How Do Rottweilers Behave?

Believe it: The Rottweiler is a playful, calm dog.
i Rottweiler image by Stana from

The Rottweiler is possibly among the world's most misunderstood breeds. He may be big and strong with a serious expression, but this German droving dog is full of love. He’ll show you his ferocious side if you threaten his family, but he’d prefer a tummy rub.


Rottweilers are an intelligent breed, but they respond best to training that appeals to their droving and protective instincts. They are popular police dogs and therapy dogs because they will happily perform the same task over and over. Unlike pastoral breeds, such as border collies and German shepherds, they are not as mentally agile. Your Rottweiler is much more likely to be obsessively focused on one task or toy than he is to become bored and move on to something else. Repetition may be necessary when training your Rottweiler.

Calm and Watchful

A Rottweiler is a confident dog that takes a “wait and see” attitude to most things. He won’t instantly react to a change in his environment, such as a visitor arriving at the house or an unusual sound. Instead, he’ll watch to see how things develop. Your behavior will influence his behavior. If he senses that you are happy and calm, he’ll quite happily remain in the background, possibly even offering a greeting to the visitor. However, if he detects that you are anxious or unhappy, for example if you have an unwanted visitor, your rottweiler will be on hand to persuade them to leave with a few barks. This is why Rottweilers are popular guard dogs in the security industry.

Protective and Loyal

As a guarding and herding breed, your rottweiler has a strong instinct to protect. His priority is always the safety of his pack. You’ll notice that your Rottweiler will try to get in front of you if approaching other dogs in public. This isn’t his way of protecting his pack.

Playful and Sensitive

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chien noir - rottweiler image by AlcelVision from

Despite the serious expression on his face, your Rottweiler is something of a clown. In fact, the American Kennel Club describes the breed as “clownish” in the official breed profile. If your rottweiler detects that one of his many silly acts has made you laugh, he’ll repeat it. Rottweilers are particularly sensitive to the feelings of humans; they pick up on mood with some accuracy. So if he made you giggle the first time he licked your face, you can bet he’ll do it again.


You may notice that your Rottweiler likes to be in physical contact with you and other members of the family. Your dog may come and rest his head on your lap, lie on your feet or even just stand so his butt is next to your leg. This is a breed trait that many owners find charming.

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