Q & A: THE ROTTWEILER


  • June 29, 2019

We asked the following questions to various experts involved with the breeding & showing of Rottweilers. Below are their responses, which are taken from the June 2019 issue of ShowSight.  Click to subscribe.  

 

THE QUESTIONS.

  1. Where do you live? What do you do “outside” of dogs?
  2. How many years in Rottweilers? Showing? Judging? Breeding?
  3. What, in your opinion, is the secret to a successful breeding program?
  4. The biggest concern you have about your breed, be it medical, structural, temperament-wise, or what.
  5. The biggest problem facing you as a breeder.
  6. Advice to a new breeder? Advice to a new judge of your breed?
  7. What’s the most common fault you see when traveling around the country?
  8. Has the current wave of “dangerous dog” legislation affected you or your dogs?
  9. Does the docking and cropping ban in other parts of the world impact you? Where do you see it going in the future?
  10. What is your favorite dog show memory?
  11. Anything else you’d like to share—something you’ve learned as a breeder, exhibitor or judge or a particular point you’d like to make.
  12. And for a bit of humor, what’s the funniest thing that you ever experienced at a dog show?

 

Jeff Gregg

I live in Green Sea, South Carolina. Outside of dogs I have a lot of hobbies such as watching rodeos, horse events, drag racing, Nascar, estate sales, auctions, Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus a Catholic organization and other organizations; a life member of the American Legion, and sadly make every effort to attend memorial Services for fallen police officers.

I have been in Rottweilers for 41 years. I’ve been showing for 39 years, judging for 27 and breeding for 34.

The secret to a successful breeding program is knowing bloodlines, getting honest information about other lines, not breeding or buying from just to the top dog or bitch. Starting with a great foundation bitch with excellent pedigree bone and breed type, finding a stud dog that has what your bitch is lacking and knowing what he has produced and what came before him without serious life threatening health issues. No dog or bitch is perfect and no line is without fault.

When the Rottweiler was at its highest numbers many said we had so much quantity and so little quality. Today we have many less Rottweilers being bred but we have not improved the number of quality puppies being bred or produced consistent type that makes our breed difficult to judge because of quality. In the past we had those breeders who brought the breed to this country and those who learned directly from those breeders. Today many of them are still around but the new generation want to go their own way and let outside influences change what many were working for. To maintain and improve quality and breed type consistency. We see not only in this country but dogs that are imported here with a totally different look in head type, structure and temperament. We should not be looking to have something different to stand out from what our breed standard calls for nor does our breed standard need updating to reflect those changes some have brought. Pros, while breeding numbers have gone down quality and type should have gone up. Health testing is a definite positive as the only thing that was once done was Hips by OFA. We Have had for some time the option of Penn Hip which should be utilized and accepted by every club. Hearts Eco’d, DHLPP and any life threatening disease should be mandatory but beyond that we should leave it up to breeders to breed the right dogs and bitches together avoiding dogs and bitches that have other health problems that would double up on and eventually improving breeding lines.

By having so many breeding restrictions we limit the breeding stock and tie the hands of the good breeders. We can put as many restrictions on breeding as we want but it will not stop bad breeders from breeding or mass producing leaving the public with unknown problems and no recourse that they could get from a Rottweiler Club member who stands behind their puppies and Stud Dog owners whose stud is used.

Breeders need to concentrate on known bloodlines, what they have produced in the past; finding the best brood bitch they can. It’s very hard and time consuming in years to start a breeding program with a foundation bitch that has little to offer and hope the number one stud dog can wave his magic wand and fix everything. Bitches add a great deal to the mix. Be honest with yourself; just because you produced it doesn’t mean it’s better than sliced bread. Be ready to go back to the drawing table. We all love our dogs and think they are the best and that’s a wonderful thing for the dogs but when we are maintaining quality, type, temperament, function that a breed was developed for we must continue that path.

How I feel about the influx of new judges? I believe there are some good ones, there are bad ones and ones who have been mentored by the wrong people if mentored at all. A good judge who has a good eye for good dogs and not their next judging assignment do more for a breed and the sport of showing dogs, show entries, breeding programs and letting potential fanciers know what a breed should represent. If a judge has a good eye for type chances are they have a good eye for type and good dogs in most any breed.

