Roman Rottweiler vs German Rottweiler: 8 Differences

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Updated: June 4, 2022
Image Credit Jagodka/Shutterstock.com
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Key Points

  • Both German and Roman Rottweilers were initially bred in Germany. However, Roman Rottweilers were used as a herding breed by the Romans, hence the name.
  • In general, Roman Rottweilers are a bit taller and heavier than German Rottweilers. Their short, thick hair can take on multiple color combinations, while German Rottweilers have short, straight, coarse hair that comes in color combos of black & mahogany, black & rust, or black & tan.
  • German Rottweilers are highly intelligent and trainable dogs, often used as service dogs. Roman Rottweilers are clever and eager to learn, but tend to be stubborn, so should be socialized and trained from a young age.

What distinguishes the Roman Rottweiler vs German Rottweiler? Is it the same dog? In short, the “Roman” Rottweiler is bred to be larger and heavier than the Rottweiler breed standard calls for. Now that we know that let’s compare the Roman and German Rottweilers further. There are eight primary differences, which are separated into appearance, personality, and health factors. Let’s go!

Roman Rottweiler vs German Rottweiler: A Comparison 

roman rottweiler vs german rottweiler
The Roman Rottweiler is a larger version of the German Rottweiler, with other variations in appearance, trainability, and health.

A-Z-Animals.com

Key DifferencesRoman RottweilerGerman Rottweiler
Height24 – 30 inches24 – 27 inches
Weight85 to 130 lbs.77 to 130 lbs.
Coat typeShort, ThickShort, straight, Coarse
ColorsMultiple Color CombosBlack/Mahogany, Black/Rust, Black/Tan
TemperamentIndependent, Courageous, ProtectiveEnergetic, Obedient
TrainabilityDifficultSomewhat Difficult
Energy LevelsHighVery High
Health ProblemsJoint Problems, Bone Conditions, Heart IssuesCardiomyopathy, Von Willebrand’s Disease
Roman Rottweiler vs German Rottweiler: A Comparison

Key Differences Between Roman Rottweiler and German Rottweiler

Rottweiler standing in field with tongue out
The Roman Rottweiler was originally bred with a Mastiff to herd livestock and pull carts.

iStock.com/Ideas_Studio

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There are differences between Roman Rottweilers and German Rottweilers, even if you may not be able to tell at first glance. There are three main Rottweiler breeds: American Rottweilers, German Rottweilers, and Roman Rottweilers. Roman Rottweilers are not a recognized breed of Rottweiler, but rather a “type.” In fact, the term “Roman” is misleading because these gigantic mastiff-type canines were initially bred in Germany. All Rottweilers, even those in now bred in America, have German ancestry. The Roman Rottweiler is often a combination of a Mastiff and a Rottweiler. Originally, they were utilized as a herding breed by the Romans, hence the name “Roman” Rottweiler.

Appearance

roman rottweiler vs german rottweiler
The German Rottweiler can reach up to 27 inches in height and 130 pounds in weight, while the Roman Rottweiler grows larger on average.

Rita_Kochmarjova/Shutterstock.com

Roman Rottweiler vs German Rottweiler: Height

Male German Rottweilers can be up to 27 inches tall, and females can get up to 25 inches tall. Roman Rottweilers reach 22–25 inches and the males grow up to an average of 24–30 inches.

Roman Rottweiler vs German Rottweiler: Weight

A Roman Rottweiler can weigh up to 95 pounds on average. Female Rottweilers are usually lighter than males. Weight ranges from 95 to 130 pounds for a male Roman Rottweiler and 85 to 115 pounds for a female.

With an adult male measuring 110-130 pounds and a female between 77-110 pounds, the German Rottweiler is another large-sized dog. The Roman Rottweiler, on the other hand, is bred to be larger than the average Rottweiler.

Traditionally, the tails of Rottweilers were docked to prevent injury in their roles as working dogs, doing jobs such as pulling carts or herding animals. In modern times, some owners have their Rottweilers’ tails docked for appearances or to compete in dog shows.

Whether you have a Roman, or German Rottweiler we recommend choosing one of the best dog foods specially for Rottweilers to support their large muscle mass, healthy coat, and avoid chronic issues like flaky and dry skin.

roman rottweiler vs german rottweiler
Roman Rottweilers are not an official breed of Rottweiler, while German Rottweilers originated the breed.

