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Unfortunately, Rottweilers have an image problem. Poor breeding and irresponsible owners have created a negative reputation for this stocky large guard dog. Some dogs have been bred for aggression and trained to be overly protective, dominant and fierce. Really, Rottweilers are natural protectors who will do anything to help those they love. They don't need any training to become naturally loyal guardians.
Rottweilers stand up to 2 feet, 3 inches tall and weigh anywhere from 80 to 130 pounds. Females are smaller, but they can still weigh up to 115 pounds.
Rottweilers can become excellent family companions under the guidance of dedicated, experienced owners who are more than willing to spend plenty of time socializing and training their dogs to help them emphasize their friendly, affectionate and protective personalities.
Although Rottweilers are undeniably territorial and refuse to make friends indiscriminately, they can flourish as loyal, protective and even playful companions with the appropriate kind of dominant, patient and gentle training that they need. If they are trained to be aggressive and handled with harsh or neglectful treatment, they will turn into dominant, anti-social dogs. If you are willing to tackle the challenge of owning a large, willful dog, be confident that you can train them to be excellent family companions with plenty of socialization and loving training that emphasizes their positive behavior. These dogs are adaptable, intelligent and extremely trainable. Rottweilers love to work, especially if they are working to please people they trust. They are extremely affectionate and even goofy with their owners. Rottweilers should never be aggressive without cause.
Like all dogs, Rottweilers should not be left alone for hours on end or left to their own devices in the backyard. If they are left unoccupied, they will practice bad habits and try too hard to defend their territory. Keeping your dog indoors, where they are calm and docile, will help them bond with the family and develop positive behaviors under your guidance.
Rottweilers can easily be identified by their solid black, flat-lying coats and the characteristic rust-colored markings that clearly define their coat. They do have a double coat, but the under coat is very thin and fine, so it isn't often noticeable underneath their dense over coat. Your Rottweiler will give you a break in the grooming department, but that doesn't mean he's a low maintenance dog. Teaching your dog to become comfortable being brushed, getting his teeth brushed and having his nails trimmed will help him become accustomed to being handled by other people and teach him that he is not the alpha dog in your home, so grooming is an excellent exercise to help socialize your Rottweiler.
Your Rottweiler needs to be brushed or rubbed down with a firm rubber brush to distribute skin oils and remove dead hairs. He will shed twice a year, when you may need to brush and bathe more frequently.
With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.
The general rule of thumb for dog bathing is every three months but dogs with short coats do produce a distinctive dog odor, so your nose may encourage you to bathe them more frequently - about every 8-12 weeks. The coat should end up fresh smelling, shiny, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry. Wipe wrinkled breeds with a soft cloth and make sure they are totally dry after bathing; high-velocity dryers work great to remove excessive loose hair with shedding; coat should be fresh smelling, shiny, with no loose or shedding hair.
Clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is far easier than you would ever imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, giving your dog a haircut is easy on your wallet and your schedule.
Most dogs with short coats generally require occasional trims and tidying up in areas of excessive hair growth with trimmers or blunt scissors. It's always wise to take a dog for a short walk or exercise to calm them down before trimming. Remember to brush the coat first to remove tangles and mats. Use a trimmer or a scissors to even out areas around the tail, paws, sanitary areas and chest, as needed. When finished, the coat should lay flat and smooth against the body of most short-haired dogs.
Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.
Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience. As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.
You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.
Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.
It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Some short-coated dogs, like hounds and mastiffs, have large, sensitive ears that should be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. If you have a small dog, like an Pug, take special care to clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes to make sure they are comfortable. Dogs with facial wrinkles, like Pugs and Dogues de Bordeaux, be wiped down at least weekly to prevent infection.
Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.
Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.