There’s a lot to think about when you are getting a Rottweiler.
Even the American Rottweiler Club will tell you that Rottweilers aren’t for everyone. Owning and caring for a Rottweiler involves responsibility and commitment.
Rottweilers need a calm, reliable, stable “alpha dog,” who will be you. They need exercise every day.
More than other breeds, they need to be socialized to other dogs, animals, and a variety of people while they are puppies.
But if you provide Rottweilers with the love, structure, and discipline they need, they make great dogs.
Keeping Rottweilers in apartments, however, gets a little tricky.
Yes, Rottweilers can live in apartments
Rottweilers can thrive in apartments. Apartment living is more suitable for adult Rottweilers than for puppies because puppies are more active.
Rottweilers need to get most of their exercise outdoors, so they don’t need a lot of space or special accommodations in your apartment.
It isn’t the time that Rottweilers spend inside your apartment that is critical to their wellbeing.
It’s the time that Rottweilers spend outside your apartment getting exercise and the time they spend getting constant reinforcement that you are in charge.
If you understand the special needs of your Rottweiler, and you are committed to giving your Rottweiler a healthy living space, apartment living should be fine.
Let’s take a hard look at the pros and cons of living in an apartment with your Rottweiler
Can you really have a happy experience with a Rottweiler living in an apartment? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.
Pros for living in an apartment with a Rottweiler
Apartment living can actually be a very rewarding experience for you and your Rottweiler.
Rottweilers have earned a reputation for defending their people with ferocity.
You don’t have a lot of worries about a home invasion when you own a Rottweiler. But Rottweilers are friendly and affectionate with the people who take care of them.
You can train them so they are friendly with your neighbors and friends, too.
Many dogs are prone to separation anxiety. They bark, howl, and moan from the minute their humans leave until they hear their people at the door.
When you live in an apartment, your Rottweiler will get used to your being nearby.
They won’t suffer separation anxiety when you are at home, as they might in a large house, and they will always find things with your scent to remind them of you when you step out or go to work.
Rottweilers will follow you around like a puppy even when they become old dogs if you live in a large house. They will “help” you do the laundry, and they will watch you work in the kitchen.
But in an apartment, they will always know that you are nearby and relax in their favorite places.
Cons for living in an apartment with a Rottweiler
A lot of negatives that come with living in an apartment with a Rottweiler get better with age. But you’ll need to consider:
- Rottweilers need bathroom breaks more often than other breeds, especially when they are puppies.
- Rottweilers aren’t dogs that can be left alone inside all day. They need access to a fenced yard, doggie daycare, or several visits for a walk and playtime every day. Otherwise, they are prone to “accidents” and tearing up things. They may chew on things they aren’t supposed to chew on. This situation is the one in which they are most likely to become violent with the mailman, a repair person, your cleaning person, a delivery person, and so on. Boredom brings out the worst in your Rottweiler.
- You need liability insurance, and your landlord may require you to get liability insurance if you keep a Rottweiler in your apartment. Even if you and your Rottweiler are not at fault, defending a lawsuit can be financially ruinous.
- Public attitudes about Rottweilers, while they are misinformed, require you to keep your dog behind a fence as much as possible. Apartment buildings that don’t have at least a dog run and Rottweiler-friendly management probably won’t work out. Make sure your apartment complex allows Rottweilers before you bring your dog home.
- It isn’t enough for your dog and your neighbor’s dogs to be vaccinated against rabies. Parvovirus can have tragic results for puppies. Puppies of all breeds get vaccinations for bacterial bronchitis (Bordetella), canine distemper, canine hepatovirus, kennel cough, influenza, leptospirosis, and Lyme disease. That is a lot of shots. But you would mourn the unnecessary loss of your dog if she caught one of these infections from your neighbor’s unvaccinated dog.
- Dogs that live in apartments get exposed to more of other dogs’ poop. That’s how parvovirus spreads, so if you are going to keep a puppy of any kind in an apartment, you need to be sure they get parvovirus vaccinations.
