How to prepare for a Rottweiler puppy

30 April 2024 - 7 min read
Image of a Rottweiler puppy sitting in the grass

Rottweilers have been popular for years. Fiercely loyal, intelligent and affectionate, owners choose them worldwide for a good reason. 

But how do you prepare for a Rottweiler pup? Below, we discuss Rottweiler accessories, care tips and how to prepare for one.

Research the Rottweiler breed


Do your research for any breed you want to buy. It helps make sure you’re committed to getting this dog, and it’ll avoid any hiccups along the way. Most of the time, dogs who don’t gel with their owners happen because of poor research. 

As for Rottweilers, they’re very loyal dogs with a long history of guarding and protection. When socialised properly, they’re very affectionate dogs and are well-suited for active families. 

Rottweiler characteristics

Strangers can make Rottweilers a little reserved, but with those they trust, they’re a dog that’ll stand with you through it all. 

The breed’s use for security has given them a reputation for aggression. But this isn’t necessarily the case. They’re confident, loyal dogs but are equally playful and endearing. 

Our Rottweiler fact file will help you make the right choice.

Rottweiler must-haves


Food and water bowls suitable for large breeds

Typically, bigger breeds need larger bowls. We’d recommend getting a bowl that can hold between four and eight cups of food, which should be around what an adult Rottweiler needs. Pet nutrition can get a little complex, so read our guide if you need help.

Of course, your puppy won’t be large! They'll likely be between 18 and 20 inches, so they’ll need a smaller bowl. You’ll probably need to change their bowls a few times throughout their growth. 

You should also consider these factors as your puppy matures: 

  • Eating style 

  • Preferred height

  • The floor

  • Age

High-quality puppy food

We recommend feeding a Rottweiler pup a diet with high-quality protein. Things like chicken and healthy fats for coat health. 

But, as mentioned, pet nutrition isn’t clear-cut. Observe your puppy to see what they like, how they respond to certain foods and their health. 

For general advice, remember paying for more doesn’t always mean paying for better. It's a good idea to research before starting things like a raw pet food diet too.

Always chat with your vet about diet, changing pet food and any other changes. 

Soft and comfortable bedding for joint support

Rottweilers are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia so an orthopaedic dog bed might be a good choice. 

Generally, pick one that has the right: 

  • Size and shape – so it fits your Rottweiler’s growing body 

  • Material – avoid any irritants or allergens

  • Comfort – so it suits your Rottweiler’s taste and personality

Despite their big frame, some Rottweilers may prefer to sleep in your bed. But they’ll still need a spot to call home. 

Harness and lead designed for control during walks

Your pup needs a lead or harness. We recommend getting one suitable for large breeds. 

Given a Rottweiler’s size, it’ll need a large collar – as a rule, you should be able to fit two fingers under the collar. 

There are hundreds of collars and harnesses to choose from. We recommend talking to fellow Rottweiler owners to see their experience and factoring in what your pup likes. 

The main thing with whatever one you choose is to train them on it. If you need help, choose between a collar and a harness with our guide.

Identification tags

You’ll get your Rottweiler chipped anyway (it’s the law), but an ID tag can offer an extra layer of protection. 

They help dogs return to their owners and tell anyone, including organisations that pick up strays, that your Rottweiler has a home. 

You should pick a tag that’s: 

  • Weather-resistant

  • Durable, made of things like stainless steel 

  • Scratch-proof

  • Legible, with your dog’s name and contact details

Rottweiler grooming tools


Rottweilers are pretty low maintenance when it comes to grooming. But even for short-haired dogs like them, regular grooming is a cornerstone of good health.

Long-haired Rottweilers do exist, and if you have one, you’ll need to groom them more.

For puppies, it’s essential to get them used to grooming early. We recommend picking up grooming tools as soon as possible. 

We'll list a few below.

Gentle brush for their skin and coat

Rottweilers need weekly brushing. This helps remove loose hair and keeps their coats nice and healthy. 

