Rottweilers as Pets: Cost, Life Expectancy, and Temperament

With buying any new pet it is important to know as much as you can about them. Rottweilers are a very special breed that is often misunderstood. This post can help you know everything you need to know about rottweilers, what to expect, what to not expect and everything in between.

Rottweilers usually cost between $800 – $1,500. They have a life expectancy of 8 – 10 years. Rottweilers are known to be protective, loyal, intelligent, and energetic. With training, rottweilers are not dangerous, as with all dog breeds.

Exploring the pros and cons of having rottweilers as pets, as well as finding answers to more specific questions, is a great way to prepare yourself for your new pet. It’s also beneficial to learn things about your older rottweiler that you didn’t know before.

Pros and Cons of Rottweilers as Pets

Rottweilers are ranked number 10 on America’s top favorite dogs. They have many wonderful lovable qualities and traits. However, there are also a couple of less attractive traits that these dogs could potentially develop.

Knowing and understanding both sides of the spectrum is a great way to prepare yourself and be prepared with any outcome you observe in your rott.

Pros:

  • Calm, confident, and courageous dog
  • They are large and muscular dogs
  • Rotts are very easy to groom
  • Very loyal to their family/protective towards their family
  • They are active dogs
  • They are extremely obedient/easy to train

Calm, confident, and courageous dogs:

Rottweilers are usually very calm dogs. They like to get their energy out and they really need that, but also love being with the family in more relaxing settings. They are extremely confident.

They know they are big dogs, and they know that they are important. (In some ways this can be a pro and a con) They will always keep their family safe from any harm or danger that might present itself from the world around it.

They are large and muscular dogs:

This makes this breed of dog very fun to play with. They love playing outside, going on walks, hiking, and doing all of the things that you and your family love to do. This also adds to the fact that they protect and guard anyone or anything they need to protect.

Rotts are very easy to groom:

They shed a little bit, not too much, but a little. This makes grooming very easy. They have a very short coat so it doesn’t require a ton of maintenance from a groomer.

If you brush his or her fur once a week that should be all that he or she needs. He or she should be bathed once every couple of months and check his or her paws occasionally to make sure he or she didn’t step in or on anything dangerous.

Very loyal to their family/protective towards their family:

Rottweilers love people that they know. Their family is the most important people to them and they will always be loyal and protect them. If danger presents itself in any way, your rott will be the first one to stand up and save the day.

Your rottweiler also loves to play with you and be with you. It is common to find him or her by your side constantly because of their love for their people.

They are active dogs:

This one goes right along with their size. Their size is part of what makes them active dogs. In addition to them being able to do all of the fun things you want to do, they are okay to be outside.

I know I have seen dogs who just sit by the door waiting for their owner to let them inside. This is not the case with rottweilers, they will happily run around and play outside. Of course, they always love the occasions when you will go play with them.

They are extremely obedient/easy to train:

Rottweilers were bred to listen and obey. This makes training them a much easier task than many other breeds of dogs. You can train them to do lots of different things and this can help with their innate traits of being aggressive.

Cons:

  • Can be over-aggressive to people and animals
  • They are strong-willed
  • He or she could potential drool frequently
  • Rotts are gassy dogs
  • Multitudes of health problems
  • Rottweilers can cause a potential for legal liabilities

Can be over-aggressive to people and animals:

Rotts are generally very friendly, however with new people or people they are not comfortable around they can be aggressive and even violent. They don’t respond well to new or uncomfortable situations.

They were bred to protect and guard, and so it makes sense for their first instinct to be ones that seem protective or guardian-like.

These dogs are also apt to be aggressive to other animals they do not know. Some may show very predatory behavior towards cats. Often times rotts will act aggressively toward other dogs of their same sex. This is especially apparent in males.

They are strong willed:

Like mentioned in the “pros” section, rottweilers are very confident. This can occasionally cause them to in a sense, “be their own dog.” What rotts need is an assertive owner who is able to lead a strong-minded dog. They are happy to be a follower if they know they can trust their owner.

A great way to gain this trust is by asserting dominance and being a leader to your pup. Rottweilers were trained to obey. As they worked with people in the army in earlier days they listened to and respected their leader.

