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BREED HISTORY


Rottweilers have continued to remain a distinct breed for so long that their true ancestry remains unknown. Because of their strong, compact bodies and willingness to work Rottweilers may have descended from Mastiff-type dogs. These dogs worked in ancient Rome as "Herd Dogs" guarding and moving flocks of animals. These dogs moved around the world mainly in Europe, with Roman legions who used these dogs as herders and guards. Due to the limited capability of preserving meat and the constant need to bring live herds of stock animals on long marches Rotties provided an invaluable service to their masters. During the hours of darkness, Rotties acted as guards from both humans and predator animal threats. After roaming the globe for many decades, these dogs settled mainly in southern Germany, where they lived for many centuries.

The breed name Rottweil comes from "das Rote Wil", which means red tile, and is the name of a town where red-colored clay was unearthed. The town was a major trade center for cattle, where large numbers of Rotties worked very close with butchers, pulling carts, driving cows, and guarding herds. Rotties soon became known as "butcher dogs". It is also said that these dogs would carry the money the butcher earned to the bank to be deposited.

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