Rottweilers were originally bred in Germany as herding dogs and as draught dogs, pulling carts of meat to market. This is how they earned their name, the Butcher's dog. It is a tough, intelligent and powerful breed of working dog that commands as much from its owner as its owner demands of it.
Rottweilers continue to serve mankind today in various roles, as companion animals, guard dogs, and yes, many still work livestock and pull carts. Due to their highly trainable nature and superior stamina, these dogs have also taken on less traditional roles as search and rescue dogs, assistance dogs for the disabled, and in police work.
Choosing a Rottweilier puppy can be a daunting task, but does not have to be complicated if you understand what your needs are and know what traits you are looking for.
If it is a working dog you seek, pay close attention to the physical make up of the dog. A well-bred Rottweiler should have a broad skull, the nose broad, and the bite even. Its back should be straight and muscular, even under puppy wrinkles, the loins are short and strong, and the chest is roomy, broad and deep. The front legs should be balanced and placed under the chest, but wide apart. The slope of the shoulder blade should angle approximately 45 degrees to the ground. The tail should already be docked by the time the breeder begins to show them to potential buyers.
A Rottweiler's temperament should be even, but confidant. Dogs that hang toward the back have more of a tendency to become fearful and aggressive, as well as dogs that are over exuberant. The dog should show a natural hesitation toward strangers, but not become aggressive unless provoked.
A Rottweiler's intelligence shows through its eyes. If a puppy seems vacant or distant, buyer beware. The puppy may not have been bred well, or may be suffering from a parasitic disease.
Rottweilers are especially prone to contracting the canine parvovirus, and rarely recover from the disease. Before you choose a puppy, make sure that it has documentation of receiving vaccines, and be prepared to continue with them, sometimes on a more rigorous schedule than other breeds of dogs for this reason.
The Rottweiler is a highly versatile, high energy, well-rounded family dog that will bring its family years of companionship. The Rottweiler is a noble breed that is self assured, steady and fearless.