Rottweiler History: Its Interesting Ancestry

Many people research the history of a specific dog breed in order to know more about their current traits, appearance, and temperament.

Many dog breeds have been used for different types of dog in history, depending on when they were first bred and where they were at that time before they became family members as they are now.

Read on to learn all about the Rottweiler’s history and how, depending on which country they originated from, designate their appearance from each other.

Ancient Romans in 74 AD

Perhaps the oldest knowledge we have of a Rottweiler is in 74 AD in ancient Rome. During this era, Roman Legions went on long journeys to expand their territories and to claim new territories as well.

The Rottweiler was a steadfast and brave companion that would guard and drive cattle on the long journeys, so the legions had food from the cattle at all times and didn’t need to search for it to feed their ranks.

The Rottweiler is a strong and sturdy dog that does very well when it comes to herding and guarding a herd of cattle. They would also herd cattle over long stretches of terrain to take them to market so they could be sold for a profit.

The money from the sale of the cattle would then be placed in a leather pouch and it was tied onto the neck of a Rottweiler.

This protected the money from thieves because the broad stature of the dog was very intimidating to strangers.

A military camp was founded in Germany and it was called Arae Flavie, which is now known as Rottweil.

It then expanded into a civilian camp for all of the soldier’s families to live in and be guarded by the fearless dogs, which earned the name of the Rottweiler. This is when the Rottweilers started being bred to each other to strengthen their roots.

1850 AD: The Butcher’s Dog

The Rottweiler was called the butcher’s dog for many years as he would guard and drive cattle to market for sale.

They were bred for their supreme intelligence and protective nature. Rottweilers also defended the property of their owners from thieves.

In the late middle ages, trains began to appear and they could transport cattle over long stretches of land much quicker than Rottwieller’s could drive them to market.

At this point, Rottweilers died out and were no longer bred for all of their capabilities in guarding and droving.

1914 AD: Rottweilers as Service Dogs

In World War I, the Germans used Rottweilers extensively to help with their service to the military.

They were used as police dogs, guard dogs, and they would draw ambulances as well as large carts laden with items for the military.

Rottweilers were trained to be able to signal to their handlers that people were still alive on the battlefield.

These smart and fearless dogs would also carry messages from one camp to another even when they were under heavy fire in a war.

When dogs were on the front line of a war in 1915, they received recognition by the German Police Dog Association as an official police dog.

1930 AD: The American Rottweiler

The very first American Rottweiler litter of pups was born in 1930 and it was recognized by the Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub (ADRK), which is the official breed club in Germany.

This is the same year that the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the breed here as an American official breed standard.

The AKC classified Rottweilers as working-class dogs and they were allowed to compete in dog shows as a registered breed.

What Are Today’s Types of Rottweilers?

The AKC recognizes only one Rottweiler dog breed, but there can be some differences in their appearance and temperament depending on their bloodlines.

Rottweilers can be originally from Germany, America, or Rome. Each country has its own distinct breed standards, with Germany having the strictest standards of all.

The German Rottweiler

German Rottweilers are very impressive in their appearance. They have thick bodies, broadheads, and are very muscular in their build.

German standards dictate that the tail should not be docked with a double coat of medium length and rough hair as the topcoat and a softer undercoat. The undercoat is present all over the body.

Not all Rottweilers from Germany are able to be bred and reproduce puppies. There are very strict provisions for breeding and each dog must pass a physical test and a temperament test in order to be allowed to be bred.

The owners also must familiarize themselves with the dog before they are allowed to purchase it.

This is why the German Rottweiler always shows the same consistent personality and temperament because they are monitored closely.

German Rottweilers are very loyal and committed to their family or pack members. They are very smart and will guard and protect their family members, while their gentle demeanor also makes them good service dogs, therapy dogs, and police dogs as well.

The American Rottweiler

The American Rottweiler dates back to the Roman Empire. He is a medium-sized dog with a muscular and strong build, but not quite as large or heavy as a German Rottweiler.

American Rottweilers sport a docked tail with the same type of double coat, although the undercoat is only in a few places on the neck and thighs.

The American Rottweiler is loyal and loving towards his family. He will guard and protect them but he doesn’t go looking for a fight in any way.

American Rottweilers are fun-loving and considerate family members. They get along well with children and with other pets in your family.

The Roman Rottweiler

This Rottweiler is considered a giant breed instead of a large breed due to its towering height and bulkiness.

Their head and jaws appear very large in size to match their strong and muscular bodies. Their necks are curved very strong and muscled.

Roman Rottweiler is very smart and willing to learn new things while being very adaptable to changes in a household.

They also make a great family member and they are very easy to train while being eager, highly submissive, and attentive to their handlers.

Is A Rottweiler Right For You and Your Family?

There are several things you need to know before you get a beautiful and regal Rottweiler for a family pet. This is a large to giant breed of dog which will be very strong and powerful when it is full-grown.

If you have small children, you most probably wouldn’t want an adult because they can easily knock children down while only trying to play with them.

An adult will have been socialized and trained by someone else, so your new dog will be basically an unknown dog because you have no idea how well they were trained in the beginning.

Your best bet when searching for a new furbaby for your family, is to get a puppy. This ensures that you can give it all the training and socialization that your new four-legged family member needs to fit in with your home well.

You do have to be diligent in making sure that a Rottweiler knows that you are the pack leader as some may have a stubborn streak.

You should also be fine with a drooling dog, as Rottweilers naturally drool because of the shape of their jaws and the extra skin on their jaws.

Also take into account that you will need toys for strong chewers even when your Rottie is a pup, as they have a lot of strength in their jaws even when young and will easily tear a stuffed toy apart in a matter of minutes.

Final Thoughts

All Rottweilers, no matter if they originate from Rome, Germany, or America, have the same temperament and are very lovely four-legged family members who will guard and protect their pack.

They are smart and easy to train, but you need to make sure that you are the pack leader, as Rottweilers tend to be a bit bossy at times.

Rottweilers make a great family companion for any age, including very young to very old.

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