The Rottweiler is one of the top ten dog breeds in the U.S. The American Kennel Club accepted the breed into its Studbook, with only one AKC-recognized club remaining in the U.S. The Rottweiler has distinct markings that are the same for all members of the breed. The Ancient Driver Dog of the Roman Empire is the ancestor of the Rottie, with its origins traced from Italy to Germany.
Origins in Ancient Rome
The Rottweiler can trace its roots back to Ancient Rome, where the Driver Dog played a pivotal role in the farming industry. The Driver worked as a herding dog in Ancient Rome, with the armies of the Empire needing cattle for food on their travels. In the era before refrigeration, salted meats were heavy to carry on long journeys across Europe. The decision to invade Germany by Roman leaders brought the Driver Dog out of Italy and into Germany. The Roman Army traveled with cattle to provide meat during their journey, which the Driver Dogs herded. By the time the Romans arrived at the Neckar River in Germany, some were ready to remain in place and established a colony on the site of the city of Rottweil. Driver Dogs remained in Rottweil and bred with local breeds to create the modern Rottweiler.
The AKC Standard
The Rottweiler is considered a medium to large breed by the AKC, with a weight of between 80 and 135 pounds. The standards for the breed include the male standing between 24 and 27-inches high and the female between 22 and 25-inches tall. The Rottweiler has a history as a working dog and developed a powerful bite over the centuries, with its jaws producing more than 300-pounds of force in some studies. The home of the Rottweiler in Germany has different standards for Rottweilers than the AKC standard, including a longer body and taller height. One of the controversies surrounding the Rottweiler is whether to dock the tail or to keep it intact. The trend in the U.S. is changing from docked tails to a fuller tail.
A History of Herding
Rottweiler owners explain the breed maintains many of its herding tendencies in everyday life. Training is essential for Rottweilers because individual dogs will bump into their owners and family members to keep them grouped. The Rottweiler is a dog that likes to be close to its owner and family members, often following individuals into different rooms. As a result of their love of herding and tight pack mentality, the Rottweiler does not like being left alone for long periods of time.
Training is Vital
Every Rottweiler needs to be trained from being a puppy to understand when to use their power. The Rottweiler is intelligent and likes to please, which makes them easy to train.