Rottweiler Intelligence

Rottweiler Intelligence: 8 Facts You May Not Know

Rottweilers are big, drooly dogs that look cute but can hurt you if they turn against you. Even though their size is obvious, rotties are also smart. In fact, Rottweilers are considered to be one of the smartest dog breeds.

Rottweilers beat their rivals in almost every way, which is why they are considered the ninth smartest breed. Even though a well-trained rottie is not necessary to enjoy its company, it does make training easier.

Read on to find out more about how smart Rottweilers are.

Some people say that Rottweilers are really dumb.

In a study done by Stanley Coren, Rottweilers were ranked as the seventh smartest dog breed. The Rottweilers got this spot because they worked hard at what they were supposed to do (whatever that may be).

Do you wonder if your Rottweiler is the only dog that acts weird? Most likely, they are not. Keep reading to find out more about how smart Rottweilers are.

The Three Dimensions of Dog Intelligence

Before we get into the meat of the matter, it’s important to understand what people mean when they ask, “Is a dog smart?”

Based on multiple tests, a dog’s intelligence can be put into three categories: obedience, instinct, and adaptive intelligence.

The smartest dog breeds do well in all three areas, while the dumbest breeds do poorly in all three. Some breeds are in the middle, with high scores in one branch but low scores in the others.

Before you can figure out if Rottweilers are smart or not, you need to know about these three areas.


Obedience is the easiest way to tell if someone is smart. Dogs that learn tricks quickly and can follow directions are smart when it comes to obedience

Rottweiler Intelligence

Other dogs, on the other hand, that need to be taught commands and tricks over and over again are not as smart in the obedience category.


The dog’s ability to do the job for which it was bred is part of its instinctual intelligence.

As you probably know, some dog breeds were made for specific jobs, like the Australian Shepherd for herding, the Labrador Retriever for getting chickens, the Rottweiler for guarding, and so on.

Even though every dog has a job, some dogs are better at doing their jobs than others. Individual dogs who excel at their breed duties are naturally very intelligent.

Adaptive Intelligence

Many people don’t pay enough attention to the field of adaptive intelligence. Dogs don’t always learn on their own like people do.

Instead, many breeds need to be trained to do specific jobs.

But some breeds can figure things out on their own by solving problems and learning from what they do. These dogs can do a lot of different things.

High adaptive intelligence is only found in the smartest breeds. A dog that isn’t very smart at adapting to new situations will almost certainly have low ratings for obedience and instinct.

But just because a dog is good at obedience and instinct does not mean it is also good at adaptive intelligence.

Rottweiler History and Basic Behaviors

Now that we know a little more about what makes a dog smart, we need to find out more about the Rottweiler breed’s history and common habits.

Rottweilers are one of the breeds that are big and strong.

A Rottweiler can grow to be anywhere from 1.5 to 2 feet tall and 85 to 130 pounds.

The average life span of a Rottweiler is between 8 and 15 years.

Because they are so big, Rottweilers are known to be one of the more aggressive dog breeds.

It is thought that Rottweilers came from an Asian mastiff. The Romans used these mastiffs to herd their cattle and keep them safe.

The Germans kept using Rottweilers to protect cattle after the war was over. A lot of the time, Rottweilers were used to pull the carts that took the cattle to market.

Rottweilers’ instincts tell them to herd and protect because that’s what their ancestors did, and their big muscles have helped them do that over time.

Because Rottweilers have a natural instinct to protect and guard livestock, they were often used by the police to find criminals or as search and rescue dogs.

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Rottweilers are one of the easiest breeds of dog to train because they can learn new tasks at any age.

Rottweilers: Dumb or Not

As previously said, rottweilers are among the top ten intelligent canines. Is this, however, proof that Rottweilers are not “dumb”?

Maybe you’ve noticed your Rottweiler doing dumb things that make you wonder how intelligent they are.

Now that we have a better understanding of what factors influence a dog’s intellect and the history of the Rottweiler breed, we can assess whether or not Rottweilers are as dumb as many claim.

Each of the rottweilers I’ve owned performed in an “unusual” way that you wouldn’t expect from most dogs.

Rottweilers keep you on your toes with their goofy escapades, whether swimming in the horse’s water trough, taking themselves on walks around the block, or hiding from not-so-strange noises.

While Rottweilers can be fairly interesting at times, they never cease to amaze me with their cognitive levels.

Rottweilers, whether young or old, are always eager to learn new tricks (who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?).

Rottweilers were ranked ninth in Stanley Coren’s study on the intelligence of dog breeds for their loyalty to their respective responsibilities.

Whether your Rottweiler is a police dog, a service dog, or simply your closest friend, he or she will be devoted to that profession for the rest of their lives.

The Rottweiler’s devotion to their allotted work causes them to experience great pleasure or happiness when they complete their mission.

This overabundance of happiness can cause them to behave erratically and frequently as “stupid.”

We can conclude that Rottweilers have superior instinctual, working, and obedience intelligence based on what we know about dog intelligence and Rottweiler behavior.

