WITH PROPER training and
socializing, the Rottweiler can be a great family pet, companion,
herding dog, tracking dog, obedience dog, etc.
They are very loyal, dedicated, loving, beautiful and intelligent.
They are strong willed and need LOTS of PROPER training and
socializing when young. IF you fail in your duties to select, train
and socialize them properly, they can be dangerous (sometimes
inadvertently) as adults. They are mouthy as puppies until properly
taught bite inhibition. Young dogs require a lot of exercise and
need some form of work (obedience, agility, herding, etc). They can
be destructive if bored or improperly housed.
At our kennel training is not only
something we strongly believe in but I am also passionate about it. It is
extremely satisfying playing, straining and seeing the dog handler
relationship develop through training. We are dedicated into working on a
number of disciplines and a few of our favourites are listed below:
IPO or Schutzhund (meaning
"protection dog" in German)
Schutzhund is a dog sport
that was developed in Germany in the early 1900s to test the
conformation of a German Shepherd dog's behaviour to a
predetermined breed ideal. This sport has evolved and
developed into one of the elevation methods of the ideal
character of a super working dog. In trails it tests 3 main
areas (Tracking, Obedience & Protection), and the dog needs
to be proficient in all 3 disciplines to qualify.
Dogs that pass Schutzhund tests should be suitable for a
wide variety of tasks: police work, specific odour
detection, search and rescue, and many others. The purpose
of Schutzhund is to identify dogs that have or do not have
the character traits required for these demanding jobs. Some
of those traits are
- Strong desire to work
- Strong bond to the
Schutzhund training tests
these traits. It also tests physical traits
such as strength, endurance, agility, and
scenting ability. The goal of Schutzhund is
to illuminate the character of a dog through
training. Breeders can use this insight to
determine how and whether to use the dog in
producing the next generation of working
And to address the
question of whether bite work is bad:
An extract from an interview Guy Verschatse
So, again (and I am asking this so you
can address it to the person with little
or no knowledge of schutzhund), Does
schutzhund and the bite work involved
change the character or temperment of a
Before you can train/compete in SchH
everybody must pass the BH (Begleithundprufung-
traffic secure dog). BH is a
sociability-obedience test and NO
aggressive dog can pass. Normally the
character doesn’t change, sometimes it
will bring the dog more peaceful by
getting his steam off. Look to the
biting incidents worldwide, how many
involved dogs do SchH? Yes, practically
none! People who train this sport have
much more obedience and discipline on
their dog than other people.
Some people ask, should individuals do
bite work with a Rottweiler if they are
not going to be used for police work?
Sure, it's fun for owner and dog. The
tracking in the nature, the obedience
full of rewards with his toy and the
defense-work are the total package. Dogs
love it! People who do it they know. I
assure everybody that a dog
trained/titled in SchH is a stable,
friendly dog. He will not become more
aggressive. Police work is different.
The bitework is not done in prey-drive
(retrieve drive) but out of defense. The
full biting suit used in the Ringsport
is more civil, the dog can’t be rewarded
by being given the suit. Police work is
only for people with knowledge and who
use their dog only for those purposes.
In South Africa, this
sport is really not practised very much,
except by a few German Shepherd clubs. This
sport requires much work and dedication.
Unfortunately due to this reason, we have
lost much of the working drives in
Rottweilers. This is very evident at show
rings, where many dogs are bred for
conformation only, and become "flat" in
drive and temperament.
Please visit the KUSA site
(see link page under SA) for full schedule.
The Aptitude test was
designed to test the mental characteristic of dogs.
Puppy Aptitude Test
"Campbell/Pfaffenberger Test" or "Volhard Test"
Background kindly provided by Chris Pretorius:
The two tests, developed by William E. Campbell (for
Home Environment) and Clarence Pfaffenberger (for
Obedience Aptitude), were combined by Wendy Volhard for
the purpose of character assessment of puppies at the
age of seven weeks. All elements of the Pfaffenberger
test was used, together with most elements of the
Campbell test. Please visit their website in recognition
of their work:
The puppy aptitude test was initially
designed to test and identify puppies with excellent
working prospects. At our kennel, all puppies are tested
to assist is in matching puppies with new owners. All
new owners are invited to view the test and discover
some interesting things about rottweilers and their new
Please click here to view the test:
Adult Aptitude Test
What a test this is. This test, called the Mental Test,
as it is called in Sweden its country of origin, evolved
in the sixties through a team of canine ethologists. It
is based on principles as explained by Konrad Lorenz. It
has been applied to many thousands of dogs. Without
doubt it has proven to be a very helpful tool to define
hereditary mental tendencies. A person, who understands
it as such, will surely, after having seen only one dog
being put through the test, abstain from unfounded
comment. This is really an awesome test, and I have been
involved with this test by assisting the judges,
participating with my own dogs, and merely watching it
for the enjoyment and education of canine behaviour.
