How to Identify a Rottweiler

By Cayden Conor

The Rottweiler is a balanced breed and its movement is very steady and sure. This is a working breed that must be kept busy, or you will have one unhappy dog on your hands. This calm breed is confident and courageous, but is aloof toward strangers. It will eventually become friendly with people it sees often, though. It makes a great guard dog, as it will protect his family and home. The Rottweiler may be aggressive to other dogs.

Look at the general appearance of the Rottweiler. This is a medium large, powerful breed. Do not let its medium size fool you. It may not look large, but it has a lot of strength and agility. Males are 24 to 27 inches and females are 22 to 25 inches at the withers. It has a deep chest, about 50 percent of the dog's height. It should have enough bone and muscle mass to balance the frame. Females are more feminine-looking than males, but still should not show weakness.

Check that the head is of medium length and is quite broad between the ears. The dark brown eyes help to give the Rottweiler a noble, self-assured, alert expression. They are almond shaped and rather deep set, but not receding. The medium sized ears are triangular and set wide apart. The muzzle is broad at the base and tapers towards the nose. The nose is rather broad, but not round, and is always black.

Make sure the powerful neck is well muscled and moderately long. It should arch slightly and have tight skin. It leads to a broad, deep chest and long, well angulated shoulders. The feet are rounded and compact, leading to arched toes and thick, hard pads. The rear angulation balances the front angulation. The upper thigh is long and well muscled. The powerful lower thigh is also long and leads to a strong hock joint. The rear feet are a bit longer than the front feet, but are also compact, have well arched toes and thick, hard pads. The tail is docked close to the body. It may have one or two vertebrae. It is held just above the horizontal, giving the impression that the topline is longer than it really is.

Pet the straight, dense outer coat. The hair is medium length and lays flat against the body. The undercoat does not show through the outer coat. The coat is always black with rust or mahogany markings. The markings are located on the cheeks, over the eyes, on the muzzle (side only), the throat, forelegs, inside of the rear legs and a triangular mark on both sides of the prosternum.