We recommend getting a large, gentle brush. Some owners prefer a stainless-steel brush. But a lot depends on your Rottweiler’s personality. It's trial and error with things like this.

Tearless puppy shampoo and conditioner

Teaching your puppy how to bathe is essential early on. To help with that, we recommend looking into tearless, puppy-safe shampoo and conditioner. 

Nail clippers or grinder for regular grooming

Nail clipping is often stressful both for your pet and you. But if you’re careful early on and make it a habit, it can make things easier. 

Get a good pair of nail clippers or a grinder that will last. Read our dog nail clipping guide for tips and try not to put it off. 

Ear cleaning solution and cotton balls

Ear cleaning is another important grooming step. As with other steps, getting your puppy used to this early will make things easier. 

Remember to reward your puppy with positive reinforcement, get a good ear-cleaning solution and read our ear-cleaning guide.

Rottweiler toys and enrichment

Dog Toys

Rottweilers are intelligent dogs, meaning they need mental stimulation too. You don’t want a bored Rottweiler pup on your hands – trust us!

Dog and puppy toys come in four categories:

  • Plush – these help your Rottweiler relax

  • Interactive – mentally stimulates them

  • Chew –promotes dental health and stops biting and chewing

  • Puzzle – provides enrichment

But Rottweilers are known for destroying their toys, so we recommend, in each category, getting something that’s on the durable side. 

For general recommendations, read our safe toys for puppies guide.

Chew toys for teething and dental health

Dental chews help promote good dental health, which is important to prioritise early. We recommend these, particularly when your Rottweiler goes through the teething and biting phase

Always remember to pick options that don’t break apart easily, as this can lead to choking hazards. 

Always double-check the ingredients too. 

Puzzle feeders and interactive toys for mental stimulation

These keep your Rottweiler mentally entertained and prevent boredom. 

Tough and durable toys for strong jaws

Rottweilers can destroy toys, so pick durable ones. KONGs are a great choice here. 

There are quite a few brands that offer tough or indestructible toys, which your puppy can put to the test. 

As ever, make sure there’s nothing nasty in the toy’s materials. Check for irritants and choking hazards. 

Comfort toys for relaxation and companionship

Rottweilers grow strong bonds with their owners, meaning when you’re not around, they may need something else to relax.

We recommend looking for large-breed and Rottweiler-specific enrichment toys. These will help them stave off boredom and loneliness.

Usually, Rottweilers do this by chewing but test what your puppy responds well to. 

Rottweiler safety and travel accessories

Rottweiler outside in frosty weather

Sometimes, you may need to travel with your Rottweiler, which can seem daunting given its (eventual) size. 

Below, we highlight the few things you need to travel safely. 

Check out our things to consider when going away with a pet if you’re a first-time owner or haven’t travelled with one before. 

Crate or carrier for safe transportation

Crates and carriers give your Rottweiler somewhere secure to stay in the car. 

Generally, travel cages need to be large enough for your dog to stand up and turn in easily. They need good ventilation as well.

When picking a carrier, consider its:

  • Size – Rottweilers get big, so get a crate that’s comfortable for them. Never put them in one that’s too small. 

  • Well-ventilated – ventilation is important to keep them calm and comfortable. 

  • Safety performance – always pick one that passes third-party tests. 

  • Comfort – pick a crate you know your Rottweiler will feel safe in. Add some personal touches like blankets to ease any nerves. 

Crates come in two popular styles for large breeds:

  • Hard-sided – these are appropriate for medium to large-size dogs, so we recommend them for your Rottweiler. 

  • Soft-sided – only good for small or medium-sized dogs. We wouldn’t recommend these for large breeds like Rottweilers.

Seat belt or harness for car safety

The Highway Code says you need to keep your dog safe when travelling by car. It states: 

“When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you're driving or injure you, or themselves if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars."

Always pick a seatbelt and harness that has passed third-party tests. 

