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Most accounts of Rottweiler history start with the Roman invasion of Germany and the
crossing of the Alps by the legions in the first century AD. Statements made to support or
reject this source are difficult to prove or disprove, but conclusions can be drawn from
premises which have a measure of acceptability. One may say, without fear of contradiction,
that the term 'Rottweiler' cannot be applied to the herding-guarding dog dogs used by Roman
legionaries during the course of their stay in Germany. The Roman Influence lasted not much
longer than two hundred years, and the dogs they brought with them certainly influenced the
breed, whilst the settlement they built, das rote wil (which later became Rotwil and still
later Rottweil), gave the breed the name by which it is known today. The romans returned to
Rome in the third century AD, after their defeat by the Germanic tribe known as the
Bazille, An early Rottweiler authority, accepted the history that the breed is a direct
descendant of the Bavarois Bouvier, dating back to Roman times, supported by the roads built
by early Romans. On the other hand, Hans Korn, Author of the classic Der Rottweiler, is of
the opinion that the breed descended partly from this early Roman dog there from the north
after the Roman invasion.
A feature that emerges very clearly in the history of the dog's evolution is that no dog was
confined to a particular country. When one refers to a British or German breed, the
reference is only valid if applied to a definite and limited time period, A dog may have
originated in a particular country, but its ancestors most probably came from outside,
whilst its descendants may have emigrated to create further breeds elsewhere. The term "Pure
Breed" cannot be applied to any breed except in the very limited sense demanded by the breed
or canine societies, in the context of Pedigrees.
Information Taken From The Book:
THE NEW ROTTWEILER
For Owners, Breeders And Judges
Of : Jim Pettengell
No history of the breed would be complete without some reference to the city from which it
derives its name and with which, to this day, it still retains strong associations. Five
hundred years after the departure of the Romans, new conquerors, in the shape of the Franks
of the holy Roman Empire, arrived and exerted considerable influence on the area. A
Christian Church was built and a new settlement grew up. The site, like earlier Roma ones,
was called wil (from villa) and, To distinguish it from others, it was called das Rote Wil
after the red colour of the tiles and bricks unearthed from earlier Roman buildings and
The City of Rottweil and dogs are synonymous. Pointing out that the dog featured in numerous
early forms AD 180, to stone carvings featured on a chapel tower.
All of this led to increasing respect for the "Butcher's Dog," and local owners began
selectively breeding them. Since they were considered far superior to others of their type
to be found in that area, the name "Rottweiler" was bestowed upon them to distinguish them
from the rest. This name has remained until the present day.
In the study of the Rottweiler. It is useful to have some idea of its antecedents, how the
dog developed and how its instincts and capacities were modified and adapted to carry out
its working role. This knowledge will help us to appreciate the modern breed and see its
mental and physical characteristics in true perspective. This is the basis for any
interpretation of the standard, the correctness of which is necessary to every breeder,
judge and student.
In concluding this brief historical look at the Rottweiler, any attempt to appraise the
relative contributions made at different point in time to the breed seem quite unfair and
inappropriate. A superstructure is only as sound as the foundation on which it is built, and
the metaphorical extension of this would be to conclude that the Romans selected the ground
and cleared the way for the Renaissance drovers to lay the foundations; the Swabian Butchers
built the superstructure and the finish was applied by the German Breed clubs.
According to the FCI Standard, the Rottweiler is good-natured, placid in basic disposition,
very devoted, obedient, biddable and eager to work. Their appearance is natural and rustic,
their behaviour self-assured, steady and fearless. They react to their surroundings with
great alertness. The American Kennel Club says it is basically a calm, confident and
courageous dog with a self-assured aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and
indiscriminate friendships. A Rottweiler is self-confident and responds quietly and with a
wait-and-see attitude to influences in its environment. It has an inherent desire to protect
home and family, and is an intelligent dog of extreme hardness and adaptability with a
strong willingness to work, making them especially suited as a companion, guardian and
general all-purpose dog.
