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Showing posts with label lifespan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lifespan. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Everything about your Beagle

Everything about your Beagle
  The Beagle is a happy, inquisitive, shorthaired hound who makes a great family companion, an eager hunter in the field — or both!
   Small, compact, and hardy, Beagles are active companions for kids and adults alike. Canines in this dog breed are merry and fun loving, but being hounds, they can also be stubborn and require patient, creative training techniques. Their noses guide them through life, and they're never happier than when following an interesting scent. The Beagle originally was bred as a scenthound to track small game, mostly rabbits and hare. He is still used for this purpose in many countries, including the United States.
   Although beagle-type dogs have existed for over 2,000 years, the modern breed was developed in Great Britain around the 1830s from several breeds, including the Talbot Hound, the North Country Beagle, the Southern Hound, and possibly the Harrier.
   Beagles have been depicted in popular culture since Elizabethan times in literature and paintings, and more recently in film, television and comic books. Snoopy of the comic strip Peanuts has been promoted as "the world's most famous beagle".

Overview
  It's difficult to resist the appeal of a Beagle's dark brown or hazel eyes, with his soft, pleading expression. They're happy, outgoing and loving — characteristics more than balanced out by their hound nature, which is inquisitive, determined, and focused on food.
  They aren't yappy dogs, but they do have three distinct vocalizations — a bark/growl, a baying howl, and a half-baying howl (a cross between a frantic bark and a bay). The half-howl vocalization usually is reserved for when they catch sight of quarry — or think it's time to wake the neighbors at 6 a.m.! Being pack dogs, they generally get along well with other animals and their human friends — and they think everyone is their new best friend.
  The most important thing to know about the Beagle is that he is a scenthound. His nose is the most important part of his anatomy and his head is always down to the ground, searching for an interesting trail to follow. Beagles have approximately 220 million scent receptors compared to the paltry 5 million or so in people, which makes them very good at picking up scents. Humorist Dave Barry once described his in-laws' Beagle as "a nose with feet."
   You may have seen the Beagle's nose at work at airports across the country. In 1984, the U.S. Department of Agriculture decided to use Beagles to sniff out contraband food being brought into the United States at the Los Angeles International Airport.
  The experiment was a huge success. Because they are small, friendly, and cute, the Beagles didn't intimidate people who are afraid of dogs, and with their super nose power, they could be trained to identify specific food articles while bypassing those that weren't contraband. Today, members of the "Beagle Brigade" patrol the baggage-claim areas at more than 20 international airports and other points of entry into the United States.
   Although they've branched out into other fields of work, Beagles remain superb hunters of small game. The National Beagle Club's Institute Farm hosts AKC-sanctioned field trials where breeders with packs are put to the test in the field. Many other countries have similar activities for hunting Beagles.
  Because of their small size and gentle temperament, Beagles can do well in apartments if their people are willing to walk them on lead several times a day in all kinds of weather. They need plenty of exercise, about an hour a day if possible. If left alone and unexercised, Beagles can become destructive.

Breed standards
AKC group: Hound
UKC group: Scenthound
Average lifespan: 12-15 years
Average size: 20-25 lbs
Coat appearance: Sleek, smooth, short
Coloration: Brown, white & black, and more
Hypoallergenic: No
Other identifiers: Squarely built, fairly long body with short legs for hunting and chasing. The square muzzle is straight and medium in length. Long, wide-set ears. Black nose is broad with full nostrils for piqued sense of smell and a high-set, straight tail, never curled.
Possible alterations: Coat coloring varies and can be seen in tricolor, black and tan, red and white, orange and white, and many other variations.
Comparable Breeds: Basset Hound, Bloodhound
Highlights
  • Beagles can be difficult to housetrain. Some people say it can take up to a year to fully housetrain some Beagles. Crate training is absolutely recommended.
  • Beagles can get bored if left alone in a house too long. If left in a backyard, Beagles will start finding ways to amuse themselves, usually by howling, digging, or trying to escape.
  • The most common reason Beagles are turned over to rescue groups is because either their owners or their owners' neighbors got tired of their baying. Be sure that you are prepared to work with your dog to control excessive barking and howling.
  • Beagles are targets for thieves who would steal them and perhaps sell them to research laboratories for use in experiments. Supervise your Beagle when he is outdoors and be sure to have him microchipped!
  • Since they are scenthounds, Beagles will wander off if they catch an enticing smell in the air. Their noses control their brains, and if they smell something interesting, nothing else exists in their world.
  • Although they are loving and gentle, Beagles can have an independent, stubborn streak. Obedience training is recommended, but be sure the instructor of the class understands hound personality and favors using food as a reward.

