How to measure the ratios of the Rottweilers head

How to measure the ratio’s of the Rottweiler’s head.

As never before, there was the recent attention for the ratio’s of the Rottweiler’s head.  Social media were (and are) overcrowding with personal opinions and photo’s, some of which can only cause horror.

In the light of the announced adjustment of the FCI Breedstandard and its consolidation of the ratio of the head to be “about 1 to 1.5” (= 40 % – 60 %) while all shorter muzzles (shorter than 40 %) are to be seen as faulty, it is important to return to my earlier posting on the manner of measuring the head’s proportion.

Many photo’s shown on social media prove indeed that measuring is not done correctly (and yes, I am aware of the saying : “he who is without sin can throw the first stone”) and results are therefore not correct either.

The plexi-glass instrument we use to measure the head mentions a point “0” and from there it measures to the front and to the rear, or in other words it establishes two lengths, thus measuring  the ratio of the facial region as limited to the muzzle (from the “0” forwards towards the nose) and the cranial length (from the “0” to the rear towards the occipital protuberance) but including the length of the stop.

Important is now where to place the “0”-point on the head.    If we just place it where the stop starts, then this is only relevant if this point is located where it is supposed to be, between the edges of the eye sockets and not, as is the case for all too many dogs, deep behind the eye sockets and sometimes even at the end of a deep furrow that reaches far behind the edge of the eye sockets and at the bottom of a too steep and high forehead.   Starting to measure at such point, deep behind the eye sockets, may establish a perfect ratio of 1/1.5, especially in case of a very steep stop (which will “shorten” the length measured to the rear starting at the “0”), while the muzzle is in reality much too short.

Placing the “0” point at the height where the muzzle ends, this is : where the brows or frontal bones (supercillary arches) surround the eyes or in other words placing the “0” next to the inner eye corner, is the only correct way to use the instrument and read the correct ratio.

Cfr. Pienkoss, The Rottweiler, p. 200 :

“The judges of the ADRK decided to change on 1.9.1981 for the “domestic use”, the proportion facial region / head to 40:60.

This means : the distance from the nose to the inner eye corner shall be 40 % an the distance from the inner eye corner to the occiput protuberance 60 %”.

This was discussed in the margin of the IFR-Meeting dd. 07 – 08 July in Switzerland and confirmed and demonstrated by Mr. Hellmann, breed warden of the ADRK (cfr. photo).

And yes … this will show the problem to be even more grave and widespread than we thought when reading the first results of structural measuring … .