Activities you can do with your Rottweiler.


What is conformation showing?

Showing dogs is a great sport where the thrill of competition is combined with the joy of seeing beautiful dogs. Dog shows are one of many types of AKC dog events in which AKC-registered dogs can compete.

Dog shows (conformation events) are intended to evaluate breeding stock. The size of these events ranges from large all-breed shows, with over 3,000 dogs entered, to small local specialty club shows, featuring a specific breed. The dog's conformation (overall appearance and structure), an indication of the dog's ability to produce quality puppies, is judged

A Beginner's Guide to Dog Shows

AKC Grand Champion Title

AKC Owner Handled Series


Carting With Your Rottweiler

Respectively offered by Wayne Budwick, Von Hawkwind Rotteilers


What I will attempt to do is give you a general feeling of what it takes to do carting and how much fun it is to train your dog to pull. Whether he pulls a cart, wagon, sled, travois, a truck load of dog food, or you on skis, there is nothing that is more fun!
Let's go over a few things first. When I refer to a dog, I mean either male or female of any breed. (My preferred breed is the Rottweiler so you will occasionally find them referred to here!) The dog must be of adequate size and have a disposition that will allow you to train him easily to the task of carting. A dog that can compete at the Companion Dog
(CD) level has a good start on the right training to be effective at draft work. The amount of fun you and your dog will have depends on his temperament and your ability to train him properly for draft work. Common sense must be the byword for this very special endeavor. There is no such thing as too much obedience training. Don'tassume that your dog will leap at the chance to do draft work. The chances are that he will more than likely "leap" desperately in the opposite direction to start.
Because a dog's structure is not like a horse or an ox, you must consider the type of rig/cart/wagon that you will use. A wagon is a four wheeled vehicle. A cart has two or three wheels instead of the wagon's four. A sled or sledge is a vehicle on runners used on snow or grass.

The type of harness (freight, cart, siwash, nylon web, or leather), must be the best you can afford. There are a multitude of harness types on the market today. Freight and Siwash style harnesses are easily adapted to carts or wagons with a little ingenuity. Make sure the harness fits well and is padded. I have seen dogs chafed and cut to the bone because of improperly fitted harnesses.


Besides the obvious benefits to heart and lungs for both you and your dogs, draft work can be both fun and useful. Your
child can use the dog and cart to help on his newspaper route. You can have him pull the groceries home. In the country, he can haul fire wood back to the house. What better publicity for your breed of dog than seeing a well trained team in a parade or at special events? Sled dog teams can be registered with local police departments to help transport people and supplies. What better reasons could you have for training your dog for draft work?

Most dogs will show an interest in pulling right from the start. A few will want nothing to do with the whole idea until they learn how to do it. Don't be disappointed if your dog is not perfect the first time out. Dogs that work willingly on the first attempt are rare. As with all training, your confidence and a firm hand will go a long way in achieving that perfect draft dog.


You must use common sense when training your draft dog. Most problems occur because of a lack of understanding between the dog and driver. When you become angry, confused, or impatient, put the dog away. You can only do more harm than good if this happens. One person must do all the training. Everyone has a different way of saying a command. Commands from several different people during training will only confuse the dog.

Your dog must be in top physical condition. Toe nails must be short. A good quality food should be provided. The stresses placed on the dog mentally as well as physically may require a higher intake than normal. This doesn't mean over feed your dog. Obesity is the worst enemy of the draft dog. Never let your dogs get fat.

All your training instincts must be in use while working with your dog. Be alert to his posture. When you have him in harness, and he is trying hard but unable to accomplish what you have asked him to do, STOP. Is the load too heavy? Is the weather too warm? Is the harness chafing or cutting into him? You must solve the problem in such a way that he still has confidence in his own abilities. Remember, if you want to be part of a good draft team, MAKE IT FUN!

I have just touched on a few of the basic items involved with starting draft work. There are many more areas that I could cover. If you like what you see and want me to publish more information, write to me at the address listed below.



GEE Turn Right.
HAW Turn Left.
WHOA, STOP, HOLD  All mean stop. 
HIKE, MUSH OKAY, ALL RIGHT, LET'S GO All are forward commands, varying
according to the
preference of the driver. 
GEE COME! HAW COME!  are commands to come back and reverse
direction on the trail. 
ON BY!  used when you want your dog to continue
past some
distraction that has caught his attention. 
TIGHTEN UP  is called to the leader when he is to
stretch the gang line tight and hold it, or be ready for a start. 
LEAD DOG  is the first dog in line, sometimes two
POINT DOGS are fast eager dogs making up the first
pair behind the leader, and are often leaders in training. 
SWING DOGS  are all the other pairs except those
closest to the rig.
WHEEL DOGS  are the closest to the rig, almost
always, dogs with stamina.  They control the behavior of the rig




A Travois is a primitive vehicle used by the plains Indians consisting of two trailing poles serving as shafts and bearing a platform or net for the load. A travois can be made from PVC (plastic) pipe. It is a very simple training device. You can use 1/2 or 3/4 inch PVC. You will need 2, 90 degree elbows, 2 T's, 2 lengths of pipe and a can of PVC glue.