Other Quick Facts
  • Beagles come in two sizes; both sizes of Beagles can be born in a single litter. If you want to be sure you get one of a certain size, wait to purchase a puppy until he is about nine months old.
  • Beagles bred for hunting are more likely to be noisy and active than Beagles bred for the show ring.
  • You might not think so when you are trying to train him, but the Beagle is very smart in the sense that he is a good problem-solver. He might not respond instantly to your commands, but he will quickly figure out how to overcome any obstacles that are preventing him from getting something he wants.
  • Beagles need daily exercise and mental stimulation in the form of sniffing. Without it they can become bored and destructive. Provide them with the attention, training and activity they need or suffer the consequences.
  • Shyness and aggression are not common Beagle characteristics. Do not choose a puppy who shows signs of these behaviors.
History
  The origin of the word "beagle" is uncertain. It's thought that it may have been derived from the French word begueule, meaning open throat, or from the Old English word beag, meaning small. Others think it may have come from the French word beugler, meaning to bellow, or the German word begele, meaning to scold.
  The breed's history is cloudy as well because breeds as we know them today didn't really develop until the 19th century. Greek documents from 400 B.C. describe Beagle-like dogs, and the Romans may have brought small rabbit-hunting hounds with them to England and bred them with the local hounds.
   William the Conqueror reportedly brought Talbot hounds to England during the Norman Conquest in 1066. These dogs are thought to be the ancestors of the Beagle and the Foxhound.
   Beagles became popular in England very early in its history. During the reigns of Edward II (1307 - 1327) and Henry VII (1485 - 1509), extremely small beagles, called Glove Beagles, were popular. They reportedly were small enough to be held in a gloved hand. There's also mention of Singing Beagles, named for their bugling voices.
  Elizabeth I (1533 - 1603) kept packs of Pocket Beagles that stood only 9 inches tall. These small dogs were depicted in paintings as short-legged and pointy nosed. They were used for hunting, but quickly fell out of favor because they weren't very fast.
  In the 1700s, fox hunting became popular in England, and the Beagle fell out of favor as the larger Foxhound became the dog of choice. If it hadn't been for the farmers in England, Ireland, and Wales who continued to keep packs to hunt rabbit and hare, the breed might have become extinct at that time.
   In the mid-1800s Reverend Phillip Honeywood established a pack of Beagles in Essex, England. These dogs are thought to be the ancestors of the modern Beagle. Rev. Honeywood bred for hunting skills, not looks. Thomas Johnson, a fellow Englishman, was responsible for breeding Beagles who were both attractive and good hunters.
  At about the same time, American breeders started importing Beagles from England to improve the looks of their own dogs. Many of the English imports were bred to an average height of 15 to 17 inches at the shoulder so they could hunt fox. American breeders started breeding them to be smaller for rabbit hunting.
   Of interest is the "Patch" Beagle strain developed by Willet Randall in New York around 1880. The line is primarily white with a very large tri-colored spot. They were very popular in the 1940s and 1950s because they were able to run so fast. Today, many people call lemon and white or red and white beagles "Patch" beagles.
  The American Kennel Club and the first Beagle specialty club both were founded in 1884. In that same year, the AKC began registering Beagles.
   In 1916, five members of the National Beagle Club purchased 508 acres in Western Loudoun County, Virginia for the purpose of holding field trials. The men who purchased it formed a corporation called Institute Corporate to purchase and own the land, then leasing it to the Institute Foundation that maintains the property for the National Beagle Club, which today is the site of many activities of the National Beagle Club.



