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Ch.Coultrains Nyte Ryder
Photo courtesy of Coultrain Rottweilers

Breed Registries:

The all-breed registries indicated above are the most recognized all-breed registries. The breed may be recognized by other registries not indicated here. For further details about dog registries, please see the document: Dog Breed Registries in North America.

* — The FCI is the World Canine Organization, which includes 84 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 339 breeds, with each being the "property" of a specific country. The "owner" countries of the breeds write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.




Males —24-27 in. (60-68 cm)
Females — 22-25 in. (55-63 cm)


Approximately 80 to 120 lbs

Note: Ideal height is mid-range for both males and females and correct proportion is of primary importance provided that the size is within the Standards' range. The depth of the chest is approximately 50% of the height of the dog. The length of the body is slightly longer than the height at the withers with an ideal proportion of height to length being 9 to 10. He should have sufficient bone and muscle mass to balance his frame thus giving a very powerful appearance. Males are characteristically more massive and heavier boned than females.     (seethe individual Breed Standards for further details.)

A Brief History of the Rottweiler Breed:

While the origin of the Rottweiler is not documented, it is believed that he is descended from the drover dogs of Ancient Rome who were brought to Southern Germany by Roman armies. These drover dogs were said to be of Mastiff-type, very intelligent, dependable, protective, strong and powerful. Until the middle of the 19th century, the direct descendants of the Roman drover dog were used to drive cattle to and from markets and to guard herds.

When the use of dogs as draft animals had been outlawed, the "Butcher Dog" or "Rottweiler Metzgerhund" as he was known, began to decline in numbers. In those days, dogs needed to earn their keep or there was no reason to keep them. Luckily, they were found to be excellent guard dogs as well and began working with the police and military. By 1901, a combined Rottweiler and Leonberger Club was formed where the first Rottweiler Standard was written. In 1910, the Rottweiler was officially recognized by the German Police Dog Association as a police dog breed. By 1921, the Allegmeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub (ADRK) was formed and its first stud book was published in 1924. Since this time, the ADRK has led the way in purposeful breeding programs which have been promoted both in Germany and abroad.

References and Additional Information on the History of the Breed:

Breed Profile:

The Rottweiler is a powerful, calm and confident dog that maintains an air of self-assurance. With his inherent desire to protect his home and family as well as his aloof attitude, the Rottweiler does not make immediate and indiscriminate friends. He is a bold guardian and an intelligent, steady companion. With his family, he strives to accompany and guard wholeheartedly.

As a working dog, the Rottweiler enjoys herding, competing in obedience, schutzhund, tracking, carting, agility, and search and rescue. Today, he still works as a Police Dog as well, particularly in Europe. See the Clubs, Activities & Sports and the Working Dogs sections for additional information on the various activities the Rottweiler is involved in.

The Rottweiler breed's temperament varies from dog to dog — from one who is a natural clown, affectionate to almost anyone; to one who is very reserved and a one-person dog. All Rottweilers, however, have a very strong territorial instinct and will defend their home and family. Rottweilers have also been known to bully their owners or other people. This can, obviously, be very intimidating and must be prevented — Early obedience training and socialization is strongly recommended. Signs of nervousness, shyness, or hyperactivity are not characteristic of the breed and are extremely undesirable.

In appearance, the Rottweiler is robust and powerful, giving an impression of great strength, agility and endurance. His coat is always black with defined rich tan markings. Males are larger and heavier boned than females.

The well trained Rottweiler is a wonderful companion and friend; however, this breed is definitely not for everyone and, if you are considering adopting a Rottweiler into your home, investigate and learn about the breed before you buy!

Health Issues

Rottweilers, as with other breeds, are susceptible to some health problems, see the Rottweiler Health Issues document for further information.

If you are considering the adoption of a Rottweiler puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy's parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. It is a mandatory practice for American Rottweiler Club (ARC) member breeders to breed only dogs and bitches which have OFA certified hips (or HD-free hips as certified by foreign counterparts of the OFA). In addition, the ARC recommends that all dogs have their eyes checked by a veterinary ophthalmologist and that the presence of other hereditary diseases, such as elbow dysplasia, von Willebrand's disease, subaortic stenosis and hypothyroidism be checked prior to breeding. The Rottweiler Club of Canada Code of Ethics states in Section 3: Breeding: "Breed only dogs whose hips have been certified clear by the OVC, OFA or an FCI-recognized authority and, if born after Jan 1st, 2005, whose heart has been OFA certified. In addition, the RCC strongly suggests that breeders xray elbows and test for genetic ocular (eye) defects, and encourages breeders to utilize available genetic testing for Hypothyroidism and vWD (a bleeding disorder)."

(For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main Breed Listing and Breeders page.)

Additional Health Resources:

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Breed Standards

Grooming Information

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.

Training Resources

The Rottweiler is a very versatile working breed, known as an all-purpose dog, willing and able to attempt many tasks. Though he may be stubborn at times, the Rottweiler is intelligent and easily trained under proper direction. Early socialization and obedience training are strongly recommended for this powerful breed. The owner of a Rottweiler must take the time needed, be fair, patient, persistant and consistant in his/her training methods.

  • The Alpha Factor
  • Schutzhund — The Rottweiler is a breed commonly seen participating in the sport of Schutzhund. Schutzhund training concentrates on obedience work, tracking and protection. This section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website includes details on the sport as well as listings of Schutzhund clubs and associations.
  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.

Training Tools & Equipment
Choose from a wide variety of items from Dogwise.com

Additional Information

  • What You Can Expect With Rottweiler Dogs — by Sharon A Davies (Article added: 23 Jan 08)
  • "So You Want To Buy A Rottweiler"
  • Breed Specific Legislation — Of a fiction which maybe what your tomorrow will be made of... — From the Rottweiler Club of Canada
  • Sheep Herding — By Kathy Cooper of Coultrain Rottweilers - Surrey Herding Facility
  • Herding Dogs — A new section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website which includes training and general information about Herding/Stock Dogs; listing of Stock Dog Clubs and Associations; listing of upcoming shows and events; and more.
  • Schutzhund — The Rottweiler is a breed commonly seen participating in the sport of Schutzhund. Schutzhund training concentrates on obedience work, tracking and protection. This section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website includes details on the sport as well as listings of Schutzhund clubs and associations.
  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

Rottweiler Discussion Forums and Other Rottweiler Information Websites:

  • Rottie-L — A high volume unmoderated e-mail discussion list for Rottweiler enthusiasts. Well over 800 worldwide, ranging from breeders, exhibitors, trainers, handlers, vets, pet owners and to want-to-be owners.
  • www.rottweiler.net — All You Need To Know — Rottweiler Discussion Forums — A site dedicated to furthering the knowledge of those interested in this fine breed. They provide a great information and support system for both new and experienced owners and prospective owners. Note: This site is definitely worth checking out, with a member base of close to 10,000, it is extremely informative.
  • RCC BSL Group — This group serves as a central contact and discussion area for The Rottweiler Club of Canada (RCC) in regards to Breed Specific Legislation (BSL). The focus is on Canadian legislation and they support the entire Anti-BSL movement for all breeds.
  • Total Rottweiler — Connecting rottweiler breeders. Opened gallery, rottweiler yellow pages, awesome articles, online show, advices and much more.

Select from the following links to view Breeder listings; Breed Clubs; Rescue Organizations; as well as Books and other Merchandise specific to the breed:

Breeders  /  Breed Clubs  /  Rescues  /  Books & More