Rottweilers are working breed dogs who were bred to have a job. We know that working dogs need a lot of exercise but just how much exercise do Rottweilers need?
Most Rottweilers need about 45 minutes to an hour of exercise every day but this can also vary a great deal based on the age of your Rottie. Puppies and older Rotties will need less dedicated exercise.
Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about how to keep your Rottweiler happy and healthy with the right amount of exercise.
How Much Exercise Do Rottweilers Need?
As a working breed designed to have a job to do, Rottweilers need a fair amount of exercise. However, you may be surprised to learn that they don’t need as much exercise as many other working breeds of about the same size, like Boxers or German Shepherds.
The average Rottweiler needs about 45 minutes to an hour of exercise daily. If you give your Rottweiler several hours of exercise on a given day, they will likely do well without much exercise for a couple of days so don’t feel like you have to hit the dog park every day.
As Rottweilers get older, they need considerably less exercise. An older Rottweiler may only need half an hour of exercise a day to be happy, healthy, and content in your home.
Rottweilers vary in just how much exercise an individual needs and you won’t be surprised to learn that a younger Rottweiler needs substantially more exercise than an older one.
While Rottweilers have traditionally been working dogs, their jobs have not required quite as much energy output as some other breeds. They have worked as cattle drovers for farms, police and military dogs, protection dogs, and blue collar work dogs especially adept at pulling things. They also excel as guide dogs for the blind and have even done some search and rescue work.
In short, Rottweilers have had a lot of different jobs over the years!
All of these jobs do require a fair amount of effort, but none of them require extensive energy exertion. Contrast these jobs to the work of a dog that has traditionally been used for herding or hunting and needed to run throughout the workday, and it makes sense that Rottweilers need a bit less exercise.
The Rottweiler tends to be more of a walking pace than a running pace dog. That said, Rottweilers do still need a significant amount of exercise every day.
Rottweiler Exercise Requirements by Age
|Amount of Exercise
|10 minutes, twice a day
|20 minutes, twice a day
|30 minutes, twice a day
|8 months and older
|45 to 60 minutes
|Past two years
|45 to 60 minutes but can handle up to six hours in a day, if desired with enough rest between sessions
|Past eight years
|May only need 30 minutes every day, best not to exercise for more than two hours at a time
Rottweiler Energy Level
The Rottweiler has a medium energy level. The average Rottweiler is happy to spend the day lounging around the house, provided they get at least an hour or so of exercise to wear them out. Most Rottweilers do just fine going a couple of days without significant exercise provided they are given mental stimulation like puzzle toys, games, and obedience training sessions.
Are Rottweilers Hyper?
Rottweilers are calm, steady, and collected. While they can absolutely show a goofy, playful side with their people, very few owners describe their Rottweilers as being hyper once they are mature. The exception may come between the time your Rottweiler is about 6 months old and around 2 years old. During this time, your Rottweiler may be prone to overexcitement and excess energy. However, in general, this is not known to be a particularly hyper breed.
Exercising an Adult Rottweiler Versus a Puppy
While a Rottweiler puppy’s energy may seem endless, it is very important that they not be allowed to exercise too much. Excessive exercise can result in health problems for your puppy, particularly issues with the joints.
A good rule of thumb is to exercise your puppy 5 minutes per month of age, 2 times a day. Since Rottweilers may not reach their adult size and be finished growing until they are 2 or 3 years old, it is best to restrict exercise until this time. Instead of heavy, active exercise, you can give your Rottweiler puppy brain games or allow them to do an activity that is easy on the joints, like swimming.
Things to Keep in Mind When Exercising a Rottweiler
Not every type of exercise is as good for a Rottweiler as every other. Because of their physical characteristics and what they’ve been bred for, you’ll find some activities more suitable for your Rottweiler than others. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you exercise your Rottweiler:
They Can be Prone to Overheating
Rottweilers were bred in chilly temperatures in their native Germany. They do very well in the cold and snow, but are not as well suited to the heat. They have thick double coats which are excellent insulation but can also make it difficult for them to cool down.
The black coat also can tend to make your Rottweiler get hot easier. Many Rottweilers have a slightly shorter snout than other dog breeds, which can make breathing difficult in very hot weather. For all of these reasons, it is important to keep temperature in mind when you exercise your Rottweiler.
Avoid the hottest times of day. If you live in a very warm climate, you may want to find water-based or indoor activities with which to exercise your Rottweiler until the weather gets cooler.
