Vom Bosen Blick Rottweilers 
Selecting a Breeder for a Working Rottweiler
Congratulations, you have decided that the Rottweiler is the right breed for you for your chosen sport! Rottweilers are an excellent "jack of all trades" and can excel at a variety of sports. Our own Rottweilers have done well in Schutzhund, French Ring, Mondioring, Dock Diving, Agility, Obedience, Rally, Carting and Herding! Having owned German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois, there are a few reasons I personally prefer the Rottweiler breed to other breeds for sport work. In my opinion, I think Rottweilers bring a lot of natural aggression to bite work, they are easy tracking dogs and take to scent/detection style training very well, they tend to be very hardy dogs with minimal health issues, and they can work in the field with you and then just as easily adapt to home life. 

If your goal is to do sport work with your Rottweiler, its important you select a puppy that was bred to fulfill that role. While most breeders will advertise they breed for "show and work", you need to do your research and find out exactly what that means. A few questions to ask yourself when interviewing a potential breeder:

- Are the parents titled? If so, to what level?
If your goal is to make it to the Rottweiler world Championships, you will want to find parents who have titled higher than a Canine Good Citizen (CGC!). Find parents who are excelling at the sport you are interested in and ideally, a breeder who has competed in the venue you are interested in. If you want a show dog, go to a breeder who shows their dogs but don't kid yourself into thinking that a breeder who primarily shows can select a dog of proper working drives for you. Likewise, while there may be really nice untitled dogs out there, if your goal is high level competition you will want to see what the parents of your puppy is capable of either on the field or in video/in person. Don't be afraid to ask for a demonstration of the parents drives and working ability. 

- Were the parents bought with titles or sent away for titling? 
It is not uncommon for dogs in other countries to have what we call "fake titles" or "paper titles". I've seen many imports come over with an supposed IPO1 or IPO3 and not know how to sit on command. If the dog was brought over with titles, ask to see the scorebook and again, ask for a demonstration of the dogs working ability. If a breeder is advertising their puppies as having working potential, they should be able to back up those claims. If the dog was sent away for titling in the United States, it should be fairly easy to verify the trial the dog was at for its titles. I would also hesitate to purchase a puppy from a breeder who routinely sends their dogs away for titles rather than doing it themselves. When you train/title your breeding stock, you learn so much about the dogs drives/instincts that I believe makes you better able to select a proper match. 

- Does the breeder spend the majority of their time showing their dogs or entering working events? 
"Showing and Working potential" is a sales pitch, plain and simple. When breeders list this on their website and have never titled a dog, they are doing it to sell puppies. If you goal is primarily show, then this is no problem. But again, if your ambitions for your new puppy are much higher, you need to select a puppy from someone who spends the majority of their time training and titling their dogs in the sport you are interested in. IPO is a very time consuming sport so ask questions of how much time your breeder spends training and preparing for events. With my own dogs we currently train tracking 2 days a week, and obedience/protection 3-4x per week. If we have a competition coming up we obviously would be training significantly more. A breeder who is working their dogs several days per week will obviously be better able to select a puppy for working ability than one who only attends 1-2 sieger shows per year. 

- Does the breeder keep dogs back from their own breeding program to compete with? What success have they had with dogs from their breeding program? 
Along the same lines as what I've said before, find out exactly how much success your breeder has had with their breeding program. Do they know where their puppies have gone? Have any titled or competed at high level? Are they keeping back dogs from their breeding program for titling or selling all their puppies to never be heard from again? 

- What health test are important to the breeder? 
When I first started in Rottweilers, the standard health testing done at the time was just the hips. Then over time, we started to realize that elbows were important too as many Rottweilers were being diagnosed with Grade 1 or worse elbows. Then over time, we discovered that Sub-Aoertic Stenosis was a problem in our breed, so cardiac screenings were needed. Its important that if your goal is working your puppy, you start with healthy parents and the more information we know about the dogs in our breeding program the better. While many imported dogs still only have Hips/Elbow clearances, its my goal within my own breeding program to do Hips / Elbows / Heart (by Echocardiogram)/ Eyes (CERF). I've washed dogs from my own personal breeding program with cataracts and with SAS found only on the Echo exam (not on auscultation by a Cardiologist) so breeders denying that there are heart and eye problems in our breed are kidding themselves. 

How long has the breeder been in the breed? 
There is a deceptive practice among Rottweiler breeders to inflate their number of years experience owning the breed. Please, please be aware of things like "combined experience," claiming to be a 2nd or 3rd generation dog breeder, or if they are counting from the first time they owned a dog as a small child. These are all sales pitches that are meant to deceive the buyer into thinking this person has more experience then they truly do. It should not be hard for a breeder to quantify when they started to actively compete/study the breed. And its amazing what a simple google search will turn up if you start digging into how long someone has been active in the breed. Its important to select a breeder who has a long history in the breed as there is something we call the 5 year rule ….after 5 years, many MANY breeders will quit the sport and breeding and disappear completely. You want to make sure any health guarantees you have been given for your puppy will be honored, so make sure you start with someone reputable and who is in it for the long haul, not just to make a quick buck. 

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