Tracing the history of any breed of dog is almost impossible prior to of the breed societies at about this time.
However, one can draw certain conclusions from the history of man's own evolution, campaigns, commercial
ventures and fossil remains; from these, an intelligent synthesis can be made.
Most accounts of Rottweiler history start with the Roman invasion of Germany and the crossing of the Alps by the
legions in the first century AD. Statements made to support or reject this source are difficult to prove or disprove,
but conclusions can be drawn from premises which have a measure of acceptability. One may say, without fear of
contradiction, that the term 'Rottweiler' cannot be applied to the herding-guarding dog dogs used by Roman
legionaries during the course of their stay in Germany. The Roman Influence lasted not much longer than two
hundred years, and the dogs they brought with them certainly influenced the breed, whilst the settlement they built,
das rote wil (which later became Rotwil and still later Rottweil), gave the breed the name by which it is known today.
The romans returned to Rome in the third century AD, after their defeat by the Germanic tribe known as the
Bazille, An early Rottweiler authority, accepted the history that the breed is a direct descendant of the Bavarois
Bouvier, dating back to Roman times, supported by the roads built by early Romans. On the other hand, Hans Korn,
Author of the classic Der Rottweiler, is of the opinion that the breed descended partly from this early Roman dog
there from the north after the Roman invasion.
A feature that emerges very clearly in the history of the dog's evolution is that no dog was confined to a particular
country. When one refers to a British or German breed, the reference is only valid if applied to a definite and limited
time period, A dog may have originated in a particular country, but its ancestors most probably came from outside,
whilst its descendants may have emigrated to create further breeds elsewhere. The term "Pure Breed" cannot be
applied to any breed except in the very limited sense demanded by the breed or canine societies, in the context of
The City of Rottweil
No history of the breed would be complete without some reference to the city from which it derives its name and
with which, to this day, it still retains strong associations.
Five hundred years after the departure of the Romans, new conquerors, in the shape of the Franks of the holy
Roman Empire, arrived and exerted considerable influence on the area. A Christian Church was built and a new
settlement grew up. The site, like earlier Roma ones, was called wil (from villa) and, To distinguish it from others, it
was called das Rote Wil after the red colour of the tiles and bricks unearthed from earlier Roman buildings and
The City of Rottweil and dogs are synonymous. Pointing out that the dog featured in numerous early forms AD 180,
to stone carvings featured on a chapel tower.
All of this led to increasing respect for the "Butcher's Dog," and local owners began selectively breeding them. Since
they were considered far superior to others of their type to be found in that area, the name "Rottweiler" was
bestowed upon them to distinguish them from the rest. This name has remained until the present day.
In the study of the Rottweiler. It is useful to have some idea of its antecedents, how the dog developed and how its
instincts and capacities were modified and adapted to carry out its working role. This knowledge will help us to
appreciate the modern breed and see its mental and physical characteristics in true perspective. This is the basis for
any interpretation of the standard, the correctness of which is necessary to every breeder, judge and student.
In concluding this brief historical look at the Rottweiler, any attempt to appraise the relative contributions made at
different point in time to the breed seem quite unfair and inappropriate. A superstructure is only as sound as the
foundation on which it is built, and the metaphorical extension of this would be to conclude that the Romans
selected the ground and cleared the way for the Renaissance drovers to lay the foundations; the Swabian Butchers
built the superstructure and the finish was applied by the German Breed clubs.
Information Taken From The Book:
THE NEW ROTTWEILER
For Owners, Breeders And Judges
Of : Jim Pettengell
DENTAL ANATOMY OF DOGS
As of June 1, 1998, a federal law was passed in Germany prohibiting the docking of Rottweiler tails.The basis for this law was
the fact that the practice of docking and cropping was deemed to be inhumane.
In order to comply with the new federal law requiring tails to be left in their natural state, the ADRK (national breed club in
Gemany) revised their breed standard for the Rottweiler to reflect the required natural tail.
TAIL: In natural condition, level in extension of the upper line; at ease may be hanging. Faults: Set on too high or too low.
Disqualifying faults: Kink tail, ring-tail, with strong lateral deviation.
