Willemstadt Rottweilers
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BREED HISTORY

The breed is an ancient one and its history stretches back to the Roman Empire. In those times the legions travelled with their meat on the hoof and required the assistance of working dogs to herd the cattle. One route the army travelled was through Wurttemberg and onto the small market town of Rottweil. The principal ancestors of the first Rottweilers during this time was supposed to be the Roman war dog, local sheepdogs the army met on its travels, and dogs with molosser appearance coming from England and The Netherlands.


History

History

History

History

History

History

The Rottweiler is considered to be one of the oldest breeds of dogs.

Its origin goes back to Roman times. These dogs were kept as herder or driving dogs. They marched over the Alps with the Roman legions, protecting the humans and driving their cattle. In the region of Rottweil, these dogs met with the native dogs in a natural crossing.

The main task of the Rottweiler now became the driving and guarding of the herds of cattle and the defence of their masters and their property. This breed acquired its name from the old federal town of Rottweil and was known as the "Rottweil Butcher's dog". The Butchers bred this type of dog purely for performance and usefulness. In due course, a first rate watch and droving dog evolved which could also be used as a draught dog. When in the beginning of the twentieth century, various breeds were needed for police service, the Rottweiler was amongst those tested. It soon became evident that the breed was highly suitable for the tasks set by police service and therefore they were officially recognised as police dogs in 1910.

GENERAL APPEARANCE
The Rottweiler is a medium to large size, stalwart dog, neither heavy nor light and neither leggy nor weedy. His correctly proportioned, compact and powerful build leads to the conclusion of great strength, maneuverability and endurance.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS
The length of the body, measured from the sternum (breastbone) to the ischiatic tuberosity, should not exceed the height at the withers by, most, 15%.

CHARACTERISTICS
Rottweiler breeders aim at a dog of abundant strength, black coated with clearly defined rich tan markings, whose powerful appearance does not lack nobility and which is exceptionally well suited to being a companion, security and working dog.

TEMPERAMENT
Being good natured, placid and fond of children in basic disposition, he is very devoted, obedient, biddable and eager to work. His appearance is natural and rustic, his behaviour self assured, steady and fearless. He reacts to his surroundings with great alertness.

HEAD AND SKULL / CRANIAL REGION
Of medium length, the skull broad between the ears. Forehead line moderately arched as seen from the side. Occipital bone well developed without being conspicuous. STOP: Well defined.

FACIAL REGION
NOSE: Straight nasal bridge broad at base, moderately tapered. Nose well developed, more broad than round with relatively large nostrils, always black.
MUZZLE: The foreface should appear neither elongated nor shortened in relation to the cranial region.
LIPS: Black, close fitting, corner mouth not visible, gums as dark as possible.
JAW: Upper and lower jaw strong and broad.
CHEEKS: Zygomatic arches pronounced.
SKIN: Skin on the head is overall tight fitting. When the dog is alert, the forehead may be slightly wrinkled.
EYES: Of medium size, almond shaped, dark brown in colour. Eyelids closely fitting.
EARS: Medium sized. Pendant, triangular, wide apart, set on high. The close fitting ears, set well forward give the impression of a broad skull.
TEETH: Strong, complete dentition (42 teeth) with scissor bite, the upper incisors closely overlapping the lower incisors.
NECK: Of fair length, well muscled, slightly arched, free from throatiness, without dewlap.

FOREQUARTERS
Seen from the front, the front legs are straight and not placed too closely to each other. The forearm, seen from the side, looks straight. The slope of the shoulder blade is about 45 degrees to the horizontal.
SHOULDERS: Well laid back.
UPPER ARM: Close fitting to the body.
FOREARM: Strong developed and muscled.
PASTERNS: Slightly springy, strong but not straight.

BODY
BACK: Straight, strong sturdy. Loins short, strong and deep
CROUP: Broad, of medium length, slightly rounded. Neither flat nor falling away.
CHEST: Roomy, broad and deep (approximately 50% of the shoulder height) well developed fore-chest and well sprung ribs.
BELLY: Flanks not tucked up.


HINDQUARTERS
Seen from behind, legs straight and not close together. When standing free, obtuse angles are formed between the dog's upper thigh and the hip bone, the upper thigh and the lower thigh and the metatarsal.
UPPER THIGH: Moderately long, broad and well muscled.
LOWER THIGH: Long, strong, broadly muscled at top and sinewy below, merging into sturdy well angulated hocks, not straight.

FEET
FRONT: Round, tight and well arched, pads hard, nails short, black and strong.
REAR: Slightly longer than the front feet. Just as tight. Arched and with strong toes. No rear dew claws.

TAIL
Docked at the first or second joint. In those countries where docking is forbidden by law, the tail may be left in its natural state.

MOVEMENT
The Rottweiler is a trotting dog. In movement the back remains firm and relatively stable. Movement harmonious, steady, full of energy and unrestricted, with good stride.

COAT
TEXTURE OF THE COAT: The coat consists a of a topcoat and an undercoat. The topcoat is of medium length, coarse, dense and flat. The undercoat must not show through the topcoat. The hair is a little longer on the buttocks.