Please click here to view the test:
Aptitude Test and Dog Mentality Assessment
Breed Survey Test
(BST) or Zuchttauglichkeitsprufung (ZTP - in Germany)
The BST or
ZTP is another superb form of testing
rottweilers for breed suitability. The test
comprises of an examination of the dog per
breed standard (conformation and
movement), a character/temperament test,
gun-shot test and a guard and defence
exercise. This test was designed in Germany
to ensure that only the best quality
rottweilers are used for the ADRK breeding
program. It is very clear that not all dogs
are fit for breeding, and certain dogs fault
in character or have disqualifying faults
per the rottweiler breed standard. In order
to ensure that they maintain the high levels
of breeding integrity, the Germans made it
compulsory for every dog to have passed a
ZTP, before it is bred. Locally in SA, we
perform the BST or German ZTP equivalent as
a voluntary qualification on our dogs. Our
breed assessment (BA) is the minimum
requirements for a dog in order to achieve
its championship title. The BA is exactly
the similar to the ZTP, but it excludes the
guard and defence exercise.
I believe the German method making the ZTP
the minimum requirement for breeding has
largely contributed to the quality of
conformation and working ability that we see
in some of the best Rottweilers in Germany
click here to view the test:
Breed Survey Test
Today, many dog breeders and veterinarians
have found artificial insemination (AI) to be an invaluable tool. Many of
them see it as a way to increase the quality of a breed by overcoming
limitations of both time and space. An exceptional male, chosen for his
intelligence, personality, and conformation can continue to produce
offspring long after his death, or be mated with females from which he is
separated by thousands of miles. Additionally, by saving his semen, he will
be able to breed with many more females than would be physically possible
through normal one-on-one mating. There are also cases where valuable males
have been injured and can no longer mount a female. Their genetics are of
course unaltered and artificial insemination allows them to continue to
contribute to their breed. A bitch that has the same qualities as the above
male and has the potential to build a kennel from her progeny, may not yet
be in heat, but a suitable mating can be arranged, the semen taken and saved
until she is ready to be bred.
Today, the actual technique and methods of artificial insemination are
relatively easy and done by many private individuals and most veterinary
clinics. Although the field is relatively new in canine medicine, it has
been successfully practiced in cattle and other species for many decades.
Although we rest on the shoulders of the research and experience developed
in bovine practice, we have not yet duplicated their rate of success. This
is not because of our technique, but rather the relative instability of
canine sperm when frozen or chilled. Additionally, in cattle, the regularity
and competency of the reproductive physiology of the female has been
consistently selected for breeding, while this is not the case in dogs.
Cattle that do not have a predictable estrus cycle or high levels of
fertility are eliminated from the herd. It is a very pragmatic business. In
canine medicine, breeders are often much more emotionally attached to their
animals. They routinely keep and repeatedly attempt to breed problem bitches
and those with irregular cycles, thus allowing undesirable traits to
maintain themselves in the genetic pool.
Artificial insemination has the following distinct advantages over importing
a puppy or adult dog:
Less stress on the animal travelling.
The puppy may not be close to the
parent which you really like. How many poor quality imported dogs have
you seen, or heard sad stories about disappointed imports?
Additionally a puppy may develop a
disqualifying fault like missing teeth, incorrect bite, poor hips etc.
Unless the breeder on the other side
is a trustworthy and true friend one cannot guarantee that you will
receive a quality puppy or even the 1st or 2nd pick of the litter
promised to you.
It is a better option than sending
your female overseas for a mating.
It typically costs less to import
semen than importing a puppy. In addition contracts normally allow for 2
puppies to constitute a litter. This means that you have a much better
chance with a whole litter. If the litter is larger than 2 – this is
just bonus for you.
You are able to personally select pick
of the litter.
You are able to keep the semen of the
male and line breed on future generations much longer.
However, there are some disadvantages as
well, the main ones relating to the female and success rate, but most of
this can be avoided by selecting an experienced vet, who is able to evaluate
the female and one that has a good success rate.
But what does importing semen and
procedure entail? I have prepared a document outlining certain of the main
considerations in detail to assist you. Yes, the admin does seem intense
initially, but believe me it is well worth it. I do believe that this is one
of the most cost effective and best ways to introduce the sought after
bloodlines into your breeding program. I have removed most of the additional
example documents for the website version, but please contact me if you need
to see some of these. This document details all the consideration that needs
to be taken for this option and is interested to assist other breeders
interested in this route.
Click here for information document:
AI Information Summary
They are very susceptible to a wide range of cancers and they
have a poor immune system (particularly when young) and need a more
specialized vaccination schedule as a puppy in order to develop proper
immunity. They are also prone to contracting more viruses than the average
dog, especially when fed improperly. They are susceptible to hip dysplasia,
tearing cruciate ligaments and heart problems as well as cancer.
Young dogs require a lot of very good food (poor quality food can cause
health problems). SOME young males CAN require as much as 8 - 10 cups of
excellent quality food per day!
This section contains some of my favourite international rottweilers
as well as some additional photos from my kennel.
Click on short name to view:
Legion & other SA dogs