usual and needing grooming more often. Some dogs living in hot climates do not have undercoats.

Fortunately, the breed is very easy to take care of. It only needs a monthly bath and grooming every 4 to 8 weeks, with a weekly coat brushing and more frequent brushing during the spring and fall.

Rottweiler Training

Due to its large size, the Rottweiler needs obedience training as early as possible — it’s a lot of dog to handle. You should start training your Rottweiler as early as 6 weeks but no later than 6 months of age. A strong handler can establish dominance as the pack leader and be patient enough to provide socialization and positive reinforcement for proper behavior around strangers and other dogs.

Rottweiler Exercise

The Rottweiler needs daily exercise, but it isn’t overly demanding. A short walk and a longer walk is fine. Indoors, it enjoys chewing toys and games or other mental stimulation.

Rottweiler Puppies

Rottweiler puppies are much like puppies of any other dog breed, and hence are energetic and playful. They go through teething between 6 weeks to 6 months of age and during this time they will chew on anything, so they need to get used to chew toys early on. Neediness may be apparent early on in puppyhood along with separation anxiety.

Rottweiler (Canis familiaris) - puppy chasing ball

Rottweilers And Children

Rottweilers are patient and gentle around children, and the longer they are around them, the more protective they become. Due to the rowdiness of young children, they should be supervised around a Rottweiler and taught to treat the dog gently.

Dogs Similar to Rottweilers

Other dog breeds similar to the Rottweiler are Italian Mastiff, Doberman Pinscher and Bernese Mountain Dog.

  • Labrador – Shares similarities in training but has different socialization needs. It’s also a more popular breed.
  • Boxer – A German breed like the Rottweiler, it is a little shorter, lives longer, and is easier to train.
  • Bullmastiff – Similar to the Rottweiler but from England, it is less expensive to own, not as playful, and not as intelligent.

Famous Rottweilers

A number of rotties have made it to television. The large dogs with their lovable and companionable demeanor and silly antics have endeared many fans. Movies like The Omen, Lethal Weapon 3, Entourage, Man’s Best Friend and Half-Baked are just a few examples where their physical stature made them a favorite for silver screen roles.

Popular names for Rottweilers include:

  • Roxie
  • Bella
  • Bear
  • Max
  • Zeus
View all 34 animals that start with R

Rottweiler FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What does a Rottweiler dog look like?

The Rottweiler has a black coat with rich tan markings, a broad skull and muzzle, a strong neck, a deep chest, a curved tail, and a trotting gait. Although its tail was traditionally docked at the first or second joint, tail docking is banned in most countries, a fact that is stated in the FCI Country of Origin Breed Standard.

Is a Rottweiler a good family dog?

Yes, the Rottweiler is a good family dog that is sweet, protective, affectionate, and loyal.

Are Rottweilers good with kids?

Yes, Rottweilers can be wonderfully gentle and patient with kids with the proper socialization and training.

How long do Rottweilers live?

They generally live 10-12 years.

How much does a Rottweiler cost to own?

A pet quality Rottie can cost $500-2,000 while a show quality is from $2,500-4,000.

Are Rottweilers dangerous?

Rottweilers can be dangerous with poor socialization or training for aggression coupled with their large size and powerful bite.

What is the best dog food for a Rottweiler?

Premium, large breed dog food is best for a Rottweiler.

Are Rottweilers smart?

Rottweilers are one of the 10 smartest dog breeds and are moderately easy to train.

Are Rottweilers herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?

Rottweilers are Carnivores, meaning they eat other animals.

What Kingdom do Rottweilers belong to?

Rottweilers belong to the Kingdom Animalia.

What class do Rottweilers belong to?

Rottweilers belong to the class Mammalia.

What phylum to Rottweilers belong to?

Rottweilers belong to the phylum Chordata.

What family do Rottweilers belong to?

Rottweilers belong to the family Canidae.

What order do Rottweilers belong to?

Rottweilers belong to the order Carnivora.

What type of covering do Rottweilers have?

Rottweilers are covered in Hair.

What genus do Rottweilers belong to?

Rottweilers belong to the genus Canis.

What is an interesting fact about Rottweilers?

Rottweilers are strong, loyal, and self-assured!

What is the scientific name for the Rottweiler?

The scientific name for the Rottweiler is Canis lupus.

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  2. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals
  3. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia
  4. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals
  5. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals
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  7. Rottweilers Online, Available here:
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  10. Dogs Health, Available here:
  11. Your pure bred puppy, Available here:
  12. Vetstreet, Available here:
  13. Canine Journal, Available here:
  14. Pet Educate, Available here:
  15. Rottweiler Life, Available here:

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