Rottweilers are black in base coat color with clearly defined tan or mahogany markings on the cheeks, muzzle, chest, legs, and eyebrows. They have a strong, powerful and muscular body. The head is broad and has a rounded forehead. The eyes are warm, dark brown and an almond shape. Ears lie flat to the head and are triangular in shape. The neck is muscular and powerful without any loose skin, sloping parallel with the back. The chest is broad and deep, reaching to elbow, with well pronounced fore chest. Back is straight and strong. Loins are squat, deep and well muscled. An adult Rottweiler should have a slight tuck up. Legs are long and well muscled. Feet are straight with compact well arched toes. The pads of the Rottie are thick and well padded. Nails are black and strong. The inside of the mouth is black, but the toungue is pink. Rotties have a scissor bite. The tail of a Rottie is usually docked at the first joint in Countries where this practice is still accepted, and it should lay parallel with the back.
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Rottweilers have an outer coat and an under coat. The outer coat is of medium length, lays flat, straight (a wavy coat is a fault), and is coarse in texture. The under coat should be seen on the neck and the thighs.
Coat color should be black with tan/rust or mahogany markings. Any other base color other than black is not accepted. There should be distinctive markings over each eye, on the cheeks, throat, the forelegs down to the toes, on the inside of the rear legs and on the under tail. Any white on the coat is also considered a fault.
Rottweilers originated from Rottweil, Germany.
They are believed to be descendants of the drover dogs used by the Roman Empire. Rotties accompanied the ancient Romans on their quest to conquer Europe, guarding the herd and camps. The Romans ended up in what is now Southern Germany and the city of Rottweil. The Rottweiler was used to herd the cattle to and from the markets in town. Cattle dealers and butchers especially favored this breed of dog and they started breeding programs to make the ideal dog, one that excelled in herding, guarding, loyalty and strength. Butchers used them to guard their meat and shops and cattle drivers used them for herding their stock and keeping them safe. In honor of the great dogs that were bred from the town Rottweil, the breed became known as the Rottweiler. Originally bred for herding pig and cattle, they also excelled in guarding against highwaymen intending to rob and murder their owners on their journeys.
The last century put up railways and a ban on cattle driving dogs was implemented. Because of this, Rottweilers were almost forgotten because there was not much use for them. In 1905, there was only one known female Rottweiler in Rottweil, Germany. Butchers and farmers still kept this breed, probably for its protection and this was the main reason the breed survived and once their ability in police work was discovered, breeding programs to keep the Rottweiler breed going started.
The Rottweiler is a very alert, loyal and loving companion. They are calm, and self confident. Rotties are quick to learn and easy to please. Family is very important to the Rottie and they are very social within the home. Children will be loved and adults will be respected, with the right training. Being very loyal a Rottie will fight to protect their family with all they have. Rotties are strong and possess a high pain tolerance. Proper socialization from puppy hood and firm handling is a must to ensure that the dog does not assume leadership of the family. Also beware of possessiveness with food and toys. To avoid this, pet the dog while it is eating and get it used to people handling its food and toys.
Mental stimulation is a must because these dogs can become bored quite easily and this can lead to destructiveness, health problems and aggressiveness. Rottweilers are friendly but do have a natural tendency towards dominance. Aggressiveness is not a characteristic of properly bred Rottweiler, but can be brought out in the breed without proper training and socialization. Males tend to be aggressive with other males, altering the dog if only a pet is suggested. As a rule, they don’t bark unnecessarily and are great guard dogs, alerting when there is danger of something out of the ordinary. Rotties are active, happy and obedient, only wanting to please their master. Harsh words and actions will hurt Rotties feelings and are not needed to train them, as they are very quick to learn.
Rottweilers are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, a malformation of the joints which can lead to crippling and a bone and cartilage problem called OCD. This can be prevented by properly exercising the dog and making sure that as a puppy, they don’t suffer any joint stress. You can do this by limiting access to stairs, not allowing jumping and not over running the dog. A simple walk and play time each day will be enough Exercise for a puppy. Also ask the breeder if the dam and sire were tested for Health Problems, as most of the problems Rottweilers experience are hereditary. They can also develop panosteitis, an intermittent lameness cause by varying bone density in young dogs.
