Search Menu
  • Temperament: Loyal, Loving, Confident Guardian
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 8 of 194
  • Height: 24-27 inches (male), 22-25 inches (female)
  • Weight: 95-135 pounds (male), 80-100 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 9-10 years
  • Group: Working Group

    The AKC has grouped all of the breeds that it registers into seven categories, or groups, roughly based on function and heritage. Breeds are grouped together because they share traits of form and function or a common heritage.

Rottweiler standing sideways facing left
Rottweiler head facing left
Rottweiler head facing left with tongue out
Rottweiler head facing forward and slightly up
Rottweiler sitting in three-quarter view facing forward
Rottweiler sitting in three-quarter view facing forward with tongue out
Rottweiler coat detail
Rottweiler

Find a Puppy: Rottweiler

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find Rottweiler Puppies

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The ideal Rottweiler is a medium large, robust and powerful dog, black with clearly defined rust markings. His compact and substantial build denotes great strength, agility and endurance. Dogs are characteristically more massive throughout with larger frame and heavier bone than bitches. Bitches are distinctly feminine, but without weakness of substance or structure.

HEAD

Of medium length, broad between the ears; forehead line seen in profile is moderately arched; zygomatic arch and stop well developed with strong broad upper and lower jaws. The desired ratio of backskull to muzzle is 3 to 2. Forehead is preferred dry, however some wrinkling may occur when dog is alert. Expression is noble, alert, and self-assured.

BODY

Body – The chest is roomy, broad and deep, reaching to elbow, with well pronounced forechest and well sprung, oval ribs. Back is straight and strong. Loin is short, deep and well muscled. Croup is broad, of medium length and only slightly sloping. Underline of a mature Rottweiler has a slight tuck-up. Males must have two normal testicles properly descended into the scrotum. Disqualification-Unilateral cryptorchid or cryptorchid males.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulder blade is long and well laid back. Upper arm equal in length to shoulder blade, set so elbows are well under body. Distance from withers to elbow and elbow to ground is equal. Legs are strongly developed with straight, heavy bone, not set close together. Pasterns are strong, springy and almost perpendicular to the ground. Feet are round, compact with well arched toes, turning neither in nor out. Pads are thick and hard. Nails short, strong and black. Dewclaws may be removed.

COAT

Outer coat is straight, coarse, dense, of medium length and lying flat. Undercoat should be present on neck and thighs, but the amount is influenced by climatic conditions. Undercoat should not show through outer coat. The coat is shortest on head, ears and legs, longest on breeching. The Rottweiler is to be exhibited in the natural condition with no trimming.

HINDQUARTERS

Angulation of hindquarters balances that of forequarters. Upper thigh is fairly long, very broad and well muscled. Stifle joint is well turned. Lower thigh is long, broad and powerful, with extensive muscling leading into a strong hock joint. Rear pasterns are nearly perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, hind legs are straight, strong and wide enough apart to fit with a properly built body. Feet are somewhat longer than the front feet, turning neither in nor out, equally compact with well arched toes. Pads are thick and hard. Nails short, strong, and black. Dewclaws must be removed.

TAIL

Tail docked short, close to body, leaving one or two tail vertebrae. The set of the tail is more important than length. Properly set, it gives an impression of elongation of topline; carried slightly above horizontal when the dog is excited or moving.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7

About the Rottweiler

A male Rottweiler will stand anywhere from 24 to 27 muscular inches at the shoulder; females run a bit smaller and lighter. The glistening, short black coat with smart rust markings add to the picture of imposing strength. A thickly muscled hindquarters powers the Rottie’s effortless trotting gait.

A well-bred and properly raised Rottie will be calm and confident, courageous but not unduly aggressive. The aloof demeanor these world-class guardians present to outsiders belies the playfulness, and downright silliness, that endear Rotties to their loved ones. (No one told the Rottie he’s not a toy breed, so he is liable plop onto your lap for a cuddle.) Early training and socialization will harness a Rottie’s territorial instincts in a positive way.

