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Rottweiler breed Info

Description
A Rottweiler is a medium-large, robust and powerful dog breed originating from Germany.

The breed is black with clearly defined tan markings on the cheeks, muzzle, chest, legs, and eyebrows. The markings on the chest should form two distinct upside-down triangles; a tiny patch of white in between is not acceptable for show dogs. The cheeks should have clearly defined spots that should be separate from the muzzle tan. The muzzle tan should continue over the throat. Each eyebrow should have a spot. Markings on the legs should not be above a third of the leg. On each toe should be a black 'pencil' mark. Underneath the tail should also be tan.

Nails are black. Inside the mouth, the cheeks may have black patches, although the tongue is pink. The skull is typically massive, but without excessive jowls. The forehead is wrinkly when the Rottweiler is alert.

A Rottweilers's eyes are a warm, dark brown--any other color may not be acceptable as part of the "pure breed". The expression should be calm, intelligent, alert, and fearless. The ears are small drop ears that lie flat to the head. 'Flying' ears are considered undesirable by some breeders. The coat is medium length and consists of a waterproof undercoat and a coarse top coat. It is low maintenance, although experiences shedding during certain periods of the year.

Naturally, Rottweilers are a tailed dog. Tails were originally removed to prevent breakage and infection that would occur when the tail became covered in mud and other debris collected from pastures and livestock. Today, many owners in U.S. decide to have the tails removed soon after the puppy's birth for purely cosmetic reasons. The tail is usually docked to the first joint. In the past, this was a commonly accepted practice, however recently many people, organisations and states of the USA have recognised it is cruel and unnecessary - e.g. it has been banned in the European Union.

The chest is deep and should reach the Rottie's elbows, giving tremendous lung capacity. The back should be straight; never sloping. According to FCI standard, the Rottweiler stands 61 to 68 cm (24-27 inches) at the withers for males, and 56 to 63 cm (22-25 inches) for females. Average weight is 50 kg (110 lb) for males and 42 kg (95 lb) for females.
Proportions
24 to 27 inches (male); 22 to 25 inches (female).
Averages 115 pounds (male); averages 100 (female).
Background
The breed is an ancient one, and its history stretches back to the Roman Empire. In those times, the legions travelled with their meat on the hoof and required the assistance of working dogs to herd the cattle. One route the army travelled was through Württemberg and on to the small market town of Rottweil.

This region eventually became an important cattle area, and the descendants of the Roman cattle dogs proved their worth in both droving and protecting the cattle from robbers and wild animals. It would be a brave villain who would try to remove the purse around the neck of a Rottweiler Metzgershund (Butcher's Dog of Rottweil).

However, by the end of the 19th Century, the breed had declined so much that in 1900 there was only one female to be found in the town of Rottweil. But the build up to the World War I saw a great demand for "police dogs," and that led to a revival in interest for the Rottweiler. Its enormous strength, its intelligence, and its ability to take orders made it a natural weapon of war.

From that time, it has become popular with dog owners, and in 1935 the breed 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.
Personality
A well-trained and socialised Rottweiler can provide the right owner with a great deal of exercise and loving companionship. A badly trained, or insufficiently restrained Rottweiler can ruin childrens lives in seconds. A well trained Rottweiler makes an ideal attack dog. They are usually quick to learn and have a strong desire to please their owners. They are intelligent, to the point that they should not be left to their own devices, and are happiest when mentally stimulated. Despite this, they can also be strong willed at times, and should be taught in a firm, consistent manner. Rottweilers are playful animals, usually very excited at the first sign of fun. Rottweilers thrive on attention from their owners and need their people to be happy. If a Rottweiler has been neglected excessively, it will usually strive, creatively, to get the owner's attention.

The Rottweiler is not usually a barker: males are silent watchers who notice everything and are often quite stoic. Females, however, may become problem barkers in order to protect their den. In the event a dog feels threatened, they tend to go very still before attacking, and there may be no warning growl. This is one of the breed's characteristics that lends itself to the reputation of being unreliable. An observant owner, however, is usually able to recognise when the Rottweiler perceives a threat. When the dog barks, it is more of a sign of annoyance with external factors (car alarms or other disturbances) rather than threats.

The Rottweiler is typically a dominant dog, and they can resort to aggressiveness in unfamiliar situations. The Rottweiler's large size and incredible strength make this an important point to consider, and for this reason the Rottweiler is a breed that only experienced dog owners should consider. Rottweiler owners who don't understand the breed's nature can face significant problems in handling such dogs when they reach adulthood. Early socialisation with as many people, animals, and situations as possible is very important in order to produce a dog that is tolerant of strangers.

Aggression in Rottweilers is associated with boredom, poor handling, lack of socialisation, natural guarding tendencies and abuse. Owners are advised to neuter/spay the dog to reduce aggressive tendencies. Unneutered males can become male dog aggressive and hard to manage and are predisposed to some cancers. Unspayed females can become moody and difficult and predisposed to uterine problems and cancers.[1]

The Rottweiler Welfare Association offers the following advice for would-be Rottweiler owners:[2]

Like all dogs, the Rottweiler needs to be trained properly and controlled at all times

No-one should own a Rottweiler unless they are absolutely sure they can control it, and are willing and able to devote time and effort to teach the dog good basic manners

The Rottweiler has a natural guarding instinct. Do not do anything (for instance, rough play) to enhance this guarding instinct

No Rottweiler should be in the sole charge of a person such as a child who is not capable of controlling it

Any person who owns a dog should be aware that he will be devoted to and feel protective towards his household. This should be born in mind when children are playing, people arguing or visitors are calling

Third party insurance should be taken out on any Rottweiler that you own
Points of Interest
Famous Rottweilers
Good Dog Carl book coverMuzzle/Scout and Gerta from Road Rovers
Good Dog Carl
"Snot" (from the National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation movie)
"Missy" of Joss Stone
"Max" from the Punisher comic book
"Dracula" of Phil Anselmo
"Kofi" from the movie Amores Perros
The unnamed satanic Rottweiler which protected Damien in the horror film The Omen
The unnamed Rottweiler guarding the cemetery in Pet Semetary
Triumph the Insult Comic Dog a puppet dog appeared from Late Night with Conan O'Brien and MTV2.
Killer the pothead rottweiler in Half Baked
Mirror-Universe Porthos in Star Trek: Enterprise (in the "normal" universe, Porthos is a beagle)
The unnamed Rottweiler kept as the family pet in Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Special Talents
Tracking, herding, watchdog, guarding, police work, carting, competitive obedience, and Schutzhund.