Breed info Rottweiler

Breeding Goal: A healthy, selfconfident and friendly family and working dog, in connction with superior structure and function.
“der gesunde und im Verhalten selbstsichere und freundliche Gebrauchs-und Familienhund, verbunden mit bester Form und Leistung”

ANKC Standard:

  • Group:
    Group 6 (Utility)
  • History:
    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, rescue 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 %.

  • Characteristics:
  • Temperament:

    The Rottweiler is goodnatured, placid in basic disposition, 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 alertness and at the same time even tempered.

  • Head And Skull:

    Skull : Of medium length, relatively broad between the ears. Forehead line moderately arched as seen from the side. Occipital bone well developed without being conspicuous.
    Stop : Stop relatively strong.  Frontal groove not too deep.

    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.  The ratio between the length of the muzzle and the length of the skull is about 1 to 1,5.  Straight nasal bridge, broad at base, moderately tapered.
    Lips : Black, close fitting, corner of the mouth not visible, gum as dark as possible.
    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 o be broadened.

  • Mouth:

    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.

  • Neck:

    Strong, of fair length, well muscled, slightly arched, clean, free from throatiness, without excessive dewlap.

  • 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.

  • Body:

    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.

  • 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.

  • Feet:

    Front feet : Round, tight and well arched; pads hard; nails short, black and strong.
    Hindfeet : Slightly longer than the front feet. Toes strong, arched, as tight as front feet.

  • Tail:

    In natural condition, strong, level in extension of the upper line; while paying attention, when exited or while moving it can
    be carried upward in a light curve; at ease may be hanging. While positioned along the leg, the tail reaches approximately to the
    hocks or is a bit longer.

  • Gait/Movement:

    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.

  • Coat:

    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.
    Skin : Skin on the head : overall tight fitting. When the dog is alert, the forehead may be slightly wrinkled.

  • 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 the tail.

  • Sizes:

    Height at withers : For males is 61 - 68 cm.  61 - 62 cm is small 63 - 64 cm medium height.   65 - 66 cm is large - correct height 67 - 68 cm very large.
    Weight : 50 kg.

    Height at withers : For bitches 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 degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

    • General appearance : Light, weedy, leggy appearance. Light in bone and muscle.
    • Head : Hound-type head. Narrow, light, too short, long, coarse or excessively molossoid head; excessively broad skull, (lack of stop, too little stop or too strong stop). Very deep frontal groove.
    • Foreface : Long, pointed or too short muzzle (any muzzle shorter than 40 percent of the length of the head is too short); 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. Molars of the underjaw not standing in one line.
    • Cheeks : Strongly protruding.
    • Eyes : Light, deep set. Also too full and round eyes; loose eyelids.
    • Ears : Set on too low or too high, 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, crooked or not parallel standing 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 spread out.

    • General appearance: Too molossoid type and heavy general appearance.
    • Skin: Skin at the head strongly wrinkled, strong wrinkles in the area of the forehead, the muzzle and the cheeks, strong dewlap.
    • Gait: Sluggish action while trotting.

    • Aggressive or overly shy dogs.
    • Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
    • Behaviour: Anxious, shy, cowardly, gun-shy, vicious, excessively suspicious, nervous animals.
    • General appearance: 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, natural bobtail.
    • 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.

  • Notes:

    • Male animals should have two apparently normal testiclesfully descended into the scrotum.
    • Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation, should be used for breeding.



    Common health problems of the Rottweiler, as a breed, and what can be done to minimise them:

    Hip Dysplasia: In hip dysplacia the socket of the pelvis and the joint of the Femur don’t really fit together. Therefore there is a constant grinding of this joint. In bad cases you can even feel (and hear) the joint pop out of the socket at every step.

    There is two components of the disease, a hereditary component, which is small because the parent animals have been been checked for the disease. There is also an environmental component. Dogs that are overweight are prone to hip dysplasia. Additionally dogs that are encouraged to jump early or exercised heavily, while the bones still develop, also might develop hip dysplasia. Don’t let large dogs jump until they are at least one and a half years old.

    Elbow Dysplasia: There are three recognized forms of elbow dysplasia. One is the osteochondrosis discussed below, others are malformations of the elbow joint. By rules of the NRCA potential breeding Rottweilers have to be checked for elbow dysplasia. However again, proper feeding, weight managment and restriction on exercise are important in the Rottweiler. .

    Osteochondrosis: In this disease bones and muscles of the puppy grow to fast, the cartliage (which does not have blood veseels) grows, but there are insufficient nutrients reaching all of the cartilage. Littel bits of cartilage break of and cause lameness especially in the hook or elbow joint. An operation will be necessary. To avoid this it is important that only premium dogfood for large breed puppies are fed. This food has lower amounts of protein and is less energy dense, but also a really tight Ca: P ratio, which is not necessary for small breeds.

    Panosteitis: This is known as growing pains in large breed dogs, when muscles grow to fast. Again, a proper large breed diet is important to reduce the growth rate and keep the dog healthy.

    Eye Diseases: Rottweiler can suffer from eye diseases which can lead to blindness. Again registered breeders have to have eye certificates to minimise genetic factors.

    Cancer: Cancer of the bone and immune system is common in Rottweilers. There are some lines that are more prone than others. 

    Juvenile Laryngeal Paralysis & Polyneuropathy (JLPP): Jlpp is a genetic disease which I test for, enabling me to avoid double positive puppies. JLPP affected puppies will die at around 1 and a half years old after suffering from muscle wastage, paralysis. Problems with eyes and secondary pneumonia are common.

Contact Details

Marianne Keller
Australia, SA, Australia
Phone : 0402590126
Email : [email protected]