Last Updated on July 8, 2023
Rottweilers are more than just intimidating-looking guard dogs, this beautiful breed can also make loving and calm family dogs. But did you know there are different types of Rottweilers?
In this article, we will detail the distinctions between German, American, and Roman Rottweilers, giving you insight into the varying appearances of the different types of this dog as well as their temperament.
What are the Different Types of Rottweilers?
The American Kennel Club, or AKC, recognizes all types of Rottweilers as one breed; however, the breeding standards of this dog do vary between Europe and the United States. This gives rise to slight variations in the breed.
These varying breed standards can affect different dogs’ temperaments, genetic health, and physicality.
1. German Rottweiler
Germany has stricter standards when it comes to breeding Rottweilers through the Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub (ADRK).
Rottweiler puppies born in Germany cannot be registered unless they pass strict breeding criteria. As a result, these dogs share more similarities with the original ancient Roman Rotties.
Today’s German Rottweiler was first recognized in German studbooks in 1901, and the name comes from the town of Rottweiler in Germany, where these dogs were first bred.
German Rottweilers are known as working dogs with a lot of energy and a cheerful demeanor.
These are large dogs that stand between 25 and 27 inches (63.5 and 68.5 cm) tall and weigh between 77 and 110 pounds (35 and 50 kg) for females and 110 and 130 pounds (50 and 60 kg) for adult dogs.
This makes them considerably bigger than American Rottweilers with broader bodies, a muscular chest, and squarer heads.
Another distinction of this variation of Rottweiler is that they will not have docked tails, and tail docking is prohibited. German Rottweilers have an average life expectancy of 10 years.
Meet a German Rottweiler in this video:
2. American Rottweiler
Like the German Rottweiler, American Rottweilers descended from Roman dogs primarily for herding. The AKC recognized the modern American Rottweiler in 1931.
American Rottweilers still work as herding dogs in today’s world but have also been used to pull carts, in police work, and as guard dogs.
Although these dogs have a strong, muscular build, they are more of medium size when compared to their German cousins. These dogs typically have a docked tail
3. Roman Rottweiler
The Roman Rottweiler is also known as the Giant Rottweiler. Sometimes these dogs are not purebred Rottweilers but are a cross between a Rottweiler and some type of Mastiff.
These dogs feature an oversized appearance and can grow up to 30 inches (76cm) tall. Female Roman Rottweilers are not quite as large but still are very tall, standing between 24 and 29 inches (61 and 74 cm).
Female Roman Rottweilers weigh between 85 and 115 pounds (38.5 and 52kg), while males can clock in at a whopping 95 to 130 pounds (43 and 60 kg).
Male Roman Rottweilers have an average life expectancy of between 10 and 12 years, while females can live to be 14 years old.
These dogs have a muscular appearance with a broad head and strong jawline. Unlike American and German Rottweilers, their eyes are typically round rather than almond-shaped and set back in the skull.
Quick Comparison Between the 3 Variations of Rottweilers
Are you looking for a quick comparison between the three different types of Rottweilers? The following table will help you gain a better understanding of this breed.
|German Rottweilers||American Rottweilers||Roman Rottweilers|
|Height||25-27 inches for males
22-25 inches for females
|24-27 inches for males
22-25 inches for females
|25-30 inches for males
24-29 inches for females
|Weight||110-130 lb for males
77-110 lb for females
|95-135 lb for males
80-100 lb for females
|At least 120 lb for males
At least 80 lb for females
Slightly larger and heavier
Can be a crossbreed
|Country of Origin||Germany||United States||NA|
What are Other Types of Rottie Dogs?
Aside from the above three variations of Rottweilers, you may have noticed some other types of Rottweilers advertised near you.
But which of these types of Rottweilers are legitimate, and what is simply an unethical way for dodgy breeders to make some extra money?
Some people might believe that Rottweilers with tails are not Rottweilers, but this is not the case. Rottweilers that do not have their tails docked are still Rottweilers and not some other breed.
All Rottweilers are born with a tail; the docking process removes this tail when the dogs are only about three days old.
Tailed Rottweilers are becoming more common as certain countries ban the practice of tail docking and more pet owners decide to leave their dogs as nature intended.
In fact, in Germany, the practice of tail docking has been banned since 1999.
Do not be fooled by breeders advertising rare Rottweilers. Rare Rottweilers are often not purebred dogs, and standard Rottweilers have been bred with other breeds to create specific colors or size variations.
Some of these rare Rottweiler variants you might see advertised include Red Rottweilers, Blue Rottweilers, and Albino Rottweilers.
