Foreword by the IFR-President

Dear Rottweiler Friends,

The decision by the Meeting of Delegates of 2015 to change the IFR-Constitution led our Federation into a new phase of its existance.

The IFR was founded to worldwide preserve the breed specific characteristics of the Rottweiler.   This was necessary as the breed was fast gaining popularity all over the world and was now being bred and kept in diverse countries, in as many diverse cultures and was therefore possibly subject to just as many diverse expectations and then not necessarily those that defined the breed in its original characteristics as a utility breed.

The goal of the IFR may have been clear but the powers of its Executive Board and the instruments at its disposal were insuffiently defined to be effective, in fact the powers and activities of the Board were even limited to ensuring that a Meeting of Delegates would be organized every three years … . 

The challenges facing our beloved breed have led to successive changes in the IFR-Constitution.  The Constitution now clearly defines the goals of the Federation and the instruments and powers that are at the disposal of the IFR-Board … but also the conditions that must be met to allow for Membership of the Federation as this Membership is no longer free from obligations but obliges all Memberclubs to an active commitment !

This is a new concept that must allow the IFR to be much more active and ambitious than in the past and to outgrow the idea of just being an association that organizes an annual  World Show and an IPO World Championship.

The challenges facing our breed, are many.

Showresults have replaced the natural selection of breeding dogs, however not always homogeneous and as we have withnessed in recent years, sometimes even leading the breed away from its definition and this because of personal preferences and/or economic motives.

Breeding programs are often all too strongly based on a policy of very close and repeated inbreeding and result into an ever more limited genepool and a dominant consolidation of genetic disorders.

Worldwide, because of stricly cultural but also for economical reasons, we see the breed moving towards the concept of a “pet” or a “showdog”, neglecting the physical and mental characteristics of the utility dog.

Incidents still lead to breed specific legislation, limiting the breeding and keeping of our beloved breed.  Improving the public image of the breed is an absolute must.

These are evolutions that touch the very core of the breed and that we may not ignore.

The IFR is not a “superclub” and cannot and will not interfere in national affairs or regulations.    It must however be an organisation that actively studies these evolutions and tries to guide where differing national regulations or activities may be insufficient to ensure a worldwide homogeneous compliance of the Rottweiler to the one and only definition of the breed : the FCI-breedstandard.   This definition not only concerns the breed’s physical characteristics but also its mental compliance and it is not splittable !

For the newly elected Board also, this new concept of the IFR is a challenge in itself but it is one that we are ready to take !

After sessions of brainstorming we have decided on a first list of priorities and a work schedule.

The inventory of already existing national activities and regulations will now first be updated, then analysed and will, accompanied by our suggestions, be put before the next Seminars of Judges and Breedwardens and of course the Meeting of Delegates.     This will concern all the above mentionned aspects, the compliance to the breedstandard and the definition of the Rottweiler as a utility breed which should be reflected in breeding regulations and breed suitability tests, health issues, the assessment of social behaviour, etc. …

We will not achieve miracles and changes and results might not even be immediately visible, but I assure you that – in close cooperation with all Memberclubs – we will do all within our means to achieve the objectives of the IFR :    the keeping and breeding of the Rottweiler as a dog with its wordwide place in modern society, yet without loss of the original characteristics of the Rottweiler as defined by the FCI-breedstandard : a high confidence of character, a social behaviour in family and society and still ever with the aptitude of a utility dog.

On behalf of the IFR-Board,

Dirk Vandecasteele, President.