Purchasing a Dog or Puppy – How Much Is That Doggie In The Window? Too Much At Any Cost!

A client called me earlier this week and wanted some advice about purchasing a puppy she’d seen at a local pet store. I advised her not to buy a dog from a pet store.


For the following reasons:

1. When buying any puppy… even one from the best genetic stock… you’re taking a genetic crap shoot that the pup will turn out to be the type of dog you want. But when you adopt a puppy from inferior breedings, you’re really playing with the house odds against you!

2. Regardless of what the pet store owner tells you, and regardless of the fact that the dog they’re selling has AKC (American Kennel Club) papers… dogs sold from pet stores ARE from puppy mills and NOT from quality breeders. And I’ll prove it, from an economic stand point alone:

The Economics
of Breeding Puppies!

Let’s say you want to breed quality puppies. We’ll pick a fairly standard and common breed… the German Shepherd dog. Well, of course… you want to start out with a brood bitch (your foundation breeding female) that is a super quality dog. Now, even if you purchase a puppy from a top breeder, you’re looking at spending between $1,000 to $1,500. Factor in the first two years of raising, feeding, grooming, vet bills, and training… and bills accumulated for that broad bitch (remember… we’re feeding her premium food, and keeping her in good shape)… will come to aproximately an additional $3,000. ($1,500 a year, multiplied by two… a fairly conservative estimate).

So, now you’re into just the brood bitch for approximately $4,000. And she’s not even pregnant yet! The next step would be to locate a suitable stud dog. Remember, we’re talking about a quality breeding! Of course, you can breed her with the German Shepherd dog who happens to live across the street, but this would make for irresponsible breeding. (The chances of finding a dog that lives across the street who’s bloodlines compliment your bitch’s bloodlines are HIGHLY unlikely! If you breed your bitch to this dog, you’re increasing the chances of genetic mismatching and the likelihood of producing puppies with hip dsyplasia, bad eyes, elbows, skin problems, etc…)

In order to really produce a quality breeding, you must find a stud dog who’s bloodlines compliment your bitch’s bloodlines. And to do this, you’ll need to:

1.) Cough up a stud fee — usually around $1,000.
2.) Possibly fly the dog in from the state he lives in — cost: $250, plus boarding fees if necessary. Now, if all goes well, your bitch gets impregnated. If she doesn’t, go back to square One.

Okay! Now You’ve Got
Puppies On The Way!

So now your bitch is pregnant. Factor in at least three veterinary visits, at an average of $30 per visit. That’s $90. And a number of weeks later, she finally gives birth. According to a breeder I talked to of an American Bandogge Breeding Program, the cost of each puppy, after shots, worming, veterinary check ups, and time put into all of the other extraneous stuff, ends up at an approximate cost of $180 a pup. (And that’s over and above all of the other stuff we’ve mentioned!)

So, an average litter of 10 puppies comes to $1,800 for just expenses in this category. If I add up ALL of the expenses, I arrive at a total of $7,140. For a total cost per puppy of: $714. And when you’ve spent this much time and energy into breeding and raising puppies, you’re going to make damn sure that you place those puppies in good homes.

But let’s say you’re just in it for the money. (Of course, you’d cut many more corners if you’re in it for the money, but we’ll get to that in a moment!) You don’t care who finally buys the puppies. Instead, you drive down to your local pet store and sell the pups for an average mark-up of 50%… which means you pocket a profit of $357 per dog. In other words, the pet store owner has just bought your puppies for an average price of $1,071 a dog. In order to make a profit, the pet store owner must mark up the puppies by AT LEAST 100% to make money, and many cases even more when he considers that some of the pups won’t be adopted out and will be sold at a loss. So now the price of the pup, if you were to buy a well-bred dog in a pet store, would be at an average price of $2,142

The Big Monkey Wrench In This Whole Calculation Is That Pet Stores Usually Sell Products At A Mark-Up Of Roughly 4 to 5 Times! Not to mention the fact that there is a tremendous “Pain In The Butt” factor when it comes to keeping live animals (especially dogs) on the premises of a pet store! So there’s more expense which we won’t tally here in the hidden cost of paying employees extra money to clean and care for the pups while they’re on the premises.

