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The Rottweiler's Brush With Extinction

posted Feb 3, 2010, 3:53 PM by Connors Legacy Dog Psychology and Training

Family: livestock dog, sheepdog, mastiff (draft/cattle), guardian
Area of Origin: Germany
Date of Origin: ancient times
Original Function: cattle drover, guardian, draft
Today's Function: security, herding trials, Schutzhund
Avg Size of male: Height: 24-27 Weight: 85-135
Avg Size of Female: Height: 22-25 Weight: 80-100
Other Name: Rott, Rottie, Rotty, Rotter

The Rottweiler's ancestors were probably Roman drover dogs, responsible for driving and guarding herds of cattle as they accompanied Roman troops on long marches. At least one of these marches led to southern Germany, where some of the people and their dogs settled. Throughout the succeeding centuries, the dogs continued to play a vital role as cattle drovers around what was to become the town of Rottweil (which is derived from red tile, denoting the red-tile roof of the Roman baths that had been unearthed there in the eighth century). Rottweil prospered and became a center of cattle commerce. Their dogs drove and guarded cattle, guarded the money earned by the cattle sales and served as draft animals. So evolved the Rottweiler metzgerhund ("butcher dog"), an integral component in the town's industry until the mid-19th century. At that time, cattle driving was outlawed, and dog carting was replaced by donkey carts and railroads. With little need for this once vital breed, the Rottweiler fell into such decline that it was nearly lost. With the realization that the breed was teetering near extinction, dog fanciers formed a club in 1901 and set about to revive it. Even though the 1901 club was short-lived, it did formulate a breed standard. Two subsequent clubs were formed in 1907, one of which promoted the breed as a police dog. The two clubs merged in 1921. The breed continued to grow, and by the 1930s it was competing in AKC competitions. The Rottweiler has recovered from its brush with extinction to become the second-most popular breed in America.

Confident, bold, alert and imposing, the Rottweiler is a popular choice for its ability to protect. As befitting its self-assured nature, it tends to be headstrong and stubborn and is often domineering. It is reserved, often wary, toward strangers. It may be overly protective if it perceives that its family is being threatened, and it may also attempt to "herd" children. This is a powerful breed that needs socialization, consistent training and daily exercise to be the best it can be — a loyal family member and guardian.

The Rottweiler needs daily physical and mental activity, either in the form of long walks or jogs, or a vigorous game in a safe area, as well as obedience lessons. It enjoys cold weather and may become overheated in hot weather. It can live outdoors in temperate to cool climates, as long as plenty of shelter is available. It needs to spend significant time inside with its human family, however, so that proper bonding can occur. Coat care is minimal, consisting only of occasional brushing to remove dead hair.

• Major concerns: CHD, elbow dysplasia, SAS, osteosarcoma, gastric torsion
• Minor concerns: OCD, entropion, ectropion, vWD, panosteitis
• Occasionally seen: PRA, cataract, epilepsy
• Suggested tests: hip, elbow, cardiac, blood, (eye)
• Life span: 8 – 11 years

Form and Function
The Rottweiler is a medium-large breed, slightly longer than it is tall and robust with a powerful, substantial build. It combines the abilities necessary to drive cattle for long distances as well as serve as a formidable guard dog — jobs that entail great strength, agility and endurance. Its trot is sure and powerful, with strong reach and drive. Its coat is straight, coarse and dense. Its expression reflects the Rottweiler at its best — noble, alert and self-assured.

The Best Watch Dog

posted Oct 14, 2009, 11:16 PM by Michael Gibbs   [ updated Feb 9, 2010, 10:04 AM by Connors Legacy Dog Psychology and Training ]

The Best Watchdogs

Benjamin and Lynette Hart wrote a brilliant little book called The Perfect Puppy: How to Choose Your Dog by Its Behavior (1988). Unfortunately, the work is currently out of print.

The Harts interviewed 48 veterinarians and 48 obedience judges and asked each of them to rank-order 56 of the most popular dog breeds along 13 characteristics. Then, they compiled the results to make it possible to compare each of the 56 breeds, one to another, in some important ways. Fortunately, watchdog barking was one of the variables about which the Harts polled the experts. The term "watchdog barking" refers to the dog's tendency to bark at the things that you want a watchdog to bark at, like intruders and vandals. So we need to draw a distinction here between watchdog barking, which is a good thing up to a point, and inappropriate or excessive barking, which is definitely an undesirable trait.

It should be noted that, for all breeds, males and females make equally good watchdogs.

The Best Breeds for Watchdog Work -- Taken from The Perfect Puppy

#1 Rating: The poorest watchdogs
Located here at the top of the chart are the breeds
that are the least likely to bark at things
they should be barking at. As you work your way
down the chart, each successive group is that much better
at sounding the alarm at appropriate times. Bloodhood
Basset Hound
Norwegian Elkhound

#2 Rating
Brittany Spaniel
Siberian Husky
Afghan Hound
Alaskan Malamute

#3 Rating
Golden Retriever
German Shorthaired Pointer
Old English Sheepdog
Bichon Frise
Cocker Spaniel

#4 Rating
Labrador Retriever
Great Dane
Chesapeake Bay Retriever

#5 Rating Middling Watchdog Barkers

Australian Shepherd
Chow Chow
Irish Setter

#6 Rating
English Springer Spaniel

#7 Rating
Lhasa Apso
Shetland Sheepdog
Welsh Corgi
Toy Poodle

#8 Rating
Boston Terrier
Shih Tzu
Miniature Poodle
Silky Terrier
Fox Terrier

#9 Rating
Yorkshire Terrier
Cairn Terrier
Airedale Terrier
Standard Poodle

#10 Rating: The best watchdogs

Located here at the bottom of the chart are
the breeds that are the most likely to sound
the alarm appropriately. Rottweiler
German Shepherd
Doberman Pinscher
Scottish Terrier
West Highland White Terrier
Miniature Schnauzer

These pictures are of a wonderful dog called Max, he was a watch dog in a local fitters yard. Until somebody shot him for no apparent reason, as nothing was stolen. R.I.P. Max

posted Oct 14, 2009, 11:11 PM by   [ updated Feb 3, 2010, 3:50 PM by Connors Legacy Dog Psychology and Training ]

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