Rottweiler Breed Magazine features information, expert articles, and stunning photos from AKC judges, breeders, and owners.
Let’s Talk Breed Education!
Page 1 of 3
Official Standard of the Rottweiler General Appearance : The ideal Rottweiler is a medium large, robust and powerful dog, black with clearly defined rust markings. His compact and substantial build denotes great strength, agility and endurance. Dogs are characteristically more massive throughout with larger frame and heavier bone than bitches. Bitches are distinctly feminine, but without weakness of substance or structure. Size, Proportion, Substance : Dogs – 24 inches to 27 inches. Bitches – 22 inches to 25 inches, with preferred size being mid-range of each sex. Correct proportion is of primary importance, as long as size is within the standard’s range. The length of body, from prosternum to the rearmost projection of the rump, is slightly longer than the height of the dog at the withers, the most desirable proportion of the height to length being 9 to 10. The Rottweiler is neither coarse nor shelly. Depth of chest is approximately fifty percent (50%) of the height of the dog. His bone and muscle mass must be sufficient to balance his frame, giving a compact and very powerful appearance. Serious Faults – Lack of proportion, undersized, oversized, reversal of sex characteristics (bitchy dogs, doggy bitches). Head : Of medium length, broad between the ears; forehead line seen in profile is moderately arched; zygomatic arch and stop well developed with strong broad upper and lower jaws. The desired ratio of backskull to muzzle is 3 to 2. Forehead is preferred dry, however some wrinkling may occur when dog is alert. Expression is noble, alert, and self-assured. Eyes of medium size, almond shaped with well fitting lids, moderately deep-set, neither protruding nor receding. The desired color is a uniform dark brown. Serious Faults – Yellow (bird of prey) eyes, eyes of different color or size, hairless eye rim. Disqualification – Entropion. Ectropion. Ears of medium size, pendant, triangular in shape; when carried alertly the ears are level with the top of the skull and appear to broaden it. Ears are to be set well apart, hanging forward with the inner edge lying tightly against the head and terminating at approximately mid-cheek. Serious Faults – Improper carriage (creased, folded or held away from cheek/head). Muzzle – Bridge is straight, broad at base with slight tapering towards tip. The end of the muzzle is broad with well developed chin. Nose is broad rather than round and always black. Lips – Always black; corners closed; inner mouth pigment is preferred dark. Serious Faults – Total lack of mouth pigment (pink mouth). Bite and Dentition – Teeth 42 in number (20 upper, 22 lower), strong, correctly placed, meeting in a scissors bite – lower incisors touching inside of upper incisors. Serious Faults – Level bite; any missing tooth. Disqualifications – Overshot, undershot (when incisors do not touch or mesh); wry mouth; two or more missing teeth. Neck, Topline, Body : Neck – Powerful, well muscled, moderately long, slightly arched and without loose skin. Topline - The back is firm and level, extending in a straight line from behind the withers to the croup. The back remains horizontal to the ground while the dog is moving or standing. Body – The chest is roomy, broad and deep, reaching to elbow, with well pronounced forechest and well sprung, oval ribs. Back is straight and strong. Loin is short, deep and well muscled. Croup is broad, of medium length and only slightly sloping. Underline of a mature Rottweiler has a slight tuck-up. Males must have two normal testicles properly descended into the scrotum. Disqualification – Unilateral cryptorchid or cryptorchid males. Tail – The set of the tail is more important than its length. Properly set, it gives an impression of elongation of the topline; carried slightly above horizontal when the dog is excited or moving. Docked, the tail is short, close to the body leaving one or two tail vertebrae. Undocked, the tail is carried straight or
Page 2 of 3
upward curved and may hang at rest. Faults – Tails with kinks, strong lateral deviation, or ringtails. Forequarters: Shoulder blade is long and well laid back. Upper arm equal in length to shoulder blade, set so elbows are well under body. Distance from withers to elbow and elbow to ground is equal. Legs are strongly developed with straight, heavy bone, not set close together. Pasterns are strong, springy and almost perpendicular to the ground. Feet are round, compact with well arched toes, turning neither in nor out. Pads are thick and hard. Nails short, strong and black. Dewclaws may be removed. Hindquarters: Angulation of hindquarters balances that of forequarters. Upper thigh is fairly long, very broad and well muscled. Stifle joint is well turned. Lower thigh is long, broad and powerful, with extensive muscling leading into a strong hock joint. Rear pasterns are nearly perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, hind legs are straight, strong and wide enough apart to fit with a properly built body. Feet are somewhat longer than the front feet, turning neither in nor out, equally compact with well arched toes. Pads are thick and hard. Nails short, strong, and black. Dewclaws must be removed. Coat : Outer coat is straight, coarse, dense, of medium length and lying flat. Undercoat should be present on neck and thighs, but the amount is influenced by climatic conditions. Undercoat should not show through outer coat. The coat is shortest on head, ears and legs, longest on breeching. The Rottweiler is to be exhibited in the natural condition with no trimming. Fault – Wavy coat. Serious Faults – Open, excessively short, or curly coat; total lack of undercoat; any trimming that alters the length of the natural coat. Disqualification – Long coat. Color : Always black with rust to mahogany markings. The demarcation between black and rust is to be clearly defined. The markings should be located as follows: a spot over each eye; on cheeks; as a strip around each side of muzzle, but not on the bridge of the nose; on throat; triangular mark on both sides of prosternum; on forelegs from carpus downward to the toes; on inside of rear legs showing down the front of the stifle and broadening out to front of rear legs from hock to toes, but not completely eliminating black from rear of pasterns; under tail; black penciling on toes. The undercoat is gray, tan, or black. Quantity and location of rust markings is important and should not exceed ten percent of body color. Serious Faults – Straw-colored, excessive, insufficient or sooty markings; rust marking other than described above; white marking any place on dog (a few rust or white hairs do not constitute a marking). Disqualifications – Any base color other than black; absence of all markings. Gait : The Rottweiler is a trotter. His movement should be balanced, harmonious, sure, powerful and unhindered, with strong forereach and a powerful rear drive. The motion is effortless, efficient, and ground-covering. Front and rear legs are thrown neither in nor out, as the imprint of hind feet should touch that of forefeet. In a trot the forequarters and hindquarters are mutually coordinated while the back remains level, firm and relatively motionless. As speed increases the legs will converge under body towards a center line. Temperament : The Rottweiler is basically a calm, confident and courageous dog with a self assured aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships. A Rottweiler is self-confident and responds quietly and with a wait-and-see attitude to influences in his environment. He has an inherent desire to protect home and family, and is an intelligent dog of extreme hardness and adaptability with a strong willingness to work, making him especially suited as a companion, guardian and general all-purpose dog. The behavior of the Rottweiler in
