The Rottweiler

 

is a breed of domestic dog, regarded as medium-to-large or large.

The dogs were known in German as Rottweiler Metzgerhund, meaning Rottweil Butchers dogs, because they were used to heard livestock and pull carts laden with butchered meat and other products to market.

The Rottweiler was employed in its traditional roles until the mid-19th century when Railways replaced droving for herding livestock to market.

While still used in herding, Rottweilers are now used as Search & Rescue Dogs & Guide Dogs for the blind, then as Guard Dogs or Police Dogs and in other roles.

Their just too CUTE

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Although a versatile breed used in recent times for many purposes, the Rottweiler is one of the oldest of herding breeds.

A multi-faceted herding and stock protection dog, it is capable of working all kinds of livestock under a variety of conditions.

The breed’s history likely dates to the Roman Empire, & It is likely that the Rottweiler is a descendant of ancient Roman drover dogs, a mastiff-type dog that was a dependable, rugged dog with great intelligence and guarding instincts.

These drover dogs were not only used to keep the herds of cattle together, but to guard the supply stock at night.

Their really CUDDLY

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It became an important trade centre and the descendants of the Roman cattle dogs proved their worth by driving the cattle to market and protecting the cattle from robbers and wild animals.

The dogs are said to have been used by traveling butchers at markets during the Middle Ages to guard Money Pouches tied around their necks.

The dogs eventually came to be called Rottweiler Metzgerhunds, or butcher dogs.

As railroads became the primary method for moving stock to market, the need for the breed declined, as did the number of Rottweilers.

The number of Rottweilers diminished so severely that by 1882 in a dog show in Heilbronn,there was only one very poor representative of the breed.

The buildup to World War 1 saw a great demand for Police Dogs, and that led to a revival of interest in the Rottweiler.

During the 1st & 2nd World Wars, Rottweilers were put into service in various roles, including as messenger, ambulance, draught, and guard dogs.

Their very ALERT

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In 1931 the Rottweiler was officially recognised by the American Kennel Club & In 1936, Rottweilers were exhibited in Britain at Crufts.

In 1966, a separate register was opened for the breed.

In fact, in the mid-1990s, the popularity of the Rottweiler reached an all-time high with it being the most registered dog by the American Kennel Club.

In 2013, the American Kennel Club ranked the Rottweiler as the 9th most popular pure breed in the United States.

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Technical description

“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.

This breed is all about balance, endurance, proportionality, intelligence and strength. The various standards in place for the Rottweiler’s physical appearance specify these characteristics.

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Size

Technically a “medium / large” breed, according to the FCI standard the Rottweiler stands 61 to 69 cm (24 to 27 in) at the withers for males, 56 to 63 cm (22 to 25 in) for females, and the weight must be between 50 to 60 kg (110–132 lbs) for males and 35–48 kg (77–105 lbs) for females.

Weight must be relative to height.

Temperament

 According to the FCI Standard, the Rottweiler is good-natured, placid in basic disposition, very devoted, obedient, biddable and eager to work.
Their appearance is natural and rustic, their behaviour self-assured, steady and fearless. They react to their surroundings with great alertness.

The Kennel Club says it is:

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 its environment. It 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 them especially suited as a companion, guardian and general all-purpose dog.

Rottweilers are a powerful breed with well-developed genetic herding and guarding instincts.

Potentially dangerous behaviour in Rottweilers usually results from irresponsible ownership, abuse, neglect, or lack of socialisation and training.

However, the exceptional strength of the Rottweiler is an additional risk factor not to be neglected.

It is for this reason that breed experts declare that formal training and extensive socialisation are essential for all Rottweilers.

Obedience training and socialisation are required.

This aggression appears correlated with watchdog and territorial instincts.

They concluded that “fatal attacks on humans appear to be a breed-specific problem (pit bull-type dogs and Rottweilers)….” They also wrote that:

“It is extremely unlikely that they accounted for anywhere near 60% of dogs in the United States during that same period and, thus, there appears to be a breed-specific problem with fatalities.”

Working style

 According to the Kennel Club,Rottweilers have a natural gathering style with a strong desire to control.

This is rarely seen in males when working in confined spaces such as stock yards.

The Rottweiler has a reasonably good natural balance, force-barks when necessary, and when working cattle uses a very intimidating charge.

There is a natural change in forcefulness when herding sheep.

When working cattle, it may use its body and shoulders and for this reason should be used on horned stock with caution.

The Rottweiler, when working cattle, searches out the dominant animal and challenges it.

Upon proving its control over that animal it settles back and tends to its work.

Some growers have found that Rottweilers are especially suited to move stubborn stock that simply ignore Border Collies, Kelpies & others.

Rottweilers use their bodies to physically force the stubborn animal to do its bidding if necessary.

When working with sheep, the Rottweiler shows a gathering/fetching style and reams directions easily. It drives sheep with ease.

In some cases, Rottweilers have begun herding cattle without any experience at all.

If worked on the same stock for any length of time, the Rottweiler tends to develop a bond with the stock and will become quite affectionate with them as long as they do as it directs.

Health

 Rottweilers are a relatively healthy, disease-free breed.
As with most large breeds, hip dysplasia can be a problem.
For this reason the various Rottweiler breed clubs have had x-ray testing regimes in place for many years.
Osteochondritis dissecans a condition affecting the shoulder joints, can also be a problem due to the breed’s rapid growth rate.
A reputable breeder will have the hips and elbows of all breeding stock x-rayed and read by a recognised specialist, and will have paperwork to prove it.
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They will also have certificates that their breeding animals do not have entropion or ectropion and that they have full and complete dentition with a scissor bite.

As with any breed, hereditary conditions occur in some lines.

The Rottweiler is very prone to cancer which is among the most common causes of early death in Rottweilers. For unknown reasons, Rottweilers are more susceptible than other breeds to become infected with Parvo Virus, a highly contagious and deadly disease of puppies and young dogs.

Parvovirus can be easily prevented by following a veterinarian’s recommended vaccine protocol.

If overfed or under exercised, Rottweilers are prone to obesity.

Some of the consequences of obesity can be very serious, including arthritis, breathing difficulties, diabetes, heart failure, reproductive problems, skin disease, reduced resistance to disease and overheating caused by the thick jacket of fat under the skin.

Breed surveys in the US, UK and Denmark, and UK vet data puts the average lifespan of Rottweilers at 8 to 10 years.

Media portrayal

In an event widely reported by the media, a two-year-old UK Rottweiler named Jake owned by Liz Maxted-Bluck was recognised for his bravery by the RSPCA.

The dog was out walking with his owner when they heard screams.

Jake chased off a man as he molested a woman on Hearsall Common, Coventry, in July 2009.

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He located the attacker and his victim in thick scrub, chased off the attacker, led his owner to the scene, then stood guard over the victim until police arrived.

The attacker was convicted of serious sexual assault and jailed for four years.

Jake was nominated by police for the bravery award and medallion after the incident. Detective Constable Clive Leftwich, from Coventry police station, said: “From our point of view Jake the Rottweiler stopped a serious sexual assault from becoming even worse.