About the Rottweiler

History of the Rottweiler


This article was kindly submitted by John MacDonald

If the history of the Rottweiler is traced, almost all accounts start with the Roman invasion of Germany and the crossing of the Alps by the legions in the first century AD.

It is written that the Rottweiler is likely to have descended from one of the drover dogs native to ancient Rome.  This Roman drover dog has been described by numerous accredited sources as having been of the Molossers-Mastiff-type which seem to have accompanied the armies probably to protect and drive the herds of cattle. In those days the legions required dogs experienced in driving and herding cattle on the move. The character of herding dogs was influenced by the Romans and Julius Caesar in particular. Fresh meat was introduced into soldiers’ rations and this was taken to campaigns ‘on the hoof’. Food rations could not be moved effectively without the controlling influence of dogs to herd and guard the cattle.  

The route of the Roman army was across the Alps terminating in what is now southern Germany. From this point various military roads built by the Romans led down the mountains and each road led to an area which has given a home and a name to a breed of dog.  In the district of the old Imperial city of Rottweil, a former Roman settlement, interbreeding of the drover-guarding breed took place between members of other breeds of dogs stemming from the north.  From this interbreeding came a particular breed of dog whose performance was extremely versatile.  Serviceability was the highest consideration and dogs were bred and kept, selected and eliminated under harsh conditions and strength, endurance and willingness to work were desired far greater than today.

This breed of dog acquired its name from the city of Rottweil which was an important trade centre for grain and livestock. Many butchers were attracted to this significant and accessible area and more dogs were needed to drive the cattle to and from the markets. The Rottweiler became the regular companion and helper of butchers and cattle dealers and came to be called “The Rottweil Butcher’s Dog”. The main task of the Rottweiler became the driving and guarding of herds of cattle and the defence of their masters and their property.

The descendants of the Roman drover dog carried out their trade uninterrupted until the middle of the 19th century when the driving of cattle was prohibited and the railroad and the donkey replaced the dog, depriving the Rottweiler of his principal work. Sadly numbers declined considerably and in 1905 there was only one bitch to be found in Rottweil itself. Due to his good qualities of character and the efforts of his true friends in Rottweil and other areas of Germany, the situation for the Rottweiler took an upward turn and the number of dogs registered in the city again increased.

At the beginning of the 20th century when various breeds were needed for police service, the Rottweiler was amongst those breeds tested and in 1910 the Rottweiler was officially recognised as the fourth police dog breed in Germany.

Cynological records make no further mention of the Rottweiler until 1901 when the International Club for Leonberger and Rottweiler Dogs was formed and the first Rottweiler standard was produced. In the years to follow several clubs were formed: the Deutscher Rottweiler Club (DRK) (1907), the International Rottweiler Club (IRK) in the same year and the South German Rottweiler Club in 1919. Negotiations then followed between the DRK and the IRK resulting in a merger to create the Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub (ADRK) in 1921 and in 1924 unification of these clubs was completed when the third club joined the ADRK.

Since the inception of the ADRK the breed has had the benefit of a single club and through its leadership purposeful breeding programs and regulations have been promoted both in Germany and abroad



This article was kindly submitted by Yvonne Van der Horst.

Records indicate that the first Rottweilers were introduced into Australia in 1962 when Captain Roy Smith, a Veterinary Officer, migrated to Perth, Western Australia, from the United Kingdom and bought with him a dog,  Rintelna The Dragoon and a bitch, Rintelna the Chatelaine.

As a young man Captain Roy Smith served with the British Veterinary Service in Germany, he made the acquaintance of the breed and was so impressed that he took a dog and a bitch with him back to England.

The bitch unfortunately was not purchased through the ADRK and therefore was not registered. The dog was Ajax von Fuhrenkamp, who had considerable influence as a sire in England and through his descendants in Australia.

The Dragoon had been bred to Chatelaine prior to migration to Australia and the litter born in Perth Quarantine on 2nd September 1962. Suitable buyers were not able to be found so all puppies with the exception of one were put to sleep.

The surviving puppy Rintelna the Emperess was sold to Mr de Jonge, a retired Dutch Policeman  living in Adelaide  who was familiar with the Rottweiler breed .

July 13th 1963 saw the birth of three puppies in a a repeat mating of the Dragoon to the Chatelaine. This was the Rintelna "F" litter.

From this litter one puppy was given to the Guide Dog Association and the other two Rintelna the Field Marshall and Rintelna The Fatale went to Mr & Mrs Mummery in Victoria, who  registered them with The Victorian Canine Association in June 1964.

Mr Mummery's Kennel name of Heatherglen followed that of Rintelna in the Chapter of Australian Rottweiler History however had lady luck been on Mr Mummery's side, this chapter of events could have been reversed.

Mr Mummery purchased an adult dog Balthasar of Mallion, after a visit to the Police Dog Training unit in Keston in the United Kingdom. Sadly this dog died of heat exhaustion on board the ship en route to Australia. Zar was due to arrive in Australia in June 1959, some three years before those of Captain Roy Smith.

Captain Roy Smith was transferred to Queensland with his employment in 1964, the first two imports into Australia hence were then also the first Rottweilers in Queensland.

Roy-Smith campaigned the Dragoon in Queensland and he became the first Australian Champion in January 1967.

Rintelna  the "G" litter was born on May 8th 1966.  Captain Roy Smith kept Rintelna the Grenadier and Rintelna the General went to live with the Mr & Mrs Pettengell also of Victoria, who later bred under the now world famous prefix of "Auslese".

Mr Mummery imported Pilgrimsway Loki from the United Kingdom in 1963, Loki was later bred to  Rintelna the Fatale and the first litter born in Victoria was under the Heatherglen Prefix in  December 1965.