Page 3 of 3
the show ring should be controlled, willing and adaptable, trained to submit to examination of mouth, testicles, etc. An aloof or reserved dog should not be penalized, as this reflects the accepted character of the breed. An aggressive or belligerent attitude towards other dogs should not be faulted. A judge shall excuse from the ring any shy Rottweiler. A dog shall be judged fundamentally shy if, refusing to stand for examination, it shrinks away from the judge. A dog that in the opinion of the judge menaces or threatens him/her, or exhibits any sign that it may not be safely approached or examined by the judge in the normal manner, shall be excused from the ring. A dog that in the opinion of the judge attacks any person in the ring shall be disqualified. Summary : Faults – The foregoing is a description of the ideal Rottweiler. Any structural fault that detracts from the above described working dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation. Disqualifications : Entropion, ectropion. Overshot, undershot (when incisors do not touch or mesh); wry mouth; two or more missing teeth. Unilateral cryptorchid or cryptorchid males Long coat. Any base color other than black; absence of all markings. A dog that in the opinion of the judge attacks any person in the ring.
Approved May 10, 2022 Effective August 8, 2022
ROTTWEILERS History & Heritage
by Joan Klem (Rodsden Rottweilers, Reg.) & suzan guynn (Cammcastle Rottweilers)
I n the introduction to her 1984 book, The Complete Rottwei- ler, Ms. Muriel Freeman shares an ancient Plutarchian anecdote about a 5th Century B.C. Athenian gen- eral called Alcibiades who paid a fortune for a very handsome dog only to muti- late it for his own notoriety and political diversion. She poignantly wrote, “Man’s mentality has changed little in 2,500 years. There are still those who will pay an enormous price for a dog and then, either deliberately through guile or accidentally through ignorance, pro- ceed to pervert the nature of the ani- mal it took so very many generations to develop and for which they paid so high a price”—a fitting lead-in for her larger effort to impart “an appreciation of the Rottweiler’s great heritage, a desire to preserve that heritage and the knowl- edge necessary to pass it on to future generations.” Ms. Freeman’s prophetic illustration serves well as a siren to those who count themselves as true guardians of today’s Rottweiler and his remarkable story. Perhaps the most senior living guard- ian of the Rottweiler heritage is AKC and International Rottweiler Judge Joan Klem (see her included bio). She and her niece, AKC and International Judge Susan Rademacher, co-authored the 1996 book, The Rottweiler Experience, an extraordinary chronology of Rott- weiler heritage and lore. The following breed history is reproduced in portions from this researched publication. In the BegInnIng We surmise that the Rottweiler descends from one of the “work horses” of antiquity. When the Romans spread into Europe around 74 AD, they brought along the Molosser dogs —those formi- dable proto-Mastiffs which fought in the coliseums and then accompanied their masters over the Alps, herding and guarding the livestock. As sites of
civilization arose along the legions’ roads, so did various types of dogs. One road led to an army encampment on the Neckar River in what was to become the state of Swabia in southern Germany. This camp flourished as a trading cen- ter and was eventually called Rottweil (Rote Wil, after its red-tiled roofs). Here, a remarkable breed of dog developed which eventually became known as the Rottweiler. An often-repeated story in “Rott- weiler lore” holds that the butchers of medieval Rottweil depended on their dogs to assist with business. These butchers’ dogs, or Metzgerhunds, were first used to help the butchers herd cattle to market; then, after the cattle were slaughtered, the dogs pulled the butchers’ carts. Finally, when the meat was sold, the purses were tied around the dogs’ necks to keep the money from bandits or perhaps from any butchers who might spend too much time in the beer hall! This favorite yarn illustrates that the Rottweiler developed as a drover, draft dog and guard dog and that with these purposes came the necessary traits of endurance, strength, loyalty and above all, intelligence. Such a versatile dog kept busy in the manner described until about the mid-19th century, when rail- roads replaced droving for getting live- stock to market. And using dogs as draft animals was ultimately outlawed (due in part to abuses). Our helpmate, the Rottweiler, then fell on hard times as his customary jobs were being eliminated thanks to industrial progress. If instincts, or shall we say talents, are not used, will they be lost? Apparently not, at least in the case of the Rottweiler. More than a cen- tury after herding ceased to be a part of the Rottweiler’s professional rep- ertoire, American Rottweiler fanciers petitioned the American Kennel Club to allow the Rottweiler to compete in
AKC herding events based not only on the breed’s herding heritage, but pri- marily on documented proof in modern herding trials that the instinct remains strong in the breed. In 1994, the Ameri- can Kennel Club made the Rottweiler one of the rare exceptions to its rules and allowed a designated breed in the Working Group, the Rottweiler, to com- pete in herding trials usually restrict- ed to the designated breeds in the Herding Group. Herding ability didn’t save the breed in the late 1800s. Those traits mentioned previously—endurance, strength, loyalty and intelligence, were found to fit the requirements needed for guard dogs, and the Rottweiler’s talents were put to new uses with the police and military. With suitability for those tasks, the more modern Rottweiler was developed. The Rottweiler we recognize today really began with the formation of the first Rottweiler Club in Germany. We need to remember that the early Rott- weiler cubs were organized by practi- cal, hard-working tradesmen whose goal was to develop a similarly practi- cal, hard-working dog that would be fit to serve them in their livelihoods. Initially, function was stressed above everything else. The first Standard for the breed was written by the first club—a combined club for the Rottweiler and the Leon- berger in 1901. The Leonberger is a large, long-coated breed developed in Leonberg, Germany. The characteristic heavy mane in male Leonbergers is sup- posed to give the dog a lion-like appear- ance and reflect the city’s name. The Leonberger is also probably descended from Roman dogs, making them Swa- bian cousins of the Rottweiler. The first Rottweiler Standard was not too different from our present-day Standard. Where the original Stan- dard radically departs from its current
