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One of the most popular breeds of dogs in both Europe and America has been the Rottweiler. In America, the Rottweiler has been one of the ten most popular breeds of dogs for about twenty years. Part of the reason for their popularity is that they make great guard dogs. They are suspicious of strangers, but loyal and kind to the people and property they are protecting. They are highly trainable, extremely intelligent and look like they can easily rip a burglar's leg off. What's not to love?

In the past, Rottweilers were used as battle dogs, draught animals, and to round up and guard livestock. They have received a lot of press about being attack or guard dogs. Just like the German Shepherd, the trainability and size of the dog, unfortunately, makes for an animal that in the eagerness to please his master will rip somebody's leg off if told to. These are not dogs for first-time dog owners, anyone with health problems or apartment dwellers. They are bold, active dogs that need a lot of interaction with you and a lot of play.

Rottweilers have docked tails for reasons unknown. No source of Rottweiler information has ever come to a consensus on why the docking of tails began. Perhaps it was just to make the dog look fiercer. Perhaps it was because the naturally long tails might get caught up in harnesses (they used to pull wagons). England and Wales have now banned the docking of tails for all pet dogs and hopefully, more countries will follow their lead.

The expression on a Rottweiler's face is in direct contrast to their powerful, tank-like bodies. Their eyes (always brown) look curious and full of wonder. Their ears are floppy, like a Jack Russell's. Some heads are rounder than others, and some are quite blocky with a Boxer-blunt muzzle. In pet quality or show quality Rottweilers, the jaw must be strong and look like it could easily rip off limbs. The jaw is square and the teeth should meet evenly. No overbites or under bites are allowed.

Rottweilers have to be shown with docked tails. According to Rottweiler information, the docked tail "honors the breed's special character". They are chopped off by the breeder and usually not by a veterinarian when the Rottweiler puppies are two or three days old, when the bones are still soft. In England, all Rottweilers born after April 2007 must be shown with natural, long, curving tails, as docking has finally been banned.

Rottweilers are alert, curious and highly trainable. They will eagerly try anything you want them to do, from guard work, catching a tennis ball to acting in movies. When they are not overfed and under-exercised, they are calm characters, as steady as the black and tan rocks they look like. It is important to keep them exercised. A good Rottweiler is a tired Rottweiler. They also are calmer, healthier and less likely to roam or pick a fight with another dog if neutered.

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