Strong, Robust, Courageous, Intelligent, and Loyal. These words describe a type of dog that is very large, thick, stocky, muscular, black with rusty markings, a blocky head, and a huge smile. Intimidating and imposing, this dog is a fearless protector that is willing to defend its owner and property at all costs, even if it means risking its life. Despite its fearsome appearance, this dog is truly a gentle giant and loving companion deep down and is happily willing to do any job that may be assigned to it. This breed of dog is none other than the Rottweiler.

The Rottweiler is a historic breed that is the descendant of ancient Roman cattle drover dogs that were given the task of driving cattle to market, guarding property and money, and accompanying the Romans on the battlefield. The Rottweiler as we know it today was developed in the town of Rottweil in Germany, where the breed got its name. Rottweil was a Roman settlement as well as a cattle town. In Rottweil, there were large dogs that were used to drive the cattle from the pastures to the market. These dogs accompanied butchers and were given the name Rottweiler Metzgerhund, which translates to “Butcher’s dog”. Rottweilers were useful because they not only helped drive cattle to market but also helped pull carts and guard property and money. In the 1800s, Rottweilers fell into a great decline because their use was no longer needed. Dog carts were replaced with donkey carts and the railroad system was the modern way to bring cattle to market and cattle droving had been outlawed. Donkey carts and railroads have sadly driven the Rottweiler to near extinction. Luckily, in the early 1900s, some dog breeders helped revive the breed and Rottweilers found favor as police dogs. Rottweilers have gained popularity since then and were first brought to America in the late 1920s, also the Rottweiler was recognized by the AKC in 1931. By the 1990s, the Rottweiler was the second most popular dog breed in America. Today, the Rottweiler continues to rank among the top ten breeds in popularity. In the modern world, the Rottweiler excels in obedience, agility, conformation dog shows, therapy work, search and rescue work, and protection dog sports.

Because the Rottweiler is a very strong and powerful breed, it is not usually a recommended dog for the first-time owner. Rottweilers require a lot of socialization and training from young puppyhood. The ideal owner is someone who has the time for socialization and training and is willing to show the dog who is boss. If not trained properly, Rottweilers will become overly protective of their owners and exhibit undesirable behavior and aggression issues. Proper training and socialization will help avoid these issues. A Rottweiler that is properly trained and socialized can be a wonderful, well-behaved dog that is a pleasure to hang out with. When it comes to grooming, Rottweilers do not require anything more than an occasional brush and bath. Rottweilers are very trainable and rank among the top ten smartest dog breeds. This means that they are very obedient and will obey most of their owners’ commands. Some of the most common health problems that affect Rottweilers include cancer, hip dysplasia, bloat, cardiomyopathy, PRA, hypothyroidism, and Von Willebrand’s disease, so regular vet checkups and a healthy diet are important. Rottweilers are working dogs, so exercise is important to keep them healthy and happy. Some fun activities that Rottweilers can participate in include search and rescue, therapy work, dog shows, obedience, agility, herding, and protection dog sports.

Rottweiler’s reputation for being a vicious and dangerous dog does not define the breed. The owner’s upbringing of a dog, no matter the breed of the dog, is what determines the dog’s temperament and behavior. Rottweilers are no exception. Deep down the Rottweiler is a gentle giant that is loving, loyal, and protective of its people. The raising and upbringing of a well-behaved Rottweiler can be a very rewarding experience for the owner. Rottweilers are caring dogs that will do anything to keep their owners safe, even if it means giving up their own lives. Rottweilers are a dog that will love their owners and stick by them through good times and bad. The Rottweiler stands out among the most loyal of dog breeds and is a truly brave warrior and a mighty protector.