The Rottweiler is an old dog breed. They are descendants of mastiff-type dogs, possibly the Molossus which are an extinct breed, which were brought to Germany around A.D. 74 by the Roman army when they were conquering Europe. The Romans used these dogs to guard the cattle herds they brought with them for food.
After the fall of the Roman empire, these dogs worked guarding and herding cattle to market in the German town of Rottweil. They were bred with other local dogs and eventually named Rottweiler Metzgerhund, Butcher’s Dog of Rottweil. Railroad cattle cars took away their main job in the 1800s and they almost became extinct.
Rottweilers became popular again during World War I and II where they worked as police, messenger, ambulance, and guard dogs. Rottweilers were one of the first guide dogs for the blind. These days, they are used as search and rescue dogs as well as police and guard dogs.
The Rottweiler is a medium to large size dog. Males are larger than females with males being 95-135 pounds and 24-27 inches tall, females 80-100 pounds and 22-25 inches tall. Their life expectancy is 9-12 years.
They always have a short black coat with tan or mahogany markings. Their coat is shed heavily twice a year and they shed moderately the rest of the year. Regular brushing helps control the hair.
They are strong, powerful, intelligent, and agile and require extensive training and socialization starting as a puppy. They don’t usually bark a lot and are usually calm dogs.
This is a dog breed that is better for experienced dog owners due to the training they need. They aren’t a dog that can be trained once and that’s it. Their training needs to be constantly reinforced. They need an owner who will be their strong pack leader.
If trained and socialized properly, they can make good family dogs but should always be supervised around children. With their large size, they can easily knock children over. As herding dogs, they tend to lean on people.
They love their family and want to be with them rather than left alone outside for long periods of time and can be destructive if they get bored and left alone too much. They can be lovable and playful with their family but may be aloof with strangers. If raised with other dogs and cats when young, they can get along with them just fine.
They can be territorial and will protect their family from strange people or other strange animals.
Rottweilers are also called Rotties or Rotts.