This Type of Rottweiler Breed Is Best For You

rottweiler sitting, drooling
© McCann Michelle/

Written by Chanel Coetzee

Published: December 15, 2022

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It’s normal to think that Rottweilers are aggressive guard dogs; that’s their stereotype, but in Germany, they have a completely different reputation. No breeder can sell a pup that isn’t calm, friendly, and good with children.

So, is there really a difference between German, Roman, and American Rottweilers? Does Roman Rottweiler still exist? While there is only one true Rottweiler breed, they differ depending on the country they come from because each country’s standards differ. For example, American Rottweilers look and act differently from the German version. If you want to understand more about this fascinating breed and all its variations, continue reading.

German Rottweiler

Rottweiler on grass

German Rottweilers don’t have cropped tails.

©Caronna / Creative Commons – Original

Firstly, the German Rottweiler is the original version of this breed, as they originated in a small town called Rottweil. Germany has a strict law regarding this breed; the parents of potential pups must pass a strict suitability test to breed, which is enforced by the Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub.

German Rottweiler History

Rottweilers are descendants of a breed that dates back to the Roman Empire when it was still in power. They initially used them as herding dogs. However, the American Kennel Club didn’t recognize the Rottweiler until 1931, even though the modern Rottweiler’s first appearance in German stud books appeared in 1901.

These dogs had many skills; they were used as police dogs for the railroads, herding dogs, and working dogs that pulled carts. It seems there was no limit to what their strong bodies and willingness allowed 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, German Rottweilers’ size and weight are as follows:

Males110-130 pounds25-27 inches at the shoulder
Females77-110 pounds22-25 inches at the shoulder


Temperament standards in Germany are incredibly strict. For example, the ADRK states that Rottweilers must be placid, good-natured, and good with children. So, in Germany, Rottweilers are fantastic family dogs, but they also make great working dogs because they are so calm and intelligent. As a result, German Rotties are the ideal dog to assist the blind and disabled. Furthermore, they are brilliant police and security dogs.


Tail-docking and ear-cropping have been banned in Germany since 1999. Therefore German Rottweilers have long tails and folded ears.

American Rottweiler

Rottweiler (Canis familiaris) - laying down against white background

American Rottweilers are slightly smaller.


The American Rottweiler is a descendant of the German variation; while they are the same breed, they do have some differences, primarily in weight.

American Rottweiler Characteristics

American Rottweilers are classified as working dogs by the American Kennel Club and are used for search-and-rescue and police work.

Their size and weight are as follows:

Males24-27 inches at the shoulder95-135 pounds
Females22-25 inches at the shoulder80-100 pounds


The American Rottweiler is listed as loving, loyal, and protective by the AKC. In addition, they make one of the best guardians. Despite what many people think, this breed is brave but calm and not aggressive. For example, they will protect their family but won’t initiate a fight.

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


The American Rottweiler is a muscular and powerful large-sized breed. They are always black with clearly defined rust-colored markings. Male Rotties are generally bigger than females and have larger bone structures and broader frames. While females are smaller, they are still muscular and strong.

Americans dock Rottweilers’ tails, and their fur is medium in length with coarse, straight hair. They have an undercoat that can only be seen on their neck and thighs. In addition, this breed is a moderate shedder throughout the year.

Roman Rottweiler

Rottweiler Teeth - Rottweiler

Roman Rottweilers were used as herding dogs.

©Tatiana Makotra/

The Roman Rottweiler is also referred to as the Colossal or Gladiator Rottweiler. However, this is a subtype of Rottie due to bad breeding. And the name Roman is misleading because the modern Rottie originated in Germany. Surprisingly these dogs were actually more mastiff-like and no longer exist. Furthermore, they were used by the Romans as herding dogs.

Breeders wanted to create a larger and heavier dog than the breed standard calls for, which is detrimental to their health as their size makes them susceptible to orthopedic issues like hip dysplasia. Additionally, their large size makes them prone to overheating and snoring. For this reason, the Roman Rottweiler is not recognized by the ADRK or AKC.

Their size and weight are as follows:

Males25-30 inches at the shoulder120 pounds
Females24-29 inches at the shoulder80 pounds

Lastly, many Roman Rotties are actually a mix of mastiffs and Rottweilers.

5 Types of Rottweiler Mixes

Mixing a Rottweiler with other breeds is a great way to create a healthier hybrid with better traits. For example, if you want an independent guardog, crossbreeding a Rottie with an Anatolian shepherd would be beneficial. Here are 5 types of Rottweiler mixes that might pique your interest:

1. Rottsky (Rottweiler and Siberian Husky Mix)

The Rottsky is a hybrid that combines the Rottweiler with a husky. This results in an adorable breed that is extremely active, vocal, and loves the outdoors, so they are best suited to a large home with an active family and plenty of outdoor space. Unfortunately, they are not apartment dogs; they need room to play and run. Additionally, your neighbors won’t be big fans of this vocal pup.