t4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& / 07&.#&3
With a name and a Standard, the Rottweiler could compete in dog shows, and an interesting story is told of a par- ticularly fine specimen that was exhib- ited at the Heidelberg Kennel Club in 1905. So admired was this dog that fan- ciers determined to establish a system- atic approach to reproducing this dog’s exceptional qualities. Because our mod- ern lines descend from the breedings following the Heidelberg show, one could say, perhaps, that Heidelberg is the true birthplace of our modern Rott- weiler.The name Heidelberger, howev- er, just doesn’t roll off the tongue nearly as well as the name Rottweiler! The Rottweiler-Leonberger Club, founded in 1899, had a short duration. It was followed by the German Rottwei- ler Club in 1907, and then by a South German Rottweiler Club in the same year. These two clubs were followed by an International Rottweiler Club, which absorbed the South German Rottweiler Club at about the time that another South German Rottweiler Club was formed in 1919. All these clubs kept stud books, which likely occasioned a great deal of confusion within the Fan- cy. However, the goal of all the clubs was similar—to locate dogs that were of “Rottweiler type,” and concentrate on them to establish a Standard of perfec- tion to be aimed for in selective breed- ing based on ideals for appearance and performance. For the Rottweiler breed there remained only the necessity of establishing one strong club that could be entrusted with the responsibility of progressing and improving the breed. This one club had to be invested with a discipline that gave it control over breeding and registration and the estab- lishment of breeding rules for the pro- tection and preservation of the breed. Enter the Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub (ADRK) in 1921, whose motto became “The Breeding of Rottweilers is the Breeding of Working Dog.” Following negotiations in 1920, the Rottweiler clubs that existed in Ger- many all united into the ADRK with reg- istrations of about 3,000 Rottweilers. This change was an incredible accom- plishment, especially when one appre- ciates that the various stud books were kept through a World War and that the ADRK began its life at a time when Ger- many was suffering horrible inflation and the after-effects of losing a long and devastating conflict.
The early stud books are full of amus- ing entries, not the least of which are the dogs’ names. Imagine having to write Laskar v.d. Politzeidirektion on every dog show entry! There apparently were no limits to the number of letters that could be used in a dog’s name. A short name that appeared quite frequently was “Stumper” (pronounced Schtoom- per), which no doubt refers to the dog’s short, or stumpy tail. The first Standard mentioned that dogs can be born with naturally short tails, although most “are not.” Today, we rarely hear of a litter with “stumpers,” but our experience has been that the short tail is still long enough to require docking to meet the current Standard. In 1924, the ADRK published its breed Standard along with its first stud book. In introducing the Standard, the ADRK wrote: The Rottweiler is an excellent police, protection, companion and guard dog. We try to achieve a power- ful dog (literally: bursting with energy!) of square build, with beautiful red and yellow markings, who is noble as well The dog shows high intelligence, excellent faithfulness, willingness to work, obedience and incorruptibility, as well as great power and stamina. The first look at him reveals naturalness and courage. His quiet gaze expresses good nature and unchangeable faith- fulness. The gaze does not show any restlessness, hastiness or foolishness. Meanness or falseness are never among his properties. Here then was the “basic” Rott- weiler, not all that different nearly ninety years ago from the Rottweiler of today. (Note: Under its strict Breed Warden system, the ADRK would nev- er have come to waver from its devel- opment of the Rottweiler as a docked breed but for the imposed and unin- vited ban on docking and cropping, as the docked tail of the Rottweiler was and continues to be an essential breed characteristic.) In the late 1920s, the ADRK was busy refining the Rottweiler while keeping the policy of “performance first, beauty second” well in mind. Membership in the club had increased to 312 members by 1930. Little did these as powerful in appearance. And the generAl descrIptIon stAted
counterpart is that colors other than black were allowed as a base. The 1901 Standard stated regarding color: “Pref- erably and most commonly black with russet or yellowish markings over the eyes, at the lips, and on the inner and under side of the legs as well as on the bottom. Alternatively, black stripes on an ash-gray background with yellow markings, plain red with black nose, or dark wolf-gray with black head and sad- dle, but always with yellow markings. White markings on the chest and legs occur very frequently and are admis- sible if they are not too extensive.” The Rottweiler would have been a truly colorful breed had the early fan- ciers not decided that while allowing the registrations of Rottweilers of many colors, they would primarily breed only from those with our present day black and mahogany pattern (one wonders if this chosen pattern has anything to do with black and brown being the state colors of Swabia). So ingrained is this popular color scheme that in the fifty years we have been involved with Rott- weilers, we have never seen any pure- bred Rottweiler in any other color. In fact, our current Standard states that any base color other than black is a dis- qualification. In discussing this with fel- low fanciers in Germany, we were told that there have been no colors other than the black with mahogany appear- ing in over 100 generations in the Ger- man stud books. While the success in eliminating strange base colors is recognized, the mention of white markings in the 1901 Standard is interesting because we still see white hairs in dogs being bred today. This venerable genetic marker is a reminder that the Rottweiler is related to other descendants of Roman cattle dogs, the Swiss Sennenhunds. The most popular member of this family in the United States is the Bernese Mountain Dog, but the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is probably more closely related to the Rottweiler.