So, to really make the venture worthwhile, or comparable to the shelf space of carrying other products… the pet store owner must also mark the puppies up by 4 to 5 times his cost. This would mean that each German Shepherd Puppy should be sold for an astounding $4,284 !!! Remember, pet store owners are in business to make MONEY!

Here’s the Kicker: I’ve Never Seen A Puppy Sell For This Much In A Pet Store! Why…? Because There’d Be No Buyers! But I have seen many puppies sold in pet stores for between $600 and $800. And many times less! And if you do the math backwards… you can see how somewhere along the line, someone in the process is doing a lot of scrimping! But let’s say you’ve bred your bitch before, so we can subtract the cost of the brood bitch… ($7140 minus $4000 = $3,140… or the cost to breed each puppy comes to $314) After a 50% mark-up to the pet store, the price of the puppy for the pet store owner reaches $471. And with only a modest 100% mark up, you come to a price tag in the window of $942. A somewhat high, but still reasonable price, right? Wrong!

To compete with the shelf space of other products, you’ve really gotta mark the pups up by 4 times… which leaves us at a price of $1,884! BUT… if you’re the breeder… and you’ve done a quality breeding with exceptional bloodlines and lineage… you can sell the puppies yourself for $800 to $1,000 a dog. Sometimes more! So, why would you sell your puppies to the pet store for $471, when you can sell them yourself for $800 ??? That’s Right! The only way this whole “Let’s Sell Puppies In The Pet Store” Economics works is if you’ve got puppies from poor breedings.


Because when you can buy the puppies cheap enough, you can still sell them at prices which are close to market value and make a profit! And how do you get really cheap puppies if you’re a pet store owner? You buy them from Puppy Mills! Puppy Mills indiscriminately overbreed dogs in an effort to produce as many puppies as possible, in as short a time as possible, with one incentive:


Imagine, dogs barely out of puppyhood themselves, being bred together! The results are horrific! Not to mention the fact that your puppy will be spending his most formulative weeks (what we professionals call the “critical stages”) behind a window in a high stress environment… a pet store!… rather than being properly socialized in a low stress environment, in a loving home. So what’s the bottom line? Avoid pet stores that sell puppies if you’re in the market for a new dog.


If You’re Choosing A Puppy To Be A House Pet:

Isolate each puppy from the rest of the litter, preferably in another room or part of the yard. First, look for a puppy who is not afraid to walk around and explore it’s new environment.

The next thing to do is to drop a dish or loud metal pan, 10 to 15 feet from the puppy. The ideal response is one of interest and investigation. Your potential puppy should look in the direction for the dropped object, and within a few seconds, go forward and check it out.

Do not pick a puppy that runs and hides.

The second test you can do is to roll the puppy on his side. The ideal response is for the puppy to quietly allow you to roll him over, at least for a minute or two, before starting to squirm.

Along these lines, it is also a good idea to pick the puppy up in your arms and cradle him like a baby, with his back in your hands and his feet towards your chest. He should be calm and relaxed. I like a puppy who will gaze into my eyes quietly, for several minutes. This means that he will be an attentive and responsive, outgoing dog in later life. Be careful of the puppy who squirms a lot and is extremely vocal.

You should be able to touch every part of the puppy’s body, without him kicking and screaming about it. Touch his feet, his ears, and especially his gums. Another test is to hold the puppy with one hand, under his arm pits, and raise him straight in the air. As expected, the pup should remain quiet and calm.


How To Choose A Puppy From A Professional Breeder

First, you must locate a professional breeder. Breeders can be found through breeder directories (available at your local veterinary clinic, or book store), through referrals from friends, the professional sector (such as groomers and dog trainers), or on the internet.

How do you determine if they are professional or not?

Use common sense.

Is their facility clean? Do they seem knowledgeable? Is it a planned breeding? Is the breeder familiar with the bloodlines of his dogs? Does he know how the bloodlines he is breeding will mix, and what kind of temperaments they will produce?

For example, if you breed a German Shepherd dog from lines which generally produce dogs with soft temperaments… with another line which may tend to have weak nerves…. what will the off-spring be like?

You can usually guess, but it’s even better if you are in a position to talk to several breeders who know what the siblings to the stud or bitch dog you are considering. Once you’ve selected the breeder and the litter you have decided to choose from, the next step is to select the specific pup from the litter.

