Rottweiler Temperament: Know This Before You Adopt

Rottweilers are a breed that is full of surprises and would make a wonderful addition to many families.

Their temperament is something that you wouldn’t expect from such an intimidating-looking breed of dog. The same goes for the level of intelligence that this breed is known to have. Understanding and working with the temperament of the Rottweiler begins with learning their history and is followed by learning about their personality and their particular care needs. All of this needs to be researched and understood to some degree before heading to a Rottweiler rescue to adopt. 


The roots of the Rottweiler breed go deep into Ancient Roman history. The Rottweiler breed began with Mastiffs that were present in Ancient Rome and primarily used to herd and protect cattle and other livestock that the armies kept around with them. For years the Roman armies had trouble with containing enemy Germany armies. 

Eventually, after years of battles, the Mastiffs that were utilized by the Romans eventually came to live in Germany as well. Just as the Romans did, the Germans used this breed as a stock breed for continuous breeding of these large, intelligent dogs. Until eventually, the breed that is now known as the Rottweiler came to be. The Rottweiler got their name from working cattle in the town of Rottweil in Germany for some time. They soon were given the title of “Rottweiler” and the rest was history. 

The Rottweiler was at the top of its game until the 1800s rolled around, and railroad cattle carts became a thing. Putting Rottweilers out of the herding and cattle driving business. Eventually, Rottweilers found their place in another profession. They were among one of the first breeds to be trained to lead the blind. They were also trained to work in search and rescue operations. Rottweilers were one of the breeds of dogs present at the World Trade Center after the collapse of the twin towers, there to search for people buried under the rubble. 


The Rottweiler has been given a bad reputation over the years for their occasional aggressive behaviors. The Rottweiler size and intimidating demeanor don’t help matters much. But what many people don’t seem to realize about this breed is that they are only aggressive under certain circumstances. For instance, if they, themselves, or their owners are in harm's way. That, or if they are brought up in a home where they are mistreated or not introduced to early socialization when they should have been.

Similar to the reputation of Pit bulls, Rottweilers have been given a title based on often provoked behaviors rather than their true nature. The true nature and personality of a Rottweiler are actually just that of a giant teddy bear. Rottweilers love any human who treats them with respect and reciprocates the love. 

They are a very cautious breed of dog who is on constant alert and paying close attention to their surroundings at all times. They are natural guard dogs and can’t help but always have their guard up. Because of this, Rottweilers are often said to be “standoffish”, when they are in fact just paying close attention to what is happening around them. This aside, they are gentle as can be with their family and can be great with children. Although, supervision is always recommended with young children and dogs as large as Rottweilers. 


The fur coat of a Rottweiler is short and coarse. Their coat doesn’t require too much upkeep. A good brushing once a week and a monthly bath should be just right. Their coat has some spots that have a double coat, that may shed at times. More so in the Spring and Fall months of the year typically. Their dental hygiene also needs weekly attention, with a good tooth brushing session. Their nails are also an important care point. Trimming once a month, or more frequently as needed is recommended. 

Diet and Exercise

Any high-quality commercial dog food should work perfectly for your Rottweiler. Being sure to follow serving size guidelines that are listed on the product label or recommended by your vet. Rottweilers can become obese if their diets are not closely controlled, in addition to allowing the regular physical activity. Obesity can certainly shorten a Rottweiler lifespan if not managed properly. 

Rottweilers are solid-built, athletic, and muscular dogs that love to exercise. A Rottweiler needs to be able to enjoy some physical activity at least once per day in order to exert extra energy and maintain a healthy physique. 


The temperament of the Rottweiler really all boils down to what they are exposed to as a puppy, as well as the environment that they continue to live in as they grow up. Rottweilers can certainly be mean and aggressive if provoked or raised in an environment that caused constant stress and lacked proper socialization and training. 

Overall, the Rottweiler, as a breed, has a loving and protective personality. If you bring a Rottweiler puppy into your home and raise it in a gentle and caring environment, you will have a dog that is your children's best friend and your whole family’s bodyguard

Do rottweilers shed?

The short fur coat of the Rottweiler breed may mislead you into believing that they do not shed. They are in fact heavy shedding dogs in the winter and fall and will continue to shed moderately throughout the rest of the year as well.

Are rottweilers good dogs?

Rottweilers make very loyal and loving companions. They look more intimidating and ferocious than they truly are. A rottweiler will do anything to protect their family, but when they do not feel threatened or that their family is in harm's way, a rottweiler is as sweet and loving as can be.

Are rottweilers smart?

Rottweilers are incredibly smart. According to certain standards, this breed ranks 9th on a list of the smartest breeds of dogs.

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Written by Petsmont Editors

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