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A photo of a Rottweiler sitting in the street, a rottweiler walking through the grass and a rottweiler laying down

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Rottweiler dog breed profile

Everything you need to know about these blocky-headed pups.

Whether you’re adopting a Rottweiler or a Rottweiler mix, learning about their breed can explain a lot about your pet’s personality, habits and overall health.

Here’s everything you need to know before adding a Rottweiler to your family.  

What are the different types of Rottweilers?

Rottweilers are an old mix between the Molossus, a mastiff-type dog, and the Italian Mastiff, which explains these pups’ big builds and high energy. Today, there are several different Rottweiler types, each with their own lovable personalities. German Rottweilers are most common and known for their thick bones and big heads. American Rottweilers, on the other hand, are taller with smaller heads — though still bigger than most other pups.

What do Rottweilers look like?

These dogs are known for their big, blocky heads — they usually have loose lips and cheeks, which can make them look like they’re smiling but can also cause a bit of drooling. Rottweilers’ signature short double-coat features black and brown markings, Dr. Bogman says, and most Rottweilers have emotive brows, adding to their smiley faces. 

If you’re looking for a dog that doesn’t shed, Rottweilers might not be for you. Expect year-round — but manageable — shedding with these pups. Extra seasonal shedding will also depend on the climate in which you live. You can help manage these pups’ shedding by frequent brushing or even trips to the groomer

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What are Rottweilers’ personalities like? 

Rottweilers are active and intelligent dogs thats loyal nature shines when properly socialized and trained from a young age. Their high energy requires daily exercise and mental stimulation, which is why healthy work, like tracking or herding, is particularly beneficial for these enthusiastic pups. 

“Rottweilers have a very strong drive to protect their family because they were herding dogs in the past,” Dr. Saskia Bogman, DVM, a freelance veterinarian, says.  

As with most dogs, if Rottweiler puppies aren’t adequately trained, they can become overprotective of their parents, family and/or home, which can lead to aggression toward other people and animals. So if you’re considering adding a Rottweiler to your family, be sure you have the time and budget to dedicate to training and daily stimulation. 

What are common health issues for Rottweilers?

As a large breed dog, the Rottweiler’s lifespan can range from 8 to 12 years, Dr. Bogman says. Much of Rottweilers’ body mass is muscle, and they can easily grow to over 90 pounds, with some male Rottweilers reaching upward of 130 pounds. 

Rottweiler parents should keep an eye out for diseases that affect large dog breeds, like hip and elbow dysplasia. According to Dr. Bogman, Rottweilers are also more susceptible to inverting eyelids, heart disease and bone cancer as they age. Rottweiler puppies, like all puppies, are susceptible to parvovirus until they’re vaccinated. 

Adopting a Rottweiler 

Are you interested in adopting a Rottweiler, Rottweiler mix or any pet at all? Check out our shelter partners to find your new best friend. 

‍The Dig, Fetch by The Dodo’s expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too. Fetch provides the most comprehensive pet insurance and is the only provider recommended by the #1 animal brand in the world, The Dodo.

Photo by Florian van Duyn, Kevin Seibel and Krishna Chalasani on Unsplash

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