Rottweilers are powerful dogs with athletic, muscular bodies and large, broad heads. They are slightly longer than they are tall, with a level topline. The ears are pendant and triangular; the nose black and wide. The lips are also black, as is the inside of the mouth. The eyes are deep set, almond-shaped and dark brown. Teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The tail is customarily docked and dewclaws removed. The short, black coat is highlighted with clearly defined markings over the eyes, on the cheeks, chest, lower legs and under the tail.
Size and Weight
Mature, male Rottweilers should stand from 24 to 27 inches at the shoulder and females should stand 22 to 25. Preference is given to dogs who fall in the middle of these ranges. The correct proportion is what matters most, and Rottweilers should be slightly longer than they are tall, with the correct ratio being 9:10. Females weigh in around 100 pounds, while males tip the scale at 115 pounds.
Coat and Color
Rottweilers wear a double coat that is medium length, straight and coarse to the touch. The undercoat is concentrated on the neck and thighs, and its thickness depends upon the climate in which the Rottweiler lives. The top coat is medium length and shorter on the head, ears and legs than on the rest of the body.
Rottweilers are always black with markings over the eyes, on the cheeks, on each side of the muzzle, the chest, legs and beneath the tail that may be from mahogany to rust in color.
Brush the Rottweiler on a weekly basis to remove loose hair and distribute natural skin oils to help keep the coat shiny and healthy. Twice a year the Rottweiler will shed heavily, and brushing may need to occur two or three times per week, or daily depending on the individual. Bathe only as needed.
Check the ears on a regular basis for signs of wax buildup, irritation or infection. Clean the ears with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved cleanser; never use a cotton swab in a dog's ear canal. Teeth should be brushed on a weekly basis to prevent tartar buildup, promote gum health and keep bad breath at bay. Trim nails monthly if the dog does not wear the toenails down naturally outdoors.
Rottweilers have a reputation for being viscous attack dogs, but despite what television and movies may say, this is not their true nature. Rotties are incredibly loyal, which makes them superb watchdogs, and they will protect their family fearlessly – but to be viscous, they must be trained that way. When properly trained, socialized and exercised from puppyhood, Rotties are even tempered and dignified companions. They do not buddy up to just any newcomer, but rather take their time to decide who is worthy of their time and affection. With their families they are affectionate and playful, and most Rottweiler owners note that their dogs seem to not know how large they are, wanting to cuddle up on the couch or the bed. For experienced dog owners who have the time to commit to a large breed, the Rottweiler is a true blue friend.
The Rottweiler happens to be a relatively healthy and disease-free breed. But there are some common issues our big buddies tend to have.
One of the most common health issues is hip dysplasia, which is the alteration or malformation of the hip joint. This means the femoral head, which is the highest part of the thigh bone, does not sit properly in the hip socket. This can cause your dog a whole lot of discomfort and prevent him from doing some of his favorite activities, such as running around like a madman, and jumping the fence into your neighbor’s yard. But that isn’t the only health issue you need to be concerned about. All of these concerns must first be addressed before we can accurately determine the lifespan of your favorite companion.
Rottweilers have also been known to suffer from Osteochondritis dissecans, which is an issue in the shoulders. This condition occurs when a piece of cartilage, along with a sliver of bone underneath it, detaches from the end of the bone. This is yet another unfortunate disease that affects our buddy the Rottie. The most common cause of early death in Rottweiler’s is cancer, but more specifically, bone cancer. There is treatment available, but generally the prognosis is poor.
There are also several things we can do to help prevent some health issues that affect our Rottweilers. The Rottweiler is more susceptible than other breeds to parvovirus, which is a highly contagious infectious virus that generally attacks the intestines and causes vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and unfortunately very commonly, death. Early vaccination in young puppies radically reduces the risk of parvovirus, so always get your puppy vaccinated at a very young age to help prevent this awful ailment.
Rottweilers are also very prone to obesity. Along with obesity, there are some other common health issues which tend to come hand in hand when you are dealing with an overweight dog. Some of these common issues include arthritis, breathing problems, heart failure, reproductive problems, diabetes, skin disease, and overheating. This can generally be prevented by feeding your Rottweiler a proper diet and making sure they get plenty of exercise.
While on the topic of obesity, we should also discuss what the common size of this large dog breed should be. Rottweilers are indeed a large breed, and their size does greatly depend on the sex of the dog. A male Rottweiler generally weighs 45-60 kilograms (99-130 pounds), and stands 61-69 centimeters (24-27 inches). The female Rottweiler is slightly smaller than her counterpart. She generally weighs 35-52 kilograms (77-115 pounds), and stands 56-63 centimeters (22-25 inches). These weights and heights are based on an average, healthy, adult Rottweiler.
As far as large breeds are concerned, generally the bigger the dog, the shorter the lifespan. A very small dog, such as a chihuahua, is known to live longer than a large breed dog like the Rottweiler. While a chihuahua may live to be 15-20 years, the average lifespan for the Rottweiler will be significantly lower.
Now knowing what we know about the Rottweilers health, size, and history, we can begin to determine their life expectancy. For a healthy, average size Rottweiler, we can expect our comrades to live 8-12 years. That is pretty good for a big dog! Also, it is common for a female Rottweiler to live an average of 2 years longer than a male.
So, if you are planning on adding a Rottweiler to your family, or already have one, you now know that you can expect your friend to live around 8-12 years. Please remember to take your Rottweiler to your vet regularly and monitor their diet and exercise so you will have a happy and healthy friend for a long time to come.