The FCI translated and adopted the new breed standard and gave all FCI member countries several years to comply with the
As more and more countries are adopting the anti-docking platform for Rottweilers in order to comply with the revised
ADRK/FCI Standard, and tails are becoming more commonplace, it is very important to become familiar with both the good
and bad tailsets out there. Below are illustrations of those tailsets.
The Rottweiler Biography
UTILIZATION: Companion, service and working dog
FCI CLASSIFICATION: Group 2 (Pinscher and Schnauzer type, Molossian type, SwissMountain- and Cattle Dogs and other
Section 2.1: Molossian type, Mastiff type. With working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY:
The Rottweiler is considered to be one of the oldest dog breeds. Its origin goes back to Roman times. These dogs were kept as
herder or driving dogs. They marched over the Alps with the Roman legions, protecting the humans and driving their cattle. In
the region of Rottweil, these dogs met and mixed with the native dogs in a natural crossing. The main task of the Rottweiler
now became the driving and guarding of the herds of cattle and the defence of their masters and their property.
This breed acquired its name from the old free city of Rottweil and was known as the Rottweil butcher’s dog’. The butchers
bred this type of dog purely for performance and usefulness. In due course, a first rate watch and driving dog evolved which
could also be used as a draught dog. When, at the beginning of the twentieth century, various breeds were needed for police
service, the Rottweiler was amongst those tested. It soon became evident that the breed was highly suitable for the tasks set
by police service and therefore they were officially recognized as police dogs in 1910.
Rottweiler breeders aim at a dog of abundant strength, black coated with clearly defined rich tan markings, whose powerful
appearance does not lack nobility and which is exceptionally well suited to being a companion, service and working dog.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: The Rottweiler is a medium to large size, stalwart dog, neither heavy nor light and neither leggy
nor weedy. His correctly proportioned, compact and powerful build leads to the conclusion of great strength, agility and
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: The length of the body, measured from the point of the sternum (breast-bone) to the
ischiatic tuberosity, should not exceed the height at the withers by, at most, 15 %.
BEHAVIOUR/TEMPERAMENT: Good-natured, placid in basic disposition and fond of children, very devoted, obedient,
biddable and eager to work. His appearance is natural and rustic, his behaviour self-assured, steady and fearless. He reacts to
his surroundings with great alertness.
Skull: Of medium length, broad between the ears. Forehead line moderately arched as seen from the side. Occipital bone well
developed without being conspicuous.
Stop: Well defined
Nose: Well developed, more broad than round with relatively large nostrils, always black.
Muzzle: The foreface should appear neither elongated nor shortened in relation to the cranial region.
Straight nasal bridge, broad at base, moderately tapered.
Lips: Black, close fitting, corner of the mouth not visible, gum as dark as possible.
Jaws/Teeth: Upper and lower jaw strong and broad. Strong, complete dentition (42 teeth) with scissor
bite, the upper incisors closely overlapping the lower incisors.
Cheeks: Zygomatic arches pronounced.
Eyes: Of medium size, almond-shaped, dark brown in colour. Eyelids close fitting.
Ears: Medium-sized, pendant, triangular, wide apart, set on high. With the ears laid forward close to the
head, the skull appears to be broadened.
NECK: Strong, of fair length, well muscled, slightly arched, clean, free from throatiness, without dewlap.
Back: Straight, strong, firm.
Loins: Short, strong and deep.
Croup: Broad, of medium length, slightly rounded. Neither flat nor falling away.
Chest: Roomy, broad and deep (approximately 50 % of the shoulder height) with well developed forechest
and well sprung ribs.
Belly: Flanks not tucked up.
TAIL: In natural condition, level in extension of the upper line; at ease may be hanging.
FOREQUARTERS: Seen from the front, the front legs are straight and not placed too closely to each other. The
forearm, seen from the side, stands straight and vertical. The slope of the shoulder blade is about 45 degrees to
Shoulders: Well laid back.
Upper arm: Close fitting to the body.
Forearm: Strongly developed and muscular.
Pasterns: Slightly springy, strong, not steep.
Front feet: Round, tight and well arched; pads hard; nails short, black and strong.
HINDQUARTERS: Seen from behind, legs straight and not too close together. When standing free, obtuse angles are formed
between the dog’s upper thigh and the hip bone, the upper thigh and the lower thigh, and the lower thigh and metatarsal.
