Even the Rottweiler dog’s breed name suggests this dog would be down for anything. “Rottweiler” isn’t a name you give a dog that wants to spend its life on the couch!
In fact, the Rottie gets their breed name from the town of Rottweil in Germany where this breed became locally well known.
In fact, in the German language, their full name is Rottweiler Metzgerhund. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), this translates to mean “Butcher’s Dog of Rottweil.”
Of course, this sounds a lot scarier than it is. Originally, Rottweilers would guard herds of livestock along market trails.
Essentially, they guarded the animals headed for butchers’ blocks and then dinner tables throughout Germany, which is how they got their modern breed name.
Today, the Rottweiler is still considered a true blue working dog breed. But how much exercise does the Rottweiler really need? Let’s find out together now!
How Many Exercises Do Rottweilers Actually Need?
The answer to this question sounds like it should be simple, But there are three complicating factors we are about to discuss in much greater detail.
1. The first complicating factor is that Rottweilers are a large dog breed.
2. The second complicating factor is that what is an appropriate level and type of exercise for a puppy is going to be different than for an adult or senior Rottweiler dog.
3. The third complicating factor is that Rottweilers aren’t as high-energy as most people think.
The Rottweiler Is a True Working Dog
The Rottweiler doesn’t just look noble – these dogs hail from a noble lineage that dates all the way back to the time of the Roman Empire.
When the Roman legions were out acquiring and defending their ever-expanding territories in Western Europe, they had to bring along livestock to feed themselves. The Rottweiler came along to guard and protect the herds along the way.
In this way, they are thought to have descended from even more ancient Asian dogs in the mastiff category – big, strong, tough, and fearless.
Today, Rottweilers have outlasted the need for dogs to herd livestock and have easily transitioned into other lines of work, including K-9, military, police, private security, personal protection, service, search and rescue, and canine athletics.
In this YouTube video, you can watch one Rottweiler owner putting his Rottie through their paces to work out different muscle groups and build strength and endurance.
Are Rottweilers High Energy Dogs?
While Rottweilers have the capacity to work all day and all night and have done so for centuries, these dogs actually don’t need as much exercise as many new owners think.
In fact, it is important not to over-exercise a Rottweiler puppy or young adult dog. This can cause injury and even permanent lameness.
On a grander scale, if you consider that a dog like a Dutch Shepherd or Blue Heeler is a “10” on the energy level scale and a Basset Hound is a “1,” the Rottweiler would actually be right around a five to six.
When it is time to work, the Rottweiler is all about getting the job done. And when it is time to relax with their people, the Rottweiler can relax with gusto.
Why Is It Dangerous to Exercise a Rottweiler Too Much?
This can make it pretty confusing to figure out how much exercise Rottweilers actually do need on a daily basis.
In this article, we will break it down in general terms by age. Rottweilers, like all large dog breeds, grow up slowly. It can take a Rottweiler puppy 24 months or even longer to completely grow up and fill out to its full adult size.
This is important to know because until the Rottweiler’s bones, ligaments, and muscles completely stop growing, the growth plates won’t solidify and fuse. This means that offering too much exercise too early can cause serious injury!
For this reason, it is vital to talk with your dog’s veterinarian before increasing exercise during the first 24 months of life. Your vet will be able to examine your dog to verify if the growth plates are closed and it is safe to do more vigorous exercise.
What Motivates a Rottweiler to Exercise?
Remember earlier here when we said the Rottweiler is considered to be a medium energy level dog?
This is not to say that Rottweilers don’t have tremendous strength or stamina or that they will stop working before the job is done. Nothing could be less true!
But what motivates a Rottweiler dog to work isn’t what most people assume. Rottweilers are pure “people dogs” in every way. A Rottweiler is motivated by people in every way.
Rottweilers love to work and serve alongside people. The job doesn’t actually matter as much as the fact that these dogs want to do what their people are doing and go wherever their people are going.
Praise, pats, playtime, positive reinforcement of every kind, and, above all, positive training methods are what will motivate a Rottweiler to exercise and stay fit.
It is particularly important to know this because, as All Pets Animal Hospital points out, Rottweilers can be prone to put on weight.
This means giving your dog enough daily activity and exercise is also important so they will stay at a healthy weight.
How Much Exercise Does a Rottweiler Puppy Need?
Rottweiler puppies start out very small and cute. But then, as the American Rottweiler Club (ARC) highlights, they start to get bigger….much bigger.
According to ARC, male Rottweilers in adulthood typically weigh between 95 and 127 pounds and may stand anywhere from 24 to 27 inches (paw pads to shoulders).
Female adult Rottweilers typically weigh between 75 and 95 pounds with a height ranging from 24 to 27 inches (paw pads to shoulders).
This means that your Rottie puppy will have a lot going on just doing all that growing. Rottweilers can take a longer time to grow up and will need moderate exercise only until their bones are fully formed and their growth plates have fused and hardened.
Smaller Rottweilers may grow up more quickly, so it is a good idea to learn what size each parent dog was so you know what to expect.
There is an easy formula you can use to guesstimate the right amount of daily exercise for your Rottweiler puppy. This formula is based entirely on your puppy’s age, so always talk with your veterinarian to determine a customized exercise plan.
But the formula can be useful as a general guideline: take your Rottweiler’s age and multiply that by five minutes.
A six-month-old Rottweiler will need 30 minutes of high quality, appropriate exercise per day. A 12-month-old Rottweiler will need double that. By adulthood, you can aim for one to two hours of activity per day and adjust as needed.
Here, appropriate exercise means an activity that won’t stress out your puppy’s still-developing skeleton, muscles, cartilage, joints, and bones. Walking is better than running and soft surfaces are better than hard surfaces until adulthood.
How Much Exercise Does a Rottweiler Adult Dog Need?
As Canine Journal explains, Rottweilers do best when their workouts are split up into at least two sessions.
This way your dog receives a healthy balance of activity and rest, which is particularly important in puppyhood and young adulthood as you just learned.
Rottweilers enjoy walks and run with their people but they are also extremely playful and love to engage in interactive games. Fetch, tug-of-war, treat scavenger hunts, frisbee, and other games are a great way to pack in some extra activity.
What Kinds of Exercises Do Rottweiler Dogs Enjoy?
Rottweilers are stellar athletes and can do it all. The Rottweiler has a double layer coat with a water-repellant outer layer and a soft, insulating inner layer – a coat type that is made for braving the elements and even water.
Rottweilers are frequently found competing in agility, dock diving, search and rescue, herding, tracking, obedience, carting and droving, swimming, and other types of canine athletics.
Rottweilers are also a breed of choice for official K-9 jobs like nose work, tracking, search and rescue, police, military, guide dog to the blind, service and therapy dog, and protection/guarding.
Because Rottweilers are so intensely smart, they need both physical exercise and also exercise for their minds to stay happy and healthy as companion canines.
As one canine behaviorist stated, Rottweilers score so high on learning and retaining commands in less than five tries that they rank as the 9th smartest dog breed (out of 79 evaluated breeds).
Any exercise that is approved by your dog’s veterinarian and includes both a physical and a mental component is going to be a great choice for a Rottweiler dog.
Are you living with a Rottweiler dog? What kinds of exercises do you and your Rottie like to do together? Share your stories in the comments.