You must teach them that there is a leader, and it is you.

Teaching them this important concept will establish dominance in your relationship with your pup.

He or she could potentially drool:

These dogs, especially males have loose lips that flap around. This causes them to drool because they are unable to keep their mouth closed to keep the saliva in their mouth.

If you are super against having drool everywhere, or yourself personally getting drooled on, then this might be something you should look into more.

Rotts are gassy dogs:

Rotts are gassy dogs, mainly due to the food they eat. Rottweilers have a tendency to become obese and because of that people create food for them that is very fibrous and not going to make them gain weight. The problem with this is that these foods produce a lot of gas.

Giving your pup a homemade meal of real meat and vegetables can help him or her to avoid this issue but it requires extra effort.

Multitude of health problems:

This breed of dog is notorious to have all kinds of health problems. Many of these health problems can even shorten their life.

Some, but not all, of the health issues you could be signing up for when purchasing a rottweiler are: joint diseases, bone cancer, heart disease, and epilepsy. These health problems are found most commonly in purebred rotts.

Rottweilers can cause a potential for legal liabilities:

There are many places especially in the United States that ban rottweilers from being apart of their neighborhood communities. Due to the fact that rotts are sometimes aggressive, many people don’t want to deal with having them around their kids at all.

In addition to that, if your rottweiler were to act aggressively towards another person or animal, you could be under obligation to put your pup down or pay medical bills for those people.

It is obvious that these dogs have many wonderful traits that add to their charm.

Many “pros” for this dog can come from the individual who owns the dog. If they do a good job caring for their pup by training them and being ethical in all things they do with their rott, there is a good chance that their dog is going to behave well.

On the other hand, if someones rott behaves poorly, doesn’t obey, and is violent, often times it can be a result of how their owner cares for them and treats them.

Dogs aren’t born evil, and so just because this breed of dog has higher tendencies to be aggressive doesn’t mean they have higher tendencies to be mean or evil. That, most of the time, is the responsibility of the owner.

It is true that not all of these cons have to do with behavior, but it is just important to understand that reasons such as “they are a violent dog,” or “they attack people,” shouldn’t be deciding factors in choosing whether or not to make a rottweiler your new four-legged friend.

How Much Do Rottweilers Cost?

The cost of a rottweiler depends on where you buy him or her at. The average price at most puppy mills (would not recommend) is about $850.

While on the other hand buying from an experienced breeder will be more expensive, but worth it. Those prices can be around $1,500. These are just averages, and each breeder will be a little bit different.

More information about costs of rottweilers can be found under our article right here on EmboraPets about the costs of rottweilers in different places in the United States and at different stages in their life.

That is a little bit of a range, however, it is so much better to buy from an experienced breeder. If you look at this list above of “cons” to having a rott you can see there is quite a bit of unpredictability. Almost every “con” can be eliminated by simply buying your dog from a breeder who knows what they are doing.

Much of a rottweilers aggression comes from genes, but most of their violence comes from how they are treated as a puppy or as they grow up.

Rottweilers can be bred for different purposes or to become different types of dogs. If you are looking for a family dog, you need to find a breeder who breeds rotts with lower energy and a good nature.

If you are looking for a guard dog, or are training a dog to participate in high energy activities, you can find that kind of rott too. Get to know the breeder that you are considering purchasing from. Go to their location and get to know the parents of the pup you want.

Seeing how the parent’s act will be the closest way to determine how your puppy will act.

Money is not everything, but when you are buying a rottweiler, it is extremely important to spend more for a quality pup.

When you look at the bigger picture, buying a rottweiler from an experienced breeder can prevent many health problems or other unnecessary expenses that ignoring the details can bring on.

These things cost money, so in the long run, buying from a breeder who doesn’t know what they are doing or from a puppy mill will probably end up costing near the same amount as a more expensive dog due to expenses later in your dog’s life.

Other Costs to Consider

Of course, the only cost for a rottweiler won’t be the dog itself. There are other costs associated with both buying a new dog, and maintaining the dog you do have.

Items such as food, medical expenses, collar, toys, etc. will all be essential for your rottweiler.

