What are Rottweilers like?

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Cody the Rottweiler

Meet Cody, the Rottweiler

…or as we often called him, the Not-Weiler because he was nothing like we expected a Rottie to be.

We have since changed our perceptions of this and understand them to be the sweetest and most gentle dogs.

So what do you get with a Rottweiler?  Are Rottweilers good dogs? What can you expect of your Rottie?

A faithful companion who will become the best watchdog you can imagine.

How Cody came to live with us

We were outside playing with the other dogs, and a rather large, beautiful Rottie just walked up to our driveway, went into our carport, laid down, and went to sleep.

He didn’t bother any of the other dogs.

Later, when he woke up, we fed him, and he never left.

He got along great with the rest of the pack, humans, and canines.

We like to think that he adopted us.

Is a Rottweiler a good watchdog?

We’ve only had a single Rottie, so my experience stems from that. We had a friend down the road who used to walk hers past our house daily, so I had the chance to talk with her about “Axle” on occasion, and our experiences were similar.

Rottweilers make excellent watchdogs, plain and simple.

The first thing to consider is what the sight of a Rottweiler does to a potential intruder.

I’m always of the mindset that an intruder chooses the path of least resistance, and a house with a Rottweiler is not that. There’s a house down the road, around the corner, or in a different neighborhood that does not have a Rottweiler, so it’s an easier target.

Just the presence of Cody in our house, I have zero doubt, was a hindrance to intruders coming around our property.

Besides looking the part, Cody was alert and would let us know when anybody came around.

As long as that person was on the other side of the door or window, Cody was not their friend.  When folks came into the house, and Cody saw that we welcomed them, his demeanor changed.

However, it didn’t always help our visitors as they saw him as a Rottweiler, so they were usually anxious until Cody sat in their lap or curled up at their feet.

Cody was no longer their friend when that person went back outside.

Is the Rottweiler a good companion?

This was perhaps the most unexpected part for us about living with a Rottie, although, after considerable research, it is something that Rottie owners know well.

They are amazing companions.

They are as lovable as dogs can be, gentle with children, and loyal through and through.  They get sad when you leave and will spin in ungainly and seemingly impossible circles when you come home. They will snuggle on the couch with you to watch a movie or snuggle with another dog on the floor for warmth and companionship.

The Rottweiler as a protector

I never saw Cody actually have to protect anybody. Still, on the occasions he felt that I was playing or roughhousing with my wife or kids too much, he quickly inserted himself between us and gave me that low growl that let me know he didn’t like what I was doing.

When you get a warning like that from a Rottie, you can’t help but tone it down a bit.

I can only imagine what he would have done to anybody that was actually trying to hurt one of them.  I have no doubt Cody would have fought to the death to protect any of us.

Would I have considered Cody a good protector?  Without a doubt.

Do Rottweilers drool?

Yep, or at least Cody did.

At first, we just kept a towel handy.  Later, we tried tying a scarf around his neck, and this became his lifelong drool protector.  Of course, it also became quite fashionable as we would buy more and more colorful and outrageous handkerchiefs, and he loved every one of them.

He showed a real sense of pride when we tied a new one around his neck. He seemed actually to parade it in front of the other dogs.

Like just about everything else with Cody, it was cute.

Are Rottweilers good with kids?

Yes, yes, and yes.

We found Cody to be the most gentle of any big dog around our youngsters. Since we now have a 3-year-old granddaughter when writing this, Cody was around since she was born and always showed a keen interest in what she was doing, maintained a respectful distance from her, but was ever watchful over her.

Seeing this 90-pound Rottie being so gentle and caring around her was quite a sweet sight.

Cody and Sophia - Rottweiler and baby

And not just the granddaughter.

Our niece and nephew and their crew of friends always welcomed and enjoyed Cody into their circle and made him a part of anything they did.

Are Rottweilers good with other dogs?

We run an informal rescue, and during the time we had Cody, we also had (from smallest to largest) a Dachshund, a Schipperke, a red thing we don’t know what she is, three Pit Bulls, a Boxer, and several labs (one was 120 pounds).

Cody got along with all of them.

