American Rottweiler – The Amazing Rotties Of The USA
The American Rottweiler Club (ARCC) was founded in 1966 at the University of Texas College of Veterinary Medicine. Today it has over 6,000 members from all 50 states and many countries around the world. ARCC’s mission is to promote the health, welfare and well being of all purebred dogs through education, research and advocacy.
They are also committed to promoting responsible dog ownership and training.
The American Rottweiler Association (ARA), Inc., is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of the care, breeding, and management of purebred American Rottweilers throughout North America. Their goal is to preserve the breed’s heritage while improving its quality and public image.
ARA provides educational programs for both amateur and professional trainers as well as maintains a registry of registered AKC-registered purebred dogs.
Rottweilers were first bred in Europe during the 1500s. By 1808, there were approximately 100,000 Rottweilers living in England alone. These dogs quickly became popular pets and were used to hunt small game such as rabbits and hares.
However, their popularity soon waned due to overhunting of these animals and other factors such as disease.
In the early 19th century, as the Industrial Revolution in Germany was beginning to take off, inventor and gunmaker, Friedrich Bertsch, developed a new weapon designed to kill wolves. This was a large caliber, muzzle-loaded gun that could only be transported by horse. To test this new weapon, the German government hired hunters to clear wolves from isolated areas of Europe.
These hired hunters traveled around the countryside on horseback hunting these wolves. As it turned out, they found that large mastiffs were not agile enough to hunt wolves effectively and were therefore useless in this role. However, the smaller, more agile dogs, with their great stamina and herding instincts, were able to keep up with the wolves while on horseback. These hunting dogs were most likely the German Longhaired Pointers and the Rottweilers that were common at the time. The idea for a new type of dog was thus born.
It is from these two breeds that the Rottweiler was bred down in size. The goal in breeding these two types of dogs together was to produce a dog that had the size, strength, power and courage of the Rottweiler while maintaining the traits of the German Longhaired Pointer such as their excellent tracking abilities, protective instincts, and flexibility. The outcome of this experiment produced a dog that was used primarily as a cattle drover in those days.
Cattle were herded from faraway fields and pastures to main markets and this dog was employed to make sure that the cattle did not stray or wander off. These dogs were incredibly successful at this job and droving these cattle long distances finally became a very profitable business for many in the area.
When America began moving westward, the need for these drovers increased. Large groups of cattle were driven from the western side of America to the markets in the East. These cattle drivers were known as “Cowboys”, and the dogs that accompanied them were the original “Cow Dogs”.
Rottweilers were also taken with these groups of cattle drivers. It was in these settings that the skills of both the cattle dogs and their masters were truly tested. Whether it was the harsh elements, stampedes, or wild animals such as bears and wolves, life on the range was no easy life. However, Rottweilers played an important role in keeping these cattle drives safe and mobbing lost or sick cattle back into the heard.
By the beginning of the 20th century, another use for these dogs began to appear. As automobiles were becoming more popular, so to were car races. There was no way to enforce speed limits or prevent people from driving recklessly or under the influence.
A car crash was an all too common occurrence. These races also excited a lot of people and watching one was very popular during this time. The solution to preventing speeding or dangerous driving was the introduction of the “Stradivarius Dogs”. This was the nickname given to these dogs by the local population while they were first being tested out. These dogs were Rottweilers that were trained while still puppies to run after a vehicle and bark loudly at the occupants. The idea was to scare the driver into slowing down or making them feel so uncomfortable that they would stop. While this idea seemed promising, it was quickly realized that the dogs were not safe. These dogs would often get run over by the cars they were chasing. The tests of these “Stradivarian Dogs” were abandoned quite quickly.
The first Rottweiler in America was brought over in 1930 by a man named John Von Schrader. He was a bit of an eccentric man who traveled quite a bit. He originally was from Germany, but he had also lived in England and Canada.
It is not certain how he came across this dog, but it is believed that the dog’s name was Captain and that it belonged to an artist that he met during his stay in Europe. He died when Captain was still a young dog, leaving him to John. At the time that he came to America, John was a police officer in Canada. He originally purchased the dog to help him with his investigations. The Rottweiler was an excellent tracker and was skilled at finding missing people or things. This made it a very popular choice for many different types of jobs or hobbies such as hunting or herding. It was also a popular guard dog, though its large size made it unsuitable for most people. The Rottweiler was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1931 and Captain was featured as the first recognition. In the years that followed, the breed grew in popularity and more and more were imported into the U.S. to be used in a variety of different ways. Today, the Rottweiler is still recognized by the American Kennel Club and remains one of the most popular breeds in America.
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Sources & references used in this article:
Rottweiler: Super Courageous by M Goldish – 2011 – books.google.com
Rottweilers for Dummies by RG Beauchamp – 2011 – books.google.com
In Britain, Rottweilers Attack by J Lo – Nieman Reports, 1998 – search.proquest.com
Our Best Friends: Rottweiler, The by J Blackmore – 1995 – Tetra Press