About the Rottweiler
A male Rottweiler will stand anywhere from 24 to 27 muscular inches at the shoulder; females run a bit smaller and lighter. The glistening, short black coat with smart rust markings add to the picture of imposing strength. A thickly muscled hindquarters powers the Rottie’s effortless trotting gait.
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A well-bred and properly raised Rottie will be calm and confident, courageous but not unduly aggressive. The aloof demeanor these world-class guardians present to outsiders belies the playfulness, and downright silliness, that endear Rotties to their loved ones. (No one told the Rottie he’s not a toy breed, so he is liable plop onto your lap for a cuddle.) Early training and socialization will harness a Rottie’s territorial instincts in a positive way.
- Loyal, Loving, Confident Guardian
- AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 8 of 195
- Height: 24-27 inches (male), 22-25 inches (female)
- Weight: 95-135 pounds (male), 80-100 pounds (female)
- Life Expectancy: 9-10 years
- Group: Working Group
The Roman Empire was the organizing force behind Western Europe’s formative years, and dog breeding was among the many pursuits forever altered by the Roman genius for practical problem solving.
When conquering Roman legions marched to far-flung corners of the world, they brought their herds with them as food on the hoof. The army required tough, durable dogs to move and guard the herd. Utilizing Asian mastiff types as breeding stock, the Romans developed the distant ancestor of today’s Rottweiler. For centuries the legions struggled to contain Germanic tribes, the so-called barbarian hoards, massed on the Empire’s northern borders. The dogs the Romans brought to these areas became foundation stock for many German breeds.
In the centuries after the empire’s collapse, the Roman drover dogs found work in the cattle town of Rottweil. It was here, moving herds from pasture to market and protecting all concerned from bandits and rustlers along the way, that they earned the name Rottweiler Metzgerhund, or Butcher’s Dog of Rottweil.
The Rottie’s career in livestock ended with the rise of the railroad cattle cars in the 1800s. They found new work as police dogs, personal protectors, and all-around blue-collar dogs capable of performing various heavy-duty tasks. Rotties were among the first guide dogs for the blind, and in more recent times they distinguished themselves as search-and-rescue workers at such disaster sites as Oklahoma City and the World Trade Center.
Considering the many roles the breed has played during its long history, it is remarkable that the Butcher’s Dog has changed little in form and temper since its first German breed standard was drawn up in 1901.
Care and Training
The Rottweiler should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
Rottweilers love swimming, walking, and trotting, especially with their people. The breed is muscular and athletic, and should have the opportunity to exercise on a daily basis. If there are jobs to do, Rottweilers learn easily to cart and are excellent workers in herding, tracking, and obedience. There is no limit to the canine activities that the Rottweiler can learn to do. Excess weight is not good for any dog, and exercise can help to keep your Rottweiler fit and healthy.
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