Rottweilers are a powerful breed with well-developed genetic herding and guarding instincts.
As with any breed, potentially dangerous behaviour in Rottweilers usually results from
irresponsible ownership, abuse, neglect, or lack of socialisation and training. However, the
exceptional strength of the Rottweiler is an additional risk factor not to be neglected. It
is for this reason that breed experts declare that formal training and extensive
socialisation are essential for all Rottweilers. According to the AKC, Rottweilers love
their owners and may behave in a clownish manner toward family and friends, but they are
also protective of their territory and do not welcome strangers until properly introduced.
Obedience training and socialisation are required.
A 2008 study surveying breed club members found that while Rottweilers were average in
aggressiveness (bites or bite attempts) towards owners and other dogs, it indicated they
tend to be more aggressive than average towards strangers. This aggression appears
correlated with watchdog and territorial instincts.
A Rottweiler herding sheep.
According to the American Kennel Club Rottweilers have a natural gathering style with a
strong desire to control. They generally show a loose-eye and have a great amount of force
while working well off the stock. They make much use of their ability to intimidate.
The Rottweiler often carries the head on an even plane with the back or carries the head up
but with the neck and shoulders lowered. Some females lower the entire front end slightly
when using their eyes. Males also do this when working far off the stock in an open field.
This is rarely seen in males when working in confined spaces such as stock yards.
The Rottweiler has a reasonably good natural balance, force-barks when necessary, and when
working cattle uses a very intimidating charge. There is a natural change in forcefulness
when herding sheep. When working cattle it may use its body and shoulders and for this
reason should be used on horned stock with caution.
The Rottweiler, when working cattle, searches out the dominant animal and challenges it.
Upon proving its control over that animal it settles back and tends to its work.
Some growers have found that Rottweilers are especially suited to move stubborn stock that
simply ignore Border Collies, Kelpies, and others. Rottweilers use their bodies to
physically force the stubborn animal to do its bidding if necessary.
When working with sheep the Rottweiler shows a gathering/fetching style and reams directions
easily. It drives sheep with ease.
In some cases Rottweilers have begun herding cattle without any experience at all.
If worked on the same stock for any length of time the Rottweiler tends to develop a bond
with the stock and will become quite affectionate with them as long as they do as it
Rottweilers are a relatively healthy, disease-free breed. As with most large breeds, hip
dysplasia can be a problem. For this reason the various Rottweiler breed clubs have had
x-ray testing regimes in place for many years. Osteochondritis Dissecans, a condition
affecting the shoulder joints, can also be a problem due to the breed's rapid growth rate. A
reputable breeder will have the hips and elbows of all breeding stock x-rayed and read by a
recognised specialist, and will have paperwork to prove it.
They will also have certificates that their breeding animals do not have entropion or
ectropion and that they have full and complete dentition with a scissor bite.
As with any breed, hereditary conditions occur in some lines. Because of recent
overbreeding, cancer has become one of the leading causes of early death in Rottweilers. For
unknown reasons, Rottweilers are more susceptible than other breeds to become infected with
parvovirus, a highly contagious and deadly disease of puppies and young dogs. Parvovirus can
be easily prevented by following a veterinarian's recommended vaccine protocol.
If overfed or under exercised, Rottweilers are prone to obesity. Some of the consequences of
obesity can be very serious, including arthritis, breathing difficulties, diabetes, heart
failure, reproductive problems, skin disease, reduced resistance to disease and overheating
caused by the thick jacket of fat under the skin.
Breed surveys in the US, UK and Denmark puts the average lifespan of Rottweilers at 9 to 10
As of June 1, 1998, a federal law was passed in Germany prohibiting the docking of
Rottweiler tails. The basis for this law was the fact that the practice of docking and
cropping was deemed to be inhumane.