4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& / 07&.#&3 t
dedicated fanciers realize that when three of their members emigrated to the United States in 1928, the history and for- tunes of the Rottweiler breed would be forever changed... Otto Denny, Fred Kolb and August Knecht all settled on the East Coast of the United States. Denny’s bitch, Zilly v.d. Steinlach, whelped a litter in 1930, but because the breed was not yet rec- ognized by the American Kennel Club, the litter was registered in Germany with the ADRK. It is interesting that an American-born litter was allowed to be registered by the ADRK. It is good to remember that throughout the breed’s infancy in the United States and, in fact, through what we feel was the “Golden Age of Rottweilers,” the ADRK and its fellow European fanciers were a source of invaluable guidance for American enthusiasts. The first Rottweiler registered by the AKC was Stina vom Felsenmeer, owned by August Knecht, in 1931. The AKC apparently had confidence in the ADRK as it allowed Stina and her contempo- raries to be registered four years before adopting a breed Standard in 1935. On January 26th, 1931, Stina whelped the first litter of Rottweilers registered by the AKC. This litter was also registered with the ADRK... The first Rottweiler to be published as having earned an Obedience degree was Gero v. Rabenhorst. Gero earned his Companion Dog (CD) degree in 1939, his Companion Dog Excellent (CDX) degree in 1940 and his Utility Dog (DD) title in 1941. It is especially appropriate that the first titles award- ed to a Rottweiler were working titles because, even today, more Rottweilers earn working titles each year than earn championships. Ours is still a breed of function! By the mid and late 1940s, Rottwei- lers were found across the country. Our family, of course, is most familiar with the early dogs of the Midwest. In 1945, Perrin G. (Pat) Rademacher (the late brother of Author Joan Klem) acquired his first Rottweiler, August der Grosse, from a first-generation breeding. In looking for a bitch to be bred to August der Gross, Pat brought home (along with two bitches, a male Erwin,) a splendid example of the breed at that time (who) had an indomitable character. A favorite family story tells how Erwin and some members of the
Rademacher family were visiting a sta- ble when a stallion broke out of his stall and came charging down the aisle of the barn straight for the family. Erwin stood his ground, and the horse veered off into a stall just yards before reaching the startled people. You could say that, but for Erwin, you wouldn’t be reading this [book] for one of the authors was a startled, small child in that horse’s path. If we hadn’t understood what indomi- table spirit meant before this incident, we did afterward. There were impressive imports to follow, and their contribution to the American Rottweiler gene pool illustrat- ed how close we still were to the bosom of the ADRK. But the 1950s were a tran- sitional period, as American dogs with American kennel names were begin- ning to gain notice. Along with Town- view, Panamint, Srigo and Rodsden, we include “von Stahl.” The von Stahl list of champions included Ch. Gerhardt von Stahl. Gerhardt, the twentieth AKC champion, would have been famous if for no other reason than he was the first Rottweiler champion owned by Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Freeman and was the beginning of Freeger Rottweilers. The late Muriel Freeman, a foremost AKC breeder-judge and our first American Rottweiler Club delegate to the AKC, was a vital force in the breed since the early 60s. She tried, perhaps harder than anyone, to educate American fan- ciers on the responsibilities of owning and breeding a dog that the Germans had so carefully developed. We feel that the years between 1960-1980 were the Golden Age of Rottweilers. So what defines a Golden Age? To begin, it was a period in which outstanding dogs made their appear- ance, a time of many “firsts” for the breed and an era of tremendous opti- mism about the future of the breed. All this against the backdrop of the establishment and growth of American Rottweiler clubs. Without the American clubs, the “firsts” would not have been possible. The first American club, organized
under the AKC, was the Rottweiler Club of America—an ambitious name for a club mostly on the West Coast that lasted from 1948 to the late 1960s and which really predates the Golden Age. One notable accomplishment was that using the name made it impos- sible for any later National club to use the same name! More importantly, it held the first AKC-sanctioned matches in 1948-49 and the first Rottweiler Spe- cialty in conjunction with the Oakland Kennel Club in 1950. The first Golden Age American Rottweiler club was the Colonial Rottweiler Club (CRC), formed in 1956 with a membership on the East Coast, primarily centered in the Philadelphia area. Within the framework of the Spe- cialty clubs and their members, the Golden Age saw the importation of dogs whose influence on the breed dur- ing that era was undeniable. One such dog was Int. Ch. Harras vom Sofien- busch, SchH I, Bundessieger. In 1963, Rodsden Kennels (kennel of author Joan Klem), through the help of ADRK Head Breed Warden Friedrich Berger, imported Harras. “The great dog,” as he was being called with some fondness by the Germans, was almost seven years old and beyond his prime, but was still being trotted around to German shows on exhibition. Harras should be remem- bered as one of the truly great Rottwei- ler phenotypes. There were many, many notable dogs (that arrived in the United States during this period): Harras, Dux (Ch. Dux v. Hungerbuhl, SchH I), Falco (Ch. Falco V.H. Brabantpark) and Eppo (Ch. Eppo vd Keizerslanden, CDX, BH, Canadian CD) whose achievements, descendents, and owners defined (the Rottweiler experience) during the Golden Age. As we have learned, it was the ADRK in Germany that developed, nurtured and wrote the first “modern” Standard for the Rottweiler. You might call it the original parent club. Through wisdom and discipline, a marvelous working dog was developed for the world to enjoy.— The Rottweiler Experience
