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Rottweiler dog breed

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Rottweiler dog breed information and advice

Are you wondering if a Rottweiler is the right dog for you? This dog breed guide is full of information to help you decide. Find out whether they’re a dangerous breed or loving companion.

Rottweiler facts

Lifespan 8 - 10 years
How much £700 - £12,000
Size 58 - 69 cm
Weight 34 - 60 kg
Colours black with markings that range from rich tan to mahogany
Grooming once a week
Temperament devoted, loyal, intelligent, protective, obedient
Exercise at least 60 minutes

Rottweiler insurance

Whether you’re buying a puppy or adopting an older dog, the first thing on your ‘to do’ list should be pet insurance. Common Rottweiler health issues can happen at any age and will require treatment.

Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance

With Sainsbury's Bank Pet Insurance, you can take out a dog insurance policy for your Rottweiler from 8 weeks old. New policies can be taken out up to your dog’s 5th birthday. Cover can be continued up to any age, just make sure you renew your policy every year without a break in cover. For Rottweiler’s, we’re unable to provide our £10,000 Lifetime cover.

How to care for a Rottweiler

Feeding, grooming, exercising and training all play a part in your dog’s health care needs.

Feeding and nutrition

Puppies have small stomachs and should be fed small amounts 3-4 times a day. Reduce to once or twice a day for an adult dog. The daily amount to feed your dog will be on the food packaging, where you’ll also find the nutrient contents. Ask your vet if you are unsure of the best food for your dog.


Rottweilers have a flat coat with coarse fur that requires minimal grooming. But they have a double coat that changes in thickness depending on the time of year which means that they do shed a lot. Brushing your dog regularly will help to remove the loose hairs from the undercoat.

You won’t need to bath your Rottweiler more than once a month. Only bath your dog when they are smelly or very dirty. If you wash them too much, they will lose their natural oils.


They’re an active breed that loves swimming, running and playing fetch. You’ll need to walk your dog for at least an hour a day but ideally more. Their love of exercise makes them excellent running buddies.


Rottweilers have a quiet temperament and are very intelligent, making them an easy dog to house train. They’re quick to learn and eager to please, making them a pleasure to train. Even puppy toilet training is a breeze.

Temperament and behaviour

Rottweilers are a devoted, loyal breed that forms strong attachments to their owner. They are protective of their family which can cause signs of aggression. They have a bit of a temper and aren’t keen on other dogs. But with training and socialisation, you can teach your dog that other dogs are friends and not a threat.

You may be surprised to find out that they can be quite playful when they want to be. Fetch is their favourite game, but they also love tug of war.

Common health problems

There are some health issues that you should be aware of when getting a Rottweiler. This is not to say that your dog will get these problems, they are just more prone to the conditions below than other dog breeds. It’s important to be aware of the health care that your dog may need.

Osteochondrosis (OCD)

OCD is an inherited condition that refers to an unusual growth of cartilage in the joints. It affects puppies between the age of 4-10 months old. If your dog has OCD it will show signs of front leg lameness, with their elbows and feet facing slightly outwards. They will be in pain so will not want to move much.

The only treatment for this condition is surgery to remove the cartilage. This will help your dog, but OCD often leads to arthritis. Medication will be needed to help with the pain for the rest of your dog’s life.

Retinal dysplasia

This eye condition occurs in puppies and is often present at birth or within the first 12 weeks of their life. Dogs with retinal dysplasia will have abnormal folds or rosettes of retinal tissue. It’s not a painful condition, but it does reduce the dog’s vision. In severe cases, retinal detachment will occur in the dogs first 6 months, causing blindness.

No treatment is available for this condition, but it is non-progressive. This means that it won’t get worse. Dogs can lead long, happy lives with reduced vision or blindness.

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is where the ball-and-socket joint of the hip doesn’t fit properly. The hip joint surface rubs together, causing damage to the surface. An affected dog will have back leg weakness and lameness. The condition can affect one or both hips at the same time. It’s present from a young age when the bones are not fully developed.

