Dog Breed Group: Working Dog
Life Span: 10-12 years
Weight: Male: 43-61, Female: 36-45
Height: Male: 24-27, Female: 22-25
Origin of Name: The Rottweiler is a breed of domestic dog, regarded as medium-to-large or large.
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The Roman Empire was the organized force behind the early years of Western Europe, and many of the tasks forever altered by the Roman genius for practical problem solving included dog breeding.
When the Roman armies were conquered and marched to the far corners of the world, they brought their flocks with them as food on the hoof. The army needed strict, durable dogs to move and protect the herd. Using the Asian Mastiff types as breeding stock, the Romans developed the distant ancestor of today's Rottweiler. For centuries armies struggled to contain Germanic armies, the so-called barbaric hoards, largely on the empire's northern borders. The dogs the Romans brought to these areas became the foundation for many German breeds.
In the centuries following the fall of the empire, Roman driving dogs found work in the cattle town of Rottweil. It was here, transporting herds from the pasture to the market and protecting all concerned on the way from the bandits and headscarves, that they earned the name of Rottweiler Metzgerhund, or Butchers Dog of Rottweil.
The bread career ended in livestock with the rise of railroad cattle cars in the 1800s. They found new jobs as police dogs, personal guards, and blue-collar dogs capable of performing various heavyweights. Roti was among the first guide dogs for the blind, and in recent times he distinguished himself as a search-rescue worker at disaster sites such as Oklahoma City and the World Trade Center.
Considering the number of roles the breed has played during its long history, it is notable that the butcher's dog has changed little in form and temperament since its first German breed standard was formulated in 1901.