t4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& / 07&.#&3
rottweIler hIstory todAy In the MAkIng While on countless fronts the world has become a battle for “mindshare” (a corporate term referring to the use of every available avenue for obtaining a space in one’s mind) the dog world has moved accordingly, rendering with this age a tug of war between those who as true guardians strive to respect and protect the Rottweiler heritage given to us by the ADRK in the 1920s (and preceding generations)—and those who demand “choice” as it relates to conventional or convenient standard modifications and not so differently as that accomplished in the indulgent spirit of self as demonstrated by the Athenian general in the ancient Greek story. It is a battle between “rights” and “responsi- bilities,” with internet and online chats having “gone live” with Rottweiler history in the making as commentary, debate, and reflection salt and divide the once unified spirit of the Rottweiler fancy. Dedicated breeders and exhibi- tors have raised thousands to protect and defend the standard in face of efforts by a small few in political seats who seek to revoke the Rottweiler’s status as a docked breed. The major- ity continue to lovingly showcase the breed not only in conformation, but in performance and working events, parades, therapy, and carting, among others, while simultaneously push- ing back against detractors and oppo- nents who seek to target the Rottweiler and undermine the heritage through regulatory, anti-dog, and breed spe- cific legislation. It is a significant and challenging period in the history of the Rottweiler. In their co-authored work, Joan Klem and Susan Rademacher cite the historical essence of the Rottweiler spirit as described by Hans Korn (1939 Rottweiler Expert and author of Der Rottweiler ): “a dog with unfailing good humor... with willingness to forget unpleasant events”—or, alternatively, in the words of Herr Pienkoss (former ADRK President and Founder of the IFR, International Foundation of Rott- weilerfriends) as he notes the breed’s “refinement”: “Refinement implies in the dog, descent from forbearers which rose above the average in form and working performance. A dog with refinement is also one which is beauti- ful, noble and proud looking. Size is not
the main feature of the refined dog, but beautiful, clear outlines and a harmoni- ously proportioned body. Refinement does not express itself only in the form, but also in posture and character. Tem- perament without pushiness, courage without wildness, friendliness with a touch of reserve.” Heritage boasts an intrinsic value based on a promise and a tradition transferred across successive genera- tions. It does not automatically confer value, but it creates the necessary foun- dations to do so. One can not adopt a shortsighted perspective on the Rott- weiler’s history. His heritage is not only what sets him apart from others; it is his essence and his splendor, fitting for this generation and the next—to be guarded by those who appreciate the breed’s proud lineage. ABout the Authors Suzan Guynn, Cammcastle Rottweilers Suzan Guynn,
Rodsden “A” litter, out of Astrid of Rodsden, a gift from her brother Pat on her graduation from Northwestern University School of Speech. She per- sonally trained and competed in con- formation, obedience and tracking with her dogs. She shared the love of the Rottweiler with her husband, Dick Klem, who served as Medallion Rott- weiler Club (MRC) President in 1962. Their three sons were raised with Rott- weilers, and her granddaughter Chan- dra earned MRC Best Junior Handler, followed by her great granddaughter Brianna winning BJH in 2008, and her granddaughter, Jacalyn Joan win- ning BJH in 2011! She co-owned the registered ken- nel name “Rodsden” with her brother Pat (MRC President 1961) and does so currently with his daughter, AKC Judge Susan Rademacher. She has co-authored five books on the breed with Pat and Susan; the first in 1964, “How to Raise and Train a Rottwei- ler” and the last, “The Rottweiler Handbook” in 2001. She has written, produced and narrated two videos on the breed. “Let’s Talk about Rott- weilers” won the 1990 Dog Writers Association of America Prize for the Best Video, Education/Entertainment as presented to her at Westminster KC show. As an AKC/lnternational Judge, she has judged the Rottweiler in 16 countries. A Charter Member of the MRC, she served as President for 12 years, Trea- surer and Director; Public Education Coordinator, Judges Education Chair and President of the MRC Schutzhund Verein for five years. She served as Spe- cialty Chair for the first Independent and the “Rottweiler Super Bowl” Spe- cialty and many in between. She was the fourth President of the IFR and Coordinator of the 1997 Conference held in Wheaton, IL sponsored by the ARC and MRC, and she was a Charter Member of ARC, MRC’s founding del- egate to ARC, first Treasurer, Director, ARC Education Coordinator and Head Presenter and ARC nominee for AKC Lifetime Achievement Award. She was chosen to judge Best in Specialty Show at the 50th Anniversary of the Medal- lion Rottweiler Club. She indicates that there has hardly been a day in the last fifty years that she and her family have not thought about the breed and the MRC.
