Are Rottweilers Smart? Discover 3 Remarkable Instinct They Have

When it comes to intelligence, Rottweilers are often touted as one of the smartest dog breeds out there. But just how smart are they? In this article, I will delve into the world of Rottweilers’ cognitive abilities, brainpower, cleverness, and overall mental agility. So, if you’ve ever wondered about the intelligence of Rottweilers, this is the article for you!

Are Rottweilers Smart? Intelligence Revealed

  • Rottweilers rank 9th in dog intelligence, excelling in obedience, instinct, and adaptive intelligence.
  • They are quick learners and can pick up commands in just a few repetitions.
  • Rottweilers have strong guarding instincts and exhibit problem-solving skills.
  • While intelligence varies among individuals, Rottweilers are considered one of the smartest dog breeds.
  • Their intelligence, combined with their loyalty and affection, makes them a popular choice among dog owners.

The 3 Dimensions of Dog Intelligence

A dog’s intelligence can be measured through three dimensions: obedience, instinct, and adaptive intelligence. Each dimension represents a different aspect of a dog’s cognitive abilities and behaviors.


Obedience refers to a dog’s ability to learn and follow commands. Dogs that are highly obedient can quickly understand what is expected of them and respond accordingly. This dimension of intelligence is essential for training and everyday interactions with humans.


Instinctual intelligence relates to a dog’s ability to perform tasks it was bred for. Different breeds have specific instincts that they excel in. For example, Australian Shepherds have a strong herding instinct, while Rottweilers have a natural guarding instinct. Instinctual intelligence allows dogs to perform tasks related to their breed heritage with ease.

Adaptive Intelligence

Adaptive intelligence represents a dog’s problem-solving and learning ability. Dogs with high adaptive intelligence can quickly assess situations, learn from observation, and find solutions to problems. This dimension of intelligence is crucial for dogs to adapt to new environments and challenges.

Rottweilers excel in all three dimensions of dog intelligence. Their breed characteristics make them highly obedient, instinctually capable, and adaptable problem solvers. Their intelligence makes them a popular choice for various roles, including as working dogs, companions, and service animals.

The table below provides a summary of the three dimensions of dog intelligence and how Rottweilers perform in each:

Dimensions of Dog IntelligenceRottweilers
ObedienceKnown for their quick learning abilities and high success rate in following commands.
InstinctNatural guarding instincts and strong protective behaviors.
Adaptive IntelligenceProven problem-solving skills and the ability to learn from observation.

Are Rottweilers Smart? Yes!

Rottweilers are indeed smart. They score high in all three dimensions of intelligence and are ranked among the top 10 most intelligent dog breeds. Rottweilers demonstrate their intelligence through their obedience, instinctual capabilities, and adaptive intelligence.

  • Obedience: Rottweilers are quick to learn commands, making them highly trainable. They have the ability to understand and follow instructions with just a few repetitions.
  • Instinct: Rottweilers have strong guarding instincts, which are deeply rooted in their breeding history. They naturally excel at tasks that require protection and have a natural inclination to keep their families safe.
  • Adaptive Intelligence: Rottweilers show problem-solving skills and the ability to learn from observation. They are perceptive and can understand situations, making them quick to adapt to new environments and challenges.

It’s important to note that not all Rottweilers will exhibit the same level of intelligence. Factors such as training, socialization, and genetics can influence a dog’s cognitive abilities. However, Rottweilers as a breed have been consistently recognized for their intelligence and their ability to understand and execute tasks.

highly intelligent Rottweilers

As shown in the image above, Rottweilers are highly intelligent and known for their problem-solving skills and trainability. Their intelligence makes them versatile and capable companions, whether as working dogs or family pets.

Rottweilers’ Obedience

When it comes to obedience, Rottweilers possess an innate intelligence that sets them apart from many other dog breeds. According to Coren’s Intelligence test, Rottweilers demonstrate remarkable learning capabilities and quick mastery of commands. In fact, they can learn new commands in fewer than 5 repetitions, while the average dog requires between 25 and 40 repetitions.