Temperament and Personality
  Beagles are happy, outgoing and loving. They are often described as having a merry temperament, but they are also known for their mischievous nature. Beagles like to have their own way, and they can be naughty, determined and stubborn in their efforts to get what they want, which is usually food.
  Start training early, be patient and be consistent, and one day you will wake up to find that you live with a great dog. But even so, there are a few Beagle behaviors that you should expect to live with throughout his life. They are part and parcel of being a Beagle, and nothing you do will change them. Beagles love good smells, Beagles howl, Beagles have selective hearing, and Beagles love to eat.
  Everything a Beagle does somehow leads back to his nose. His powerful sense of smell overcomes any good sense you might have tried to instill and tells the Beagle to escape from the yard or break into the dog food bag in the pantry or see what’s in the trash. When channeled properly, it’s also what makes him a great arson dog or termite detector, so it all evens out in the end. Just remember that when your Beagle’s nose is down, his “other brain” is turned off.
  Beagles have what fans call a “musical” voice, but to your neighbors it’s just going to sound like really annoying noise. Beagles will sing along to sirens, “give tongue” when they are hunting, and bark when strangers come to the door, but they aren’t usually nuisance barkers unless they are bored or lonely. If you don’t live out in the country where no one else is around to hear his drawn-out “Aaaaarrrroooooh,” keep your Beagle occupied with toys, the company of another animal or, best of all, your presence so he doesn’t feel the need to serenade the neighborhood.
  Beagles like to do what they want to do, not necessarily what you want them to do. They are true masters when it comes to selective hearing. If a Beagle isn’t interested in the request you’ve made — commands are futile with this breed — he will simply ignore you or wander off. That can be frustrating if you’re not prepared for it. Successfully living with a Beagle means making everything a game, one that will hold his attention.
  As for eating, well, Beagles will try to eat anything. They are professional food thieves, and they will eat anything that even looks like it might be food, including things that you wouldn’t imagine would interest them. If nothing else, living with a Beagle will teach you, your spouse and your kids not to leave food of any kind within a Beagle’s nose range.
  The biggest trick to training a Beagle is to make everything you do with him seem like fun. Never try to force a Beagle to do anything, and never count on a Beagle to be obedient unless you can offer treats as an incentive. This is one breed where it’s important to keep in mind that old saying about catching more flies with honey than with vinegar.
  Your Beagle’s personality will also be affected by the kind of breeder who produced him. Beagles from breeders who produce hunting dogs are more likely to be hard-charging and demanding of exercise. They are unsuited to lying around the house all day while everyone is at work or school. More laid back Beagles typically come from a breeder who shows dogs in conformation.
  Any dog, no matter how nice, can develop obnoxious levels of barking, digging, food stealing and other undesirable behaviors if he is bored, untrained or unsupervised. And any dog can be a trial to live with during adolescence. In the case of the Beagle, the “teen” years can start at six months and continue until the dog is about three years old and sometimes throughout life.   Some Beagles just never lose that fun-loving, happy-go-lucky puppy nature. While it makes them entertaining to live with, it also means that they need more supervision than the average adult dog. Fair warning!
  The perfect Beagle doesn’t spring fully formed from the whelping box. He’s a product of his background and breeding. Whether you want a Beagle as a companion, show dog, hunting dog or all three in one, look for one whose parents have nice personalities and who has been well socialized from early puppyhood.


Health
  The typical longevity of Beagles is 12–15 years, which is a common lifespan for dogs of their size. Beagles may be prone to epilepsy, but this can often be controlled with medication. Hypothyroidism and a number of types of dwarfism occur in Beagles. Two conditions in particular are unique to the breed: "Funny Puppy", in which the puppy is slow to develop and eventually develops weak legs, a crooked back and although normally healthy, is prone to a range of illnesses;Hip dysplasia, common in Harriers and in some larger breeds, is rarely considered a problem in Beagles. Beagles are considered a chondrodystrophic breed, meaning that they are prone to types of disk diseases.
   In rare cases, Beagles may develop immune mediated polygenic arthritis  even at a young age. The symptoms can sometimes be relieved by steroid treatments. Another rare disease in the breed is neonatal cerebellar cortical degeneration. Affected puppies are slow, have lower co-ordination, fall more often and don't have a normal gait. It has an estimated carrier rate of 5% and affected rate of 0.1%. A genetic test is available.
  Their long floppy ears can mean that the inner ear does not receive a substantial air flow or that moist air becomes trapped, and this can lead to ear infections. Beagles may also be affected by a range of eye problems; two common ophthalmic conditions in Beagles are glaucoma and corneal dystrophy. "Cherry eye", a prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid, and distichiasis, a condition in which eyelashes grow into the eye causing irritation, sometimes exist; both these conditions can be corrected with surgery.They can suffer from several types of retinal atrophy. Failure of the nasolacrimal drainage system can cause dry eye or leakage of tears onto the face.