Personally, I have questions as to how effective puppy testing actually is, in the long run. If you’ve selected good bloodlines, and a quality breeder, you’ve already taken care of 90% of the factors which will determine whether or not you will end up with a good dog.



Adopting a Pupppy From The Pound

I won’t lie to you and say that every puppy that gets adopted from the animal shelter or dog pound is going to grow up to be a nightmare. Just most of them. [And by puppy, I’m talking about a pup from 8 to 16 weeks of age].

Does this mean that you should not consider adopting a puppy from an animal shelter? Of course not.

But you need to be very, very careful:

The reason I take this position is because the first 16 weeks of a dog’s life are the most important in forming the dog’s personality and future temperament. Next to genetics, the first 16 weeks affect more attributes of the dog’s stability and personality than any other factor.

Some dog experts will actually argue that the environment during the first 16 weeks of the dog’s life is MORE important than genetics…. and I’m not one to argue, except to note that one can never overcome genetics. And at the same time, it is rare that you can compensate for a dog who has passed through his various critical stages and not been properly socialized.

You can bet pennies to dollars that puppies dropped off at the pound are not going to be properly socialized, nor will they be from good genetic stock. (Think about it… if you had a champion X breed dog, and paid $500 for a stud fee, would you dump the puppies in the pound? No. You’d sell them, or at least see that they were placed in good homes).

Secondly, it is a rare adult dog who can survive an extended stay at the local dog pound without picking up some form of virus or disease. And puppies, when their immune systems are at their most vulnerable, do not have the strength to fend off all of the nasties that can be picked up.

Considering that raising puppies in a sterile, clean, professional kennel is hard enough to keep the puppies from getting all kinds of diseases, you can bet that stumbling onto a puppy from the pound that will grow up to be both temperamentally and physically sound is next to impossible. You can be assured that you will run into some problem. Sometimes, people get lucky, and it ends up being a minor problem that can be easily fixed. Other times, you can find yourself with a canine time bomb on your hands.



The Purchase Price Of Your New Puppy or Dog

As long as the purchase price of your new puppy is within $1000, you should NOT make the price of your chosen dog or puppy have any bearing on whether you will buy him.

I am consistently baffled at how ignorant many potential dog owners are when they call me and tell me that they’ve got a “good deal” on a dog. People think that because they are buying a $200 dog, rather than a $500 dog, that they are getting some kind of deal.

That $200 difference will more than likely mean that the dog’s lineage is somewhat dubious.

Again, there are exceptions to this rule. In certain parts of the country, depending on the breed, you can buy a very fine dog for half of what you might pay if you’re buying from a high profile breeder. But my experience and observations have proven that it is better to risk paying a few hundred dollars more and buy a healthy, well-bred dog, than to save a couple of bucks, only to spend 10 times as much when you find out that, because of poor breeding, your dog needs hip repair, worming, heart medication, etc … simply because you chose to scrimp on the purchase price of your dog and buy an inferior puppy.

Remember, this dog will be your companion for the next 9 to 19 years. The purchase price will be long amortized in that period of time. The second reason to ignore the purchase price of your new dog is that, by the time you get done with a full veterinary check up (including hip x-rays for medium to larger breeds when buying an adolescent or adult dog), you will have racked up several hundred dollars. Even if you go to shot clinics, for a puppy, five series of shots at approximately $15 is still going to cost you at least $75. Add in emergency trips to the vet for accidental scrapes, bumps, eye and ear infections, and other such anomalies, and you’ve got a fit load of bills.

Buying a genetically superior dog(meaning the most well-bread dog you can afford) will reduce the number of trips to the veterinarian you will have to make in the long run.

Why should you not spend more than $1000 on your new puppy?

Because that is the top of the average going rate on a well-bred pet quality dog. Anything more than $1000 is excess, and what I consider price gouging.

The exception would be if you are purchasing an older dog which already has titles, proven working drive, or you are buying the dog as a stud or bitch for a planned breeding program. Keep in mind that if you purchase your dog from a breeder who is out-of-state, you will also be required to pay for the pre-flight veterinary examination (required by the airlines), the shipping crate, and the cost of shipping. This can add another $100 to $300 to the price of the dog.