However, not all Rottweilers are endowed with superior adaptive intelligence, which leads some to believe their breed is quite stupid.

So don’t be concerned! Adopting or rearing a Rottweiler does not guarantee that they will be “stupid.”

Are Rottweilers Smarter Than Other Dogs?

Rottweilers are generally more intelligent than other dog breeds. They are frequently rated as one of the top ten brightest dog breeds, demonstrating how intelligent this breed is.

Rottweilers ranked ninth out of 130 dog breeds in Stanley Coren’s The Intellect of Dogs, which has become the go-to resource for determining a dog’s intelligence. According to his research, the top 10 most intellectual breeds are as follows:

  • Border Collie
  • Poodle
  • German Shepherd
  • Golden Retriever
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Shetland Sheepdog
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Papillon
  • Rottweiler
  • Australian Cattle Dog

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, ranked 11th on the same list, requires up to ten times more repetitions to learn a command and only obeys the first command 85% of the time, which is 10% less than the Rottie.

When compared to lower-scoring dogs than the Corgi, the disparity is even more pronounced. The Bulldog, which ranks 77th, can take between 80 and 100 repetitions to learn a new command and only succeeds 25% of the time or less on the first try.

How to Train Your Rottweiler

While Rottweilers are one of the easiest dog breeds to train due to their high work and obedience intelligence, having some tips and tricks to aid you along the way may be highly beneficial.

Here are my top five tips for properly training your Rottweiler:

1. Begin at an Early Age

Rottweilers can start learning new instructions at any age.

However, if you start teaching them at a young age, your Rottweiler will be better capable of learning new commands later in life.

Be patient and provide plenty of positive reinforcement while starting to train your Rottweiler puppy.

Reacting angrily when training your dog will only make them fearful of your commands. Because this puppy is supposed to be your partner and friend, there should be reciprocal respect and care.

If your Rottweiler puppy does something wrong, make sure you discipline them right away.Dogs have a shorter memory than humans, therefore delaying correcting your puppy will only result in dread.

2. Potty Train Immediately

Having an untrained dog run around can be frustrating and worrisome.

To avoid this irritation and worry, start potty training your Rottweiler puppy right away.

There are numerous strategies for toilet training your puppy. Kennel training is my favourite method.

The first night you bring your puppy home, you are overjoyed and want to snuggle with them all night. However, training should not be delayed until the second day.

When it’s time for bed, take your Rottweiler puppy outdoors until he or she has used the restroom. They returned them inside and placed them in a kennel or carrier. They may moan, but they will not give in! This is all part of the procedure.

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The next morning, before getting ready for the day, let your puppy out of the kennel and take them outside to relieve themselves.

You may wonder why this strategy works. Dogs do not want to use the bathroom in their sleeping place; therefore, they will hold it all night until they learn that outside implies a bathroom.

This strategy also teaches your dog not to be overly active at night!

A bell on a rope is another great approach I’ve used to house-train my dogs.

For this method, you’ll need a rope toy and a medium-sized bell. Attach the bell to the rope toy, then to the door handle of the door you want your dog to use to go outdoors.

When your dog sees the rope toy, they are likely to try to play with it. When you hear the bell ring, you must open the door and take your dog outdoors.

Your Rottweiler puppy will eventually learn that the sound of the bell indicates that they can go outdoors to relieve themselves. The best part about this method is that it can be learned by any dog of any age!

While this may appear complex, or you may believe that your dog is not intelligent enough to understand it, I assure you that, given time, this strategy may be quite beneficial.

3. Use Hand Signals

While you’re toilet training your Rottweiler, you should start working on some fundamental commands as well.

While vocal orders are a great technique to train any animal, hand signals assist your Rottweiler in remembering commands and understanding what is expected of them.

Begin training your puppy with the command “sit.” For this command’s hand gesture, many dog owners chose to point straight down.

Rottweiler Intelligence

If your puppy does not answer the command, grab their collar in one hand and gently press down on their back while saying “sit” again. When they are sitting, show your Rottweiler puppy the hand signal while repeating the instruction.

Continue to practice this ability on a daily basis, adding a new command or trick each day.

Do you need help coming up with some hand gestures for your commands? So don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

CommandHand Signal
SitPointer finger straight down
Lay DownFlat hand; palm down
StayClosed fist
GoPoint in the direction you want your dog to go
Sit “Pretty”Two fingers together pointed straight down (be sure that your dog is already sitting and that your fingers are just slightly behind your dog’s head)

Two fingers together, pointed straight down (make sure your dog is already sitting and your fingers are directly below his head) (make sure your dog is already sitting and your fingers are directly below his head)

“Come” is a vital command for your Rottweiler puppy to learn. If your dog starts to run away, train them so that when they hear “come,” they stop and return to you.

Begin teaching this command by snapping your fingers and holding rewards in your hand. Your puppy will learn that coming to the sound of a snap results in rewards.

Reduce the quantity of goodies you offer your puppy for coming until they don’t arrive with a treat in their hand.

