Rottweiler Mastiff Mix: A Larger Than Life Crossbreed Dog?
The term “rottweiler” is used to refer to several different breeds of dogs. There are two main types of rottweilers: the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier (SBCT). They are both small, muscular dogs with a strong build. Both have short legs and long bodies. These characteristics make them good climbers and athletes.
The Rottweiler breed originated in Germany around 1885. It was originally bred to hunt wild boar, but it soon became popular because of its ability to pull sleds and other heavy equipment. Today, the Rottweiler is one of the most popular dog breeds in America due to its adaptability and endurance.
In addition to being excellent hunters, these dogs are also known for their loyalty and affectionate nature. Many Rottweilers are very protective of their owners and will bark at intruders or strangers. Some people even call them “loveable rogues.”
There are many different colors of rottweilers. Some are black, tan, white, brown, gray and red. All rottweilers have a long coat which extends down to the feet.
Their coats vary from light colored to dark colored with spots and stripes. Rottweilers can be either playful or serious, friendly or timid, watchful or withdrawn, but they are always alert and dependable dogs
The rottweiler is a very heavy shedder. They have two coats of fur, a top-coat and an undercoat. Be prepared to regularly brush your rottie to help them remove the loose undercoat hairs.
You will also want to purchase a good vacuum cleaner.
Rottweilers are intelligent and respond well to positive reinforcement. They are naturally protective of their family and territory, so they do not need extra training for this. They do need regular training for obedience and to keep them mentally stimulated.
You will also want to socialize your rottweiler while they are young.
These dogs have lots of energy and love to play, so they need lots of exercise. They can live in an apartment if they are sufficiently exercised. They do best in a home with a yard.
They are not happy when cooped up inside all day.
Rottweilers have a short, smooth-coat that is fairly easy to groom. Brush once or twice a week, especially during shedding season. They should only be bathed when necessary.
Toenails should be kept short and eyes and ears should be cleaned regularly.
Common Health Problems
This breed tends to be pretty healthy, but may be prone to hip dysplasia (a condition in which the thighbone doesn’t fit snugly in the hip joint), gastric dilitus (stomach problems), and cancer. Rotts also can suffer from a type of heart disease called sub-aortic stenosis (SAS). This disease causes the heart to have to work harder to pump blood, and if the disease progresses, it can become fatal.
SAS is detected through a medical exam and by an ultrasound.
If you are looking for a dog that…
Is large and sturdy
Is good with children
Is good with other pets
Doesn’t need much exercise
You’re walking around the neighborhood one afternoon and a big rottweiler saunters over to you. He has dark brown eyes and his coat is black, with white markings. He puts his head against your leg and looks up at you.
You slowly reach down and pet him. He moves closer into your for comfort and you can feel his powerful body against yours.
The Rottweiler is a robust, heavy-boned dog that appears calm and quiet, but is very powerful and strong. These dogs were originally bred for herding sheep and cattle, and today are used as police or guard dogs. They are loyal and courageous and are ‘watchdogs’ that will protect their family and property without fear.
The Rottweiler is intelligent, willing to please, and eager to work. They make good guard dogs, but are usually not good with small children due to their large size and weight.
Rottweilers are patient and loyal to their families but are suspicious of strangers. They need owners who are firm, confident, and consistent in their leadership skills. The Rottweiler is a powerful dog that needs a strong person who can control him.
When trained properly, Rottweilers are very obedient. They bond very closely to their owners and enjoy spending time with the “family” they love and protect.
Today, many Rottweilers are obedience-trained, trained for search and rescue, or trained for protection. Herding instincts still come through in many Rottweilers, even if they’re living in a city apartment. Many enjoy rounding up toys or small objects, even if they’ve never seen a sheep!
These dogs are calm and confident and can be used to good effect as a Therapy Dog, visiting hospitals and shut-ins. They’re naturally big, strong, gentle, and even somewhat clumsy, qualities that make them extremely good with children.
There are two types of Rottweilers: the “show” Rotties that are bred for competitions and the “working” Rottweilers that have more of the herding instinct and temperament.
Rottweilers are one of the most intelligent breeds. They are in the upper-moderate range for intelligence. However, this is not a good thing.
Because they are so intelligent, they can easily become bored and may get into trouble. Also, this intelligence makes them excellent at getting what they want. A determined Rottweiler can open cabinets and even gates. Many Rottweilers enjoy chasing animals and playing tricks on people. They have also been known to open refrigerator doors and help themselves to your goodies!
Also, because Rottweilers are very powerful, they need owners who have charisma and natural leadership ability. Otherwise the Rottweiler will try to be in charge himself!
If you want a dog who…
is large and heavy, with a muscular body
has a short easy-care coat in shades of black, brown, or tan
is calm and patient with children, but protective of his family
is very loyal to his family and loves to be included in everything you do
is intelligent and needs both physical and mental challenges
needs little grooming and maintenance
is average to easy to train A Rottweiler may be right for you.
If you don’t want a dog that…
is too heavy to pick up
needs trimming and clipping every few months
is high-maintenance during grooming
is suspicious of strangers and aggressive toward some people
is not good with young children or nervous people
is demanding, requiring lots of time and attention
has a strong herding instinct that can cause him to nip at your ankles A Rottweiler may not be right for you.
Keep in mind that the Rottweiler is a working breed. All that pros comes with some cons. While the pros outweigh the cons, it’s up to you whether the cons are deal breakers for you.
If you’re still interested in this breed, please read on.
Rottweiler breed standards vary in different parts of the world. This writeup focuses on the North American Rottweiler standard, which is what all AKC Rottweilers are judged by. If you’re interested in the different European standards, please check out the UKC website and the FCI website.
