Showsight Presents The Rottweiler

THE ROTTWEILER GESTALT

ROUGH & READY The Rottweiler should not exude ele- gance or refinement. We are a rough and ready, working farm dog, cattle drover, predator aware, stranger questioning, child- loving, handler compliant, cart pulling, no-nonsense type of dog. We are called the “Noble Breed” for a reason—the Rottweiler doesn’t have to make a show of being pres- ent because he is better, smarter, and stron- ger than the others around him. The Rott- weiler is dignified, circumspect, and keeps close council. While Rottweilers are known for silliness and pranks with their families, they are never— never —to come across as stupid. Quiet confidence is the preferred mode. They should always appear as if they

are thinking—because they are. ATTENTIVE AND OBEDIENT

If an entry is making a big show with barking, lunging, spinning, or outward bel- ligerence, please excuse it. The Rottweiler is not to display behaviors that speak of inse- curity, being stimulated over its threshold or outright aggression towards humans (even if it’s displaced). The Rottweiler is attentive to his handler and obedient to direction, unless threatened. GROUND-COVERING AND EFFICIENT Difficulty in discerning correctness pres- ents itself when the Rottweiler moves. There are two common errors; 1.) being taken in by flashy movement or, 2.) a dog that is too long and elegant. “Flashy” movement refers to movement that is eye-catching and heart-quickening. These are usually dogs

that are straight in their front and rear angulation, causing the front legs to reach up rather than out from the shoulder, and the rear legs to cycle quickly underneath. This gives a lot of motion and it looks exciting—but it doesn’t cover ground efficiently, all the while burning a lot of energy while going nowhere. It’s understandable how thrill- ing it is to watch; after all, it’s a dog show, and it is showy! Crowds may love it, but it is, unfortunately, incorrect. There is no argument that smooth, elegant movement is awe-inspiring. Watching a beautiful Afghan or Setter go around the ring can cause you to catch your breath. Elegant movement usually equates to a longer back, and the Rottweiler standard specifically calls for a short, strong back. When presented with a graceful-moving dog, check yourself. Is everything else there as well? Is the back short? Are the body proportions correct and is the dog almost square? Are the rear feet reaching to the midline of the back, but not crossing over or to the side? Is the rear angulation harmonious with the front? Ground-covering, efficient movement (correct) can easily be confused with elegant movement (incorrect). STRONG, THICK, AND GROUNDED When you do see a dog that is straight in the front, you might also have a dog lacking in chest depth and width. Without shoulder layback, the dog is often narrow and shallow. This is a dog that will tire quickly, both from burning more energy to cover ground and from insufficient room for the heart and lungs. Speaking of narrow, our breed must have bone strength. Without it, the Rottweiler becomes weak-looking and spindly. We are strong, thick, and grounded. Weedy, spindly dogs are not to be awarded. MODERATE AND NOBLE The Rottweiler is moderate in head type. We are not short-muzzled like Bullmas- tiffs or Boxers. The Rottweiler must be able to breathe freely, without labor. The head is smooth all around, without excessive wrinkling, dewlaps, or open flews. Too large an ear or too high or low an ear set can make a Rottweiler look houndy, and frankly, clownish. (See photo left—demeanor and appearance is “Noble.”)

Outstanding example of beautiful, dark, almond- shaped eyes, black pigment in mouth, full dentition, deep mahogany color with appropriately sized and defined markings, with powerful bone, stance, and substance. Photo by Jill Wagner.

282 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JULY 2021

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