This big, burly, protective dog makes a good companion if well socialized by an experienced owner
The Rottweiler is descended from dogs used by Roman armies to drive cattle on long marches. Some of the drovers and their dogs settled in southern Germany, where the dogs were interbred with local cattle dogs. The breed was centered in the livestock-trading town of Rottweil in southern Germany, where they were used to herd and drive cattle, hunt bear, and pull carts as butchers’ dogs. During the 19th century these jobs died out and the breed dwindled almost to extinction.
It was revived in the early 20th century, particularly for work as a police dog because of its guarding and fighting instinct.
Today, Rottweilers are extensively used by military and police forces, as guard dogs, and in search and rescue work.
The Rottweiler has acquired an image as a vicious guard dog and an intimidating status symbol. However, despite the breed’s great strength, impressive swagger, and easily aroused protective responses, it is not naturally ill-tempered. With thoughtful training from a firm and experienced owner who is alert to potential triggers of aggression, this dog makes a calm and obedient companion. Rottweilers are more agile than their size and sturdy build might suggest, and appreciate plenty of vigorous exercise.
The eagerness of a Rottweiler to please its owner makes it an easy and rewarding dog to train.
This quality combined with its size and strength makes it an ideal dog for law enforcement and security work. Quick to react, and obedient to its handler, it has sufficient strength to restrain even the most persistent of law breakers. Employed extensively by the military and police in Germany during WWI, the Rottweiler was introduced to the US and the UK in the 1930s. They are now the police dog of choice in several countries.