What were Rottweilers bred for?

What were Rottweilers bred for?

Ever gazed at your Rottweiler with a keen interest on where they actually came from and what they were bred for ?

Well , we at Vom Eisenwacht wanted to investigate the history and lineage of the Rottweiler and go way back to their origins, to give you, dear reader, a researched and extensive  answer so that you could cherish their attributes even more or perhaps realise that they might not be a fit for you... whatever your reason for ending up here, welcome!

These lionhearted black and tan beasts, with the capacity and courage to take on the world for their dog-parent s‘  stories are believed to go way back to 74 AD, descending from the Roman Rover dog.  It is speculated that when the Roman soldiers of the 11th Legion arrived in the Wurtemberg region, they noticed these big, muscular and strong  dogs herding and guarding livestock so efficiently that the soldiers decided to use them for the protection and guarding of themselves as well as their livestock - In my opinion this historical belief and story of Rottweiler’s only confirm why they are simply amazing at protecting and guarding, while being strong and quite athletic ( especially the working dog bloodlines of the Rottweiler’s ).  Rottweiler’s  were even believed to travel over the alps with the Roman soldiers! Which explains why rotties prefer cold over heat- its simply genetic.

The name Rottweiler has two different stories on how the name came to be, the first source claiming that the region they originated from was called Rottweil, leading to the name of Rottweiler. The second story of the origin of the name “ Rottweiler” seems to give a more detailed description, accounting that the exact area where they came from ( in the Wurtemberg region )  had villages with red roof tiles , these villages were  named  in German  “das rote wil” which consequently led to the name of these dogs being “ Rottweiler”. Later in Germany they called them “ Rottweiler Metzgerhund “, meaning Rottweiler butchers’ dogs- but we’ll get to the butcher part in a bit.

At a later stage the Romans then started using Rottweiler’s  for pulling carts and wagons over long and short distances - talk about grit and strength , something still very prominent in a well-bred Rottweiler.  They were very helpful in this job due to their ability to persevere , strength and faithfulness towards  their owners. Butchers then also started using Rottweiler’s for pulling carts and this is where their name evolved in Germany from Rottweiler to Rottweiler Metzgerhund.

Centuries passed and the Rottweiler’s genetics evolved,  but for a brief moment in the breeds timeline they were in danger of becoming extinct, you see they weren’t needed any more for pulling carts and wagons, they were replaced with bigger animals and the railway system.

But that was not the end for this magnificent breed, in the pre-World War l era, there was a increasing demand for policing dogs, which led people back to the Rottweiler. From then, in both World War l as well as World War ll, Rottweiler’s had worked as ambulance dogs, messengers and yet again guard dogs...what a repetition of history itself.


Although Rottweiler’s are some of the oldest surviving dog breeds, their first breed standard was created in 1901and they have only been recognised by the American Kennel Club since 1931-1936 (sources differ on the year of recognition).

Since 74 AD many things changed economically, geographically and culturally...but one thing remains and that would be the fact that Rottweiler’s are simply AMAZING dogs!  So dear reader, we hope you enjoyed our  elaborative answer as promised . You’re welcome to make any comments or ask any questions

What were Rottweilers bred for?

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