An In-Depth Guide to the German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix

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There are a variety of crossbreeds around the globe, but one of the most popular among them is the German Shepherd Rottweiler mix.

This designer dog is both exceptionally strong and smart. It has a wide variety of nicknames, including Shepweiler, Rottweiler Shepherd, Shottie, and Sheprottie.

Some of its aliases – like Rotten Shepherd or Rottie Shepherd – don’t exactly conjure images of a good dog, but you can rest assured that this crossbreed is anything but mean or aggressive.

Let me help you learn about some essential facts that you should know about this designer dog and help you find out if it’s a good fit for you and your family.

German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix standing on a log in the forest
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The origin of the Rottweiler German Shepherd mix

A cross between the German Shepherd (GSD) and the Rottweiler (Rottie), this designer dog inherits the best features of its purebred parents.

To have a better understanding of what a Shepweiler is, we need to know more about its ancestry.

A quick look at the Rottweiler

Dog breeding became a trend during the Roman Empire and Asian Mastiff-type dogs were created as herding breeds.

These canines were the predecessors of the Rottweiler.

Rottweiler standing outdoors
Rottweiler

They were later found in the German town of Rottweil after the fall of the Roman Empire as working dogs who pulled carts of meat to market. They were nicknamed “Rottweiler Metzgerhund” or “Butcher’s Dog of Rottweil.

With the construction of railways in the 1800s, Rotties later shifted jobs to serving as police K9 dogs and guide dogs to the blind.

These muscular canines are known for their loyal, confident nature.

What is the German Shepherd’s history?

A German cavalry officer named Captain Max von Stephanitz was the first one to breed these herd dogs that were later named German Shepherds (Deutsche Schäferhunds in their native tongue), during the late 1800s.

Previously called Alsatians, GSDs are quite a new breed. This purebreed’s popularity rose in the US during the 1900s because of Hollywood canines like Rin Tin Tin.

German Shepherd in a tree
German Shepherd

German Shepherds are known for being the smart, courageous type. Like with the Rottweiler, when these Shepherds’ livestock-herding ended, they became a staple in the military and in the police force.

In 2017, German Shepherds were ranked as the 2nd most popular dog breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC), with the Rottweiler in 8th place.

What does a German Shepherd Rottweiler mix look like?

Shepweiler puppy lying down
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These canines have a muscular physique and powerful jaws. They also have long legs and large feet.

German Shepherd-Rottweiler pups usually grow into their features by their 18th month.

Most of these hybrids have floppy ears. Some puppies may have pointy ears with one ear popping up before the other one as they mature.

Rottweiler German Shepherd mixes also have dense coats of varying lengths.

German Shepherds have medium-length fur on their bodies while Rottweilers have a short coat, so the Shepweiler usually has a coat that is somewhere in between.

This crossbreed’s coat comes in colors that range from black, cream, red, silver, and tan to blue, gray, sable, white, brown, blue and fawn.

How big do German Shepherd Rottweiler mixes get?

A full-grown Shottie stands about 22 to 27 inches (56 to 68 cm) in height and weighing between 75 to 115 pounds (34 to 52 kg).

At this size, the Rottweiler Shepherd falls under the giant-sized category of dogs. It will need plenty of space to be comfortable, so this crossbreed might not be a good fit for an apartment.

A loyal and loving dog for the family

This mix will generally have a strong personality, coming from parents with similar traits. You can never be sure of how your pup’s behavior will turn out since he is a hybrid, so you must be ready to adjust.

Shepweilers tend to be loyal, loving and energetic. They’ll fit in well with any family who has experience with big dogs and with owners who know how to be the alpha of the pack.

These giant furballs love to play around, especially with their owners. They’re courageous and confident dogs but not necessarily aggressive.

They do have territorial tendencies, but these can be curbed with the right training.

Here is a video of a Rottweiler-German Shepherd mix puppy meeting a rooster for the first time:

Rottweiler Shepherds get along well with other people, kids, and other animals, as well, especially with proper socialization. However, due to their size, they need to be supervised when playing with smaller kids.

Children should also be reminded that a GSD-Rottweiler mix does not like to be intimidated or teased, especially when he is eating.

They do have a tendency to suffer from separation anxiety when they are not socialized correctly or when left alone for an extended period.

Does the German Shepherd Rottweiler like to bark?

The Sheprottie barks occasionally, but he tends to use his voice only when necessary.

That said, this crossbreed is excellent at being a watchdog. He will bark and alert you of strangers when they are near your home.

He is also protective of his family, especially when he perceives a threat nearby.

How much grooming does this crossbreed need?

Rottweiler Shepherd sitting in grass
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Shepweilers shed a lot so you might have to do a lot of vacuuming around the house.

With its shedding, the Rottweiler Shepherd is not a hypoallergenic dog.

Regular brushing will keep his coat smooth and sleek, remove excess hair and dead skin, and make your pup look tidy and clean.

Make it a habit to brush his coat at least three times a week for 5 to 10 minutes.

Give your pup 3 to 4 baths a year to keep him smelling sweet and fresh.

Brush his teeth daily, and clip his nails once every two to three weeks. Check his ears and clean them once every two to three weeks, too.

The Rottie-GSD hybrid requires a bit more effort when it comes to grooming, but you’ll find that your efforts will be worth for this gorgeous dog.

How much activity does the German Shepherd Rottweiler mix need?

The Rottweiler Shepherd is a crossbreed with high energy and athleticism.

They need an hour or two of exercise every day to keep their bodies fit and their minds active and sharp. These dogs excel in canine sports like agility as well.

They can walk or jog at least 10 miles per week. Long walks at least three times daily, a 30-minute jog, or even a half-hour bike ride each day with the puppy running by your side will ensure that he gets the exercise it needs.