operating under the AKC regis- tered kennel name Cammcastle, has been breeding and exhibiting Rottwei-
lers for over 25 years. Cammcastle has bred and/or owned over 75 AKC Rott- weiler champions including multiple top ten dogs and bitches, multiple Best in Show winners, multiple Best in Spe- cialty Show winners, three American Rottweiler Club Top Twenty winners, and a nationally ranked #2 Work- ing Group Rottweiler. Suzan credits her dogs’ successes to the diverse and exceptional people owned by these dogs, people who routinely dedicate themselves to their dogs’ health, train- ing and general well-being—and who enthusiastically participate in oppor- tunities to showcase the results. More- over, she credits her husband Doug for his patience with and support of this ever demanding avocation—and her children, for not only the walks, baths and mock Rottweiler shows they con- duct with their friends, but the many positive baseball and soccer sideline encounters they have facilitated for Cammcastle puppies. Joan Klem, Rodsden Rottweilers Joan Klem registered her first lit- ter of Rottweilers in 1949 from the
4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& / 07&.#&3 t
Judging the RottweileR By Suzan Guynn Cammcastle Rottweilers I t is a delight to write this article for both aspiring and experi- enced AKC judges; there are many well respected, long time breeder/judges from whom I have sought counsel and per-
spective—and through their wisdom, experience and invaluable mentoring, I have provided the following perspective regarding the judging of the AKC Rott- weiler. Evaluating Rottweilers is a pleasure and a passion, whether it be sitting ringside in a camp chair, catalog and pen in hand or it be as an honorary judge presiding in an o ffi cial capacity at an AKC Rottweiler specialty show. Drinking in the sight and feel of a sea of Rottweilers, particularly at a breeders’ showcase event such as a special- ty, is a peak experience, a unique pleasure and a memorable honor. I had an English teacher long ago who posed the question: “Which came first: language or meaning?” Initially, the answer seemed obvious. Surely meaning necessitat- ed words which in turn were used to express and create pictures, thereby forming images in the minds of others. Th e question reared its head again in my mind when I consid- ered our century-old Rottweiler Breed stan- dard, inspired by the breed’s rich heritage passed to us in the 1920s by the ADRK and preceding generations, (see “Rottweiler History and Heritage”, co-authored with Joan Klem, ShowSight Magazine , March 2012). Th at image of the ideal Rottweiler is very nearly the same today in our AKC Rottweiler Standard. Th e AKC Rottweiler Standard assigns the language and conceptual boundaries to create a consensus, a collective mind- share if you will, of what the AKC Rott- weiler is, in all of his essence and in all of his splendor—a mental image borne of and realized through decades of dedicated and attentive breeding—and to be recognized and acknowledged by any AKC judge
may be referenced on the AKC website at: http://www.akc.org/breeds/rottweiler/ breed_standard.cfm. Our good fortune is that the AKC Rottweiler Standard is well-written and comprehensive—and for our benefit, adequately and constructively addresses the whole Rottweiler including his temperament, his appearance, his gait and his appendages. Neck is powerful, well-muscled, moderately long, slightly arched and without loose skin. (Multi BISS ARC Select Ch. Cammcastle’s Quantum LeapYear, “Launa”) The Negotiables, Definitives & Deal Breakers Th e language of the AKC standard con- structs and reveals the Rottweiler through three characterizing mechanisms. Th ese I will refer to as the “negotiables” (ranges), the “definitives” (factuals or absolutes) and the “deal breakers” (disqualifying faults). Much like the diagramming of a complete sentence reveals at least two parts to com- municate a complete idea (a subject and a verb), the AKC Rottweiler standard is made up of these three parts and together, they merge to create the complete, intended and ideal image of the Rottweiler whose mean- ing inspired the language of his standard. Negotiables: Th ese are ranges and typically within the standard present as acceptable variations: examples include size in both dogs and bitches, depth and sub- stance of the neck and body, strength of legs and pasterns, density of undercoat and
who, as part of that mindshare, knows and a ffi rms the image created by those words and embodied in so many outstanding Rottweilers (from the standard): “...A large, robust and powerful dog, black with clearly defined markings… his compact and substantial build denotes strength, agility and endurance… expres- sion is noble and alert… tail docked short close to body… is a trotter... motion is e ff ortless, e ffi cient and ground-covering… calm, confident and courageous...” The Standard IS We have an important job as Rottweiler judges in the AKC show ring, as our adher- ence to the AKC standard is critical. Th e AKC Rottweiler Standard is more than a simple map; it is the book of business for our task as judges. It is not interactive; it is not an evolving handbook of best practices or political trends; and it is not a document that we as judges are entitled to rewrite. It simply “IS” and that which it “IS” is nearly a century old, representing decades of gen- erations bred unto the ideal image of the Rottweiler it promotes. Our task as AKC judges is finite: to select the exhibit before us that best represents the image of an ideal Rottweiler as presented by our AKC stan- dard. Space does not permit the attachment of the standard to this article; however, it Movement should be balanced... with strong forereach and powerful rear drive. (BIS Ch. Cammcastle’s Hollywood First Lady, “Reagan”)
t4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& + 6/&
someone can find a fault doesn’t mean he can find the best Rottweiler. Th ere is a certain grace that accompanies an earnest e ff ort to look for a Rottweiler’s virtues— and it does change energy between judges and exhibitors in a positive way. Whether you judge for virtues or not, you may hear ringside editorials about how inconsistent you are on a given day. Sometimes it is sim- ply not possible to be consistent because the dogs are all so di ff erent and as we know, judging is sometimes complex. Further, to seek to be consistent simply for the sake of others’ evaluation of you as a judge not only turns your thoughts away from the exhibits (and inappropriately inward to yourself), but well may preclude you from coura- geously pointing to a deserving exhibit (in accordance with the AKC Standard) that you feel is exceptional due to its virtues. I recall nearly 30 years ago, our national breed club hosted Ms. Joan Blackmore from the United Kingdom to adjudicate the national specialty. She awarded Winners Bitch to a bitch with one missing tooth. She acknowledged her decision that day by pro- claiming that in her mind’s eye the virtues of her winner far exceeded those of any oth- er entry, missing tooth or no missing tooth! I noted the accomplished track record of her breeding program and concluded (for a lifetime) her position on that day to be far more credible than that of those expressing sideline rancor and incredulity. Balance: Th e AKC Rottweiler Stan- dard describes the Rottweiler’s most desir- able proportion of height to length to be 9 to 10. A Rottweiler can meet this ratio and be very handsome standing still, but he can only be spectacular when on the move. His carriage and the manner with which he commands himself as he covers ground tells more about the dog than a dozen hands on examinations. Although the AKC requires the physical exam of every exhibit, the truth is that much can be told on the structure of the Rottweiler by how his structure computes to motion. A dog built harmoniously moves harmoni- ously. Th e topline should remain strong and level while the dog moves e ff ortlessly, his legs moving straight and strong, his feet converging to a single track as his speed increases. Th e reach and drive are
This puppy already show promise of harmonious balance on the move.