Too many judging panels today are on the same circuits. Breed specific judges are crucial to every breed and should be hired more often at all breed shows. The large breeds tend to suffer most.

Do I feel they have a grasp of the standard: no, not all do new or old and some seem to not care. Do they know what compromises a good Rottweiler? No, many seem to be looking for a next assignment. Owner handlers were very big when I started and knew the breed since it was their own. Many owner handlers got away from showing their own knowing things had changed in judging and without a known handler on your dog your dog even being an excellent example for your breed wouldn’t get a look. Don’t get me wrong we need professional Handlers as some people are incapable of showing their own dogs. New and old judges who don’t judge dogs hurt the sport. Things I’ve seen over the years that have been overlooked like correct head type, dark eyes, dark mouth, correct toplines and correct movement. These are all very important to the breed unlike cosmetic faults which some judges weigh heavy on. Cosmetic type anomalies don’t affect the dogs working ability or structure.

Has the current wave of “dangerous dog” legislation affected us? No, we live in the country away from those who complain. Some insurance companies and areas have chosen to discriminate. Poor ownership has caused these waives of laws and ownership rights; that caused these changes just like loss of show motels when owners and handlers leave rooms trashed. Untrained dogs can instill in the public a general fear of any dog, but it is particularly bad when it is a dog with the size and strength of a Rottweiler.

Does the docking and cropping ban in other parts of the world impact us? It shouldn’t but it has affected the Rottweiler here, the clubs here and their membership and those who have shown until it was made an issue here. I think like most things in time changes have a way of working itself out but forcing change just causes resentment. As I understand some countries are backing off on the ban in some breeds already. Let’s say someone here who docks and crops wants to show in one of those countries who have banned docking and cropping. They can’t; it’s not equal, it’s not fair. There are many venues to show our dogs in whether docked or undocked and I have nothing against either and enjoy watching both compete in those venues. I would have no problem judging, breeding to or supporting a tailed dog in any breed in those venues. My feeling is we should never give up our rights and some say we aren’t but once the door is opened it allows a pathway for new laws that will affect your rights.

My favorite dog show memory I have many but I will tell you of my first. Medallion Rottweiler Club my Am/Can CH. Heidi VH Kertzenlicht Am/Can UD, CDX, CD, BH, TT, RTD went High in Trial for her first HIT there in I think 1984 or 85 then again in 86 and missing by a 1/2 point a year or two later.

The Rottweiler is a proud noble breed, a disciplinarian who likes everything in its place. It likes calm; regimented like the military. Its is not a statue like many other breeds it is a moving thinking breed that if you want it to do something and show it they will show you a better way to do it. You must come to an agreement with a Rottweiler not force it and training becomes much easier. Let them know when they’re wrong and praise them when they’re right. Make training fun and rewarding.Remember what the Rottweiler was bred for although very loving a capable of doing anything in life remember its primary functions for which it was bred; it is a working breed and it needs a job. Approach them calmly and talk normally as if you’ve known them and those handling them them forever. Remember first and foremost as a judge and breeder you are the keeper of the breed and you have a responsibility to maintain it not as how you think it should look but as it was developed for us. It is a powerful fluent mover. It’s not a designer breed or a statue, it’s a working breed.

 

Suzan Guynn

Suzan Guynn, operating under the AKC registered kennel name Cammcastle, has been exhibiting and/or breeding Rottweilers for 33 years. Cammcastle has bred and/or owned nearly 170 AKC Rottweiler champions including multiple top ten dogs and bitches, multiple Best in Show winners, multiple Best in Specialty Show winners, three American Rottweiler Club Top Twenty winners, and a nationally ranked number two Working Group Rottweiler. Suzan credits her dogs’ successes to: a) exceptional mentors, breeders and friends, who by way of sharing their pedigrees, have offered to hers their cumulative decades of passion and hard work; and b) the diverse and talented people owned by these dogs, people who routinely dedicate themselves to their dogs’ health, training, and general well-being—and who enthusiastically participate in opportunities to showcase the results.

I live in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Outside of dogs, I am retired from my work as an HR Director and school division administrator and now serve as a mediator for General District and Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts; additionally, I am adjunct professor for James Madison University. I am an avid reader, and I am a daily participant in local Crossfit.