Is this breed right for you?
  Beagles make excellent family pets. They love affection and attention, and their loving personalities make them great pets to have around kids. Their medium-sized builds allow Beagles to feel comfortable in most environments; however, they are a very vocal and energetic breed, so apartment life may not be ideal.

Care
  A fenced backyard is a necessity with a scenthound such as a Beagle. When outside, your Beagle should be on lead in unconfined areas, or securely confined and supervised. He's a wanderer by nature, so in case he escapes — a common occurrence with Beagles — be sure he's microchipped and wearing identification tags on his collar so he can be returned to you.
Some people prefer to use an underground electronic fence, but this type of enclosure doesn't prevent other animals from coming into your yard. Besides, if a scent is enticing enough your Beagle will be more than willing to risk a momentary shock to follow it.
  Like all dogs, Beagles benefit from obedience training. Positive reinforcement techniques work best because Beagles will simply switch off when treated harshly. Most Beagles are more than happy to do anything for a tasty treat.
  Adolescent Beagles are full of energy and need a lot of opportunities to work it all off. They love to go for walks with their family, or, even better, a good run across a field to hunt down rabbits . They'll enjoy jogging with you, but wait until they're 18 months or older before starting them on a repetitive exercise like this.
Grooming
  Beagles are easy-care dogs who don’t need a lot of fancy grooming. A good going-over with a hound mitt once or twice a week removes dead hairs and helps keep them from migrating to clothing and furniture. And that’s the bad news: Beagles shed year-round. The good news: unless your Beagle rolls in something stinky, which is a strong possibility, he shouldn’t need a bath more than three or four times a year.
  Keep your Beagle’s droopy ears clean with a solution recommended by your veterinarian. Don’t use cotton swabs inside the ear; they can push gunk further down into it. Wipe out the ear with a cotton ball, never going deeper than the first knuckle of your finger.
  Trim his nails regularly, usually every couple of weeks. They should never be so long that you hear them clicking on the floor.
  When mature, a Beagle can become fairly lazy, content to lie about the house all day, getting up for meals and perhaps an occasional scratching of the ears. Since this is a breed prone to obesity, don't let this happen.

Living Conditions
 Beagles will do okay in an apartment if they get plenty of chances to be outdoors. They are very active indoors and a small yard will be sufficient.

Exercise
  Energetic and possessing great stamina, the Beagle needs plenty of exercise, including a brisk daily walk. It should have a fenced yard of reasonable size to romp in. Always use a lead when walking this breed or you will be running the risk of it disappearing in search of wild game.

Did You Know?
  Beagles are used as scent detection dogs at U.S. airports, where their friendliness allows them to search for weapons, drugs and illegal food items without making passengers nervous the way a larger “police dog” might.
Children and other pets
  Beagles bond with everyone in the family, especially children. They can be rambunctious when playing, however, so they need to be properly socialized and supervised with very young children. In addition, Beagles tend to be "mouthy," grabbing things, including your or your child's hand, with their mouths to play. They do this in fun and can be trained not to do this.
  As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and supervise any interactions. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.
  Because of their pack dog heritage, Beagles enjoy company and don't like to be left alone. Another dog or even a cat will help meet their companionship needs.

In popular culture
  Beagles have been featured across a wide range of media. References to the dog appear before the 19th century in works by such writers as William Shakespeare, John Webster, John Dryden, Thomas Tickell, Henry Fielding and William Cowper, and in Alexander Pope's translation of Homer's Iliad. Beagles appeared in funny animal comic strips and animated cartoons from the 1950s with the Peanuts character Snoopy, billed as "the world's most famous Beagle",Walt Disney's Beagle Boys, Odie, Garfield's friend and "chew dog" and Beegle Beagle, the constant companion of Hanna-Barbera's Grape Ape. They have appeared in numerous films, taking a central role in Underdog, Cats & Dogs and its sequel, and the title roles in the adaptation of Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's book Shiloh. 
They have played supporting roles in films including Audition, The Monster Squad, I Am Number Four and The Royal Tenenbaums, and on television in Star Trek: Enterprise, EastEnders, The Wonder Years, and To the Manor Born among others. Former US President Lyndon Baines Johnson had several Beagles, and caused an outcry when he picked up one of them by its ears during an official greeting on the White House lawn. The ship on which Charles Darwin made the voyage which provided much of the inspiration for On the Origin of Species was named HMS Beagle after the breed, and, in turn, lent its name to the ill-fated British Martian lander Beagle 2. Gromit of Wallace and Gromit is also a beagle.

