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This Type of Rottweiler Breed Is Best for You

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It's normal to think of Rottweilers as aggressive guard dogs; this is their stereotype, but in Germany they have an entirely different reputation. No breeder can sell a puppy who isn't calm, friendly, or good with kids.

So, is there really a difference between German, Roman and American Rottweilers? Does the Rottweiler still exist? While there is only one true Rottweiler breed, they vary depending on the country they come from, as each country has different standards. For example, an American Rottweiler looks and behaves differently than a German Rottweiler. If you want to learn more about this fascinating breed and all of its variants, read on.

german rottweiler

Rottweiler dog on the grass
German Rottweilers do not have short tails.

© Caronna/Creative Commons

First of all, German Rottweilers are the original version of the breed because they originated in a small town called Rottweil. Germany has strict laws regarding the breed; parents of potential pups must pass strict breeding suitability tests, which are enforced by the Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub.

German Rottweiler History

The Rottweiler is descended from a breed that dates back to when the Roman Empire was still in power. They originally used them as herding dogs. However, the American Kennel Club did not recognize the Rottweiler until 1931, although the modern Rottweiler first appeared in German stud books in 1901.

These dogs had many skills; they were used as railway police dogs, herding dogs, and working dogs pulling carts. There seems to be no limit to what their strong bodies and wills allow them to do.


One of the main differences between the German Rottie and the American Rottweiler is their size. The latter is slightly smaller. For example, the size and weight of a German Rottweiler is as follows:

gender weight high
male 110-130 lbs 25-27 inches at shoulder
female 77-110 lbs 22-25 inches at shoulder


German temperament standards are very strict. For example, ADRK states that Rottweilers must be gentle, cheerful, and good with children. So, in Germany, Rottweilers are great family dogs, but they are also great working dogs because they are very calm and intelligent. Therefore, the German Rottie is an ideal breed for helping the blind and disabled. In addition, they make excellent police and security dogs.


Tail and ear cropping has been banned in Germany since 1999. Therefore, the German Rottweiler has a long tail and folded ears.

american rottweiler

Rottweiler (Canis familiaris) - lying against white background
The American Rottweiler is slightly smaller in size.

© Jagodka/Shutterstock.com

The American Rottweiler is descended from the German variety; while they are the same breed, they do have some differences, mainly in weight.

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American Rottweiler Characteristics

The American Rottweiler is classified as a working dog by the American Kennel Club and is used for search and rescue and police work.

Their dimensions and weights are as follows:

gender high weight
male Shoulder width 24-27 inches 95-135 lbs
female 22-25 inches at shoulder 80-100 lbs


The American Rottweiler is listed by the AKC as a loving, loyal and protective animal. Also, they are one of the best guardians. Despite what many people think, this breed is brave, but calm and non-aggressive. For example, they will protect their family members, but they will not provoke disputes.

American Rottweilers are playful and friendly with their owners, and surprisingly they are very gentle and loving with children. However, they are quite aloof with strangers, which is what makes them such excellent guard dogs.


The American Rottweiler is a large, muscular, strong dog breed. They are always black with clear rust colored markings. Male Rotties are generally larger than females, with a larger bone structure and wider frame. Although the females are smaller, they are still muscular and strong.

The American tail-cut Rottweiler has a medium-length coat with thick, straight hair. They have an undercoat that can only be seen on the neck and thighs. Additionally, the breed is a moderate shedder year-round.


Rottweiler Teeth - Rottweiler
The Roman Rottweiler was used as a herding dog.

©Tatiana Makotra/Shutterstock.com

The Roman Rottweiler is also known as the Giant Rottweiler or the Gladiator Rottweiler. However, due to poor breeding, this is a subtype of Rorty. And the name Roman is misleading because the modern Rottie originated in Germany. Surprisingly, these dogs are actually more like mastiffs, which no longer exist. Also, they were used by the Romans as herding dogs.

Breeders wanting to breed dogs that are bigger and heavier than the breed standard requires is detrimental to their health because their size makes them prone to orthopedic problems like hip dysplasia. Plus, their large size makes them prone to overheating and snoring. Therefore, Roman Rottweilers are not recognized by ADRK or AKC.

Their dimensions and weights are as follows:

gender high weight
male 25-30 inches at shoulder 120 lbs
female Shoulder width 24-29 inches 80 pounds

Finally, many Roman Rotties are actually mastiff and Rottweiler mixes.

5 Breed Rottweiler Mixes

Mixing Rottweilers with other breeds is a great way to create healthier hybrids with better characteristics. For example, crossing a Rottie with an Anatolian Shepherd would be beneficial if you want an independent watchdog. Here are 5 Rottweiler mix breeds that might pique your interest:

1. Rottsky (Rottweiler and Siberian Husky mix)

The Rottweiler is a cross between a Rottweiler and a Husky. This results in a lovely breed that is very active, vocal and loves the outdoors, so they are best suited to large homes with active families and plenty of outdoor space. Unfortunately, they are not apartment dogs; they need room to play and run. Plus, your neighbors won't be big fans of this vocal pup.

Variety statistics

  • Height – 20 to 26 inches
  • Weight – 50 to 95 lbs
  • Lifespan – 8 to 14 years
  • Colors – Cream, Black, Tan, Red, Brown, White, Gray
  • Ideal for – Owners who are active and spend most of their time outdoors
  • Temperament – protective, loyal, loving, reserved, energetic, outspoken and aloof
Read more 

2. Labrottie (Rottweiler and Labrador mix)

The Labrottie is an affectionate and intelligent breed that cares primarily about their family. This mix is fiercely loyal and family-oriented, making it a great companion for dog lovers of all kinds.

