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FCI Standard No. 147
2.1 Great Dane dogs
Origin :


Withers height:

Male 61–68 cm.
Female 56–63 cm


Male approx. 50 kg,
female approx. 42 kg

List of domestic dogs

The Rottweiler is a German dog breed recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) ( FCI Group 2, Section 2.1, Standard No. 147 ).

Origin and history

Rottweiler monument in downtown Rottweil

There are various views about the origin of the Rottweiler, including also the assumption that the ancestors of the Rottweiler were seen in dogs Roman shepherds, because the later area of origin of the dogs belonged in ancient times to the Roman Empire (see Dekumatland ). Over the course of several centuries these dogs have been bred for viability, intelligence, endurance and driving abilities. They became indispensable helpers for cattle dealers and butchers. This dog was most common in and around the former imperial city of Rottweil in what is now Baden-Württemberg , and so it was named Rottweiler in the late Middle Ages . Rottweil was in the 18./19. Century an important cattle trade center, from which cattle and sheep were driven mainly to the Breisgau , Alsace , Lake Constance and the Neckar Valley . The cattle trade was mainly in the hands of the local butchers . It was they who used Rottweilers to guard and drive the herds of cattle and for this purpose they bred them as butcher dogs. During this time the breed became known nationwide.

The original task of the Rottweiler to drive and guard cattle, as well as his physique, make the relationship with the mountain dogs clear. Over time, however, with the advent of the railroad and other vehicles, the cattle were increasingly transported in a different way, and the Rottweiler lost its previous purpose. At the beginning of the 20th century, however, the utility of this breed was tested in the police service, and in 1910 the Rottweiler was recognized as a police and military dog.


According to the breed standard , males have a height at the withers up to 68 cm, bitches up to 63 cm. The rottweiler is a heavy and stocky dog. Nevertheless, according to the breed standard, he is “neither clumsy nor light, not tall or windy. His sturdy, sturdy shape, which is in the right proportion, indicates great strength, agility and endurance. ”The weight of males is approx. 50 kg, that of bitches approx. 42 kg. Rottweiler has a short black coat with undercoat , which on the lips , on fishing , on the eyebrows, under the tail and on the chest and legs clearly defined red-brown badges, the fire has. He makes a good guard dog with his strong body and powerful teeth .


In the breed standard the FCI describes the character of the ideal Rottweiler as follows: “With a friendly and peaceful mood, child-loving, he is very affectionate, obedient, docile and eager to work. Its appearance reveals primeval growth; his behavior is self-confident, nervous and fearless. He reacts with great attention to his environment. "

Racial Issues

A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , which evaluated fatal bite injuries from dogs in the United States between 1979 and 1998, concluded that both pit bulls and rottweilers together caused more than half of all dog bite deaths . A Swiss study published in 2002 on medically treated dog bite injuries came to the conclusion that dogs of the Rottweiler type bite more than average compared to their frequency in the dog population. In a study by the Institute for Animal Welfare and Animal Behavior at the Free University of Berlin , the Rottweiler (behind the German Shepherd ) has a high rate of abnormalities .

The Rottweiler is listed as a list dog in some German federal states , and its keeping is therefore subject to certain restrictions in these countries. On the basis of statistics from the German Association of Cities in 1997, the Rottweiler was included in Category II of the Fighting Dog Ordinance in Bavaria on November 1, 2002 and has to pass a character test in certain federal states .

In Austria , the Rottweiler is on the breed list in two of the three list-leading federal states ( Vienna and Lower Austria ). Depending on the federal state, a " dog license " (Vienna) or a " certificate of competence " (Lower Austria) is required for keeping.

In Switzerland , twelve of the thirteen cantons in which there are racial lists have the Rottweiler on their lists; in these cantons, approval is required for keeping it. Keeping, breeding and importation are prohibited in the cantons of Geneva and Valais .


Numerous Rottweilers are kept as family dogs. He belongs to the working breeds and, accordingly, as a service dog used by police and military. Due to its imposing shape, it is often used as a guard dog .


Rottweilers are generally a very healthy breed with only a few breed-typical diseases.

Hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia are undesirable developments in the respective joints for which a genetic disposition can be assumed. This is why an X-ray examination is mandatory for the breeding suitability test .

The Leukoenzephalomyelopathie is an inherited disorder that results in young animals to progressive paralysis. It is incurable, but it is rare.

The osteochondrosis is a bone lesion below the articular cartilage. The cause is often the high load on the articular cartilage, often hereditary due to disorders of the blood circulation. The symptoms express themselves, because of the impaired detachment of the cartilage in the diseased joint, by unsafe locomotion.

In recent years, cardiac vein constrictions have increased in Rottweilers. A hereditary impairment of the reflux of the heart blood is suspected. The symptoms include a reduced performance of the cardiac veins, which limits the performance of the Rottweiler, more rapid symptoms of fatigue, cardiac arrhythmias and possible shortness of breath .


  • Christine Baumann: Examination of the increased aggressiveness and danger of Rottweilers and Rottweiler half-breeds as part of the evaluation of character tests in Bavaria . Munich 2005 (Munich, University, dissertation, 2005, online (PDF; 830 kB) ).

Web links

Wiktionary: Rottweiler  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Rottweiler  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b Hans Räber : Encyclopedia of Purebred Dogs. Origin, history, breeding goals, suitability and use. Volume 1: Farmers, shepherds and cattle dogs, shepherds, mastiff-like dogs, pinscher-like dogs, spitz-like dogs, Nordic dogs, Schensi dogs, dwarf dogs, poodles, Dalmatians. Franckh-Kosmos, Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-440-06555-3 , p. 168 ff .: The Rottweiler.
  2. a b Breed standard No. 147 of the FCI: Rottweiler  (PDF)
  3. JJ Sacks, L. Sinclair, J. Gilchrist, GC Golab, R. Lockwood: Breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks in the United States between 1979 and 1998. In: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association . Volume 217, Number 6, September 2000, pp. 836-840, ISSN  0003-1488 . PMID 10997153 . Full text ( Memento of the original from April 11, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. Ursula Horisberger: Medically treated dog bite injuries in Switzerland. Victims - dogs - accident situations. Bern 2002 (Bern, Universität, med. Vet. Dissertation, 2002), online (PDF; 969 kB) ( Memento of the original from July 20, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. Rainer Struwe, Franziska Kuhne: Conspicuous dogs in Berlin and Brandenburg - their representation in official statistics and in the dog population. In: Thomas Richter (Hrsg.): Conference of the specialist groups “Animal Welfare Law” and “Animal Breeding, Hereditary Pathology and Pet Genetics”. Nürtingen, February 24 and 25, 2005. DVG-Service, Giessen 2005, ISBN 3-938026-38-3 , pp. 145–170, online (PDF; 154 kB) .
  6. Legal regulations for dealing with dangerous dogs in Bavaria .
  7. Information page of the Federal Chancellery of the Republic of Austria: keeping fighting dogs (accessed on October 28, 2015)
  8. Simon Kress: List of the Rottweiler race diseases. July 19, 2015, accessed on January 24, 2020 (German).
  9. ^ O'Neill, DG; Church, DB; McGreevy, PD; Thomson, PC; Brodbelt, DC: Longevity and mortality of owned dogs in England. Accessed January 24, 2020 (English).