In order to comply with the new federal law requiring tails to be left in their natural
state, the ADRK (national breed club in Gemany) revised their breed standard for the
Rottweiler to reflect the required natural tail.
TAIL: In natural condition, level in extension of the upper line; at ease may be hanging.
Faults: Set on too high or too low. Disqualifying faults: Kink tail, ring-tail, with strong
The FCI translated and adopted the new breed standard and gave all FCI member countries
several years to comply with the new breed standard.
As more and more countries are adopting the anti-docking platform for Rottweilers in order
to comply with the revised ADRK/FCI Standard, and tails are becoming more commonplace, it is
very important to become familiar with both the good and bad tails out there. Below are
illustrations of those tails
This valuable tool, the ADRK Color Chart, is used by ADRK judges worldwide to determine eye
color at both shows and breed tests. It is also a valuable tool for breeders.
Dark eye color is an important aspect of the appearance of the Rottweiler. The color of the
eyes should always be as dark as possible, with A1 the best. It is not so much a
functionality issue, since the eyes can work whether they are light or dark in color, but
color is a very important 'breed type' trait. As the eye color gets lighter it softens the
appearance of the gaze, diminishing the fearlessness of rottweiler expression.
Ideally Rottweler breeders are seeking the darkest eye possible, however the acceptable
ranges as determined by ADRK are as follows:
1A - 3A: premium breeding
1A - 4A: breeding approved
4B - 6: Forbidden to breed
Another factor in striving to keep eye olor dark is it's difficulty maintaining the dark
color once light eyes are introduced into the bloodline.
UTILIZATION: Companion, service and working dog
FCI CLASSIFICATION: Group 2 (Pinscher and Schnauzer type, Molossian type, SwissMountain- and
Cattle Dogs and other breeds).
Section 2.1: Molossian type, Mastiff type. With working trial.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY:
The Rottweiler is considered to be one of the oldest dog breeds. Its origin goes back to
Roman times. These dogs were kept as herder or driving dogs. They marched over the Alps with
the Roman legions, protecting the humans and driving their cattle. In the region of
Rottweil, these dogs met and mixed with the native dogs in a natural crossing. The main task
of the Rottweiler now became the driving and guarding of the herds of cattle and the defence
of their masters and their property.
This breed acquired its name from the old free city of Rottweil and was known as the
Rottweil butcher’s dog’. The butchers bred this type of dog purely for performance and
usefulness. In due course, a first rate watch and driving dog evolved which could also be
used as a draught dog. When, at the beginning of the twentieth century, various breeds were
needed for police service, the Rottweiler was amongst those tested. It soon became evident
that the breed was highly suitable for the tasks set by police service and therefore they
were officially recognized as police dogs in 1910.
Rottweiler breeders aim at a dog of abundant strength, black coated with clearly defined
rich tan markings, whose powerful appearance does not lack nobility and which is
exceptionally well suited to being a companion, service and working dog.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: The Rottweiler is a medium to large size, stalwart dog, neither heavy
nor light and neither leggy nor weedy. His correctly proportioned, compact and powerful
build leads to the conclusion of great strength, agility and endurance.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: The length of the body, measured from the point of the sternum
(breast-bone) to the ischiatic tuberosity, should not exceed the height at the withers by,
at most, 15 %.
BEHAVIOUR/TEMPERAMENT: Good-natured, placid in basic disposition and fond of children, very
devoted, obedient, biddable and eager to work. His appearance is natural and rustic, his
behaviour self-assured, steady and fearless. He reacts to his surroundings with great
Skull: Of medium length, broad between the ears. Forehead line moderately arched as seen
from the side. Occipital bone well developed without being conspicuous. Stop: Well defined
Nose: Well developed, more broad than round with relatively large nostrils, always black.