I have 33 years in Rottweilers; my first show dog was born in 1986, and my first litter was born in 1991. I have been an AKC Rottweiler breeder judge for about 13 years.

The secret to a successful breeding program? It is imperative to have a mental picture of what you are trying to produce; it is also important to be well-versed in reproductive protocol and whelping strategies that optimize conception and survival. Finally, it is critical to maintain some independence in regard to breeding decisions, placing common sense and honesty ahead of a need to please others.

What I feel the condition of the Rottweiler breed is today? Good. I don’t see our breed as significantly healthier or less healthy (generally) than it was 25 years ago. I do observe, however, what appears to be an improvement in the general temperament of the breed (especially in males) in the context of interactions with other dogs and receptiveness to children. Additionally, the decrease in popularity has probably helped to decrease the problematic press the breed has received in the past—and afforded more opportunities for the breed to be showcased in a positive manner.

We need to strive for continued balance of type and structure accompanied by sound temperament. The current emphasis on a prescribed list of health clearances (additions to the list occasionally influenced by FB drama rather than by prevalence or toll on longevity) has become so exhaustive and exclusionary that it not only jeopardizes the breed in “type” but also costs clubs vast numbers of members, most particularly experienced and seasoned breeders and their puppy owners who prefer as adults not to be policed by other adults on the bases of these lists. I am not sure we all have to agree on breeding standards to unite for the welfare of our breed. As well, I can’t be the only one to have pondered whether anyone quick to condemn a breeder for conditional adherence to “clearances” has demonstrated this same zeal for health standards ahead of conceiving their own human offspring, a matter of colossal significance in comparison to producing a great dog. Let that sink in. And yes, I do recognize the difference between humans and puppies; that is precisely why I raise the question. And I speak as an imperfect and previously reckless producer myself of loving, wonderful, and imperfect children! My only point in this being that improving our breed may at times require us to take risks, while assuming the responsibilities that accompany them.

AKC is working hard to educate new judges and wants very much to encourage participation by exhibitors and breeders. It might be helpful if AKC judges were empowered to summarize for (explain to, not defend) exhibitors their basis of selection for Winners and Best of Breed. Many do an amazing job, but at times judges do feel pressure to use the “team of choice” or the handler with the largest entries. Judging ideally should not be distracted by human faces or the pressures of politics, especially if new exhibitors are to be recruited and remain confident in the process.

Additionally, the American Rottweiler Club, having not received the blessings of its membership to remove the “tail should be docked” language from the AKC Rottweiler standard, has confused AKC judges with a letter implying direction by the ARC to judge tails and how to do so. Judges can not carry a breed standard and be simultaneously and implicitly directed by club committee correspondence to ignore that standard in a letter intended to inform a revised interpretation of the standard. That only harms the integrity of our standard and its adjudication for those judges who can’t bring themselves to leave the uninvited letter at home. In effect, judges might better grasp the standard if they are invited to honor it as it is written and without interference by those it doesn’t suit.

Has the current wave of “dangerous dog” legislation affected me? I have never thought of this in this way; it is my position that the breeding, placement and handling of my dogs by me or those to whom I extend their care should in all ways impact legislation in the most positive way.

Does the docking and cropping ban in other parts of the world impact me? Given the headlines today documenting the extraordinary berth and authority man affords himself in so many ethical, medical and agricultural arenas, it is difficult for me to comprehend that his decision to dock the tail of a three day old puppy (or a three year old dog) even makes the short list. It is and can be nothing more than a matter of control. That said, our own politics will determine the future of docking. I probably summed up my thoughts on this question best years ago in my letter to AKC judges of docked/cropped breeds: Beware the Serpent http://www.cammcastle.com/uploads/2/3/5/8/23585758/beware_the_serpent_2013.pdf

My favorite dog show memory: I have too many to count—most definitely the manner in which my ringside conduct and volume found their way into my children’s youth soccer games. Trust me when I tell you that most of those parents have never heard real cheering! But seriously, the best memories are those of the time spent with friends. Those are the ones I will remember.

 

Jill Kessler-Miller

I am on the Board of Directors for the American Rottweiler Club, a mentor for new judges, I have had a few top ten dogs, have participated in rescue 30 out of my 32 years in Rottweilers, and have titled dogs in obedience, agility, nosework, scentwork, schutzhund, barnhunt, am a CGC evaluator and Chief Tester for ATTS.

