Breed Standard of the German Rottweiler

Brief Historical Summary

The Rottweiler is one of the oldest of herding breeds. One author supposes that it has a history possibly dating back to the Rottweiler may be a descendant of ancient Roman drover puppies, dependable and rugged mastiff-type Rottis with great intelligence and guarding instincts. During their quest to conquer Europe, the Roman legions traveled in large numbers across the continent. The lack of refrigeration meant soldiers brought herds of cattle for food. Drover puppies kept the herd together and guarded it at night. Around A.D. 74 the Roman army traveled across the Alps and into what is now southern Germany. For the next two centuries, the Roman drover puppies were continually used in herding and driving cattle for trade even after the Romans were driven out of the area by the Swabians.

The various German Rottweiler Clubs amalgamated to form the Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub (ADRK, General German Rottweiler Club) in 1921. This was officially recorded in the register of clubs and associations at the district court of Stuttgart on 27 January 1924 The ADRK is recognized worldwide as the home club of the Rottweiler.

In 1931 the Rottweiler was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. In 1936, Rottweilers were exhibited in Britain at Crufts. In 1966, a separate register was opened for the breed. In fact, in the mid-1990s, the popularity of the Rottweiler reached an all-time high with it being the most registered Puppies by the American Kennel Club. In 2017, the American Kennel Club ranked the Rottweiler as the eighth-most popular pure-breed in the United States.

Table of Content
  • Brief Historical Summary
  • General Appearance
  • Behaviour/Character
    • Colour
    • Size & Weight
    • Faults

General Appearance

The Fédération Cynologique Internationale gives the following description of the Rottweiler standard: “Rottweiler breeders aim at a puppies 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 puppies.” This breed is all about balance, endurance, proportionality, intelligence, and strength. The various standards in place for the Rottweiler’s physical appearance specify these characteristics.

Behaviour/Character

These Rottweilers are sociable, lively, playful, sporty, keen. They are particularly affectionate towards their masters and children.

1. Head

The skull is of medium length, relatively broad between the ears. The forehead line is moderately arched as seen from the side, with the occipital bone well developed without being conspicuous. The stop is relatively strong. Frontal groove not too deep.

The Rottweiler nose is well developed, more broad than round, with relatively large nostrils and always black. The muzzle 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. The nasal bridge is straight, broad at the base and moderately tapered.

2. Colour

The color and markings of a Rottweiler are very distinctive. A Rottweiler is always, by any breed club standards, black with well-defined mahogany or rust-colored markings that do not take up more than ten percent of the pup’s body color. All Rottweilers standard to AKC specifications have one mahogany dot above each eye on the inner brow ridge, on the cheeks, one strip on each side of the snout; cheek markings do not cross over the bridge of the nose, the top of the nose should remain black. The markings on the face should move down onto the puppy’s throat. On the chest, a Rottweiler will have two downward-facing triangular marks. On each front leg, the marks will stretch from the forearm to the toes. On the hind legs, the markings will begin on the inside and move outward onto the stifle, then out onto the hock stretching to the toes as well. AKC standards recognize that the black base color is not completely voided on the rear pasterns. There is a patch of rust or mahogany underneath the tail that resembles a triangle as well. A thin strip of black should be present on each of the Rottweiler’s toes.

3. Size & Weight

Technically a “medium / large” breed, according to the FCI standard the Rottweiler stands 61–69 cm (24–27 in) at the withers for males, 56–63 cm (22–25 in) for females, and the weight must be between 50 and 60 kg (110 and 132 lbs) for males and 35 and 48 kg (77 and 105 lbs) for females. Weight must be relative to height.

4. Faults

The coat consists of an outer coat and an undercoat. The outer coat is of medium length, coarse, dense and flat. The undercoat should be present on the neck and thighs. The undercoat must not show through the outer coat. Rottweilers living in hot climates may have acclimatized and may be missing the undercoat. Rottweiler coats tend to be low maintenance, although they experience heavy shedding before their seasons (females) or seasonally (males). According to American Kennel Club breed standards, a Rottweiler’s coat is short and straight. A coat that is long or wavy is considered a flaw to the AKC