Rottweilers

A collage of Thelma and Louise, two young female Rottweilers, about a year and a half old, on vacation at the beach.
Thelma in yellow and Louise, Jerry Lee’s daughters.

According to the FCI Standard, the Rottweiler is good-natured, placid in basic disposition, very devoted, obedient, biddable and eager to work. Their appearance is natural and rustic, their behavior self-assured, steady and fearless. They react to their surroundings with great alertness. The Rottweiler is

a calm, confident and courageous dog with a self-assured aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships. A Rottweiler is self-confident and responds quietly and with a wait-and-see attitude to influences in its environment. It has an inherent desire to protect home and family, and is an intelligent dog of extreme hardness and adaptability with a strong willingness to work, making them especially suited as a companion, guardian and general all-purpose dog.

American Kennel Club

Rottweilers are a powerful breed with well-developed genetic herding and guarding instincts. Potentially dangerous behavior in Rottweilers usually results from irresponsible ownership, abuse, neglect, or lack of socialization and training. However, the exceptional strength of the Rottweiler is an additional risk factor not to be neglected. It is for this reason that breed experts declare that formal training and extensive socialization are essential for all Rottweilers. According to the AKC, Rottweilers love their owners and may behave in a clownish manner toward family and friends, but they are also protective of their territory and do not welcome strangers until properly introduced. Obedience training and socialization are required.

A 2008 study surveying breed club members found that while Rottweilers were average in aggressiveness (bites or bite attempts) towards owners and other dogs, it indicated they tend to be more aggressive than average toward strangers. This aggression appears correlated with watchdog and territorial instincts.

Rottweiler puppies play on somoone's legs on the ground outside.

Thelma and Louise

Thelma and Louise are German Rottweilers. Differences between German and American standards are few but notable. Most significantly, German standards prohibit tail docking and require an amiable and intelligent personality.  Thelma and Louise are the epitome of amiability and intelligence.  They are friendly to people and other dogs. Their pedigrees demonstrate their German/Eastern European heritage:

Their mother is first-generation American-born with parents from Germany and Yugoslavia. Their father hails from Serbia, where he was both a junior and adult Serbian champion.