|An undocked Rottweiler in profile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The Rottweiler dog, often referred to as a “Rottie,” is an amazing creature that has been given a bad name over the years due to it getting into the wrong hands. This large dog is indeed powerful and robust but also sweet and eager to please. The Rottweiler originated from Germany although it has also been linked to Roman Empire days as well. With people traveling long distances with cattle, this breed of dog was helpful with herding duties, along with protection from prey or robbers.
Sometime around the end of the 19th century, the Rottweiler’s popularity had dramatically declined. However, with the start of WWII, this breed’s popularity level again began to climb, as the need for a strong, obedient, and intelligent dog was needed for police work. The Rottweiler fit the need perfectly. But something else happened. People also discovered that this breed of dog had an extremely loving and loyal side, which now made them a popular choice for families. By 1935, the American Kennel Club had officially recognized the breed for show.
Sadly, we still see bad publicity associated with this breed of dog – not because the breed is ferocious or evil but because irresponsible owners get their hands on the breed, sometimes teaching them to fight. All of this has caused a serious misunderstanding about the Rottweiler, which is a real shame. The truth is that while this breed does tend to be protective if the dog is socialized young, handled with a firm hand, and introduced to various situations it will make a wonderful, devoted pet that is great with children and other animals.
This breed of dog looks strong, proud, and almost like royalty. The Rottweiler is black with beautiful tan markings on the muzzle, cheeks, chest, eyebrows, and legs. When you look closely at the chest markings, you would notice upside-down triangles. Sometimes, a Rottweiler will also have a small patch of white in between these triangles. For a family pet, this marking is fine but for showing, it is not. Then, the breed’s muzzle would be tan, with the color going down the throat. Over each eye, there would be a brown dot, which serves as the eyebrows. Other markings include any color on the leg not going up more than one-third, each toe should have a small black mark, and the area under the tail would be tan.
The Rottweiler also has black nails and there are even black splotches on the inside of the mouth. The one most prominent feature of this breed is the head, which appears to be a little over-sized. Giving the dog its look of being alert, the forehead is wrinkly. This dog also has teddy bear eyes, often with a calm but alert expression. In comparison to the head, the Rottweiler has small ears, laid close to the head. Even the coat of this breed is special, being of medium length with an undercoat that is waterproof.
Although a Rottweiler is born with a tail, these are generally docked extremely short. The reason is that Rottweilers used for working can have problems with the tail breaking and then getting infected from being in the field. In most cases, a reputable veterinarian will perform the minor surgery while the dog is still in the puppy stage, which allows less pain and a quicker healing.
Finally, this particular breed has a broad, strong chest. Because of the extra room, the lungs have much more capacity than that of other dog breeds. According to the American Kennel Club, the dog’s back needs to be straight (no sloping) and for males, a height of 24 to 27 inches with the female hitting about 22 to 25 inches. Weight also varies, males averaging around 110 pounds with females around 95.
Temperament and Personality
If a Rottweiler is socialized when young, introduced to various situations, loved, played with, fed properly, exercised, and trained, it would make an outstanding addition to just about any home. However, because there are strong personality traits, people have taken an innocent dog, teaching them to guard drug houses, and even attack people.
Yes, the Rottweiler can be a little stubborn sometimes, even those carefully raised but overall, this dog is calm and they live off the attention of owners. The size and strength of the breed make them a great watchdog. Even though this dog does not bark often, when feeling threatened or afraid, the powerful voice is heard. Keep in mind that this is a strong breed so you want the Rottweiler to be handled by an experienced dog owner.
Fortunately, the Rottweiler does not have too many health problems. The things you want to keep your eyes open for or even have the puppy of interest tested for would include Hip and/or Elbow Dysplasia, Bloat, various forms of cancer, Inflammatory Bowel Disorder, Von Willebrand’s Disease, thyroid problems such as Hypothyroidism, and eye problems. Also, keep an eye on their weight.