Two Wheel Carts

Carts are two wheeled vehicles pulled by a horse, pony, or a dog. Sizes vary depending on the
animal used to pull it.

Four Wheel Wagons

Wagons are low four-wheeled vehicles with an open rectangular body and a tongue or shafts used to pull with. Four wheeled wagons with their widely spaced wheels are less prone to tipping over. They can also support the larger weights loaded into them without putting to much stress on a dog's back. Wagons can be as simple as a flat bed or frame mounted on the wheels, or include seats, cargo areas etc. But remember, your dog has to pull the additional weight that this adds to the wagon. One of the disadvantages is that a wagon usually requires a larger turning radius than a two-wheel cart. It is also much harder to back a wagon in a straight line if you get stuck in a narrow area.


A sled is a vehicle on runners used for transportation. It may also have a 2solid bottom such as a toboggan. It is usually used on snow or ice.


A harness is used as a way to attach the dog to the rig. It can be made of any material. A harness is used as a way to attach the dog to the rig. It can be made of leather, nylon web or any other suitable material. There are several different types of harness, freight, cart, siwash, and x-back. Freight and Siwash style harnesses are easily adapted to carts or wagons with a little ingenuity. Even a tracking harness can be adapted to draft work. Make sure the harness fits well and is padded.


Agility With Your Rottweiler

The sport of dog agility began in 1977 when the Crufts dog show needed a time-filler between the morning conformation show and the afternoon obedience championships.  The founders based dog agility on horse jumping and the dogs ran in teams.  It was an instant crowd pleaser and the sport swept Europe, Australia and New Zealand.  The United States embraced the sport in 1986 and it is one of the fastest growing dog sports today

In modern day agility trials, the dog and handler team combine training, teamwork and athletic ability to negotiate obstacles under set time constraints.

Dogs are divided into height divisions, so as only to directly compete with like-sized dogs. They are also divided into levels of performance, ie. Novice/Starters, Open/Advanced, Excellent/Masters etc. Much like obedience, exhibits are judged based on personal performance and are working toward a qualifying score.   Unlike obedience, however, agility exhibitors may use both verbal commands and body language at any time and may talk to their dog or cheer their dog on during the run.  Accuracy of the performance is judged, as well as running time.   Placements are given first through fourth place with score determining the winners.  Ties are determined by next comparing
running times.



AKC Agility

UKC Agility

North American Dog Agility Councel (NADAC)

United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA)



Canine Performance Events

Agility Net

Agility Ability

Agility Nerd

Agility Articles


Standard equipment in most agility trials are as follows: bar and spread jumps, open and closed tunnels, A-frame, Teeter, Dog Walk, Weave Poles, Table or Pause Box, and window or tire jumps. A combination of these obstacles will be used on any agility course and each organization has it's own rules for obstacle use. The A-frame, Teeter and Dog Walk are considered "contact" obstacles. The dog must touch the yellow area of these obstacles at least on the "down" side. Contact obstacles teach control and help to promote the dog's safe navigation of the obstacle. The Table and Pause Box are set in the course to stop the dog. The dog will enter the obstacle, sit or down, and wait for the command to exit the obstacle. Weave Poles help test a dog's precision and accuracy.

Several organizations sanction agility trials.  In the U.S., the American Kennel Club (AKC), the United Kennel Club (UKC), the United States Dog Agility Association (USDAA) and the North American Dog Agility Council (NADAC) all hold trials regularly. Each organization has it's own set of rules. Jump heights, obstacle use, course times and faults will vary from one organization to another.  Additionally, each organization requires that the dog be registered with them before being allowed to compete.    And, in most organizations, your dog must be officially measured by their representatives.  In addition to the standard and jumpers courses, some organizations offer a wide variety of gamers (gamblers, snookers, tunnelers etc.) to compete in.  Each agility group has a website (listed above) and can furnish rules and regulations for a nominal fee. Agility training can be done successfully with both young and older dogs, in fact, many find that it is a wonderful sport for that retired obedience dog or for an adolescent who is not quite ready to enter the show ring.  In either case, always remember that the safety of your dog is the number one concern.   It is advantageous to x-ray your dog to rule out hip and elbow disorders prior to asking him to compete in any strenuous activity.

Training in agility strengthens the dog/handler bond, increases off-lead control, and helps build confidence in most dogs.  To start, all you need is a dog that is in good physical condition and has a desire to please.  Most agility training is done using motivational methods.  Bring lots of treats and be prepared to have fun!