Mariya Kuzema/Shutterstock.com

Roman Rottweiler vs German Rottweiler: Coat Type

The short, straight, and coarse double coats of the Roman Rottweiler are distinctive. Undercoats are present on the neck and lower torso; the outer coat is medium length.

A top coat and an undercoat are present in German Rottweilers. However, the undercoat is fully hidden beneath a medium-length, rough topcoat. Rottweilers have thicker coats, but how much undercoat they have depends on where they live.

Roman Rottweiler vs German Rottweiler: Colors

There are many different shades of black and tan Roman Rottweilers, as well as black and dark rust and black and mahogany. Additionally, red, blue, and black options are also available. The Roman Rottweiler can be found in a variety of other colors, although they are not considered desirable.

The German Rottweiler standards are exceedingly stringent in all aspects, including coat color. Black/Mahogany, Black/Rust, and Black/Tan are the most common and acceptable color combinations in German Rottweilers.

Characteristics

roman rottweiler vs german rottweiler
Roman Rottweilers often don’t have tails, while German Rottweilers have long and fluffy tails.

Roman Rottweiler vs German Rottweiler: Temperament

To a degree, German Rottweilers and Romans have a lot of the same temperament characteristics. Protective, calm, sociable, intelligent, and watchful are some of the characteristics of Rottweilers. Rottweilers are on par with other dogs and their owners in terms of hostility. However, they are more hostile toward strangers than the typical dog. Also, Rottweilers are quite territorial.

The Roman Rottweiler is a loyal, faithful, obedient, and enthusiastic worker who has a mild demeanor. There is consistency and evenness in the dog’s temperament. These canines have been successful in police, military, and customs work because of their intelligence and strength.

Roman Rottweiler vs German Rottweiler: Trainability

It’s imperative that Roman Rottweilers are properly socialized and trained from a young age. They are a breed of clever, eager-to-learn dogs, yet they can be stubborn at times. Trainers should conduct short and frequent training sessions to be most successful.

However, German Rottweilers are some of the most intelligent and trainable dogs in the world. They’re frequently employed as service and working dogs because of this. Even though many Rottweilers have a stubborn character, they’re rather straightforward to teach compared to other breeds.

Health Factors

roman rottweiler vs german rottweiler
Roman Rottweilers tire faster on average than German Rottweilers.

Callipso/Shutterstock.com

Roman Rottweiler vs German Rottweiler: Health Problems

Certain breeders deliberately produce larger and heavier dogs than the breed standard requires. As a result, these breeds are more susceptible to disorders. They are also more susceptible to snoring and overheating. Roman Rottweilers commonly suffer from joint issues including hip dysplasia.

Cataracts, abnormalities of the eyelids, and other vision and eye disorders can occur in German Rottweilers. Additionally, Rottweilers develop cancer or inherit a cardiac problem in their older years as well.

Roman Rottweiler vs German Rottweiler: Energy Levels

Rottweilers require two daily workouts due to their high energy levels. German Rottweilers benefit from running around the yard, taking brief morning walks, and going for a big walk at night. Additionally, the Roman Rottweiler is larger and often as energetic as the German Rottweiler. After a long, exhausting day of play, they tend to be more sluggish. However, they can also vary more in energy levels due to their mixed breeding history.

Wrapping up Roman Rottweiler vs German Rottweiler

roman rottweiler vs german rottweiler
Roman Rottweilers are bred to be a bit larger than German Rottweilers. As a result, can develop more health issues relating to their bones and joints.

Olexandr Andreiko/Shutterstock.com

When it comes to size, the Roman Rottweiler is larger than the German Rottweiler. In terms of appearance, the German and Roman Rottweilers are very similar. However, because the Roman Rottweiler is not officially recognized as a breed, they get away with far more in terms of appearance. The coat colors of German Rottweilers are identical, but off-colors are not acknowledged as pure breeds.

Remember, whether you own either type of Rottweiler you should consider the best dog foods for Rottweilers to ensure the healthiest, happiest dog. It is important to consider dog food with a high level of protein to support their muscle mass, as well as supplements like Omega 3’s and 6’s to support coat and brain health.

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A substantial part of my life has been spent as a writer and artist, with great respect to observing nature with an analytical and metaphysical eye. Upon close investigation, the natural world exposes truths far beyond the obvious. For me, the source of all that we are is embodied in our planet; and the process of writing and creating art around this topic is an attempt to communicate its wonders.

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