The Rottweiler is a powerful dog breed that was developed in the town of Rottweil, Germany, during the 1800s. It was originally used to drive and herd cattle. Although it's now a very popular dog, the Rottweiler came close to extinction in the early 19th century when demand for its herding skills fell.
The Rottweiler has a glossy, short black coat with tan to mahogany markings. Males stand between 24 and 27 inches high at the shoulder, and females are a little shorter. The males weigh between 95 and 130 pounds, while the females weigh between 85 and 115 pounds.
The Rottweiler has a broad, powerful chest. The hindquarters also are powerful. The dog has an arched forehead and wide skull. The tail is traditionally docked. Some breeders believe there's a difference between an American and a German Rottweiler, with the German Rottweiler being more robust.
Though the Rottweiler has a reputation among some people for viciousness, a well-trained and well-cared for Rottweiler has a docile, protective and obedient disposition. It's an intelligent dog that thrives on work and exercise and is very responsive to training. The Rottweiler is deeply affectionate toward its humans and their friends and family but is notorious as an effective and persistent guard dog.