GERMAN, AMERICAN AND SERBIAN ROTTWEILERS; THE DIFFERENCES UNCOVERED

Grofica Od Dragicevica

We get asked all the time if we have German Rottweiler vs American Rottweiler, let me answer the real question: when you ask are they German or American what you really want to know is does the parents look good and/or will the pup look good?

The answer is yes we have “German” Rottweilers.

Sometimes, finding a quality Rottweiler isn’t as obvious as the picture below.

German Rottweiler vs American Rottweiler
European Rottweiler vs American Rottweiler

Distinguishing between an apple and a berry can be quite simple compared to distinguishing between an apple and an apple. The differences can be discovered only by strict inspections.

What do you see?

When most people look at a black and mahogany large dog they can easily identify the dog as being a Rottweiler.

When a breeder of high quality Rottweilers or a Rottweiler judge looks at the same Rottweiler we can see many faults and imperfections. We can determine the quality of the dog because we have spent a lot of time searching for the perfect dog to add to our breeding programs. We search for Rottweiler breeding kennels all over the world because we desire raise and breed Rots to meet the conformation standards of the breed.

The German, Serbian, Russian and the American Rottweiler are all Rottweilers first before the feature differences.

It is very important for us to note that there is only one Rottweiler breed but we desire to produce “the correct Rottweiler”.

But is it German?

This is a question that is very familiar to every Rottweiler breeder in America.

To answer that question we first have to know what the inquirer really means when they ask “is it a German Rottweiler”

Often times when people ask me if its German Rottweiler or American Rottweiler they have a image in their mind about what a Rottweiler should look like. Because they associate German Rottweilers with big block heads, thick bones, large sturdy body. And they associate American Rottweiler with tall, skinny, and with a poorly shaped head.

When you ask a knowledgeable Rottweiler breeder the question “Is it German, American, Russian or European Rottweiler” they associate that question with the location that the dog was born.

Location, Location, Location?

Is it a German Rottweiler, on one side of the view we can say all Rottweilers are German, or at least of German descent, because originally they were used as guard dogs for cattle and also used for guarding outposts by the Roman soldiers. Because the Romans left the Germany, they left the Rottie there too. So, if nationality is to be attached to Rottweilers then German it is. The Rottweilers all have their origin from the German city of Rottweil, a south German town.

They were referred to as Rottweiler Metzgenhund in German meaning the Rottweil butcher dogs because they were used mainly to aid livestock, drive cattle, pull carts laden with butchered meat to market and guard posts.

Popular as it was in the 18th-19th century, the breed almost got extinct due to the replacement of smaller dogs with the same functionality and less maintenance costs.

But in recent years the Rottweiler is one of the most popular breeds in the United States, thanks to the dedicated and passionate breeders who have helped in maintaining the existence of this awesome breed.

Most times the difference between two similar things is always tied to the preparation process. Similarly, the differences between the three Rottweilers in the review are strongly dependent on the breeding standard of the breeders.

These countries in which the Rottweiler’s names are attached to have standards for breeding correct Rottweilers. Another thing that comes to mind is; are they following the standards strictly without compromise?

So, basically the question should be; did you follow the breeding standards?

German Rottweiler vs American Rottweiler you get what you pay for

WHY CHOOSE A ROTTWEILER?

What attracts one person might be a turn off for another. So personally, on my first sight of a Rottweiler, what attracted me was its raw masculine appeal, its unique head and outstanding musculature and most especially its raw masculine appeal.

The dog according to the American Kennel Club (AKC) standards are “calm, confident, and courageous with a self-assured aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships”. The dog is both a protective and a companion dog that can also socialize effectively if exposed early enough.

A Rottweiler makes a wonderful companion. Your Rottie will be your greatest friend for all of his life.

Are you looking for a guard dog, a playful dog, affectionate dog, or just a best friend? A Rottweiler is your best bet. They will love you with all of their beings and be loyal to you throughout their lives.

According to the American Kennel Club, a Rottweiler’s priority is always his family, and he is not the sort of dog to immediately instigate play or interaction with new dogs. If provoked or made to feel that his family or territory is threatened, a Rottweiler can quickly switch from calm and assured to assertive and dominant. Rottweilers typically enjoy the company of children and other household pets. They tend to be self-confident and watchful, responding to new stimuli with caution rather than excitement.

WHAT MAKES A STANDARD ROTTWEILER?

To be able to properly make valid arguments on the differences between German Rottweiler vs American Rottweiler vs Serbian or Roman Rottweilers, it is pertinent for us to first understand the features of a standardized Rottweilers.