And whether you are shipping him from across the country, or simply picking your new dog up from a breeder across town, the first thing you will want to do is take him to your veterinarian for a thorough check-up.


How To Adopt The Right Dog Breed!

Making the right choice when choosing your next dog or puppy can predict 50 percent of the success you will have with your pet over the next eight to 15 years.

Considering that proper socialization, training, and practice makes up the other 50 percent, the dog which you select as your next canine companion should not be a decision that is taken lightly, but rather one that is made with much forethought and preparation.

There are several factors one must consider when deciding to adopt a new dog. This is a subject I have become intimate with in the past few years, as I have been through no less than four different demo dogs for various reasons.

One, a German Shepherd dog, was a gift, but did not possess the proper working temperament for the type of protection sport (Schutzhund) I wanted to practice.

The second dog was a Rottweiler puppy who, at 9 months of age, developed some sort of genetic kidney failure and had to be put to sleep. The dog after him was a rare breed called a Bantam Bulldog. While “Gizmo ” was a great little dog, I felt that with my life style, and the dog spending so much time in the back of my truck… it would only be a matter of time before he got “ripped off”. So I decided to sell him back to the breeder, who is now using him as a stud dog.

After “Gizmo,” I purchased a dog from a highly respected working dog breeder in Wisconsin. This ended up being a wonderful dog… everything a German Shepherd dog should be. The only problem was that, at 10 months of age, he began limping on one of his back legs. Subsequent X-rays showed that the dog had severe hip dsyplasia.

There are several important factors to be considered before making your decision.

This article will explore these different factors and help you make a more educated decision about the type of dog which will fit best into your lifestyle. It will also strive to debunk many of the common wives tales and myths put forth about how conventional wisdom has always suggested you should select a dog.


The temperament of the individual dog you choose is far more important than the breed in which your specific dog may be a part of. In many cases, it is easier to find one Australian Shepherd who is much more similar in disposition to a St. Bernard, than to a second Australian Shepherd. However, choosing a breed is still very important because the breed of dog which your individual puppy is a member can give us general clues as to certain traits he may likely possess.

As with any topic, we can only talk about generalizations… and there are always exceptions to every rule.


The following advice applies specifically to the potential pet owner, and should not be interpreted as a prescription for the individual who may be looking for a dog to participate in working or competition trials. So the question which always comes up is,

“Which are the worst breeds, and what kind of dogs should I stay away from if my goal is to obtain a good house pet.”

The Pros and Cons of the Different Breeds

TERRIERS: The terrier breeds are incredibly popular. They present a hardy little package which usually provides a very easy to maintain coat and are frequently small dogs which fit well into apartment living. What many people fail to recognize in the terrier breeds is that these are tough little dogs that have been bred for tens of years to work independently and to be hard enough in character to burrow down holes and rat out rodents and other subterranean beasties. As animals bred to have a lot of fight in them, these dogs tend to be very dominant.

If you are a weak handler, these dogs will walk all over you. They are feisty, but if you demonstrate yourself to be on top of the ball game with these dogs, they will work very quickly and with much spirit. Definitely not an easy category of dog to train, however highly intelligent.

HERDING BREEDS: The herding breeds are usually highly intelligent. When selecting a dog from this group, recognize that these are generally dogs that have been bred to run around all day and chase sheep, cattle, ducks, or other livestock. And this means they are usually high energy, ants-in-the-pants kinds of animals. They tend to be fairly easy to train, compliant, and mostly forgiving.

But the key thing to remember is that these are dogs that have been bred to do a job. In other words, they’re highly intelligent dogs with a lot of energy. If you don’t stimulate a dog like this–both mentally, and physically–you’re going to end up with problems. In other words, a dog like this is going to stimulate himself… by barking, chewing, hyperactivity, jumping, self-mutilation… you get the picture. If you keep these dogs busy with an active, adventuresome life, you will have a great pet.

WORKING BREEDS: The working breeds can be similar to the herding breeds, with the exception of two differences in temperament. The working breeds tend to be more dominant, but are usually less energetic. Less energy is (for most pet owners) a good thing. It means that, as an owner, you won’t generally have to spend as much time burning off your dog’s excess energy. The flip side of the coin is that, with a more dominant temperament, you’ll probably have to spend more time training, as to constantly assert and reassert your position in the “pack” as the alpha dog.

