In historic times, Rottweilers were used for many different types of working dogs. They were used in both World Wars as dogs of war that would carry messages between soldiers’ camps. The United States usually employs German Shepherd dogs for their K-9 officers instead of Rottweilers.
Many other countries still rely on the Rottweiler for their police dogs today, such as Germany, the birthplace of the German Shepherd, and Belgium, where the Belgian Malinois is from.
Since these two areas are home to the police dogs that we use most often in the USA, you would think that the dogs bred in their countries would be the four-legged police officers, but these countries use Rottweilers more than the German Shepherd or the Belgian Malinois.
Why Does the USA Not Use Rottweilers Most Often as Police Dogs?
While Rottweilers have much more strength than most any other breed of dog, they are not as agile and don’t have the stamina of a smaller dog just because of their massive size and the way they are built with a stocky body. The Rottweiler’s top speed is only 20 miles per hour, while some breeds are much faster.
The Rottweiler’s bite force is 328 pounds per square inch (PSI), so their bite force can be excessive and cause a lot of damage to a perpetrator when they take them down and hold them for the police officers to catch up to them.
A Rottweiler has a very short and square snout and often has breathing difficulties because the upper airways are shorter and don’t enable air to pass through as freely as they should.
This causes Rottweilers to get heavily winded and, in turn, overheat much more quickly than other breeds of dogs.
Rottweilers mature slowly and have a shortened life span due to their size. This makes them not the best choice for police work as they can’t be trained earlier in life and work for more years as other dogs can.
Rottweilers are not nearly as accurate when it comes to being the best dogs for sniffing out items, such as bombs, people, and drugs as some other dog breeds are.
Since Rottweilers were bred for fighting dogs many years ago, they’ve gotten a bad reputation that isn’t accurate today.
The aggressiveness has been bred out of them today and with proper training and socialization from a young age, a Rottweiler will be a loving dog that many families adore.
Have Rottweilers Served as Police Officers?
In World War I, Rottweilers were used as war dogs by the Germans and became the fourth dog breed to be recognized as an official police dog or K-9 officer. After seeing how well Rottweilers did to assist the military, then they became police dogs for the Germans and they still are today.
What Types of Jobs Can A Rottweiler Do?
Rottweilers have many great qualities that allow them to be very versatile at many different jobs as working dogs in the USA other than police work.
They are stable, temperamentally, very physically capable, very intelligent, and well rounded, as well as wanting, above all else, to please their trainers. These traits all together make a Rottweiler very desirable for many different jobs.
Which jobs do Rottweilers excel at?
Rottweilers can still do their original jobs of guarding and protecting livestock that they were historically bred for and are still used as herding dogs today.
A Rottweiler has herding in his blood and, with his superior strength, size and intelligence, he is a great candidate for herding livestock. It takes a courageous dog to keep cattle in line when they weigh about 1,200 pounds each and the herd can be in the thousands.
Hundreds of years ago, Rottweilers also pulled carts for the butcher that were very extremely heavy and laden with livestock that he would sell for food. Farms today still have a lot of jobs for a dog that requires incredible strength and stamina to perform it correctly.
Rottweilers are used for droving, which is moving herds from one area to another over long distances.
They can also pull large carts that are very heavy on a farm and they excel in the dog sports of drafting and carting. This dog breed can also take care of pests and predators on their farms to keep crops and animals safe.
Search and rescue dogs perform the most dangerous jobs of all. They must be courageous and determined to find people after a natural disaster to rescue them or find the dead bodies.
The areas they work in can be huge piles of rubble, such as after the Twin Towers were destroyed, or an avalanche of snow to look for skiers.
Rottweilers excel at this job as they are very smart and courageous, they are determined and can work all day long with stamina and they have great scent tracking abilities to find people buried under many feet of debris, mud, rubble, or snow. Rottweilers were among the first responders to the scene when the twin towers fell.
Therapy dogs need to be calm and sweet to do their job correctly. They are used to ease the pain and stress of people that have experienced bad situations of any sort, such as PTSD. Other dogs are used in hospitals, hospice care, and retirement homes to soothe the elderly.
Therapy dogs need to be able to bring comfort to people in any situation with a calm and quiet demeanor and the Rottweilers certainly fit this bill.
Rottweilers also make great service dogs for the blind and the hearing impaired. They can also help with tasks for diabetic alert dogs, seizure response dogs, autism service dogs, and allergy detection dogs.
Their size and strength help them to perform many different duties as service dogs.
Police work in the USA is generally filled with K-9 cops that are German Shepherds or Belgian Malinois, but police forces around the entire world do use Rottweilers. Germany, Belgium, France, and Australia use Rottweilers extensively for their police work.
Customs inspectors utilize this breed for officers at the borders. They can smell different items that shouldn’t cross boundaries, such as goods and people that are smuggled into a country.
Rottweilers make good hunting dogs as they can scent track easily. This breed also has a prey drive and, when taught to retrieve with a “soft mouth”, they can make excellent fowl hunting dogs.
Rottweilers have the instinct to be guardians and protectors for their family and are often very protective of their family members while also loving to play with their human pack.
Rotties tend to bark when a stranger is at the door or in the yard, but their instincts do not warrant them to be aggressive and attack anyone.
Instead, when they meet a stranger that is a family friend, they will seem offish at first until they know that they don’t propose a concern to their family.
Rottweilers may not be used very much in the USA for police dogs, but they serve a whole host of other jobs as working dogs that are very important.