The following excerpt is taken directly from the American Kennel Club website.
Official Standard of the Rottweiler
General Appearance: The ideal Rottweiler is a medium large, robust and powerful dog, black
with clearly defined rust markings. His compact and substantial build denotes great strength,
agility and endurance. Dogs are characteristically more massive throughout with larger frame
and heavier bone than bitches. Bitches are distinctly feminine, but without weakness of
substance or structure.
Size, Proportion, Substance: Dogs - 24 inches to 27 inches. Bitches - 22 inches to 25 inches,
with preferred size being mid-range of each sex. Correct proportion is of primary importance, as
long as size is within the standard's range. The length of body, from prosternum to the rearmost
projection of the rump, is slightly longer than the height of the dog at the withers, the most
desirable proportion of the height to length being 9 to 10. The Rottweiler is neither coarse nor
shelly. Depth of chest is approximately fifty percent (50%) of the height of the dog. His bone and
muscle mass must be sufficient to balance his frame, giving a compact and very powerful
appearance. Serious Faults - Lack of proportion, undersized, oversized, reversal of sex
characteristics (bitchy dogs, doggy bitches).
Head: Of medium length, broad between the ears; forehead line seen in profile is moderately
arched; zygomatic arch and stop well developed with strong broad upper and lower jaws. The
desired ratio of backskull to muzzle is 3 to 2. Forehead is preferred dry, however some wrinkling
may occur when dog is alert. Expression is noble, alert, and self-assured. Eyes of medium size,
almond shaped with well fitting lids, moderately deep-set, neither protruding nor receding. The
desired color is a uniform dark brown. Serious Faults - Yellow (bird of prey) eyes, eyes of
different color or size, hairless eye rim. Disqualification - Entropion. Ectropion. Ears of medium
size, pendant, triangular in shape; when carried alertly the ears are level with the top of the skull
and appear to broaden it. Ears are to be set well apart, hanging forward with the inner edge lying
tightly against the head and terminating at approximately mid-cheek. Serious Faults-Improper
carriage (creased, folded or held away from cheek/head). Muzzle - Bridge is straight, broad at
base with slight tapering towards tip. The end of the muzzle is broad with well developed chin.
Nose is broad rather than round and always black. Lips - Always black; corners closed; inner
mouth pigment is preferred dark. Serious Faults - Total lack of mouth pigment (pink
mouth). Bite and Dentition - Teeth 42 in number (20 upper, 22 lower), strong, correctly placed,
meeting in a scissors bite - lower incisors touching inside of upper incisors. Serious Faults -
Level bite; any missing tooth. Disqualifications - Overshot, undershot (when incisors do not
touch or mesh); wry mouth; two or more missing teeth.
Neck, Topline, Body: Neck - Powerful, well muscled, moderately long, slightly arched and
without loose skin. Topline - The back is firm and level, extending in a straight line from behind
the withers to the croup. The back remains horizontal to the ground while the dog is moving or
standing. Body - The chest is roomy, broad and deep, reaching to elbow, with well pronounced
forechest and well sprung, oval ribs. Back is straight and strong. Loin is short, deep and well
muscled. Croup is broad, of medium length and only slightly sloping. Underline of a mature
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Rottweiler has a slight tuck-up. Males must have two normal testicles properly descended into
the scrotum. Disqualification-Unilateral cryptorchid or cryptorchid males. Tail - Tail docked
short, close to body, leaving one or two tail vertebrae. The set of the tail is more important than
length. Properly set, it gives an impression of elongation of topline; carried slightly above
horizontal when the dog is excited or moving.
Forequarters: Shoulder blade is long and well laid back. Upper arm equal in length to shoulder
blade, set so elbows are well under body. Distance from withers to elbow and elbow to ground is
equal. Legs are strongly developed with straight, heavy bone, not set close together. 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 short, strong and black.
Dewclaws may be removed.
Hindquarters: Angulation of hindquarters balances that of forequarters. Upper thigh is fairly
long, very broad and well muscled. Stifle joint is well turned. Lower thigh is long, broad and
powerful, with extensive muscling leading into a strong hock joint. Rear pasterns are nearly
perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, hind legs are straight, strong and wide
enough apart to fit with a properly built body. Feet are somewhat longer than the front feet,
turning neither in nor out, equally compact with well arched toes. Pads are thick and hard. Nails
short, strong, and black. Dewclaws must be removed.
Coat: Outer coat is straight, coarse, dense, of medium length and lying flat. Undercoat should be
present on neck and thighs, but the amount is influenced by climatic conditions. Undercoat
should not show through outer coat. The coat is shortest on head, ears and legs, longest on
breeching. The Rottweiler is to be exhibited in the natural condition with no trimming. FaultWavy
coat. Serious Faults-Open, excessively short, or curly coat; total lack of undercoat; any
trimming that alters the length of the natural coat. Disqualification-Long coat.
Color: Always black with rust to mahogany markings. The demarcation between black and rust
is to be clearly defined. The markings should be located as follows: a spot over each eye; on
cheeks; as a strip around each side of muzzle, but not on the bridge of the nose; on throat;
triangular mark on both sides of prosternum; on forelegs from carpus downward to the toes; on
inside of rear legs showing down the front of the stifle and broadening out to front of rear legs
from hock to toes, but not completely eliminating black from rear of pasterns; under tail; black
penciling on toes. The undercoat is gray, tan, or black. Quantity and location of rust markings is
important and should not exceed ten percent of body color. Serious Faults-Straw-colored,
excessive, insufficient or sooty markings; rust marking other than described above; white
marking any place on dog (a few rust or white hairs do not constitute a
marking).Disqualifications - Any base color other than black; absence of all markings.
Gait: The Rottweiler is a trotter. His movement should be balanced, harmonious, sure, powerful
and unhindered, with strong forereach and a powerful rear drive. The motion is effortless,
efficient, and ground-covering. Front and rear legs are thrown neither in nor out, as the imprint
of hind feet should touch that of forefeet. In a trot the forequarters and hindquarters are mutually
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coordinated while the back remains level, firm and relatively motionless. As speed increases the
legs will converge under body towards a center line.
Temperament: The Rottweiler is basically a calm, confident and courageous dog with a selfassured
aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships. A
Rottweiler is self-confident and responds quietly and with a wait-and-see attitude to influences in
his environment. He has an inherent desire to protect home and family, and is an intelligent dog
of extreme hardness and adaptability with a strong willingness to work, making him especially
suited as a companion, guardian and general all-purpose dog.
The behavior of the Rottweiler in the show ring should be controlled, willing and adaptable,
trained to submit to examination of mouth, testicles, etc. An aloof or reserved dog should not be
penalized, as this reflects the accepted character of the breed. An aggressive or belligerent
attitude towards other dogs should not be faulted.
A judge shall excuse from the ring any shy Rottweiler. A dog shall be judged fundamentally shy
if, refusing to stand for examination, it shrinks away from the judge. A dog that in the opinion of
the judge menaces or threatens him/her, or exhibits any sign that it may not be safely approached
or examined by the judge in the normal manner, shall be excused from the ring. A dog that in the
opinion of the judge attacks any person in the ring shall be disqualified.
Summary: Faults - The foregoing is a description of the ideal Rottweiler. Any structural fault
that detracts from the above described working dog must be penalized to the extent of the
Disqualifications: Entropion, ectropion. Overshot, undershot (when incisors do not touch or
mesh); wry mouth; two or more missing teeth. Unilateral cryptorchid or cryptorchid males. Long
coat. Any base color other than black; absence of all markings. A dog that in the opinion of the
judge attacks any person in the ring.
Approved May 8, 1990
Effective June 28, 1990