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The Rottweiler

by Jan Cooper

The Rottweiler, commonly referred to as a Rottie by those that have come to love the breed, is a medium to large sized robust dog. He is black in color with carefully placed mahogany markings. He has a large head with deep set, dark, expressive eyes.

He is loyal to his family and will protect them whenever the need arises, but his finest attributes are his forthright intelligence, forgiving nature, and a sense of humor.

It is said that the ancestors of this breed originated in the Roman Empire and that many of them accompanied the Roman army over the Alps as the loyal protector and drover of cattle that were used as the army's food source. According to historians, the next appearance of this mastiff type dog was in the beautiful little town of Rottweil nestled in the southern mountainous region of Germany, where the Roman armies had left them as they continued their travels. The name Rottweil literally means das Rote Wil or the red tile.

The dogs became integral members of the community as their loyalty, natural ability to work and desire to please were noticed and cultivated. Farmers used these dogs to pull carts to aid in their daily milk deliveries, as well as to assist in management of the cattle; butchers used these dogs to guard their down-stairs shops during times of rest and to carry pouches of money to the banks. Unlike in our society in which dogs are usually pets and companions, every member of those old German towns, including the animals of a family, had to be productive and earn their keep. This robust, loyal, yet friendly dog easily proved its worth. These working dogs became widely admired and some people began referring to them as the butcher dogs or the dogs of Rottweil. Over time this magnificant working companion became officially known as Rottweiler.

Rottweilers today have changed in physical appearance, but they still have that invisible aura of dignity that surrounds their intelligence, loyalty and humor. A well adjusted Rottweiler is quiet, generally laid-back and will readily adapt to apartment living, provided of course he is given daily exercise. This breed's greatest desire is be with his human family. Regardless of living arrangements, all Rottweilers should be socialized and have obedience training. Because this is a breed of strong characteristics, the Rottweiler is NOT a breed for everyone as it requires a high degree of responsibility from its family. As with any large dog, Rottweilers should never be left to their own vises or left unattended with children. Both children and Rottweilers become bored quite easily and therefore both require adult supervision.

Today Rottweilers are excelling in such sports as herding, schutzhund, carting, agility and flyball. They are also proving to be outstanding therapy dogs and recognized as excellent service dogs for the physically challenged. Rottweilers are also in use by various law enforcement agencies. The exceptional characteristics and versatility of the Rottweiler has made it a popular breed in America. Rottweilers love to learn new things and a working Rottweiler is a happy Rottweiler.

Courtesy of Jan Cooper (the oldest Rottweiler website in the world!)