12 October 2022 - 3 min read
Rottweiler standing

Vital stats

  • Breed type: Working
  • Size: 55 - 70 cm
  • Weight: 38 - 60 kg
  • Lifespan: 8 - 11 years


  • Size

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  • Intelligence

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  • Trainability

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  • Exercise needs

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  • Good with kids

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  • Levels of shedding

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  • Good for new owners

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  • Overall health of breed

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What are Rottweilers for?

Rottweilers were bred by farmers in the South West German region of Rottweil as driving and guarding dogs for cattle and other livestock.

In more recent history Rottweilers have been used as guard dogs for property, and also sadly became a bit of a macho ‘status dog’ through the 80s and 90s, earning them a reputation for aggression.

Because of their strength and trainable nature, they’re also used as working dogs by the police and armed forces.

While a lot of the bad press might be undeserved, if you want a Rottweiler puppy to blossom into a family dog it’s a good idea to pay attention to the temperament of the parents and to devote plenty of time to training this confident and strong-willed breed.


Rottweiler types and colours

Everyone recognises the traditional black Rottie with tan jowls, but did you know that’s not the only colour they come in?

Although they’re not recognised as ‘breed standard’ by the Kennel Club, there are some rare but beautiful black, white, red and even albino Rottweilers.

It’s more common for non-black and tan Rottweilers to actually be crossed with another breed of dog though, rather than pedigrees.

Some popular Rottweiler crosses are:

  • German Rottie (Rottweiler-German Shepherd cross)

  • Rottsky (Rottweiler-Husky cross)

  • Labrottie (Rottweiler-Labrador Retriever cross)

They’re very rare, but long haired Rottweilers also exist. They’re bred from two dogs with the recessive gene for longer coats which means that not even all pups in the litter will have this shaggier coat.

Be careful if you see miniature Rottweilers for sale. This isn’t a true breed – they’re likely to either be crossed with a much smaller breed or to be a Rottweiler with dwarfism, which could come with a host of health issues.

If you want a compact dog, a Rottweiler probably isn’t the breed for you.

Rottweiler temperament and characteristics

Rottweilers are calm, confident dogs but they aren’t usually the sort of dog to enthusiastically greet new canine and human friends by jumping all over them.

They’re dogs that love a job to do which is why they do well as police and guard dogs, but their huge size and weight shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Although much of their aggressive reputation stems from individual dogs being abused, neglected and trained to fight or bite, responsible owners will need to make sure they get plenty of training and socialisation from an early age.

Rottweiler puppy

Rottweiler insurance

In 2021, we insured over 1,300 Rottweilers at an average cost of £934.81. That’s about double the average cost for all breeds.

Rotties can be expensive to insure because they’re predisposed to a few genetic health conditions that can be costly to treat.

They’re also very large dogs. Large breeds are more expensive for medication and surgery than smaller breeds.

Make sure you choose a policy with enough cover for the sort of expensive conditions Rottweilers can suffer with. Our Complete policy has up to £15,000 vet fee cover and because all our policies are lifetime pet insurance, that vet fee limit will refresh each year when you renew.

Rottweiler health conditions

Rottweilers have a congenital (inherited) risk of heart problems like a narrowing of the arteries called sub-aortic stenosis.

This usually first show up as heart murmur and can be expensive to treat. Although the average claim for heart murmurs in Rottweilers in 2021 was £174.76, it was £1,288.80 for heart disease.

Thanks to their size, weight and high activity levels, Rottweilers are also at risk of cruciate ligament rupture. This was the third most common claim we saw for Rottweilers in 2022, with an average claim cost of £1,499.28.

Elbow dysplasia was the second most common condition in Rottweilers and claims for this cost £928.24 on average. Hip dysplasia was a little less common but Rottweilers are predisposed to this too, with an average claim cost of £576.41. Costs for both of these conditions are likely to be much, much higher if your dog needs surgery to treat them.

It’s a good idea to take out dog insurance while they’re a puppy so that if these conditions develop later on in their life you’ll be covered.

A person high fiving a dog

Get £15,000 lifetime vet fee cover with our Complete policy.

A person high fiving a dog

Frequently asked questions about Rottweilerss

Where can I get a Rottweiler?

If you buy a puppy make sure you do your research and find a reputable breeder that’ll let you meet the pup’s parents. That way you can be more confident that they’re from a healthy line of Rottweilers with a good temperament.

Rottweilers do sadly often find themselves in dog rescues because of inexperienced owners taking on more dog than they can handle. If you get a rescued Rottweiler they should have been assessed by the rescue centre and matched with you so you should have a good idea of their personality.

Are Rottweilers dangerous?

Rottweilers are large, powerful dogs, but they’re no more likely to attack or bite than any other dog. They’re not a breed named in the Dangerous Dogs Act but due to their size, they will need plenty of training and socialisation.

Do Rottweilers have their ears cropped?

Ear cropping is a barbaric practice that’s illegal in England and Wales, but dogs from abroad might be imported with cropped ears.

There are no advantages to ear cropping – it’s just to give Rottweilers a ‘fierce’ appearance. Which is often totally at odds with a soppy big dog nature anyway.

Do Rottweilers have tails?

Rottweilers have ordinary long tails. If you see a Rottweiler with a little stump of a tail, it’s probably been docked.

Like ear cropping, it’s illegal in the UK and has no health advantages for the dog.