Everything you need to know to buy or adopt a Rottweiler puppy or adult dog.


BE PREPARED

For Your New

Rottweiler!

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Raise and train your dog the RIGHT way and he will live a long, healthy, well-behaved life – and both of you will be happy!

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Rottweiler dog breed

Buying or Adopting a Rottweiler

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Is a DOG really the right pet for you?

I've been helping people choose and find dogs for over 35 years now, and I have to say that for many people, dogs are not ideal pets.

Pros AND Cons of Owning a Dog


Should you get a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog?

Don't set your sights on any purebred dog until you read these three eye-opening articles:

The Truth About Purebred Dogs

The Truth About Crossbred Dogs

The Truth About Mixed Breed Dogs


Is a Rottweiler the right breed for you?

Rottweilers: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Rottweiler Health Problems


Are YOU right for a Rottweiler?

Can you provide what this breed needs?

  • Someone home most of the day
  • Fenced yard (6-8 feet high, not an electronic/underground fence)
  • No young children in the household
  • No very small dogs in the household
  • No dogs of the same sex in the household
  • No cats in the household
  • Restricted exercise when young – until maturity (at least 18 months old), exercise restricted to multiple short (20 minute) walks, fetch games, and playing with other dogs – no forced running (beside a jogger or bicyclist), no long-distance treks, minimal jumping
  • Ample exercise after maturity – enough ongoing exercise that your Rottweiler stays slim and is tired enough to sleep contentedly and not get into mischief
  • "Mental exercise" – interesting activities that keep the mind stimulated, such as a challenging dog sport (agility, rally obedience, musical freestyle, tracking, flyball, herding, schutzhund, carting, weight pulling); challenging dog toys; a homemade obstacle course; tricks and games such as Musical Toys and Hide 'n Seek; instructions in my training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words
  • An indoor lifestyle, except for exercise and bathroom breaks
  • A meat-heavy diet, either homemade or commercial – meat is expensive, so people with less money should opt for a small dog
  • An owner with enough money to treat the health problems Rottweilers are prone to (pet health insurance can really help here!)
  • An owner who is okay with moderate shedding
  • Commitment to provide thorough socialization – introducing your Rottweiler to lots of people and other animals, diligently correcting any signs of misbehavior or aggression
  • Commitment to establish the right Leader-Follower relationship with your Rottweiler, teaching him to listen to you and do what you say

Should you get a male or female Rottweiler?

Symbols for male and female Male Dogs vs. Female Dogs
Which one makes a better pet?


Should you get a young puppy, an older puppy, or an adult dog?

Girl hugging a dog Puppies vs. Adult Dogs
What age should your new Rottweiler be?


Where can you buy or adopt a Rottweiler?

Rottweilers have become very common in the United States. Out of 189 breeds in the American Kennel Club, where 1 is most popular and 189 is least popular, Rottweilers rank 8th. Unfortunately, far too many people acquire this breed for the wrong reasons, or they acquire the wrong dog from the wrong source. Or they're simply ill-equipped to train and socialize and handle a Rottweiler.

Adopting From Dog Rescue Organizations
Rottweilers are frequently available from Dog Rescue groups. Rottweilers may be turned over to Rescue because they need much much exercise than the owner expected, or due to dominance or aggression issues. Owners may give up their Rottweiler when it becomes apparent that the dog is too much for them to handle. You would need to provide these dogs with the exercise, training, and socialization that they are lacking.

Other Rottweilers are given up simply because of changed family circumstances, and these dogs may have no behavior problems at all.

Adopting From Public Animal Shelters and Humane Societies
Rottweilers are often found here. Rottweiler rescue groups do keep their eyes peeled on shelters and humane societies across the country, and if a Rottweiler turns up at a shelter, the rescue group does try to move the dog into their rescue network.

Buying From a Dog Breeder
You can buy a Rottweiler from a show breeder, who breeds Rottweilers to match a detailed standard of appearance for the dog show ring.

Or you can buy a Rottweiler from a performance breeder, who emphasizes an energetic temperament and strong "prey (chasing) drives" for participating in protection dog sports such as schutzhund. Some breeders are a combination of show/performance, though how they prioritize those two goals can vary greatly.

You can also buy a Rottweiler from people who "just breed pets" or "just had one litter." But should you? Be sure to read the article to learn more about these people.

Here's one difference between a responsible breeder and an irresponsible breeder – BOTH PARENTS of a Rottweiler puppy should have:

  • a certificate from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) – dated within the past year – certifying the dog to be free of eye diseases
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or PennHip certifying the dog to have normal hips
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) certifying the dog to have normal elbows
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or a report from a veterinary cardiologist – dated within the past year – certifying that the dog has had an Advanced Cardiac Exam and has a normal heart

If a seller can't show you those certificates, the puppies are higher risk for health problems. You might choose to accept that risk. But then you need to be willing (and able) to pay a couple thousand bucks for future surgeries and lifelong meds if your Rottweiler ends up with cataracts, heart disease, and crippled joints.

Puppy in a pet shop window Pet Shop Puppies: Buying a Puppy From a Pet Store
Rottweilers are quite often found in pet shops. I have plenty to say about buying a puppy from a pet shop!


Related Articles

Girl holding up a puppy and looking at him How To Choose a Good Rottweiler Puppy
How to test the temperament and personality of Rottweiler puppies and pick the best puppy in a litter.


Pedigree parchment AKC Registered Puppies: Are AKC Papers Important?
Should you consider buying only AKC registered Rottweiler puppies? Do AKC papers and pedigrees really matter?


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.