A Rottweiler is a working dog hailing from the town of Rottweil in Germany. In fact, their full name is the Rottweiler Metzgerhund which translates as butcher’s dogs of Rottweil. They would guard livestock on the way to market and sometimes pull carts laden with butchered meat.
Today they’re used in a variety of professions. They are K-9 officers for police forces or military units, service dogs, personal protection dogs and some even excel at canine sports such a canicross or agility.
These amazing dogs are a powerful, extremely loyal breed that, with the proper training, make fantastic family pets.
If you are considering adding one of these devoted, confident dogs to your household, you may be wondering just exactly how much exercise does a Rottweiler need?
Your Rottweiler is an active breed that needs plenty of exercise and training to keep them happy. You should give your dog between 1-3 hours of fun every day.
This should include going on interesting walks with extra playtime and games of fetch in the garden while also providing mental stimulation through puzzles, obedience training and games like tug of war.
Yes, they are active dogs but not especially boisterous. However, a Rottweiler does need plenty of mental exercises to provide an outlet for any pent up energy.
In Comparison To Other Dog Breeds?
Compared to other dogs of a similar size, such as Labradors, Boxers and German Shepherds, which are high-energy dogs. You may be surprised to learn that your Rottweiler doesn’t need quite as much physical activity.
Why is Exercise Vital For Your Rottweiler?
Exercise is an integral part of maintaining your Rottweiler’s health. If you don’t provide them with enough, your Rottweiler can become overweight and develop all sorts of health problems down the line.
A Rottweiler is a large, powerful breed that enjoys walks, but they are also happy playing games and they love a job to do. As long as you pack in some extra activities, such as interactive games, playing fetch and tug, you will have a happy dog.
They can be prone to joint problems like most big dogs, so doing exercises that build their core strength are beneficial to this breed.
Check out some core strengthening exercises for your Rottweiler below
How Much Exercise Does a Rottweiler Need?
On a scale of 1-10, with a Bassett Hound being a one and a Belgian Malinios being a ten, a Rottweiler is around a 6-7 in exercise needs. This dog breed is large, heavy and it takes a long time for their joints and muscles to develop fully.
They are pretty active as they were originally bred to work all day but does your Rottweiler need walking for hours? The answer is no.
Even though the kennel club recommends 2 hours plus a day, 1-2 hours a day is OK for most dogs as long as your Rottweiler gets some additional mental stimulation and training.
A rottweiler’s exercise needs should be tailored to their age and general well-being and it’s essential not to let this dog breed become overweight as this could lead to health issues as your dog gets older.
Best Types of Exercise for Rottweilers
Rottweilers need a moderate and varied exercise routine to keep them in tip-top condition The following are the best types of canine activity for your Rottie
Two 30 minute dog walks a day is sufficient for most Rottweilers, although they will need extra playtime on top of that. They are not suited to very long hikes when they are young, but if they are used to plenty of exercises, most healthy adult Rottweilers certainly have the stamina for longer walks.
Weight pulling for a Rottweiler
With their muscular body, Rotties are a powerful dog that does well with a bit of weight training; you can use a weighted backpack, a harness for weight pulling or even buy or build a special cart.
Dogs can pull up to 2-3 times their body weight, so it’s perfectly feasible to get your Rottweiler helping you to gather firewood or bring back the groceries from the store.
Core strengthening exercises
Using balance boards, walking backwards or walking on uneven surfaces are all great ways to increase your dog’s core strength. Below, we’ve listed some benefits of core strength exercises.
- Improves your Rottweiler’s balance
- It gives your dog greater stability and takes the stress of some of the weaker joints.
- Strengthens the spine making it less prone to injury
- Improves performance whilst exercising, making them less prone to injuries
Rottweilers are pretty smart, so puzzle toys and games are an excellent way of keeping them occupied while at the same time giving their brain a workout.
There are plenty to choose from online, although some can be expensive. You can make your own simply hide some treats under a few empty tin cans or make some holes in a plastic bottle and fill it with goodies.
Playing tug “o” war
There’s a myth that playing tug with your pup will make them aggressive, this is not the case and it has many benefits for dogs. The game is one of the most intense forms of physical exercise; it’s mentally challenging too.
Tug builds your dog’s confidence and helps increase their impulse control as well as improving basic obedience; best of all, it’s great fun for both dog and owner.
Can Rottweilers Have Too Much Exercise?