Upper thigh: Moderately long, broad and strongly muscled.
Lower thigh: Long, strongly and broadly muscled, sinewy.
Hocks: Sturdy, well angulated hocks; not steep.
Hindfeet: Slightly longer than the front feet. Toes strong, arched, as tight as front feet.
GAIT: The Rottweiler is a trotting dog. In movement the back remains firm and relatively stable. Movement
harmonious, steady, full of energy and unrestricted, with good stride.
SKIN: Skin on the head should be overall tight fitting. When the dog is alert, the forehead may be slightly wrinkled.
Hair: The coat consists of a top coat and an undercoat. The top coat is of medium length, coarse, dense
and flat. The undercoat must not show through the top coat. The hair is a little longer on the hindlegs.
Colour: Black with clearly defined markings of a rich tan on the cheeks, muzzle, throat, chest and legs, as
well as over both eyes and under the base of the tail.
SIZE AND WEIGHT :
Height: at withers is 61 - 68 cm
61 - 62 cm is small
63 - 64 cm medium height
65 - 66 cm is large (correct height)
67 - 68 cm is very large
Weight: 50 kg
Height: at withers is 56 - 63 cm
56 - 57 cm is small
58 - 59 cm medium height
60 - 61 cm is large (correct height)
62 - 63 cm very large
Weight: Approximately 42 kg
FAULTS: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should
be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.
General appearance: Light, weedy, leggy appearance. Light in bone and muscle.
Head: Hound-type head. Narrow, light, too short, long or coarse head. Flat forehead (lack of stop or too little stop).
Foreface: Long or pointed muzzle; split nose; Roman nose (convex nasal bridge) or dish-faced (concave nasal bridge); acquiline
nose; pale or spotted nose (butterfly nose).
Lips: Pendulous, pink or patchy; corner of lips visible.
Jaws: Narrow lower jaw.
Bite: Pincer bite.
Cheeks: Strongly protruding.
Eyes: Light, deep set. Also too full and round eyes; loose eyelids.
Ears: Set on too low, heavy, long, slack or turned backwards. Also flying ears or ears not carried symmetricaly.
Neck: Too long, thin, lacking muscle. Showing dewlap or throaty.
Body: Too long, too short or too narrow.
Back: Too long, weak; sway back or roach back.
Croup: Too sloping, too short, too flat or too long.
Chest: Flat-ribbed or barrel-shaped. Too narrow behind.
Tail: Set on too high or too low.
Forequarters: Narrow or crooked front legs. Steep shoulder placement. Loose or out at elbow. Too long, too short or too
straight in upper arm. Weak or steep pastern. Splayed feet. Too flat or too arched toes. Deformed toes. Light coloured nails.
Hindquarters: Flat thighs, hocks too close, cow hocks or barrel hocks. Joints with too little or too much angulation. Dewclaws.
Skin: Wrinkles on head.
Coat: Soft, too short or long. Wavy coat; lack of undercoat.
Colour: Markings of incorrect colour, not clearly defined. Markings which are too spread out.
Behaviour: Anxious, shy, cowardly, gun-shy, vicious, excessively suspicious, nervous animals.
General: Distinct reversal of sexual type, i.e. feminine dogs or masculine bitches.
Teeth: Overshot or undershot bite, wry mouth; lack of one incisive tooth, one canine, one premolar or one molar.
Eyes: Entropion, ectropion, yellow eyes, different coloured eyes.
Tail: Kink tail, ring-tail, with strong lateral deviation.
Hair: Definitely long or wavy coat.
Colour: Dogs which do not show the typical Rottweiler colouring of black with tan markings. White markings.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
NB : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
Robust and powerful, the Rottweiler is happiest when given a job to perform. His intelligence, endurance and willingness to
work make him suitable as a police dog, herder, service dog, therapy dog, obedience competitor and devoted companion. An
inherent protector, the Rottweiler is self-confident and responds quietly and with a wait-and-see attitude to influences in his
environment. He must be medium in size and his coat is black with rust to mahogany markings.
A Look Back
The Rottweiler's ancestors were the drover's dogs accompanying the herds the Romans brought with them when invading
Europe. The controllable herding and guarding instincts were recognized by the Germans, and dogs were selectively bred for
these traits. As need for its services diminished, the Rottweiler almost fell into extinction. In the early 1900s, a newly formed
club established a breed standard. The breed has not appreciably changed since that time.