Mr de Jonge bred Rintelna the Emperess to Pilgrimsway Loki and the resulting litter was the first born in South Australia on May 2nd 1966 and one dog, Marthleen Balthazar became a Champion in South Australia in 1968 and was the first Rottweiler in Australia to qualify for a CD and later CDX .

In 1964 Mr Mummery then imported a bitch Lenlee Gail also from the United Kingdom. The Loki / Gail combination produced many of the dogs that we were to see in the linage of the dogs from the first twenty years as they produced a number of litters with many good offspring.

Chesara Dark Impression was born on Christmas Day 1966 and was imported into Australia from the United Kingdom by Mr & Mrs Pettengell.  Impression has an enormous influence on the breed and her daughters and grand-daughters became foundation bitch's for some of Australia's outstanding Kennels such as Allerhochst, Anverdons, Brabantsia, Dinperry, Kerusgal and Ormslee, of which Allerhochst and Brabantsia are still in existence today.

Australia encountered a rabies scare in 1971 and an embargo was placed on all imports into Australia. This embargo was lifted  in 1972 and in the the following years from 1972 to 1975 some fifteen Rottweilers were imported into Victoria,  five by Mr & Mrs  Mummery (Attila Ajax , Chesara Dark Nobleman, Chesara Dark Wishful, Baroness Delviento and Adoram Matheson), five by Mr & Mrs Pettengell (Jentris Gloriosa and her iid puppies Auslese Bacchus, Auslese Beaujolais, Auslese Bordeaux  Begum & Auslese Bacchante ,  four by Mrs Biltris ( Korobeit) Attila Bathsheba and her iid puppies , Korobeit Hud, Korobeit Helga and Korobeit Harine  and one by Mrs Gail Terry (Kerusgal) a bitch Black Shiva.

Two further imports went into Victoria when Mr Mummery  imported Chesara Dark Boris in 1976 and Jenny Anver imported Gamesgard Mayhap in 1977.

The next Imports went to Western Australia and were imported by Mr & Mrs Morris, who also immigrated from the UK in 1976. These were a dog Gamegards Zodiac and a bitch Borgvale Sunday Morning.

Mr and Mrs Goedemendt "Brabantsia" also imported their first Rottweiler into Western Australia  in 1976, this was Chesara Dark Rustler, Rustler was followed in 1977 by Guiding Flame & Gilda Debruse, also from the United Kingdom.

1977 saw the first import into New South Wales, this was Jentris Kyrie imported by Mr Seymour-Johns.

There was much excitement when the first German import arrived in Victoria in 1978, this was of course Catja v.d. Flugschneise along with her litter, conceived in the UK,  of Auslese Imogen Rabe, Auslese Iago Rabe, Auslese Idas Rabe and Auslese Isabella Rabe for Mr & Mrs Pettengell. 

Imogen Rabe went to live in South Australia with John Belbin ("Allerhochst") , this being the first import into South Australia and Imogen was followed in 1981 by Vadenza Valhalla for Carlene and Denis Naughton ("Hanahaus").

The first import from the United States arrived into Victoria in 1982 for Pat Hall ("Stromhall"), this was Powderhorns Fetz of Wencrest.

From 1982 onwards saw the stringent regulations governing the importation of dogs and frozen semen into Australia was somewhat  relaxed and over the next few years there was a steady stream of new dogs arriving on a weekly basis from all parts of the world. 

Scrabach the Reaper arrived from Ireland in 1986, Joukonheimo Romulis from Finland in 1987, Lucas vd Contente from Holland in 1994 , Chero mra-zus from Slovakia in 1999 to name a few of those arriving from different countries. 

Formation of Clubs

Rottweiler Club of Victoria - 1971
The first Rottweiler Club was established in Victoria in 1971 by a group of enthusiasts who approached the Mayor of Rotweil (Germany) and obtained permission to use the Town Crest as it's Club Emblem.  Tony Syme was elected as the first President of the Rottweiler Club of Victoria.

Rottweiler Club of South Australia - 1975
The Rottweiler Club of South Australia was inaugurated in 1975 and Mr Murray Montgomerie was elected as the the first President.

Rottweiler Club of New South Wales - 1976
The Rottweiler Club on New South Wales was affiliated by the NSW Canine Association in 1976 and the first president for the Rottweiler Club of New South Wales was Kevin Whatson

Rottweiler Club of Queensland - 1982
Queensland affiliated in 1982 and the first President for Queensland was Graeme Everett.

West Coast Rottweiler Club - 1984
The West Coast Rottweiler Club was formed in 1984 by Keith and Jo Peckham, Rob and Chris Axten and Peter Romney. It was known as The Rottweiler Club of WA. The club held its inaugural show in 1989 and in 1991 the club was incorporated and its name changed to the West Coast Rottweiler Club Inc

Northern Districts Rottweiler Club - 1987
The club held their first meeting on August 29th 1987, Brian McDonald was duly elected as the first President. Shows are held in Newcastle.

The Rottweiler Club of Tasmania - 2016 (Affiliated 2017)
Inaugural Meetings were held early in 2016 and were quickly  followed with a formal application to join Dogs Tas and subsequently upon approval an application to join the NRC(A). The club is welcomed by the NRC(A) and existing member clubs and members as the  7th member club to tuly embellish a National Representation of States and Territories.


Australian National Kennel Council Rottweiler Registrations
1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982
313 488 683 744 902 962 1285 1594
1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990
2073 2751 - 5005 6378 6851 7095 8928
1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998
5965 5666 5935 5314 4659 4527 2830 3594
1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
2430 2288 2111 1858 1839 1505 1337 1341
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
1317 1446 1350 1435 1383 1434 1500 1529
2015 2016            
1716 1722            

Please note, this article is under construction.





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