A Shepweiler needs to be stimulated both physically and mentally to be happy and well-behaved.

Sheprottie laying outdoors
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Other activities like chasing balls, playing fetch, and going to the dog park help in keeping your dog active, alert, and in tip-top shape. A spacious yard is ideal for them to run around in.

For Shottie puppies, limit their exercise time to five minutes for the first month and gradually add five minutes more for every month that he ages to avoid over-exertion and bone damage.

Wait for the pup to be fully matured before letting him engage in strenuous activities.

How to train Rottweiler-GSD puppies

Sheprottie looking up at its owner
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All puppies respond well to positive reinforcement and the Sheprottie is no different.

Encourage good behavior with praise and rewards instead of punishing your pup for undesirable behavior.

Start training your puppy at the earliest age possible. Build a relationship with him and establish your role as the alpha, but let him explore his surroundings.

Early training teaches your dog to be more adaptable in new situations.

Training a German Shepherd-Rottweiler mix is relatively easy if you’ve already had some experience in dealing with big dogs since this intelligent crossbreed loves the interaction and the challenge.

Otherwise, it may prove to be difficult for those who will be training these dominant pups for the first time, since these hybrids can be stubborn.

Potential health problems to watch out for

The Shepherd and Rottweiler mix is a strong and agile crossbreed, but they are not immune to common ailments associated with big dogs. These are some of the known health issues of this crossbreed.

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Bloating, also known as gastric torsion
  • Degenerative myelopathy, also known as CDRM
  • Panosteitis (bone inflammation)
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy (heart condition)
  • Aortic stenosis (heart disease)
  • Spondylolisthesis (vertebrae malformation)
  • Cruciate ligament tears (tearing of the ligaments)
  • Cherry eye (the third eyelid protrudes from the eye)
  • Allergies and skin irritations
  • Cancer
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Autoimmune diseases
German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix on a couch
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Make sure your dog is healthy by getting puppies only from reputable breeders, who’ll be able to show you health clearances for the puppy and its parents.

A Rottweiler-German Shepherd hybrid has a lifespan of 10 to 13 years, depending on how well it’s taken care of.

The proper diet for the German Shepherd Rottweiler mix

This dog should be fed high-quality food that supplements his daily nutritional needs.

A Shepherd-Rottweiler pup’s diet should contain 22% animal protein and 8% fat. Meanwhile, the best food for this adult crossbreed has a protein content of 18% and a fat content of 5%.

Read pet food labels to find out if the kibble has the proper amount of nutrients. Sufficient protein ensures that your dog’s joints are strong, while enough fat helps maintain his energy levels.

Calorie considerations

A Rottweiler Shepherd needs around 40 to 50 calories per one pound of body weight.

A puppy weighing about 10 lbs requires 500 calories daily, fed in two or three meals (about ¾ to 1½ cups of dry dog food), while an adult dog ranging 55 to 75 lbs in weight needs about 1500 to 1700 calories daily.

Once it’s full-grown, the Rottweiler-German Shepherd mix should be given three or four meals daily meals of high-quality protein-rich dog food.

German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix looking at food
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You can give them fruits and vegetables; however, avoid apples and grapes and allergenic grains like soy, wheat, and corn.

You can also give your dog vitamins, including chondroitin and glucosamine supplements, for his joints.

The daily feeding cost for a Shepweiler would be average around $1.50 to $2.00, while monthly food expenses would total about $45.00 to $60.00 on average.

Below is a checklist for reading dog food labels, so you can choose the best kibble for your dog:

  • Protein must be 14 to 25%
  • Fiber is less than 4%
  • Carbohydrates are from 30 to 60%
  • Fat must be less than 10%
  • Phosphorous should be 0.4 to 0.7%
  • Calcium is from 0.5 to 0.8%
  • Sodium is about 0.2 to 0.4%

How much will it cost to own this designer dog?

An German Shepherd Rottweiler mix puppy costs between $250 to $850, on average.

Initial costs would be around $450 to $500, and these include expenses for the collar, leash, and crate and procedures like blood tests, chipping, shots, neutering and deworming, to name a few.

Annual medical costs like check-ups, flea prevention, and vaccinations would range between $485 to $600, while non-medical yearly costs like a license, training, and food among others will be around $510 to $600.

It would be ideal to buy puppies from reputable breeders so you can get all the information you need about the dog and its parents.

It may be difficult to find breeders of Rottweiler and German Shepherd mix puppies, but here are a few websites you can check out: Greenfield Puppies, Lancaster Puppies, and AC Puppies.

If you want to adopt instead, you can check out these websites: Rotts of Friends Animal Rescue, Cathy’s Rottie Rescue, Rehab, and Sanctuary (Connecticut), German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County (California), and Mid-Atlantic German Shepherd Rescue.

Are you the right owner for the Sheprottie?

Sheprottie looking towards the camera
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The Rottweiler Shepherd is a loyal and loving breed.

They can be an awesome new member of an active family. They are great with kids of all ages and other animals when properly socialized.

You’ll be a great owner for the Rottweiler and German Shepherd hybrid if you…

  • Have experience in training and socializing big dogs
  • Have a house with plenty of wide-open space.
  • Don’t mind the extra work of cleaning up fur when these dogs are shedding.
  • Are an outdoorsy person and you love being physically active

The Shepweiler may not be suited for your family if you have no idea how to use positive reinforcement in training dogs.

He may also not be a good match for people who have allergies to dander, since he usually sheds a moderate amount of fur.

The German Shepherd Rottweiler mix will melt your heart once you get to know him! Do you own a Shottie? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Further reading: German Shepherd mixes

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