Remember the hand signal you wish to use for each command. Hand signals that are unclear will make it difficult for your Rottweiler puppy to grasp what to do.

Just make sure you’re consistent with your puppy training!

4. Do Not Tolerate Biting

Biting is a common behaviour in puppies of all breeds. However, because Rottweilers have a bad reputation among some people, it is critical that your puppy is trained to not bite from a young age.

This is for your Rottweiler’s safety as well as the safety of others. Even a well-meaning dog might make a bad impression on a stranger.

When you initially obtain your Rottweiler puppy, make sure you have lots of chew toys on hand. If your dog attacks you or others, discipline them right away.

When your dog bites, say “no bite” and touch them on the snout. While this may appear to be a simple task, being firm with your comments can help your Rottweiler puppy recognize their error and learn quickly not to repeat it.

Remember that teaching your Rottweiler puppy not to bite is crucial not only for others but also for your dog!

If you are firm with your puppy when they bite at an early age, there should be no further issues as they mature.

5. Continue Teaching Commands!

After your puppy has mastered the basics and solved any minor behavioural issues, its training should not end there.

Continue to teach your dog entertaining tricks or useful commands. Because Rottweilers are so dedicated to their jobs, teaching them tricks and instructions throughout their lives will help them feel accomplished.

Your Rottweiler might enjoy learning to shake, high-five, bow, speak, roll over, or even play dead.

Teach these commands in the same way that you taught your Rottweiler puppy the basics.

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Always be firm, consistent, and positive in your encouragement. If you follow these steps, training your Rottweiler puppy will be a breeze!

Does It Matter If Your Rottie Is Smart?

A clever dog has the advantage of being easy to train. The faster your dog learns orders, the less work you’ll have to do. As a result, people frequently desire a smart dog that is easy to train.

However, just because a dog is bright does not guarantee it will be easy to train. Because they are so stubborn, certain clever breeds are difficult to train. Because of their independence, they may disregard the command, even if they know what they should do.

Even though everyone loves to brag about their clever dog, you don’t need one to be happy. Because these dogs are so loyal and loving, their intelligence is just the icing on the cake. Not to mention that even the most sluggish Rotties outperform other breeds.

The Intelligence of Different Dog Breeds

You may be wondering what other canines rank similarly to the “stupid” Rottweiler now that we’ve learned that it’s typically based on their adaptive intelligence.

Continue reading to learn about the ten “dumbest” and ten “smartest” dog breeds.

The Top 10 “Smartest” Dog Breeds

  1. Border Collie
  2. Poodle
  3. German Shepherd
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. Doberman Pinscher
  6. Shetland Sheepdog
  7. Labrador Retriever
  8. Papillon
  9. Rottweiler
  10. Australian Cattle Dog

Stanley Coren conducted research with experienced obedience judges to score each breed.

In order to obtain the most accurate rankings, their study included over 100 dog breeds.

Rottweiler Intelligence

Professional obedience judges evaluated each breed’s work and obedience IQ using a series of obedience commands and ranked them from best to worst.

If a dog learned the command in five or fewer repetitions and followed the command more frequently than others, that breed was considered intelligent.

However, if a dog failed to learn and obey these directions, it was classified as a “stupid” dog breed.

Continue reading to find out which breed of dog had the lowest work and obedience intelligence level!

Top 10 “Dumbest” Dog Breeds

Now that we’ve covered the top ten smartest dog breeds, let’s take a look at the top ten “dumbest” dog breeds.

Based on the same Stanley Coren study, each dog breed was tested with a set of orders and then ranked (with 10 being the “dumbest”).

  1. Basset Hound
  2. Mastiff
  3. Beagle
  4. Pekingese
  5. Bloodhound
  6. Borzoi
  7. Chow Chow
  8. Bulldog
  9. Basenji
  10. Afghan Hound

But keep that in mind! While one breed may be smarter while learning one command, another may be smarter when learning another.

Are all Rottweilers aggressive?

While Rottweiler breeding does result in more protective and aggressive characteristics, each dog’s personality is distinct. A Rottweiler can be as sweet as any other breed of dog with proper training, love, and care.

Do Rottweilers get along well with children?

While it is never a good idea to leave any dog alone with a tiny child, Rottweilers may be quite kind and gentle with them. Teaching your children how to properly care for your Rottweiler is the best way to ensure that no problems emerge.

Can I leave my Rottweiler alone outside?

Rottweilers have a double coat, which allows them to tolerate colder temperatures. They should not, however, be left outside alone during the winter months.

Final Thoughts

To cut a long story short, Rottweilers are not only intelligent but also one of the most intelligent breeds today. Rottweilers rank ninth in terms of intellect based on obedience, instincts, and adaptive intelligence.

Keep in mind that not all Rottweilers have the same level of intelligence. It’s acceptable if your Rottweiler isn’t particularly brilliant! Regardless of IQ, the dog will remain loyal, affectionate, and a lot of fun! The same is true for any other breed.

Princy Hoang
See more articles in this category: Dogs

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