In this table below there will go over different items you need to buy, how much money they cost, the frequency of your purchase of them, and a link to Amazon to see the prices there for that specific item.

ItemAverage costWhen to buy/how often to buyCheck them out on Amazon
Food and dog
treats
$40 (for a 40lb bag of food.)
Depending on the size and type of food you buy,
you will need to buy often enough for your rott
to have three main meals a day if a puppy, and
two a day if a grown dog.
Dog treats can be given at your discretion.
Dog food
Dog toys$10-$20Your rott can have one to two main toys that he
or she plays with. Those probably need to be
replaced every couple of months or longer/shorter
depending on how much your pup uses and wears
out the toy.
Dog toys
Collar and Leash$15-$20You won’t need to buy these as often. If you buy a
good quality leash, you can probably get away
with it lasting many years. When your rott is a
puppy he will obviously grow, so you may need to
replace his or her collar a couple of times as her or
she grows into adulthood.
Collar and leash set
Food and water
bowls
$10-$20Again, this depends on the quality of dog bowl you
buy. Some dogs, especially bigger dogs can destroy their
bowls. However, if you buy a higher quality bowl
you might never have to replace his or her bowls.
Set of two bowls
Veterinary visits and
other medical expenses
$300 (first year)
$100-$200 (yearly checkups)
It is important that your rott, especially as a puppy,
sees the vet often. As they grow older you still need
to have visits, but once the shots and deworming
are completed, annual checkups are enough unless your pup needs to visit in an emergency.
Remember that rottweilers are apt to medical issues, so they may need to visit the vet more often than other breeds.
Find a local vet
Crate$30 (puppy)
$60 (full grown)
You can buy one when they are a puppy, and then as they grow bigger a replacement crate that will fit them as a full grown dog. Puppy
Full grown
Dog beds$20-$35You can buy these once a year or so. This depends on how used it gets, and how high quality the bed is. Dog beds
Pet ID tags$5-$10You will buy these once, when you first register your dog. Tags

How Long Do Rottweilers Live?

Rottweilers life expectancy is 8 to 10 years. However, depending on factors such as health issues or genetics, that number can be much smaller. Some rotts only live for 6 or 7 years because of these challenges.

This is a risk with any rottweiler, but especially in purebred.

The reason for this is that if one parent is a rottweiler and carries the bad gene, and then breeds with another breed of dog that doesn’t have those health risks, the chances of your pup having them is much smaller.

On the other hand, if both the mom and dad are rotts then that gene is almost certain to show up in the puppies because there will be no gene to hide it.

Whether or not the gene is shown physically they will likely pass it on to any other puppies they have. This does not mean that your dog is going to live a short, slow, and painful life, this just means the chances of rottweilers having health problems is higher than many other breeds.

If this scares you, you can also look at other mixed breeds that have rottweiler in them.

There are so many different mixes that produce really great dogs. Some of the most common are rottweilers mixed with pugs, pinscher, or golden retrievers.

Health Issues Causing Early Death

One of the major health issues many rottweilers are faced with is hip dysplasia. This is where the top of the dogs hip doesn’t properly fit into his or her hip socket. This can be extremely uncomfortable for your pup. This can discourage them from wanting to run around as much or play outside.

Similar pain can also occur in your pup’s shoulder. Sometimes a piece of their bone and cartilage becomes detached from where it should be and cause something called Osteochondritis dissecans.

Rotts can also suffer from Panosteitis (which is a puppy growing disorder) or canine bloat/torsion (a bloating issue where the pup builds up too much gas). They can also experience cataracts and hypothyroidism.

Rottweilers have a tendency to become obese. This risk can increase if they are unable to exercise or move around for other medical issues, or for other reasons.

However, the most common cause of death in rottweilers is cancer, specifically bone cancer. Around 5 to 12% of all dogs in this breed get bone cancer. This typically happens around the age of 8 for the rottweiler. It is very hard to cure.

Only about 10% of the pups who get cancer end up beating it.

Ways to Extend Your Rottweilers Life Expectancy

The first thing you can do to help extend your pups life is to get their shots for them right away when they are young.

The younger you complete the necessary shots for him or her, the greater chance your pup has of living a long happy life with you. This is not limited to just the first set of shots.