quantity of rust markings. In addition, these are sometimes characteristics which while acceptable, are not preferred and are therefore classified as “serious faults”: examples include one missing tooth, yellow eyes and curly coat, among others. De fi nitives: Th ese are aspects of the breed standard presented without a ff ord- ing negotiation or implied range. Th ey are finite, factual and characterized by definitive adjectives and verbs: exam- ples include “nails short and strong, tail docked short close to body and rear dews must be removed”. Deal Breakers: Th ese are the disquali- fying faults that render the Rottweiler ineligible for competition under the AKC standard: examples include long coat, overshot and ectropion, among others. Th ose aspects of the standard written as negotiables are intended to be just that, given measurements or size falling within the parameters provided. Th e language, however, of the definitives is presumed to be intentional, as no range or option to fault is provided. Th erefore, while a 22 inch female Rottweiler meets accordance with the AKC standard, a 22 inch female with rear dewclaws does not. She is not in accordance with the standard. A discus- sion on whether she could reasonably have one dewclaw rather than two on each rear
leg is moot. Th e standard clearly indicates that the dews in the rear are removed. And so it goes with the tail which is also conspicuously addressed within the AKC standard. Th e standard’s language is clear and definitive, “tail docked short close to body”; a parallel conversation about how an undocked tail should be carried is equally moot. In judging and seeking constructive ways to assimilate the stan- dard, a comprehensive grasp of these three characterizing mechanisms of our AKC Rottweiler standard (negotiables, definitives and deal breakers) is critical in preparing us for the challenges we as AKC judges will face in today’s show ring. Th e language of the standard is intentional and telling and we as judges can educate each other and inquiring exhibitors by demonstrating this broader, intellectual regard for the standard—and its lan- guage—as entrusted to us. Judging Rottweilers to the AKC Standard—Here Comes the Fun! Start with your mindset: Rottwei- lers are beautiful creatures. Th ey deserve a judge who can assess virtues ahead of faults (all of course within the framework of the AKC standard). Just because someone can fault a dog does not mean it is not the best dog on the mat. As well, just because
t4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& + 6/&
simpatico, executed in parallel motion gen- erated by balanced angulation of the front and rear assembly. I once heard respected Breeder/Judge Joan Klem humorously remark that when she saw this fusion of perfection in a dog before she had con- ducted its individual exam, she would pray ahead of the exam that it would have all 42 of its teeth! If you see a dog that appears to be moving rapidly but covering little ground or a dog that appears to cross over, rear feet to front feet, you are observing the results of incorrect structure and balance. Breed Type: As important as balance is to the Rottweiler, so too does Breed type matter. It is the essence of the Rottweiler and serves to upper case the ideal image presented by the AKC standard. Breed type is the embodiment of those charac- teristics that most make a Rottweiler look like a Rottweiler. For example, while some may assert that the Rottweiler is not a head breed, a strong or pleasantly pronounced head is undeniably one of the hallmarks of
the breed and most certainly of a beautiful Rottweiler. Dark eyes and substantial bone are also characteristics of type that breed- ers strive to produce. Occasionally, ringside criticism is o ff ered of exhibits that boast of type: “ Th at dog is overdone.” An exhibit’s head may appear extreme or its bone may appear to be more substantial than other entries. Be cautious not to overly penalize such a dog if the excess type does not occur at the expense of balance and harmony of movement; it may be a superior dog. And sometimes it is the superior Rottweiler that looks like no other in the ring. And some- times, given the alternatives, one might be wise to select “overdone” before he would lean toward “underdone”. Some of us who breed can point to times when “overdone” is the best breeding solution for “under- done”! Uniquely beautiful breed type in combination with correct balance and har- monious movement is not always common and when it appears it can be so remarkably inconsistent with what else is exhibited on
a given day, that only a seasoned judge or breeder would recognize the quality rather than penalizing it for standing out as too di ff erent from the others. More common, we find ourselves facing exhibits that boast various combinations of balance and breed type— and we have to be mindful of the image the AKC standard presents as the ideal Rott- weiler, finding the exhibit that best presents that image. Sometimes it is so beautiful that a judge might forgive something in its struc- ture, while in much the same way, another judge may forgive a dog somewhat lacking in type but with exceptionally beautiful proportions and balance. On these days, there is never more truth in the saying that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder! Incidentally: Th e following are a few incidentals for you to consider as you embark upon judging Rottweilers: Plan a ring procedure that will allow you to observe adequately the movement of your exhibits. Rottweilers need room and are easier to judge in open spacious rings. Always remember that much like a par- ent who brings to the teacher his best in the way of his child, your exhibitors often bring you their best with pride and antici- pation. Exhibitor dignity is paramount and short of misconduct on his/her part, the exhibitor should be a ff orded always the courtesy of kindness and patience. One misconception in the AKC ring is that a bigger dog is a better dog; in the AKC Rottweiler Standard, the structure , pro- portion and balance, standing and moving, are more important than size, as long as the size meets the range guidelines presented in the standard for his/her gender. When counting teeth, be sure you look under the handler’s fingers. You should count 42, 22 on the bottom (two canines, six incisors, eight premolars and six molars) and 20 on the top (two canines, six inci- sors, eight premolars and four molars). On the down and back, have the dog stop facing you and if its front is turned away from you, walk around the dog to see it (and you can enjoy the view of the dog’s freely stacked rear this way also). Th is is your opportunity to view the dog’s front
