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Rottweiler standing in a field with trees in the background

One of 2022’s top ten most popular breeds according to the American Kennel Club, the Rottweiler has been in the public eye as a beloved dog breed for a very long time. Sometimes suffering from a negative stereotype due to cruel and outdated practices, these sweet dogs today are a great option as both a loyal family pet or versatile working dog. In fact, some Rotties can be so compassionate and caring that they’ve been given awards for these traits.

Rottweiler resting on grass

1. Rottweilers have award-winning kindness.

A therapy dog named Wynd won the AKC Award for Canine Excellence in Therapy in 2015 . He was recognized for his work with military families in the Tragedy Assistance Program as well as with the Hampton Veterans Hospital. Wynd helped veterans that were struggling with PTSD and substance abuse, helping to dispel historically negative stereotypes about the Rottweiler breed.

2. Rotties are dependable in the worst situations.

Following the terrorist attacks in New York City during 9/11, Rottweilers were deployed alongside other breeds like Labrador retrievers and German shepherds to act as search and rescue dogs. They were able to help with finding survivors at the site of the Twin Towers, while also being strong and steady enough to assist survivors out of dangerous areas.

Rottweiler puppy playing in snow

3. They were a favored breed amongst Roman Legions.

Roman legionnaires used many different breeds to act as herder dogs to keep the flocks of livestock in their supply trains in line. Among the different breeds they used, the one that stood out and was most successful was the Rottweiler.

4. Rottweilers make excellent police dogs.

With the advancement of technology making it easier to herd and transport livestock, Rotties experienced a gap in their usefulness on a wide scale. Nearing extinction as they were no longer useful in industry, the breed was saved when its potential as military and police dogs in the United States and abroad was discovered . Their fierce loyalty and protectiveness made them ideal for such a dangerous job.

Rottweiler playing with a rope toy

5. Rotties can be more “touchy” than some other breeds.

Owing to their past as herding dogs, Rottweilers are known to be “leaners.” They will often lean their body weight against family members like they would against cattle to guide them back into position. For this reason, it is advisable to work on training your Rottie to be aware of their size and these leaning habits, especially around young children.

6. They were named after the town of Rottweil, Germany.

With a long history that extends back to herding for the Roman Legions, the Rottweiler’s name comes from that time. Armies stopped in the Wurtemburg region of Germany in a town with villas that had red-tiled roofs and called “Das Rote Wil” due to the red tiles and the Roman word for a villa. The town was later renamed Rottweil where the breed gets its name.

Rottweiler laying on a tile floor

7. Rottweilers were bred to be ideal guard dogs.

Along with herding and protecting the cattle of their owners, Rotties were historically responsible for protecting money and guarding their families. Butchers and farmers would put their money in bags that were tied around the dog’s neck, keeping it protected from any stranger that might want to rob them.

8. Even Rotties have an Achilles heel.

Despite how tough this breed is, there are health conditions that will pop up and cause possible issues. Chief among these is hip dysplasia, a condition where the head of the femur does not sit snugly in the joint as it should. This does not spell disaster for your best friend with his beautiful brown markings, but it is something to keep an eye out for.