The Rottweiler is an ancient working breed. Its ancestry reaches back to the Roman Empire, when working dogs traveled with the army to assist with herding the cattle. These breeds, whose descendants became today’s Rottweilers, included Roman War Dogs, Sheepdogs, and Molosser type breeds from England and the Netherlands. It was not, as many think, bred for dog fighting. The population of the breed declined by the end of the 19th century ““ so much, in fact, that there was only one female Rottweiler to be found. Interest in the breed was revived when a demand for police dogs increased after the First World War, and today it is one of the most popular breeds in America. The breed was first officially recognized in America in 1935.

The Rottweiler generally stands 22 to 27 inches tall and weighs 42 to 50 pounds on average. The coat of the breed is almost always black with tan markings on its cheeks, muzzle, chest, and legs. The coat is double layered and medium length.

The Rottweiler is a protective working breed. It is loyal to its family and makes a loving, reliable companion. The breed learns quickly and can be extremely well behaved if properly trained and socialized at an early age. The Rottweiler should be trained by an owner that shows dominance in a firm, consistent manner. The dog must perceive its owner as the leader, but the owner needs to lead in a positive manner. The breed needs plenty of mental stimulation or it may become destructive. Any aggression in the breed can be associated with poor breeding, improper handling, lack of socialization and training, and abuse. The breed generally does not bark a warning prior to an attack ““ it is a silent guardian.

The Rottweiler generally lives 10 to 11 years. The breed may be affected by some health issues such as hip dysplasia, subvalvular aortic stenosis, elbow dysplasia, and osteosarcoma. It may also be affected by hypothyroidism, gastric torsion, allergies, and torn crucial ligament.

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