Rottweilers are a big, loving, and silly breed that makes a great addition to nearly any family. They are working dogs that have seen many jobs since they’ve come to be, such as police dogs, herding dogs, guard dogs, and hunting dogs. With all these types of jobs, are they good runners?
Are Rottweilers running dogs? The boxy, heavy, and muscular bodies of a Rottweiler mean they can’t run fast for too long. A healthy and well-conditioned Rottweiler can run short distances (up to 25 miles per hour) but they are not built for endurance, long-distance runs. The earliest age they can run is 18 months as they need their bones and ligaments to mature.
Though Rottweilers are not the greatest runners, they are still reasonably active dogs. It is always vital that they get a lot of exercise. Let’s take a look at what makes them such bad runners and how you can make sure they get the best kinds of activity without all that running around.
Are Rottweilers Running Dogs?
A healthy and active Rottweiler can run fast over short distances. This is something you can train and condition them for.
How fast can a Rottweiler run? If your dog is in very good shape, speeds of up to 25 miles per hour are possible. The Rottweiler in the video below clocks 27 miles per hour (45 km per hour).
For the average Rottweiler, expect a maximum of 16 miles per hour for a short time. Bruno, the Rottweiler, ran out of steam at the 15-minute mark after being active in the park.
How do you think your Rottie will go?
Can Rottweilers sustain a fast pace over longer distances? No, they will run out of steam, panting on the ground with their big tongue lolling out of their mouth.
So if you want to sprint with your Rottie on the track or in the park, go for it.
They don’t have the body type for long runs. This isn’t to say that they are lazy, powerless dogs. Far from it, in fact. Rottweilers are a working breed, which means they were bred to expend a lot of energy and continuously be on the move.
Rottweilers love swimming, walking, and a sustained slow trot, which is about the maximum speed they like to maintain.
You’ll need to keep it to a brisk walk at the most if you want your dog to enjoy their walks with you.
Too much sustained running can increase the breed’s risk of developing hip dysplasia. So there is yet another reason why they should not be coerced into running too much.
How Should A Rottweiler Get Their Exercise?
Rottweilers don’t have the same level of speed or agility that many other dogs are born with. Even some larger breeds are still better runners than Rottweilers. Unfortunately, running isn’t in the cards for these brown and black dogs.
It is important to remember that this breed is prone to becoming overweight, so they must get enough exercise. What can you do to get a Rottweiler enough exercise? Well, we’re glad you asked.
They Like Long Walks
You might think that because they don’t like to run, they might not want to walk either. You’d be wrong. Rottweilers love to walk. In fact, they should be walked every day and for at least an hour.
That’s a lot of walking for a dog that hates running, you might say. You’d be correct.
They don’t even need to stop for an hour a day. If you want to walk further, your Rottie will oblige.
Since they are such a muscular breed, they need to put those muscles to work hard, every day, to stave off health problems related to inactivity.
Take Them On A Hike
It might seem that they wouldn’t be that great at hiking either, but they love it. Just like any other dog, they love the outdoors, and the chance to see a squirrel or a bird can always make their day.
As long as you don’t make the hike’s pace too brutal, they will not have a problem keeping up. Just remember the water and collapsible dog bowl.
They Like To Go For A Swim
If you have a pool, you can burn some calories playing fetch in the pool or going for a swim with your furry friend.
If not a pool, the local pond or lake can be of good use to you and your Rottie. For some dog-friendly swimming options, have a read of this article.
The breed has seen action as hunting dogs. Somewhere in their ancestral memories are visions of retrieving animals for their masters. Putting your Rottweiler to work in the water is a great way to exercise them without placing stress on the joints, their main physical weakness.
Fetch Is Still An Option
Short bursts of running, like in the game fetch, are great for an active and healthy Rottweiler.
They will chase that frisbee or tennis ball until they start panting and drooling.
Playing fetch in the yard is a great way to help your dog burn some calories while staying at home.
How Much Exercise Is Enough For A Rottweiler?
Once they are past the puppy stage and into the young dog stage, around eighteen months, a Rottweiler can handle a lot of exercise. A healthy Rottie should tolerate around two hours of exercise a day, but they can go beyond that as well.
Their heritage has made them into hard-working dogs that have an innate desire to get stuff done. Don’t be surprised to find that you are the one that gets tired first after an hour’s walk, a swim, and a rousing game of fetch.
Though they require a decent amount of exercise daily, about an hour is sufficient to keep a rottweiler happy and healthy in the home. Other working breeds of similar size can even require more work every day to keep them in prime shape.
Keep in mind that you should watch for signs of exhaustion in your dog when you’ve been going at it for an extended amount of time. Sometimes their willingness to please and play can outweigh their need for rest. But, again, don’t be surprised if they outlast you.
So, if you are looking for a large dog that requires a medium amount of exercise, the Rottie might be what you’re looking for. As long as you aren’t looking for a long-distance running partner.
You Know Your Dog
If you are willing to invest time in your Rottie and build their fitness and stamina, you could enjoy sprints or light jogs with them.
Vary their exercise: don’t sprint or jog all the time as that will create injury. Include walking and swimming in the exercise mix.
Keep an eye out for fatigue. Stop for a rest or turn back and try again on another day.
Rottweilers, Good At Many Things…Except Running
So, are Rottweilers running dogs? The breed has been around for possibly thousands of years, had many titles, and worked many different jobs. But due to their extensive breeding aimed towards making a larger, heavier dog, they are not long-distance runners. Their hefty musculature and powerful frame makes them better for short bursts or long days of trotting.
We can’t fault them for this, and we really can’t look for ways to make them into a running dog at this point. If your goal is to get a dog that can go on runs with you, it would be wise to look at different breeds that are cut out for the running lifestyle. We’ve created these handy breed guides if you want to run with the following:
- Golden Retriever
- German Short Haired Pointer
- Siberian Husky
- Tree Walking Coonhound
- Best small dogs.
We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but now we know that this breed of dog isn’t cut out to run a marathon anytime soon. Fortunately, if you were looking for a large, friendly, and loyal dog that can be an excellent guard dog as well as a companion, you needn’t look any further than the Rottweilers.
Other Resources For You
If you are passionate about running with a dog, we’ve got some additional resources for you:
- Run a marathon with your dog. Read about it here.
- Best running dog breeds? Find out here.
- Like to go trail running with your dog? We’ve got you covered.
- How can you train your dog to be a running partner? Check out this article.