Showsight Presents The Rottweiler

ROTTWEILER Q&A

“The ranking does not really concern me, whether it be one or 50, as long as readers remain conscientious about what they’re breeding, and do the right thing when it comes to bringing new owners and breeders into the breed. As long as we do what is ethical and right for the long-term care and placement of the Rottweiler, higher rankings do not concern me.”

What is the biggest misconception about my breed? I think the biggest misconception is the Rottweiler’s temperament. They defi- nitely are not for everyone, not for a first time dog owner. If an owner doesn’t train or mistrains, the results can be disas- trous. Rottweilers take a dedicated, oftentimes stubborn, owner. Does the average person recognize my breed? People absolutely recognize the breed. This often results in crossing the street to avoid them. Either that or some have to tell you all about their brother’s 180 pound Rottweiler. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? I evaluate puppies at as close to eight weeks as possible. Their struc- ture is pretty much what it will be as an adult. Toplines, angulation, forechest, shoulders, etc., don’t change. What is the most important thing about my breed for a new judge to keep in mind? Judges should keep in mind “form follows function,” for any breed. My best memory (or two): My first Rottweiler was in 1998. She was also my first show dog. It took us awhile, but I finished her myself, after being told that is wasn’t possible. Second best memory: Showing my fifth Rottweiler (along with a breeder’s assistance) to his Grand Champion title. Is there anything else I’d like to share about my breed? I believe that this breed can do anything! I am prejudiced, but have had oth- er breeds and as much as I loved them, they were not as versatile as the Rottweilers continue to be. My Grand Champion also has his RN, FDC, AD, CGC and RATS. The last one is a Barn Hunt Senior title. He’s working on his Barn Hunt Master title now. JEFF SHAVER I had Rottweilers since

right for the long-term care and placement of the Rottweiler, higher rankings do not concern me. Can I speak to masculinity and femininity in the Rottweiler? Follow the breed standard. There are no differentiations in the stan- dard for males and females other than suggested heights. Dogs are not to appear feminine or females overly doggy, but structurally the Rottweiler should be the same whether male or female. That holds true for characteristics such as head type as well. There may be “less” of a female, but in proportion to size there should be no difference between her male counterpart. How much emphasis should be placed on head characteristics? While head type is certainly important in the breed, this is not a “head” breed. The Rottweiler was never intended to work on its head. The emphasis on head structure has become more important in the last three to four decades. While it is true that the standard has a very detailed section on the Rottweiler head, it is important to realize that that includes lots of parts such as eye color, deten- tion and mouth pigment. The overall structure and type of the dog, including the head, is what is important, not just the head. What is the biggest misconception about the Rottweiler? I have noticed that many people believe the Rottweiler is a giant or even large breed guard dog. The breed is actually a medium to large dog that should be athletic in appearance. It is important to remember the original function of the breed if you really want to understand what the breed should look like and act like. The dog should be able to be a worker of cattle as well as a draft dog. It is an all-around athletic dog. Does the average person on the street recognize the breed? Sad- ly, I think that the average person pictures the Rottweiler more as it was portrayed in the movie Th e Omen . Most do not realize the diverse capabilities of the dog or the type of person needed to suc- cessfully own one. What special challenges do breeders face in our current econom- ic and social climate? Costs and economics. Purchasing, training, and raising a Rottweiler is an expensive endeavor. Many today want the cheapest dog they can find and, sadly, usually end up with that quality. Many want to own the breed but simply cannot afford to do it justice economically, in my opinion. At what age do I start to see definite signs of show-worthiness? It really does depend on the different lines that one might find within the breed. Some can show definite potential at an earlier age, say six months, while many do not reach full maturity in looks until two or older. What is the most important thing about the breed for a new judge to keep in mind? I’ve said it many times before but, in my opinion, overall balance is most important. You must look at the entire dog, not just bits and pieces. The dog should be striking from a distance and carry itself when moving in such a manner that you know he could continue that movement for miles in various athletic endeavors. What’s the best way to attract newcomers to my breed and to the sport? There is only one really successful way to attract and

1984. I’ve competed in obedi- ence earning Utility level titles as well as bred or co-bred mul- tiple champions. My passion in the breed at the present time is tracking. I am licensed to judge all levels of tracking competi- tion and have judged in over 30 of the states in this country. I live in Stagecoach, Texas, on 50 acres with two horses and

nine Rottweilers as well as a Brussels Griffon. I am currently vice president of the American Rottweiler Club and have been a past three term president. Outside of dogs, I enjoy gardening and horses as well as music. The ranking does not really concern me, whether it be one or 50, as long as readers remain conscientious about what they’re breed- ing, and do the right thing when it comes to bringing new owners and breeders into the breed. As long as we do what is ethical and

SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, MAY 2020 | 181

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