I live in the Santa Cruz area, in a small town called Aptos in California, with my non-dog loving husband and our two dogs. I work as an expert witness in dogs (my specialties include dog bites, temperament evaluations, service dogs and animal cruelty). I am also a certified trainer and taught until fairly recently, and still do some behavior consulting.

I procured my first Rottweiler in 1987. I started in obedience, moved in to schutzhund and conformation, and participation in other dog sports such as agility, nosework, barnhunt, scentwork. I have done some breeding, but not a lot, mostly because I have also been active in rescue 30 of my 32 years in the breed (www.rottrescuela.org), of which I am very proud. Everyone who breeds should also do rescue, to see what happens to dogs after they leave. Working with rescue has tremendously formed my sensibilities about dogs. people and the Rottweiler. For example, wealthy people are often not the best homes. Examine the person, not their exterior, material things. I have judged several Sweepstakes and keep talking about putting in my application, but haven’t done it yet.

The secret to a successful breeding program: you must start with an outstanding brood bitch. You can never compensate for a poor-quality bitch. With a good foundation bitch you can use almost any stud dog. Keep looking outside your breedings to fold in new blood. I also frequently remind folks that its easier to buy a good dog than breed it yourself. Unless you’re willing to commit the next few decades to dogs you produce, please don’t breed. There will always be some that need to come back—will you be able to take them in? If not, don’t breed.

My biggest concern is, and will always be, temperament. When I do the temperament section of Judges Education, I always begin with “You can live with an ugly dog that has good temperament, but no one can live with a beautiful dog with bad temperament.” Our breed should never lack in deductive reasoning or the ability to judicious, discerning, and even kind and tolerant. They must love children—I will not accept any excuses for a dog that does not. I remind people (much to their chagrin) that no breed standard in the world says “Not good with children.”

Since tail docking was banned in 1998 in Europe, the number of imports have risen, but “we” don’t get to see them. If we—code of ethics club members and those that show—don’t see them, then we usually don’t breed to them. Hence, many of our AKC show dogs are of the same pedigrees, and this is to the detriment of our breed. We need what Europe has to offer—bone, depth of color, head type, fuller temperament (that is, if they can pass all our health requirements). The imports need what we have to offer: better angles, better top lines, better front ends, and better feet and perhaps not-quite-so-high-in-drive all the time.

The best people on the breed are those that started with pets. They worked hard in performance sports as their entry, or perhaps endured heartache of failed health clearances, and they understand what it feels like to be dismissed by those around them if they’re not successful. Plus it forces them to be in the breed for several years before breeding, and not merely months. If you want to breed, help in rescue first—see what happens when people can’t, or won’t, keep their dogs. Help euthanize when needed. Make hard decisions.

Advice to new judges: do not award what is popular or what you see most of in the ring. Think “Is this correct? Would I take this home? Am I harming the breed in the long run by awarding this dog?” Don’t be afraid to award the best dog, and not just the best of the ones that looks like the others.

The most common fault I see when traveling around the country: over angulated in the rear, with straight angulation in the front. Looks flashy but totally inefficient for a long day’s work (which we are meant to do). Also, markings are becoming overly large 
and light.

We are still in the Top Ten in numbers with AKC, which frankly always concerns me. Our breed is not suited for most homes and I still hear from people who are interested inn setting up “breeding farms” of Rottweilers for profit. Makes my skin crawl.

The problem with giving people the idea of “improving” a breed is that it opens up the possibility of people deciding on what they feel needs to be “improved,” i.e., different. The standard is just fine—breed to stay in accordance. Stop “improving,” and keep true to the compass.

My greatest hope is that new judges are accustomed to seeing tails on historically docked breeds and they will be more welcoming and embracing of them in the ring. That all judges understand how important it is to judge the entire dog, and not the caudal vertebrae or the head shape. Everything in between is what works all day, and the brain inside that comports the dog.

Has the current wave of “dangerous dog” legislation affected me or my dogs? I don’t know about “current wave,” we started suffering from it in the mid-1990s. Homeowner’s liability options are severely limited. That’s been the hardest for most folks. We’ve gotten a lot of dogs in rescue because of insurance policies that were cancelled due to breed and nothing the dog did.