Furthermore, Rottweilers exhibit a high rate of success in following commands on the first attempt, with an impressive 95% accuracy. Their exceptional obedience makes them easier to train and emphasizes their intelligence and eagerness to please their owners.

To illustrate their exceptional obedience, here’s a comparison table between the average number of repetitions required for Rottweilers and the average dog:

RottweilersAverage Dog
Less than 5 repetitions25-40 repetitions

As the table illustrates, Rottweilers excel in their ability to quickly grasp and execute commands, making them exceptionally quick learners. Their obedience not only showcases their intelligence but also makes them a popular choice among dog owners who value a well-trained and responsive canine companion.

Rottweilers’ Instinct

Rottweilers possess a remarkable instinct for guarding and protecting, a trait deeply ingrained in their breeding history. Their instinctual intelligence is evident in various behaviors that highlight their natural guarding instincts and contribute to their overall intelligence.

Guarding and Protecting

When it comes to guarding, Rottweilers are unparalleled. They have an innate ability to assess potential threats and act accordingly, making them excellent guard dogs. Rottweilers instinctively bark and raise alarm when they sense unfamiliar individuals approaching their territory, making them a reliable deterrent against intruders.

Furthermore, Rottweilers are known for their protective nature towards their family members. They tend to form strong bonds with their owners and are especially vigilant when it comes to children. With their keen protective instincts, Rottweilers are always alert and ready to shield their loved ones from harm.

Property Defense

The guarding instincts of Rottweilers extend beyond their immediate surroundings. These dogs are known to patrol and defend their property, chasing away unauthorized individuals or animals. Their protective nature creates a secure environment, ensuring the safety and well-being of their families.

Adaptive Intelligence

Rottweilers’ guarding instincts are a manifestation of their adaptive intelligence. They quickly learn to identify potential threats and respond accordingly, showcasing their problem-solving skills. This adaptive intelligence allows them to assess situations and make split-second decisions, ensuring the protection of their loved ones and property.

Rottweilers’ guarding instincts and protection skills are not only indicative of their exceptional intelligence but also demonstrate their loyalty and dedication to their families. With their natural instinct for guarding and protecting, Rottweilers embody the true essence of a faithful companion and a reliable guardian.

Rottweiler guarding instinct

Rottweilers’ Adaptive Intelligence

As a Rottweiler owner myself, I have seen firsthand the remarkable adaptive intelligence of these incredible dogs. While there is no scientific test to precisely measure adaptive intelligence, Rottweilers consistently display problem-solving skills and a keen ability to learn from observation.

One of the fascinating aspects of Rottweilers’ adaptive intelligence is their knack for problem-solving. They have a remarkable ability to analyze situations and find creative solutions. Whether it’s figuring out how to open a gate or finding a clever way to reach a treat, Rottweilers use their problem-solving skills to overcome challenges.

Learning from observation is another impressive aspect of Rottweilers’ adaptive intelligence. These dogs have an innate ability to watch and learn from the actions of other dogs. They observe and analyze the behaviors, actions, and mistakes of their fellow canines, and apply that knowledge to their own problem-solving endeavors.

This combination of problem-solving skills and learning from observation allows Rottweilers to adapt quickly to their environment and find clever solutions to various challenges. Whether it’s finding a way to escape from a confined space or discovering a hidden toy, Rottweilers use their adaptive intelligence to navigate their surroundings.

Training Example: Problem-Solving Skills in Action

Let’s explore a training example that showcases the problem-solving skills of Rottweilers. Imagine a scenario where a Rottweiler is presented with a puzzle toy that requires them to manipulate different parts to access a treat inside.

The Rottweiler approaches the puzzle toy with curiosity and begins to analyze it. They use their nose to explore the different compartments, trying to assess how they are connected. Through trial and error, the Rottweiler starts manipulating the parts of the puzzle, gradually understanding the sequence that opens it.

With each attempt, the Rottweiler becomes more efficient in solving the puzzle, until finally, they successfully unlock it and access the hidden treat. This example demonstrates the problem-solving skills and adaptability of Rottweilers when faced with challenging tasks.