COLOUR
Black with clearly defined markings of rich tan on the cheeks, muzzle, throat, chest and legs, as well as over both eyes and under the base of the tail.

SIZE
MALES Shoulder height for males 61-68 cm
61-62 cm is small, 63-64 cm is medium, 65-66 cm is large - correct height, 67-68 cm is very large
Weight approximately 50 kg

FEMALES Shoulder height for females 61-62 cm
56-57 cm is small, 58-59 cm is medium, 60-61 cm is large - correct height, 62- 63 cm is very large
Weight approximately 42 kg

FAULTS
GENERAL APPEARANCE: Light, racy, weedy appearance. Light in bone and muscle
HEAD: Hound type head. Narrow, light, too short, too long or coarse. Flat forehead. Lack of stop or too little.
FOREFACE: Long or pointed muzzle; split nose: roman or dished nose: aquiline nose, pale or spotted nose.
JAWS: Narrow lower jaw.
LIPS: Pendulous, pink or patchy; corner of lips visible.
CHEEKS: Strongly pronounced cheeks.
SKIN: Wrinkles on head.
EARS: Set on too low, heavy, long slack or turned backwards. Also flying ears or ears not carried symmetrically.
EYES: Light, showing haw, deep set. Also round eyes.
BITE: Pincer bite.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS
General: marked reversal of sexual type, i.e., feminine dogs or masculine bitches.
Behaviour: Anxious, shy, cowardly, gun-shy, vicious, excessively suspicious, nervous animals.
Eyes: Entropian, Ectropian, yellow eyes, different coloured eyes.
Teeth: Overshot or undershot bite, missing premolars or molars.
Coat Texture: Very long or wavy coat.
Coat Colour: Dogs which do not show typical Rottweiler colouring of black with tan markings. White markings.
Note: Males must have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum

SOCIALISATION
A Dog is not a toy, a plaything, an ego trip, or a child substitute. The dog has been the companion of man for thousands of years but he retains all the instinctive behaviour of his wild ancestors. Today with our changing society and subsequent stress we tend to forget that dogs are not humans but a different species. A species that comes from a social structure similar to man hence he can adapt to living with man provided that certain needs are met.

It is vital, if you are to have a happy rewarding relationship with your dog that YOU are the pack leader. A dog sees a weak person as one who is not trustworthy of respect and he will take over lead position. We all know dogs that run their various households - the dog wants a walk, the dog wants his dinner, the dog does not like you to sit there, the dog does not like Uncle John. But allow a ROTTWEILER to call the tune and you are asking for trouble.

If you are in the habit of allowing the dog to dictate to you, eg: who sits where. You cannot blame the dog when, if he is pulled off his chair and dragged outside, he challenges your right to demand this action of him. You say "The dog growled at me". Of course he did! You have given him every reason to believe that he is in charge so why shouldn't he challenge a threat to his position.

The size of a Rottweiler coupled with his strength of character will cause problems right from the time you take your puppy home if you do not establish yourself as the pack leader in your household. The dog will be quite happy with whatever position he is allotted. For household harmony that position should be at the bottom of the human pack. Then the dog respects you and all the family. Current problems here and overseas are mainly caused by a lack of understanding of the above concept. The Rottweiler is a wonderful companion/guard, provided he is in the hands of a responsible caring owner who has taken the trouble to investigate the Character of the Breed and to learn about the drives and instinctsthat all dogs are born with, inherited drives and behaviour. This is set and cannot be changed by man, only modified for man's use.

THE AIM OF SOCIALISATION
To teach the dog those things he would not learn unless instructed, ie: not to wet in the house and all other social activities which are not inherent in the dog but necessary for him to fit into our society. To inhibit and channel those natural activities that are instinctive to the dog. Again so he can become a useful member of society and contented to use his instinct in a positive way, ie: to fetch articles on command and bring them to his owner, not to drag the washing off the line and bury it! Socialisation is continuous throughout the life of the dog, but the first 16 weeks is vital. Miss taking the time during this period to introduce your pup to various situations in a non-stressful way and you will never have a dog that you could have had.

CRITICAL PERIOD
Birth to 7 weeks Puppies learn to accept discipline from their Dam and to interact with littermates. They learn to be functional animals within the pack, and to give correct signals and responses to other dogs.

SOCIALISATION PERIOD
7 to 12 weeks At this age the dog is capable of learning anything as its brain has the capacity of an adult dog. This is a valuable period and should not be wasted. Spend as much time as you can introducing your dog to all the things he will encounter during his lifetime. Introduce him to other animals that are non-threatening. Things that are learned at this time are retained. Concentration is limited so teaching should be short and happy.

FEAR PERIOD
This period occurs sometime between 8 and 16 weeks. Things that the pup happily excepted before, may for a short time appear threatening and produce fear in the puppy. Recognise that this is just a stage and will pass. Do not force the puppy to confront the things he fears. Just be calm and non-fearful yourself, treat the thing that the puppy fears with disdain and he will take his cue from you. Do not over protect or display too much concern.

