The Foundation Bitch

The Foundation Bitch

“From Powerful Bitches Come Powerful Dogs.”

A prominent judge was troubled with her two winners in the 12-18 and 18-24 bitch classes. Both were excellent in type, locomotion, and construction, yet different. One was robust, powerful in substance and size, and the other was finer, more elegant, and small. As the ring steward, I could tell by her pacing back and forth that she had difficulty with the final decision.

“What’s bothering you? I asked.

“I’m not sure which one will have the best interests of the Rottweiler?” she replied.

The judge paced more and finally said, “I must pick the more robust bitch because she can maintain the power and substance we need. The elegant bitch will have a diminishing effect.”

For the stud dog owner, the influencing force behind the litter it sires is his dog. He is not alone in the sentiment. It is reaffirmed by; “Who’s the sire?” as the first question someone asks when they see an excellent pup or adult. Not all share this opinion.

“Who is the most dominant partner when breeding, the stud dog or bitch?” a well-known breeder was asked.

“The stud dog is a catalyst, but the bitch plays the most important role,” he replied.

Knowledgeable breeders will agree that it is not the stud dog but the dam that is the influencing force behind the litter. Her impact is commanding and most often determines the success or failure of a litter’s quality.

An analogy for achieving success in a breeding program is climbing a ladder. To reach the top, each level – in succession – must be utilized. Skipping a step will trigger a shaky ascent and disappointment.

There are 4 levels in the ladder of a breeding program:

  1. Knowing the Standard.
  2. Comprehension of correct breed type.
  3. Obtaining a quality foundation bitch.
  4. Using a quality stud dog.

The foundation bitch should be typical in body, head type, well-constructed, healthful, and capable of attaining a V rating. She should possess power, medium to large size, substance, and substantial bone mass.

Because of her strength and body mass, a foundation bitch like this has versatility. The owner can couple her with varying types of stud dogs and achieve reasonable success in each litter.

The high caliber bitch creates a reputation for the breeder, not the stud dog they use. Few, if any breeders, will sell a bitch of this quality. She is the type that aspiring and established breeders seek and will keep her for their breeding program.

The bitch that breeders sell most is the finer, more elegant in type. The slight and refined bitch has less versatility. She must couple with a complimentary stud dog that offers power, size, and substance. If she couples with a stud dog of the same type, the resulting puppies are often more delicate than she is, a diminishing effect.

No foundation bitch is without fault. Recognize her frailties. Make reasonable steps to eliminate them and not be kennel blind.



  • I have been a strong supporter, passionate about the Rottweiler since 1977 and became an AKC Rottweiler breeder specialist judge in 2003. My goal of breeding and titling working Rottweilers came to fruition when I titled my Dux von Wolf Sch.1 BH, Ztp, AD and several others in my breeding program to their BH’s. I have competed in many AKC conformation shows and finished my co-owned Rottweiler Ch. Ruanes Dark Victory - AKC #WF998428 - to his championship. In 2003, I wrote and published my book, “the Priority of Breed Type in the Rottweiler”. I have lectured for Rottweiler Clubs worldwide and written many articles on Rottweiler structure and type, which are referenced by the American Rottweiler Club and translated into other languages for international Rottweiler club newsletters. Adding to my credits, I have written and codified the original ARC national Sieger shows rules and regulations, revamped – with ARC board approval - the ARC Judges’ Education presentation, and have extensive knowledge of the workings, verbal critiquing and rating system of Sieger style shows. Additionally, I am Head Survey judge for the ARC breed survey, committee member of ARC Judges Education, a pinned 17 year member of ARC and adjudicated breed surveys for the American Rottweiler Club, the Rottweiler Clubs of Australia, New Zealand and Ecuador.

  • Show Comments

  • Arindam

    Excellent article.

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