Every month, we will highlight a popular dog breed at risk for arthritis. We will talk about what we love about them, as well as reflect on how to keep them healthy. This month, we are focusing on the Rottweilers. Also known as Rotties or Rots, they are bold, loyal, athletic and often misunderstood. Learn more about this dog and the several types there are and how to keep them healthy.
Proud Rottweiler parents celebrate National Rottweiler Day during their National Specialty Show hosted in June by AKC’s American Rottweiler Club. Unfortunately, just like other large events, it has been cancelled due to COVID-19. But that does not mean we shouldn’t still celebrate these big beauties. Here are the top 10 reasons we LOVE Rottweilers and why they make such great family dogs, plus how to keep them happy and healthy all through their life.
Rottweilers have gained popularity over the years. A few years ago, they were ranked the 10th most popular breed by the AKC. Now they have progressed to be the 8th most popular dog breed. There is a reason for the increase, from wanting a loyal dog that will protect you, to the sheer beauty they possess. If you are looking to get a Rottie, be ready to pay big money. They are considered to be one of the most expensive dogs one can own. You can look to spend anywhere from $1000 - $2,500 for a healthy Rottweiler puppy with papers.
10 Reasons Rottweilers are the Best Dogs
- Rottties as puppies!! Yes, please! They are so adorable. You really get to enjoy their beautiful markings as a little puppy. Rotties are always black with the same brown markings on their chest, face and paws.
- Rottweilers are beautiful fully grown too. Here you see how they age. There colorings are still there as they were as pups. There are variations in the colors of their markings: rust, tan or mahogany. But they are usually in the same places.
- Rotties love to PLAY! These are active dogs and owners should be prepared to keep their sense of adventure and active play going their entire life. As they grow, they become stronger and more physical in play.
- But they also love to snuggle. They are athletic, strong dogs, but still try to be lap dogs. They don't realize how big they are and often love to lay right beside you.
- They are loyal and protective dogs. But so is a Chihuahua. The difference is the size. While Rottweilers are calm and good-natured, they also will do whatever it takes to protect their pack (your family).
- A Rottie is a best friend. If you talk to your Rottie, you will notice they understand you more than other breeds. Rotties listen. They make eye contact. They watch everything you do. They are a confident friend.
- Is it just me, or are they really good at posing for pictures? They are so photogenic!
- Rottweilers are very smart dogs. If you want to train a dog to do something, Rotties are your dog. They learn quickly and do well at any type of dog show.
- Rotties are smart, strong working dogs. You will find them working search and rescue, airport security, guard dogs and police K-9 Units. They are the fourth most popular canine used for military and K-9 units.
- Rotties are great house pets. We've discussed the serious side. But make no mistake, they can be goofy like any dog. This is sometimes lost on the breed because of their large, athletic build and working dog abilities. Here is a fun side of Rotties with holiday hats. They are so lovable!
- Loyal, Loving, Confident Guardian
- AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 8 of 195
- Height: 24-27 inches (male), 22-25 inches (female)
- Weight: 95-135 pounds (male), 80-100 pounds (female)
- Life Expectancy: 9-10 years
- Member of the AKC Working Group
According to the AKC, The Rottweilers is, “a robust working breed of great strength descended from the mastiffs of the Roman legions. A gentle playmate and protector within the family circle, the Rottie observes the outside world with a self-assured aloofness.”
If you look back to their history, you will find these dogs have roots back to the Roman Empire. They are descendants of the Roman drover dog and still look shockingly similar to those dogs even today. They helped guarding their cattle herds while traveling long distances with army-style troops. After the Roman Empire collapse, these dogs began working in a cattle town of Rottweil. They were in charge of protecting all herds from other animals praying on the herd, as well as bandits and rustlers attempting to take them.
While they were fierce cattle protectors of the past. Today, if they are working dogs, they are often found protecting in a variety of ways such as police dogs, guard dogs, personal protectors and even search and rescue dogs. Non-working dogs are often part of a family enjoying the good life.
Top Health Problems of Rotties
As you can imagine, large breed dogs sometimes have giant health problems. It is very important to be sure that you keep your Rottie as healthy as possible with key preventative measures. But first, here are the key health problems to know about when it comes to your Mastiff:
- Canine Hip & Elbow Dysplasia. With most Giant breeds, there are a variety of joint issues. There will be joint problems arise, especially in the hip and elbow joints. This causes pain and impacts their mobility.
- Osteoarthritis, or arthritis. Because of the joint problems already mentioned, Mastiffs are at very high risk for osteoarthritis. Arthritis is as painful for dogs as it is for humans. And just like humans, there is something you can do about it. Learn more about arthritis in dogs and check out all the risk factors.
A Closer Look: Rotties and OsteoarthritisRecently, Royal Veterinary College in the UK conducted a study that showed Rottweilers may be the dog breed most prone to canine osteoarthritis. According to this study, Rottweilers are the most predisposed dog breed to suffer from osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disease diagnosed in dogs. This study utilized veterinary records from veterinary clinics utilizing the data recorded in those clinics. It reviewed over 455,557 dogs diagnosed with osteoarthritis in those clinics.
Among the study findings:
- Rottweilers are the breed most prone to osteoarthritis. Secondary dogs were Old English Sheepdog and Dogue de Bordeaux.
- Dogs that were above average weight for their breed were nearly 2.3 times more likely to be diagnosed with the condition.
- Males dogs were 1.2 times more likely to have osteoarthritis than female dogs.
The researchers hoped this research will improve diagnosis times for osteoarthritis and help enable dogs suffering from osteoarthritis to be treated earlier and faster.
Rotties are the best!
Now that you know all about Rottweilers, why we love them and how best to take care of them, you are ready to get a friend for life. Do you love Rotties? Share your best pictures on our Facebook. No matter what, give them the best life and lots of love to those amazing, beautiful, loyal creatures.