A muscular male Rottweiler will stand anywhere from 24 to 27 inches at the shoulder; females run a bit smaller and lighter. The glistening short black coat, with smart rust markings, adds to the picture of imposing strength. A thickly muscled hindquarters powers the Rottweilers effortless trotting gait.

A well-bred and properly raised Rottweiler will be calm and confident, courageous but not unduly aggressive. The aloof demeanour these world-class guard dogs present to outsiders belies the playfulness, and downright silliness, that endear Rottweilers to their loved ones. (No one told the Rottweiler that he is not a toy breed, so he is likely to plop onto your lap for a cuddle.) Early training and socialization will equip a Rottweiler with territorial instincts in a positive way.

The history of the Rottweiler is not a documented record. There is the likelihood that the Rottweiler is descended from drover dogs indigenous to ancient Rome. These drover dogs were described as being of the Mastiff type with great intelligence; rugged, dependable, willing to work with a strong guarding instinct. The transition from Roman herding dog to the dog we know today can be attributed to the ambitious Roman Emperors wanting to conquer Europe. As very large armies were required for these expeditions, the logistics of feeding such large numbers became a major factor. As there was no form of refrigeration, it meant that the meat accompanied the armies ‘on the hoof’. This meant a dog capable of keeping the herd together during the long marches was needed. The ‘Mastiff type’ was well suited to this task as well as shouldering the extra responsibility of guarding the supply dumps at night.