Beware the High Cost of Ownership When Adopting A Dog Or Puppy

Adam writes:

Animal Lovers, Please Be Aware of High Ownership Costs:

PEOPLE love their pets, but how often do they think about the costs? The question is akin to asking which child we love more.

Yet the reality is that pets cost far more than many people expect. And right now, as the economy continues to stumble, those costs have become a burden to many people, like the cat lover who cannot afford medical care or the horse owner struggling with boarding fees.

The problem is that the general information out there is not realistic. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates the cost for a large dog at $875 a year for food, medical expenses, toys and a few related expenses, and $560 for first-year setup costs. The estimate for a cat is $670 a year, with first-year expenses of $365, for a total of $1,035.

When I looked at these numbers, I thought they were taken from Voltaire’s “Candide”: derived from the best of all possible worlds. This month alone, my wife and I spent $600 on one Labrador retriever with a bladder infection who needed some kidney tests and $300 on the other one for an injured paw. This did not include the food for the two of them and our Maine Coon cat, nor their monthly flea and tick medicine or heartworm pills.

So with the holiday gift-giving season under way, I write this column for parents who may be asked by children for a dog or a horse. Remember that the costs need to be factored in.

Read the rest of the article, here:

DPTrainer4 adds:

I’ve been hearing more and more stories from my classmates who work at veterinary hospitals, and a few from my professors too, who are vets themselves, about animals who are simply euthanized for lack of funds to treat problems such as bladder stones (can’t afford the cystotomy surgery if the prescription diet doesn’t work), hit-by-cars (emergency surgery = $$$), bad hip dysplasia (painkillers too $$$, don’t even ask about a hip replacement or even a more simple femoral head osteotomy), or other such things that are treatable, or at least manageable for the life of the animal.

It’s depressing and makes sense why I won’t get rich as a vet tech when vets aren’t raking it in anyway, because while a small percentage of people just whip out the credit card, others can barely count out their cash.

Whiteshepherd responds:

One of my friends who spent $5000 dollars (plus 13% Tax) on a brain tumor removal surgery that had recommended by his vet. I was trying to convinence my friend to put his cat down simply because that cat was way too old for the surgery. she was a 17+ years old cat. then the vet told my friend that there was a 50% chance that his cat would survive and live couple of more years.The result was the cat died the next day after the surgery.

Some vets out there don’t really give good advice, for surgery like this, they don’t really get many clients who’re willing to pay or can afford to pay such big amount of money. They really tried so hard to seize the chance to get your money out of your pocket, even though it’s a common sense that for a cat, old like this, wouldn’t be stronge enough to survice a big surgery like that.

the only thing i said to my friend was, i respect you love for your cat, but if i were you i would put her down and donate this money in her honor to save or to change other animal’s lives. for $5000 dollars you can defintely provide food, clean water or medical care for many childrens and save their lives in africa.

I switched to another vet simplely because my vet tried to sell me some really expense deworm pills. After I confronted him, he told me that the pill I wanted doesn’t work as good as this one. I’m not going to pay a triple price for a pill that does almost the same thing for my dog. then my new vet who’s my friend’s neighbor confirmed that those pills even have exact same ingrediants.

Dog lovers, beware of bad vets who are only after is your money!

If You Are Adopting A Dog For Competition:

Do all of the previously mentioned tests, but also look at the puppy’s ball/prey drive. He should actively chase a ball or rag, and play with it intently.

This ball/prey drive is of utmost importance for any working or competition dog. Without it, you’re not going to go very far. Many amateurs question how much drive a puppy can have. Many breeders with inferior litters will try to convince you that low drive puppies are normal, and that drive comes with age. This is untrue. While drive can be built with age, if you don’t have any from the start, there’s going to be nothing to build.

I’ve seen eight month old puppies with the ball drive of a cat. Puppies with high ball drive are easier to introduce to new stimuli, too. If the puppy should be temporarily traumatized by something, you can usually get him over it by turning the negative stimuli into something positive by associating it with the ball. If you don’t have a puppy with good ball drive, you can’t do this. And remember, drive can always be eliminated, but it can never be created if it isn’t already there to some extent or another.

If you are choosing a dog for a dog sport which has a protection/bite work component, be sure to pick the most dominant pup in the litter. To do this, you may need to trust the breeder to some extent, or come back at weekly intervals to see which puppy is consistently the most dominant. Generally though, if a litter is from “hard” or “dominant” lines, most of the pups in the litter will be (relative to other litters) fairly dominant. Again, this gets back to the role of genetics and it’s affect on choosing a puppy.

Above all else, remember the cardinal rule about when it comes to choosing a puppy: Use common sense!



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.



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.



And the Top Five Most Intelligent Dog Breeds Are…

This newsletter looks at the top five dogs based on intelligence. And at number five on that list… is the Doberman Pinscher.

