Canadian Rottweiler Breed Standard*
Note: The CKC Rottweiler Standard changed as of January 1st, 2006,
full dentition and tails.
5. 7 Cervical Verterbrae (neck)
6. 8 Dorsal Verterbrae (withers)
7. 5 Dorsal Verterbrae (back)
8. 7 Lumbar Verterbrae (Loin)
9. 8 Sacral Verterbrae (Croup)
10. Tail - 3 to 26 Verterbrae
11. Pelvic Bone (hip)
12. Femur or Upper Thigh
13. Stifle or Knee Joint
14. Patella or Knee Cap
17. Hock Joint or heel
18. Hock or Metatarsus
19. Toes or Phalanges
20. Ribs (13 Pairs)
21. Sternum or Breastbone
22. Pastern or Metacarpals
25. Humerus - Upper Foreleg
26. Shoulder Joint
27. Scapula or Shoulder Blade
Origin and Purpose:
The Rottweiler was developed from the dogs used by the Roman legions
to herd and guard the cattle brought by them to feed their legions. The
butchers of Rottweil, Germany, developed the dogs to drive cattle to
market and to protect their money bags which were tied around the dogs'
necks. It was an arduous task to drive the cattle and a strong dog with
staying power, full of self will and physical strength was needed. In the
beginning of the 20th century these dogs were found particularly well
suited as a police dog, a function they still fulfill especially in
The ideal Rottweiler is an above medium-sized, robust, and powerful
dog, black with clearly defined rich tan markings. His compact build
denotes great strength, agility, and endurance. Males are
characteristically larger, heavier boned and more masculine in
The Rottweiler should possess a fearless expression with a
self-assured aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and
indiscriminate friendships. He has a strong willingness to work. In
examining a Rottweiler, one should bear in mind that this dog reacts with
alertness to his master and his surroundings, and in performing his
function in life, the Rottweiler is not expected to submit to excessive
handling by strangers. However, the judge shall dismiss from the ring any
shy or vicious Rottweiler. A dog shall be judged fundamentally shy if,
refusing to stand for examination it shrinks away from the judge; If it
fears an unexpected approach from the rear; if it shies at sudden or
unusual noises to a marked degree. A dog that attacks or attempts to
attack, without provocation, either the judge, or its handler is
definitely vicious. An aggressive or belligerent attitude towards other
dogs shall not be deemed viciousness.
Dogs 24 - 27 in. (60 -68 cm). Bitches 22 - 25 in. (55-63 cm).
Proportion should always be considered rather than height alone. The
length of the body, from the breastbone (sternum) to the rear of edge of
the pelvis (ischium) is slightly longer than the height of the dog at the
withers, the most desirable proportion being as 10 to 9. Depth of the
chest should be fifty per cent of the height.
Coat and Colour:
Outer coat is straight, coarse, dense, medium length, lying flat.
Undercoat must be present on neck and thighs. The Rottweiler should be
exhibited in a natural condition without trimming, except to remove
whiskers, if desired. The colour is always black with rich tan or
mahogany markings. The borderline between the black and the colour should
be clearly defined. The markings should be located as follows: a spot
over each eye; on cheeks; as a strip around each side of the muzzle, but
not on the bridge of the nose; on throat; a proportionate triangular mark
on either side of the breastbone not to exceed 25 per cent of the
forechest; on forelegs from carpus downward to toes; on inside of the
rear legs showing down the front of the stifle and broadening out to
front of rear legs from hock to toes but not eliminating the black from
the back of the legs; under tail. Black penciling markings of the toes.
The undercoat is gray or black. Quantity and location of markings are
important. Insufficient or excessive markings should be penalized.
Of medium length, broad between the ears; forehead line seen in
profile is moderately arched. The length of the muzzle should not exceed
the distance between the stop and the occiput. The skull is preferred
dry; however, some wrinkling may occur when the dog is alert. The bridge
of the muzzle is straight. The muzzle is broad at the base with slight
tapering towards the tip but not snipey. The nose is broad rather than
round, with black nostrils. The lips are always black with the corners
tightly closed. The flews should not be to pronounced. The inner mouth
pigment is dark. A pink mouth is to be penalized. The teeth are 42 in
number (20 upper and 22 lower). They are strong and should be correctly
placed meeting in a scissors bite- lower incisors touching inside the
upper incisors. Eyes should be of medium size, moderately deep set,
almond shaped with well-fitting lids. The iris should be of uniform
colour, from medium to dark brown, the darker shade always preferred.
Ears should be pendant, proportionately small, triangular in shape, set
well apart and placed on the skull so as to make it appear broader when
the dog is alert. The ear should terminate at approximately mid-cheek
level. When correctly held, the inner edge will lie tightly against the
Powerful, well muscled, moderately long with slight arch and without
The shoulder blade should be long and well laid back at a 45-degree
angle. The elbows are tight and under the body. The distance from the
withers to the elbow and the elbow to the ground is equal. The legs are
strongly developed with straight, heavy bone. They are not set close
together. The pasterns are strong, springy and almost perpendicular to
the ground. Feet are round, compact with well arched toes, turning
neither in nor out. Pads are thick and hard. Nails are short, strong and
black. Dewclaws may be removed.
The topline is firm and level, extending in a straight line from the
withers to the croup. The brisket should be deep, reaching to the elbow.
The ribs are well sprung. The loins short, deep, and well muscled. The
flank should not be tucked up. The croup is broad, of medium length and
The angulation of the hindquarters balances that of the forequarters.
The slope of the pelvis from the horizontal is between 20-30 degrees. The
bone of the upper thigh is fairly long and the thigh is broad and well
muscled. The stifle joint is moderately angulated. The lower thigh is
long, powerfully muscled leading to a strong hock joint. The metatarsus
is perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, the hind legs are
straight and perpendicular to the ground. The feet are somewhat longer
than the front feet, with well arched toes turning neither in nor out.
Dewclaws must be removed.
The tail is normally carried in a horizontal position giving the
appearance of an elongated topline. It is carried above the horizontal
when the dog is excited. The tail
is normally docked short close to the body, if left in natural condition,
tail is level in extension of the topline; at ease may be hanging. A
kinked tail or ring tail is undesirable. The set of the
tail is more important than length.
The Rottweiler is a trotter; the motion is harmonious, sure, powerful
and unhindered, with a strong fore-reach and a powerful rear drive. Front
and rear legs are not thrown either in or out, as the imprint of the hind
feet should touch that of the forefeet. In a trot, the forequarters and
hindquarters are mutually coordinated while the back remains firm. As
speed increases the legs will converge under the body towards the centre
The foregoing is a description of the ideal Rottweiler. Any
structural fault that detracts from the ideal must be penalized to the
extent of the deviation. Included as faults are: pink mouth, wavy coat,
insufficient markings, undercoat showing through outercoat. Faults
considered serious are: lack of proportion, undersize, oversize, level
bite, yellow eyes, eyes not of same colour, eyes unequal in size or
shape, hairless eyelids, excessively short coat, curly or open coat, lack
of undercoat, white markings any place on dog (a few white hairs do not
constitute a marking), excessive markings, light-coloured markings.
Overshot, undershot or wry bite, any missing tooth, long coat, any
base colour other than black, total absence of markings.