Puppies vs. Adult Rottweilers
As we mentioned earlier, some of the problems with keeping Rottweilers in apartments become less troublesome as your dog matures.
Puppies need to go to the bathroom as often as every 30 minutes.
They may have bathroom needs day and night. (Mother dogs lick their puppies in the right places to take care of this. This is a reason not to bring your Rottweiler puppy home with you too soon.)
You can put out large absorbent pads for your Rottweiler puppies while they are going through this stage. But you have to do housekeeping and cleaning for this part of your apartment absolutely every day.
Also, this makes the transition to going outside harder as your puppy matures.
Rottweiler puppies are very active. They won’t lie at your feet while you watch television.
They want to explore constantly. A studio apartment just doesn’t give them (and their noses) enough exploration opportunities to keep them happy.
Apartments for Rottweilers have to be puppy-proofed. You need to cover electrical cords so your puppy won’t chew on them and get a potentially fatal shock.
You need to keep the cabinet under your sink tied shut if you keep cleansers and bug sprays there. You need to put glass and trophies and papers in puppy-proof places.
You need an apartment that doesn’t have carpets on the floors.
It’s extremely important to socialize Rottweiler puppies. Four weeks after birth is as early as you can start. Seven weeks is almost too late.
Socialization helps Rottweilers feel comfortable with different kinds of people, like your children, your extended family, your neighbors, delivery and repair people, and your cat — if they are introduced to cats when they are about a month old.
Just about the only animals, Rottweilers won’t get along very well is another dog of the same sex. Both dogs will want to be the alpha, and that’s really your role.
Training your Rottweiler to live in an apartment
Sometimes there is nowhere to go with your Rottweiler except an apartment. You can train your Rottweiler for more successful apartment living.
Before you can train your Rottweiler for apartment living, you need to get your apartment ready for them.
Make sure furniture and floors are protected.
Define the one spot in your apartment that will be your Rottweiler’s undisputed domain.
This is the place they can chew on (raw, never cooked) bones, chew on their chew toys, play with their other toys, stretch out for a nap, eat, and drink.
Having a designated space for your Rottweiler can save a lot of repair work on the rest of your apartment.
If there is a specific place on your patio they can go to the bathroom, make sure that it’s not a place your dog can use to make an escape.
In addition to getting your apartment ready for your Rottweiler, get your Rottweiler ready for your apartment.
The next thing you need to do is to prepare your dog to live with apartment noises. Thin walls mean your dog will hear your neighbors, and their dogs.
Rottweilers are super-protective. They need to be socialized to the sounds of other dogs.
That way they won’t be constantly on guard to protect you. If your Rottweiler hasn’t had a lot of experience hearing other dogs, introduce them to dog sounds gradually before you move in, if you possibly can.
Once your Rottweiler gets used to the muffled sounds of other dogs, apartment life will become a lot more drama-free.
How do you train your dog to deal with noise?
Play low-volume DVDs of conversations. Play a video/audio of dogs barking, but keep the volume low.
Interact normally with your Rottweiler while you are exposing your dog to the kinds of sounds she will hear in your apartment.
This training, of course, has to be accomplished before you move into your apartment. If you are buying your Rottweiler as a puppy, it’s a topic that you should discuss with the breeder.
One more thing you need to do before you bring a Rottweiler into your apartment:
Put your Rottweiler on a daily schedule.
Give your Rottweiler a structured day. Have time for going on walking, going to the dog park, and going to the bathroom.
If you create a daily schedule for these things, your Rottweiler will know when to expect them. Your dog will be a lot less likely to do things to get your attention.
Things to remember about keeping your Rottweiler in an apartment
- Adult rescue Rottweilers that have never lived in apartments before requiring maximum preparation and maximum attention.
- Rottweilers of all ages need to be walked every day. Don’t bring a Rottweiler into a neighborhood where walking your dog is impossible.
- Rottweilers are boisterous animals who happen to have powerful jaws and strong teeth. You must channel their energy into play.
- Rottweilers love their humans. The one big plus of living with a Rottweiler in your apartment home is that they will be happy close to you.
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