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Roman Rottweiler

Information and Pictures

Front view - A black and tan Roman Rottweiler is sitting against a chainlink fence in grass. Its mouth is open and tongue is hanging out the right side of its mouth.

Photo courtesy of Colossal Rottweilers

Other Names

Roman Utility Molosser

Pronunciation

RO-muhn RAHT-wy-lur

Description

The Roman Rottweiler is generally the same as a standard Rottweiler, only more mastiff-like/flock guardian-type in appearance and temperament. It has a large to very large noble, impressive, heavy, robust, massive, powerful body. The head is broad, heavy and strong with some wrinkling. The skull is broad and large, with a broad back skull. The stop is deep and well defined. The muzzle is broad, full and square. Lips are well-developed, thick, with moderate to large flews, and pendulous lower lips. Teeth should form a scissor bite. Eyes are almond shaped, deep set, expressive, well apart and dark. Ears are pendant, triangular, carried forward and set well apart. Ear leather is thick and fur is soft. The nose is wide and black, unless a color other than the base color of black, then the nose color is the base color, like red coat, red nose or blue coat, blue nose. Mouth is dark in color. 42 teeth. Teeth are large and strong. The neck is powerful, well-muscled, moderately arched, with a dewlap. The chest is broad and deep, having a well-pronounced fore-chest with well-sprung oval ribs. Hindquarters are powerful and muscular. Front feet are compact and well arched. The tail may be docked leaving one or two vertebrae or left natural; if left natural it is curled over the back when excited or moving. Dewclaws may be cut; back dewclaws/double dewclaws are common at birth. Coat is thick and ranges from smooth to plush; it may be long but is not desired. A thick, plush coat is desired for a Rottie working as a flock guardian. The coat color is black/tan, black/rust, black/dark rust, black/mahogany and can also come in red/tan, blue/tan or black; other colors are accepted in the Roman Rottweiler but not desirable. Gait: the Rottie is a trotter with a strong forereach and powerful rear drive. It effortlessly covers the ground.

The very first Rottweilers came in a variety of colors of brindle, gray, yellow and black, yellow and tan, and of course what we still see today, very rarely the red and tan; black and tan Rottweilers were the rarest colors of them all. The yellow and tan dogs were the most common. White markings on the face, chest and feet were seen; today’s Rottweiler will often whelp litters with white markings that usually fade with time, although some do keep the white. In the first Rottweiler, standard brindle was an acceptable color.

Temperament

What is a Roman Rottweiler and what’s the difference between it and the standard Rottweiler? The Roman Rottweiler is a re-creation of the original Rottweiler, a mastiff-like Rottweiler who crossed the Alps herding and guarding cattle as well as fighting in wars with the Romans. It is a larger dog than the standard Rottweiler, which is shorter. The Roman Rottweiler is to the Tibetan Mastiff as the standard Rottweiler is to the Australian Shepherd. Calm, confident, trainable, athletic, courageous, protective, reliable and devoted, it has a reliable temperament. Firm and careful training is essential for this breed, otherwise you may end up with a very powerful and overly aggressive dog. Yet it can, with proper handling, also be a loyal, loving and very rewarding companion. These dogs require owners who can handle their massive size. The Rottie is a natural guard dog with a mellow temperament. It is highly intelligent and has proven its worth beyond question in police, military and customs work over many centuries. Because of its size, training should begin fairly young—while the dog is still small. This breed needs a lot of leadership, companionship and socialization to be truly happy. The objective in training this dog is to achieve pack leader status. It is a natural instinct for a dog to have an order in its pack. When we humans live with dogs, we become their pack. The entire pack cooperates under a single leader. Lines are clearly defined. You and all other humans MUST be higher up in the order than the dog. That is the only way your relationship can be a success. When the Rottweiler receives consistent leadership and is trained, it will be a good playmate for children. It will accept cats, other dogs and other household pets as long as the dog has been socialized well and have owners who assert their authority over the dog. Friends and relatives of the family are normally enthusiastically welcomed. Strangers from whom the dog senses bad intentions can get no further than the sidewalk. The breed does well in competitive obedience, Schutzhund and tracking.