According to the American Kennel Club, a male Rottweiler will stand anywhere from 24 to 27 muscular inches at the shoulder; females run a bit smaller and lighter. The glistening, short black coat with smart rust markings add to the picture of imposing strength. A thickly muscled hindquarters powers the Rottie’s effortless trotting gait.

A well-bred and properly raised Rottie will be calm and confident, courageous but not unduly aggressive. The aloof demeanor these world-class guardians present to outsiders belies the playfulness, and downright silliness, that endear Rotties to their loved ones. (No one told the Rottie he’s not a toy breed, so he is liable plop onto your lap for a cuddle.) Early training and socialization will harness a Rottie’s territorial instincts in a positive way.

According to Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) created on May 22nd, 1911 with the aim to promote and protect cynology and purebred dogs by any means it considers necessary.

The organization stated the conditions below as being faulty.

German Rottweiler vs American Rottweiler is in the looks

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS (FCI STANDARDS)

  • General: Marked reversal of sexual type, i.e. feminine dogs or masculine bitches.
  • Behavior: Anxious, shy, cowardly, gun-shy, vicious, excessively suspicious, nervous animals.
  • Eyes: Entropion, ectropion, yellow eyes, different colored eyes.
  • Teeth: Overshot or undershot bite, way mouth; missing one incisive tooth, one canine, one premolar, and one molar.
  • Coat color: Dogs which do not show the typical Rottweiler coloring or black with tan markings. White markings.
  • Coat texture: Very long or wavy coat.

N.B.: Males must have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

A Rottweiler is supposed to meet the above-stated standards regardless of country of origin in order to be recognized as a correct Rottweiler. Looking at the above standards it is quite hard from a lay point of view to differentiate between the three Rotts discussed here.

But, there are a lot of differences hidden underneath the pretty dog if looked at with a trained eye.

Although many believe that there are no significant differences because it is only about tail docking in American and German Rotties that defines main feature differences.

But often times, we see dogs not only on the streets but also in the rings possessing a pure breed look but the character and the health of the dog is nothing close to standard.

Some people associate American Rottweiler’s with small heads, narrow, thin and toothpick bones are seen around with very shallow frames and no mass which is a very poor representation of the standard Rottweilers.

A greater majority of Rottweilers in the United States have become small in bone, and weak in state. They do not have bones as specified in the standards, and they are not uniformly masculine in type.

The breeders in the US have shifted its focus entirely to superior gait in order to win in show rings.

However, since most of the breeders aim at making a good show in the ring and winning, they have sacrificed breed type for locomotion which is very poor and problematic.

Due to the shift in standards and the lack of strict rules like those by the “Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub (ADRK) e.V.”, a nation-wide association based in Minden / Westfalen, currently the only association in Germany taking care of the breed of Rottweiler and the only association which is recognized by the VDH e.V. ARDK in Germany.

The masculinity of the Rottweilers in the US have slowly depreciated. We now see the once broad top skull, wide, short muscles, powerful bones and muscle being replaced by spiny, fine bones with narrow long muzzles and smooth body lines. These changes have also greatly affected the working character of the Rottweiler, replacing it with shy and zero confidence in their temperaments.

THE STRICT BREEDING REGULATIONS OF THE ALLGEMEINER DEUTSCHER ROTTWEILER KLUB (ADRK)

It is important to understand the German Standard for the Rottweiler and consider the following characteristics.

Chosen dogs should demonstrate unambiguous sexual characteristics, health and vitality, perseverance, good strong body and bone structure, good scissor bite with correct dentition, good nerves, self-confidence, courage arid steadfast character.

Age Requirements For The Breeding of Dogs

The minimum age for breeding females is twenty months and for males is twenty-four months. The maximum age for breeding is eight years for females and nine years for males. The actual mating date is the date used in determining whether the dog is too young or old to be bred.

Breeding Frequency

A male Rottweiler may not service more than two females in one week, nor more than forty females for one year. All breedings, including those with females from a foreign country, must be reported to the Stud Book office. In correspondence with the breeding regulations of the VDH, the ADRK female Rottweilers are allowed to bear only one litter per calendar year.

The breeder is allowed to freely choose the breeding partners within the regulations of the ADRK. But, it is recommended for their own good to seek the advice of their local breed warden. The breed warden should recommend at least two eligible SELECT males for the female to be bred to. It is the responsibility of the owners of the male and female to make certain before mating that both partners possess an ADRK pedigree and have passed a Breed Suitability Test and, furthermore, that one of the partners has a Schutzhund title and one has select hip joints.