They Can Have Joint Problems
Not every Rottweiler will experienced issues with the joints, but it can occur. Hip dysplasia is a known illness in the breed. Not neutering your Rottweiler until they are physically mature and avoiding excessive exercise when they are puppies can help to prevent joint problems, but these issues can still occur.
High-impact exercise like jogging on hard surfaces and exercise involving lots of jumping can make joint issues occur earlier in your Rottweilers life or make symptoms worse. Therefore, it is better to stick with slower activities like walking or low-impact activities like swimming.
They Like to Have a Job to Do
Rottweilers were bred to work closely alongside people, and they still prefer to feel that they have a job to do when they are exercising. This is not a breed that does best when let out in a large fenced area to entertain themselves. Most aren’t content with a game of fetch either.
Rottweilers thrive when their humans are actively involved in the exercise. Long walks together are a favorite exercise for Rottweilers. Your Rottweiler is likely to enjoy the walk even more if they have something to pull or are pulling you.
Exercise intermingled with commands like rally or agility are a great option. Interspersing exercise with obedience is a great way to keep your Rottweiler fully engaged in the exercise and turn each exercise session into a training session as well.
Here’s a Rottweiler who is enjoying pulling their owner in a simple cart.
Exercise the Mind and the Body
Rottweilers are very intelligent. They need to get plenty of stimulation for their mind as well as exercise for their body. Sometimes a good obedience training session is as good as a walk for your Rottweiler.
This can be a huge advantage if you don’t have time to give your Rottweiler lots of exercise every day. Puzzle toys, simple games, and learning new tricks are all great ways to provide your Rottweiler with exercise.
Exercises for Rottweilers in Hot Weather
Rottweilers can easily overheat in very hot weather. However, just because the thermometer is reading in the high 80s doesn’t mean that your Rottweiler isn’t in need of exercise. Here are some good strategies to provide your Rottweiler with exercise when the weather is warm:
Most Rottweilers enjoy lounging in shallow water and many also enjoy swimming. If there is mud involved, all the better. Because of a Rottweiler’s relatively short snout and heavy, muscular body, it is a good idea to equip them with a life jacket to give them good flotation when the water is over their heads.
Providing flotation makes it more likely that your Rottweiler will enjoy swimming and not find it anxiety-provoking or overly exhausting. You can swim with your Rottweiler, toss things into the water for them to fetch, or just let them play around in the shallows.
Try a Flirt Stick
A flirt stick is a great way to entertain your Rottweiler in doors. As long as you have room for your Rottweiler to run around you in a wide circle, you can use a flirt stick inside your home.
I recommend the Outward Hound flirt stick because it’s sturdy enough to hold up to a large dog like the Rottweiler and has lures that Rottweilers are excited to chase but can also withstand repeated bites with no problem.
If you’d rather, you can also string your Rottweiler’s favorite toy onto the flirt stick. Flirt sticks are wonderful for teaching self-control, providing an outlet for prey drive, and of course, giving exercise in a confined space.
Go For a Walk Indoors
Most Rottweilers love long walks. You may be surprised to realize that you can provide this exercise even when it is hot outside. Many businesses allow dogs inside, including Lowe’s, Home Depot, Ross, and most malls.
Taking your Rottweiler for a walk inside is a great way to encourage positive socialization, self-control, and provide much-needed exercise in a climate-controlled environment. Remember to be very careful when you are walking through the parking lot from your car to the store since hot asphalt can be very dangerous for your Rottweiler’s paws.
Give Your Rottweiler Enough Exercise to Avoid Obesity
Obesity can be very dangerous for any dog breed, but it tends to be more common in some breeds than others. Perhaps because we visualize Rottweilers as being a robust, bulky dog or perhaps because they may be satisfied with less exercise than some other working dog breeds, this tends to be a breed that is prone to obesity.
Obesity can make your Rottweiler more likely to develop a number of health problems, and make joint issues and arthritis more likely to develop earlier. Talk to your veterinarian about what your Rottweiler’s ideal weight should be.
Balance the amount of food they are given and the amount exercise they receive in order to stay at their ideal weight. Healthy treats like green beans can help to fill your Rottweiler up if they are still hungry after a meal without putting on extra pounds. Feeding your Rottweiler from a food distributing toy can also stretch out meal times so that your dog does not feel hunger as acutely.
Enjoy Exercising Your Rottweiler
Exercising your Rottweiler should be a lot of fun for both of you. There are all kinds of different ways that you can provide your Rottweiler with exercise. A well-exercised Rottweiler tends to be calm, collected, and well-behaved in the home.
Since Rottweilers don’t need as much exercise as many other working breeds, you will probably find that working your Rottweiler’s exercise into your daily life is not too much of a challenge.