A dream day in the life
  Romping with the kids at the park or roaming wide-open spaces with its human best friends would mark an excellent day for this high-energy, attention-loving breed. A day of fun in the sun with plenty to sniff, chase and howl about is just what Beagle dreams are made of. After a few hours of playtime, a cozy nap on a warm lap would top off a perfect day.






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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Everything about your Rottweiler

Everything about your Rottweiler
   Choosing to add a furry friend to your growing household is a long-term commitment, and picking a breed that fits your lifestyle presents the key to a happy home. With over 160 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds, that decision can seem overwhelming. We're here to help you meet the breed that's right for you. If you're looking for a gentle four-legged giant to add to your pack, find out everything you need to know about the Rottweiler.
  Rottweilers are one of the breeds that tends to be misunderstood and misrepresented way too much. They are NOT mean dogs, nor are they wantonly aggressive or 'born fighters'.
Photo by Vladyslav Dukhin from Pexels

  The REAL Rottweiler is a highly intelligent, brave, loyal and loving dog who will be your companion for life. Bred and raised properly, a Rottweiler puppy is the perfect 'mans-best-friend'.
  If you want a Rottweiler, learn how to raise it first! If you don't get these dogs off to the right start, you may never be able to control them, and they will be a constant danger to you, your family, and others. With a bite strength roughly 25% greater than a German Shepherd, they must be trained - it isn't optional. If you do learn to do it right, you will own one of the best and safest pets it is possible to own.

History
  The breed's history likely dates to the Roman Empire. It is likely that the Rottweiler is a descendant of ancient Roman drover dogs, a mastiff-type dog that was a dependable, rugged dog with great intelligence and guarding instincts. During their quest to conquer Europe, the Roman legion traveled in large numbers across the continent. The non-existence of refrigeration meant the soldiers had to bring herds of cattle with them on their excursions for food. These drover dogs were not only used to keep the herds of cattle together, but to guard the supply stock at night. Around 74 A.D. the Roman army travelled across the alps and into the southern part of modern day Germany. For the next two centuries the Roman drover dogs were continually utilized in herding and driving cattle for trade even after the Romans were driven out of the area by the Swabians.
  A town in this region was eventually given the name Rottweil. It became an important trade center and the descendants of the Roman cattle dogs proved their worth by driving the cattle to market and protecting the cattle from robbers and wild animals. The dogs are said to have been used by traveling butchers at markets during the Middle Ages to guard money pouches tied around their necks. The dogs eventually came to be called Rottweiler Metzgerhunds, or butcher dogs. As railroads became the primary method for moving stock to market, the need for the breed declined, as did the number of Rottweilers. The number of Rottweilers diminished so severely that by 1882 in a dog show in Heilbronn, there was only one very poor representative of the breed.
  The buildup to World War I saw a great demand for police dogs, and that led to a revival of interest in the Rottweiler. During the First and Second World Wars, Rottweilers were put into service in various roles, including as messenger, ambulance, draught, and guard dogs.
  The Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub (DRK, German Rottweiler Club), the first Rottweiler club in Germany, was founded on 13 January 1914, and followed by the creation of the Süddeutscher Rottweiler-Klub (SDRK, South German Rottweiler Club) on 27 April 1915 and eventually became the IRK (International Rottweiler Club). The DRK counted around 500 Rottweilers, and the SDRK 3000 Rottweilers. The goals of the two clubs were different. The DRK aimed to produce working dogs and did not emphasise the morphology of the Rottweiler.
  The various German Rottweiler Clubs amalgamated to form the Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub (ADRK, General German Rottweiler Club) in 1921. This was officially recorded in the register of clubs and associations at the district court of Stuttgart on 27 January 1924. The ADRK is recognised worldwide as the home club of the Rottweiler.
  In 1931 the Rottweiler was officially recognised by the American Kennel Club. In 1936, Rottweilers were exhibited in Britain at Crufts. In 1966, a separate register was opened for the breed. In fact, in the mid-1990s, the popularity of the Rottweiler reached an all-time high with it being the most registered dog by the American Kennel Club.

