It is common knowledge that the Rottweiler originated in Germany. So why then are there “American Rottweilers” and “Belgium Rottweilers” and “Canadian Rottweilers” etc.? I am often asked what makes a German Rottweiler a German Rottweiler and an American Rottweiler an American Rottweiler. The answer is simple: Country of birth. Your next question will undoubtedly be “why then such a vast difference in German Rottweilers and American Rottweilers?” That answer is also simple: Standards.
The ADRK or Allegemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler- Klub is the German “equivalent” (and I use that term loosely) of the AKC or American Kennel Club. With the American Kennel Club, you can register and breed any Rottweiler with papers. The ADRK have MUCH higher standards. In Germany, before a Rottweiler is ALLOWED to breed, it must first prove itself in the show ring, and it must be judged on how well it represents the TRUE German Rottweiler in both conformation (physical appearance–head type, heavy bone, well muscled body with good substance) and Temperament (mental soundness--not wavering in courage, highly intelligent and good natured). This is accomplished by a Breeding Suitability Test (ZtP, Kurong, or in Holland, MAG). It must also have certification pertaining to genetic diseases such as hip and elbow dysplasia and JLPP. Then it must be determined if the Rottweiler to which it is intended to be bred is compatible and whether it will “better the breed”. If all qualifications are not met, the pups WILL NOT BE REGISTERED. With the AKC, a breeder simply calls or e-mails the number of pups born and who the parents are. Then you must hope that the dogs who were stated to be the sire and dam truly are and that the number of registration forms requested equals the number of pups born. You also have no confirmation that the Rottweilers who were bred were either free from genetic diseases that will affect the pups or whether either the sire or the dam remotely resembled the breed standard for the Rottweiler. While the AKC attempts to regulate the breed, the ADRK ensures it.
As a result, the more “American” generations in a Rottweilers pedigree, the greater the potential for the dog to be further and further from his true German heritage. The strong head with a broad skull and short muzzle elongates and narrows, weakening the bite strength that the Rottweiler is famous for. The rich, well defined markings become muddy or faded. The compact, solid bone structure and massive muscular frame are replaced with a leggy and weedy “American” version. Dark eyes and gums are replaced by pale eyes and pink gums. That strong, solid back and well sprung chest becomes a roach back or sway back, often dropping at the hips. This creates more than just a poor visual. Function follows form- meaning, when the form is not correct, the function will not be either. So a breed that is already prone to hip/elbow/joint issues, now has hips and elbows and hocks, etc. that are not properly aligned causing inappropriate wear and tear and significantly increasing the probabilities of joint/spine issues. Most importantly, the calm, confident, nurturing dog is bred to be aggressive and indiscriminate, or worse skiddish and nervous with a strong possibility of becoming a fear biter. That having been said, there are a few Code of Ethics breeders here in the USA who strive to maintain the standards set fourth by the ADRK and are thereby making some beautiful “American Rottweilers” who are correct in conformation. However, it unfortunately becomes the job of the perspective buyer to do his/her research and make sure the breeder s/he chooses is doing right by the breed- health clearances, having the conformation evaluated by an expert, and making sure the dog is mentally sound.
Guardian Ikon Von Gottschalk
“Ocho” Guardian Warrick Von Gottschalk
At Guardian Rottweilers, our breeding Rottweilers are either German or European Imports or produced by us from dogs that were imported. Further, every dog that we import, we have traveled directly to Europe to observe, critique and handle BEFORE even contemplating adding them to our breeding program. That is why we are confident enough in our dogs to not only guarantee the health but the temperament as well. Whether to improve your breeding program, make us proud in the show ring, or do what it he does best by being a Guardian to your family, we are incredibly proud of our Guardian Rottweilers.