Much to the chagrin of my fellow parent-club members I am an advocate of the docking ban in Europe. I spent a few years researching the topic and went from the stance of “it’s a benign procedure” I was taught those who mentored me to a position of it’s an unnecessary act of animal cruelty. Yes, I know that statement is going to have people up in arms, but so be it. There is no reason to dock a dog except for cosmetic affect and the repercussions for the dog are numerous. I believe if we, the parent club members, don’t get on board with changing the standard and include natural tails the general public/voters will create legislation and do it for us. The AVMA is stance is already quite strong against it.

My favorite dog show memory: my dog “Abel” (mulit-V-1 multi BIS/multi BISS GCHG Haines Abel For Queans, CD, RA, BN, TKA, TT, CGC) winning the ARC Top 20 competition in 2017. That, and when he won Winners Dog at our National in 2013. Amazing moments for me and my friend/co-owner Yolanda Gallardo and our handler, Jeannie Tappan.

The dog that takes a few strides to get going are often the most correct. They are not necessarily showy or flashy, but our breed is not a circus pony. We are quiet, ground covering and efficient 
working dogs.

The funniest thing: I was at a show, standing ringside in front of a “breeder” who was explaining to some folks that the reason her dogs had narrow heads was for better aerodynamics. True story!

 

Sharon Marples

I obtained my first Rottweiler in 1985 as a gift from my husband who had been in the breed for many years. We joined the American Rottweiler Club in 1990, I served as a member of the Board of Directors from 2011-2015 and was the recipient of the club’s Bruce Billings Good Sportsmanship Award in 2012. I am a member of several other Rottweiler and working dog clubs as well.

Having obtained full status as a Rottweiler judge in 2014, I added Bernese Mountain Dogs, Newfoundlands and Samoyeds in 2017 and am working towards adding several additional working breeds in 2019.

Over the last couple of years I have judged at multiple all-breed shows and many Rottweiler specialties including the Gulfstream Rottweiler Club 31st Independent Specialty, the Rottweiler Club of New Mexico Independent Specialty, the ARC Region IV Specialty, the Colonial Rottweiler Club Specialty in May of 2018 and the highlight of them all, the American Rottweiler Club National Specialty in May of 2019 where I judged Intersex, the bitch classes, stud dog and broodbitch classes and the 4-6 puppy competition.

My husband and I, with the kennel name of Von Marc Rottweilers, have bred multiple Best In Show dogs, numerous Top Ten and High In Trial dogs in breed, obedience, agility and rally, a Top Twenty Competition winner, multiple American Rottweiler Club Versatility and Versatility Excellent dogs and many Production Award winners. I have enjoyed being a Breeder/Owner/Handler for 30 + years, having personally finished over 23 Champions.

I live in the Coeur d’Alene area of North Idaho. Outside of spending special time with my husband, I still work and will be celebrating my 28th anniversary this year at a wonderful company. I also volunteer to our local 4-H association and work with the up and coming handlers they have in their organization.

My husband bought me my very first Rottweiler in 1985. We produced our first litter in 1988 and that started my handling career. I have been a judge since 2014; have several of the working group that I judge and am working towards adding more.

The secret to a successful breeding program is being able to get past being “kennel blind,” understanding the good and bad attributes of the individuals you have produced and trying to correct and better each litter that you plan. Work to produce breed type and for the structure that allows your dog to do what the breed has been doing for hundreds of years.

The condition of the Rottweiler breed today? I believe that we are in very good shape; I feel that most of the ethical breeders of today (those that do and disclose all health testing and breed to our standard) are trying their best to produce a great dog with each litter they produce. We are working to maintain breed type and working function with correct structure. Temperament is so much better now than in years past and we can be proud of the numerous therapy dogs from our breed that do so much for people.

Those breeding with less than desired health certifications or no certifications at all, or breeding without consideration for temperament or structure. In addition, those breeding for an extreme head which in all actuality limits the working and breathing ability of our breed.

I feel breeders need to concentrate on always keeping our breed standard in mind when choosing breeding partners, striving to keep breed type and the proportions needed for form and function and working towards breeding dogs with strong character, intelligence, working attitude and ability and a profile that no one can challenge belongs to a Rottweiler.

