Tough, loyal, protective, calm, and affectionate, Rottweilers (Rotties) are beloved as both family and guard dogs.
These beautiful big pooches are well known for their characteristic black and tan coats, but do Rottweilers come in other colors?
You may have heard of red, blue, or even white Rottweilers being advertised online but are these purebred dogs, or have they been crossed with other breeds?
Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about the different Rottweiler colors and how genetics affect your Rottweiler’s appearance.
How Do Rottweiler Color Genetics Work?
Rottweilers are known for their slick, smooth characteristic coloring, but the Rottweilers’ coat can have some variations.
Your dog’s genes will determine their final coat color and texture, with German Rottweilers having some differences from American Rottweilers.
Additionally, some dogs may carry recessive genes that affect their coat color, giving them a rare appearance.
Do Rottweiler puppies change colors as they age?
A lot of Rottweiler puppies change color as they get older. This happens not just with Rottweilers but with a lot of dogs.
This could result from seasonal shedding. Another possible reason is genetics.
Some rarer coat colors, such as blue and red, may not be immediately apparent when your dog is young but can show themselves as your pup ages.
What are the Different Colors of a Purebred Rottweiler?
There are three different colors of purebred Rottweilers recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
For pet owners to show their Rottweilers in the AKC’s working-class group, their dogs need to fall into one of these three categories.
1. Black and Mahogany Rottweiler
The black and mahogany coat color is the most common variation of Rottweiler. They are the darkest in color with a very handsome appearance.
Their coat is primarily black with dark brown or mahogany markings that are pretty striking.
2. Black and Rust Rottweiler
Black and Rust Rottweilers are another common type of Rottweiler coat coloring, and it can be very challenging to tell a black and rust Rottweiler apart from a black and mahogany one.
On this coat color, the rust markings are not quite as dark as the black and mahogany Rottweiler.
Alongside the Rottweiler, the rust color is only recognized as an official color on one other breed, the Affenpinscher.
3. Black and Tan Rottweiler
The Black and Tan Rottweiler is the lightest Rottweiler of the three, with a cooler color to the fur.
Black and tan are quite common colors in the canine world, except in Rottweilers; this is the rarest of all three AKC recognized color combinations.
Black and tan Rottweilers can sometimes be confused with Beaucerons.
Rottweiler Markings and Coat Patterns
Rottweilers have a few markings and coat patterns. The most common is a darker patch on the back that makes them look like a saddle.
Most Rottweilers’ base color is black, although some grey or brown hair can be diluted slightly. They also have lighter rust, mahogany, and tan markings on their paws, face, legs, and chest.
According to the AKC, these markings should be present to show your dog but should only account for 10 percent of their coat color.
1. Rottweiler with Chest Markings
Rottweilers should have two triangle-shaped marks on their chest. These marks typically sit pretty high on the chest, falling just underneath the neck.
2. Rottie with Eye Dots
Most Rotties will have small lighter dogs above both of their eyes. These marks can even make it look like your dog has raised, arched eyebrows.
3. Rottweiler with Muzzle Marks
Rottweiler dogs should have a stripe of tan, rust, or mahogany that runs on each side of their cheeks.
If this marking touches the bridge of your dog’s nose, he could be disqualified from the American Kennel Club show.
4. Rottie with Tail Tone
Most Rotties will have their tail docked as a puppy in America, although this practice has been banned in Germany, where modern Rottweilers originate.
American Rottweiler’s tail stub is typically black on top, with the lighter color visible on the underside.
5. Rottweiler with Leg Markings
Rottweilers will have lighter markings on their front and hind legs.
On the front legs, the lighter color should be visible on the lower half of the leg, while the inner thigh of the back legs should be either tan, rust, or mahogany.
Black Rottweiler vs. Light Tan Color
Pure black Rottweilers are very rare, although some Rottweilers can have smaller markings that make them appear to be virtually black.
It can be challenging to make out the eyebrow markings on these Rottweilers, while the markings on the chest and muzzle are also much smaller.
Both types of markings would be correct in terms of the AKC standards; they are just different.
What are the Rarest Rottweiler Colors?
As discussed, there are three different coat colors recognized by the AKC. However, you may have seen pictures of rare red, blue, or even white Rottweilers in addition to these.
In very unlikely instances, these could be purebred Rotties, but they are more likely the result of crossbreeding.
1. Red Rottweiler
Red Rottweilers are rare, although they occasionally crop up in regular litter. These Rotties do not have the black saddle associated with the breed.
These Rotties are commonly mistaken for other breeds, and due to their rarity, some unscrupulous breeders create these dogs by crossbreeding Rottweilers with other breeds.
In fact, experts agree that most, if not all, of the Red Rottweilers you see, are not purebred dogs.
2. Blue Rottweiler
Although not as rare as Red Rottweilers, the Blue Rottweiler is another rare color for this breed. This dog’s fur can look blue, gray, charcoal, slate, or silver, especially if viewed in the sun.