Muzzle: The foreface should appear neither elongated nor shortened in relation to the
cranial region. Straight nasal bridge, broad at base, moderately tapered. Lips: Black, close
fitting, corner of the mouth not visible, gum as dark as possible. Jaws/Teeth: Upper and
lower jaw strong and broad. Strong, complete dentition (42 teeth) with scissor bite, the
upper incisors closely overlapping the lower incisors. Cheeks: Zygomatic arches pronounced.
Eyes: Of medium size, almond-shaped, dark brown in colour. Eyelids close fitting. Ears:
Medium-sized, pendant, triangular, wide apart, set on high. With the ears laid forward close
to the head, the skull appears to be broadened.
NECK: Strong, of fair length, well muscled, slightly arched, clean, free from throatiness,
Back: Straight, strong, firm. Loins: Short, strong and deep. Croup: Broad, of medium length,
slightly rounded. Neither flat nor falling away. Chest: Roomy, broad and deep (approximately
50 % of the shoulder height) with well developed forechest and well sprung ribs. Belly:
Flanks not tucked up.
TAIL: In natural condition, level in extension of the upper line; at ease may be hanging.
FOREQUARTERS: Seen from the front, the front legs are straight and not placed too closely to
each other. The forearm, seen from the side, stands straight and vertical. The slope of the
shoulder blade is about 45 degrees to the horizontal.
Shoulders: Well laid back. Upper arm: Close fitting to the body. Forearm: Strongly developed
and muscular. Pasterns: Slightly springy, strong, not steep. Front feet: Round, tight and
well arched; pads hard; nails short, black and strong.
HINDQUARTERS: Seen from behind, legs straight and not too close together. When standing
free, obtuse angles are formed between the dog’s upper thigh and the hip bone, the upper
thigh and the lower thigh, and the lower thigh and metatarsal.
Upper thigh: Moderately long, broad and strongly muscled. Lower thigh: Long, strongly and
broadly muscled, sinewy. Hocks: Sturdy, well angulated hocks; not steep. Hindfeet: Slightly
longer than the front feet. Toes strong, arched, as tight as front feet.
GAIT: The Rottweiler is a trotting dog. In movement the back remains firm and relatively
stable. Movement harmonious, steady, full of energy and unrestricted, with good stride.
SKIN: Skin on the head should be overall tight fitting. When the dog is alert, the forehead
may be slightly wrinkled.
Hair: The coat consists of a top coat and an undercoat. The top coat is of medium length,
coarse, dense and flat. The undercoat must not show through the top coat. The hair is a
little longer on the hindlegs. Colour: Black with clearly defined markings of a rich tan on
the cheeks, muzzle, throat, chest and legs, as well as over both eyes and under the base of
SIZE AND WEIGHT :
Height: at withers is 61 - 68 cm 61 - 62 cm is small 63 - 64 cm medium height 65 - 66 cm is
large (correct height) 67 - 68 cm is very large Weight: 50 kg
Height: at withers is 56 - 63 cm 56 - 57 cm is small 58 - 59 cm medium height 60 - 61 cm is
large (correct height) 62 - 63 cm very large Weight: Approximately 42 kg
FAULTS: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the
seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its
General appearance: Light, weedy, leggy appearance. Light in bone and muscle. Head:
Hound-type head. Narrow, light, too short, long or coarse head. Flat forehead (lack of stop
or too little stop). Foreface: Long or pointed muzzle; split nose; Roman nose (convex nasal
bridge) or dish-faced (concave nasal bridge); acquiline nose; pale or spotted nose
(butterfly nose). Lips: Pendulous, pink or patchy; corner of lips visible. Jaws: Narrow
lower jaw. Bite: Pincer bite. Cheeks: Strongly protruding. Eyes: Light, deep set. Also too
full and round eyes; loose eyelids. Ears: Set on too low, heavy, long, slack or turned
backwards. Also flying ears or ears not carried symmetricaly. Neck: Too long, thin, lacking
muscle. Showing dewlap or throaty. Body: Too long, too short or too narrow. Back: Too long,
weak; sway back or roach back. Croup: Too sloping, too short, too flat or too long. Chest:
Flat-ribbed or barrel-shaped. Too narrow behind. Tail: Set on too high or too low.
