Showsight Presents The Rottweiler


When I am judging Rottweilers, I first look for these five things: (1.) Overall balance with females being feminine and males being masculine and a level topline and easy movement on a loose lead. (2.) A typey head. Again, the females and males must look like their sex; I want to know if it is a dog or bitch JUST from their heads. Of course a dark eye, dark mouth, large, white teeth and clearly defined mahogany markings and good feet. (3.) Nice movement with a strong and level topline and shown on a loose lead. (4.) Sound coming and going… again on a loose lead. (5.) No excessive skin nor sloppy flews and no trimming, other than whiskers and the underline, if desired. I also look for good feet, as this breed is a Working dog and should be able to herd cattle or sheep or ducks for hours on end, and they originally did so through the Alps. The breed should, without question, have a solid and con- fident temperament. They do not have to jump in your lap on examination; however, they must not threaten a human—ever. The ultimate trademark of the breed is their medium size, being slightly longer than tall in proportion and clearly defined markings and a docked tail. 2. What shortcomings are you most willing to forgive? What faults do you find hard to overlook? I think the breed is lacking in consistency in head type and their top lines leave a lot to be desired. I find it hard to overlook a poor topline and eyes that are not dark in color. 3. How has the breed changed since you became involved with it? Do you see any trends you think are moving the breed in the wrong direction? Any traits becoming exaggerated? The breed has become a lot less aggressive towards oth- ers of their sex. It used to be quite difficult to get a lineup of males in the Specialty ring without a bit of grumbling and challenging going on. I believe that the breed is becoming too over-angulated in their rears and straight in their shoulder assembly. This is quite showy; however, it is also incorrect as far as balanced front and rears. This breed is a Working breed and their original purpose was to help the Romans herd cattle over the Alps. They had to go for miles and miles up and down the mountain with- out tiring. While this over angulation is impressive in the show ring, it is incorrect. 4. How do you feel about undocked tails? The Rottweiler is a docked breed. 5. Why do we mostly see dogs (as opposed to bitches) in the top ranked Rottweilers? Well, dogs are very impressive. Many judges overlook a great bitch to the more massive male. I love a good bitch and will award one BOB in a heartbeat if she has the qualities that I mentioned earlier. We need great bitches to produce great Rottweilers. Males are able to produce an amazing number of puppies, especially with frozen semen… and bitches are limited in their

productive years. We do not breed them until they are over 2 years of age, as we require many health clearances and these cannot be obtained until that age. So, your great bitches need to make a choice, show in the ring for a while and then retire to the whelping box to produce our next generations. It’s very hard for a bitch to be rec- ognized as they are so much more feminine and beautiful than an impressive male 6. Is there anything Rottweiler handlers do you wish they would not? The handlers are too hard on their Rotties. I do not understand why they think they should pull and man- handle the breed. They are intelligent and with a little bit of training, they will do anything to please their master. There was no way I could make a killer whale jump 30 feet in the air; however, if he felt it was his idea, then it was really easy. I feel that all animals need to be respected and trained with positive operant condition- ing. It’s quite easy to see the handlers who take the time to work with their clients’ dogs as it is a thing of beauty. This is where the owner-handler has the advantage, as they can take the time to really train these dogs from mere puppies to all the different venues this breed can and will do. They are not for the meek or mild, as the dogs are so smart, if you are not thinking on their level or one step ahead, they will run the roost. I have watched Rottweilers herd children in their homes, gently—and definitely—putting the child where the dog wants he or she to be. 7. Name a dog not currently being shown that exempli- fies your ideal type. It’s very hard to do this one without including Ch. Von Riddle’s Starman, RE, CGC, TDI (bred by Karen and Harold Riddle, Jr.). I also loved his grand-father, Ch. Keerocka’s Topaz and Ch. Keerocka’s El Nino von Ponca, CD, “Stormy”, Starman’s dam, Ch. Keerocka’s Entertainer and Ch. Keerocka’s Gone With the Wind, Keerocka dogs were bred by Julie Miller, Ch. Ironwood’s Cade, CD and Ch. Gamegard’s Image de Femme and Ch. Gamegard’s

Ch von riddle’s Starman, re, CGC, tDI, “Starman” (Photo by C.L. rawlings)

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