The Rottweiler probably was selectively bred from a Mastiff breed, possibly the Italian Mastiff. Originally bred in Rottweil, Germany, the town from which the breed took its name, during medieval times, Rottweilers were utilized primarily for the herding of livestock. It was not until the 20th century that the breed gained in popularity The Rottweiler is an impressive physical specimen with its dense, powerful, heavy muscled body. The muzzle is stout with a scissor type bite, and is adorned with large, very expressive dark brown to chestnut eyes. The ears are pendant and typically carried forward. The hair coat is short, course, and thick, the color black, with tan spots on the cheeks, muzzle, legs, and paws. The tail is customarily docked.
Many breeders and breed enthusiasts claim that there is a difference between the German and American type being tall, lanky, and with a narrow head. Others dispute these differences as general breed variations with no distinct separation.
The Rottweiler tends to be calm, highly trainable, exemplifies courage, and very protective and devoted to their families. They are powerful fighters that seem to have a remarkably high threshold for pain. Rottweilers are excellent
guard dogs dogs that will fiercely alert of intruders and fiercely defend its home. Highly intelligent, this trait combined with their powerful bodies and their lack of reluctance to fight and defend, they have proven invaluable as police and military dogs.
Their guarding and protective instincts, however, require careful socialization and training or the result can be an excessively aggressive dog. Trained correctly by an owner who displays strong leadership, they also have great potential to be loving, loyal, and playful dogs. For this reason, socialization and training must begin at an early age with as much exposure to other dogs and people as possible, with training focused primarily with the owner (s) being quickly established as the dog’s leader. Under this kind of ideal socialization and training, Rottweilers can be excellent companions for children, other dogs, and even cats. Rottweilers also excel at competitive obedience and tracking.
Rottweilers require a lot of exercise. Daily walks and regular access to running in an open area is a must. Rottweilers are probably too active and large to consider for apartment living, with a Rottweilers are average shedders whose coats are easily maintained with regular brushing. Bathing should be only as is necessary, and under normal circumstances should not be performed more than once every 2 weeks.
Rottweilers are prone to hip dysplasia, osteosarcoma of the knee or wrist, elbow dysplasia, and CCL rupture. For this reason it is important to ask the breeder for pre-breeding screening of the bitch and sire for these diseases prior to purchase of a puppy. Life expectancy is 10 -12 years.
Height: Males 25-30 inches. Bitches 23-28 inches.
Weight: Males 90-140 pounds. Bitches 85-125 pounds.
By: Roger L. Welton, DVM
President Maybeck Animal Hospital
Author Canine and Feline 101