Forequarters: Narrow or crooked front legs. Steep shoulder placement. Loose or out at elbow.
Too long, too short or too straight in upper arm. Weak or steep pastern. Splayed feet. Too
flat or too arched toes. Deformed toes. Light coloured nails. Hindquarters: Flat thighs,
hocks too close, cow hocks or barrel hocks. Joints with too little or too much angulation.
Dewclaws. Skin: Wrinkles on head. Coat: Soft, too short or long. Wavy coat; lack of
undercoat. Colour: Markings of incorrect colour, not clearly defined. Markings which are too
Behaviour: Anxious, shy, cowardly, gun-shy, vicious, excessively suspicious, nervous
animals. General: Distinct reversal of sexual type, i.e. feminine dogs or masculine bitches.
Teeth: Overshot or undershot bite, wry mouth; lack of one incisive tooth, one canine, one
premolar or one molar. Eyes: Entropion, ectropion, yellow eyes, different coloured eyes.
Tail: Kink tail, ring-tail, with strong lateral deviation. Hair: Definitely long or wavy
coat. Colour: Dogs which do not show the typical Rottweiler colouring of black with tan
markings. White markings.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
NB : Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the
Working Group; AKC recognized in 1931.
Ranging in size from 22 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder.
Guard dog; cattle driver.
© The American Kennel Club, Inc.
Rottweiler Breed Standard Working Group
General Appearance The ideal Rottweiler is a medium large, robust and powerful dog, black
with clearly defined rust markings. His compact and substantial build denotes great
strength, agility and endurance. Dogs are characteristically more massive throughout with
larger frame and heavier bone than bitches. Bitches are distinctly feminine, but without
weakness of substance or structure.
Size, Proportion, Substance
Males--24 inches to 27 inches.
Bitches--22 inches to 25 inches,
with preferred size being mid-range of each sex. Correct proportion is of primary
importance, as long as size is within the standard's range. The length of body, from
prosternum to the rearmost projection of the rump, is slightly longer than the height of the
dog at the withers, the most desirable proportion of the height to length being 9 to 10. The
Rottweiler is neither coarse nor shelly. Depth of chest is approximately fifty percent (50%)
of the height of the dog. His bone and muscle mass must be sufficient to balance his frame,
giving a compact and very powerful appearance. Serious Faults--Lack of proportion,
undersized, oversized, reversal of sex characteristics (bitchy dogs, doggy bitches).
Of medium length, broad between the ears; forehead line seen in profile is moderately
arched; zygomatic arch and stop well developed with strong broad upper and lower jaws. The
desired ratio of backskull to muzzle is 3 to 2. Forehead is preferred dry, however some
wrinkling may occur when dog is alert. Expression is noble, alert, and self-assured. Eyes of
medium size, almond shaped with well fitting lids, moderately deep-set, neither protruding
nor receding. The desired color is a uniform dark brown. Serious Faults--Yellow (bird of
prey) eyes, eyes of different color or size, hairless eye rim. Disqualification--Entropion.
Ectropion. Ears of medium size, pendant, triangular in shape; when carried alertly the ears
are level with the top of the skull and appear to broaden it. Ears are to be set well apart,
hanging forward with the inner edge lying tightly against the head and terminating at
approximately mid-cheek. Serious Faults--Improper carriage (creased, folded or held away
from cheek/head). Muzzle--Bridge is straight, broad at base with slight tapering towards
tip. The end of the muzzle is broad with well developed chin. Nose is broad rather than
round and always black. Lips-Always black; corners closed; inner mouth pigment is preferred
dark. Serious Faults--Total lack of mouth pigment (pink mouth). Bite and Dentition--Teeth 42
in number (20 upper, 22 lower), strong, correctly placed, meeting in a scissors bite--lower
incisors touching inside of upper incisors. Serious Faults--Level bite; any missing tooth.
