Rottweiler breeding is not an easy task. There are many standards that must be met to call a doggo a Rottweiler. Not just AKC, multiple organizations throughout the globe have certain breeding standards in place to maintain the quality of these doggos. Apart from height and build, a Rottweiler’s eye color, shape, and placement standards also have to be met.
The color of your Rottie’s eyes should be the darkest shade possible. 1A is considered the best. The color is not related to functionality since light eye colors still do their work. But Rottweilers have dark eye color is their type trait. Often employed as guard dogs, the ones with lighter shades in their eyes might not seem as intimidating as they would like. Lighter eye colors tend to soften their gaze which diminishes the boldness of their expression.
Also, once lighter colors are introduced in their bloodline, it will be quite difficult to maintain the dark eye color. The German standards allow the range of eye colors to be between 1A and 5B. but shades in between these specific numbers are also considered. They are known as half shades: 1A 1/2, 2B 1/2, and so on.
Moving on from the color, the shape is to be considered as well. A purebred Rottweiler will have almond-shaped eyes accompanied by tight-fitting lids. If your Rottweiler has round eyes, it is considered faulty by the standards. If a Rottweiler has hairless lids, it is also considered a fault. This is often an indication of some internal/inherent problems.
Apart from the shape, the distance between the Rottweiler’s eyes and their location on their heads is also important. Rottweiler eyes are best preferred set wide apart from each other and lying at a 10-15° angle above the bridge of their nose. See the diagram for reference.
The chart gives approximate values of the proportionate distance between a Rottweiler’s eyes. The chart is from the book “Rottweiler il Cane” by Dr. Carla Lensi. The degree and placement of a purebred Rottweiler’s eyes are from her approximations. The eyes of a Rottweiler should be ideally set 1/4th the distance of the width of the top of their skull from ear to ear. Consider that the top of the skull of your Rottie measures 16cm across, then ideally the eyes should be 4cm from the center of the top.
Some Faults In Rottweiler Eyes:
1. Eyes that are set too wide
2. Eyes that are set very close to each other
3. Eyelids not of the same size
4. Eyes set very low (less than 10-15°)
Recent updates have seen eye color 4A being the new 1A, gaining acceptance in both the AKC and the German Style. Even show dogs have won who have 2 different shades of eye color!
As an owner, it is your responsibility to look after the correct breeding of your Rottweiler. Be it their robust build, correct diet, or their eye color, shape, and placement, they all ought to meet the breeding standards. Keep your Rottweiler healthy and happy!