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What Is a Rottweiler?

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  • Written By: L.K. Blackburn
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 19 August 2014
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A Rottweiler is a medium to large sized breed of dog with black fur that has rust colored markings on the dog's feet and muzzle. Rottweilers are generally compact in build, with a sturdy and stocky frame that reaches up to 27 inches (68.5 cm) tall. Originally from Germany and bred to be a herding dog, the Rottweiler is still comfortable around large farm and herd animals. Today, Rottweilers are used as service dogs for the police, and as a guide and guard dog.

The coat of a Rottweiler is short in length and smooth in texture, and is generally not coarse or wavy. On average, the dogs can weigh up to 110 pounds (50 kg), and have a tail that is clipped short at birth. A Rottweiler's eyes are typically almond shaped and brown. Yellow eyes are considered a disqualification in terms of show quality breed standards.

Rottweilers usually possess good balance and stamina, as well as powerful movements when running and trotting. They have a natural instinct to herd and work livestock, and use their size to control the animals. The dogs are even tempered, calm, quiet, and reserved in general, and this is what allows them to be used as therapy animals and work with law enforcement. For this to be true, however, a Rottweiler must be trained properly. The training process should begin with the dog as a puppy, and consistently reinforced throughout adulthood.

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Unfortunately, Rottweilers have a reputation for aggressiveness that has earned the breed distrust with many, partially as a result of their size and stature. Many apartment complexes and home owner insurance companies have breed restrictions that do not allow a Rottweiler to live on the premise. Though the dogs are gentle in nature when properly trained, they have a strong personality that requires the right person to learn how to control.

There are no diseases that are specific to the Rottweiler breed, but they can be prone to obesity. Extra weight on a dog can lead to heart and blood flow problems, and lack of energy and responsiveness. Like all dogs of this size range, Rottweilers can experience hip dysplasia. To attempt to avoid this issue, it is important to know the dog's parent's medical history, have the dog's parents checked using x-rays prior to breeding, and discourage over-breeding. An alternative to purchasing from a breeder is to look into getting a dog from a Rottweiler rescue organization.

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