Disqualifications--Overshot, undershot (when incisors do not touch or mesh); wry mouth; two
or more missing teeth.
Neck, Topline, Body
Neck--Powerful, well muscled, moderately long, slightly arched and without loose skin.
Topline--The back is firm and level, extending in a straight line from behind the withers to
the croup. The back remains horizontal to the ground while the dog is moving or standing.
Body--The chest is roomy, broad and deep, reaching to elbow, with well pronounced forechest
and well sprung, oval ribs. Back is straight and strong. Loin is short, deep and well
muscled. Croup is broad, of medium length and only slightly sloping. Underline of a mature
Rottweiler has a slight tuck-up. Males must have two normal testicles properly descended
into the scrotum. Disqualification--Unilateral cryptorchid or cryptorchid males. Tail--Tail
docked short, close to body, leaving one or two tail vertebrae. The set of the tail is more
important than length. Properly set, it gives an impression of elongation of topline;
carried slightly above horizontal when the dog is excited or moving.
Shoulder blade is long and well laid back. Upper arm equal in length to shoulder blade, set
so elbows are well under body. Distance from withers to elbow and elbow to ground is equal.
Legs are strongly developed with straight, heavy bone, not set close together. Pasterns are
strong, springy and almost perpendicular to the ground. Feet are round, compact with well
arched toes, turning neither in nor out. Pads are thick and hard. Nails short, strong and
black. Dewclaws may be removed.
Angulation of hindquarters balances that of forequarters. Upper thigh is fairly long, very
broad and well muscled. Stifle joint is well turned. Lower thigh is long, broad and
powerful, with extensive muscling leading into a strong hock joint. Rear pasterns are nearly
perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, hind legs are straight, strong and wide
enough apart to fit with a properly built body. Feet are somewhat longer than the front
feet, turning neither in nor out, equally compact with well arched toes. Pads are thick and
hard. Nails short, strong, and black. Dewclaws must be removed.
Outer coat is straight, coarse, dense, of medium length and lying flat. Undercoat should be
present on neck and thighs, but the amount is influenced by climatic conditions. Undercoat
should not show through outer coat. The coat is shortest on head, ears and legs, longest on
breeching. The Rottweiler is to be exhibited in the natural condition with no trimming.
Fault--Wavy coat. Serious Faults--Open, excessively short, or curly coat; total lack of
undercoat; any trimming that alters the length of the natural coat. Disqualification--Long
Always black with rust to mahogany markings. The demarcation between black and rust is to be
clearly defined. The markings should be located as follows: a spot over each eye; on cheeks;
as a strip around each side of muzzle, but not on the bridge of the nose; on throat;
triangular mark on both sides of prosternum;on forelegs from carpus downward to the toes; on
inside of rear legs showing down the front of the stifle and broadening out to front of rear
legs from hock to toes, but not completely eliminating black from rear of pasterns; un-der
tail; black penciling on toes. The undercoat is gray, tan, or black. Quantity and location
of rust markings is important and should not exceed ten percent of body color. Serious
Faults--Straw-colored, excessive, insufficient or sooty markings; rust marking other than
described above; white marking any place on dog (a few rust or white hairs do not constitute
a marking). Disqualifications--Any base color other than black; absence of all markings.
The Rottweiler is a trotter. His movement should be balanced, harmonious, sure, powerful and
unhindered, with strong forereach and a powerful rear drive. The motion is effortless,
efficient, and ground-covering. Front and rear legs are thrown neither in nor out, as the
imprint of hind feet should touch that of forefeet. In a trot the forequarters and
hindquarters are mutually coordinated while the back remains level, firm and relatively
motionless. As speed increases the legs will converge under body towards a center line.
