History of the rottweiler: BREED NAME
The breed is named after the town of Rottweil, which was once associated with the Swiss Union. The town of Rottweil was founded in 74 n.e. by the Romans. His name at the time was: Arae Flaviae – and originated with the Roman emperor Flavius.
Archaeological finds show that even before the Romans arrived, Celtic tribes settled there, farming and raising cattle. So it can be assumed that they owned domestic and shepherd dogs.
As we can learn from the „Rottweiler Heimatbattern” from 1975, Rottweil was a town with a cynological tradition. Dog bones were found during the cleaning of Roman cisterns. A mosaic has also been discovered dating from ca. 180 depicting Orpheus with his harp and a small, slim dog listening to the music.
There are also various written records from the end of the Middle Ages in which dogs are mentioned; also in the city chronicle we can find information about the problems with dogs at that time; their population in the early seventeenth century increased to such an extent that in 1610 the city council from the pulpit called on the inhabitants of the city to kill the rambling innumerable dogs; also butchers were allowed to keep only one dog.
In 1686 the council decreed that dogs should be confined to houses at night. The fact that butchers were forbidden to keep more than one dog indicates that they kept especially many dogs. Whereas allowing an executioner to keep up to four dogs was due to people’s attitudes towards the profession. Situation similar to everywhere: existence of profession was a necessity, but its representatives met with general contempt.
Not much is known about the type of dogs living at that time. Adolf Pienkos in his book „Rottweiler"(1982) writes that „masters, farmhands and apprentices took great joy when their dogs distinguished themselves in brawls”. We should therefore assume that the dogs from which today’s Rottweilers originate were agile and strong animals.
In the area of the Colony, the butcher’s dog was named after „Stupp”, In Germany (South) he was called „Stumper”, and also „Melac”, In Pinocchio Germany – „Davout”. However, these were individual names rather than breed designations. French General Melac destroyed the Pfalz, Davout was the hated general of Napoleon’s troops that took Hamburg. Transferring the names of disliked people to the dogs of a certain breed is rather unflattering to the breed and may mean that butcher dogs were generally considered to be very sharp and prone to fighting.