Rottweiler: calm, confident and courageous. (Multi BIS/Multi BISS GCH Cammcastle’s Friar Tuck, “Tux”)
Rottweiler: a large, robust and powerful dog. (Multi BIS/Multi BISS Grand Ch. Cammcastle’s Kore Elements ATTS, CGC, “Karbon”)
Breed type are characteristics that make a Rottweiler look most like a Rottweiler. (Multi BISS Ch. Cammcastle’s London Calling, “London”)
t4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& + 6/&
able to support and explain our decisions. For the purposes of breeder-exhibitors, this can be essential; as a breeder myself, I find it helpful to understand what the judge sees even if it’s less painful not to know. Conclusion My English teacher also taught that although meaning came first, language is power. It is the power to persuade, to explain and to define. Th rough its charac- terizing negotiables, definitives and deal- breakers, the AKC Rottweiler Standard language provides for us as AKC judges that image of the ideal Rottweiler against which our exhibits are evaluated and select- ed. Even through time, Rottweiler heritage has prevailed in the AKC Standard and the ideal has not changed. Popular for its enduring depiction of the refinement of the Rottweiler, the language written by ADRK President Herr Pienkoss echoes: “beautiful, noble and proud looking. Size is not the main feature of the refined dog, but beau- tiful, clear outlines and a harmoniously proportioned body. Refinement does not express itself only in the form, but also in posture and character. Temperament with- out pushiness, courage without wildness, friendliness with a touch of reserve.” Enjoy judging the Rottweiler and by all means, embrace the ideal Rotteiler image as con- templated by our AKC Rottweiler Stan- dard, demonstrating regard and respect for its lovingly tailored language and the powerful implications found there for the Rottweiler, his heritage and for us, as his stewards. If God created the remarkable souls of our Rottweilers—and within each of us souls to admire them so deeply—then surely they are heaven bound creatures. Th erefore, to be surrounded by their earth- ly forms in an AKC ring is a divine privi- lege to be honored.
The AKC Standard represents decades of generations bred unto the image of the Rottweiler it promotes. (Multi BISS ARC Select Ch. Cammcastle’s X Equals One v QR, “Trig”)
0otion is eIIortless, eIficient and ground covering. (Multi Breed Winning Ch. Cammcastle’s Valentino v QR, “Vinnie”)
and rear assembly in his/her natural stance with no hand stacking. Be patient with a young Rottweiler. Th ere is a fine line between a condition of shyness (as penalized by the AKC Rottweiler Standard) and simple inex- perience. If a puppy seems malleable but is not showing the bite easily, move the puppy and try again. Dogs do associate location with stress and sometimes sim- ply moving him to another spot on the mat can make a di ff erence. Don’t assume that you won’t occa- sionally award a Rottweiler you feel is mediocre; sometimes this is true of the best one entered. Worthwhile Considerations Sometimes it’s tough to remember that bitches should be judged against bitches and dogs against dogs. As judged against others of his gender, the breed winner should be better than the Best of Oppo- site Sex winner judged against others of her gender—and vice versa. In other words, if the dog (male) is a better dog (male) than the bitch is a bitch, then he is the Breed winner; however, if the bitch is a better bitch than the dog is a dog, then the bitch is Best of Breed.
Resist e ff orts by exhibitors and adver- tisers to have you ignore—or worse, by your actions, rewrite—the AKC Rott- weiler Standard. I once witnessed an exhibitor, donning an armband, enter the Rottweiler ring to show a pot bellied pig! While this action was conducted in good humor, it serves as a reminder that we as AKC judges cannot control the deci- sions exhibitors make about what they will enter and bring to the ring. Whether the entry is parody by farm animal or an orchestrated e ff ort to challenge us to treat the standard (and ultimately the image of the AKC Rottweiler) as an evolution- ary idiom (an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements) , the final author- ity on the integrity with which the AKC Rottweiler standard is adjudicated stops with us. Breeders and exhibitors rely upon us to a ffi rm through our actions the writ- ten standard and the image of the ideal Rottweiler it is intended to promote. Judging the breed amounts to o ff er- ing exhibitors our opinion by way of our actions. An inquiring Rottweiler exhibitor deserves to understand the judge’s opinion, regardless of whether he (the exhibitor) agrees with it. And we as judges should be
“Resist effoRts by exhibitoRs and adveRtiseRs to have you ignoRe—oR woRse, by youR actions, RewRite—the aKc RottweileR standaRd.”
t4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& + 6/&Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81
Powered by FlippingBook