The Rottweiler is basically a calm, confident and courageous dog with a self-assured
aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships. A
Rottweiler is self-confident and responds quietly and with a wait-and-see attitude to
influences in his environment. He has an inherent desire to protect home and family, and is
an intelligent dog of extreme hardness and adaptability with a strong willingness to work,
making him especially suited as a companion, guardian and general all-purpose dog.
The behavior of the Rottweiler in the show ring should be controlled, willing and adaptable,
trained to submit to examination of mouth, testicles, etc. An aloof or reserved dog should
not be penalized, as this reflects the accepted character of the breed. An aggressive or
belligerent attitude towards other dogs should not be faulted.
A judge shall excuse from the ring any shy Rottweiler. A dog shall be judged fundamentally
shy if, refusing to stand for examination, it shrinks away from the judge. A dog that in the
opinion of the judge menaces or threatens him/her, or exhibits any sign that it may not be
safely approached or examined by the judge in the normal manner, shall be excused from the
ring. A dog that in the opinion of the judge attacks any person in the ring shall be
Summary Faults - The foregoing is a description of the ideal Rottweiler. Any structural
fault that detracts from the above described working dog must be penalized to the extent of
Entropion, ectropion. Overshot, undershot (when incisors do not touch or mesh); wry mouth;
two or more missing teeth. Unilateral cryptorchid or cryptorchid males. Long coat. Any base
color other than black; absence of all markings. A dog that in the opinion of the judge
attacks any person in the ring.
Approved May 8, 1990
Effective June 28, 1990
AKC MEET THE BREEDS®: Rottweiler
AKC Official Page
Information taken from AKC PAGE
FCI STANDARD FOR ROTTWEILER
Origin and Purpose
The Rottweiler was developed from the dogs used by the Roman legions to herd and guard the
cattle brought by them to feed their legions. The butchers of Rottweil, Germany, developed
the dogs to drive cattle to market and to protect their money bags which were tied around
the dogs’ necks. It was an arduous task to drive the cattle and a strong dog with staying
power, full of self will and physical strength was needed. In the beginning of the 20th
century, these dogs were found particularly well suited as a police dog, a function they
still fulfill, especially in Europe.
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 should possess a fearless expression with a self-assured aloofness that does
not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships. He has a strong willingness to
work. In examining a Rottweiler, one should bear in mind that this dog reacts with alertness
to his master and his surroundings, and in performing his function in life, the Rottweiler
is not expected to submit to excessive handling by strangers. However, the judge shall
dismiss from the ring any shy or vicious Rottweiler. A dog shall be judged fundamentally shy
if, refusing to stand for examination it shrinks away from the judge; if it fears an
unexpected approach from the rear; if it shies at sudden or unusual noises to a marked
degree. A dog that attacks or attempts to attack, without provocation, either the judge, or
its handler is definitely vicious. An aggressive or belligerent attitude towards other dogs
shall not be deemed viciousness.
Dogs 24-27 inches (60-68 cm).
Bitches 22-25 inches (55-63 cm).
Proportion should always be considered rather than height alone. The length of the body,
from the breastbone (sternum) to the rear edge of the pelvis (ischium) is slightly longer
than the height of the dog at the withers, the most desirable proportion being as 10 to 9.
Depth of chest should be fifty per cent of the height.
Coat and Colour
Outer coat is straight, coarse, dense, medium length, lying flat. Undercoat must be present
on neck and thighs. The Rottweiler should be exhibited in a natural condition without
trimming, except to remove whiskers, if desired. The colour is always black with rich tan to
mahogany markings. The borderline between the black and the colour should be clearly
defined. The markings should be located as follows: a spot over each eye; on cheeks; as a
strip around each side of the muzzle, but not on the bridge of the nose; on throat; a
proportionate triangular mark on either side of the breastbone not to exceed 25 per cent of
the forechest; on forelegs from carpus downward to toes; on inside of rear legs showing down
the front of the stifle and broadening out to front of rear legs from hock to toes but not
eliminating the black from the back of the legs; under tail. Black penciling markings on the
toes. The undercoat is grey or black. Quantity and location of markings are important.