Test to see if your Rottweiler likes it first, too. Again, getting them trained on this early will pay dividends. 

Rottweiler reflective gear for nighttime walks

Walking your dog at night carries risk, but not if you prepare for it. We recommend getting your Rottweiler pup a well-fitting reflective jacket, and you should have one too. 

Learn how to stay safe with our walking-at-night guide, and our night-time accessories guide can give you some recommendations. 

First aid kit for emergencies

You always need to prepare for emergencies, but it’s especially true when you’re away from home. 

We recommend carrying a first-aid kit with: 

  • A spare collar

  • Towels

  • Surgical sticky tape

  • Bandages

  • Cotton wool

  • Sterile wipes

  • Blunt scissors

  • Sterile, absorbent gauze

Read our guide on first-aid tips for dogs for more tips. 

Doggy life jacket for water activities

Rottweilers aren’t naturally a water-loving breed, but some like the water. 

Given their large size and lack of disposition to water, it’s important to get a good water jacket if you’re planning to take a dip. 

As mentioned, Rottweilers grow very attached to their owners, so if you’re swimming, they’ll likely want to join you.

To pick a good life jacket, consider getting one with:

  • Bright colours - this helps keep your Rottweiler visible

  • Reflective strips – again, this helps you see your Rottweiler 

  • A good leash attachment – make sure it has one of these or a D-ring, which gives you flexibility in controlling your dog in and out of the water

  • A reliable top handle – this helps you lift, control and move your dog, especially out of the water

  • Excellent buoyancy – you want to make sure it’s strong enough to keep a large dog buoyant

You should weigh your dog first, then measure its length from the neck to the base of the tail. Then measure its girth. With that information, cross-reference it with the size chart from the life jacket manufacturer. 

Rottweiler training aids

Rottweiler pups are very receptive to training, but the below tools can help. 

Treats for positive reinforcement during training

Treats are an essential part of positive reinforcement training. You don't need to get too fancy. Your Rottweiler will respond well to things like:

  • Beef

  • Chews

  • Chicken

  • Dried fish

Remember not to give them too many, though. Treats add up and can eventually lead to obesity.

As always, check things over with your vet first.

Clicker for clicker training

We recommend getting a clicker for training, as it may work well with your pup.

Rottweilers can respond well to clicker training thanks to their intelligence. But you need to start early with your puppy for the best results. 

The clicker acts as positive reinforcement. Each time your Rottweiler does something you want; you click the device and give them a treat. 

Eventually, you may not need treats anymore as your dog associates the noise with good feelings. 

We cover clicker training more in our dog training guide

Training pads for housebreaking

Training pads are a fantastic option when your puppy is in the housetraining stage. They provide a big space for your Rottweiler to relieve themselves, and it makes clean-up much easier. 

We recommend buying one that’s large enough for your pup, with multiple layers which make sure nothing seeps through.

Learn more about our how to housetrain a puppy guide

Puppy gates for containment and safety

Rottweilers quickly grow attached to their owners, meaning they want to follow you everywhere and anywhere. 

But sometimes they can follow you to places they shouldn’t. This is where puppy gates help. They can cordon off areas of your house but still allow space for your Rottweiler to see you, meaning they won’t feel lonely. 

Pick one that’s the right size and you’re good to go. Oh, and make sure it’s tall enough to stop your pup from jumping over it, too.

Prepare for the future with Rottweiler insurance

Puppy insuranceis another thing to consider. It helps protect your Rottweiler from young until old.

Discover what our Rottweiler insurance covers, how it helps owners like you and why it keeps owners well-prepared.

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Ben Newman
Editorial Content Lead

Ben is a writer and editor with years of experience in insurance. After spending a long time creating content for some of Britain's biggest brands as part of a marketing agency, Ben began to focus on insurance and hasn't looked back since. When he's not consuming copious cups of tea, you can find him reading a book, daydreaming about having an Australian Shepherd and shouting at Liverpool on the TV.