Rottweiler Breed Information
Country of origin -
Common nicknames - Rottie, Rott, Weily
Classification and breed standards
FCI:|Group 2 Section 2 #147|Stds
ANKC:|Group 6 (Utility)|Stds
CKC:|Group 3 - Working|Stds
A Rottweiler is a large dog breed originating in Germany as a guard dog. The breed is almost always black with clearly defined tan or mahogany markings on the cheeks, muzzle, chest, legs, and eyebrows. The coat is medium length and consists of a waterproof undercoat and a coarse top coat. Rottweiler coats tend to be low maintenance, although they experience shedding during certain periods of the year. The skull is typically massive, but without excessive jowls. The forehead may be wrinkly when the Rottweiler is alert, but otherwise the skin should be relatively fitted, or "dry." The ears are small drop ears whose inner edges are flush with the head. 'Flying' ears are considered undesirable.
Naturally, Rottweilers are a tailed dog. There are at least two different explanations as to why tails were originally bobbed. One version is that tails were originally removed to prevent breakage and infection that would occur when the tail became covered in mud and other debris collected from pastures and livestock. Another is that as working dogs they were bobbed to avoid a "tail tax" (the method used to count livestock being driven to market was to count tails). Today, many owners in U.S. decide to have the tails removed soon after the puppy's birth for purely cosmetic reasons. The tail is usually docked to the first joint, and in general should give the impression of a lengthened topline. In the past docking was a commonly accepted practice, but it has been banned in many European countries and Australia as well as Mexico.
The chest is deep and should reach the dog's elbows, giving tremendous lung capacity. The back should be straight, never sloping. According to FCI standard, the Rottweiler stands 61 to 68 cm (24-27 inches) at the withers for males, and 56 to 63 cm (22-25 inches) for females. Average weight is 50 kg (110 pounds) for males and 42 kg (95 pounds) for females.
In the hands of a responsible owner, a well-trained and socialized Rottweiler can be a reliable, alert dog and a loving companion. However, any poorly trained dog can become a danger in the wrong circumstances. In general Rottweilers are fond of children, very devoted, quick to learn, and eager to please. They are typically very bright dogs. Rottweilers are playful animals who may frequently demand attention from their owners. However, if they are not receiving the mental stimulation they desire, they will find creative and sometimes destructive ways to elicit it. Such behavioral problems as chewing, barking for attention and eating less can be a result of lack of human interaction. The Rottweiler is a good working dog that is also good for protection of children, as well as guard duties.
The Rottweiler is a steady dog with a self-assured nature, but early socialization and exposure to as many new people, animals, and situations as possible are very important in developing these qualities. The Rottweiler also has a natural tendency to assert dominance if not properly trained. Rottweilers' large size and strength make this an important point to consider: an untrained, poorly trained, or abused Rottweiler can learn to be extremely aggressive and destructive and, if allowed to run at large, may pose a significant physical threat to humans or other animals. They can be strong-willed (bull-headed) and should be trained in a firm, fair, and consistent manner - the owner must be perceived as the leader. If the owner fails to achieve this status the Rottweiler will readily take on the role. However, Rottweilers respond readily to a clear and benevolent leader. Aggression in Rottweilers is associated with poor breeding, poor handling, lack of socialization, natural guarding tendencies, and abuse.
The Rottweiler is not usually a barker. Male dogs are silent watchers who notice everything and are often quite stoic. Females may become problem barkers in order to protect their den. An attentive owner is usually able to recognize when a Rottweiler perceives a threat. Barking is usually a sign of annoyance with external factors (car alarms or other disturbances) rather than a response to actual threats.
The Rottweiler Welfare Association offers the following advice for would-be Rottweiler owners:
Rottweiler; puppies that are a typical of the breed standard are often sold by breeders as family pets.
The Rottweiler is a tough and hardy breed, but potential owners should be aware of known health issues that can affect this breed. The most serious genetic health risks a Rottweiler faces are canine hip dysplasia (CHD), subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS), elbow dysplasia, and osteosarcoma. Other conditions which may affect this breed include hypothyroidism, gastric torsion (bloat), and allergies. Rottweiler owners should have their dogs' hips, elbows, heart, and eyes tested by a veterinarian before breeding. DNA tests should also be performed to screen for von Willebrand's disease (vWD). Rottweilers typically live between 8 and 11 years.
The breed is an ancient one, and its history stretches back to the Roman Empire. In those times, the legions traveled with their meat on the hoof and required the assistance of working dogs to herd the cattle. One route the army traveled was through Württemberg and on to the small market town of Rottweil. The principal ancestors of the first Rottweilers during this time was supposed to be the Roman war dog, local sheepdogs the army met on its travels, and dogs with molosser appearance coming from England and The Netherlands.
This region eventually became an important cattle area, and the descendants of the Roman cattle dogs proved their worth in both driving and protecting the cattle from robbers and wild animals. However, by the end of the 19th Century, the breed had declined so much that in 1900 there was only one female to be found in the town of Rottweil. But the build up to the World War I saw a great demand for police dogs, and that led to a revival of interest in the Rottweiler.
From that time the breed has become popular with dog owners, and in 1935 was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. In 1936, Rottweilers were exhibited in Britain at Crufts. In 1966, a separate register was opened for the breed.
The first Rottweiler club in Germany, named DRK ("Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub" — German Rottweiler Club) was created the 13 January 1907, and followed by the creation of the SDRK ("Süddeutscher Rottweiler-Klub" — South German Rottweiler Club) on the 27 April 1907 and became the IRK (International Rottweiler Club). The DRK counted around 500 Rottweiler, the SDRK 3000 Rottweilers. The goals of the two clubs were different. The DRK wanted to produce working dogs and did not emphasize the morphology of the Rottweiler. The main stud dog of this club was Lord von der Teck. The IRK tried to produce a homogeneous morphology according to their standard. One of the main stud dogs of this club was Ralph von Neckar.
A popular misconception about the Rottweiler is that the breed was bred for dog fighting.
Copyright (c) 2008 Kitt Killion Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".
Taken or modified, in whole or part, from Wikipedia.org