Breed Statistics

  • Height – 20 to 26 inches
  • Weight – 50 to 95 pounds
  • Lifespan – 8 to 14 years
  • Colors – Cream, black, tan, red, brown, white, gray
  • Suitable for – Owners who are active and spend most of their time outside
  • Temperament – Protective, loyal, loving, reserved, energetic, vocal, and aloof

2. Labrottie (Rottweiler and Labrador Retriever Mix)

The Labrottie is an affectionate and intelligent breed whose main concern is their family. This hybrid is exceptionally loyal and family-oriented and makes the most fantastic companions to a variety of dog lovers.

It doesn’t matter if owners live in an apartment or a home, have kids or live on their own; the Labrrottie is one adaptable pet! This is due to their parents’ qualities, who are the Labrador retriever, and the Rottweiler. Both parent breeds are remarkable and known as excellent family pets.

The Labrottie has several names, including:

  • Rottwador
  • Rotten Lab
  • Rott’n Lab
  • Labweiler
  • Rottador

These dogs are entertaining but also very protective of their loved ones, and as with their Rottie parents, they make one of the best watch and guard dogs. However, they do need a lot of love and attention, also, training them can be challenging.

Breed Statistics

  • Height – 24 to 27 inches
  • Weight – 70 to 115 pounds
  • Lifespan – 9 to 12 years
  • Colors – Yellow, black, and chocolate
  • Suitable for – Experienced dog owners, singles, or families living in a home with a large yard
  • Temperament – Eager to please, protective, loyal, affectionate, and intelligent

3. Mastweiler (Rottweiler and Mastiff Mix)

The mastweiler is an intimidating and protective hybrid that will definitely scare any intruder away with its huge size and aggressive behavior. This breed is a mix of mastiff and Rottweiler, which results in the ultimate guard dog. This hybrid is not for novice pet owners, as they need an experienced dog lover with a firm hand for training and handling these massive dogs. Additionally, owners need big homes, as this breed can take up a lot of space.

The mastweiler originated in England as breeders were looking to create the perfect guard and working dog with calm energy and agility of a Rottweiler. However, because they are hybrids, there is no way of knowing which parent breed they will take after, so there is no guarantee that these mixes will be calm or agile. English mastiffs are more laid-back than Rotties, and the masterweiler generally inherits this trait from them, as they are usually calm. But they can also be dominant and intense. Additionally, masterweilers can be loyal, watchful, and protective of their loved ones.

Lastly, because of their enormous size, this breed needs a lot of early socialization and training, especially if the owners have kids because they can easily run past a small child and knock them over. While this hybrid is intelligent, it can also be unmotivated and stubborn, so they are not the best mix for novice pet owners and require a more experienced hand.

Breed Statistics

  • Height – 25 to 32 inches
  • Weight – 80 to 160 pounds
  • Lifespan – 8 to 12 years
  • Colors – Brown, brindle, gold, silver, chocolate, tan, and black
  • Suitable for – Singles, families who are experienced and able to handle and train an active and large breed
  • Temperament – Intelligent, loyal, protective, and easy-going

4. Golden Rottie (Golden Retriever and Rottweiler Mix)

The golden Rottie is a protective and devoted family dog that brings two amazing breeds together, resulting in a confident, calm and gentle hybrid with the friendly personality of a golden retriever and the protective nature of a Rottweiler. While these dogs will do anything for their families and are very playful and active; they are also protective and bark at strangers or noises that they fear threaten their owners. But, if you want a friendly companion, this breed needs to be socialized from a young age, otherwise they become sensitive to new people entering your life, usually reacting to their presence by barking or becoming aggressive. However, they are fantastic with children and other pets if trained and socialized properly.

Breed Statistics

  • Height – 24 to 28 inches
  • Weight – 70 to 90 pounds
  • Lifespan – 10 to 12 years
  • Colors – Black, Brown, and tan
  • Suitable for – Families with children who like being active, people looking for a watchdog, and experienced dog owners.
  • Temperament – Protective, playful, loving, intelligent

5. Shepweiler (German Shepherd and Rottweiler Mix)

The shepweiler is a mix between a German shepherd and a Rottweiler. Since both parent breeds are known for being aggressive, the shepweiler is no different and will require proper training to help balance this breed out. While this hybrid is an intimidating guard dog, they are also easy to train, thanks to their German shepherd genes, and will easily follow commands.

Despite what many people may think, they are not naturally vicious attack dogs; they are only trained that way. If you want the shepweiler to get along with other pets, they need to be socialized as soon as possible, and because of their size, they should always be supervised around children. Shepweilers require a strong handler who will dominate this breed and take their place as the pack leader.

Breed Statistics

  • Height – 22 to 27 inches
  • Weight – 70 to 110 pounds
  • Lifespan – 10 to 15 years
  • Colors – Black, brown, and tan
  • Suitable for – Owners who are active and spend most of their time outside, people who want a guard dog
  • Temperament – Protective, loving, obedient, and intelligent

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About the Author

Chanel Coetzee is a writer at A-Z Animals, primarily focusing on big cats, dogs, and travel. Chanel has been writing and researching about animals for over 10 years. She has also worked closely with big cats like lions, cheetahs, leopards, and tigers at a rescue and rehabilitation center in South Africa since 2009. As a resident of Cape Town, South Africa, Chanel enjoys beach walks with her Stafford bull terrier and traveling off the beaten path.

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