Make sure your puppy always gets his or her shots on time. Also, make sure that you deworm him or her as many times as needed.

It is also very important to make veterinary appointments as often as needed and annually if nothing else.

Be careful about what food you choose for your dog. Make sure you get what is best for them. Strive to stay away from foods that are going to cause your pup to gain an excess amount of weight. He or she doesn’t want to bring that extra weight with them as they grow into adulthood.

Not only is it important to make sure your pup is eating the right food, but you must they are getting plenty of, but not too much food, water, and rest each night.

Keep your rottweiler active. They love playing outside and running around.

There is a game called Schutzhund which is a game for big dogs to be trained to play. This is a great way to keep your pup active, healthy, and happy.

How Do Rottweilers act?

Rottweilers have really great personalities. They are loving dogs who have a lot of energy. They love their family very much and will protect them.

These are the most prominent personality traits:

  • Loving
  • Protective
  • Active
  • Intelligent
  • Devoted
  • Obedient

Most people have heard that rottweilers are instinctively aggressive. While it is true that rotts are more aggressive than other dogs, they aren’t these huge, malicious, violent dogs.

Their aggression can be linked back to their roots. The reason they were even bred in the first place was for them to be guard dogs for the military.

They originally worked to become a protector and teammate to people in a violent setting. As a result of this, they have been associated with other dogs who fit in the category of “bully breeds.”

As we see them in more and more homes across the world, we have to know that they aren’t out to hurt everyone. Rottweilers will defend their family every time.

They will always make sure you are safe, which isn’t really a bad thing.

They love to play, they need at least two hours of exercise a day, and they absolutely love it when their owner will come play with them. They don’t love to be alone, so they will probably want to follow you around the house.

If you can show them love and are willing to receive the same love, you and your rottweiler will get along very well. The best way to have a safe and well-behaved dog is to train him or her.

Training your Rottweiler

Many of the traits that your rott will have will be genetic. Unless taught otherwise, they won’t know any different. Training rottweilers as puppies will be extremely beneficial.

If you can teach them immediately, then they won’t know anything different, they will be raised to know to act the way that you have taught them.

Training rottweilers is not a very difficult task.

They are extremely obedient dogs who listen to and respect those “in charge.” The first thing you need to do to train your rottie is to teach them who is in charge.

They are very dominant dogs, but if you teach them that you are their owner, and that you are in charge, they will respect and follow you.

Rottweilers naturally have a lot of energy, so the best way to train them in this way is to help them channel this energy into doing something good, like running around outside.

This can help to calm their energy when they are in the house or in a setting where high energy is inappropriate.

A great way you can do this is by taking them out and doing things with them. Rottweilers are not, by any means, lazy dogs. They are great to take places like the mountains or the beach.

They are also great dogs to sign up for agility training or advanced obedience. These are all great ways to train your dog to channel their energy.

Socializing Your Rottweiler

Socializing your rottweiler is the single most important thing you can do for him or her. If you don’t take any advice from this post, understand this important point.

Rottweilers need to be socialized. They don’t like new things or people so they don’t do well with new things or people. Being around new people or animals is very hard for them and makes them feel uncomfortable.

When they feel uncomfortable they tend to act aggressively.

Starting with when they are a puppy you must introduce them to lots of new people and animals. Having them be around little kids, other dogs, and people that might spend time with your family will help them to ease up on their instinct to act aggressively when they meet someone they do not know.

Is a Rottweiler Right for You?

Understanding the cost, lifespan, and temperament of a dog is very important to know when deciding what breed is right for you. Rottweilers have very unique and individual traits that must be considered before buying one.

It is important to understand that each rottweiler is different. You will never be able to fully predict what your pup will act like. If you are okay with the risk, then definitely go forward with it and buy a rottweiler.

Rottweilers are great as pets. They are loving, fun and protective over those who are important to them. As with anything they have some negative traits, but they are full of very desirable traits that would make any family happy.

Arlene Nelson

I love animals! Especially dogs. Dogs are so friendly and kind and I have always really enjoyed being with them and learning about them. I have had experience with dogs, as my family owned a variety of different dogs when I was growing up.

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