Yes, you can; I know from personal experience when I took a six-month-old Rottweiler on holiday with a couple who owned an extremely energetic Jack Russell. She came home with several issues that resulted in a trip to the vets.
However, these are powerful dogs and a healthy adult Rottweiler can walk all day but below are some signs your pooch has had enough.
- Your dog takes a long time to recover after their daily exercise
- Excessive panting
- Extreme thirst
- Your Rottweiler lagging behind on a walk
- Limping or lameness
- Stiffness, your Rottweiler finds it difficult to get up.
How Much Exercise Does a Senior Rottweiler Need?
Just like us humans, senior dogs slow down a bit and don’t need as much exercise as young dogs. However, Rottweilers can be prone to weight gain, so it’s essential to reduce their food intake accordingly if not doing as much physical activity.
Like many large dog breeds, Rotties can be prone to issues like Hip Dysplasia. If your Rottweiler doesn’t mind the water, swimming can be an excellent exercise for older dogs as it burns calories without putting stress on their joints.
Just remember they are a heavy and dense breed meaning they aren’t the best swimmers, so maybe invest in a life jacket to help them stay afloat and give them more confidence in the water.
How Much Exercise Does a Rottweiler Puppy Need?
Too much exercise can be dangerous for Rottweiler puppies, so it’s vital they get the appropriate exercise that won’t interfere with the development of their joints, bones, muscles and cartilage.
A puppy may suffer from damage to their growth plates when partaking in vigorous exercise, which could cause deformities and affect their movement as they grow, so no jogging on hard surfaces or jumping until your puppy is around 18 months of age.
It’s best to limit their physical activity to a couple of daily walks and burn off any excess energy with a game of tug of war, fetch or mental exercises such as obedience training with lots of positive reinforcement and core strengthening workouts.
Of course, it’s also essential your young pup socialises with other puppies too, so you can arrange some puppy play dates; just make sure playtime doesn’t get too exuberant.
If you notice any problems with how your dog is walking or running, take them straight to the vet so that these issues don’t worsen into chronic pain!
Puppy age exercise needs
Activity levels will depend on your puppy’s age:
- 3-month-old puppy – As a general rule of thumb, a puppy needs 5 minutes of exercise per month of age, so a puppy of 12 weeks needs approximately 15 minutes. A couple of very short walks and some mental stimulation in between provided by training and games should suffice.
- 6-month-old puppy – This is a tricky age, especially if you have an energetic dog as most will happily follow you for miles; however, your puppy should only have around 30 minutes of walking.
- To burn more energy, training exercises are essential to prevent your Rottweiler puppy from developing destructive behaviours like excessive barking and chewing
- 12-month-old puppy – A 12-month-old Rottie puppy should be able to handle 60 minutes of exercise daily, which once again should be combined with mental exercise, so they do not become bored and get up to mischief.
How much should a Rottweiler run?
Although they were bred to herd livestock, Rotties are not built for speed, many Rottweilers can run for short distances, but they shouldn’t do so until they are at least 18 months of age and all their bones, joints and ligaments are fully developed.
Why Do They Always Pull on the Lead?
This comes down squarely to training, find great tips and training techniques to stop Rottweilers lead pulling antics.
Are Rottweilers naturally lazy?
Like humans, some Rottweilers are happy to lie on the couch all day, whilst others have got more get up and go.
They are usually a placid breed, but as a working dog, they still need moderate exercise to keep them healthy, so get them off the couch and get working out with your dog. The fitter they are, the more exercise they can cope with.
How do you tire a Rottweiler?
There are many ways to tire out your dog, have a training session and get them to learn new things. Try dog toys; playing fetch is also good, as are tug games. You could even build your own obstacle course in the garden.
Which Harness Should They Wear
This will be one of the best investments you can make, we have a full list of harnesses available for this breed.
As responsible Rottie owners, it’s down to us to make sure our pets are getting enough exercise, but just how much exercise is suitable for this lovable dog breed?
As we’ve mentioned above, your Rottweiler’s age needs to be considered; it’s essential not to over-exercise your Rottweiler puppy or elderly Rottweiler as they could result in injury, unnecessary pain and costly vet bills.
As an adult though, this sturdy working dog is capable of relatively long hikes and can easily cope with 1-2 hours a day.
This is just an approximate guide; if you want to know exactly what exercises you should be doing tailored to your dogs’ needs, speak to your vet. It’s always a good idea to take out pet insurance early to ensure you are covered should your dog have any problems.
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