The Rottweiler is one of the oldest of herding breeds. Across the continent, the Roman legion traveled in large numbers during their pursuit to capture Europe.
The non-existence of refrigeration meant the soldiers had to bring herds of cows together on their excursions for food. These drover dogs were not only used to keep the herds of cows together, but to guard the supply stock at night. Around A.D. 74 the Roman military travelled across the Alps and into what is now southern Germany. For the following two centuries the Roman drover dogs were consistently used in driving and herding cattle for trade even after the Swabians drove from the area the Romans.
A town in this region was eventually given the name Rottweil. It became the descendants of the Roman cattle dogs and an essential trade centre shown their value by protecting the cows from wild creatures and robbers and driving the cows to market. The dogs are said to have been used by traveling butchers during the Middle Ages at markets to guard cash pouches. The dogs came to be called butcher dogs, or Rottweiler Metzgerhunds.