This blue color is typically the result of a diluted gene. The gene codes responsible for melanin or the black pigment undergo a mutation for this color to occur.
However, for this mutation to occur, a puppy must carry two recessive genes, so it is still scarce to get a blue Rottweiler.
You may not notice that a Rottweiler puppy is blue for the first three years, but rather the condition begins to become evident as the dog matures.
3. White Rottweiler
Sometimes a White Rottweiler may occur due to albinism or vitiligo. Albino dogs, although pure white, are not desirable as they come with a myriad of health problems.
On the other hand, dogs with vitiligo have white patches, and while mostly harmless, it’s still not a desirable trait in Rottweilers.
Dogs being advertised as white Rottweilers are most likely crossbreeds.
4. Grey Rottweiler
As with white Rottweilers, grey Rottweilers are commonly crossbred dogs.
That said, these dogs could have inherited the recessive dilute gene from both parents that give their coat the blue or gray appearance described above.
Breeders that breed dogs specifically to achieve this color combination will likely also be breeding puppies with an abundance of health problems that should be avoided.
5. All-Black Rottweiler
The AKC will disqualify Rottweilers that are all black with no distinctive markings.
While smaller markings do occur, they are pretty rare to find as most breeders like their dogs to have the markings that are distinctive of the breed.
If you see a Rottweiler that at first glance appears to be all black, it’s likely that he still actually has some smaller markings on the underside of his paws, on his inner legs, and his muzzle.
See what an illusion black Rottie looks like here:
Why do Rottweilers come in one color?
Rottweilers have been bred with particular importance placed on their pigmentation.
Thus, this breed only comes in one color, black with lighter colored markings, although the specific color of these markings can differ slightly.
This is one surefire way to distinguish a Rottweiler from other similar-looking breeds of dogs.
Is it okay to get a rare-colored Rottweiler?
Unfortunately, most rare-colored Rottweilers aren’t ethically bred.
Breeders who breed to achieve rarity seldom look at temperament and health conditions when selecting dogs, and this can lead to several problems later down the line.
These dogs are likely also the result of crossbreeding and will not be recognized by any official kennel clubs.
Do Rottweiler Colors Affect Behavior?
The specific color of your Rottweiler should not affect his behavior.
That said, breeders that unethically breed Rottweilers to achieve red, white, or blue color variations likely pay no attention to the temperament of their dogs and thus could end up creating puppies with behavioral problems.
Do Rottweiler Colors Affect Health?
There should be no health differences between the three AKC accepted Rottweiler coat colors: black and tan, black and mahogany, and black and rust.
However, the rarer colors, such as red or blue Rottweilers, can have some health problems.
This is primarily due to unethical breeders crossbreeding different dogs to try and achieve these rare coat colors.
Some of the health problems associated with these breeds include joint conditions, eye issues, and heart disease.
Blue Rottweilers are also particularly prone to alopecia, a disease that affects the skin and coat of many blue-colored dogs.
These dogs can develop brittle, thin fur and uncomfortable skin rashes.
The coat can also shed, leaving behind a wool-like coat texture which is typically quite patchy.
Do Rottweilers Change Eye Color?
Many puppies, Rottweilers included, are born with blue eyes.
The eyes of the Rottweiler puppy should change within the first nine to twelve weeks of age to become a deep, dark brown, and this eye color will remain into adulthood as your dog matures.
Taking Care of Your Rottweiler’s Coat
Your Rottweiler has a double coat of fur that needs to be taken care of to stay looking beautiful and shiny.
This thick double coat is quite dense, with the undercoat being shorter than the outer coat.
These dogs are considered to be moderate shedders for most of the year.
To properly groom your Rottweiler’s coat, it’s recommended to give him a brief brush daily with a rubber brush.
This will help remove any dead hair from the coat and spread his natural oils over the skin.
You can also bathe your dog every two to three months but be sure not to overdo it, or you could end up washing away his natural oils.
You’ll also want to keep your dog’s coat dry as a wet dog can be a breeding ground for bacteria, while his nails will need to be clipped regularly to prevent painful growth.
Conclusion: Which Rottweiler Color Will You Choose?
Each of the different Rottweiler varieties is just as beautiful and striking as the next.
However, that said, it’s best to stay away from the rarer Rottweiler coat colors as these dogs could harbor a variety of health problems or could be the result of crossbreeding.
As a result, it’s better to stick to one of the three AKC sanctioned Rottweiler coat colors when choosing a pup.
As mentioned, these include Black and Mahogony, Black and Rust, and Black and Tan, all being quite similar with a dark black coat and lighter markings centered around the chest, face, and legs.
Regardless of which one you choose, you’ll get a loyal, affectionate dog that will make not only a great guardian for your home but also a loving companion for your family.
What color Rottweiler do you have? We would love to know more about your dog in the comments below.