The History of the Rottweiler

The Rottweiler has an ancestry that goes all the way back to the ancient Roman times of the Roman drover, a Mastiff type dog. The drovers were us ed to herd cattle during the day while the army was traveling, and at night while the soldiers slept it protected the troops from surprise enemy attacks. During Caesar's many travels and conquests some drovers were left behind in the areas of Germany where the natives bred the dogs to perform jobs that they wanted them to do.

In Rottweil, Germany, the town from which this breed derived its name, the breed emerged as the butcher's dog. It proved indispensible to the butcher--it herded the cattle, pulled the meat cart, and held the butcher's money purse. Not many thieves were willing to steal from a Rottweiler, and they still aren't today! I have even heard that in some European countries teams of Rotts were used instead of horses to pull barges through the canals.

When the railroad replaced dog carts, Rottweilers were out of a job and faced the same fate as many of the ancient breeds before them-extinction. Fortunately, peace officers discovered the usefulness of the breed as a police dog, and in 1910 Rotts were officially recognized as police dogs. Rotts also proved to be fine war dogs too, and they were used extensively by both the Allies and the Nazis during World War II.

In 1931 the first Rottweiler was admitted to the AKC Stud Book. The Rottweiler has become a very popular breed falling within the AKC's top ten breeds registered annually for nearly a decade now. In 2000 much to the relief of breed enthusiasts the Rottweiler slipped out of the top ten into 11th place.

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