You have decided that you want to purchase a Rottweiler puppy. Where do you begin the process? I suggest you start by taking a step back to reconsider if a Rottweiler is really the dog for you. The Rottweiler is a great breed of dog. In fact, I think they are the best breed. They have brought a great deal of joy to my life through the years. I absolutely love them, but I must say that they are not for everyone.
The Rottweiler is incredibly attractive so it is understandable that you have been drawn to the breed. Before you rush out and buy a Rottweiler puppy though, stop and think long and hard about the responsibilities involved. That cute little bundle of fur with sweet puppy breath is going to grow into a 80–120 pound dog that is going to live for 10 –14 years. Owning a Rottweiler is a long term commitment that comes with many sacrificial demands and financial obligations that are often not pondered beforehand.
Too many of these beloved dogs end up in neglectful homes where they grow to be problem dogs or are placed in animal shelters where they are usually euthanized eventually. This is the sad result of impulsive buyers and irresponsible breeders. I highly recommend the Rottweiler but only for the right homes. I do not say that because they are vicious, as some ignorant people would have everyone to believe, or because they make bad family companions. I say it simply because every breed has unique characteristics and special requirements that need to be taken into consideration when choosing which breed is best for your life. So before you ask which Rottweiler puppy is right for you, ask yourself if you are right for the Rottweiler.
Rottweilers require and deserve and threefold investment on the part of their prospective masters. They necessitate an investment of your time, money and energy. I recommend that you ask and answer honestly some hard questions before making your final decision to buy a Rottweiler puppy.
1. Is your present lifestyle well suited for owning a Rottweiler puppy?
Rottweiler puppies take “time” and “training” and without them they become “trouble”. Does your schedule afford you the needed opportunity to train, love, and care for a puppy? Don’t get a puppy if your life demands are going to require the puppy to spend an unreasonable portion of his waking hours alone and locked in a crate or kennel run. This is not fair to the puppy. Remember that a bored Rottweiler becomes a destructive Rottweiler. They not only become destructive of your property but they can also become destructive to themselves by constant licking or even chewing on their limbs. Then when they do finally get out of their “prison” they are so excited to be free and with company that they act in ways that are annoying and less than enjoyable. If you don’t have the time to dedicate to meeting a Rottweiler puppy’s basic needs for companionship and exercise that doesn’t make you a bad person. However, it does make you the wrong person for owning this breed. Get a Hermit crab instead!
2. Can you afford the ongoing expense that is involved with responsible dog ownership?
The initial cost of a quality Rottweiler puppy will range from $1000 - $3000. If that price sounds outrageous to you then you probably have not carefully calculated the annual cost of caring for a pure bred dog. Let me say emphatically that it is expensive. After bringing your puppy home at 8 weeks of age, there is still a series of 2–3 more sets of puppy vaccines that are usually administered. Of course each time you return to the vet for the next scheduled set of puppy shots, you are also typically charged for an “office visit” and a “routine exam”. There is the monthly cost of heartworm preventatives as well as flea and tick preventatives. There is the cost of worming for internal parasites on a regular basis. It all adds up. Crates, collars, toys, leashes, bedding, treats, shampoos, etc. all costs you money. Responsible dog ownership is expensive but it is an investment of love. One of the most costly expenditures that you need to count on is that of feeding a healthy diet. In my opinion this is a must if you want to enjoy a long and healthy relationship with your canine companion. Please forget the grocery store dog foods with all of the additives and fillers. Then there is the cost of our breed’s recommended health certifications. I’m not even going to get into the cost of club training, traveling, trialing and showing your dog. This takes an exuberant amount of money, but it is considered to be dollars well spent by true enthusiasts.
I am well aware that you can purchase a Rottweiler puppy for a few hundred dollars. The classified section of your local newspaper is filled with such ads. Nevertheless I would strongly advise you not to go the cheaper route of a backyard breeder. Though the initial purchase price might be much lower, there is a high probability that you will pay much more in training bills and vet bills due to inherited health issues and temperament problems that could have been avoided more than likely by buying a well bred puppy from proven genetics.
3. Do you have the health and personality type that will contribute to the development of a well balanced Rottweiler?
The Rottweiler is a working dog by nature and as such they require regular physical and mental exercise. Healthy puppies are full of energy. They will release that energy either in a constructive and acceptable manner or they will release it in an unacceptable and potentially destructive manner. How they release their energy daily is up to you, but release it they will.
Because of this breed’s size and strength it is imperative that they be brought under control. That does not mean they require harsh treatment or severe discipline. On the contrary, Rottweilers, like all breeds, respond well to positive training methods. However, along with beauty and power, they can also possess a stubborn streak. They will try to push the limits to discover where the boundaries are and therefore they need a firm but fair master. Training and discipline should be characterized by the three “tents”. You will be successful at helping your dog mature into a well balanced representative of the breed if you will be “consistent”, “persistent” and “insistent”.
Because of the temperament and power of this breed they usually do best with owners who have the physical health and the mental resolve to maintain the upper hand in the handler to dog relationship. If you are easily intimidated or lack the will to patiently work with your dog until the desired behavior is achieved then this is probably not the ideal breed for you. Rottweilers MUST be obedience trained! Their strong mind and muscles must learn to work “with” and “for” you, not “against” you. So are you the type of person in body, mind and will that can channel the energies of this working dog?
Have my thought provoking questions discouraged you from wanting to own a Rottweiler? If yes, then I am glad. Nobody should get a Rottweiler unless they are completely convinced that they are right for the breed and the breed is right for them. If after reading this information you are undeterred in your desire to own one of these magnificent creatures then that is good also. Welcome to the fancy! You are sure to have a wonderful time with “Man’s best friend”!
If this is to be your breed of choice then next is the choosing of your future puppy’s breeder. This is a vitally important decision and one we will discuss in our next article entitled, “Choosing a Breeder: Who Really Cares About Preserving the Breed?”