Submitted by: Ann Felske-Jackman <p

AKC Agility Stats:
Of 1997 agility titles earned by Rottweilers during the years 1996-2006...
1018 were Novice level titles (NA,NAJ,NAP,NJP)
596 were Open level titles (OA,OAJ,OAP,OJP)
285 were Excellent level titles (AX,AXJ,AXP,AJP)
89 were Masters level titles (MX,MXJ,MXP,MJP)
7 of those were MACH's
2 of those were MACH2


Rally With Your Rottweiler

AKC Rally is the latest and greatest in dog sports!  Rally became an AKC titling event in 2005.  That year 363 Rottweilers earned a Rally Novice title, 125 Advance titles, and 46 Excellent titles. Rottweilers have excelled in Rally right from the start.
Rally is a wonderful stepping stone for dog and handler teams that have completed a CGC, but are not yet ready for Novice Obedience or Agility.  Dogs must be AKC registered and at least six months old to participate in AKC Rally trials.



AKC Rally
APDT Rally
CARO Rally
Rally Obedience Page
Rally Resources
Rally-O DVD

Rally has 3 skill levels - Novice, Advanced,and Excellent.  At the Novice level the skills are performed with the dog on. In Advanced and Excellent the dog is off leash.  There are no jumps in Novice, but one jump is incorporated into Advance courses and two jumps are required for Excellent courses.  The jumps used are obedience jumps including the broad jump, high jump, and bar jump.  The maximum jump height is 16 inches, with smaller heights for smaller dogs.

The Rally course has numbered stations similar
to an Agility course, but the exercises are Obedience skills.  A sign at each station provides instructions for the skill to be performed.  Once the judge says "forward" the handler and dog are on their own to complete the course.

Handlers can talk to their dog and give verbal encouragement throughout the course.  Handlers can also use physical direction such as moving their arms to help the dog come to front or do a finish.  In Novice the handler may pat their leg or clap their hands to help their dog along.  In Excellent handlers may only use verbal encouragement.  As in both agility and obedience, handlers may not touch their dog or give corrections.

The signs on a Rally course are generally to the right of the handler.  Novice signs include right and left turns, changes of pace, pivots, full circles to the right or left, and several different about turns.  In Advanced and Excellent the skills get progressively more difficult, including a moving stand and heeling the dog backward.  There are 50 different Rally exercises if you count both start and finish.  Novice courses have 10-15
stations, Advance courses have 12-17, and Excellent courses have 15-20 stations.

Handlers are allowed to walk the course and become familiar with the path and exercises before the class begins.  Rally has at least one big advantage, the "do over".  This is referred to as a "retry".  A retry costs the dog and handler only 3 points, rather than a 10 point deduction for an incorrect performance as long as they get it right the second time.

As in Agility, placements are determined by highest score with time used to break any tied scores.  Rally is scored on a 100 point scale, with 70 points required for a qualifying score.  The scoring in Rally is less stringent than in traditional obedience.

There are 4 Rally Titles.  The dogs must earn three qualifying scores under two different judges in order to receive a rally title. The titles that can be earned are: Rally Novice (RN), Rally Advanced (RA), Rally Excellent (RE), and Rally Advanced Excellent (RAE).  The requirement for the RAE title is that the dog must qualify ten times in both the Advanced B class and the Excellent B class at the same trial.

The challenge in Rally is to work as a team, complete all the stations correctly, to display smooth transitions throughout the course, and to have FUN working with your dog.  Rally is a wonderful way to bond with your dog.  So, Rally On!!!!

Submitted by:  Lynette Nehmer


Of 1303 rally titles were earned by
during the years 2005-2006...
775 were Rally Novice
333 were Rally Advanced
178 were Rally Excellent
13 were Rally Advanced Excellent
2 of those were RAE2
1 of those was RAE3
1 of those was RAE4


CT Goose earned all three of her tracking titles at MRC tests

Tracking With Your Rottweiler

A dog uses his nose naturally by air scenting or trailing/tracking a scent. In this  article, I am going to explain that a dog can track using his  natural ability, and still keep his nose close to the ground, where the scent is most concentrated.

Teaching your dog to track is the perfect way to bond with your dog,  build confidence, and challenge mental and physical abilities. This is a team sport. You and your dog must work and train as a team.

We as handlers, try to understand just what it is that our dogs are  scenting. It could be the crushed vegetation which is disturbed when laying a track, or the particles of skin cells which fall from our bodies. It still amazes me how a dog's acute sense of smell can break down hundreds of different scents, allowing him to decipher one scent from another.

It is fascinating to watch a dog track one certain scent, watch the intensity of his work, and how when he looses that scent until he locates the right one, and continues on.