It is important that the Doberman is trained early on in its life, as they can be quite temperamental. If they are trained they can be great family dogs and really good with children despite their reputation.They are highly intelligent, and like many intelligent dogs are very protective of their master and family.

Number four is the Golden Retriever, which is often regarded as one of the most popular breeds of dog. They are great with children and are a very loyal and loving dog. It is not uncommon to see Golden Retrievers winning dog competitions where intelligence is of importance.

Number three on our list is a dog that is often associated with police work. Yes, it’s the German Shepherd, and it is chosen for its police work due to its intelligence. They make great family dogs and love children. They need to be kept busy with work or some form of stimulation otherwise they can become depressed and unhappy. They need to know who their master is from a young age to ensure both you and the family get the most out of their relationship.

The second most intelligent dog might surprise a lot of people. Not only for the fact that they are highly intelligent, but also because they are one of the easiest dogs to train. And that dog is the Poodle. Yes the Poodle comes in at number two on our list of intelligent dogs. They love people, and because of this they don’t like to be left alone. They are very protective and can become quite vicious if anybody encroaches upon their property or territory.

And the number one all-time most intelligent dog of all is the Border Collie.  The Border Collie is another dog that is often seen winning competitions. They’re highly intelligent, but along with that intelligence comes the need for them to be stimulated regularly. They’re happiest when they’re working or performing in competitions or dog trials.

So there you go, if you have a Border Collie, you know you have the most intelligent dog in the world, provided of course, that you have trained it well.

Please note: This article is part of a collection of dog-related content that we purchased the rights to. Opinions expressed may or may not agree with those espoused by Master Dog Trainer Adam G. Katz. When in doubt, please refer to the advice given in Adam’s dog training book.  This article is provided for your enjoyment, only. It’s relevance to real world working dog training may be limited.

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.


Rottweiler Facts

Rottweiler Facts, from the original FCI-Standard N° 147

ORIGIN: Germany.


UTILIZATION: Companion, service and working dog.

CLASSIFICATION F.C.I.: Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer type, Molossian type, Swiss Mountain- and Cattle Dogs.

Section 2.1 Molossian type, Mastiff type. With working trial.




The Rottweiler is considered to be one of the oldest dog breeds. Its origin goes back to Roman times. These dogs were kept as herder or driving dogs. They marched over the Alps with the Roman legions, protecting the humans and driving their cattle.

In the region of Rottweil, these dogs met and mixed with the native dogs in a natural crossing. The main task of the Rottweiler now became the driving and guarding of the herds of cattle and the defence of their masters and their property.

This breed acquired its name from the old free city of Rottweil and was known as the “Rottweil butcher’s dog”. The butchers bred this type of dog purely for performance and usefulness. In due course, a first rate watch and driving dog evolved which could also be used as a draught dog.

When, at the beginning of the twentieth century, various breeds were needed for police service, the Rottweiler was amongst those tested. It soon became evident that the breed was highly suitable for the tasks set by police service and therefore they were officially recognized as police dogs in 1910.

Rottweiler breeders aim at a dog of abundant strength, black coated with clearly defined rich tan markings, whose powerful appearance does not lack nobility and which is exceptionally well suited to being a companion, service and working dog.




The Rottweiler is a medium to large size, stalwart dog, neither heavy nor light and neither leggy nor weedy. His correctly proportioned, compact and powerful build leads to the conclusion of great strength, agility and endurance.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: The length of the body, measured from the point of the sternum (breast-bone) to the ischiatic tuberosity, should not exceed the height at the withers by, at most, 15 %.

Rottweiler Facts: BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT: Good-natured, placid in basic disposition and fond of children, very devoted, obedient, biddable and eager to work. His appearance is natural and rustic, his behaviour self-assured, steady and fearless. He reacts to his surroundings with great alertness.


Rottweiler Facts about the: HEAD



Skull: Of medium length, broad between the ears. Forehead line moderately arched as seen from the side. Occipital bone well developed without being conspicuous.

Stop: Well defined.


Nose: Well developed, more broad than round with relatively large nostrils, always black.

Muzzle: The foreface should appear neither elongated nor shortened in relation to the cranial region. Straight nasal bridge, broad at base, moderately tapered.

Lips: Black, close fitting, corner of the mouth not visible, gum as dark as possible.

Jaws/Teeth: Upper and lower jaw strong and broad. Strong, complete dentition (42 teeth) with scissor bite, the upper incisors closely overlapping the lower incisors.

Cheeks: Zygomatic arches pronounced.

Eyes: Of medium size, almond-shaped, dark brown in colour. Eyelids close fitting.

Ears: Medium-sized, pendant, triangular, wide apart, set on high. With the ears laid forward close to the head, the skull appears o be broadened.

NECK: Strong, of fair length, well muscled, slightly arched, clean, free from throatiness, without dewlap.





Back: Straight, strong, firm.

Loins: Short, strong and deep.

