Rottweilers are an ancient breed, dating all the way back to the early Roman Empire. Roman troops were accompanied on their travels by the Roman cattle dogs, which helped herd the cattle that would later serve as food for the soldiers. The travels of the Roman armies took them through Europe and Germany, and specifically the town of Rottweil. This eventually became a cattle area and the descendants of the Roman cattle dogs were used to protect the herds. Rottweilers made excellent working dogs and were used to pull carts as well as herd and protect. They were also known for their ability to hunt boar. By the end of the nineteenth century, the breed was virtually extinct to the point of there being only one female left in the entire town of Rottweil. Before World War I police dogs were needed, and the Rottweiler was chosen for the task due to their strength, intelligence and ability to follow directions. The first Rottweiler club was founded in Germany in 1907 and Rottweilers were saved from extinction. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1931.