FITTING INTO POSTION IN YOUR FAMILY GROUP
12 to 16 weeks This is the testing period when a puppy decides whether he is number two in your family or comes after all the other family members. The puppy will test you and the other family members to find his place. Things like biting at the lead or his owner should be discouraged and firmly corrected. All family members should be able to direct the puppy and expect him to comply. Puppy should now be sleeping all night quietly in his own bed and be walking well on a lead. He should know his name by now and be able to stay quietly by himself without howling or barking and should not destroy things. At this stage you might believe that you puppy has all of a sudden become deaf. They attempt to ignore you. Make sure that you are in a position to make the puppy listen. This period only lasts a short time but is always sometime around the 4th to 6th month.

SECOND FEAR PERIOD
6 to 14 months Your puppy may suddenly become terror stricken about something he has seen many times before. This is illogical behaviour and like a child having a nightmare. Just be calm and reassuring and avoid confrontation while the puppy is unable to cope. This will soon pass if you don't make an issue of the fear. Work on having the puppy learn to rely on you for guidance and support, while learning to be independent. Rottweilers are naturally aware of changes in their surroundings and may act as if they are wary of new things and people. Do not reassure the pup in these circumstances. Just act as if the object is of no consequence to you and the pup will take the cue from you. If you pat and cosset the puppy when it acts afraid the message the dog will get is that it is okay to act in this manner. Far from it, we want our pups to grow into self-confident adults!

ADOLESCENCE
12 to 24 months Your puppy begins to assert himself and to regard all other dogs as potential rivals. This behaviour is not cute and is not socially acceptable. Do not applaud or condone it! Concentrate on reinforcing your earlier training and demand respect and attention from your dog. Be firm, fair and consistent with your discipline. Distract the dog and avoid confrontations with other dogs, which will only reinforce the behaviour. This behaviour will settle if not reinforced.

HEALTH ISSUES

HIP DYSPLASIA

The term refers to the shape and fit of the Ball of the Femur with the Socket in the Hip. Believed to be part inherited and part environmental. Hip Dysplasia is evidenced by signs of discomfort when running, standing or rising. The dog may be reluctant to rise or rises with difficulty, swaggers or sways it rear end while walking and may avoid excessive exercise, jumping or other use of its hind legs.

OSTEOCONDRITIS (OCD)/ ELBOW DYSPLASIA
This is a term covering several conditions in the legs. Usually seen between 4 and 8 months in the rapidly growing puppy. Mainly in the shoulder, hock or elbow. Presents as a reluctance to get up with lameness and pain in the affected joint. A frustrating disease that is sometimes difficult to diagnose as it may not be present on x-ray.

CRUCIATE LIGAMENT
Limping in the rear end does not always indicate hip dysplasia. The anterior cruciate ligament is an important structure in the stifle (knee) joint. Of the dog because it helps stabilise and strengthen the knee during movement. When the ligament ruptures (tears), it causes instability in the knee which in turn causes inflammation and damaged to the joint. The rupture can occur after a period of gradual degenerative changes in the ligament or by a traumatic. Surgery is required to repair the damage. The surgically repaired knee may never be as strong as it was before the rupture, and it is not uncommon for the cruciate ligament in the cruciate ligament in the other knee may rupture later

TEETH PROBLEMS
The correct bite is a scissor bite. Upper teeth closely fitting over the bottom teeth. Many variations on this can occur, undershot, overshot, wry etc. a bite problem does not affect the dog in any way except to render it a non-breeding animal.

MISSING TEETH
Correct dentition is 42 teeth. 20 on the upper jaw, 22 on the lower jaw. Missing teeth do not cause the dog any problems but again renders the dog unsuitable for breeding. Refer to the Breed Standard for clarification.

ENTROPIAN & ECTROPIAN
Entropian, where the eyelid, along with the eyelashes, rolls into the eye, leading to possible ulcerations of the cornea and Ectropian, where the eyelid rolls outward and also causes irritation to the cornea are the condition that must be corrected surgically. They are disqualifications under the Rottweiler Breed Standard and animals exhibiting Entropian and Ectropian should not be used as breeding stock.

SUBAORTIC STENOSIS (SAS)
SAS is a congenial defect of the heart that impedes blood flow and is inherited in several breeds including the Rottweiler. Among the clinical signs are exercise in tolerance, fainting or collapse. Shortened life span and sudden unexpected deaths are also associated with SAS. A Specialist listening to the heart determines detection.

BLOAT
Bloat is a condition where the stomach over-distends with gas and can actually flip upon itself (torsion). It is a condition especially prevalent in large, deep chested breeds, including the Rottweiler. Early signs of bloat are restlessness and abdominal discomfort. Vomiting or retching commence, although nothing appears except saliva or mucus. As the retching and abdominal distress increase, the dog becomes weaker, breathing is laboured, and the tongue becomes blue, until the dog collapses and dies.

OTHER CONDITIONS
Hypothyroidism
Immune Deficiency
Umbilical Hernia
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Cataracts
Cancer
Neurological Conditions
Vitiligo