In Rottweil, Germany these dogs had been crossed with local sheepdogs to create the ‘Rottweiler Metzgerhund’, used to drive & guard livestock. In the 19th century cattle-driving became illegal in Germany & the Rottweiler suffered a decline in popularity until 1914 when they were once again brought into use for the war.


Medium to large, compact dogs known for their solid black, flat-lying coats with clearly defined rust-coloured markings.

Grooming and Physical Needs

  • Grooming Needs: Very easy to maintain, a good brush down regularly with a rubber glove during the moulting seasons.
  • Coat Type: Top coat is of medium length, coarse, dense and flat.
  • Moulting: Little shedding.
  • Exercise Needs: Require plenty of exercise, love to run through woods and in the open countryside with no desire to wander far from their owners. They adore swimming and will quite happily run alongside a bicycle.
  • Average Life Span: 10 – 12 years.


  • Family: Unconditionally loyal to their handlers and their families and will defend them and their property to the end. They are protective and brave.
  • Temperament: Being good natured, placid in basic disposition and fond of children, very devoted, obedient, biddable and eager to work.
  • Trainability: Intelligent dogs but can be rather dominant in nature. They require firmness and consistency from an early age from an equable, calm handler.
  • Sociability (Other Pets): Live happily with other pets provided they are trained and socialised from an early age.
  • Barking: Low tendency.


Are used as guard dogs, watch dogs, police dogs, companions and seen in the show-ring.


Susceptible to parvovirus virus, most common causes of death in Rotties are heart disease, cancer and bloat.