Right Breed for You?
Rottweilers love their people and may behave in a clownish manner toward family and friends, but they are also protective of
their territory and do not welcome strangers until properly introduced. Obedience training and socialization are musts.
Rottweilers must be exercised daily, but require minimal grooming maintenance.
If you are considering purchasing a Rottweiler puppy, learn more here.
Working Group; AKC recognized in 1931.
Ranging in size from 22 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder.
Guard dog; cattle driver.
© The American Kennel Club, Inc.
Rottweiler Breed Standard Working Group
The ideal Rottweiler is a medium large, robust and powerful dog, black with clearly defined rust markings. His compact and
substantial build denotes great strength, agility and endurance. Dogs are characteristically more massive throughout with
larger frame and heavier bone than bitches. Bitches are distinctly feminine, but without weakness of substance or structure.
Size, Proportion, Substance
Males--24 inches to 27 inches.
Bitches--22 inches to 25 inches,
with preferred size being mid-range of each sex. Correct proportion is of primary importance, as long as size is within the
standard's range. The length of body, from prosternum to the rearmost projection of the rump, is slightly longer than the
height of the dog at the withers, the most desirable proportion of the height to length being 9 to 10. The Rottweiler is neither
coarse nor shelly. Depth of chest is approximately fifty percent (50%) of the height of the dog. His bone and muscle mass
must be sufficient to balance his frame, giving a compact and very powerful appearance. Serious Faults--Lack of proportion,
undersized, oversized, reversal of sex characteristics (bitchy dogs, doggy bitches).
Of medium length, broad between the ears; forehead line seen in profile is moderately arched; zygomatic arch and stop well
developed with strong broad upper and lower jaws. The desired ratio of backskull to muzzle is 3 to 2. Forehead is preferred
dry, however some wrinkling may occur when dog is alert. Expression is noble, alert, and self-assured. Eyes of medium size,
almond shaped with well fitting lids, moderately deep-set, neither protruding nor receding. The desired color is a uniform
dark brown. Serious Faults--Yellow (bird of prey) eyes, eyes of different color or size, hairless eye rim.
Disqualification--Entropion. Ectropion. Ears of medium size, pendant, triangular in shape; when carried alertly the ears are
level with the top of the skull and appear to broaden it. Ears are to be set well apart, hanging forward with the inner edge
lying tightly against the head and terminating at approximately mid-cheek. Serious Faults--Improper carriage (creased,
folded or held away from cheek/head). Muzzle--Bridge is straight, broad at base with slight tapering towards tip. The end of
the muzzle is broad with well developed chin. Nose is broad rather than round and always black. Lips-Always black; corners
closed; inner mouth pigment is preferred dark. Serious Faults--Total lack of mouth pigment (pink mouth). Bite and
Dentition--Teeth 42 in number (20 upper, 22 lower), strong, correctly placed, meeting in a scissors bite--lower incisors
touching inside of upper incisors. Serious Faults--Level bite; any missing tooth. Disqualifications--Overshot, undershot (when
incisors do not touch or mesh); wry mouth; two or more missing teeth.
Neck, Topline, Body
Neck--Powerful, well muscled, moderately long, slightly arched and without loose skin. Topline--The back is firm and level,
extending in a straight line from behind the withers to the croup. The back remains horizontal to the ground while the dog is
moving or standing. Body--The chest is roomy, broad and deep, reaching to elbow, with well pronounced forechest and well
sprung, oval ribs. Back is straight and strong. Loin is short, deep and well muscled. Croup is broad, of medium length and only
slightly sloping. Underline of a mature Rottweiler has a slight tuck-up. Males must have two normal testicles properly
descended into the scrotum. Disqualification--Unilateral cryptorchid or cryptorchid males. Tail--Tail docked short, close to
body, leaving one or two tail vertebrae. The set of the tail is more important than length. Properly set, it gives an impression
of elongation of topline; carried slightly above horizontal when the dog is excited or moving.
Shoulder blade is long and well laid back. Upper arm equal in length to shoulder blade, set so elbows are well under body.
