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[Image: rottweiler.jpg]

The Rottweiler has a massive, powerful body. Muscular and athletic, it has a broad head and rounded forehead. The muzzle is well-developed with a scissors bite. Its eyes are dark with an expression of goodwill and loyalty. The ears are triangular, carried forward, and its nose is wide and black. The lips are black and inside the mouth it is dark-colored. The tail is customarily docked. Often born with rear dewclaws, these are usually removed when the tail is docked. The coat is short, hard and thick. It is black with brown markings on the cheeks and muzzle, paws and legs. A red color with brown markings also exists. There is a deficiency in the hair gene making the coloring a lighter red. Rottweiler bitches often have large litters; 12 puppies are not uncommon.

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German Rottweiler vs. American Rottweiler 
Some claim there are variations of Rotties, the German Rottweiler and the American Rottweiler. German Rotties are said to be shorter, stockier and have a bigger blockier head, and American Rotties are said to be taller and leggier without as blocky a head. Others claim a Rottweiler is a Rottweiler and there is no such thing as a German Rottie. Some who have stated this argument have said, "a German Rottweiler is one born in Germany and an American Rottweiler is born in America." In any case, there are breeders breeding for the German Rottweiler look, which goes outside the AKC standard, while others are breeding for the American Rottweiler look, sticking to, or closer to, the AKC standard.

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Height, Weight
Height: 24-27 inches (61-69 cm.) bitches 22-25 inches (56-63 cm.)
Weight: Dogs 95-130 pounds (43-59 kg.) bitches 85-115 pounds (38-52 kg.) 

Rottweiler Skull

The Rottweiler is probably descended from the Italian Mastiff. During the Middle Ages, it was used as a herd dog. It was bred in the German town of Rottweil in Wurttemberg. Practically extinct in the 1800's, the breed population began a comeback in the early twentieth century due to the efforts of enthusiastic breeders centered in Stuttgart. Some of the Rottweilers talents include: tracking, herding, watchdogging, guarding, police work, carting, competitive obedience, and schutzhund.

[Image: Rottweiler.jpg]

The Rottie is calm, trainable, courageous, and devoted to their owner and family. They have a reliable temperament. Protective, he will defend his family fiercely. These are strong fighters that seem immune to pain. Serious, steady and confident. Firm and careful training is essential for this breed, otherwise you may end up with a very powerful and overly aggressive dog. Yet they can, with proper handling, also be loyal, loving and very rewarding companions. They require owners who can handle their massive size. The Rottie is a natural guard dog with a mellow temperament. They are highly intelligent and have proven their worth beyond question in police, military, and customs work over many centuries. Because of their size, training should begin fairly young - while the dog is still small, and great care should be taken to ensure that the dog is not made vicious. This breed needs a lot of companionship and socialization to be truly happy. They can be aggressive with other dogs and should be kept on leashes in public places. When the Rottweiler is consistently brought up and trained, it will be a good playmate for the children. It will accept cats and other household pets as long as the dog has had a positive experience with them while it was young. Friends and relatives of the family are normally enthusiastically welcomed. Strangers can get no further than the sidewalk. The breed does well in competitive obedience, schutzhund, and tracking. 

Health Problems
This breed is susceptible to ACL damage. Prone to hip dysplasia. Tends to snore and overeat. Also prone to entropion (narrowing of the slit between the eyelids). 

Living Conditions
The Rottie will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. They are relatively inactive indoors and a small yard will be sufficient. 

The Rottweiler needs plenty of exercise. You can't give these robust dogs too much work or exercise; they thrive on it. Running in the woods and in open country makes them very happy and they have no desire to wander from you. Swimming or running beside a bicycle are perfect activities for this dog and it also loves retrieving a ball. 

Life Expectancy
About 10-12 years. 

The smooth, glossy coat is easy to groom. Brush with a firm bristle brush and bathe only when necessary. This breed is an average shedder. 

Mastiff, AKC Working 

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The Truth About Tail Docking in Rottweilers

You don’t have to be an expert on the breed to know what a Rottweiler looks like. These dogs are known for their large, muscular bodies, their black-and-tan coloration, and their short tails. What many people do not realize is that not all Rottweilers are born with short tails – some breeders still dock the tails of their Rottweiler puppies. Tail docking is a highly controversial subject so you would be wise to learn the basics about it before you decide which side to take in regard to your own Rottweiler.

The History of Tail Docking

When it comes to altering the length of a dog’s tail there are several terms you might come across. Docking and bobbing are the two most commonly used terms and they are often used interchangeably. When a breeder uses the word “cropping” it is usually a reference to the ears, not the tail. Tail docking has been a common practice for many dog breeds for hundreds of years. At one time, it was believed that docking a dog’s tail could strengthen his back, increase his speed, and even reduce his risk for rabies. While these things may not be true, tail docking was also performed for a practical reason – to reduce the risk for tail injuries in working and fighting breeds.

For many years, tail docking was a very common practice for certain breeds like the Rottweiler. In modern times, however, tail docking is more commonly performed for cosmetic purposes than for practical purposes – the main exceptions are for hunting and working breeds. There are two main ways in which tail docking is accomplished. One method is to sever the tail using a scalpel or surgical scissors – this is usually done when the puppies are just 10 to 14 days old and it is done without anesthesia. The second method is to use a rubber ligature to restrict blood flow to the tail, causing it to fall off.

Should You Dock Your Rottweiler’s Tail?

While there are some practical benefits for having your Rottweiler’s tail docked, you need to seriously think about whether it is really something you want to do. In most cases, tail docking is performed without anesthesia – just think about how painful it would be to have someone cut off part of your body without anesthesia! This is the reason why many countries have actually banned tail docking. Unfortunately, the United States is not one of them. Most Rottweiler breeders do encourage tail docking for this breed and it is usually performed when the puppy is 2 to 3 days old – after this point the bones become stronger and the nerves develop so docking becomes more difficult and more painful.

The Rottweiler’s natural tail is certainly nothing that could be considered ugly or undesirable. It is a normal dog tail that grows as an extension of the spine and it generally tapers to a point. There are rare cases in which Rottweilers are born with naturally bobbed tails but it is uncommon. If you do choose to have your Rottweiler puppy’s tail docked, seriously consider having a trained veterinarian perform the procedure with anesthetics. Although a puppy’s bones are mostly cartilage for the first 24 to 48 hours after birth, the nerve endings have already developed so the procedure can be very painful.

Tail docking is a very controversial procedure among veterinarians, breeders, and dog owners – there is no right or wrong side of this issue. In the end, it is up to you to do the research and to form an educated opinion regarding where you stand on the issue. There is certainly no requirement that your Rottweiler’s tail must be docked and you should get a second opinion from a vet before having it done. 
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]

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