It doesn't matter whether the owners live in an apartment or at home, have kids or live on their own; the Labrottie is an adaptable pet! This is due to the qualities of their parents, which are Labrador Retrievers and Rottweilers. Both parent breeds are excellent and are known as excellent family pets.

Labrottie goes by several names, including:

  • Rotvado
  • rotten lab
  • rotten lab
  • Lab Weller
  • Bulldog

These dogs are playful but also very protective of their loved ones, and like their Rottie parents, they make one of the best watchdogs and guard dogs. However, they do require a lot of love and attention and can be challenging to train.

Variety statistics

  • Height – 24 to 27 inches
  • Weight – 70 to 115 lbs
  • Lifespan – 9 to 12 years
  • Colors – Yellow, Black and Chocolate
  • Suitable for – experienced dog owners, singles or families with large yards
  • Temperament – eager to please, protective, loyal, affectionate and intelligent

3. Mastweiler (rottweiler and mastiff mix)

A formidable and protective hybrid, the mastweiler is sure to scare away any intruders with its large size and aggressive behavior. A mastiff-rottweiler mix, this breed is the ultimate guard dog. This hybrid is not suitable for novice pet owners as they need an experienced dog lover to train and handle these large dogs. Also, owners need large houses, as this breed takes up a lot of space.

The Mast Weiner originated in England when breeders wanted to create the perfect guard and working dog with the calm energy and agility of the Rottweiler. However, since they are hybrids, there is no way of knowing which parent breed they will inherit, so there is no guarantee that these hybrids will be calm or agile. The English Mastiff is more laid-back than the Rottie, and the Wiener generally inherits this trait from them, as they are generally calm. But they can also be dominant and intense. Additionally, masterweilers can be loyal, vigilant, and protective of those they love.

Finally, due to their large size, this breed requires a lot of early socialization and training, especially if the owner has children, as they can easily run over small children and knock them over. While this hybrid is intelligent, it can also be unmotivated and stubborn, so they're not the best mix for novice pet owners and more experience is needed.

Variety statistics

  • Height – 25 to 32 inches
  • Weight – 80 to 160 lbs
  • Lifespan – 8 to 12 years
  • Colors – brown, brindle, gold, silver, chocolate, tan and black
  • Suitable for – single person, family with experience and ability to handle and train an active large breed dog
  • Temperament – intelligent, loyal, protective, easygoing
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4. Golden Rottie (Golden Retriever and Rottweiler mix)

A protective and loyal family dog, the Golden Rottie combines two stunning breeds into a confident, calm and gentle blend with the friendly personality of the Golden Retriever and the quality of the Rottweiler protective. While these dogs will do anything for their family and are very playful and active; they are also protective and will bark at strangers or sounds they fear threaten their owners. However, if you want a friendly companion, this breed needs to be socialized from an early age, otherwise they will become sensitive to new people entering your life, often responding to their presence by barking or becoming aggressive. However, when properly trained and socialized, they are great with children and other pets.

Variety statistics

  • Height – 24 to 28 inches
  • Weight – 70 to 90 lbs
  • Lifespan – 10 to 12 years
  • Colors – black, brown and tan
  • SUITABLE FOR – Families with active kids, people looking for a watchdog, and experienced dog owners.
  • Temperament – protective, playful, loving, intelligent

5. Shepweiler (German Shepherd and Rottweiler mix)

Shepherds are a German Shepherd and Rottweiler mix. Since both parent breeds are known for being aggressive, the Collie is no exception, and proper training is needed to help balance the breed. While this hybrid makes a formidable guard dog, they are also easy to train and follow commands easily thanks to their German Shepherd genes.

Despite what many people think, they aren't naturally ferocious attack dogs; they've only been trained to be. Collies need to be socialized as soon as possible if they are to get along well with other pets, and due to their size, they should always be supervised with children. Shepweilers need a strong handler to control the breed and take their place as leaders.

Variety statistics

  • Height – 22 to 27 inches
  • Weight – 70 to 110 lbs
  • Lifespan – 10 to 15 years
  • Colors – black, brown and tan
  • Ideal for – Owners who are active and spend most of their time outdoors, those who want a guard dog
  • Temperament – protective, loving, obedient and intelligent


  • Doberman Pinscher Breed Guide
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  • Mastiff Breed Guide

More from AZ Animals

featured image

rottweiler sitting and drooling
Rottles have many beneficial traits derived from their Rottweiler DNA.

© McCann Michelle/Shutterstock.com

about the author

I'm a 33 year old creative and professional writer from South Africa. Wildlife is one of my greatest passions and it has made me the writer I am today. I have been fortunate to work with a large number of wild animals (mainly big cats) and to capture my unique experiences in my writing. But I wanted to take it a step further, so I ventured into the world of freelancing. Now, I'm taking the time to write about animals; what could be better?

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What's the Difference Between a Roman Rottweiler and a German Rottweiler?

Surprisingly, the Roman Rottweiler was actually more like a mastiff, which is now defunct.

What are the three types of Rottweilers?

American, German and Roman Rottweilers.

Is my Rottweiler German or American?

If your Rottweiler has a cropped tail, it is most likely an American Rottweiler.

Thanks for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the 10hunting.com editorial team.

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  3. Rottweiler HQ, available here: https://www.rottweilerhq.com/is-my-dog-german-or-american-rottweiler/