Rottweilers rank as one of the most ancient breeds. They accompanied the Romans through Germany, driving their cattle and guarding outposts. Many were left behind and, in the town of Rottweil in southern Germany, they became the breed we know today. Rottweilers are considered to be in the mastiff family. Rottweilers were instrumental in the development of the Doberman Pinscher much later.
Rottweilers were working dogs from the start, driving cattle to market, pulling carts, guarding the homestead, and even carrying money to and from the market in money belts tied around their necks. Today they work in security and herding.
The Rottweiler had almost died out as a breed near the turn of the century when smaller dogs took over many of their functions and were easier to maintain. Luckily, dedicated breeders revived the breed, and it ranks as one of the most popular breeds in the United States today. A delightful series of children’s books, beautifully illustrated, is about a Rottweiler named Carl and his adventures with his family’s baby.
2004: “DNA research: Genetic Structure of the Purebred Domestic Dog” by Parker et al in the journal Science
1931: The first Rottweiler was admitted to the AKC Stud Book.
1926: Two types of Rottweilers existed and they were kept separated and not bred with each other. The smaller rottweiler was used for herding stock while the heavier and bigger rottweiler was used for draft work.
1921: The Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub (ADRK), was formed in Germany, by amalgamating the two remaining Rottweiler Cubs in Germany.
1921: Rottweiler modified
1913: Standard published by the International Rottweiler Club.
1914: Rottweiler standard modified
1907: The International Rottweiler Club formed and amalgamated with the South German Rottweiler Club
1907: South German Rottweiler Club formed and Deutsche Rottweiler Club was formed.
Early 1900: Rottweiler was used for police work and the breed was revived and became popular.
1905: Only one Rottweiler is believed to be living in the town of Rottweil. There had to have been other rotties around for a breeding foundation.
1901: The firsts Rottweiler Standard was published but was written in 1883 by Albert Kull – The International Rottweiler and Leonberger Club. This club was short lived. The standard called for: “Preferably and most commonly black with russet or yellow markings over the eyes, at the lips and on the inner and underside of the legs as well as on the bottom. Alternatively, black stripes on an ash grey background with yellow markings, plain red with black nose, or dark wolf grey with black head and saddle, but always with yellow markings. White markings on the chest and legs occur very frequently and are admissible if they are not too extensive.”
1899: The International Rottweiler and Leonberger Club were formed. The rottie coat at that time was usually thick and long.
19th Century: Rail transportation became popular and the need for Rottweiler greatly diminished.
19th Century: Was used as a herding and driving dog for farmers. Also known as the butcher’s dog.
260AD: Romans lost control of Rottweil, then known as Arae Flaviae. The town was renamed to Rot Will, meaning red bricks and tiles. The name then evolved to Rottweil. Rottweil was the hub for cattle markets and was active in commerce. Farmers from neighboring countries brought their cattle to Rottweil for trade, and of course their cattle dogs.
74AD: Romans set up shop in Rottweil and name the town Arae Flaviae. Their drover dogs accompanied them to Arae Flaviae.