Escobar and Mercedes are both great examples of carefully planned purebred Rottweilers

A better question would be: how much does a Rottweiler cost from a good, reputable, respectable and ethical breeder? You can almost always find puppies for just a few hundred dollars. Some of these puppies may even be registered! 

We were unable to source a credit for this meme. It makes it rounds on Facebook but it's original creator is unknown to us.

However, you get what you pay for. That slightly irritating but usually true proverb most certainly applies when considering purchasing a Rottweiler puppy or adult. A "breeder" who can afford to charge only nominal fees for their puppies can do so because he or she has invested very little into the puppies and their parents.

Graphic by Michael Burns. A Hause Burns puppy is pictured on the right.

If you are only able to afford a small fee for your future Rottweiler then I strongly encourage you to adopt! Adopting a Rottie from your local humane society, or better yet; Rottweiler specific rescue, gives an otherwise homeless dog it's forever home. And often they come vaccinated, spayed or neutered, and vet checked! How great of a deal is that?

Graphic courtesy Michael Burns, Photo on the right of Daisy vom haus Burns

By purchasing a puppy from a backyard or low cost breeder, puppy buyers encourage this sort of behavior. As long as there is a demand for cheap puppies there will be people willing to cut corners and compromise on quality and health to offer those cheap puppies.

If adopting isn't the right choice for you and you've decided to save up for that perfect, healthy, well bred Rottweiler puppy then let's talk about what goes into the price! You can expect to spend somewhere around $1500-3000 for a health screened, genetically sound Rottweiler puppy from a quality breeder. Of course, there are some exceptions and this is just a ball park.

When you pay for your new family member you aren't just buying a puppy. You're buying all of the following as well:  

1. Your breeder.

That's right; you read that right. You're buying your breeder. Or, at least, you're buying their time, research, knowledge, experience, and decisions. So, make sure you LIKE your breeder! And that you ask them as many questions as you can come up with. If at all possible, go meet them, see their facility and meet every one of their dogs.  

Your breeder does all the hard work so you don't have to! She knows the pedigrees and what to expect from them in temperament, drive, appearance, and even health concerns and disqualifications that have occurred within the lines! 

2. The pedigree.

You're buying the history of your puppy. The research and decisions made by the owners and breeders of the dogs in the pedigree of your puppy. I'm not just talking about the names; I'm talking about how old each of those dogs lived to be, whether or not they were dysplastic, if they perished of a genetic condition, etc. Perhaps you won't be showing or breeding your puppy, so a big show pedigree doesn't sound too important. That's certainly okay! But, knowing the temperaments and health history of the dogs on your puppies pedigree is very important! A quality breeder uses the health history of their own dogs and the generations of dogs before them to reduce the frequency of occurrence of genetic defects.

3. The health screenings.

These are super important. By choosing a breeder who carefully screens against prevalent health issues in the breed you reduce the likelihood of those some issues in your own puppy. A responsible breeder aims to reduce with every generation the occurrence of diseases and conditions that impact the health of our breed.

4. The showing history or breed testing.

Again, even if you won't show or breed your puppy, this stuff matters. Breed testing and awards or titles in specific sports or activities such as obedience or tracking can tell you loads about their temperament, instincts, and drive. If your breeder participates in conformation shows he or she is having independent judges evaluate their dogs against the Standard. This is meant to be an objective activity to help enthusiasts continue to evaluate their dogs. Showing can be very political and doesn't always work the way it is meant to. But there is still value in considering the show history on the dogs you get your puppy from!

5. The socializing your puppy receives.

The time your puppy spends with his mother, his litter mates, and his breeder. A good breeder will choose a mother with a good, even mannered temperament. This mother will teach her puppies all about limitations and inhibition. A good breeder will also begin handling and socializing your puppy early and often and will probably provide you with guidelines and suggestions to continue socializing and desensitizing your puppy after he goes home. These lessons are extremely important in Rottweilers and can prove invaluable later on in your puppies life.

6. The medical and preventative care your puppy receives.

Vaccines, micro-chipping, worming, veterinarian performed docking and dew claw removal (if you choose to purchase a puppy from a breeder who docks tails), and veterinarian performed exams to check for health concerns. This also includes medical care for the parents before conception and during pregnancy.

This list could go on and on. But these are some of the most important things to consider when discussing the cost of your new puppy with your breeder. No breeder can guarantee the appearance, health, temperament, and show titles of your puppy at maturity. I'd be pretty suspicious of any breeder who promised such grand assurances. A responsible breeder can, however, provide you with a great deal of insight into what to expect from your puppy so that you find exactly the puppy you're looking for!