Rottweiler Care for Puppies and Adult Dogs
Animal file: Rottweiler
To get it out of the way, we need to address the Rottweiler's reputation as a dangerous dog. In countries such as Israel, Spain and France, they have restrictions on keeping Rottweilers as pets. It doesn't necessary mean they are illegal, but they may require permits or have ban on importing them to certain regions. They are only outright banned in a few countries such as Ecuador. These restrictions imply the dog is dangerous and won't make a good companion animal. However, this is not the case. A Rottweiler can be the ideal family pet if they are given the correct care and training.
AnimalWised brings you this guide on Rottweiler care for puppies and adult dogs. We also provide a guide on training a Rottweiler to help ensure they have a happy and healthy life.
Rottweiler care and hygiene
Despite their tendency to drool, you may be surprised how clean a Rottweiler can be. They do not need excessive care. Their coat is short, dense and double layered. However, it is technically considered a medium-length coat. They are considered relatively low-maintenance and you may only need to brush them twice a week. Using a short and soft brush helps to eliminate dead hairs, dirt and anything which may have accumulated on the hair.
The Rottweiler has a double coat with a softer undercoat and coarse guard hair. During shedding season, the coat will shed more than usual and they may need extra brushing to remove the dead hair. However, Rottweilers are adaptable and those which live in a warmer climate may have shed much of their undercoat to prevent from overheating.
When we bathe any dog, we disturb natural oils which are secreted to keep their coat conditioned. It also helps to keep the skin naturally protected. However, since dogs have been domesticated and live in our homes, we need to bathe them every once in a while. We will need to bathe a dog according to their condition and a particularly dirty dog will need to be cleaned for their own health.
In general, we only need to bathe an adult Rottweiler once a month at most. Often we can leave them longer, especially if they have less opportunities to get dirty. Bathing a Rottweiler puppy should only occur after their weaning period. To know more, look at our article on when to bathe a puppy for the first time.
What to feed a Rottweiler puppy and adult
The food you provide a Rottweiler needs to be of high quality. They are big eaters, so if we give them low-quality food, it can have a detrimental effect on their health. Good quality food helps to keep a shiny coat, promotes good intestinal transit, builds musculature and maintains general health. Buying commercial food is fine, but it is always good to do you research. If you do, you can find affordable quality food which can keep your dog in shape.
If you are worried about your Rottweiler's weight, it is best to take the dog to a veterinarian. Rottweilers are particularly prone to obesity, so we need to ensure we don't overfeed them. We also need to ensure they exercise enough to burn the calories they do eat. Also, Rottweilers are sexually dimorphic with males tending to be larger than females.
The amount of food a Rottweiler eats differs according to their stage of life:
- Puppy: a puppy needs to be fed by their mother on milk, before being weaned onto solid food. Special puppy food can be purchased and it is particularly important it is of high quality.
- Junior: as a dog develops during their adolescence, they will need the right levels of vitamins, calcium, iron, fat and other nutrients to ensure their bones are strong. Again, it is important it is of high quality. Generally, junior dogs will need to eat more as they continue to grow.
- Adult: adult dog food is designed for the individual dog and their daily requirements. They will usually require a high percentage of protein and healthy fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6. However, we will need to cater the type and amount of food a dog to the individual. Some dogs will need food which provides more energy if they do a lot of exercise. Dogs which are overweight will need more protein, but less carbohydrates, etc. If the dog has a health condition, their feed will also need to be adapted. For example, dogs with diabetes will need a specific diet.
- Senior: when a dog becomes elderly, their needs change. They will still need plenty of omega-3 to keep bones and joints healthy. However, they may need less protein as their energy requirements decrease.
Diseases such as Glomerulonephropathy can affect a Rottweiler which harms kidney function. In these cases, special diets for dogs with kidney disease will be required.
