Rottweilers are big, tough dogs that are often pictured outside because they love to be outside running around and playing. Since we are so used to seeing this image in our heads, it brings to surface the question, can they live completely outside. Does their love for the outdoors make it possible for them to be outside always?
Rottweilers can live outside if the conditions are right: the climate does not get too hot or cold, there is an adequate shelter, and they still need human interaction to help with socialization. Rottweilers who live outside should be monitored.
It is important to take precautions if you want your rottweiler to be an outside dog. There are some things that no dog can escape and must be apart of their lifestyle regardless of where they live. This post should give you the best tips you need for raising your rottweiler as an outside dog.
What Qualifies Rottweilers as Outside Dogs?
Rottweilers were bred as herding dogs. They were bred to live outside and work outside. Even though they have evolved quite a bit from their time spent in Rome as herders, they still have many of the same physical attributes which makes it possible for them to live outside.
Rottweilers also shed two different times during the year. They shed during the spring and fall. When they shed they grow in another coat that is either thicker or thinner for the season that they are entering into. This helps them to adapt to the change in weather.
Rottweilers love to run around and play outside. Not only do they love it, but they need to exercise and play outside a lot.
All of these things help them to qualify as a breed that can be outside dogs. However, there are some things that you, as the owner, need to keep in mind about this breed. The outside world might become a problem if certain conditions are not met.
Watch Out for These Things!
Although rottweilers do grow a separate coat of fur for cold and warm climates, they still don’t do great in the extremes of either of these temperatures. Rottweilers are also dogs that love their family. They love being around people that they trust and love.
Not being able to be around family because they are kept outside all the time can become a problem as well.
Risks of Living in Too Cold of a Climate
Rottweilers can handle cold climates much better than warm climates, but there are still some risks that come with being in too cold of temperatures. As rottweilers get older they become less and less equipt to live outdoors due to health issues that are common among their breed.
There are a few other things that accompany cold weather that aren’t always the best for a rottweiler. Bugs search for warmth will hook onto a rottweiler’s fur and irritate his or her skin. Additionally, different chemicals (usually used to melt ice) can be a poison for rottweilers if ingested.
Finally, if it gets too cold, they can get sick from being outside. When rain or snow falls at the same time as the temperature drops, rottweilers will have no way to dry off. This increases their chances of getting sick.
Risks of Living in Too Hot of a Climate
The opposite can be even more dangerous to rottweilers. If they get too hot or tired they are at risk of experiencing heat exhaustion or heatstroke. If these issues don’t get solved immediately they can cause permanent damage to your rottweiler.
Rottweilers can also get a sunburn, and they get dehydrated very easily. During warmer summer months they have to be taken care of very carefully to make sure they stay safe, especially if they are living outside.
Lack of Human Interaction
Rottweilers love being around their family. They protect and care for their family so much that it would be very hard for them to not be around them ever.
A huge risk associated with little or no human interaction is that they won’t be socialized to the degree that they should. If this is the case then they can become aggressive or violent. If they do not spend any time around human beings they will not come to love or trust any of them and they will lash out at people that are a part of their family.
Rottweilers have innate traits of protecting and guarding that often shows itself as aggressiveness and violence.
These traits can be covered up if they are trained properly. However, they are much more likely to develop these traits if they are alone all of the time. Rotties want attention and they will do anything they need to do to get that attention.
Any dog that is outside by themselves all of the time is bound to get bored. Being bored is never good because when dogs are bored they get into trouble.
Whether it be jumping over fences, digging holes, tearing apart gardens, sprinkler systems, boredom shows in unfavorable ways. Rottweilers are big dogs, and so the damage from their boredom can be a lot if they don’t get the attention they need.
Tips for Raising a Rottweiler as an Outside dog
Aside from the risks associated with keeping rottweilers as outside dogs, it is possible for them to live outside. Following these tips will be very helpful in keeping your outdoor dog safe, friendly, and as the ideal rottweiler pet.
1. Start them out as an outside dog right from the beginning
Dogs pick up on habits. They live in patterns, which is why food or bathroom schedules work so well for them. If you raise them inside and the sudden switch to keeping them outside it could confuse them.
It is best to be consistent. If you know you want them to be outside dogs, raise them as outside dogs. Do not get them used to living with you inside and then trying to get them to transition to living outside.
It is tricky to raise puppies to live outside, but by spending enough time with them outside, it is possible. Doing this will help them to feel that being outside is what is normal.
2. Vaccinate them
Rottweilers are very curious. They will explore and look around. If they are going to live as outside dogs they need the space to do this. However, with exploration comes getting into things they aren’t supposed to.
Make sure that you vaccinate specifically to withstand diseases found in the environment or that come from animals that could wind up in your back yard.
This will require additional vaccinations to the traditional ones all rottweilers are recommended to get, but it is necessary to keep your pup safe.
3. Watch their food and water bowls
During both the winter and the summer it is important to keep an eye on your rottweilers food and water bowls.
They should constantly have access to a fresh, cool bowl of water. Living outside, this will need to be filled up more. You will also want to make sure that no bugs get into their water. During the summer it will be important to check that it stays cool, and during the winter you will want to make sure it does not freeze.
Food can have similar problems. Rottweiler should not have constant access to food. They should be on a food schedule. However, you should check their bowl to make sure there are no bugs in there.
Another common issue among dog bowls of outdoor dogs is rodents. Rodents will find there way into the bowl or hide around the bowl then eat the food when your pup thinks he or she is getting fed.
If they are taking longer to eat than normal you will want to make sure the food hasn’t frozen over. Food freezing is a common problem during the winter months especially if the bowl is constantly outside.
4. Make sure they have a good shelter
A good shelter will be absolutely fundamental for your rottweiler if he or she is going to live outside.
Their shelter should be one that can protect them from both the heat and the cold. Most importantly it needs to keep them dry especially during the winter months.
Keeping their shelter clean is important. You will want to check it often and potty train them so they do not use the bathroom inside of their shelter.
5. Spend time with them: exercise, train, and socialize
Rottweilers need exercise. In addition to playing outside, they need to go on two walks a day. It is easy to think that because they are living outside they are getting enough exercise. This is not the case. They need to be walked and they need to play with people in the yard or at a dog park.
They also need to be trained. Rottweilers are extremely obedient if dominance has been established. But, but if they think they are the “alpha” they might act out. Taking the time to train them will avoid any unwanted stereotypical behavior associated with rottweilers.
The most important thing to remember is that your rottweiler needs to be socialized. They need to spend time around other people and other dogs. Doing this helps them to feel comfortable around others and again helps to tone down their aggressiveness or violence. Be outside with them and take them to the dog park multiple times a week so they can get used to being around other dogs.
6. Have another dog outside with them
Rottweilers are very social and they want to be around others. It is wise to have another dog that they trust as their friend out there with them so they aren’t lonely all of the time.
This does not replace the precious time you should spend with your rottweiler, but it does help them to not feel so alone or bored.