The Rottweiler is a medium to large sized breed of dog. The history of the breed most likely dates back to the Roman Empire. It is likely this breed is a descendent of ancient Roman drover dogs. This was a Mastiff type dog that was dependable and rugged with great intelligence and guarding qualities. They were known as “Rottweil butchers’ dogs” due to the fact that they were used to herd livestock, and pull carts filled with butchered meat and other goods to market. The breed worked in its traditional role up until the mid-19th century, when the rail system replaced droving for herding livestock to the market. Although they are still used for herding, they are now used in many other roles such as search and rescue dogs, guide dogs for the blind, guard dogs, police dogs, and many other roles.
This breed is about being balanced, having great endurance, being proportionate, intelligent and strong. The skull is of a medium length, and is broad between his ears. The nose is well developed, with relatively large nostrils, always black, and is more round than broad. The lips are black and close fitting, and the corner of the mouth should not be visible. The eyes are medium in size, dark brown in color and almond shaped, with close fitting eyelids. The dog’s ears are also medium sized, triangular, pendant, wide apart and is set high on the head. The skull appears to be broadened with the ears laid forward close to the head. The back of the dog is straight, strong, and firm. The chest is broad, deep and roomy. Traditionally this dogs tail was docked, however this has become banned in many countries. This breed has two coats; an undercoat and an outer coat. The outer coat is course, dense, flat and of medium length; while the undercoat should be seen on the neck and thighs. The colors and markings of the breed are distinctive. It should always be black with well- defined mahogany or rust colored markings. These should not take up more than ten percent of the dog’s body color. The Rottweiler stands 61-69 cm at the withers in males, and 56-63 cm for females. The male’s weight must be between 110-132 lbs, and 77-105 lbs for the females.
The behavior of the Rottweiler is self- assured, steady and fearless, and is good natured and placid in basic disposition. He is very devoted, obedient, biddable, and very eager to work, and react to their surroundings with great alertness. The breed loves their owners and family and may behave in a silly manner towards family members and friends, but they are also very protective of their territory and are very aloof of strangers until introduced. Early obedience training and socialization are required.
The breed is a fairly healthy and disease free breed. Some health concerns with the breed include hip dysplasia, osteochondritis dissecans, and entropion or ectropion. The breed is also more susceptible to the parvovirus, and are prone to obesity, which can lead to arthritis, diabetes, heart failure, skin disease, breathing difficulties, and reproductive problems. The average lifespan of the Rottweiler is 8-10 years.