German Rottweilers: A History
While the German Rottweiler did not become popular in America until the 1990s this breed has a proud and ancient history. The lineage of German Rottweiler can be traced back to the Roman Empire. The Roman ancestor of the German Rottweiler was used to herd cattle and to protect humans as the Roman legions traveled throughout what is now Europe on their many conquests. As they traveled across the Alps into the region of Rottweil, in what is now Germany, these dogs mixed with the native German Rottweiler Metzgerhund (butcher dog). The dog we now know as the German Rottweiler was thus born. Its primary use was as a herding dog to drive cattle to market.
In the 19th century as the railroad became the primary way to transport cattle to market, the German Rottweiler breed experienced a significant decline in numbers. In the early 20th century, the German Rottweiler regained popularity as a police and watch dog. In 1910 the German Rottweiler was officially recognized as a police dog.
As the breed regained popularity in the early 1900s several German Rottweiler clubs were established throughout Germany. In the 1930s, the American Kennel Club (AKC) first recognized German Rottweiler by admitting this breed to the AKC Stud Book. Less popular in American until the 1980s the German Rottweiler has seen a steady rise in popularity. The German Rottweiler has been one of the most registered breeds since the early 1990s.