Rottweilers aren't the dog for everyone. As a dominant breed, they need to know you are the boss, or guess who rules the roost? If you get your Rottie as an adult rather than a puppy, you might need to undo some prior bad handling. Well-behaved Rotties make fine companions.
Rotties can weigh as much as 135 pounds, more than many human adults. That means he'll need a substantial amount of dog food, but you also have to ensure he doesn't become overweight. Most of that 100-plus pounds of Rottie should be muscle, but without sufficient exercise he can quickly become a fat dog. While you know you should feed him a high-quality dog food, ask your vet for feeding recommendations for your particular dog to keep him at a healthy weight.
While training is necessary for all dogs, it's absolutely essential for a Rottweiler. You've got a big, powerful dog on your hands. He's also a dog who likes to learn and does well in all sorts of canine competition, such as obedience, agility or herding. Since the breed was once used as draft dogs, you can even teach him to pull a cart. Don't laugh -- it could come in handy if you're doing yard or construction work around the house. Behind that tough exterior, Rotties can be very sensitive, so don't yell at him if he's not up to par in his training. Be firm and consistent, and he'll get there.
Rotties need a lot of exercise, so make it a good workout for the two of you. Give your dog a couple of long daily walks, along with access to a fenced-in yard. He needs mental as well as physical exercise. A bored Rottie can turn into a destructive Rottie. From his viewpoint, destroying stuff relieves the boredom. Play games with him and get him some doggie puzzle toys that he have fun figuring out.
Even though Rotties have short hair, they shed a lot so try to give your dog a good brushing several times a week. Rotties are double-coated, and the undercoat blows out each spring and fall. He doesn't need bathing very often unless he's really dirty. Too much bathing often results in flaky skin -- Rottie dandruff. Keep your dog's nails trimmed, which may be easier said than done with the Rottie. Start by handling the dog's feet, watching carefully to see how he reacts. Over time, he should allow to gently clip his nails.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.