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The 3 Types Of Rottweilers: An Extensive Guide

The 3 Types Of Rottweilers: An Extensive Guide

Whenever you think of a Rottweiler, there’s a chance you’re picturing an aggressive, fierce guard dog. But, that isn’t always the case. Every Rottweiler owner knows that these can be some of the sweetest, nicest, and most loyal dogs out there. But, you may be interested to find out that there are different types of Rottweilers.

While for the most part, these different types still have somewhat of a similar demeanor, and even look very similar, there are crucial differences in both the temperament and appearance of these majestic and sometimes misunderstood dog breeds. It is important to better examine the different types of Rottweilers that exist while contrasting and comparing their differences and similarities.

Different Types Of Rottweilers

Many have thought that there may be different breeds of Rottweilers. Others say that there are only different types of Rottweilers. Well, it can seem a little complicated to say the least.

According to the AKC, there actually aren’t any other Rottweiler dog breeds. There is only one. Even the different types fall into the category of that one specific breed.

However, different breeders in different countries have different breeding standards. The reason why there are three different types of this dog breed is that there are three countries that breed the Rottweiler.

The country of origin plays a huge importance in the type of Rottweiler you’re getting. Germany tends to have stricter breed standards for Rottweilers, meaning things such as temperament, appearance, and genetic health all play a vital role. This, in turn, makes them much more similar to their original Roman breed.

American Rottweilers, on the other hand, have much more variation in terms of the breed, meaning the standards are laxer in defining a purebred rottie. Read on to have a closer look at the three different types of Rottweilers, and their differences.

Read More: American Rottweiler vs German Rottweiler: What’s the difference?

The American Rottweiler

American Rottweiler

When speaking of the American Rottweiler, it’s important to know that they deviate from the breed standard of the modern-day Rottweiler breed in Germany in 1901. But, it is still one of the most famous types of Rottweilers.

The American Rottweiler does, however, have similar characteristics to that of the Roman Rottweiler, which is the original breed used as a herding dog in old times.

However, it is not an everyday sight to see people using the American Rottweiler as a herding dog. While all Rottweilers are typically good working dogs, the American Rottweiler is largely used as a police dog, though, once in a while, you may run into them doing work such as pulling carts.

The main difference between the American Rottweiler and others is that the breed standard for this variation is a lot laxer. This means that with more breeding variations, varying characteristics and appearances are present in this type.

For example, German-bred Rottweilers tend to almost always be very gentle, and are good with children, while at the same time, being amazing watch dogs and guard dogs.

However, with American Rottweilers, it is not uncommon for them to not be the best dog choice for children – it will depend upon the personality characteristics of the individual dogs and heredity factors.

Appearance Of The American Rottweiler

The biggest difference when it comes to American Rottweilers and the breed standard is that they tend to have different proportions. The American Rottweiler tends to be medium sized, making it smaller than other Rottweiler types. It also has a very muscular build. You can look into the Rottweiler growth chart to see what I mean.

It tends to have a much smaller head than other Rottweiler types, along with much longer legs, giving it the appearance of being taller. This is due to some of the indiscriminate breeding that is not present in other types.

As for fur and markings, the American Rottweiler sports the same coat as the other types – black, with clearly defined rust markings. Like most dogs, males are larger than females, though both have a similar muscular build. You will also notice that American Rottweilers tend to have a docked tail.

Temperament Of The American Rottweiler

The American Rottweiler is a dog that is loyal, protective, can be gentle, and is sometimes a little aloof! This type tends to be very intelligent and calm, but it can be aggressive given it makes a good guard dog.

They will particularly care about their owner, and protect them no matter what, while being a little aloof with strangers, and sometimes even weary. Despite this, the American Rottweiler also has a kind and gentle side, which can make it very good with children, and allows it to get along well with others.

It is important not to mistake the Rottie’s protectiveness for aggression as they are not dogs that will actively seek a fight. They are often misunderstood for their protective behavior just like Pitbulls, Dobermans, and even German Shepherds. Many have recognized the unique abilities of this breed, and they use them in search and rescue missions.

The Roman Rottweiler

Roman Rottweiler

Roman Rottweilers are dogs that seem like giants. Many call them gladiator Rottweilers or even Colossal Rottweilers. Your first thought may be that these Rottweilers originated in Rome as the original breed that helped the Roman legions. However, this is simply not the case.

While the Roman Rottweiler bears the same name and forefathers, the original Roman Rottweilers have been extinct for quite some time. We do know that they used to be Mastiff-type dogs. This is why many breeders (indiscriminate or not) actually breed Roman Rottweilers as cross-breeds between a Rottweiler and some Mastiff, leading to these giant versions of Rottweilers.

There are not many giant dog breeds on the planet, but the Roman Rottweiler is one of them. Because of this breeding, these types have been known to suffer from multiple health problems as is common in giant dog breeds. This can be seen in their life expectancy, which tends to be between 10 and 12 years, which is shorter than the average Rottweiler of other types.

The AKC and the ADRK, however, do not recognize this type because it is much bigger than the breed standard.

Appearance Of The Roman Rottweiler

You can probably tell by now that the Roman Rottweiler is pretty much a big dog. But, how big can it get? The giant breed type can grow up to 30 inches tall, with the typical male Roman Rottweiler weighing from 95 to 130 pounds.

Females are not as big as their male Roman Rottweiler counterparts. They have a height of between 24 and 29 inches, while weighing between 85 and 125 pounds. The life expectancy of such a larger dog type is 10 to 12 years for males, and 14 years for female Rottweilers.