I actually feel that most of the new judges to our breed are really trying to judge it favorably and honestly. I believe they are keeping up to date with the standard and are looking to find a dog with correct breed type, balance, proportions and quality. The ones I have mentored and associated with at judges study groups are truly interested in knowing what to look for and how it all flows together to make the complete dog.

Has the current wave of “dangerous dog” legislation affected me? Not me or my dogs directly, but I have friends who have been denied insurance or they have been refused entrance to public parks, etc., due to having our breed. We all need to actively work towards good PR for our breed.

Does the docking and cropping ban in other parts of the world impact me? It does not impact me directly. I firmly believe the Rottweiler is a docked breed but I also understand that in many countries, docking and cropping have been banned. I cannot penalize a dog from those countries from having a tail and believe each judge should judge according to the standard of the country they are judging in.

My favorite dog show memory? I have many, from being present when a dog we bred won his first Best In Show, when I personally handled a bitch to a BISS on her second birthday, winning over many top ranked dogs in the country to do so, when a bitch we bred was awarded the ARC Gold Production award from her one and only litter of seven puppies. There are so many great memories I have from being in this breed for almost 35 years. I am blessed that we have bred many great dogs whose owners have taken them to accomplishments we never thought would happen.

I have found that most Rotties love having fun. Their intelligence can bring a sense of humor to many occasions which makes for a lot of laughable times with them. They can be and are, wonderful companions and the time or effort you put into them they give back in so many ways. They are capable of doing so much – obedience, tracking, therapy work, herding, agility, carting, barn hunt, rally, dock diving, conformation and so much more—they love working with their humans and their loyalty to their human family is unmatched—they will bring a smile to your face and a warm feeling of genuine love for our breed.

 

Jackie Payne

I’m a native Floridian. I’m a practicing Dental Hygienest for 40 years, working now 1/2 day a week. I’m a full time Massage Therapist specializing in TMJ and facial disorders. I live with my four Rotti girls ,so needless to say, we always training for something. I’m also considered “Gma” by all my puppies and owners. And then there is always the beach.

I live in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Outside of dogs I have an extremely busy Massage Therapy practice.

I’ve owned Rottweilers about 30 years. I bought a bitch from a show breeder in 2005 as a pet and in only her third time showing won WB at our Nationals and also got a select at only 1 year old! I was hooked! My first litter was in 2008 that I co-bred. I learned a lot from the other breeder. Started breeding on my own in 2010.

The secret to a successful breeding program is to watch what others are doing and ask a lot of questions from breeders you know and respect. It’s easier to watch what is being produced with social media. Sometimes you just have to think outside of the box.

The condition of the Rottweiler breed today? I think breeders today are really making an effort to clean up our front assembly which has been problematic but now our rears are showing neglect. I’m also seeing that people in the sport are “selling” us on the idea of what our breed should be, due to what they are producing not breeding to the standard.

What I feel breeders need to concentrate on to improve the quality of Rottweiler? I always think form is function. To improve the breed use a great bitch who is conformation correct and really try to visualize the outcome. This is where thinking outside the box is important. I learned this from Suzan Guynn. It has worked for me.

Also, I wish health clearances were more predictable but as you know, you can breed two very healthy animals and things pop up that you just don’t expect. I hope that all breeders and owners participate in research for our health issues. Pointing fingers won’t help but participating in research will.

I feel like the education and certification process is lacking and the general knowledge is there but the nuances of our breed isn’t. Also, the influence of who did the mentoring greatly influences the process of how dogs are picked. I watched a breeder judge pick very politically instead of correctly. I would like to see breeder judges pick the dog vs who will get then there next assignment. ‘This also influences all rounder decision as they feel breeder judges are more savvy about our breed.

Has the current wave of “dangerous dog” legislation affected me? Yes! When making breeding choices temperament is extremely important because breeding a hard dog is frowned upon. I temperament test every puppy with a certified trainer/tester before making decisions on where they are placed. I also live in an area where we have a animal limit but the animal control people really watch what’s going on with the bully breeds.

Does the docking and cropping ban in other parts of the world impact me? Most definitely as all my pups are docked! You see very few American bred dogs doing well in FCI countries and vice versa. We are starting to see movement back to docking in countries that originally banned it. I think those countries are trying to bring the decision back to it being a choice. I think at that point there needs to be definitive standards about tail set and/ or tail.

