The Rottweiler is said to be descended from the drover dogs of ancient
Rome. These mastiff- type dogs accompanied the Roman Legions across the
Alps herding their cattle and guarding their camps. One such camp, on the
banks of the Neckar River in what is now southern Germany, was the origin
of the town of Rottweil (named for the red tile roofs of the villas built
by the Romans). Through the mid-1800's, the cattle trade flourished in
Rottweil, as did the Rottweiler Metzgerhund (butcher dog), who drove the
cattle to market and returned with the filled purses of their masters
around their necks. As rail transportation became the primary means of
bringing cattle to market, the dogs were used less frequently. Legend has
it that by 1905 there was but one Rottweiler left in the town of Rottweil.
By the early 1900's though, the Rottweiler gained popularity as a police
dog. Several Clubs were formed, and in 1921 united as the Allgemeiner
Deutscher Rottweiler Klub (ADRK). In 1931, the first Rottweiler was
admitted to the AKC Stud Book. Through the 1970's, the Rottweiler was a
fairly uncommon dog in the United States, ranking in the middle of AKC
registered breeds in terms of number of dogs registered. In the early
1980's the Rottweiler began a meteoric rise in popularity, and has been the
second most popular AKC breed since 1992.


The Rottweiler is a medium-large, powerful dog. His compact and substantial
build denotes great strength, agility and endurance. On average, males will
range from 95 to 135 lbs and 24" to 27" at the shoulder. They are more
massive throughout with larger frame and heavier bone than bitches. Bitches
will range from 80 to 100 lbs and from 22" to 25" at the shoulder. Animals
can be found which are taller or shorter than these measurements, however,
they are not considered typical by the breed standard.

The Rottweiler is ALWAYS black, with clearly defined markings on cheeks,
muzzle, chest and legs as well as over both eyes, that range from tan to
deep mahogany. His coat is straight, coarse and of medium length, with an
undercoat varying in degree based on climatic conditions. Please note, Red,
Blue, White, Liver are NOT RARE Rottweiler colors; they are unacceptable
colors and most likely the result of interbreeding Rottweilers with other
breeds of dogs.

The Rottweiler is a calm and self-confident dog, who has an inherent desire
to protect home and family. Personality may range from highly affectionate
to extremely aloof. He is not shy nor highly excitable. He is an
intelligent and highly trainable dog. He is also very much a companion,
often following their family members from room to room in the home. Because
of his size and strength, it is imperative that he receive proper
socialization and obedience training from an early age. Nervous, shy,
excitable or hyperactive individuals are exhibiting traits which are
undesirable in an animal the size and strength of the Rottweiler and should
be avoided.


These traits vary with the individual dog to some degree, although all have
a strong territorial instinct and will defend their master's home, car and
property from intruders. Rottweilers have also been known to bully or bluff
their owners or other people, a trait that is most disconcerting. This
problem is easily prevented through early obedience training and the
development of a mutually rewarding working relationship.

Many families have purchased a Rottweiler for it's protectiveness, only to
discover that it brings with it a considerable moral and legal
responsibility. Problems arise quickly; the dog may not be able to
distinguish between a bear-hug greeting of a family member, or a cherished
friend, and the hostile advances of an intruder, particularly if the
greetings between parties includes loud shouts, laughter or screams. Dogs
must be carefully schooled to accept your friends into your home but
physical contact should be approached carefully until the dog realizes that
you belong. Strangers must never come into your yard unannounced, the dog
doesn't know the difference between your brother and a burglar. Although
the Rottweiler does not usually bite without provocation, even being
cornered and held by one of these dogs is a very unnerving experience for
meter men, delivery persons or neighbors wandering into the yard while the
owner is absent. People expected to be in contact with the dog while the
owners are absent should be thoroughly familiar with the dog.

American Rottweiler Club, Inc. c 1996