Rottweiler Profile

by Dana Williams


The Rottweiler is a versatile breed with abilities to perform various tasks. He is known as a "wash and wear" dog because he is willing to attempt any task he wishes to complete. Though sometimes the Rottweiler can be stubborn, they're intelligent and easy to train under the right direction. They are a very strong breed, so training of the Rottweiler will take time, persistance, and patience. There are many good reasons to train a Rottweiler, so if you don't want to take the time to train your Rottweiler, you shouldn't own one. This is a breed which needs their owner's support, direction, and a partnership in training. If you bark a command at a Rottweiler, the Rottweiler will bark back. It could become a struggle for the "alpha-position" in the family without training and that will become the root of a whole new set of problems.

Rules of Training: Be Patient, Persistant, and Consistant, and be a fair trainer.

General Appearance:

The ideal Rottweiler is an above medium-sized, robust, and powerful dog, black with clearly defined rich tan markings. His compact build denotes great strength, agility, and endurance. Males are characteristically larger, heavier boned and more masculine in appearance.


The Rottweiler is known by many as a "tough guy with a heart of gold." They are not aggressive unless made aggressive. Factoring in that aggression stems from genetics, enviroment, or being threatened. If you breed an aggressive dog you will have aggressive puppies or puppies with a gene for aggression. If you treat a dog mean, expect for the dog to be mean back. If the Rottweiler is threatened, this is a breed which will not back down from a challenge. And with the strength and ability of this breed, it certainly isn't a dog you want to provoke.


The Rottweiler breed stems from a strand of Mastiff-type dogs mixed with local sheepdogs during the time when Romans set out to conquere the world. The Rottweiler traveled with the Roman Army, driving the cattle that fed the warriors and protecting the camps at night. As the cattle were slaughtered for food, the armies had no need for the extra dogs and simply left them behind. In the town of Rottweil, these dogs bred with the native canines, eventually produced a dog known as "the butcher dog of Rottweil" that lived in the Middle Ages. The Rottweiler is most remembered in these times as driver of the stock to market and guardian of the purse of money on the way home. They also were used to pull carts of meat, herd livestock, and protect property. Of course, when trains replaced carts and cities sprouted over the small towns, the dogs were replaced as well. In the 1900's, the breed was practically extinct and very unknown, with just one Rottweiler bitch recorded in Rottweil where the dog had been so prominent. Over 20 years later, in 1920, the Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub was formed.

The Rottweiler came to the United States during the 1920's, and the United State's first litter of record was whelped in 1930. After World War One, the breed had a steady rise in popularity and has ranked as one of the Top 10 AKC Registered Dogs for a few years now.

Physical appearance:

The Rottweiler is a large Working dog ranging from 22-25 inches for Females and 24-27 inches for Males. The breed can weigh between 80-130 pounds with males notably larger than females. All Rottweilers have sleek black coats with tan-mahogany markings above both eyes, on the throat, chest, and lower legs. In the United States and most other countries, the tail is docked short and carried slightly above horizontal as an extension of the level back. The tail is left long in countries such as Finland and Switzerland where tail docking and ear cropping is illegal. Wavy or curly coats, white markings, and long coats are disqualifications for breeding and show dogs.

The Rottweiler's movement should be powerful, with forceful drive in the rear and strong reaching movement in the front. The Rottweiler who competes in the breed ring should be well-conditioned and have stamina and endurence. The trot should be ground covering and be of seemingly little effort.


Rottweilers are generally healthy working dogs, yet they are supsceptible to hip and elbow dysplasia, malformations of the joints, osteochondrosis (OCD), a bone and cartilage problem. They may also be subject to panosteitis, an intermittent lameness caused by varying bone density in young dogs. Retinal problems are also a possibility, as is spinal cord paralysis. Like most deep-chested dogs, Rottweilers are susceptible to bloat, a fatal disease which turns the stomach and causes blocking.

OFA certification and regularly tested breeding stock do help control these problems. As responsible breeders, it is our job to be sure that the future of the breed is healthy and safe from genetic diseases. Genetic testing commonly done by breeders are: OFA Certified Fair or Better, VWD Cleared, Cardiac Cleared, and Brucellosis clear. Of course the standard for genetic testing varies by country and those governing clubs.

Basic Information:

AKC Group: Working
Function: Driving Cattle, Herding, Carting, Protection
Color: Black with Tan - Mahogney Markings. Darker Pigament is almost always preferred.
Coat: Short, glossy, smooth
Grooming: Minimal
Shedding: Average
Height: Males - 24 to 27 inches; Females - 22 to 25 inches
Weight: 80-120 lbs
Activity Level Moderate
Intelligence: High
Trainability: Moderate. The stubborn or dominating disposition can make training difficult, but not impossible. Rottweiler's will work if you make it fun, challenging, and rewarding.
Watchdog: Excellent
Character: Dignified, not excitible. A very efficent worker with the right motivation.
Home Environment: A Rottweiler should be with the family. This is definately not a dog you want to chain up outside.
Good With Children: Yes, if raised with them from the start and if children are respectful of the dog.
Good With Other Pets: Can be aggressive with other dominate dogs. Generally this varies between Rottweilers.
Attitude Towards Strangers: Usually the Rottweiler is cautious and reserved with strangers. They will turn defensive if the stranger seems to pose a threat. Be sure your Rottweiler understands who your friends are. Also make it a priority to socialize your dog.