Overview
  This breed continues to excel at serving its original breeding purpose: to protect and serve. The fierce and friendly Rottweiler is known for its territorial instincts and warrior traits. It's so well known as a fighter that some cities have chosen to ban this tough breed from households. Without a doubt, the no-nonsense Rottweiler has massive power — we're talking 328 pounds of pressure from a single bite. As tough as this pup can be, it's also known to show kindness and loyalty to its human masters.

Should you get a puppy or an adult dog? 

  I've had both, and there are several factors that play into this decision. A puppy will give you the advantage of starting all training from scratch, on a clean slate if you will. This is helpful because training a Rottie can be tricky, so the earlier the better! An adult dog may come with some excess baggage, such as a history of abuse (like my female, "Roxy") or neglect, lack of training, etc. However, these are not impossible to overcome for an experienced dog owner. In fact, not enough can be said for how wonderful it can be to rescue an adult Rottie from a shelter! Giving one a second chance may be the best for you both, it’s just important to be patient and allow extra time for the dog to adjust. So many animals are killed every year in shelters because there aren’t enough homes for them all, so adoption could be a great option! Also keep in mind that a puppy will need potty training, while many adult shelter dogs already have that experience. If you do decide on a puppy, never purchase one from a pet store; those usually come from puppy mills, which are kept in deplorable condition and usually result in pets with many health problems! 

Breed at a glace:
  • Active lifestyle;
  • Environmentally adaptable;
  • Easy grooming;
  • Guard dog capabilities;
  • Territorial.
  Grooming for Rottweilers is minimal, including bi-monthly baths, as well as regular nail trims and ear cleaning. Keep in mind, however, that they do shed quite a bit. Their fairly thick undercoat is short, but will still cause little black tumbleweeds of fur all around your house. Be prepared for weekly if not daily sweeping or vacuuming. Since they have black nails and you will be unable to see the “quick”  it is best to consult a professional groomer if you are not experienced with nail trimming.
  Considerable cost can be involved in caring for a Rottie. First you will definitely want to consider spaying or neutering your pet, not only to control pet overpopulation, but also to have a cleaner, healthier, more well-mannered dog. This can cost anywhere from $100 for a puppy to $400 or more for an adult. Shelter dogs should already be “fixed” before you adopt them. This procedure is routine and relatively safe, and reduces or even eliminates the risk of certain cancers and other health issues. Annual vaccinations can range in cost from $50-150, and monthly flea, tick, and heartworm preventative may cost around $30 per month.

  A Rottweiler’s lifespan can be 10-15 years with proper care. They can suffer from a number of health issues, for which you will need to be prepared financially, physically, and emotionally. Because of their size, they are prone to arthritis, which can make walking, standing and lying down very difficult, especially if they are overweight. If your dog needs help getting up from the floor, getting into the car for a vet visit, or using the stairs, are you physically capable of helping him? Also, there are a number of quality joint supplements on the market, which can be used as preventative care and for pain relief as well. These products will not come cheap for such a large breed, as the dosing is based on weight. Rotties are predisposed to different forms of bone cancer, and it is not uncommon for that to be the cause of death. There are conventional and holistic treatments available which can prolong and even improve the quality of your dog’s life, but currently there is no cure.  You may also encounter other less severe health problems, such as allergies, ear infections, or scrapes and cuts (they are a little clumsy!).


  Breed standards
  • AKC group: Working
  • UKC group: Guardian Dog
  • Average lifespan: 8 - 10 years
  • Average size:  75 - 110 pounds
  • Coat appearance: Short, sleek, coarse
  • Coloration: Black and tan markings
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Other identifiers: Large and muscular build; defined tan markings; small pendant ears
  • Possible alterations: Can be seen with either a natural-length tail or short-cropped tail
  • Comparable Breeds: Doberman Pinscher, Mastiff
  Is this breed right for you?
Rottweilers require immense amounts of constant training and discipline. This breed is not recommended for novice owners or those without the proper dedication to training this fierce dog. All potential owners should check their city guidelines, as some cities have created a ban against this tough breed. Due to its protective and territorial background, this breed requires early training and socialization to become a safe and loving family pet. Rottweilers can easily adapt to any living environment as long as daily exercise is part of their routine.