There were scuffles, to be sure, and one of our Pit Bulls is food aggressive, so we separated them during feeding times, but other than that, they played well together.

We got a new puppy about a  year before Cody passed away. Blitz and Cody (below) became fast friends.  Some of our earliest pictures of Blitz are of Cody with Blitz’s entire head in Cody’s mouth, playing, of course.

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Our Dachshund, Baron, latched onto Cody early, and they were best friends from day one.  Cody was Baron’s protector, and you often saw them romping in the yards together, having a great time.  Naptime found Baron snuggled up under or around Cody.  It was cute.

Our three Pit Bulls had a love/hate relationship with Cody.  Cody was like that guy in high school that was the perfect athlete, great looking, and all the girls loved him.

Rusty, our alpha dog Pittle feels the same way about himself, so he and Cody squared off a time or two and eventually ended up with mutual respect and left each other alone.

Rocket, Rusty’s sister, loved Cody and often snuggled and played with him.

Pitbulls and Rottweiler together
Alpha dog rusty on the right. Cody on the left. Rocket in the middle. PItties and Rotties sleeping together. The main question is “Where do I sit?”

Our third Pit Bull, Jake, was an oddity in every respect, and despite a knock-down-drag-out fight early on where they earned each other’s respect, they later became pretty much best friends and spent a lot of time together.  Two male dogs, notorious for being “mean” and/or “tough” dogs, played and had a great time together in the later years.

They are both gone now.

I hope they are still romping through fields with each other on the other side of that rainbow bridge.

Are Rottweilers aggressive

No more than any other dog.

The most aggressive dog I’ve ever had was a Schnauzer. That damn dog bit for absolutely no reason.  But you don’t see that in the news because it doesn’t sell as well as “Rottweiler mauls postman”.

So “aggressive” is a tough term to deal with.

A mildly aggressive Rottie could cause a lot more damage than a maniacally aggressive Dachshund.

Are Rottweilers, as a breed, aggressive?  I’d have to say no.

Again, this is the experience of a single rescue Rottie who had a lot of reasons to be aggressive and was not.  Again, talking to many other owners of Rotties, this is not the case and is something most of us have learned incorrectly from movies and TV shows.

That’s not to say that a Rottie doesn’t become aggressive or that they don’t fight.  They do, and when they do, it’s a terrible sight.

So yes, they can do some damage and should be raised so they are not put in positions they feel they need to.

What is the average lifespan of a Rottweiler?

Cody lived to be about 12, which is a couple of years longer than the average Rottie.

He remained healthy and active right up to the end and never really had any problems at all.  He got stung on the face by a bee once, which was pitiful.  But overall, he led a charmed life where he had constant companionship, lots of room to roam and run, a pack to lead, and humans to care for.

He even died nobly.

Our daughter and granddaughter hadn’t seen him for a while.  They came to visit and took him outside in the front yard for some play; although Cody was, at this point, not much up for play, he did try. When they brought him back into the house, he lay down in our foyer and quietly passed away.

He clearly wanted to see our daughter and granddaughter just one last time.

Are Rottweilers good dogs?

Cody certainly was, and everyone we have talked to about their Rotties tells the same tale.

Rotties are the best.

Of course, you’ll see in the news where a Rottie wasn’t such a good dog occasionally, but I blame the owner, not the dog, and certainly not the breed.

For that matter, I think this applies to all breeds.

We’ve had a lot of breeds that are notorious for being dangerous or aggressive, and we’ve found that with proper care and friendship, and a strong alpha leadership stance that puts you in absolute control of the pack, any dog, regardless of breed, can be a good dog.

Cody and Sophia - Rottweiler and toddler looking out window

What’s it like living with a Rottweiler?

I cannot say enough good things about our experience with Cody, as he was simply one of the best dogs we’ve ever had in every aspect. Easy to care for, loving, loyal, and fun – I’m not sure you can ask for more.

I’ve talked with many other Rottie owners, and the sentiment is always the same.

If you are on the fence, I urge you to make the leap and go for it; you will not be disappointed.

As long as there are people in the house for the Rottie to love and look out for, and there’s a bit of a yard for him to romp around in, you’ll be choosing a companion that will be your best friend for about ten years or so.