An Expert Guide To The Rottweiler: The Loving Guardian

  • 13/11/2015

The Rottweiler is a member of the Working Group and America's tenth most popular dog breed. They originated from Germany, where their huge build was used to pull butcher's carts and to herd cattle. They are often used as guard dogs due to their fearless and protective nature.


The Rottweiler's history could date back to Roman times, where it is believed that their ancestors were used to pull carts and accompany Romans armies to herd their cattle. After marching into Southern Germany around 73 A.D., armies would settle near the bank of the River Neckar in the state of Baden-Württemberg. The Romans built a city in this area and named it Rottweil. It is in this city that the Rottweiler we know today would arise.

In the Middle Ages, the Rottweiler was not only used for cattle, but also for bear hunting. In the 19th century, its popularity in cattle herding would sharply decline when cattle herding was made illegal. The Rottweiler continued to assist butchers, earning it the name 'Rottweiler Butcher's Dog'. This would later be shortened to the Rottweiler. In 1907, breeding groups strived to preserve the breed and it slowly made a comeback in popularity. They were used in both the first and second World Wars for their guarding skills and continue to be used as family protectors and in police work. The Kennel Club in London recognized the breed in 1966 and the American Kennel Club recognized them in 1935.


The following is derived from the AKC standard:

  • Coat: Rottweiler's coats are medium length and are a tan/black color. They have tan markings above each eye, on the side of the snout, and on the cheeks.
  • Head: The head is medium-sized, broad, and has a well-defined stop. Its nose is also broad and is always black. The eyes are dark. The lips are black and close fitting. The jaws are powerful and are strong and broad. Their ears are pendant and triangular.
  • Body: They are a large-sized breed, weighing 85-130 lbs. The body is large and powerful, with a confident stance. The neck is muscular and medium length. The tail may or may not be docked. It has straight forelegs that are set in a wide stance.


  • A coat other than black/tan.
  • Eye color other than brown.
  • Cheek markings that cross over the bridge of the nose.
  • Shy or timid behavior.
  • Flanks that are tucked up.


Rottweilers have received a large amount of bad press for their protective and fearless nature. However, the breed is known to be very mellow with its family and does well with children. This dog does require firm training and early socialization to channel its protective disposition and given a regular job so that it does not become aggressive. This dog is intelligent, courageous, and loving to its family. It does not do well with strange people or other animals, but friends of the family are usually welcomed.


  • Grooming: Rottweilers only need occasional brushing and bathed only when necessary.
  • Living Situation: They can do well in an apartment if they are given daily exercise.
  • Exercise: This breed requires at least 60 minutes of daily exercise, but they are mostly inactive indoors.
  • Approximate Lifespan: 10-12 years
  • Common Health Problems: Rottweilers can be prone to hip dysplasia, ACL damage, and are sensitive to heat.

The Rundown: Those looking for a fierce protector and loving companion will find the perfect fit in a Rottweiler. This breed doesn't require much grooming and is relatively healthy, but they need to be trained early so that their protective nature does not turn into unnecessary aggression.

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