Height, Weight

Males:
Height: at least 26 ½ inches (67 cm) Weight: at least 120 pounds (54 kg)
26 1/2 inches - 27 inches (67 - 69 cm) - small
27 1/2 inches (70 cm) -  medium
28 - 29 inches (72 - 74 cm) - large
30 inches + (76 cm) - extra-large

Females:
Height: at least 24 ½ inches (63 cm) Weight: at least 80 pounds (36 kg)
24 1/2 - 25 inches (63 - 65 kg) - small
25 1/2 - 26 inches (65 - 67 cm) - medium
27 - 28 inches (69 - 71 cm) - large
29 inches + (74 cm) - (extra-large)

Health Problems

This breed is susceptible to ACL damage. Prone to hip dysplasia. Tends to snore and overeat. Also prone to entropion (narrowing of the slit between the eyelids).

Living Conditions

The Roman Rottweiler will do okay in an apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. These dogs are relatively inactive indoors and a small yard will be sufficient.

Exercise

The Roman Rottweiler needs plenty of exercise. You can't give these robust dogs too much work or exercise; they thrive on it. They need to be taken on a daily walk or jog. Running in the woods and in open country makes them very happy and they have no desire to wander from you. Swimming or running beside a bicycle are perfect activities for these dogs and they also love retrieving a ball.

Life Expectancy

About 10-12 years

Litter Size

About 10 to 12 puppies

Grooming

The smooth, glossy coat is easy to groom. Brush with a firm bristle brush and bathe only when necessary. Plush coats are also easy to take care of and use a slicker brush; long coats need a bit more attention depending on coat length and thickness. This breed is an average shedder.

Origin

The Roman Rottweiler is in a sense an oversized Rottweiler, which is truer to the original dogs that existed hundreds of years ago. There are a handful of breeders who breed this type of Rottweiler. One breeder, by the name of Emily Tiscarenio from Colossal Rottweilers, was successful in getting the type recognized with the Academic Kennel Records under the name Roman Rottweiler. This re-creation of the original Rottweiler is a descent from the Tibetan Mastiff and possibly Italian mastiff. These ancient Roman ancestors were inbreeding with local shepherd dogs and fighting dogs. The first time they appeared in writing was 74 A.D. The Romans used this mountain dog during the Middle Ages to herd and protect cattle for Roman soldiers crossing the Alps. It had to be big enough to protect and move the cattle that fed the Roman legions and strong and rugged enough physically and mentally in the harsh mountain terrain. It had to be intelligent, willing to work, and have a strong guarding instinct. These dogs were brought to Europe with the Roman invaders’ legions. Their closest relatives are the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog and the Bernese Mountain Dog, and it is quite possible that the Boxer is related. When the Romans left their cattle with the escort dogs (Rottweilers) settled in Germany due to impassable roads and marshlands, this is when the Germans got a hold to a few specimens of the breed. These areas became Roman territory. One territory was Rottweil, built in 74 A.D. When in Rottweil they had to herd the cattle, guard the cattle, keep order in the herd, tame the bulls, get the mean vicious bulls to move, and guard his master and his master’s property including his money bag which he tied around his Rottweiler’s neck, these were no easy tasks. After the Germans acquired the Rottweiler they began to breed it down in size and so was the end of the Roman Rottweiler. Even back then there was great controversy between the small Rottweiler and the big Rottweiler so much as to have fist fights over the matter. The Germans wanted a shorter Rottweiler to better its herding ability. When moving a bull the dog bit the legs until the bull moved. They wanted it shorter so the bites did not destroy the meat quality higher up in the legs. Shorter dogs bit lower on the legs. When taming a bull, the bull had a harder time attacking and injuring the smaller dog so they purposely selected runty dogs in their breeding program. There were others who wanted to preserve the original Rottweiler and this large dog’s powerfulness, guarding abilities, transportation and big-game hunting abilities.

Group

Mastiff, Flock Guardian

Recognition

AKR = Academic Kennel Records

CKC = Continental Kennel Club

DRA = Dog Registry of America, Inc.

IRUMR = International Roman Utility Molosser Registry

A Roman Rottweiler and a Roman Rottweiler puppy are laying face to face on a hardwood floor.

An Adult Roman Rottie with a puppy—Photo courtesy of Colossal Rottweilers

The left side of a black and tan Roman Rottweiler that is standing on patchy grass and it is looking to the left.

"Amiri" Riesig's Black Roman Shield the performance class Roman Rottweiler at 2 years old. Photo courtesy of Colossal Rottweilers

Left Profile - A black and tan Roman Rottweiler is standing in dirt and it is looking to the left.

