7 Tips to Bring Home a Healthy Rottweiler Puppy


7 Tips to Bring Home a Healthy Rottweiler Puppy

  1. Don't ever buy a Rottweiler puppy from unethical breeders such as pet stores or Internet retailers who know virtually nothing about the breed and its genetic and temperament challenges. These people can often be identified by a tendency to advertise the extreme: Super large Rotties or exceptionally “game,” which is a code word for a dog who’s determined to win any fight he gets into. 
  2. Choose a breeder who is not only willing but insists on being a resource in helping you train and care for your new dog. The ARC has guidelines on how to interview and select a Rottweiler breeder and any breeder who can't provide you with this documentation, or who tells you these health problems don't happen in her lines or aren't "really" a concern, is either dishonest or completely ignorant about Rottweilers. 
  3. Ask your breeder to see the results of genetic screening tests. The American Rottweiler Club requires its member breeders to screen all breeding dogs for hip dysplasia. The clearance should be from either the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) or the University of Pennsylvania (PennHip). ARC also requires breeders to have OFA clearance on breeding dogs' elbows, as those joints can also be dysplastic. Additionally, breeders must have their dogs' eyes cleared each year by the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF). Finally, OFA clearance of the parents' cardiac health is required. 
  4. Look for a breeder who will do even more than the required minimum testing. Certification by the American Temperament Test Society (ATT), OFA clearance of the parents' thyroids, and certification that the parents are free of inherited bleeding disorders like Von Willebrand's Disease are all signs of a truly dedicated breeder. 
  5. Consider an adult dog from a shelter or a rescue group. Many of the health and behavior problems in Rottweilers aren't apparent in puppyhood, but by adopting an older dog, most of them can be ruled out. In addition, Rotties can live 10 years or longer, so an adult dog will still be a part of your family for a long time to come. 
  6. Puppy or adult, take your Rottweiler to your veterinarian soon after adoption. Your veterinarian will be able to spot visible problems, and will work with you to set up a preventive regimen that will help you avoid many health issues. Ask specifically about monitoring your dog for joint problems as well as heart and vision diseases. 
  7. Make sure you have a good contract with the seller, shelter or rescue group that spells out responsibilities on both sides. In states with “puppy lemon laws,” be sure you and the person you get the dog from both understand your rights and recourses.