HUNTING/SPORTING BREEDS: There are two types of hunting dogs. Those bred for the show ring, and those bred for work (hunting and field work). While I generally recommend against adopting a puppy or older dog from a show breeder, the hunting breeds offer the unusual exception to the rule. The show people have (as usual) done an excessively good job of “breeding out” the working drive in most of the hunting breeds. Most notably, the Labrador Retriever, which has become an extremely popular dog as of late.

HOUNDS: The Hounds are similar in many respects to the hunting breeds, except that, being less popular, you will be more likely to purchase an individual dog which is close to it’s working lines. It has been my experience that the typical ‘hound dogs’ are quite stubborn and energetic when young, but as they grow older, become less demanding of the boundless need for exercise as is required in their more youthful years. With the exception of the Basset Hound, and a few others, this is not a category of dog for the sedentary or those who like to spend countless hours taking afternoon naps or Sunday snoozes.

TOY BREEDS: In general, the toy breeds were DESIGNED to be good companion pets. However, I have found that the smaller breeds have a tendency to be harder to housebreak. In addition, it seems that many have a tendency to be very ‘yippie’, with barking problems being the second most common behavior problem for this group. Some tend to be dominant toward their owners, but this may be more of a reflection of the owner’s handling of these dogs.

It is common for a toy breed owner to see his dog as a baby, or small child, and with this, comes the need to excessively spoil and cater to the dog’s every whim. It is much more common to see toy breed owners with dominance and aggression problems created as a result of this attitude. But since the dogs are of such a diminutive size, they are usually not in a position to cause lasting damage or hospitalization… at least not on the same scale as a larger dog such as a Pit Bull or Rottweiler.

NORTHERN BREEDS: Unless you’ve located an exceptional specimen of one of these breeds, my recommendation is to stay away from the Northern Breeds. Consisting of dogs such as the Akita, Husky, Malamute, Shiba Inu, Samoyed, Jindo, American Eskimo, etc…, these breeds were generally bred for one purpose… to run! They tend to be very air-headed and stubborn, and are not easy dogs to train. Unfortunately, they are some of the most beautiful of dogs. With long, thick hair and beautiful faces and tails, they are hard to resist.

This is not to suggest that I have not encountered individual dogs from this category that have not been easy to train, but instead to point out the many more times I have run into these dogs which have been a real pain-in-the- neck. Some of these breeds (most notably the Akita) have strains of handler aggression (which means they tend to want to eat their owners), but at the same time rarely have the requisite drives and temperament to do police work, or for that matter, even personal protection.

NON-SPORTING BREEDS: It’s hard to make generalizations about the non-sporting breeds. With this category, probably as much as any other, it is the individual dog that must be taken in to consideration. When I fist began training, I had felt that the Dalmatian was a breed which was consistently a waste of good dog food. However, in recent months, I’ve worked with several who have had fairly decent working temperaments and were very willing to please.

On a similar note, conventional wisdom suggests that Chow Chows are nearly impossible to train. Yet, I have found them to be very intelligent and showing of a strong bond with their owners. The Shar-pei, too, has been a surprise. The few which I have worked with have been amazingly willing to please their owners (upon being taught proper technique), and very happy to be trained.

While I am certainly not offering an endorsement of either the Chow Chow or the Shar-pei, I am saying that each of these has definitely surprised me in their willingness and appropriateness as a house pet in contrast to the conventional wisdom that is so commonly expressed about these breeds.



Rottweiler Dog Training

Rottweiler training is different from training other breeds in some ways, yet similar in most ways.

Rottweiler puppy training is really not any different than puppy training any other breed. Namely: Crate training, house training, teaching boundaries and limitations, controlled socialization and drive building.  I go into more detail about how to do each of these on our page about Rottweiler puppy training.

Adult Rottweiler training, I start by teaching the dog a progression of exercises. Each exercise builds upon lessons learned in the prior exercise.