Croup: Broad, of medium length, slightly rounded. Neither flat nor falling away.

Chest: Roomy, broad and deep (approximately 50 % of the shoulder height) with well developed forechest and well sprung ribs.

Belly: Flanks not tucked up.

TAIL: In natural condition, level in extension of the upper line; at ease may be hanging.





FOREQUARTERS: Seen from the front, the front legs are straight and not placed too closely to each other. The forearm, seen from the side, stands straight and vertical. The slope of the shoulder blade is about 45 degrees to the horizontal.

Shoulders: Well laid back.

Upper arm: Close fitting to the body.

Forearm: Strongly developed and muscular.

Pasterns: Slightly springy, strong, not steep.

Front feet: Round, tight and well arched; pads hard; nails short, black and strong.

HINDQUARTERS: Seen from behind, legs straight and not too close together. When standing free, obtuse angles are formed between the dog’s upper thigh and the hip bone, the upper thigh and the lower thigh, and the lower thigh and metatarsal.

Upper thigh: Moderately long, broad and strongly muscled.

Lower thigh: Long, strongly and broadly muscled, sinewy.

Hocks: Sturdy, well angulated hocks; not steep.

Hindfeet: Slightly longer than the front feet. Toes strong, arched, as tight as front feet.

Rottweiler Fact– GAIT: The Rottweiler is a trotting dog. In movement the back remains firm and relatively stable. Movement harmonious, steady, full of energy and unrestricted, with good stride.

SKIN: Skin on the head : overall tight fitting. When the dog is alert, the forehead may be slightly wrinkled.



Rottweiler Facts: About The Coat


HAIR: The coat consists of a top coat and an undercoat. The top coat is of medium length, coarse, dense and flat. The undercoat must not show through the top coat. The hair is a little longer on the hindlegs.

COLOUR: Black with clearly defined markings of a rich tan on the cheeks, muzzle, throat, chest and legs, as well as over both eyes and under the base of the tail.



Rottweiler Facts — SIZE AND WEIGHT


Height at withers : For males is 61 – 68 cm.

61 – 62 cm is small 63 – 64 cm medium height.

65 – 66 cm is large – correct height 67 – 68 cm very large.

Weight: 50 kg.


Height at withers: For bitches is 56 – 63 cm.

56 – 57 cm is small 58 – 59 cm medium height.

60 – 61 cm is large – correct height 62 – 63 cm very large.

Weight: Approximately 42 kg.



Rottweiler Facts — FAULTS


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

– General appearance: Light, weedy, leggy appearance. Light in bone and muscle.

– Head: Hound-type head. Narrow, light, too short, long or coarse head. Flat forehead (lack of stop or too little stop).

– Foreface: Long or pointed muzzle; split nose; Roman nose (convex nasal bridge) or dish-faced (concave nasal bridge); acquiline nose; pale or spotted nose (butterfly nose). – Lips: Pendulous, pink or patchy; corner of lips visible. – Jaws: Narrow lower jaw.

– Bite: Pincer bite.

– Cheeks: Strongly protruding.

– Eyes: Light, deep set. Also too full and round eyes; loose eyelids.

– Ears: Set on too low, heavy, long, slack or turned backwards. Also flying ears or ears not carried symmetricaly.

– Neck: Too long, thin, lacking muscle. Showing dewlap or throaty.

– Body: Too long, too short or too narrow.

– Back: Too long, weak; sway back or roach back.

– Croup: Too sloping, too short, too flat or too long.

– Chest: Flat-ribbed or barrel-shaped. Too narrow behind.

– Tail: Set on too high or too low.

– Forequarters: Narrow or crooked front legs. Steep shoulder placement. Loose or out at elbow. Too long, too short or too straight in upper arm. Weak or steep pastern. Splayed feet. Too flat or too arched toes. Deformed toes. Light coloured nails. – Hindquarters: Flat thighs, hocks too close, cow hocks or barrel hocks. Joints with too little or too much angulation. Dewclaws. – Skin: Wrinkles on head. – Coat: Soft, too short or long. Wavy coat; lack of undercoat. – Colour: Markings of incorrect colour, not clearly defined. Markings which are too spread out.





– Behaviour: Anxious, shy, cowardly, gun-shy, vicious, excessively suspicious, nervous animals. – General: Distinct reversal of sexual type, i.e. feminine dogs or masculine bitches. – Teeth: Overshot or undershot bite, wry mouth; lack of one incisive tooth, one canine, one premolar or one molar. – Eyes: Entropion, ectropion, yellow eyes, different coloured eyes. – Tail: Kink tail, ring-tail, with strong lateral deviation. – Hair: Definitely long or wavy coat. – Colour: Dogs which do not show the typical Rottweiler colouring of black with tan markings. White markings.

Rottweiler Fact: Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioral abnormalities shall be disqualified.

Rottweiler Fact: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.