Breed Clubs and Rescue

Want to connect with other people who love the same breed as much as you do? We have plenty of opportunities to get involved in your local community, thanks to AKC Breed Clubs located in every state, and more than 450 AKC Rescue Network groups across the country.
Rottweiler

Find a Puppy: Rottweiler

AKC Marketplace | PuppyFinder

AKC Marketplace is the only site to exclusively list 100% AKC puppies from AKC-Registered litters and the breeders who have cared for and raised these puppies are required to follow rules and regulations established by the AKC.
Find Rottweiler Puppies

Care

NUTRITION

The Rottweiler should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING

The Rottweiler has a straight, coarse, medium-length outer coat that lies flat. The undercoat is present on the neck and thighs. He should be brushed weekly and bathed regularly. He sheds only very moderately for most of the year, although he will shed more profusely twice a year, usually in the spring and fall. His teeth should be brushed and nails trimmed weekly. The use of a grinding tool such as a Dremel is especially effective in trimming the nails.

Grooming Frequency

Occasional Bath/Brush
Specialty/Professional
Occasional Bath/Brush

Shedding

Infrequent
Frequent
Occasional

EXERCISE

Rottweilers love swimming, walking, and trotting, especially with their people. The breed is muscular and athletic, and should have the opportunity to exercise on a daily basis. If there are jobs to do, Rottweilers learn easily to cart and are excellent workers in herdingtracking, and obedience. There is no limit to the canine activities that the Rottweiler can learn to do. Excess weight is not good for any dog, and exercise can help to keep your Rottweiler fit and healthy.

Energy Level

Couch Potato
Needs Lots of Activity
Regular Exercise

TRAINING

The Rottweiler must be trained starting early in his life. Leadership, puppy socializationbasic training classes, and living in the owner’s home are key to raising a well-mannered Rottweiler. Rottweilers are “people dogs” who do not do well isolated from humans and life experiences. No matter the breed, dogs must live in this world complete with strange animals and people. One expert in the breed notes, “As a Rottweiler owner, it is my responsibility to spend time, energy, and money giving my dog the opportunities to learn on a day-to-day basis.” The breed is intelligent, highly trainable and wants to please, although some may be stubborn. It is very important that discipline be consistent, fair, and firm, without being rough. Roughhousing with the Rottweiler may encourage aggression and should be avoided. Rottweilers excel in many canine sports, and the breed works with a human partner in many functional roles.

Trainability

May be Stubborn
Eager to Please
Agreeable

Temperament/Demeanor

Aloof/Wary
Outgoing
Reserved with Strangers

HEALTH

Before breeding, responsible Rottweiler breeders have potential sires and dams tested for health problems such as hip dysplasia, a malformation of the hip joint that can be detected via X-ray; eye diseases and heart conditions. Cancer sometimes occurs in the breed, as in all dogs. David Waters, Ph.D., DVM, of the Gerald P. Murphy Cancer Foundation, has done research focused on cancer prevention funded by the Rottweiler Health Foundation. Dr. Waters has discovered that cancer and longevity are linked to a careful vaccination regimen, thus strengthening the immune system, as well as keeping males and females intact until at least six years of age.

Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Cardiac Exam
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation

Read the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

Rottweiler
Rottweiler
Rottweiler
Rottweiler
Rottweiler

History

The Roman Empire was the organizing force behind Western Europe’s formative years, and dog breeding was among the many pursuits forever altered by the Roman genius for practical problem solving.

When conquering Roman legions marched to far-flung corners of the world, they brought their herds with them as food on the hoof. The army required tough, durable dogs to move and guard the herd. Utilizing Asian mastiff types as breeding stock, the Romans developed the distant ancestor of today’s Rottweiler. For centuries the legions struggled to contain Germanic tribes, the so-called barbarian hoards, massed on the Empire’s northern borders. The dogs the Romans brought to these areas became foundation stock for many German breeds.

