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The Rottweiler
--Written By Gene Blackman

Rottweiler PortraitMany people believe the Rottweiler to be descended from a mastiff type dog which the Romans used when they conquered Europe. The Romans used these dogs primarily for herding the cattle and sheep needed as food for their armies. The modern breed of Rottweiler is believed to have been developed in Germany in a district known as Rottweil, hence the name Rottweiler. The Germans used these dogs as herd dogs for their farming animals. The early Rottweilers also were worked as beasts of burden, carrying wood and other products to market. In addition, they were used as draft animals to pull carts filled with various products for their owners. During the first and second World Wars, Rottweilers were put into service as war time guard animals. Currently they are frequently used as guard and police animals. Some people have trained these fine animals to be hostile and many sad stories have resulted from these situations. However, a Rottweiler which has been properly trained, will be as gentle as any other breed of dog.

Rottweiler Laying DownRottweilers, range from about 22" to as much as 27" in shoulder height. They may weigh as little as 85 Lb. but they an weigh as much as 120 Lb. and occasionally slightly more than 120 Lb. They are considered a "very large" dog, and they can be very bulky in size. The Rottweiler is classed as a "working" breed by the American Kennel Club. Rottweilers generally live 7 to 10 years, but 12 to 13 years of age are occasionally seen in this breed. Hip displasia and other disorders are often seen, especially in purebred dogs from unscrupulous breeders.

Rottweiler relaxingThese dogs have very calm dispositions which make them quite suitable for companion animals and for family protection. Although the Rottweiler at one time was the most popular dog in the United States, it is now the second or third most popular dog as a pet.

The Rottweiler is a very intelligent dog with a strong desire to please it's master. Rottweilers crave attention, they are very loyal, and devoted. If they sense that their family is in eminent danger, they will defend their family just as any other dog would do. As with any other large dog, the Rottweiler requires a dominant master who is familiar with handling large dogs. Any dog, which is not properly trained, can and may challenge the authority of their handler.

RottweilerA Rottweiler is a powerful animal and cannot be allowed to dominate. They must be taught who the master is. Once they understand who is master, they willingly submit to the authority of their handler. Rottweilers generally are good around other animals. Most Rottweilers accept cats and other small animals as part of the family when raised from a puppy with those animals. When a Rottweiler is not raised with smaller animals, supervised socialization is an absolute must. Due to their tremendous size and strength, Rottweilers are not recommended around children five or younger. They can bump into small children during play and easily hurt them. In addition, the crying of a small child may be misunderstood by any dog. Therefore it is not recommended to leave any dog unattended with an infant.

Rottweiler puppy playing A dogs mental attitude is a result of training. Many good books and videos are sold on training your dog. Rotweilers, like any other dog must be trained for obedience. Rottweilers enjoy training sessions and easily learn commands. Any dog that is not socialized will be nervous and appear unfriendly around strangers. Rottweilers are like other dogs in this respect. They need to be socialized with other dogs in a public setting. They need to be walked in a public setting and allowed to meet other people so that they can accept other people outside the family group. Often dogs that are not socialized become fearful and attack people or other animals without apparent reason.

Always remember, no matter what breed the dog is, it is still a dog. It is not a human, therefore it does not possess the intelligence to discern right from wrong or good from bad. A dog only reacts to what they have been taught. If a dog has been trained to fight, or play in an aggressive way, or otherwise act in a hostile manner, it will probably display hostile behavior. On the other hand, a dog which has been treated gently and trained in a firm but gentle manner will usually be a calm, well behaved, and rather trustworthy animal. Always keep your Dog on a leash when in public. Never allow someone to be in charge of your dog who cannot control the animal under adverse situations.

Rottweiler puppy playing in yardRottweilers need daily exercise and prefer a yard to play in. Exercising your Rottweiler can be as easy as throwing a ball or frisby for the animal to chase and working with the dog several times a day. Any dog likes to accompany their master on a walk. People who run for exercise will find a Rottweiler an excellent and willing companion while they are running.

Grooming of a Rottweiler is quite simple. Rottweilers have semi-coarse overcoat fur and a soft fine undercoat fur. They need to be combed to remove the soft fine hair or it will quickly mat and shed. Taking a fewminutes to comb and brush your Rottweiler on a weekly basis is an excellent control for shedding. A bath every three to four weeks is helpful in controlling parasites, shedding, and helps maintain a healthy skin condition.

Rottweiler mom and babyThe proper feeding of a Rottweiler depends on how much exercise the dog gets. Generally the proper amount to feed is defined on the package when the food is purchased. Dry food may be mixed with a small amount of water to make it more palatable for the dog. A small amount of canned food mixed in is enjoyable for the dog as well. Table scraps are to be avoided as they generally do not provide the proper balance of nutrients. There are many books published on how to feed and care for your dog.

Always be sure to keep your pet properly immunized. Your veterinarian can tell you what is needed in your locality. Also discuss with your Vet what should be used as toys and treats for your Rottweiler.
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