Eye problems are also a Health issue with Rotties and are inherited. Like all barrel chested dogs, Rotties are susceptible to Bloat. Bloat can be prevented by limiting the amount of food fed at one Feeding. Spreading out the daily food amount throughout the day is best advised. Also limiting excessive exercise after eating can prevent this condition from forming.
Rotties have a relatively short coat and not much grooming except brushing is needed. They have a double coat and shed twice yearly, usually in spring and again in the fall. Daily brushing is a needed and will prevent large amounts of hair from being released all over the home. This will also keep the coat soft and shiny.
Start brushing the dog’s teeth early and at least twice a week. Dogs tend to build up tartar at a fast rate and it is cheaper to brush the dog’s teeth yourself, instead of having a vet anesthetize it and clean the tartar themselves. Soup bones also help keep the teeth white and shiny and can loosen already hardened tartar. A dog should although never be left unattended with a bone or small toys, as pieces can brake off and become lodged in the dogs throat.
Rottweilers have black nails and they can be tricky to clip. Cut off small amounts of time, ensuring each time that the quick has not been cut. To find the quick, look at the bottom of the nail, the quick is grey in color and soft in texture. Once you start clipping, the nail will become softer, this is a sign that you are coming near to the quick. If the quick is cut, the dog will let you know, as it does cause pain. The nail may bleed also. To stop the bleeding, hold a compress to the nail for five minutes or dab on some styptic powder.
The hair in between the pads of the dog should be trimmed when needed to ensure that mud and foreign objects don’t become stuck and cause the dog discomfort.
The ears should be clean and odor free. A once weekly cleaning with a cotton ball and ear cleaning solution will do. If there is no ear cleaning solution available, a mixture of baby shampoo and water will suffice. Excessive wax and dirt in the ears could be a sign of ear mites and should be treated immediately. Ear mites cause discomfort and pain and can lead to inner ear infections. It can also be spread to other pets in the home, or any animals that the infested dog comes in contact with.
Frequent bathing is unnecessary and can lead to dry, flaky skin. A bath is only needed when the dog is dirty or has an odor. A natural, gentle shampoo is recommended for Rotties as they are prone to allergies. For in between baths, a doggy wipe or baby wipes will do.
Rottweilers are prone to obesity, so daily exercise is necessary. A run in the park or a nice stroll around the neighborhood twice daily will do. Younger dogs should be watched carefully. Too much running and jumping can put stress on growing bones and lead to health problems in the future. Rotties love to play and would enjoy a nice game of fetch with a ball or stick. They also excel in agility and obedience. Be careful about off leash parks, as the Rottweiler is a herding dog and may try to herd running children and smaller dogs, injuring them unintentionally. Teaching them that this is an unacceptable behavior from an early age will prevent this situation from happening.
Rottweilers are very intelligent and easily trained. They should be taught from an early age what is acceptable behavior and what is not. Like any dominant breed, Rottweilers must be handled with firm and consistent training. They need to be trained to respect and obey all family members. Socialization should start early by introducing the puppy to other dogs, strangers and new situations. These dogs love to play hard and could unintentionally injure or knock down a child. Proper manners must be taught to ensure that they behave properly around children. Rotties love to please and learn new tasks, making them quite fun to train. They do well in tracking, police work, agility, obedience and anything you put in front of them.
If left alone for long periods of time, or if allowed to become bored, a Rottie can become quite destructive. Crate training is recommended. Start from an early age and be firm and consistent, don’t give in to a crying puppy. Once a dog is comfortable in a crate, they will most likely be quiet and sleep, waiting for their loved owner to come home. To keep the dog busy in the crate, try giving him a Kong filled with frozen peanut butter. This will keep them busy and entertained.