Steps
Do Your Research First
  Find out as much as you can about Rottweilers, read books, search online, go to local dog shows, talk to breeders and so on. As with any breed, Rotties have their own distinct personality traits and breed-specific characteristics. The better you understand them, the easier it will be to raise your pup properly.

Choose A Breeder Carefully
  There are lots of excellent Rottweiler breeders but also lots of not-so-good ones, take your time and don't go with the first one you see. Choose a breeder who does all the appropriate health-screenings (eg. OFA, cardiac, eyes) on their breeding stock. Also check for both conformation (show lines) and working ability (Schutzhund or tracking for example) as this shows that the dogs look and act like Rottweilers! Ask any potential breeder questions, and expect them to ask you questions too.

Take Time To Pick The Right Puppy
  Rottweiler puppies are irresistible, but you don't necessarily want to take home the first pair of puppy-dog eyes you see. Each pup is an individual with his/her own personality and combination of genes. A good breeder will be able to help you find the perfect pup for your home/lifestyle/plans.

Be Prepared For Puppy Parenthood
  • A new puppy will take a lot of time, patience, love and money and you need to be ready for that. The first few days can be a bit hectic but things will soon settle into a routine. Here are a few things you'll need to know/do.....
  • Make sure your pup stays up to date with vaccinations and de-worming treatments. Rottweilers are especially vulnerable to a viral disease called Parvo and you need to be extra-vigilant during these early weeks.
  • Start housebreaking right away and use a crate to help prevent 'accidents' in the house. One of the biggest parts of housebreaking a pup is not allowing bad habits to form. Always take your pup to the same spot outdoors to 'do his business' and only allow him free-reign indoors when you're supervising closely.
  • Begin training immediately too. Rottweilers are very intelligent and eager to please. Start with basic name recognition and housebreaking as soon as you get home, and add simple commands like 'sit' and 'stay' as soon as your pup feels at home. Rottweilers don't need (or respond well to) harsh corrections or training methods. They're sensitive and smart, and will learn quickly if you use positive, reward-based training methods. Once your pup is fully vaccinated enroll him in a formal Puppy Obedience Class.
  • Socialize him early, and throughout his life. Rotties are a guardian breed and are naturally reserved, tending to be a bit aloof or 'stand-offish' with strangers.
Love Him!
  Rottweilers may be big dogs, but they love to sit in your lap and are big 'softies'. Give your Rottweiler puppy lots of love and attention so that he grows up happy and confident.

Tips
  • Kids  Rotties are great family dogs. They love children. These are not "one man" dogs. They belong to whichever family member they are with at the time. No one will feel left out. Be prepared though - if given their way, they will spend most of their time with the kids; They really love kids. For those with small children, remember: NEVER leave a young child alone with any dog for any amount of time!

  • House Pets  Rotties love to lounge around the house and soak up love and laziness with their masters. They enjoy being "house dogs" as long as they have a yard in which to play and plenty of attention from their master. Rotties tend to follow their masters around the house from room to room, settling in wherever you do. They are part teddy bear, part ornery best friend, part draft horse and part guard dog, all in one truly beautiful package. They love to be handled and you should get them used to having their mouths and paws handled to make your vet's job easier down the road. This is really important - they should allow you to handle any part of their body without stiffening up or getting stressed. Keep gently doing it until they get used to it.

  • More Than One?  Having two Rotties is great fun and they provide each other extra exercise. If you want two, I strongly recommend getting a male and a female instead of two males. Males are far more aggressive and ornery than females and if they get in a fight, they are going to be badly hurt, possibly killed. I also recommend getting your dogs neutered after they reach 6 months of age. This does not reduce their effectiveness as watch dogs and males will still learn to pee with their legs raised.

  • Intelligence  Rotties are incredibly intelligent. Ours learned to turn light switches on and off, open fence gate latches and open sliding cabinet doors. These are things they learned on their own! We have taught them tricks in addition to the standard obedience commands. They are really fun dogs. They actually plan complex diversions to distract the other Rottie's attention while they steal the desired toy.  Think ahead if you want to be their boss because Rottweilers are problem-solving smart.