When training a Rottweiler, we begin by teaching the dog to walk on a loose leash, using an exercise I call, “The Attention Getter.” Since the Rottie has an extra large (and muscular!) neck, they are physically less sensitive to corrections, compared to other breeds of dogs. To the point of rendering the traditional slip (choke chain) collar ineffective.

Because of this, I’ve found that most Rottweilers do best with a pinch collar (prong collar). Stubborn, highly resistant Rotties may respond better to a remote electronic collar– the stimulation level being adjusted to exactly match the dog’s temperament and motivation level.

In any case, we’re not using the training collar to punish the dog, but rather to “correct” the dog when he exhibits an unwanted behavior.

When Training Your Rottweiler Not To Pull On The Leash – When you hold the leash, you need to keep your hands down by your waist.

– You need to walk at a much faster pace than most people expect, in the beginning.

– Once the dog is walking on a loose leash in one location, you must then work the technique in different areas, too. Usually about 7 to 9 different locations before the dog extrapolates and automatically walks on a loose leash, anywhere you go!

– When you turn (the explanation for this technique is also explained in my book, for those of you who haven’t purchased it yet!) … you need to really come out of that turn as if you just stepped on a bumble bee. This is necessary in order to give your technique that, “Two objects moving in opposite directions” feeling.

– You must incorporate sudden stops. If your dog keeps walking, then you know that he’s not really paying attention, and this will give you another opportunity to do your right-about turn.

This “attention getter” exercise is the foundation of Rottweiler training. You can’t teach your dog anything else, if you don’t first have his undivided attention.

Learning phase– reinforcement phase– proofing phase The order we teach commands is:

1. The Loose leash “Attention Getter” exercise.

2. Boundary/perimeter training. This one is important, because you’ll very distinctly learn what a motivational correction is, if you teach your dog not to walk in the street.

It is also the fastest way to teach the dog what, “No” means in a non-personal, non-confrontational manner.

3. Sit/Sit-stay.

4. Down/Down-stay.

5. Formalizing the heel position. (Not just a loose leash, but also on the left side).

6. Long leash and proofing. Rottweiler Training Around Distractions You should start proofing for distractions first, then move to greater distances– but only progress to greater distances when your dog is wearing the long line.

Without the long line, guess what might happen? The dog learns he can exhibit an unwanted behavior, and you’re not in a position to correct him.

Don’t take the long line off, until your Rottie has been 100% proofed around all type of different distractions and in a variety of different environments.



Rottweiler Ownership Success Secrets

“What does his Rottweiler have, that ours doesn’t?” … she whispered to her husband, horrified that their dog was lunging and pulling at the end of the leash.

I’ve heard it a thousand times, when I walk past other Rottie owners.

Hi! My name is Adam G. Katz. I’ve personally owned six of these amazing dogs over the past 17 years and I’ve supervised the training of (literally) thousands. And that’s in addition to the hands-on training of more than 250 in-person clients who paid me to do one-on-one training with their Rotts.

Look at any successful Rottweiler owner. What have they got, that others don’t?

Very little, probably. In most ways, these owners are no brighter or naturally more capable than average. Many of them probably have no more formal training or better natural aptitudes than you.

But that little extra they do have, is important. They have the special knowledge and ability for which any dog owner would be jealous– they know the facts about this breed. And they also have the confidence and self assurance which come from a deep knowledge of the history of these dogs, their traits and their health problems.

You may gain that extra, yourself. You can get that same knowledge and ability– that same confidence and self assurance if you are willing to pay the price in earnest, necessary study.

Breed enthusiasts like us have spent years developing, testing and proving this knowledge, alongside hundreds of professional breeders and kennels. What hundreds of men and women– many just like you– have done, you should be able to do with the knowledge and collective wisdom we have assembled, here too.

But you must be ambitious and willing to studying, seriously. And soon after you start putting this knowledge to good use with your companion, the results will start to show up in your own confidence and with your dog. (I was going to write, “Butchers Dog” … but I was unsure if you knew that was the name these dogs used to be called?)

For what you learn at home tonight is so practical, that often you can apply it immediately.

How much do you want success with your Rott? Can you imagine: Better obedience, a healthy dog, a deeper, more satisfying relationship? And most importantly: Playing an active roll in dispelling the negative stereotypes the media has created about this breed?


