It is popular because of being big-sized and good working dog, and being one of the most intelligent and easy to train breeds; it is mostly used as a police dog. The markings in the Rottweilers are one of the characteristics that define this breed, as they usually repeat in a very similar way among the specimens.
The breed first appeared in the German region of Rottweil. However, its history dates back to the time of the Roman Empire. At that time, the ancestors of the current Rottweiler were employed as guardian and herding dogs.
When the Romans arrived in the region of Rottweil, their dogs crossed with native dogs of the place. The result of these crosses gave rise to the “butcher Dog of Rottweil”, which was used to assist local butchers during the slaughter of the cattle. These dogs were in charge of controlling the bulls and more aggressive cows, making the activity of the butchers easier. Because of their bravery, they were also used to protect the properties. As time passed by, the ability of this breed was recognized for other activities and its popularity began to emerge.
When at the beginning of the twentieth century canine breeds were sought for the police service, the Rottweiler was tested. It was quickly shown that this dog was perfectly suitable for the tasks of the police service. That’s why in 1910, it was officially named as a police dog. The preparation for the First World War provoked a great demand of police dogs, and that led to a resurgence of interest in the Rottweiler. During the World Wars I and II, Rottweilers were put into service in various roles, including as messenger dogs and for the delivery of explosive devices in enemy territories, ambulances and guard.
In 1931 the Rottweiler was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. In 1936 the Rottweiler was exhibited in the UK in Crufts. In 1966 a separate register was opened for the race. In fact, in mid-1990, the Rottweiler’s popularity reached its highest point as it is the most registered dog by the American Kennel Club.
The Rottweiler is a big-sized, robust dog without being coarse, neither light, nor fragile, nor with extremities too high. Its strong, compact and proportional figure allows us to conclude that it is a very powerful dog, agile and resistant.
The female weighs approximately 42 kg and measures between 56 and 63 cm up to the withers, considering an optimum height between 60 and 61 centimeters. The male weighs approximately 50 kilograms and measures between 61 and 68 cm, being desirable to measure between 65 and 66 cm. The length of the trunk according to the standard of the International Cynologique Federation should not exceed the height by more than 15%. This is measured from the sternum to the ischial protuberance.
The morphology of the head is decisive in the evaluation of a specimen. According to the German standard, the length of the skull measured from the tip of the occipital to the inner corner of the eye should be 8.5 to 13 cm in females and from 9.5 to 15 cm in males. In addition, the ratio between the skull and snout is 6 to 4 or, in other words, 60% of the total length of the head must be occupied by the skull, leaving the remaining 40% for the snout.
The Rottweiler has a good temperament, quiet, very devout, obedient, docile and eager to work. Its appearance is natural and rustic, its behavior self-confident, firm and fearless. They react to their environment with a great mental lucidity. A Rottweiler is self-confident and responds quietly and with an attitude of waiting and seeing the attitude of influences from its surroundings. It has an inherent desire to protect the home and the family, and is an intelligent dog of extreme hardness and adaptability, with a strong will to work, which makes them especially suitable as companions, guardians and dogs of general use.
The potentially dangerous behavior in Rottweilers is usually the result of an irresponsible owner, abuse, neglect or lack of socialization and training. However, the Rottweiler’s exceptional strength is an additional risk factor that should not be neglected. It is for this reason that the experts recommend for the breed the formal training and broad socialization, essential elements for this race. It is one of the 8 “potentially dangerous” breed according to Spanish law.
The Rottweiler needs an authoritarian owner who knows how to treat it and dominate it. It is important to focus on training and socialization so that it does not develop an aggressive or nervous behavior. Although it doesn’t need to exercise much, having a garden so that it can run daily would be ideal. It is advisable to control it diet so that it does not fatten.
Rottweilers are relatively healthy. As with most big-sized breeds, hip dysplasia may be a problem. Dissecting Osteochondritis, a disease that affects the shoulder joints, can also be a problem because of being a breed which grows fast.
As any breed, hereditary conditions occur in some lineages. Because of recent population excess, cancer has become one of the leading causes of premature 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.
If they are overfed or do little exercise, the Rottweilers are prone to obesity. Some of the consequences of obesity can be very serious, including arthritis, respiratory difficulties, diabetes, heart failure, reproductive problems, skin diseases, decreased disease resistance and overheating caused by the thick layer of fat under the skin.
They have a life expectancy of 10 years.
You can download the FCI (International Cinological Federation) standard at the following link: http://www.fci.be/Nomenclature/Standards/147g02-en.pdf