When choosing a breed of dog it is always vital to look into the history of the breed – why that breed was originally developed and the tasks it performed; although in present times, the original character and instincts may be diluted in some examples of the breed, they may be stronger in others. Wide research is critical when selecting any breed of dog to share your home and your life.
The Rottweiler descends from dogs used by the Romans to drive cattle that fed the army as it marched through Europe and is possibly one of the oldest herding breeds. These dogs were (and indeed still are) strong, tough, dependable and willing workers, who were characterised by their intelligence and strong herding instincts and their innate instinct to guard and protect their premises and items in their charge.
In 1900 the Rottweil district had become an important cattle herding region. The Roman drover dogs had proven their worth in protecting cattle from robbers, other animals, and also herding the cattle from one area to another. As history reports, the Roman dogs may have bred with local dogs and the result was strong dogs used by butchers to drive cattle to market. On the way home, the dogs served as protection, guarding the butcher’s proceeds from robbers; as legend has it, all profits were tied around the dogs neck to protect it from thieves – it would indeed take someone very brave to attempt to remove the proceeds. The dogs also pulled carts, delivering meat and milk to customers as general purpose farm dogs.
During the Middle Ages, Rottweilers were used as herders, guards, and messenger dogs. The name Rottweiler comes from the German town of “Rottweil”, which means red tile after the famed red tiled roofs of the village.
Rottweilers are considered one of the world’s best guard dogs because they are tough, strong, powerful, and have a lot of endurance. This breed has an awful lot of tenacity, strength and power which cannot be imagined unless you have experienced it. They can be very territorial and protective of their home and family. Rottweilers should be confident, courageous, loyal, and calm. They should be watchful, cautious, and take a wait-and-see type of approach to strangers. They can be aggressive with other dogs (particularly those of the same gender), so you’ll need to keep a close watch and invest a great deal of time in obedience training. Rottweilers love your company and want to be around you always. Male Rottweilers are calm and watchful, always on guard for threats to their environment, while the females are somewhat easier to control and may be a little more affectionate. Rottweilers require a firm and consistent discipline. You’ll need to establish your leadership early on.
This is a not a dog for people who are inexperienced with dogs, not confident, lack leadership or have little time to devote to proper training.