Members of the ADRK are openly allowed to breed registered Rottweilers that have passed a Zuchttauglichkeitsprufungen or Breed Suitability Test. At the time of mating one of the partners must have at least a Schutzhund I degree and one of the partners must have Korung “Select’ hips; meaning HD— or HD±. The minimum age requirement at the time of mating is 24 months for males and 20 months for females.

Breed Suitability Test

The Zuchttauglichkeitsprufungen or Breed Suitability Test consists of confirmation examinations and temperament evaluations. The purpose of the BST is to select Rottweilers which are suitable for breeding and exclude those that are unsuitable.

The minimum age for taking the Breed Suitability Test is eighteen months for both males and females. The judge evaluates the males first, then the females. Each dog is measured thoroughly from head to toe in various positions and then weighed. His overall conformation is recorded with special attention given to eye color, bite, number of teeth, top line, rear angulation, coat, etc. The structure as it relates to movement is very important in their evaluation.

The dog’s temperament is then tested.

  • Two gunshots are fired approximately twenty feet from the dog as he is walked off lead. The dog must not react shyly or aggressively to the gunshot.
  • The dog is walked into a group of people and told to sit he must be indifferent to the group. Once again shyness or aggressiveness is the reason for failure.
  • An attack on the handler occurs whereby the dog must react and attack the agitator wearing a protection suit by biting the sleeve while being driven by the agitator and taking two controlled stick hits.
  • The final part of the temperament test is called the courage test whereby the dog must go after an agitator that is running straight away from the dog. As the dog gets within fifty feet of the agitator the agitator turns and faces the dog, making threatening gestures with the stick and sleeve. Once again the dog can show no fear. He must bite the sleeve and take two pronounced stick hits while being driven by the agitator.

Rottweilers that fail the breed suitability test may enter again as often as their owner desires.

Breed Qualification Tests

Konung, or Breeding Qualification tests are the most selective breeding tests for Rottweilers. According to the ADRK breeding regulations, the purpose of the Korung is…” to select the best from among the dogs suitable for breeding to be able to utilize them more intensively in the breeding program. The minimum age requirements for the Korung are thirty months for females and thirty-six months for males. Only the best of the best Rottweilers are permitted to try for the Korung. The dogs must have excelled in conformation by placing at least Very Good (Sehr Gut/SG) at three conformation shows under at least two different judges. The dogs must have achieved working titles – Schutzhund titles or IPO titles. Males must have a Schutzhund III and females must have at least a Schutzhund I title. The dogs must have received their Breed Suitability Test with hip ratings in the highest categories. The dogs must have passed a twelve-mile endurance test called an AD (Ausdaurprufung). Another important requirement is that the dogs must have very dark mouth pigmentation and eye color.

The Korung is offered in the Spring and Fall each year. The actual test is very similar to the Breed Suitability Test but more intensified. Generally, less than half of the dogs trying for the Korung actually pass it. Dogs which pass the Korung are awarded the title for two years, abbreviated Angekort. During this two-year period, the dog’s offspring are examined and if the offspring are good then the parent may try to obtain the highest breeding rating – Breeding Qualified until the end of Breeding Utilization Age, abbreviated Gekort bis EzA. For males, a minimum of three good litters are required and for females, one good litter is required.

The breeding value of a Rottweiler is derived from its ancestors and reflected in the quality of its offspring. Rottweilers of value for breeding carry pedigrees that indicate the accomplishments of their ancestors. The pedigrees reflect the following levels of breeding:

Selection and Achievement Breeding: A breeding whereby both parents are “Selected” (have passed the Korung) and the grandparents have Schutzhund titles;

Selection Breeding: A breeding whereby both parents are “Selected”; Achievement Breeding: A breeding whereby both parents and grandparents have Schutzhund titles;

Working Dog Breeding: A breeding whereby the parents have Schutzhund titles;

Simple Breeding: A breeding whereby one parent has a Schutzhund title. This is the minimum requirement for breeding.

Hip Dysplasia Ratings

hip problems

HD ratings are as follows:

HD – or Hip Dysplasia free. There is no sign of hip dysplasia. The dog would be suitable and qualified for breeding; Zucth-und korfahig;

HD ± – some minor changes in the hips are observed. These dogs are also suitable and qualified for breeding; Zuchtund korfahig;

HD + – slight hip dysplasia is evident. These dogs are suitable for breeding, Zuchtfahig, but these dogs cannot go for Korung;

H + + – moderate hip dysplasia is evident. These dogs cannot be bred: Zucthverbot;

H + + + – severe hip dysplasia. These dogs cannot be bred; Zuchtverbot.

