The Rottweiler makes up position Number 9 on Animals Talk's top 10 most popular breeds in South Africa.
The Rottweiler is a medium to large size breed of domestic dog. The dogs were known as "Rottweil butchers' dogs" because they were used to herd livestock and pull carts laden with butchered meat and other products to market.
Life span: 9 to 10 years
Temperament: Courageous, Confident, Calm, Fearless, Devoted, Obedient, Steady, Alert, Good-natured, Self-assured
Weight: Male: 43–59 kg, Female: 38–52 kg
Height: Male: 61–69 cm, Female: 56–63 cm
Colours: Tan, Mahogany, Black
The Rottweiler is known to be highly intelligent and a fantastic family and guard dog. Because of their size and temperament, they need training from a young age. This is one dog breed that needs to know its order in the human pack, which must be below all the humans in the family. It needs an owner that is confident, calm, strong-minded, firm and someone that understands these dogs who also need control and training.
They are good to family and friends of their owner, but they do not take likely to anyone with the wrong intentions. These dogs do not like to be confined into small spaces or left in the back yard. A regular run in the forest or on the beach makes them very happy. Rottweilers will not wander off and away from their owners. They are good with other pets in the family and with children. Shedding is average and a regular brush with a firm comb will keep their coat healthy.
A few health conditions to keep in mind if you already share a couch with a Rottie or planning to get a pup:
1. Skeletal abnormalities: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and osteochondrosis. All three conditions have multifactorial causes but with a large inherited (genetic) component. Depending on the severity of the conditions surgery may be necessary in a high number of these patients.
2. Rupture of the cranial cruciate ligament – in Rottweilers most cases will need surgical stabilisation. This is a common condition for all larger dogs, especially if their owners feed them too much and they become overweight.
3. Entropion – condition where the eyelids roll in which lead to the eyelashes scratching the cornea which can lead to corneal ulceration. If symptomatic, entropion will need surgical correction.
4. Osteosarcoma – bone cancer. This malignant bone cancer is often diagnosed in the breed. Unfortunately risk for internal spread is very high. It is a very painful condition and leg amputation often recommended to control pain (but in most cases will not prevent internal spread).
5. Gastric torsion (GDV) or bloat. This condition can be fatal within 2 hours. Patients will need intensive emergency treatment and in most cases surgery to decrease the risk of recurrence. This condition is caused by various factors such as kibble swelling up in the stomach, too much intake of food or water in a too short time, stressed out animals and animals that are overweight.
All five of these nasty conditions require expensive veterinary intervention, be prepared make sure they have medical aid.
Thank you to our online vet Dr Adel for sharing with us ailments which she is exposed to as a vet on a daily basis.
Other Top Dog Breeds in South Africa:
Article written by: Dr Adel Ferreira & Juanita Aitkenhead