Walking and exercise
The Rottweiler's strong musculature is natural, but it also requires maintenance. Daily walks are required to help the dog stay in fit shape. Even if you live in a home with a garden, a Rottweiler will need to be walked at least twice a day with a total minimum walking time of an hour. If we can extend the walks, all the better. Due to their robust frame, walking helps to prevent them from putting strain on their hear or other organs.
We should also allow our Rottweiler to exercise off leash for periods of time. Although any dogs with behavioral problems shouldn't be let off leash with other dogs, a well-socialized Rottweiler can spend time in dog parks and interact with other animals. For a happy and healthy dog, you can also encourage circuit training, swimming or agility exercises to keep the dog healthy.
Enrichment and stimulation for Rottweilers
The Rottweiler is a very intelligent and obedient dog. They are capable of learning a wide range of tricks, commands and orders. However, due to this relatively large intellect, it is also vital they receive appropriate levels of cognitive stimulation. We can do this by playing games, practising orders and making them feel useful. If they do not receive adequate amounts of stimulation they can develop behavioral problems.
Practising tracking games, visiting new places and using intelligence toys are good options to keep their lives enriched. All of these activities predispose our Rottweiler to having a happier life.
To ensure our Rottweiler remains healthy, we need to go to the veterinarian every 6 months for routine checkups. This allows our dog to be examined for any health issues and troubleshoot these problems. Detecting a disease or health condition in time allows for better prognosis.
As with all domestic dogs, vaccinations and deworming are essential parts of their preventive care. We need to visit the veterinarian to determine which immunizations they need since they differ according to the prevalence in a given area. Deadly diseases have been practically eradicated in certain canine groups thanks to vaccinations, so it is vital we stress their importance.
Deworming helps to prevent the presence of both external and internal parasites. Pipettes will usually be administered on the back of the neck to prevent the appearance of fleas and ticks. Deworming tablets will be given to affect intestinal parasites and others affecting the gastrointestinal tract. These will usually be given every 3 months or so, but they will also be predicated on the activities of the dog. For example, dogs will need to be physically checked for ticks if they spend a lot of time in the outdoors.
Finally, sterilization of the dog is very important. Not only does it prevent unwanted pregnancies, but it helps to improve their physical and emotional well-being. It also helps to lessen the chances of aggression which have been factors being considered a dangerous dog.
Using the muzzle and leash with Rottweilers
Since the Rottweiler is considered a potentially dangerous dog in some regions, they will generally need to wear a muzzle when in public. A basket muzzle is the best for this size and temperament of dog. Unlike other types of muzzle, it allows them to drink, pant and receive treats if necessary.
So our Rottweiler does not feel confined or uncomfortable, we need to get them accustomed to the muzzle from a young age. However, if you do have a Rottweiler as an adult, it is possible to teach them how to get comfortable wearing it. Our article on training a dog to use a muzzle can be of help to you.
How to train a Rottweiler
Training a Rottweiler needs to begin when they are a puppy. From the age of three months, we need to start beginning their training. When they are separated from their mother and siblings, socialization is very important. If they do not receive proper socialization at this time, it is possible they will have trouble relating to others as an adult dog.
However, one of the important aspects of training a Rottweiler is the fact that they need a lot of attention. They also need someone who knows what they are doing. For this reason, they are not a dog for first time guardians. If you have never trained a dog before and have recently adopted a Rottweiler, it is highly encouraged you seek help from a professional dog trainer. They can both educate the dog and teach you how to maintain a healthy relationship with the animal.
You will need to teach basic obedience orders. However, it is very important that we do not use punishment, shouting or scolding. This kind of negative reinforcement is not dangerous since it can lead to behavioral problems, it is less effective. Positive reinforcement is vital as it helps the dog to relate positively with their family and greater environment.
To learn more about whether you would want to adopt a Rottweiler, our article on whether Rottweilers are dangerous dogs can help.
If you want to read similar articles to Rottweiler Care for Puppies and Adult Dogs, we recommend you visit our Basic care category.