Breed Organization American Rottweiler Club Website:
http://www.amrottclub.org Native Country Germany Other Names Rottie, Rottweil Metzgerhund, Butchers Dog Life Expectancy Approximately 9-11 Years Litter Size Average 7-10 Puppies Breed Group AKC Working
Breed Appearance The ideal Rottweiler is a medium large, robust
and powerful dog, black with clearly defined rust markings. His
compact and substantial build denotes great strength, agility and
endurance. Dogs are characteristically more massive throughout with
larger frame and heavier bone than bitches. Bitches are distinctly
feminine, but without weakness of substance or structure.
Breed Description Head: Strong. Broad, moderately convex
skull. Pronounced stop. Rectangular nose bridge. Large nose.
Powerful jaws. Black, tight lips. Ears: Set on high, medium size, triangular, very wide set.
Drop, hanging forward tightly against the head. Eyes: Medium size, almond. Dark brown color. Body: Compact. Powerful neck without loose skin (no dewlap).
Well pronounced forechest. Roomy chest. Ribs well sprung. Short
loin. Tail: Docked (to one or two vertebrae) or natural. Hair: Medium length, coarse to the touch, dense, and lying
flat. Presence of undercoat. Coat: Black with distinct tan markings on the cheeks, above the
eyes, on the muzzle, on the underside of the neck, on the forechest,
legs, and under the root of the tail. Size: Dog: 61 to 68 cm Bitch: 56 to 63 cm Weight: Dog: approx. 50 kg Bitch: approx. 42 kg
History Some writers believe this very German dog is
descended from the Bavarois Bouvier. Others contest that it is
descended from Roman Molosser dogs brought to Germany during the
Roman invasions. By the Middle Ages, this powerful, courageous dog
was already guarding the herd and defending cattle merchants against
bandits in the village of Rottweil in Wurtemberg, Germany. Butchers
commonly kept this dog, and as a result, the breed became known as
the "butcher dog." The first Rottweiler club was formed in 1907.
During World War I, the Rottweiler served in the German army. The
breed was officially recognized in 1966, and it became well-known
worldwide around 1970.
Behavior According to the FCI Standard, the Rottweiler
is good-natured, placid in basic disposition, very devoted,
obedient, biddable and eager to work. Their appearance is natural
and rustic, their behavior self-assured, steady and fearless. They
react to their surroundings with great alertness. The American
Kennel Club says it is basically a calm, confident and courageous
dog with a self-assured aloofness that does not lend itself to
immediate and indiscriminate friendships. A Rottweiler is
self-confident and responds quietly and with a wait-and-see attitude
to influences in its environment. It has an inherent desire to
protect home and family, and is an intelligent dog of extreme
hardness and adaptability with a strong willingness to work, making
them especially suited as a companion, guardian and general
Rottweilers are a powerful breed with well-developed
genetic herding and guarding instincts. Potentially dangerous
behaviour in Rottweilers usually results from irresponsible
ownership, abuse, neglect, or lack of socialisation and training.
However, the exceptional strength of the Rottweiler is an additional
risk factor not to be neglected. It is for this reason that breed
experts declare that formal training and extensive socialisation are
essential for all Rottweilers. According to the AKC, Rottweilers
love their owners and may behave in a clownish manner toward family
and friends, but they are also protective of their territory and do
not welcome strangers until properly introduced. Obedience training
and socialisation are required.
A 2008 study surveying
breed club members found that while Rottweilers were average in
aggressiveness (bites or bite attempts) towards owners and other
dogs, it indicated they tend to be more aggressive than average
towards strangers. This aggression appears correlated with watchdog
and territorial instincts.
Health Rottweilers are a relatively healthy,
disease-free breed. As with most large breeds, hip dysplasia can be
a problem. For this reason the various Rottweiler breed clubs have
had x-ray testing regimes in place for many years. Osteochondritis
Dissecans, a condition affecting the shoulder joints, can also be a
problem due to the breed's rapid growth rate. A reputable breeder
will have the hips and elbows of all breeding stock x-rayed and read
by a recognised specialist, and will have paperwork to prove it.
They will also have certificates that their breeding animals do not
have entropion or ectropion and that they have full and complete
dentition with a scissor bite.
As with any breed, hereditary conditions occur in some lines. The
Rottweiler is very prone to cancer which is amongst the most common
causes of early death in Rottweilers. For unknown reasons,
Rottweilers are more susceptible than other breeds to become
infected with parvovirus, a highly contagious and deadly disease of
puppies and young dogs. Parvovirus can be easily prevented by
following a veterinarian's recommended vaccine protocol.
If overfed or under exercised, Rottweilers are prone to obesity.
Some of the consequences of obesity can be very serious, including
arthritis, breathing difficulties, diabetes, heart failure,
reproductive problems, skin disease, reduced resistance to disease
and overheating caused by the thick jacket of fat under the skin.
Advice Breed experts declare that formal training and
extensive socialisation are essential for all Rottweilers. It
requires considerable space and exercise. He does not like to be
closed in or tied up. This breed does not tolerate heat well.