Males are 61 to 71 cm (24 to 28 inches) at the withers (shoulders). Females are 56 to 66 cm (22 to 26 inches).
Males weigh 35 to 50 kg (77 to 110 lb). Females weigh 25 to 40 kg (55 to 88 lb).
Short, smooth and glossy. No fringe or feathering. Color can be black, black with brown tan markings, or brown with gray tan markings.
Intelligent, alert, self-confident, calm, courageous. Some boldness is acceptable but without impertinence.
Broad between the ears, tapering toward the eyes. The skull is slightly curved. Wrinkles are apparent on the forehead, and begin at the stop (just above the nose).
The stop should not be overly pronounced. The cheeks gradually taper into a strong, moderately curved and muscular neck. There should not be a great difference in size between the skull and muzzle.
Faults: Heavy head; snipy muzzle; overshot or undershot bite.
Set somewhat obliquely. The color should be deep and rich, with a gentle expression. Eye color varies, but should always be the same color as the coat.
Eyes are expressive and alert.
Faults: Heavy eye; yellow eyes.
Attached fairly high. They are long and lean, and lie alongside the head. At full attention, the ears are raised slightly and may point slightly forward.
Faults: Ears that are broad, thick or rounded; standing away from the head.
Fairly long, strong and muscular. When the Rottweiler is alert, his head rises slowly and steadily from the neck.
Faults: A neck that is excessively long; a neck that is short and lacks strength.
The back is strong and broad. The length of the body from the chest to the base of the tail is slightly longer than the height of the body from the ground to the withers. The chest is broad, deep and reaches down to the elbows.
The belly is only slightly tucked up. The ribs are well-sprung and extend well back. The back is only gently curved, and the loins (lower part of the spine) are strong and muscular.
Faults: Narrow or sloping away shoulders; lack of curve in the spine; slack loins.
Naturally long and lean. Hanging straight down. When angry or excited, it is raised upward at a 45 degree angle.
When calm or attentive, it hangs down naturally.
Faults: Tail that is short, or docked.
The front legs are long, strong and sturdy. Elbows are slightly bent when the dog is standing. When seated, the front feet are just underneath the thigh.
The feet are somewhat round, with thin pads. The hindquarters are strong and muscular with a very short, thin tail. When standing, the back pad is level with the front pad.
Faults: Straight or bowed legs; narrow or weak hindquarters.
The front feet are round with thin, hard pads. The hind feet are slightly larger and round with hard, thick pads.
Fault: Splayed feet.
Strong and muscular. When the dog is excited or moving, the tail is raised at a 45 degree angle. When the Rottweiler is calm and stationary, the tail hangs straight down.
Fault: Tail that is curved or curled under.
The coat is short, thick and stiff to the touch.
Fault: Long, soft coat.
Rottweilers are a large breed of dog that should be proportionately sized. Any Rottweiler that is oversized or appears to be overweight is severely penalized in the judging.
Faults: Oversized; overweight.
The recognized colors for the Rottweiler are fawn and black, or red and black. The fawn range from tan to a darker mahogany color. The black ranges from a true black to a very dark brown.
All possible combinations of the two colors are found, such as grayish fawn to dark black, with all the variations in between. (Each color has a name: Fawn is the light color; yellow is the dark color. Black and Red are the acceptable markings; brown orchre is the disqualifying color.) The mask, ears, legs and tail are black. The rest of the coat should be fawn. Small white marks are permitted on the chest and on the tip of the tail, but not required. A small white patch on the forehead is accepted, but not required. White hairs in the black parts of the coat are not desirable.
Faults: White markings that are too large or extend past the shoulders.
Over or under size, as well as overweight are severely penalized in the judging.
Fault: Over or undersize or overweight.
Too much white; brown orchre (rusty fawn); black hairs in the fawn section.
Color: Black with a black, dry nose leather. The nose is always the darkest color, and the pigment extends up between and just beyond the eyes.
Variations: Liver or Brown is a color fault. In addition, any nose with spots of another color such as gray or blue is a serious fault.
Correct bite is a scissors bite where the top incisors fit inside the bottom incisors, with the top middle incisors fitting just inside the bottom corner incisors. A corrected scissors bite (narrower than normal scissors) is acceptable, even preferred. Overshot or undershot is a disqualification.
Serious Faults: Overshot or undershot.
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid (unable to locate one or both testes)
Note: Male dogs with only one testis should be disqualified.
Litters from bitches that are black, brown nosed or liver spotted should be disqualified.
Approved July 8, 1996
Effective September 1, 1996
Sources & references used in this article:
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Longevity and mortality of owned dogs in England by DG O’neill, DB Church, PD McGreevy, PC Thomson… – The Veterinary …, 2013 – Elsevier
Prevalence of inherited disorders among mixed-breed and purebred dogs: 27,254 cases (1995–2010) by TP Bellumori, TR Famula, DL Bannasch… – Journal of the …, 2013 – Am Vet Med Assoc
Breed group effects on complaints about canine welfare made to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Queensland, Australia by HY Shih, M Paterson, CJC Phillips – Animals, 2019 – mdpi.com
Renal calculi in dogs and cats: prevalence, mineral type, breed, age, and gender interrelationships (1981–1993) by GV Ling, AL Ruby, DL Johnson… – Journal of veterinary …, 1998 – Wiley Online Library
Is that dog a pit bull? A cross-country comparison of perceptions of shelter workers regarding breed identification by CL Hoffman, N Harrison, L Wolff… – Journal of Applied …, 2014 – Taylor & Francis
Socioeconomic Influences on Reports of Canine Welfare Concerns to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) in Queensland, Australia by HY Shih, M Paterson, CJC Phillips – Animals, 2019 – mdpi.com