Tracking resources:


Karla Niessing
Mukwonago, WI 53149-9115
(262) 363-8349 Home
(262) 470-4969 Cell

We have to learn to read the body language of the dog to know when he is on track, when to assist him, and when to be patient, and wait for him to figure things out. Tracking has so many variables that have to be taken into account. Every day that you come out to the field to track, it is different to the dog. It could be moist or dry, windy or not, with the ground cover varying between tall, short, weedy, and each presents a different challenge for the dog.

Another situation, on top of those variables is the time from when the track is put down until the time the track is run. This is called aging the track. Too many handlers get frustrated and jump from technique to
technique trying to get their dog to work the track with:

a) a deep nose (meaning nose down on the line of the track scent)

b) consistency, and

c) willingness and drive

When teaching the dog from the beginning to have a deep nose he will be  closer to the target line of scent than if allowed to carry his head higher. Also, by teaching step tracking, meaning teaching him to scent from footstep to footstep, his nose will be down, his speed consistent and steady, and his body language easier for you, the handler, to read. With the combination, the dog will stay true to the track.

I start my dogs about 12-14 weeks old.  You can start older dogs the same way as the puppies. The good news is that all the beginning work is done on short grass, so there is no need to drive around to find big fields.... Yet

You will need a handful of flags to stick into the ground, some hotdogs, and a 6 foot leash to start. I quarter a bunch of hotdogs, chicken/turkey are easier and digestible for the dog. Then I find a section of my yard not used by anyone or animal. I place a small flag to mark my start, and stepping from side to side on that spot, I make a scent pad. I drop a few pieces of bait on the scent pad, then placing one foot in front of the other, I step forward indenting my toe first, and placing a piece of bait in the imprint. I take about 15 steps and drop several pieces at the end, to mark the end of the track, take a huge step forward, and then come back to where the start is, not walking too close to the original track. The repeat the same track , making a second track to work.

When I bring the puppy/dog out to track, I use a six foot leash and put it under his/her left front leg, and point to the start of the track. I also start to incorporate the tracking command word I have chosen. I stay to the side of the puppy, re-pointing if he/she decides to veer off track.

This is done everyday for the first week. Meanwhile, I start to teach him/her to indicate articles in the house. I set several gloves in a circle, with food in my closed fist. I place my fist over the glove, When he/she downs at the glove, my hand opens to reward this action with the food.

By now, your dog should have an idea as to what your wanting him/her to be doing on the track. Your dog should also be indicating articles in the house and be ready to move the articles to the track.

After making my scent pad, place and article (sock, rag, glove) at the start flag. As I proceed making my first leg, making it the length of 20 steps,( also making sure food is in every step), I will start to introduce turns. When making a left turn, my right foot turns and faces the new direction of the track. I would then follow with my left foot by making my step only half the distance of a regular step. Then repeat another half step with your right, and then return to normal steps for another 20 steps. At that point I will introduce the right turn. This time, taking my left foot and facing it in the new direction followed by the right making a half step, then half step with left and back to normal steps for 10 steps and end track by placing food on the article. Take a huge step off the end of the track.

Each time I go out and lay a track, I will make each leg longer by 5 steps. I work my legs/track up to a total of 150 yards. This is still being done on short grass, As I am still in my foundation stage.

Once I have the length down, I will shorten my track back down to 50-60 yards and start aging my tracks. I have also been reducing my bait on the track from every step, to every 3 steps, down to every 5 steps, down to every 7 steps, until I will put a piece on the start and on the corners and at the articles. My aging process starts with 15 minutes intervals and increases every 15 minutes, until I can reach one hour.

CT Gable passed his VST at an MRC test

When I have reached the time period, I start putting the two phases together. I will start to lay my track, (starting in short grass) by skirting into some taller grass cover and then back into the short grass. Slowly reducing the amount of short grass and increasing the taller grass.

Until you can get yourself familiar with the area and the tracks you will be laying, you could take a clothes pin to mark your track on the corners to help you better read you dog when he gets to this part of the track. Don¡¯t relay on those markers, as you need to watch how your dog works the track.

When your dog can work a 400 yard or longer length track, you will need to find an AKC tracking judge who is the only one who has authority to certify your dog for a test. A certification is a prerequisite track that has to be passed by you and your dog, enabling you to enter a AKC tracking test.

Happy Tracking!

Submitted by: Donna Wielert

AKC Tracking Stats:
Of the 339 Tracking titles were earned by Rottweilers in the years 1996 - 2006...

  • 238 TD's for approximately 70% of that total
  • 71 TDX's for 20%
  • 15 VST's for 5%
  • 15 CT for 5%

*The MRC made history in 2003 by holding the only VST test to
ever see three passing dogs