Problem-Solving SkillsRottweilers possess excellent problem-solving abilities, allowing them to find creative solutions to various challenges.
Learning from ObservationRottweilers have a remarkable capacity to learn from observing other dogs, allowing them to acquire new knowledge and apply it to their own problem-solving endeavors.
AdaptabilityThanks to their adaptive intelligence, Rottweilers can quickly adapt to new situations, environments, and tasks.

Are Rottweilers Smarter Than Other Dogs?

When it comes to canine intelligence, Rottweilers have certainly earned their place among the smartest dog breeds. According to Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs, Rottweilers rank 9th out of 130 dog breeds in terms of intelligence. Their remarkable cognitive abilities set them apart from many other breeds.

Rottweilers consistently outperform lower-scoring breeds, such as Bulldogs, in tasks related to learning commands and following them on the first attempt. This exceptional intelligence makes Rottweilers highly trainable and responsive to obedience training.

Despite their impressive intelligence ranking, it’s important to note that intelligence alone does not determine a dog’s suitability as a companion. Other factors such as temperament, socialization, and training also play crucial roles in a dog’s overall behavior and interaction with humans.

Comparison of Intelligence Rankings

Let’s take a closer look at how Rottweilers compare to some other popular dog breeds in terms of intelligence:

RankDog Breed
1Border Collie
3German Shepherd
4Golden Retriever
5Doberman Pinscher
6Shetland Sheepdog
7Labrador Retriever
10Australian Cattle Dog

As demonstrated by their ranking, Rottweilers are among the top 10 most intelligent dog breeds. Their exceptional problem-solving skills, learning capabilities, and adaptability contribute to their overall high intelligence.

However, it’s important to remember that intelligence can manifest differently in individual dogs, even within the same breed. Factors such as genetics, upbringing, and environment can influence a dog’s cognitive development and behavior.

Rottweilers possess an impressive level of intelligence, placing them in the upper echelon of smart dog breeds. Their innate cognitive abilities, combined with their loyalty and protective nature, make them excellent companions for the right owners.


Rottweilers are renowned for their intelligence and make excellent companions. Their exceptional performance in intelligence tests, alongside their quick learning abilities, strong instincts, and problem-solving skills, solidify their reputation as one of the most intelligent dog breeds. While intelligence is an appealing trait, it’s crucial to recognize that individual Rottweilers may vary in their levels of intelligence.

Rottweilers not only possess remarkable intellect but also showcase loyalty and affection, making them a preferred choice for many dog owners. Their intelligence enables them to excel in obedience training, exhibit instinctual behaviors such as guarding and protecting, and adapt to various circumstances. However, it’s noteworthy that intelligence alone doesn’t define a dog’s suitability as a beloved pet.

In essence, Rottweilers’ intelligence, combined with their affectionate nature and devotion to their families, contribute to their popularity. Whether it’s their quick mastery of commands, their innate guarding instincts, or their ability to solve problems, Rottweilers exemplify intelligence in many aspects. For those seeking an intelligent and loving companion, Rottweilers are an excellent choice.


Are Rottweilers considered a smart dog breed?

Yes, Rottweilers are considered one of the most intelligent dog breeds.

What are the dimensions of dog intelligence?

The dimensions of dog intelligence are obedience, instinct, and adaptive intelligence.

Do Rottweilers excel in all three dimensions of intelligence?

Yes, Rottweilers excel in obedience, instinct, and adaptive intelligence.

How obedient are Rottweilers?

Rottweilers are quick learners and can learn commands in just a few repetitions.

Do Rottweilers have strong instincts?

Yes, Rottweilers have strong instincts, particularly for guarding and protecting.

Do Rottweilers exhibit adaptive intelligence?

Rottweilers show problem-solving skills and the ability to learn from observation.

Are Rottweilers smarter than other dog breeds?

Rottweilers rank 9th in terms of intelligence among all dog breeds.

What makes Rottweilers smart?

Rottweilers demonstrate intelligence through obedience, instincts, and adaptive abilities.