A Rottweiler puppy is a tough pup with a confident nature. Always exploring. The black and tan color makes the pup attractive to look at. They are incredibly sweet and get along well with children.
Rottweilers in their original form have long been loyal friends and helpers of European people. They have come a long way from the working dogs they once were to the great loyal family pets they are today, both through time and mileage. The name rottweiler suggests a German origin, and there is some truth to that, but that is not the whole story.
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According to experts, the bloodline of the present-day rottweiler goes back to the beginning of our modern history, in the time of the Greeks. At that time, the Greek city-states eagerly used a dog-like guard and working dog breed called molos, named after an area on the Greek coast. As often happened, this Greek tradition was gratefully adopted by the Romans.
The legions of Rome used these animals as driving dogs on their many years of campaigns throughout Europe. Herds of cattle traveled with the legionnaires as food for the road, driven by the molos, the forerunner of the rottweiler. For entertainment of the troops, the dogs were also used as fighting dogs. They also served as guard dogs, because in those days these regions were teeming with wild animals such as wolves and bears.
Along with the cattle
This ancestor of our rottweiler was apparently just as versatile and useful an animal back then as in its modern cousin. Roman legions left their molos-like dogs throughout the continent, to the delight of local residents. Spontaneous crossbreeding took place everywhere, including the German town of Rottweil, a former Roman fortified town where a large livestock market developed. T
o travel to and from that market, livestock traders had to travel with their herds. In doing so, the descendant of the Roman driving dog became a favorite choice. Thus arose the name rottweiler. So not a herding dog, but a guard and drover’s dog.
From ancient times to today
From the time when the rottweiler was used in ever larger parts of Germany for its “new” task, the breed came closer and closer to people. As the cattle trade slowly but surely switched to transportation by rail and road, they more often had a role to play as a draft animal for a dog cart, which was common in the nineteenth century. Especially the carts of local butchers were often pulled by rottweilers, which is why they are still called “metzgerhund,” or butcher dog.
Unnecessary negative image
About the character of the rottweiler, owners often disagree with, for example, the letter carrier or people who are afraid of dogs. This is partly due to the powerful and, to some, somewhat intimidating appearance of this “ex-military” and former fighting dog, but it is also an image issue.
Not so long ago, rottweilers were regularly used as deterrent dogs by owners who wanted to impress on the street, complete with collars full of spikes. Images of rottweilers in logos and the media, for example, were strongly associated with an aggressive image. Also, rottweilers were trained and bred to behave dominantly and aggressively, partly also to effectively deter intruders as guard dogs. This gave the breed a bad name.
Because of this image, but also because of a series of real bite incidents involving rottweilers, it became mandatory for the breed association to test all dogs for so-called Socially Acceptable Behavior (MAG test). That mandatory testing fortunately resulted in the Dutch rottweilers of today being selected for a gentler character than they sometimes used to have.
In addition, the character of a rottweiler (and actually of any dog) is largely determined by the character and intentions of its owner. Certainly nowadays rottweilers have it in them to be a quiet, gentle family dog, but the upbringing and socialization must be geared towards that, of course.
Quiet, friendly family dogs
When raised calmly and without aggression, rottweilers are friendly, balanced and calm dogs. Because rottweilers still carry their working dog nature within them, they gladly exert themselves to make their owners comfortable. They have great stamina and to maintain that, they need lots of exercise.
They are strongly people-oriented and need attention and contact. Rottweilers are quite independent animals, making them better able to stay home alone for a while than many other breeds.
Rottweilers are very loyal to their owners and tend to protect and guard “their” family. That in itself is a nice trait, but it can result in them not reacting immediately friendly to strangers. Good socialization is therefore very important to ensure that they do not start to see every strange face as a threat.
This is especially true for children, but of course also for adults. Do you have children or do you get visitors where they bring children? Then make sure you socialize your rottweiler puppy with these children, as well as with other children, preferably on a daily basis.
Rottweilers are relatively easy when it comes to grooming. The main concerns in this area are coat, teeth and diet. A rottweiler’s coat doesn’t need to be brushed particularly often, but once a week is a minimum that actually applies to all breeds. An exception to this are the two periods a year when your dog goes into moult.
During those weeks, it is necessary to comb or brush a rottweiler daily, as they shed at a high rate when changing from summer coat to winter coat and vice versa.
Taking care of your rottweiler’s teeth is an important concern. Irritation and inflammation of teeth and gums can cause your dog a lot of misery and negatively affect eating habits. Moreover, these inflammations can spread to other parts of the body, so a fairly innocuous inflammation can eventually even become deadly.
Brush your rottweiler puppy and adult rottweiler’s teeth at least once a week with specially designed dog toothpaste. More often is also allowed, it certainly doesn’t hurt, but it is not necessarily necessary.
Nails, ears, eyes, food
Make sure your rottweiler does not become overweight, by dosing the food responsibly and ensuring adequate exercise. Being overweight is bad for your dog’s joints, but like humans, it also affects overall fitness and health. An additional point of attention is the timing of the food: give your rottweiler at least an hour of rest after eating, before you go for a walk, for example.
If you don’t do this, your dog runs the risk of a stomach upset that can turn out to be very painful. The ears and eyes of your rottweiler can get infected by accumulated dirt. Check them regularly and pat dirt away with a little lukewarm boiled water. Finally, check regularly that the nails are not getting too long. You can cut these yourself if you know how: if you don’t, go to a specialist. Be extra carefull when dealing with a rottweiler puppy.