Purple Dog von Riesig the performance class Roman Rottweiler at 1 year old. Photo courtesy of Colossal Rottweilers

Right Profile - A black and tan Roman Rottweiler is standing in dirt under a tree and it is looking to the right.

Radio Flyer von Riesig the performance class Roman Rottweiler at 2 years old. Photo courtesy of Colossal Rottweilers

Left Profile - A black and tan Roman Rottweiler is standing in dirt and it is looking to the left. There is a blue dumpster behind the dog and a red truck in the distance.

Elway the performance class Roman Rottweiler at 4 years old. Photo courtesy of Colossal Rottweilers

Close up head shot - A black and tan Roman Rottweiler is sitting in dirt and it is looking forward. Its mouth is open and its tongue is out. It is wearing a thick black leather collar and there is a red truck behind it.

Bausto the performance class Roman Rottweiler at 4 years old. Photo courtesy of Colossal Rottweilers

Close up head and upper body shot - A black and tan Roman Rottweiler is standing on a dirt surface and it is looking forward. Its mouth is open, its tongue is out and it looks like it is smiling. There is a wooden table and dog carrying crates on the ground behind it.

Gunnar the draught class Roman Rottweiler at 8 years old. Photo courtesy of Colossal Rottweilers

Close up head shot - A black and tan Roman Rottweiler is sitting in dirt and it is looking forward. Its head is slightly tilted to the left. It is wearing a thick black leather collar.

Mrs. Furs the draught class Roman Rottweiler at 4 years old. Photo courtesy of Colossal Rottweilers

Front view - A black and tan Roman Rottweiler is walking up a dirt surface. Its head is level with its body and it is looking forward. Its mouth is open and tongue is out.

Akira von Riesig the draught class Roman Rottweiler at 2 years old. Photo courtesy of Colossal Rottweilers

Front view - A black and tan Roman Rottweiler is standing on a dirt surface and it is looking forward. Its mouth is open and its tongue is out.

Marilyn von Riesigthe performance class Roman Rottweiler at 8 months old. Photo courtesy of Colossal Rottweilers

A black and tan Roman Rottweiler is standing on a dirt surface and it is looking forward. Its leash is attached to a tree that is behind it. Its mouth is open and its tongue is out.

Natashathe performance class Roman Rottweiler at 1 year old. Photo courtesy of Colossal Rottweilers

Close up - A black and tan Roman Rottweiler is sitting on a porch and it is looking forward. Behind it is a person in a red shirt.

P3 Demoliton Derby von Riesigthe performance class Roman Rottweiler. Photo courtesy of Colossal Rottweilers

Close up - A wet black and tan Roman Rottweiler is sitting in front of a chain link fence. Its mouth is open, its tongue is out and it looks like it is smiling.

An adult Roman Rottweiler with its coat all wet—Photo courtesy of Colossal Rottweilers

Front view - A black and tan Roman Rottweiler is standing on patchy grass and it is looking up. Its mouth is open and tongue is out.

Photo courtesy of Colossal Rottweilers

Close up head shot - A black and tan Roman Rottweiler is sitting in grass and it is looking forward. Its mouth is open and its tongue is out.

Photo courtesy of Colossal Rottweilers

The left side of a black and tan Roman Rottweiler that is sitting in grass and it is looking to the left.

Photo courtesy of Colossal Rottweilers

Front view - A black and tan Roman Rottweiler is standing in dirt and behind it is a chain link fence with cacti in front of it. It is looking forward, its mouth is open and its tongue is out.

Photo courtesy of Colossal Rottweilers

Front side view - A black and tan Roman Rottweiler is standing in dirt and it is looking to the left. It is panting and on the other side of the chain link fence is another Roman Rottweiler that is also panting.

Photo courtesy of Colossal Rottweilers

The left side of a black and tan Roman Rottweiler is standing in dirt and it is looking to the left. Its mouth is open and its tongue is out. There is a chain link fence and a green garden hose behind it.

Photo courtesy of Colossal Rottweilers

Front view - A black and tan Roman Rottweiler is standing on a dirt surface and it is looking forward. Its mouth is open and its tongue is hanging out the right side of its mouth.

Photo courtesy of Colossal Rottweilers