Breeding Methods

The ADRK makes use of a variety of breeding methods: Inbreeding, Line Breeding, and Out-crossing.

Inbreeding: Breeding based on close blood relationships whereby at least one ancestor appears one time each on the maternal and paternal side in the first six generations of the pedigree. There are three recognized types of inbreeding: Very Close Inbreeding, Close Inbreeding, and Distant Inbreeding.

In Very Close Inbreeding (incestuous inbreeding) one has the breeding of parents to offspring, grandparents to grandchildren, or brother to sister. Thus we have breeding between relatives of the first and second degree, or direct and branching lines. Very Close Inbreeding can seldom be successful. In order for it to succeed both partners must possess all desired traits in a nearly pure or homozygous hereditary state. The written consent of the main breed warden must be obtained prior to a Very Close Inbreeding.

Close Inbreeding entails the breeding of relatives of the third or fourth degree, for example, uncle to niece, nephew to an aunt, or cousins.

Distant Inbreeding is the breeding of relatives of the fifth or sixth degree.

Line breeding is a less extreme form of breeding where closely or more distantly related dogs are carefully selected for their physical and temperamental traits to produce breeding true to the original type.

Out crossing is the mating of animals which are the same breed, but totally unrelated.

German Rottweiler vs American Rottweiler vs Serbian Rottweilers.

What are the distinguishing features of these dogs?

Generally, any Rottweiler born in the US is an American Rottie while those born in Germany are the German Rotties and the ones born in Serbia are Serbian Rottweilers. But technically, there are more differences worth mentioning.

One of the most obvious differences is that most American Rottweilers do not have tails. This is because in German and Serbian (European) its illegal.

German Rottweiler vs American Rottweiler

The German breeders under the ARDK must breed in strict compliance to standards. The dogs are made to pass breed stability tests and also have their hips certified before allowed to breed.

In America, similar strict compliance is not ensured as breeders are not required to test their dogs before breeding. The temperament and the structure of the American Rotties are faulty according to standard practices.

In Germany, both parents of litter must be temperament tested (BH title), breed tested (Ztp) and have their hips certified. One parent must be a Schutzhund titled. With these strict requirements, Rottweilers with lesser quality are eliminated from the gene pool. ADRK is expected to use a dog base before they can breed a litter.

Be careful though, often times the German rejected dogs will be sold to Americans at a very high price. Then the outlook on German Rottweiler vs American Rottweiler will change. American can be better if we purchase poor German.

American Rottweiler vs German Rottweiler

The American Kennel Club offers lower standards in practice than stipulated on paper. They register a litter of puppies without any pre breeding test. The AKC does not place any strict restrictions on parents with bad qualities thereby allowing a chance for defects in the gene pool. This is why you should buy from a reputable breeder.

With the negligence of the AKC in regards to breeding standards, the American Rottweilers are bred without proper standardization, leaving the breed to be nothing close to a true Rottweiler.

A correct Rottweiler should be strong and also have good working character, and be ready to protect his family yet without being harmful and unpredictable in everyday life situations.

Considering the strict and rigorous process of breeding a correct Rottweiler, the demand for this correct breed considering his efficiency is high. The German Rottweiler is very well bred thereby making the price higher because MOST American Rotties are poorly bred.

The probability of buying a faulty breed is very much low as far as the German and European Rotties are concerned. The strict ADRK standard warranties the best breed of Rottweilers.

European Rottie, So its not just German Rottweiler vs American Rottweiler

The European Rottweiler stands distinguished from others as it offers in totality what a correct Rottweiler should be like both in appearance and in behavior.

Considering the strict adherence of ADRK standards in Germany, the Rottweilers bred there are far purer than rotties bred by any other standards below theirs.

Germany needed a fierce competitor and the Serbians took the challenge by meeting the strictest ADRK standards of the German Rottweiler and now they are dominating in the show ring. German Rottweiler vs American Rottweiler or German vs Serbian Rottweilers.

WHERE TO GET A GERMAN/EUROPEAN ROTTWEILER.

Here at Mississippi Rottweilers, our dogs come from some of the best breeding stock in the world, imported from champion bloodlines in Germany or Serbia (European bloodlines) to our breeding kennel in Mississippi, USA. 

We are able to ship puppies anywhere in the lower 48 states.

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