Rottweilers are well-known protection and guarding dogs that come from a herding background.
These dogs are so popular in many parts of the world today that they are recognizable on sight.
But while most people have a preconceived idea of the Rottweiler as a big, brave, strong security dog, these dogs need their rest just like every other canine.
Sometimes Rottweilers can sleep so much they can seem lazy – especially in puppyhood! Are Rottweilers lazy? Let’s find out together now!
Are Rottweilers Lazy?
Rottweilers are not lazy dogs. But they can go through natural energy cycles as they move through life.
Rottweiler puppies often seem to have only two settings – “hyper” and “asleep.” Young Rottweiler adult dogs are typically high energy dogs.
Rottweilers later in life can start to slow down and mellow out, even becoming somewhat sedentary. However, this may differ depending on your dog’s genetics, lifestyle, health, diet, and daily exercise.
Watch a Lazy Rottweiler Lounging Around
In this cute YouTube video, you can see how sometimes Rottweilers can really enjoy laying around and resting and napping.
But the real reason this Rottie seems so lazy is more likely because the owner does a great job walking and exercising their dog. A tired Rottweiler is a happy Rottweiler because these are true working dogs that are born to need a job to do.
What Could Make a Rottweiler Lazy?
As this Rottweiler owner Reddit thread points out, Rottweilers can start to exhibit excessive energy or even hyperactivity if they don’t get enough daily activity and exercise.
This is particularly true for young Rottweilers. However, you also need to make sure you don’t over-exercise a young Rottweiler who hasn’t finished growing yet, as we will discuss in the next section here.
Could Too Much Exercise Cause Injury to Your Rottweiler?
As Ready to Go Vet Rehab explains, large breed dogs are particularly prone to developing joint issues for reasons of both genetics and over-exercise.
At the top of each of the long leg bones there sits a softer cartilage structure called the growth plate. This plate basically sends out instructions like “keeping growing” and “stop growing.”
When your Rottweiler is finished growing and has attained its full adult height, the growth plate will send out the “stop growing” instructions and then will harden and close.
The only way you will know this has happened is to order X-rays of your dog’s legs. Your veterinarian can read the X-rays for you and confirm that your dog is done growing.
But until this happens, which can take up to 18 months for a large Rottweiler, too much intense exercise can cause damage to the joints and bones that is lifelong.
Does This Mean That Laziness in Rottweilers Is Healthy or Good?
Of course, you don’t want to harm your dog in any way. So after reading the information in the previous section here, you might legitimately be wondering if you should discourage your young Rottweiler from exercising.
The answer here is “no.” Rather, you simply want to monitor the intensity. Exercise in moderation is good and healthy for your young Rottweiler.
As the Rested Dog Inn points out, getting enough daily exercise is good for your Rottweiler on multiple levels and for many different reasons.
Exercise will promote good respiratory and cardiovascular function, keep your dog’s mind sharp and engaged, help you and your Rottie bond and grow closer and give your dog an outlet for extra energy early in life.
Exercise can also be a great way to calm an over-anxious Rottweiler before loud holidays and thunderstorms where the sounds might cause a lot of nervousness.
What to Do If Your Rottweiler Is Too Lazy
It sure can be easy to slip into a routine where neither you nor your Rottweiler is getting enough daily physical exercise.
Big Sky Rottie Rescue charity points out that adult Rottweilers can become less interested in exercise as they get older.
This is especially true if your Rottie has started to gain weight (Rottweilers love their food!) or has developed any joint issues such as dysplasia or canine arthritis.
But can a Rottweiler ever become too lazy? The simplest answer here is “yes.”
For many people whose first experience with the Rottweiler breed has been raising a Rottie puppy, it can come as a big surprise when they add an adult rescued Rottweiler to the family and their dog wants to lay around and nap all day.
Just as leading a sedentary lifestyle is not healthy for people, a too-sedentary daily schedule is not going to do your Rottweiler any favors.
The key to encouraging a too-lazy Rottweiler to get up and get active again is surprisingly simple. It is you.
As the American Kennel Club (AKC) explains, Rottweilers are people dogs. They want to be with their people all the time.
This is very normal and natural for dog breeds that have been developed to do jobs like herding and guarding. A protection dog is a working dog breed that needs to have something – or someone – to protect.
So if you are heading out for a walk or a jog, you can bet your Rottweiler is going to want to go too! Don’t be fooled if your dog just lazes around and doesn’t seem motivated to beg to go out on their own. They don’t want to go alone. They want to go with you.
As the American Rottweiler Club (ARC) explains, it is quite common for the family Rottweiler to follow you around the house and the yard, just keeping an eye on you and making sure you are safe.
So to get your lazy Rottweiler up and off the couch and out on a walk, all you have to do is head out of the house yourself.
Good Canine Sports for Rottweilers
The American Rottweiler Club has a long list of canine athletics and sports that Rottweilers enjoy and typically excel at.
These include each of the following sports:
- Barn hunts.
- Therapy and service dog roles.
Of these, herding and carting are the two that are most closely associated with why the Rottweiler breed was developed in the first place.
Some owners also decide to enroll their Rottweiler in K-9 protection dog training or in Schutzhund. This type of high-intensity training is a perfect use of the Rottweiler’s instincts to herd, guard, and protect.
As a bonus, once your Rottweiler is trained as a protection K-9, you and your family will be well protected by one of the best guard dog breeds on the planet.
Health Reasons That Might Cause Your Rottweiler to Become Lazy
While that natural process of aging can absolutely produce a degree of sedentary or even lazy behavior in a senior Rottweiler, it is important to point out that sometimes health problems can also lead to laziness.
As Fetch by WebMD explains, these are the most commonly reported health issues that can cause a dog to become lazy or lethargic.
Your Rottweiler is in pain
Pain is perhaps the number one reason why a Rottweiler might not want to get up. Stiffness or joint pain can lead to a dislike of getting up and down.
Internal issues like anemia, blood loss, tumors, diabetes, and other less-visible health conditions can also cause a metabolic change that leads to lazy behavior.
Your Rottweiler is sick
From tick bites to parvovirus, if you see a sudden energetic change in your Rottweiler, it is important not to ignore this. It could be a warning sign of a more serious health issue.
Heartworm, distemper, kennel cough, and hypoglycemia can all cause a formerly active dog to slow down and start sleeping more.
Your Rottweiler is taking medication
Some canine medications can cause temporary side effects like lethargy, dizziness, upset stomach, or even systemic toxicity.
If your Rottweiler is taking a new medication for the first time and you see your dog start to exhibit a sudden slowdown in behavior, it is important to reach out to the veterinarian right away to discuss side effects.
When In Doubt, Have Your Rottweiler Checked Out
Rottweilers are generally pretty active dogs and like to stay busy and be where their people are.
When a Rottweiler that is closely bonded to people starts to favor spending more time laying around, napping or sleeping – especially during the day – this could be a sign something is wrong.
Rather than wait and have the issue turn into something worse, it is smart to contact your dog’s veterinarian right away and make an appointment to have your dog examined. Prompt action could save a life.