A Big (Big) Bundle of Love
Guest Writer: Neil Kilgore
Little dogs aren’t for everyone, especially if you like to play and tumble with your dog. While some dogs are bigger than others, there’s one in particular that makes for a fantastic addition to most homes, a Rottweiler. If you’ve ever seen a rottweiler breed, then you know they can be a very imposing dog. However, despite their size, they can be a very sweet, loving and loyal dog. If you’re looking for a new dog, and considering a rottweiler (the 10th most popular breed in the U.S.) here are a few things to keep in mind.
Bigger Dog means Bigger Responsibility
Rottweilers tend to get pretty big, the average male weighs up to 150 lbs, which can be a lot of dog to handle, especially if your dog outweighs you. Because of this, it is beyond important that you train your dog properly from the beginning. If your rottie has been poorly trained, you might find him taking you for a walk instead of the other way around. For those that have never owned a big dog before, 150 pounds is a lot of dog, especially when they think they’re a lap dog. Rotties love to be close to their owner and will find your lap to be a very appealing place to lay down. If they can’t get to your lap, they’ll sit on your feet or lean against your legs. It’s important to train them against this behavior while they’re still small, otherwise you might find yourself getting knocked over by a dog who’s a little over eager for petting.
On the topic of walks, rottweilers are one breed in particular that need more exercise than other dogs. This includes brisk, daily walks as well as time to romp and play. Rottweilers who don’t get enough exercise can be prone to health risks, so it’s important to avoid that as much as possible. Another consideration is that rottweilers are very intelligent, so it’s also important that you engage them mentally as well. Advanced obedience training and various agility training will keep them from getting bored. Rotties, as well as other intelligent breeds, are prone to destructive behavior when bored, so unless you want a 150 lb bundle of destruction wreaking havoc in your house while you’re away, it’s in your best interest to keep them entertained.
Socializing is a Must
Rottweilers are a bit different from other dogs when it comes to temperament, as they prefer to wait and see, reacting to their environment after they’ve observed it first. This often means that it will take a rottie a while to warm up to you as an owner (especially an older one) and even longer to learn to respect you. Rotties will constantly test you, making sure you really are the one that’s still in charge which means you need to be consistent with your dog at all times. Which feeds into the second point, Rotties are territorial by nature and, if they aren’t properly trained, can be aggressive especially towards smaller dogs. This is why socialization is beyond important (with this and any other breed) to make sure there aren’t any instances for aggression which could cause a great deal of trouble down the road.
That said, once your rottweiler has accepted your dominance, you’ll have a big dog who is very loving and protective of both you and your family. The Rottweiler breed is among one of the most loyal breeds of dogs, once that loyalty is earned, however.
A QUESTION FOR YOU: Is your dog a Rottweiler breed? Tell us a little bit about him.
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