Distance from withers to elbow and elbow to ground is equal. Legs are strongly developed with straight, heavy bone, not set
close together. Pasterns are strong, springy and almost perpendicular to the ground. Feet are round, compact with well
arched toes, turning neither in nor out. Pads are thick and hard. Nails short, strong and black. Dewclaws may be removed.
Angulation of hindquarters balances that of forequarters. Upper thigh is fairly long, very broad and well muscled. Stifle joint
is well turned. Lower thigh is long, broad and powerful, with extensive muscling leading into a strong hock joint. Rear
pasterns are nearly perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, hind legs are straight, strong and wide enough apart
to fit with a properly built body. Feet are somewhat longer than the front feet, turning neither in nor out, equally compact
with well arched toes. Pads are thick and hard. Nails short, strong, and black. Dewclaws must be removed.
Outer coat is straight, coarse, dense, of medium length and lying flat. Undercoat should be present on neck and thighs, but
the amount is influenced by climatic conditions. Undercoat should not show through outer coat. The coat is shortest on head,
ears and legs, longest on breeching. The Rottweiler is to be exhibited in the natural condition with no trimming. Fault--Wavy
coat. Serious Faults--Open, excessively short, or curly coat; total lack of undercoat; any trimming that alters the length of the
natural coat. Disqualification--Long coat.
Always black with rust to mahogany markings. The demarcation between black and rust is to be clearly defined. The
markings should be located as follows: a spot over each eye; on cheeks; as a strip around each side of muzzle, but not on the
bridge of the nose; on throat; triangular mark on both sides of prosternum;on forelegs from carpus downward to the toes; on
inside of rear legs showing down the front of the stifle and broadening out to front of rear legs from hock to toes, but not
completely eliminating black from rear of pasterns; un-der tail; black penciling on toes. The undercoat is gray, tan, or black.
Quantity and location of rust markings is important and should not exceed ten percent of body color. Serious
Faults--Straw-colored, excessive, insufficient or sooty markings; rust marking other than described above; white marking
any place on dog (a few rust or white hairs do not constitute a marking). Disqualifications--Any base color other than black;
absence of all markings.
The Rottweiler is a trotter. His movement should be balanced, harmonious, sure, powerful and unhindered, with strong
forereach and a powerful rear drive. The motion is effortless, efficient, and ground-covering. Front and rear legs are thrown
neither in nor out, as the imprint of hind feet should touch that of forefeet. In a trot the forequarters and hindquarters are
mutually coordinated while the back remains level, firm and relatively motionless. As speed increases the legs will converge
under body towards a center line.
The Rottweiler is basically a calm, confident and courageous dog with a self-assured aloofness that does not lend itself to
immediate and indiscriminate friendships. A Rottweiler is self-confident and responds quietly and with a wait-and-see
attitude to influences in his environment. He has an inherent desire to protect home and family, and is an intelligent dog of
extreme hardness and adaptability with a strong willingness to work, making him especially suited as a companion, guardian
and general all-purpose dog.
The behavior of the Rottweiler in the show ring should be controlled, willing and adaptable, trained to submit to examination
of mouth, testicles, etc. An aloof or reserved dog should not be penalized, as this reflects the accepted character of the breed.
An aggressive or belligerent attitude towards other dogs should not be faulted.
A judge shall excuse from the ring any shy Rottweiler. A dog shall be judged fundamentally shy if, refusing to stand for
examination, it shrinks away from the judge. A dog that in the opinion of the judge menaces or threatens him/her, or exhibits
any sign that it may not be safely approached or examined by the judge in the normal manner, shall be excused from the
ring. A dog that in the opinion of the judge attacks any person in the ring shall be disqualified.
Faults - The foregoing is a description of the ideal Rottweiler. Any structural fault that detracts from the above described
working dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation.
Entropion, ectropion. Overshot, undershot (when incisors do not touch or mesh); wry mouth; two or more missing teeth.
Unilateral cryptorchid or cryptorchid males. Long coat. Any base color other than black; absence of all markings. A dog that
in the opinion of the judge attacks any person in the ring.
Approved May 8, 1990
Effective June 28, 1990
AKC MEET THE BREEDS®: Rottweiler
|Information taken from AKC PAGE
|FCI STANDARD FOR ROTTWEILER