Cramatte Kennels
Mission , BC , Canada
604 826-6878
Rottweiler History

Nicknames Rottie
Country of origin Germany
Weight Male ≈50 kg (110 pounds)
Female ≈42 kg (93 pounds)
Height Male 61 to 68 cm (24-27 inches)
Female 56 to 63 cm (22-25 inches)
Coat Short, hard and thick
Color Black and rust or black and a mahogany
Life span 8-10 years

Classification & standards
FCI Group 2 Section 2 #147
AKC Working
ANKC Group 6 (Utility)
CKC Group 3 - Working
KC (UK) Working
NZKC Utility
UKC Guardian Dog

The Rottweiler, or Rottweil Metzgerhund (Butchers Dog), is a "medium to large size, stalwart dog" breed originating in Germany as a herding dog. It is a hardy and very intelligent breed. Rottweilers also worked as draught dogs, pulling carts to carry meat and other products to market. "Rottweiler breeders aim at a dog of abundant strength, black coated with clearly defined rich tan markings, whose powerful appearance does not lack nobility and which is exceptionally well suited to being a companion, service and working dog."

The Rottweiler was kept busy in these traditional roles until the mid-19th century when railroads replaced droving for getting livestock to market. Although there are still Rottweilers working stock all over the world, many other roles have been found for this versatile breed.

During the first and second World Wars, Rottweilers were put into service as guard dogs. Currently they are often used as guard and police dogs in addition to their traditional roles.

· Description :

The breed is always black with clearly defined tan or mahogany markings above the eyes, on the cheeks, muzzle, chest and legs. 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 their periods. The skull is typically massive, but without excessive jowls.

· Appearance :

Technically a "medium / large" breed, according to the FCI standard the Rottweiler stands 61 to 68 cm (24-27 inches) at the withers for males, and 56 to 62.5 cm (22-25 inches) for females, and the average weight is 50 kg (110 pounds) for males and 42 kg (93 pounds) for females.

· Temperament :

According to the FCI Standard, the typical Rottweiler is "good natured, placid in basic disposition and fond of children, very devoted, obedient, biddable and eager to work. His appearance is natural and rustic, his behaviour self assured, steady and fearless. He reacts to his surroundings with great alertness."

The Rottweiller ranks 9th in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs, being one of the brightest 10 dogs ranked by obedience command trainability.

Rottweilers are not recommended for people who have little experience with dogs or understand little about dog psychology and responsible canine ownership. Obedience training and socialization are essential.

Rottweilers are an extremely powerful breed with well developed genetic guarding and herding instincts, and prey drive. As with any breed, potentially dangerous behaviour in Rottweilers results from irresponsible ownership, abuse, neglect, or lack of socialization. Because of their size, power and weight, an aggressive Rottweiler can cause a higher level of damage than a smaller, weaker dog. Injuries and maulings may occur when an owner or passerby tries to separate fighting dogs, or unintentionally triggers a guarding behavior in a dog.

The breed has received some negative publicity. In the US, the Rottweiler is the number one breed of dog named in fatal human attacks in 2000, in a report by the CDC. These reports must be read in the context of the breed's popularity as it was the most popular breed in the United States in the same period.

The portrayal of Rottweilers as evil dogs in several fictional films and TV series, most notably in The Omen, and sensationalist media hysteria has added to their negative publicity. This hysteria has led to Rottweilers being banned in some municipalities and are sometimes targeted as dangerous dogs by legislation, such as in the Netherlands and Portugal. However, some films have portrayed the gentler side of a Rottweiler's personality, including Lethal Weapon 3 where a Rottweiler guarding a gun smuggling operation is placated by one of the main characters with dog treats, and later rescued and de facto adopted.

Rottweiler memorial in Rottweil, Germany

Although an extremely versatile breed used in recent times for many other purposes, the Rottweiler is first and foremost one of the oldest, if not the oldest, of herding breeds. A multi-faceted herding and stock protection dog of exceptional ability, it is capable of working all kinds of livestock under a wide variety of conditions.

The breed is an ancient one, whose 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 droving dog, local dogs 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.

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.

The various German Rottweiler Clubs amalgamated to form the Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiller Klub - e.V (ADRK) which is recognised worldwide as the home club of the Rottweiler.

The build up to 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. In fact, in the mid 1990s, the popularity of the Rottweiler reached an all time high with it being the 1st most registered dog by the American Kennel Club.
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