Rottweiler Rescue

Rottweiler rescue groups are non-profit adoption charities that cruise the local animal shelters, humane societies, and SPCAs looking for Rotties they can rescue and place in foster homes to rehabilitate. Or just to keep in a compassionate environment, until a more permanent home can be found.

Frequently, this involves addressing some health issues and fixing behavior problems.

Rottie rescue groups advertise the dogs they’ve rescued to adopters for a small fee. Usually between $80-$120. Which is a lot less than the $800-$1600 [edit: or $3,500-$4,500… depending on who you’re buying a puppy from!] you might pay a breeder. I generally recommend that prospective Rottweiler owners ignore the purchase price of a dog, as the real expense of owning this breed (veterinary bills, quality dog food, grooming, pet products) will quickly over-shadow the purchase price.

But it’s always nice to stumble upon a great dog at a bargain price and know that you’re also giving a good life to a Rottweiler that may have been “written off” at one time in his life.

Rescue groups focus on getting homeless dogs into homes– and in my experience, they are some of the most thorough in investigating you, when you apply to adopt a dog. In fact, some of them will give the FBI security clearance people a run for their money, in regard to thoroughness.

Usually, the Rott rescue people are very intimate with both the breed and the individual dog… so they have a good understanding of what type of home the dog should be placed in. (Although there are some rescue volunteers who may be over-zealous in their efforts). It’s best to have your cards stacked in a deck, before you even approach your chosen rescue organization.

Volunteers provide their dogs with a temporary home and usually the rescue organization will foot the bill for any veterinary bills that the dog might require. They also insist that the dog be neutered or spayed before being placed in a home.


It’s a big job, and let’s face it: This breed is not as easy as rescuing Chihuahuas. Rottie lovers who believe every pet has a right to live a full life in a loving home work hard to place the right dog with the right owner. And that’s an especially good reason to investigate your local Rottweiler Rescue.


Rottweiler History

According to Rottweiler history, lore, and breed historians — the Rottweiler is said to be one of the oldest of the herding breeds.

Although one must question whether the dogs back then are really anything more than remotely related to the same dogs we love, today?

While nobody can doubt that these dogs have herding instinct (and even perform in stock dog trials, today!) they are far from a real farmer’s first choice; being too large and heavy to work cattle, sheep or even goats out on the hot and dusty trail for hours and hours. As a stock protection dog, however, they probably thrived.

According to Wiki, the history of these dogs stretches back to the Roman Empire. Driving cattle to market, one route the army traveled was through Württemberg and then to a market town named, “Rottweil”.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) suggests that the Roman droving dogs mixed with local dogs from various towns– and that the offspring of these dogs were looked upon by the butchers in Rottweil who “concentrated in the area and inevitably more dogs were needed to drive the cattle to and from the markets,” and to provide security.Rottweilers were said to have been used by traveling butchers at markets during the middle ages to guard money pouches tied around their necks, according to Britannica.

Later in Rottweiler history, as railroads became the main method for moving stock to market during the 19th century, the breed had declined to the point that there was reportedly only one female to be found in the entire town, by 1900.

DRK (“Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub” — German Rottweiler Club) was formed on January 13, 1907 with 500 dogs, and then the SDRK (“Süddeutscher Rottweiler-Klub” — South German Rottweiler Club) in April of the same year with 3000 dogs.

The former placed a primary emphasis on the dogs’ workability, whereas the later bred for more of a “complete” dog which also factored in conformation. (Physical appearance and structure).

Eventually, they came together and created a new breed club, the: Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub – e.V (ADRK). The ADRK is now considered the primary breed club for the Rottweiler.

The Rottie saw a big rise in popularity as the demand for working dogs increased, as the country found itself going into World War I. Popularity increased abroad, too, and by 1935 the American Kennel Club recognized the breed.

In 1936, these dogs were exhibited in Britain at Crufts.

And the most current stage in Rottweiler history saw their popularity continued to rise amongst dog owners, and by the mid-90’s, peaked, as the most registered breed with the American Kennel Club. Fortunately, the breed’s popularity– while still remaining high– has waned somewhat. Which is thought by most to be a positive for the breed, as there are less puppy mill breeders targeting the Rottweiler and instead are now focusing on other breeds.