Breed Standard


BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY - The Rottweiler is considered to be one of the oldest breeds of dog. Its origin goes back to Roman times. These dogs were kept as herder or driving dogs. They marched over the Alps with the Roman legions, protecting the humans and driving their cattle. In the region of Rottweil, these dogs met and mixed with the native dogs in a natural crossing.

The main task of the Rottweiler now became the driving and guarding of the herds of cattle and the defence of their masters and their property. This breed acquired its name from the old free city of Rottweil, and became known as the "Rottweil butchers dog". The butchers bred this type of dog purely for performance and usefulness. In due course, a first rate watch and driving dog evolved which could be used as a draught dog.
When, at the beginning of the twentieth century, various breeds were needed for police service, the Rottweiler was amongst those tested. It soon became evident that the breed was highly suitable for the tasks set by the police service and therefore they were officially recognised as police dogs in 1910.


Group 6 (Utility)



General Appearance:

The Rottweiler is a medium to large size, stalwart dog, neither heavy nor light and neither leggy or weedy. His correctly proportioned, compact and powerful build leads to the conclusion of great strength, agility and endurance.

Important proportions: The length of the body measured from the point of the sternum (breast-bone) to the ischiatic tuberosity, should not exceed the height at the withers by, at the most, 15%.


Rottweiler breeders aim at a dog of abundant strength, black coated with clearly defined rich tan markings, whose powerful appearance does not lack nobility and which is exceptionally well suited to being a Companion, Service and Working dog.


Behaviour and character. Being good natured, placid in basic disposition and fond of children, he is very devoted, obedient, biddable and eager to work. His appearance is natural and rustic, his behaviour self assured, steady and fearless. He reacts to his surroundings with great alertness.

Head And Skull:

Cranial Region:
Of medium length, the skull broad between the ears. Forehead line moderately arched as seen from the side. Occipital bone well developed without being conspicuous.
Stop: Well defined.

Facial Region:
Nose: Well developed, more broad than round with relatively large nostrils, always black.
Muzzle: The foreface should appear neither elongated nor shortened in relation to the cranial region. Straight nasal bridge, broad at base, moderately tapered.
Lips: Black, close fitting, corner of mouth not visible, gums as dark as possible.
Jaw: Upper and lower jaw strong and broad.
Cheeks: Zygomatic arches pronounced.
Skin: Skin on the head overall is tight fitting. When the dog is alert, the forehead may be slightly wrinkled.


Of medium size, almond shaped, dark brown in colour. Eyelids close fitting.


Medium size, pendant, triangular, wide apart, set on high. With the ears laid forward close to the head, the skull appears to be broadened.


Teeth strong, complete dentition (42 teeth) with scissor bite, the upper incisors closely overlapping the lower incisors.


Strong, of fair length, well muscled, slightly arched, clean, free from throatiness, without dewlap.


Seen from the front, the front legs are straight and not placed too closely to each other. The forearm seen from the side, stands straight and vertical. The slope of the shoulder blade is about 45 degrees to the horizontal.
Shoulders: Well laid back
Upper Arm: Close fitting to the body
Forearm: Strongly developed and muscular
Pasterns: Slightly springy, strong , not steep.


Back: Straight, strong, firm.
Loins: Short, strong and deep
Croup: Broad, of medium length, slightly rounded. Neither flat nor falling away.
Chest: Roomy, broad and deep (approximately 50% of the shoulder height) with well developed fore-chest and well sprung ribs.
Belly: Flanks not tucked up.


Seen from behind, legs straight and not too close together. When standing free, obtuse angles are formed between the dog’s upper thigh and the hip bone, the upper thigh and the lower thigh and the lower thigh and the rear pastern (metartasal).
Upper Thigh: Moderately long, broad and strongly muscled.
Lower Thigh: Long, strong, broadly muscled at top and sinewy.
Hocks: Sturdy, well angulated, not steep.


Front: Round, tight and well arched; pads hard, nails short, black and strong.
Hind: Slightly longer than the front feet. Toes strong and arched, as tight as front feet.


Docked: Docked at the first or second joint. Level in extension of the upper line (topline). At ease may be carried down.
Undocked: In natural condition, level in extension of the upper line (topline). At ease may be carried down (hanging).


The Rottweiler is a trotting dog. In movement the back remains firm and relatively stable. Movement harmonious, steady, full of energy and unrestricted, with good stride.


The coat consists of a top coat and an undercoat. The top coat is of medium length, coarse, dense and flat. The undercoat must not show through the top coat. The hair is a little longer on the hind legs.


Black with clearly defined markings of a rich tan on the cheeks, muzzle, throat, chest and legs, as well as over both eyes and under the base of the tail.


Height at withers for males is 61-68 cm (24-26 * ins)
61-62 cm is small
63-64 cm is medium
65-66 cm is large , correct height
67-68 cm is very large

Weight approximately 50 kg (110lbs)

Height at withers for bitches is 56-63 cm (22-25 ins)
56-57 cm is small
58-59 cm is medium height
60-61 cm is large , correct height
62-63 cm is very large

Weight approximately 42 kg (95 lbs)
(Note: Imperial measurements in brackets are approximate only)


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

General Appearance: Light , weedy, leggy appearance. Light in bone and muscle.
Head: Hound type head. Narrow, light, too short, too long or coarse head. Lack of stop or too little stop.
Foreface: Long or pointed muzzle, split nose, Roman nose (convex nasal bridge) or dished faced (concave nasal bridge); aquiline nose, pale or spotted nose (butterfly nose).
Lips: Pendulous, pink or patchy, corner of the lips visible.
Jaws: Narrow lower jaw
Cheeks: Strongly protruding cheeks
Skin: Wrinkles on head.
Ears: Set on low, heavy, long, slack or turned backwards. Flying ears or ears not carried forward symmetrically.
Eyes: Light, deep set. Too full or round eyes. Loose eyelids (showing haw).
Bite: Pincer bite.
Neck: Too long, thin, lacking muscle. Showing dewlap or throat.
Forequarters: Narrow or crooked front legs. Steep shoulder placement. Loose or out at elbow. To long, too short or too straight in upper arm. Weak or steep pasterns. Splayed feet. Too flat or too arched toes. Deformed toes. Light coloured nails.
Body: Too long, too short or too narrow.
Chest: Flat ribbed or barrel shaped. Too narrow behind.
Back: Too long, weak, sway back or roach back.
Croup: Too sloping, too short, too flat or too long.
Hindquarters: Flat thighs, hocks too close, cow hocks or barrel hocks. Joints with too little or too much angulation. Dewclaws.
Tail: Set on too high or too low.
Coat: Soft, too short or long. Wavy coat, lack of undercoat.
Colour: Markings of incorrect colour, not clearly defined. Markings which are too spread out.

General: Distinct reversal of sexual type, ie. feminine dogs or masculine bitches.
Behaviour: Anxious, shy, cowardly, gun-shy, vicious, excessively suspicious, nervous animals.
Eyes: Entropian, ectropian, yellow eyes, different coloured eyes.
Teeth: Overshot or undershot bite, wry mouth. Missing incisors, canines, premolars or molars.
Tail: In the case of an undocked Rottweiler a kink tail, ring tail or a tail with strong lateral deviation.
Coat Texture: Definitely long or wavy coat.
Coat Colour: Dogs that do not show the typical Rottweiler colouring of black with tan markings. White markings.


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Picture added to show acceptable tail carriage and also incorrect tail carriage

As taken from the ANKC website.

F.C.I. Standard No 147 dated 11th September 1992
Adopted in Australia 1st January 1994
Amended May 2001
Country of Origin: Germany