The History Of The ROTTWEILER

The History Of The ROTTWEILER

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Now, if you're familiar with the breed you know that the modern Rottweiler came from Germany where it was a working cattle dog. What you may not know is that the ancestor to the Rottweiler we know today was actually a Roman drover dog.  

The Roman Empire is well known for its ingenuity and practicality in many areas and dog breeding is one of the areas that the Romans also improved. You also probably know that the Romans are most famous for their tireless conquest and expansion of their empire. Their armies marching all over the continent brought herds of livestock on its conquests to feed the soldiers. The ancestor to the modern Rottweiler was one of the dogs used to drive and herd their cattle. The Romans used Asian mastiff-type breeds as the breeding stock for the Rottweiler’s ancestor, but not much else is know about them. They were bred to have the stamina to keep up with the marching armies while herding the cattle all day and then guarding them all night.

The Romans spent a considerable amount of time in the area we know today as Germany. One of the biggest plagues to the Roman army was the wild barbarian Germanic hordes native to the area. So when the Roman Empire fell and soldiers turned to farmers and some of the army’s dogs were left wandering around areas where the armies had once been. The ancestor to the modern Rottweiler was one such dog and found a new life in the town of Rottweil Germany where it excelled at moving cattle from pastures to market. The breed was refined to suit this role and became known as the Butcher’s Dog of Rottweil.

With the reach of railroads expanding in the 1800’s, cattle didn't need to be moved all the way to a marketplace, but rather to the nearest town and train car. This meant that the Rottweiler had much less livestock work to do, but was quickly recognized for its ability as a protection and police dog.

The breed standard was drawn up in 1901 for the modern Rottweiler and very little has changed with the breed since that time. Today they still excel at military and police protection work and have made a name for themselves in scent and service work as well thanks to their willingness to please and high-energy level. The breed is well known for its patience and watchfulness with children and the protective instinct it has for its home and family. Rottweilers are one of the most loving capable and loyal dog breeds thanks to its original working purpose and adaptability to home life.