I have many great memories but there is one that makes me laugh out loud to this day. My bitch Reagan was going around in a large outdoor group ring. One whole side had tent stakes and she ran her handler thru the stakes and he had to jump each one! It was hysterical. She got a piece of the group that day!

The Rottweiler has a way of bringing out the best or the worst in people. They most definitely will run you or you learn to embrace them. Making things “their idea” is truly the key to living in harmony with this strong, noble breed. This stoic breed gets into your heart and they never leave. My life will never be the same 
without them!

 

Loretta Pyeatt

Lorretta and Allen Pyeatt have been breeding Rottweilers under the kennel name Loral Rottweilers. We started our adventure in the dog world as a family sport. I have trained and shown all our dogs myself until the past five years at which time health and age has required we hire handlers . We have produced multiple BIS and BISS female and male Rottweilers. OTCH and High In Trial obedience titled Rottweilers, multiple futurity winners , multiple best in sweepstakes winners , BISP BISSP and top dog in the United States and the Philippines.

We live in southeast North Carolina , my husband and I own a dog business Canine Academy. A dog training center, boarding facility and doggie daycare. I teach the classes and run the day to day business.

We purchased our first Rottweiler in 1983, as a pet. While taking training classes it was suggested we should show our Rottweiler puppy. After visiting an AKC dog show we were hooked for life!

The secret to a successful breeding program: you must passionately love your breed. Study not only your breed standard but know what attributes are most important to you. For me raising small children with our Rottweilers in the beginning temperament had to come first. Second for me is health without a healthy dog owners and dogs suffer. Third is structure A breeder must understand structure form and function.

The condition of the Rottweiler breed: I feel breeds change constantly depending on the popularity of a stud dog and how he influences his breed. I had the opportunity to show at this years Rottweiler nationals. I feel positive that the Rottweiler breed is in a positive place. Great temperaments, large numbers of veteran dogs and bitches speaks well for longevity and health. Structure is always subjective for me I love movement if a Rottweiler can move effortlessly it can work. I guess if I had one con it would be we need stronger top lines and shorter backs . That would be my wish for the Rottweiler of 2019.

What I feel breeders need to focus on: overall I think majority of breeders are doing a great job. Structure can always be improved on.

I think overall judges are doing a good job. It’s politics that hurt the show world and then breeds suffer.

Has the dangerous dog laws affected me: luckily I live in a county that does not have dangerous breed specific laws rather a dangerous dog law. I was active in city council meetings many years back to help shape the laws not to single out any one breed.

I love my Rottweiler with a docked tail. I hope I will always have the right to choose a docked tail Rottweiler.

My favorite dog show memory: I’ve been so fortunate to have many wonderful moments with my family and dogs at shows . A past moment would be 2000 WKC winning BOS with multiple BIS BISS AM CAN Ch Loral’s Dynasty and BOB with my Staffordshire Bull Terrier Rosie. As for a resent show moment it would be Winners Bitch Best Of Winners and Best puppy in show at this years Rottweiler nationals Loral’s Joint Venture from the 6-9 class.

 

Tom Ryan

I live in Erdenheim, Pennsylvania. Other things I like to do is fly fishing and spend time with my grandchildren. We have had Rottweilers since 1985. We started showing in Obedience in 1987. We bred our first bitch in 1988.

We started showing in confirmation in 2011. We have a Silver Grand Champion (stud dog ) and a Grand Champion bitch .

To have a successful breeding program you need to know the breed standards. Follow AKC standards for the breed. Know the breeders you are dealing with and show the dog or bitch until they are at least a Champion before breeding. I have had my best results breeding to bitches that are two to four years old .

I feel that the breed today has many well-bred animals. My experience Is strictly with show dogs but I have seen Rottweilers from all over the country. I’m concerned today with the down turn of entries at a lot of the shows. I wish I knew the answer to turn it around.

I think the judges for the most part do a good job. I think there is a need for more judges. I don’t see any new younger people becoming judges at shows on the east coast.

I think docking and cropping have pros and cons. I leave it to what the individual person likes. I do not hear of people going to Europe to get a well-bred Rottweiler now that the tails are all long.

I like the look of the cut tail. I think it will be a long time before the long tail is popular.

