Respected as guard dogs, Rottweilers also tend to be big softies who adore the family life. A Rottie can be a great family dog, and Rottweilers are the tenth favorite breed in the U.S., behind the dachshund. If your nest is small, though, go for the dachshund.
Rottweilers are powerful dogs. They require plenty of space to play and exercise. While not a high-energy breed, Rotties are not content to lounge around all day. They are best suited to a home with plenty of secure outdoor space and lots of things to do. They require training and plenty of socialization. In smaller spaces, and with too little human guidance and interaction, a bored Rottie can develop behavioral problems. The short Rottweiler coat requires minimal grooming, so Rotties are not a high-maintenance pet.
Rottweilers typically enjoy the company of children and other household pets. They tend to be self-confident and watchful, responding to new stimuli with caution rather than excitement. The American Kennel Club says a Rottweiler's priority is always his family, and he is not the sort of dog to immediately instigate play or interaction with new dogs. If provoked or made to feel that his family or territory is threatened, a Rottweiler can quickly switch from calm and assured to assertive and dominant.
The American Kennel Club describes the Rottweiler breed as characterized by a “clownish” and loving nature. However, a Rottweiler also is loyal and protective of his family, and does typically display wariness of unfamiliar people, especially around the home. To get a good start bringing up a good family dog of any breed, it is important to choose a puppy from parents who are basically friendly, and to take care in selecting a friendly, outgoing puppy.
Rottweilers find jobs ranging from police dogs to therapy dogs because of their intelligence and willingness to work. As a family dog, these traits translate well and can make for an obedient and adaptable pet. However, because of their wish to please, coupled with their protective natures, Rottweilers can be taught to be aggressive. It is important to correct aggressive behavior in your puppy, so he will grow to be a calm and well-mannered adult. Take your puppy to obedience classes from a young age to teach him basic obedience and to ensure he will be properly socialized to other dogs and people.
Simon Foden has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He began his writing career after graduating with a Bachelors of Arts degree in music from Salford University. He has contributed to and written for various magazines including "K9 Magazine" and "Pet Friendly Magazine." He has also written for Dogmagazine.net.