Early History of Rottweilers

Origins of the Rottweiler Breed

The history of Rottweiler links it to one of the oldest breed of dogs. Ancient historical records of the Roman Empire indicate that the Rottweiler is a direct decedent of Drover herding dog. It was a popular dog breed in ancient Rome, commonly used as guard dogs not just by shepherds but also been utilized by army.

The name ‘Rottweiler’ originated from a German town Rottweil, a small German town initially established by the Romans in 73 AD. Years later, the establishment flourished into a town known for its Roman villas with red roofs. The term ‘Rottweil’ loosely translates to ‘Red Villa’. During 1900s, Rottweil became famous as a major cattle-herding region.

The Roman Drover dogs had proved their usefulness as cattle herding dogs in the town. Just like its ancestors, the Rottweiler became famous for strength, reliability, and their eagerness to work. Rottweiler in the earlier days was used by traveling butchers, to guard their money pouches tied around their necks. Eventually, they became so popular in the region that they were being used for almost everything ranging from cart pulling, protecting homes, and herding livestock. The demand for the breed decreased after the railroads were built and trains became the main means of transporting livestock and meat to the market.

World War I and the Demand for Rottweiler

Looking at the history of Rottweiler will show that the demand for the breed reached a spike during the World War I, as this breed started serving as a police dog. The search and guard abilities and traits, such as obedience and discipline made Rottweilers the perfect breed for this job. World War I saw Rottweilers in different service roles such as messenger, draught, guard and rescue dog.

Rottweiler Clubs

The first Rottweiler club in the history of Rottweiler was founded in Germany on 13th January 1914, called ‘The Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub (DRK)’. Another second club, ‘Süddeutscher Rottweiler-Klub (SDRK)’, was established on 27th April 1915; it eventually became the International Rottweiler Club.

Initially, the two clubs had different goals and objectives. The DRK goal was to breed working dogs without focusing on the morphology of the dog. In 1921, different clubs merged into one major club titled ‘Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub (ADRK)’. The ADRK is now internationally recognized as the official home club of the Rottweiler. The Rottweiler club played an important role in recording the Rottweiler history and breed standards.

Rottweiler in America

The American Kennel Club officially recognized Rottweiler in 1931. By 1936, Rottweilers were displayed in Britain at Crufts. During 1966, a different register was allotted to the breed. The Rottweiler demand was all-time high when American Kennel Club recognized the breed. In 2013, American Kennel club ranked Rottweiler as the ninth most popular purebred dog in the US.

Currently, there are only a number of professional Rottweiler breeders who import pure bred Rottweiler from Europe.

Buyers need to be very careful when buying Rottweiler puppies in the US in order to avoid cons. Rottweiler buyers should only purchase their Rottweiler Puppy from a professional ethical breeder that is willing to display all health testing to avoid the various Rottweiler Puppy Cons.