You might also see a breeder advertising a rare long-haired Rottweiler. This variant of Rottweiler will not have been bred to the breed standard, although on occasion, a long-haired Rottweiler may appear in a litter of purebred Rottweilers.
These pups will typically be sold at a lower price and not marketed as unique just to get some extra money.
What are Some Additional Rottweiler Crossbreeds?
Some breeders may purposefully choose to mix the Rottweiler breed with other dog breeds to achieve hybrid vigor and try and maximize some of the best characteristics of two different dog breeds.
Here are some of the most common Rottweiler crosses.
- German Rottie (German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix)
- Pitweiler (Pitbull Rottweiler Mix)
- Boxrott (Boxer Rottweiler Mix)
- Rottsky (Husky Rottweiler Mix
- Rottgi (Corgi Rottweiler Mix)
- Rottoodle (Poodle Rottweiler Mix)
- Labrottie (Labrador Rottweiler Mix)
- Rottcollie (Border Collie Rottweiler Mix)
- Saintweiler (Saint Bernard Rottweiler Mix)
- Bullweiler (Bulldog Rottweiler Mix)
- Rotticorso (Carne Corso Rottweiler Mix)
- Golden Rottie (Golden Retriever Rottweiler Mix)
- Rotterman (Doberman Rottweiler Mix)
What are the different Rottweiler colors?
American Rottweilers are primarily black with defined rust-colored markings. German Rottweilers are similar but can sometimes be darker, and Roman Rottweilers are either black and tan or black and mahogany.
If you see a breeder marketing Red, Blue, or Albino Rottweilers, stay away as these are not bred to breed standards and could be crossbred.
Read more: How Do Rottweiler Color Genetics Work?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the biggest breed of Rottweiler dog?
While German Rottweilers are slightly bigger and heavier than American Rottweilers, Roman Rottweilers are the biggest of the different Rottweiler variants.
Due to their large size, Roman Rottweilers are also known as Gladiator Rottweilers or Colossal Rottweilers.
Do different types of Rotties have different temperaments?
As working dogs, German Rottweilers are known to be committed, loyal pooches who are fiercely protective of their pack.
Similarly, American Rottweilers and Roman Rottweilers are also loyal, affectionate, protective, and highly intelligent.
That said, any variation of Rottweiler should not be aggressive. Despite being used as guard dogs, Rottweilers will not go looking for fights but should be generally calm, although wary of strangers.
Amongst their family, the American Rottweiler, in particular, is quite affectionate and fun-loving, and they are even great with kids.
Which type of Rottweiler is easy to train?
German Rotties are patient, intelligent, and easy to train. As a result, many German Rottweilers are used as service dogs, therapy dogs, and police dogs.
Similarly, Roman Rottweilers are also easily trainable with remarkable intelligence. These dogs love to please their owners and thus will be pretty submissive and eager during training.
Which type of this breed sheds the least?
American Rottweilers don’t have as thick a coat as German Rottweilers. The undercoat of the American Rottweiler is only present on the thighs and neck, whereas, on the German Rottweiler, the undercoat completely covers the dog.
This means that America Rottweilers shed significantly less than German Rotties.
Do they have different health issues?
All Rottweilers are predisposed to developing specific joint disease and hip dysplasia conditions. As is the case with the Roman Rottweiler, breeding this dog to be abnormally large can lead to more health problems.
These massive dogs are more susceptible to joint and orthopedic difficulties than other types of Rotties. In addition, Roman Rottweilers are also prone to snoring and overheating.
Are they good for a first-timer owner?
Rottweilers are not recommended for first-time pet owners. These are strong, muscular dogs that can be stubborn, and training and exercising them requires a great deal of endurance.
While they can be good family pets, you need to be committed to socializing these dogs from a young age so that they don’t develop aggressive tendencies towards strangers.
Which Type of Rottweiler is Right for You?
As you have read, while there aren’t different breeds of Rottweilers, there are variants of the breed that depend primarily on your pup’s country of origin.
The main differences in the Rottie varieties are the dog’s size and whether or not the tail is docked. When it comes to personality, all of the different types of Rottweilers share a similar affectionate, calm, and loyal nature.
When purchasing a Rottie puppy, it’s best to always look for one that complies with the breed standards and has been raised by a registered dealer.
Stay away from backyard breeders who sell you unique or rare Rotties to make extra cash.
Do you have a special Rottweiler at home? We would love to know more about him, and its type in the comments below.
Janine is an experienced content writer and travel journalist based in Cape, Town, South Africa.
Raised by a bundle of botanists, researchers, and biologists, she is passionate about things related to the animal kingdom, including, our furry friends. However, as a terrible allergy sufferer, she is limited in her pet selection and so has grown up surrounded by curly-haired Poodles.