Next to being obviously so much bigger than other Rottweilers, Roman Rottweilers also tend to have round eyes rather than almond-shaped eyes that are known to be seen in the breed standard.

Temperament Of The Roman Rottweiler

Despite being very different from the breed standard in terms of size, the Roman Rottweiler shares quite a few characteristics with both the German and the American types. It is affectionate, loving, kind, gentle, protective, and sometimes a little bit detached. This is a common trait found in all types of Rottweilers.

Like other types, they best serve as guard dogs, and they have very high intelligence, making them easier to train as they are eager and willing to learn. This makes them good companion dogs as well as watch dogs and guard dogs.

The German Rottweiler

German Rottweiler

German Rottweilers were always bred as working dogs. Many actually think that they are the descendants of the Mastiff-type dogs that were used in ancient Rome. However, when we talk about the modern history of this amazing dog breed – they were first bred in 1901 in the German city of Rottweiler. So, when we talk about different types of Rottweilers, the German Rottweiler is the primary dog that comes to mind.

Currently, the breed standard for the German Rottweiler, which includes both its characteristics and physical appearance, is essentially the model according to the AKC and other world-famous dog clubs and associations. They are universally recognized as such, and many Rottweiler clubs enforce breeding standards for these purebred dogs.

However, it is not completely certain where this dog breed developed, though our best bet would be in Rome. The German Rottweiler is a large dog; however, it is smaller than the Roman type, but with a lifespan of 8 to 10 years.

The breed standard for these dogs is probably the strictest in the world. In Germany, the Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub (ADRK) pronounces a strict breeding protocol. They enforce this through suitability tests of Rottweiler puppies.

Appearance Of The German Rottweiler

The German Rottweiler type boasts the breed standard, with a broad body, a square head, and thick bones. They are bred in a strict manner, following certain rules and regulations. With triangular ears, they are a bit bigger than American Rottweilers, but not as big as the Roman type.

They usually have their tail intact and long. The German Rottweiler’s tail is not docked as this is not allowed in German breed standards for the Rottweiler. If your Rottweiler does not have a docked tail, chances are it is the German type.

Temperament Of The German Rottweiler

Next to breeding for physical traits, which are very strict, the German Rottweiler also has certain characteristics that make it the breed and type that we all know and love.

While the other types also share common traits such as loyalty, protectivity, gentleness, intelligence, and eagerness to learn – as a rule, German Rottweilers are exceptionally gentle with children and other people. People have used them as service dogs, police dogs, guard dogs, and working dogs among other functions.

Having a Rottweiler includes both a firm hand and flexible training as these dogs have both a protective and a gentle side.

Read More: What Are Rottweiler Aggression Signs, And What Can Cause Them


big Rottweiler standing outside

Which Type Of Rottweiler Is The Best For Me To Have?

When looking at the different types of Rottweilers, keep in mind that these are all just one breed. The main AKC-approved breed is what is known as the German Rottweiler, as mentioned above, while these other types are usually variations that are a result of much less rigorous breeding standards.

Nothing is stopping you from buying a Roman Rottweiler type, especially if you love big dogs, but be aware that they are prone to a multitude of health issues, and they typically have a shorter lifespan.

American Rottweilers are great if you prefer slightly smaller dogs. However, do not be surprised if the personality of this dog varies from the breed standard characteristics of the German type that is, by nature, very gentle and playful, if it is considered a Rottweiler by the strictest standards.

Are There Price Differences In Rottweiler Types?

Your typical Rottweiler will cost anywhere from $800 to $4,000. The price itself depends upon the breeder. Some of them may be standard while others may be better just as pets.

It is also not uncommon for breeders who sell Roman or American types to claim superiority of their variation, and reason for a higher price.

The opposite, however, should really be the case. This is because Roman Rottweilers are very frequently not purebred dogs at all, and are mixed with Mastiff dogs for their size, and it is not uncommon for certain American-style Rottweilers to also be a mix of different breeds.

Because of this, these types should be a lot cheaper than a purebred Rottweiler.

Are There Other Rare Rottweiler Types?

Any other type of Rottweiler isn’t really a Rottweiler. Many have talked about different colors of coat other than black and tan, as well as longer hair, etc. However, these examples are actually not purebred Rottweilers. Red Rottweilers, for example, do not exist despite many speaking of them being a rare breed.

Read Next: Are Red Rottweilers A Red Flag For Rottweiler Lovers?


Rottweiler puppy sitting on grass

All in all, Rottweilers are a breed that is loyal, gentle, and kind, but also very protective. They sometimes get bad reps for being aggressive, but a properly-trained Rottweiler with lots of socialization would never be aggressive.

Whenever we speak of a purebred, breed-standard Rottweiler, we mean the German Rottweiler as it has all the proper physical characteristics and temperament according to both the AKC (The American Kennel Club) and the ADRK standards.

Roman Rottweilers are almost never purebred because they are a product of cross-breeding with another large dog, such as a Mastiff. This makes them prone to many health issues, such as hip dysplasia and other orthopedic issues.

American Rottweilers, on the other hand, tend to be smaller than the standard German type, and they also have a docked tail, while the German type does not have a docked tail as tail docking is not allowed for this standard.

This breed of dog, including all of its types, has the same markings, coat color, and other characteristics. The Rott is an overall amazing dog to have!

Read Next: Rottweiler Feeding Chart: How Much Do These Gentle Giants Eat?