My favorite dog show memory was 2018 at MRC when one of our bred bitchs won best of show and another one best of opposite

I just fell in love with the breed the first time I saw one. I was riding my horse and I came up on a man walking a Rottweiler and I had to ask him what his breeding was. I thought he was a mix of some kind . I was very happy to hear it was a breed. Six months later we got our first Rottweiler.

 

Jeff Shaver

Jeff Shaver is an AKC Licensed Tracking Judge and has been involved with Rottweilers since 1984. He has served five years as President of the American Rottweiler Club and is currently Vice President of the parent club. Jeff has been involved for many years working on legislative efforts, breed education and promoting breed health as well as a positive public image of the Rottweiler across 
the country.

I live in Magnolia, Texas. Most of my time is spent with the dogs but outside of dogs I enjoy fishing and working in the garden.

I have owned Rottweilers since 1984 and have been showing conformation, obedience and/or tracking since that time. I am currently approved to judge all levels of AKC tracking competition. I have been involved with breeding Rottweilers since 1988.

To be successful and consistently produce sound dogs requires knowledge of what the dogs you already have are capable of producing from studying pedigrees and tracking relatives over a long period of time. If you have this information, you can make good choices or your best “guestimate” about which combinations would be most successful and continuing to produce what you are looking for.

While Rottweiler registrations and overall popularity remain high, breed entries and those interested in conformation have declined in numbers over the past 15 years, as have many purebred dog breeds. I am happy to say that, on the whole, I believe there are many outstanding animals of quality that are being shown in various venues around the country, including what appears to be a large increase in owners working in performance and companion events with their dogs and doing something besides conformation.

Cons. There have been trends over the last twenty years in the breed, which in my opinion, do not meet the breed standard, but are rewarded in the ring because so many dogs look similar. These traits have come from a few dogs that have been used extensively for breeding around the country. Some of those problems include overall proportion namely dogs too short on leg or long in back. Additionally, angulation, front and rear, do not match—some rears being extremely angulated with short upper arms in the front assembly. These to me are the primary problems that I see in some dogs.

WhatI feel breeders need to concentrate on to improve the quality of Rottweiler? I would hope that breeders would not exaggerate specific traits. More is not always better. Extreme body mass and overly done heads and over massive or bulked up bodies. Neither extreme whether too light a build or too heavy is appropriate for the Rottweiler. The dog should be moderate in all respects, in my opinion.

How I feel about the influx of new judges, specialists and all breed, to our breed? There has always been an influx of new judges throughout the time that I have been involved in showing. There are good ones and there are some that are not as good. I believe that over time people choose their entries wisely and tend to not enter to those who they do not feel have a good grasp of the standard. Having been involved in judge’s education, I feel most of the new applicants who have been through the American Rottweiler Club Judges Education Program do come away with a good understanding of what an appropriate Rottweiler should look like.

Has the current wave of “dangerous dog” legislation affected me? There was a flurry 10 to 15 years ago of dangerous dog legislation which did impact the Rottweiler. Some of that has seemed to have died down, in my opinion, though there is still a problem in many areas with obtaining insurance for specific breeds and it is often hard to find rental property if you own a Rottweiler.

Does the docking and cropping ban in other parts of the world impact me? I have no concern at all for docking or cropping bans in other parts of the world. Currently in this country I support the opportunity and ability of anyone to make those decisions for their own animals. I personally do not care whether a Rottweiler is docked or not. There is no written fault in the Rottweiler standard for an undocked dog, the members of the club three times rejecting an effort to add a penalty or a fault for a natural tail. The current position of the American Rottweiler Club is neutral and certainly does not take a position that docking is mandated for a dog to be successful. There are many natural tailed champion Rottweilers in the United States now and it is very common to see one in the ring such that there is not much uproar any longer when one gets points, finishes or even gets a group placement. I certainly see in the future in the United States or specific states following in the footsteps of other veterinary practices around the world and limiting docking and cropping. A good Rottweiler with a tail or docked is still a good Rottweiler and should be judged accordingly.

My favorite dog show memory is probably getting a three point major on my first Rottweiler (who probably did not deserve it) way back in 1985. The dog never did finish but I was thrilled being a newbie in the sport with that first win.

The Rottweiler should above all be a working dog that is athletic and moderate in build according to the AKC standard, avoid extremes, reward sound temperament instructor and enjoy the many working attributes of the breed. 

 

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