Insufficient or excessive markings should be penalized.
Of medium length, broad between the ears; forehead line seen in profile is moderately
arched. The cheekbones and stop are well developed. The length of the muzzle should not
exceed the distance between the stop and the occiput. The skull is preferred dry; however,
some wrinkling may occur when the dog is alert. The bridge of the muzzle is straight. The
muzzle is broad at the base with slight tapering towards the tip but not snipey. The nose is
broad rather than round, with black nostrils. The lips are always black with the corners
tightly closed. The flews should not be too pronounced. The inner mouth pigment is dark. A
pink mouth is to be penalized. The teeth are 42 in number (20 upper and 22 lower). They are
strong and should be correctly placed meeting in a scissors bite--lower incisors touching
the inside of the upper incisors. Eyes should be of medium size, moderately deep set, almond
shaped with well-fitting lids. The iris should be of uniform colour, from medium to dark
brown, the darker shade always preferred. Ears should be pendant, proportionately small,
triangular in shape, set well apart and placed on skull so as to make it appear broader when
the dog is alert. The ear should terminate at approximately mid-cheek level. When correctly
held, the inner edge will lie tightly against the cheek.
Powerful, well muscled, moderately long with slight arch and without loose skin
The shoulder blade should be long and well laid back at a 45 degree angle. The elbows are
tight and under the body. The distance from the withers to the elbow and the elbow to the
ground is equal. The legs are strongly developed with straight, heavy bone. They are not set
close together. The pasterns are strong, springy and almost perpendicular to the ground.
Feet are round, compact with well arched toes, turning neither in nor out. Pads are thick
and hard. Nails are short, strong and black. Dewclaws may be removed.
The topline is firm and level, extending in a straight line from the withers to the croup.
The brisket should be deep, reaching to the elbow. The chest is roomy and broad with a
well-developed forechest. The ribs are well sprung. The loins short, deep, and well muscled.
The flank should not be tucked up. The croup is broad, of medium length and slightly
The angulation of the hindquarters balances that of the forequarters. The slope of the
pelvis from the horizontal is between 20-30 degrees. The bone of the upper thigh is fairly
long and the thigh is broad and well muscled. The stifle joint is moderately angulated. The
lower thigh is long, powerfully muscled, leading to a strong hock joint. The metatarsus is
perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, the hind legs are straight and
perpendicular to the ground. The feet are somewhat longer than the front feet, with well
arched toes turning neither in nor out. Dewclaws must be removed.
The tail is normally carried in a horizontal position giving the appearance of an elongated
topline. It is carried above the horizontal when the dog is excited. The tail is normally
docked short close to the body. If left in natural condition, tail is level in extension of
the topline; at ease may be handing. A kinked tail or a ring is undesirableThe set of the
tail is more important than length.
The Rottweiler is a trotter; the motion is harmonious, sure, powerful and unhindered, with a
strong fore-reach and a powerful rear drive. Front and rear legs are not thrown either in or
out, as the imprint of the hind feet should touch that of the forefeet. In a trot, the
forequarters and hindquarters are mutually coordinated while the back remains firm. As speed
increases the legs will converge under the body towards the centre line.
The foregoing is a description of the ideal Rottweiler. Any structural fault that detracts
from the ideal must be penalized to the extent of the deviation. Included as faults are:
pink mouth, wavy coat, insufficient markings, undercoat showing through outercoat. Faults
considered serious are: lack of proportion, undersize, oversize, level bite, yellow eyes,
eyes not of same colour, eyes unequal in size or shape, hairless eyelids, excessively short
coat, curly or open coat, lack of undercoat, white markings any place on dog (a few white
hairs do not constitute a marking), excessive markings, light-coloured markings.
Overshot, undership or wry bite, any missing tooth. Long coat, any base colour other than
black, total absence of markings.