Dogs with hip dysplasia will develop arthritis in later life, which causes pain and stiffness. But don’t worry, this can be managed with pain relief to reduce the inflammation. A dog with arthritis can have a reasonable quality of life if their weight is controlled and their exercise restricted.

Hip replacement surgery is an option for severe cases, but this is expensive and complex. Management at an early stage will mean fewer difficulties. Most pedigree dogs are x-rayed for the condition before breeding. By the time you get your puppy it will be too late to prevent hip dysplasia, so check with the breeder that the parents have been tested.

Cruciate ligament rupture

You may have heard of this condition in humans, particularly footballers. It refers to the ligaments that hold the knee in place, being torn by a twisting injury. These ligaments get weaker with age and will have excess strain if the dog is overweight.

The ligaments can tear slowly, or it can happen suddenly while the dog is running. Affected dogs will hop with one leg raised. They will have the tip of the toe resting on the ground but will not put any weight on that leg.

Large dogs will need surgery to replace the ligaments with man-made tape. Following this, they will need to wear a support bandage for a week to stop them from bending the leg. They will then have to be restricted to a small area and only taken out on lead exercise. Recovery from surgery is usually good, but the dog is likely to develop arthritis when they are older. This can be managed with medication.

Are Rottweilers dangerous?

Rottweilers are a protective breed which is why they are often used as security dogs. If they feel under threat, or that their owner is under threat, they may become aggressive and this can lead to an attack. However, with training and socialisation, your dog will learn not to feel threatened.

What’s a Rottweilers life span?

The average lifespan of a Rottweiler is 8-10 years. Female rottweilers tend to live a couple of years longer than males.

Do Rottweilers shed?

Despite having a short coat, Rottweilers are heavy shedders. They have a double coat which changes in thickness depending on the temperature. You can expect lots of shedding during spring and autumn when they are adjusting to the change in weather.

Is a Rottweiler a good family dog?

Rottweilers are intelligent, obedient dogs that have playful moments. These behaviours make them good pets for children, but you should never leave a dog alone with a child. They are big, strong dogs, that can weigh up to 60 kg. Accidents can happen even with the kindest of dogs.

Is a Rottweiler right for you?

If you’re an active person looking for a devoted companion, the Rottweiler is a perfect fit for you. Their loving personality makes them a dream to train. What more could you want from a best friend?

If you’re still unsure if this is the breed for you, read our frequently asked questions, which will hopefully answer all your concerns.

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Content provided from Vetstream's Vetlexicon opens in new window

Vetstream ltd (online) Rottweiler. In: Vetlexicon Canis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website: opens in new window

Renberg W (online) Elbow: osteochondritis dissecans. In: Vetlexicon Canis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website: opens in new window

Harari J (online) Osteochondritis. In: Vetlexicon Canis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website: opens in new window

Harari J & Langley-Hobbs S (online) Hip: dysplasia. In: Vetlexicon Canis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website: opens in new window

Vetstream Ltd (online) Hip dysplasia Owner Factsheet. In: Vetlexicon Canis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website: opens in new window

Morgan R & Mitchell N (online) Retina: dysplasia. In: Vetlexicon Canis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website: opens in new window

Harari J & Rochat M (online) Stifle: cranial cruciate ligament disease. In: Vetlexicon Canis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website: opens in new window

Vetstream Ltd (online) Cruciate ligament rupture Owner Factsheet. In: Vetlexicon Canis. Vetstream Ltd, UK. Website: opens in new window

Terms and conditions

Important information
Sainsbury's Bank plc, Registered Office, 33 Holborn, London EC1N 2HT (registered in England and Wales, no. 3279730) is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (register no. 184514). Sainsbury's Supermarkets Ltd is an appointed representative of Sainsbury's Bank plc.
Sainsbury's Bank plc acts as an introducer to Pinnacle Insurance plc who is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (register number 110866). Registered Office: Pinnacle House, A1 Barnet Way, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, WD6 2XX. Sainsbury’s Bank plc and Pinnacle Insurance plc are not part of the same corporate group.