Can A Rottweiler Be An Inside Dog?

Rottweilers have a long history as rugged working and guard dogs. They originated as mastiffs in the Roman Empire over 2000 years ago, marching through the Alps with the Roman legions and protecting livestock.[1] Later they were used as cattle droving dogs that helped move herds to the market.[2] This work gave them a strong guarding instinct that has contributed to their reputation as aggressive dogs. However, with proper training and socialization from an early age, Rottweilers can adapt well to being loving family pets, even in an indoor environment. The question remains whether their size, exercise needs and guardian tendencies make them better suited to live outdoors.

Size and Space Needs

Adult Rottweilers are medium to large dogs, ranging in weight from 80-135 lbs for females and 95-135 lbs for males (1). Given their large size, Rottweilers require adequate indoor space to accommodate exercise and play.

Rottweiler puppies grow rapidly, gaining 2-3 lbs per week from birth up to 6 months old (2). Their considerable size and excitable energy levels mean they can easily knock things over if spaces are too small. Providing a spacious home environment allows Rottweilers the room to run around safely.

While Rottweilers can adapt to apartment living if sufficiently exercised, a house with a securely fenced yard is ideal. Their average height is 22-27 inches at the shoulder, so they take up a fair amount of floor space (3).





Exercise Requirements

Rottweilers have high exercise needs and require vigorous exercise daily. According to PitPat, adult Rottweilers need approximately 80 minutes of exercise per day, which can be divided into multiple walks or play sessions. Without adequate exercise, Rottweilers may become frustrated or destructive.

Experts recommend Rottweilers receive at least 30-60 minutes of brisk exercise every day. This exercise can include walking, jogging, playing fetch, or participating in canine sports like agility. Puppies and adolescents should not be over-exercised, as their joints are still developing. But they do require more exercise than the average dog to expend their energy.

If a Rottweiler does not get enough exercise, they are more likely to display undesirable behaviors like chewing, digging, barking, or aggression. Their high energy level needs an outlet, so daily walks and playtime are essential. Exercise also provides mental stimulation and strengthens the bond between dog and owner.


Rottweiler puppies should begin training and socialization starting at 8-10 weeks old according to the American Kennel Club ( Early obedience training and socialization helps Rottweilers become well-adjusted adult dogs. Rottweilers respond best to positive reinforcement training methods such as praise, play, and food rewards. Harsh training methods should be avoided, as this breed does not respond well to them.

Rottweiler puppies have a short attention span, so training sessions should be brief, limited to just a few minutes at a time. Basic obedience commands like sit, stay, come, heel, and down should be taught first using positive rewards. More advanced training can come later as the dog matures. Consistency is important when training a Rottweiler. All members of the household should use the same commands and training techniques.

Early socialization is critical for Rottweilers. Exposing them to a variety of people, animals, places, and situations helps prevent overprotectiveness and aggression later in life. Puppy kindergarten classes are a great way to socialize Rottweiler puppies. Supervised interactions with friendly adult dogs can teach good play skills. Ongoing socialization opportunities should continue throughout a Rottweiler’s life.

While Rottweilers are intelligent and eager to please, they can exhibit stubbornness at times. Obedience training helps manage any unwanted behaviors before they become problematic. A well-trained and socialized Rottweiler can be an excellent companion and family dog.

Grooming Needs

Rottweilers have a double coat that sheds moderately year-round. Their short undercoat will shed heavily about twice a year during seasonal “blowouts.” Rottweilers require weekly brushing to remove dead hair and distribute skin oils.1
Regular brushing also helps prevent matting in their medium-length outer coat and keeps their coat looking shiny. Using a slicker brush and undercoat rake can help remove loose hair when brushing.2 Bathing every 6-8 weeks using a dog-safe shampoo will keep their coat clean and healthy.

Guarding Instincts

Rottweilers have very strong guarding instincts and will often bark at or growl at strangers. This breed has been used for guarding livestock and property for centuries. Their natural protectiveness and territoriality make them excellent guard dogs. According to the AKC, “Rotties have retained their ‘wait and see’ approach to strangers” (source). However, without proper training and socialization, their barking and growling can become overly aggressive. Rottweilers must be taught proper boundaries and trained how to control their guarding instincts from puppyhood. With consistent training, Rottweilers can learn when barking is appropriate and when to stand down. Their natural wariness of strangers can be managed so they don’t become a danger. Proper training and socialization are key to curbing aggressive tendencies in this protective breed.

Interaction with Children

Rottweilers can do well with children if raised with them from puppyhood. However, supervision is recommended when Rottweilers are around young children due to the breed’s large size and strength. Rottweilers are gentle dogs by nature but accidents can happen if a large, energetic dog knocks over a small child unintentionally.

Rottweiler puppies should be socialized early on with children of different ages. This helps the dog learn to interact appropriately with kids. Proper training is also key – Rottweilers should be taught basic obedience cues like “sit” and “stay” so children can control the dog if needed. Rottweilers can make great family pets, but parents should always monitor young children in their interactions.

Some experts advise waiting until children are around 10 years old before bringing home a Rottweiler. By this age, children are more responsible and less likely to accidentally get hurt by a large dog. Families with younger children may want to consider a smaller, gentler breed. No matter what, all interactions between children and Rottweilers should be supervised.

Overall, Rottweilers tend to be good-natured and devoted to their families. With the right training and socialization, they can be trusted, patient companions for children they’ve grown up with. But their size means they require prudent monitoring around little ones.

Interaction with Other Pets

Rottweilers can do well with other pets in the home, especially if they are raised with them from an early age. According to, many Rottweilers get along with other dogs when properly socialized. However, Rottweilers do have a strong prey drive given their history as a herding breed, so they may be inclined to chase small pets like cats or small dogs. With early and ongoing socialization, starting as a puppy, Rottweilers can learn to coexist peacefully with other pets. But supervision is always advisable when interacting with smaller animals.

Health Issues

Rottweilers are prone to certain health conditions, with hip dysplasia and cancer being among the most common.

Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition where the hip joint does not form properly, leading to arthritis and lameness. According to the Common Health Issues and Genetic Disorders in Rottweilers article, around 20% of Rottweilers are affected by hip dysplasia.

Cancer is another common health problem in the breed. According to the Rottweiler Health article from the Rottweiler Club, cancer accounts for about 38% of deaths in Rottweilers. The most common cancers seen are lymphoma, bone cancer and soft tissue sarcomas.

The typical lifespan of a Rottweiler is 8-10 years. With proper care and health screening, some can live up to 12 years. However, health problems like cancer can cut their lifespan short.


In summary, Rottweilers are large, powerful dogs with high exercise needs and a strong guarding instinct. However, with proper training and socialization from an early age, they can adapt well to life as indoor family pets. Key points include:

  • Rottweilers need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. Daily walks and playtime are a must.
  • Though Rottweilers can be gentle with children, supervision is recommended due to their size.
  • Early socialization helps minimize territorial instincts. Rottweilers can coexist with other pets when properly introduced.
  • Training is essential for managing behaviors like jumping, mouthing, and barking.
  • Grooming requirements are moderate. Rottweilers shed seasonally and need occasional bathing.
  • Health issues like hip dysplasia should be screened for by reputable breeders.

With their affectionate nature and devotion to family, Rottweilers can thrive as indoor pets in homes prepared to meet their substantial needs for training, exercise and companionship.

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