Norwegian regulations on length of muzzle.

We were informed by the Norwegian Rottweilerclub about its following decision and showregulations concerning the length of the muzzle of the Rottweiler, an issue that concerns all Rottweiler lovers :

“To whom it may concern.

Background: The Rottweiler head has always been a topic for debate and discussion. In recent years the relation between skull/muzzle has gained high focus. We know that dogs with short muzzle achieve problems getting enough air when breathing, affecting the dog´s ability to work and track efficient. We also know that short muzzles can give problems related to the desired scissor bite, and teeth placement. In 2016 this topic was raised with high focus within the German mother club ADRK´s judging seminar in Dessau 2016. Furthermore, the ADRK(FCI) breed standard has been updated to be even more specific on the relation of head/muzzle. The case: To ensure good health and enforcing a proper relation to the head/muzzle within the Norwegian population of the Rottweiler, the Board of directors in the Norwegian Rottweiler Club has unanimous decided the following:

At our club specialty shows, all participating Rottweiler is to be measured related to the skull/muzzle relation.

• All invited judges will before they get invited get this information with proper instructions. Measuring instruments will be provided by the club if the judge does not have this themselves. Judges that are already invited for the upcoming specialty shows in 2018 will be asked to support and help us to kickstart our decision.

• The Norwegian Rottweiler Club will for a period of 3 years register and document the results of each dogs to get an overview of the Norwegian population of the Rottweiler. The Norwegian Kennel Club (NKK) has a focus group “Taskforce for better animal welfare” that will be informed regularly with our work. This is a focus are by the Norwegian Kennel Club.

Norwegian Rottweiler Club

Robert Tenold

President / IFR Delegate.”

It goes without saying that this initiative is to be applauded !   What we do not test or measure for, may as an unknown and/or unsanctionned but consolidated unwanted trait infest breeding programs and threaten the breed’s health, utility and conformation and therefore it’s future.  

We also refer to the “FCI Basic Statement For Show Judges, Dogs Fit For Their Original Function dd. October 2013” that demands that all show judges must not only judge the breed within the approved breed standard but also keeping in mind dat “dogs must always be fit for the function for which they were originally meant, developed and bred for.”      A judge must particularly pay attention to the breed-specific characteristics which have a tendency towards exaggeration, which can creep into a breed and have a negative effect on the health of the individual dog.   The judge must be aware of the fact that a pedigree dog with exaggerated breed characteristics which can lead and result in health, behaviour or movement problems, should be excluded from breeding and therefore never be awarded a qualification “Excellent.”  In particular, all dogs should be able to breathe normally while standing and moving.   Particular attention should therefore be paid to exaggerations which might prevent healthy breathing such as very noisy breathing and/or audible respiratory distress.

We must therefore thank the Norwegian Club for its courageous and meaningful initiative !

On behalf of the IFR-Board,

Dirk Vandecasteele.

President of the IFR-Board.