In the centuries after the empire’s collapse, the Roman drover dogs found work in the cattle town of Rottweil. It was here, moving herds from pasture to market and protecting all concerned from bandits and rustlers along the way, that they earned the name Rottweiler Metzgerhund, or Butcher’s Dog of Rottweil.

The Rottie’s career in livestock ended with the rise of the railroad cattle cars in the 1800s. They found new work as police dogs, personal protectors, and all-around blue-collar dogs capable of performing various heavy-duty tasks. Rotties were among the first guide dogs for the blind, and in more recent times they distinguished themselves as search-and-rescue workers at such disaster sites as Oklahoma City and the World Trade Center.

Considering the many roles the breed has played during its long history, it is remarkable that the Butcher’s Dog has changed little in form and temper since its first German breed standard was drawn up in 1901.

Did You Know?

The Rottweiler is one of the descendents of Roman drover dogs.
The Rottweiler was admitted to the AKC Stud Book in 1931.
In these years (1901-07) the Rottweiler again found favor as a police dog.
Eventually, in the early 20th century, the reinvigorated Rottweiler remerged as a police dog.
The Rottweiler parent club was founded in 1971.
The annals of cynology make no further mention of the breed until 1901 when a combined Rottweiler and Leonberger club was formed.

The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The ideal Rottweiler is a medium large, robust and powerful dog, black with clearly defined rust markings. His compact and substantial build denotes great strength, agility and endurance. Dogs are characteristically more massive throughout with larger frame and heavier bone than bitches. Bitches are distinctly feminine, but without weakness of substance or structure.

HEAD

Of medium length, broad between the ears; forehead line seen in profile is moderately arched; zygomatic arch and stop well developed with strong broad upper and lower jaws. The desired ratio of backskull to muzzle is 3 to 2. Forehead is preferred dry, however some wrinkling may occur when dog is alert. Expression is noble, alert, and self-assured.

BODY

Body – The chest is roomy, broad and deep, reaching to elbow, with well pronounced forechest and well sprung, oval ribs. Back is straight and strong. Loin is short, deep and well muscled. Croup is broad, of medium length and only slightly sloping. Underline of a mature Rottweiler has a slight tuck-up. Males must have two normal testicles properly descended into the scrotum. Disqualification-Unilateral cryptorchid or cryptorchid males.

FOREQUARTERS

Shoulder blade is long and well laid back. Upper arm equal in length to shoulder blade, set so elbows are well under body. Distance from withers to elbow and elbow to ground is equal. Legs are strongly developed with straight, heavy bone, not set close together. Pasterns are strong, springy and almost perpendicular to the ground. Feet are round, compact with well arched toes, turning neither in nor out. Pads are thick and hard. Nails short, strong and black. Dewclaws may be removed.

COAT

Outer coat is straight, coarse, dense, of medium length and lying flat. Undercoat should be present on neck and thighs, but the amount is influenced by climatic conditions. Undercoat should not show through outer coat. The coat is shortest on head, ears and legs, longest on breeching. The Rottweiler is to be exhibited in the natural condition with no trimming.

HINDQUARTERS

Angulation of hindquarters balances that of forequarters. Upper thigh is fairly long, very broad and well muscled. Stifle joint is well turned. Lower thigh is long, broad and powerful, with extensive muscling leading into a strong hock joint. Rear pasterns are nearly perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, hind legs are straight, strong and wide enough apart to fit with a properly built body. Feet are somewhat longer than the front feet, turning neither in nor out, equally compact with well arched toes. Pads are thick and hard. Nails short, strong, and black. Dewclaws must be removed.

TAIL

Tail docked short, close to body, leaving one or two tail vertebrae. The set of the tail is more important than length. Properly set, it gives an impression of elongation of topline; carried slightly above horizontal when the dog is excited or moving.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7

Colors & Markings

Colors

Description Standard Colors Registration Code
BLACK & MAHOGANY Check Mark For Standard Color 013
BLACK & RUST Check Mark For Standard Color 015
BLACK & TAN Check Mark For Standard Color 018