  • Crates  Get a crate and use it! This is the place your dog will go when he doesn't want to be disturbed. Respect that - always. Never try to pull him out of his crate for anything, including punishments and treats. His crate is his one place that you must respect. It is also the place you will put your dog when you don't want him to disturb you. He won't mind. After all, it's "his place."  I do not recommend having the dog's food and water dishes in his crate unless absolutely necessary. Because Rotties have such warm coats, I strongly recommend wire frame crates instead of the plastic ones. The extra ventilation is very important. Wire crates have the added advantage of folding for transport.
  • Grooming and Maintenance  Rotties only need to be brushed once a week. A slicker brush is good. Of course, you can brush them as often as you like, but only bathe them about twice a year. Over-bathing will dry out their skins and their coats. They are clean smelling dogs and their coat should not develop any odor unless something is wrong. Because they have folded-over ears, you should clean their ears once a week. You can buy a solution at a pet store or from your vet for this. I prefer a one-step solution. You put your dog in a down-stay, straddle him, and squirt solution into an ear until it is about to overfill. Then stick a regular cotton ball in the ear to keep the fluid in, and fold the ear down. Hold his ear against his head to keep the cotton ball and solution in. Repeat for other ear and then hold their ears shut for 10 full minutes; then release and remove the cotton balls. Some dogs don't mind it and some hate it but it really needs to be done once a week. Trimming toe nails is really not hard with good sharp clippers, some practice and a regular routine. I do it every 2 weeks. If you start all these routines when your Rottweiler is a little puppy (8 to 10 weeks), they are much easier to do when he is grown. That way he just accepts them as the routine order of life.
  • The Vet  Get a good one, and keep him! Work out a written schedule of shots and HeartGuard for heart worm protection, and stick to it like glue. We use an animal hospital that treats farm and zoo animals, including tigers and such. This helps us know that the vets there are experienced and stay on top of medical advances, but are also practical minded. Rottweilers' immune systems tend to over-react to shots (vaccinations) and drugs. Expect your Rottie to feel under the weather for a day or two after getting a shot or series of pills. Usually, this is not a problem, just something of which to be aware
  • Food  Feed your Rott a high quality food if possible. One reader suggests making sure your dog's food contains the amino acid taurine to avoid heart problems. Read the ingredients on the dogfood bag and talk to your vet and local breeders about this. If your dog needs weight control, I suggest controlling portion size instead of going to a lower protein-lower fat dog food.
  • Guard Dog Or Pet?  You do not need to train a Rottweiler to protect you and your family. It is a strong instinct in them and is absolutely trustworthy. 
  • Read The Book!  Go to your local library and get the oldest available copy of the Monks of New Skete's book - "The Art Of Raising A Puppy," follow their basic techniques, and your Rottie will never let you down - and you will never let him down either. If your dog is already an adult, they still have a book for you - "How To Be Your Dog's Best Friend." The Monks' latest books have gone politically correct and gotten away from their earlier strength, which was observing natural dog behavior and using it to teach humans how to be part of their own "pack." Think about it: Non-domestic canines (dogs and wolves) use the dominance down constantly to maintain pack order while at the same time avoiding real fights. If it's awful, why do dogs do it and why does it work for them? I strongly recommend trying to find an older version of this book at a local library. The older books are more factual and straightforward.
A dream day in the life of a Rottweiler
  Work must be a part of this breed's daily lifestyle. Whether it's daily training, herding on a farm, hunting or protecting, it must be kept occupied with a job to fulfill its natural instincts. With proper training this breed makes a loyal and loving family pet that's happy spending his days looking after the household and protecting his family.

Media portrayal
  The portrayal of Rottweilers as evil dogs in several fictional films and TV series, most notably in The Omen, along with sensationalist press coverage, has created a negative image of the breed. However, some films and television shows, such as Lethal Weapon 3, the 1998 Film Half Baked, and the hit HBO show Entourage, have portrayed Rottweilers in a positive light. They are also featured in the children's book series Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day.
  In an event widely reported by the media, a two-year-old UK Rottweiler named Jake owned by Liz Maxted-Bluck was recognised for his bravery by the RSPCA. The dog was out walking with his owner when they heard screams. Jake chased off a man as he molested a woman on Hearsall Common, Coventry, in July 2009. He located the attacker and his victim in thick scrub, chased off the attacker, led his owner to the scene, then stood guard over the victim until police arrived. The attacker was convicted of serious sexual assault and jailed for four years. Jake was nominated by police for the bravery award and medallion after the incident. Det Con Clive Leftwich, from Coventry police station, said: "From our point of view Jake the Rottweiler stopped a serious sexual assault from becoming even worse."

Enjoy that Rottweiler!

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