Like all working dogs, the Rottweiler breed has an ancient history stretching back to the European invasions by the Romans where the dog’s ancestors herded livestock. Then, the Germans followed suit when the breed’s excellent guarding and herding capabilities were harnessed in many tasks. However, Rottweilers almost became instinct, which would have been a great loss to humankind, until a club was formed in the 1900s with the sole purpose of bringing the dogs back from obscurity.
Nowadays, Rottweilers are recognized by the American Kennel Club as belonging to the working group. In many instances, these dogs work as cattle drivers, police dogs, therapy dogs and guard dogs with their popularity as family pets on the rise. Such popularity of the Rottweiler breed comes as no surprise since these dogs are very loyal, affectionate and protective of their masters – all the hallmarks of a great family dog.
Champion Rottweilers are of medium large size with a robust overall appearance. The physique must evoke powerful strength, agility and endurance even in the compact build for which the breed is known for. Both dogs and bitches must have a substantial build although the males are usually larger in size with heavier bone structure than the females.
Rottweilers are expected to possess a smooth forehead, almond shaped eyes with well-fitting lids, and triangular ears. The nose must be broad, the lips are black and the teeth meet in a scissor bite. It must be noted that these desirable traits are applied to Rottweilers entering dog show competitions, thus, certain variations will occur among family pets and working dogs.
The Rottweiler is also known for its straight, coarse and dense outer coat, which should be of medium length and lying flat on the skin. The colors of Rottweilers are usually black with mahogany and rust markings although there are dogs with straw coats and no markings at all. It all depends on whether the dog will be entered in dog show competitions or retained as a family pet, thus, the strict requirements of coat colors, shape of head and structure of body, among other criteria, for champion Rottweilers.
As for the gait, Rottweilers are trotters with balanced, powerful and confident gait. When the dog appears to walk slowly, the probable cause is illness that must be checked over by the veterinarian.
The Rottweiler breed is one of the best dogs for many purposes. When these dogs are properly trained and socialized, owners can expect calm, confident and courageous pets. However, Rottweilers are not sociable animals per se in that their attitude toward new friends, be it human or canine, is one of a wait-and-see approach. Easy friendships do not come to these dogs but once the friendship has been formed, it will last for a lifetime.
Rottweilers are also known for being intelligent, hardworking and extremely adaptable to any situation. These traits make for excellent companion dogs as well as dogs with uses in police and medical fields.
Despite the undeserved negative rap heaped on the Rottweiler breed by individuals that have never owned one in the first place, these dogs are loved by their owners. It takes actual ownership to enjoy the joys that Rottweilers can give to the household.