Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast
My niece walking my 110 pound Rottweiler, Mickey, many years ago. Mickey would normally drag anyone walking her, but she just knew to be gentle with my niece.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Secret Ingredient

If you have not been living under a rock and have actually read more than one of my blogs, you know I love Rottweilers.  Since welcoming my first two Rotties, in 1994, I have been addicted to this breed.  Growing up with a hodgepodge of dogs on the ranch, I felt I knew canines well enough, until Taz and Mickey stormed into my life.  After only a few months I realized that these were not typical dogs.  What set them apart from their fellow canine cousins took me a while to really nail down, but once I did it made perfect sense as to why they acted the way they did. 

The way the history of the Rottweiler was told to me, and confirmed by various sources, is that when Roman forces conquered Germania, their supply trains of livestock and carts followed them.  Helping with that task were Roman Mastiffs, big powerful dogs who aided in the herding of cattle and pulling of carts.  Once in Germania, these Roman Mastiffs bred with the existing herding dogs in an area that was later christened Rottweil, a town named for the red tile roofs of the bathhouses the Romans had built there.  This new breed of dog came to be known for its fierce loyalty, strength, and intelligence, but the breed came with a secret ingredient thrown in the mix, thereby setting them apart from other dogs.
My girl Belle had a massive "F You" attitude, especially when she had her toy.
The way I like to describe a Rottweiler is this: a Rottweiler is a dog that has the strength and stoicism of a Mastiff and the intelligence of a Border Collie but with a very large middle finger added to the pot.  This was it, the defiant, look-you-in-the-eye-and-question-whether-you-are-Alpha-enough-to-run-the-pack attitude that set the Rottweiler apart from all the other dogs I had known.  It took years of working with countless Rottweilers (and other breeds) to truly confirm this, but I have full confidence that the secret ingredient that makes a Rottweiler special is that stubborn ‘f*** you’ type attitude they convey at times. 

This was confirmed yet again when I took my Rottweiler, Carly, to the vet for her annual checkup and vaccinations the other day.  My vet walked into the exam room and we chatted a bit about how she was doing since Bradum had passed.  The entire time, Carly lay on the floor near me but with her eyes fully locked on Dr. Anderson.  Her ears weren’t back in apprehension and outside of a slightly elevated pant rate, she was as calm as always.  Dr. Anderson then did as he does with all the dogs, he sat on the floor and called Carly over to him, hoping that she would want attention and allow him to perform the exam while petting her, like most dogs allow.

“Come here, Carly,” he said in his always calm, even tone -- which only contributes to making him such a great veterinarian.  Carly didn’t budge.  He tried to coax her over one more time and then stopped.  Now, I couldn’t see Carly’s face from where I was sitting, but apparently the look she gave Dr. Anderson was a good one.

“Troy, if that dog had middle fingers I believe she would be giving me doubles right now,” he said, giving up.

Yep, there was that secret ingredient again, displayed right on cue. 
Carly and "the look".
What’s awesome about people that know Rottweilers, even if they don’t own one, is that they understand that the middle finger is a breed trait, and they actually love the dogs for it.  It is what makes Rotties unique, and is, after all, their secret ingredient.

Do you have an example of a Rottweiler with an attitude? Share it in the comments below.  If you want to know more about my efforts as a writer, be sure to check out my Facebook and Twitter pages.  You can also learn more about me at my website  There you can also purchase my first novel, Stranger’s Dance. 

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