All About Rottweilers

About This Breed

The Rottweiler is a descendant from ancient Roman cattle dogs. Today it is used as a police and military dog. 

Learn more about the Rottweiler, the loyal and loving gentle giant.

Physical Characteristics

The Rottweiler is a powerful dog with a large build. Its head is "blocky" with a wide forehead and drop ears. The Rottweiler also has distinctive tan eye brows over its amber gold eyes.


The Rottweiler is most commonly seen in black and tan.


Short, dense and shiny.

Personality and Temperament


Moderate to High


Rottweilers make excellent guard dogs. They are very loving and loyal to the family.


The Rottweiler makes an excellent guard dog, but can also be overly aggressive to strangers and other animals if not properly socialized and trained.



The Rottweiler fares well in the city or country.


The Rottweiler requires obedience training and daily exercise.


The following conditions are commonly seen in Rottweilers:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Parvovirus
  • Deafness
  • Neurological disorders

History and Background

The origin of the Rottweiler is not known, though many experts theorize that the breed descended from the drover dogs indigenous to ancient Rome. Described as a Mastiff-type, which was a dependable, intelligent and rugged animal, the drover dog began as a herder and was then integrated into the armies of the Roman Empire. With its ability to herd cattle, the drover dog assured the soldier's meat was kept together and readily available during long marches.

Campaigns of the Roman army ventured far and wide, but one in particular, which took place in approximately A.D. 74, brought the Rottweiler's progenitor across the Alps and into what is now Germany. For hundreds of years, the dogs served a crucial purpose in the region -- cattle driving. Thanks in part to the dogs, the town das Rote Wil (translated into "the red tile"), and the derivation of the present Rottweil, became a prosperous hub of cattle commerce.

This continued for centuries until the mid-19th century, when cattle driving was outlawed and donkey carts replaced dog carts. Because there was hardly a need for the Rottweiler Metzgerhund (or butcher dog), as they came to be known, the breed declined almost to the point of extinction.

In 1901, a concerted effort was made to develop the Rottweiler and the first club for the breed was formed. The club was short-lived, but it created the breed's first standard -- an abstract aesthetic ideal. Two more clubs followed and in 1907, one advertised the Rottweiler as an able police dog. In 1921, the two clubs merged to form the Allegmeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub; by that time, nearly 4,000 Rottweilers were registered in various clubs around Germany.

The breed gradually grew in popularity and in 1931, the Rottweiler was introduced to the United States and was later recognized by the American Kennel Club. Its intelligence and ability to guard has never been lost on dog fanciers, and through purposeful breeding it has become a mainstay in America, not only as a guard dog, police dog, and military dog, but as family pet.

National Clubs and/or Organizations

American Rottweiler Club

9188 Schroeder Rd

 Live Oak, CA 95953-9542

Fun Fact(s)

The Rottweiler got its name from the German town of Rottweil, which was the town that most cattle drives ended.

Visit to find an adoptable Rottweiler in your area!