It sure can be hard to pick just one when you are staring down a whole litter of adorable Rottweiler puppies!
But beyond the obvious cuteness, there are certain things to look for that will tell you a lot more about how that puppy will behave (or misbehave) as a strong and powerful adult dog.
Here, the breeder you choose to work with definite matters, and we will talk more about that in this article.
But the individual puppy you choose matters equally as much. Read on to learn what to look for when choosing a Rottweiler puppy from a litter.
How to Choose a Rottweiler Puppy From a Litter?
There are several key steps to take when you are choosing a high-quality Rottweiler puppy that will meet your needs and expectations.
Most importantly, however, you want to research the breeder, the health and temperament of the parent dogs, the puppy’s lineage (to be sure the puppy is a purebred Rottie), and the puppy’s behavior around you and their littermates.
Tell the breeder exactly what traits you are looking for, such as size, prey drive, temperament, and gender. Experienced breeders will be eager to share information and can help match you with the ideal puppy.
Learn About Picking a Protection Dog from a Professional K-9 Trainer
In this YouTube video, you can learn a lot about what to look for when you are picking out a Rottweiler for a family guard dog.
This video delves into the famous Rottweiler “prey drive” and “chase instinct,” which is what most people want when they choose the Rottweiler dog breed, even if they don’t know that is what these instincts are called.
As you will see, the seven-week-old Rottie puppy in the video has plenty of prey drive and chase instinct – and the K-9 trainer thinks he will make an excellent protection dog!
Steps to Choosing Your Rottweiler Puppy From a Litter
There are several important steps you need to take when you are searching for a Rottweiler puppy to add to your family.
This section will review each of these steps in the order you should complete them.
Step 1. Choose your Rottweiler breeder carefully
The American Rottweiler Club states that the first step is to identify a high-quality Rottweiler breeder to work with.
A high-quality Rottweiler breeder will willingly answer each of the following questions and may even volunteer the information before you ask:
- Eagerly answers all of your questions about pedigree, vaccinations, pre-breeding genetic health testing results, and more.
- Welcomes you to visit their kennel and meet the parent dogs and tour the facility.
- Provides an initial guarantee of health that lasts for at least 12 months.
- Does not pressure you or try a “hard sell” technique.
- Is willing to tell you how many times the female has been bred previously (never commit to a puppy from a female dog that has been bred more than three times).
- Provides proof of American Kennel Club (AKC) registration in good standing and provides puppy papers (proof of pedigree registration).
- Is happy to talk about price and how to arrange to finance.
- Puts the puppy’s health and wellbeing first in all matters.
- Refuses to let the puppy go home with you before the age of eight weeks.
- Readily provides a “take back” guarantee if the puppy does not work out for any reason.
- Is willing to make themselves available long-term to provide help and guidance as your puppy grows up.
As you can see, there is a lot here to think through when choosing your Rottweiler puppy’s breeder. But the quality of the breeder is very closely correlated with the quality of the puppy, so it is wise to invest a lot of time here in step one.
Step 2. Decide whether you want a “show quality” or “pet quality” puppy
The next step in the process is to decide whether you want a Rottweiler puppy that is considered to be show quality or pet quality.
As Von Warterr Rottweilers breeder explains, a show quality Rottweiler is going to be more expensive but may come with breeding rights and a promising future on the competitive circuit.
Of course, these options will likely only be important if you want to breed Rottweilers are get involved in dog show competitions.
A pet quality Rottweiler, as the name suggests, is a puppy the breeder thinks does not meet the ideal breed standard as closely but will still make a wonderful companion canine for someone who doesn’t care about competitions or future dog breeding.
Pet quality Rottweiler puppies are usually less expensive and typically come with the requirement to provide proof of spay/neuter within a certain time frame.
The choice between a show quality Rottweiler and a pet quality Rottweiler is a very personal one. There is no right or wrong answer here. Often the difference between the two puppies is indistinguishable to all but professional breeders and show judges.
Step 3. Be sure to meet both parent dogs
As we mentioned in step one here earlier, it is vitally important to meet the puppy’s parents. This is how you get to see what your puppy will likely look like and act like when all grown up.
Be very wary of any breeder that does not let you meet both parent dogs and come to visit the kennel. This is a huge red flag that something may be wrong, as Coalfire Rottweilers breeder points out.
Step 4. Put the puppies through their paces to evaluate temperament
In the video you watched here earlier, you listened to an experienced K-9 trainer talk about temperament traits to look for when choosing a protection dog.
People have all kinds of reasons for choosing a Rottweiler. In fact, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Rottweiler is the eighth most popular pet dog in the United States right now!
However, most people are hoping their new puppy will grow up into a good guard dog and protection dog for themselves and their family. So you want to watch for prey drive and the chase instinct, sociability towards people, confidence and playfulness.
You want to choose a puppy that is calm and comfortable when being handled and exhibits curiosity about you and a willingness to interact.
The puppy should be bright-eyed and energetic, with healthy skin and coat, clear nose and eyes, and tail region and size-appropriate for age. The puppy should appear plump but not portly – weight should be appropriate to age, length, and height.
A reputable breeder will also require you to have your own veterinarian check the puppy out within 24 to 48 hours of delivery as a part of providing the initial guarantee of health.
Step 5. Make sure you introduce the puppy to any other pets before committing
Finally, it is important to recognize that Rottweilers and other dog breeds do not always mix well. Rottweilers in general do not tend to mix well with other family pets due to their strong chase instinct and prey drive.
Rottweilers that are well-bred, well-socialized, and well-trained will be able to get along with other family dogs and perhaps confident family cats.
But other smaller family pets like reptiles, birds, and rodents end up in harm’s way far too often with a Rottweiler.
It is vitally important to introduce the new Rottie puppy to any other dogs in your family before you make the commitment just to be sure the two will get along reasonably well.
However, the company of another family dog will never be a substitute for your company when it comes to a Rottweiler. Rottweilers want to be with their people and no other companion will be an adequate stand-in.
Consider Bringing an Experienced Rottie Owner With You to Choose Your Puppy
If this is your first time selecting a Rottweiler puppy from a litter at a breeder’s facility, understand this can be stressful.
There is a lot of pressure. Reputable breeders with good reputations often have a waiting list for each puppy they produce and you may be very aware of the long and impatient line of owners behind you.
While this isn’t for everyone, you may want to just ponder the idea of asking an experienced Rottweiler owner who has been through the process before to come with you.
This way, you can make the best use of your time visiting the breeder’s kennel and meeting the puppies in person. While you are playing with the puppies and taking a look around, your friend can be evaluating each puppy and chatting up the breeder.
It is always nice to have a second or third pair of eyes to help with such an important and long-term decision since your puppy will likely be with you for at least the next decade!