Rottweiler vs German Shepherd: Who Would Win?
The German Shepherd Dog (GSD) is one of the most popular breeds today. They are known for their loyalty, love of family, and being loyal to those they care about. These qualities make them very desirable dogs in our modern society. However, these same traits can cause problems when they come into contact with other aggressive breeds such as the Rottweiler.
In fact, there have been cases where GSDs have attacked and killed their owners or even strangers. Some people believe that the reason why some people choose to own a dog like this is because it makes them feel safe. While this may be true for some, it does not necessarily mean that all Rottweilers are friendly and loving creatures.
Some Rottweilers are extremely dominant and will attack anyone who gets too close to them. Others tend to be more passive and less likely to get into fights than others. If you decide that you want a Rottweiler, then you need to take precautions if you plan on keeping him around your home.
You need to make sure that he doesn’t become overly aggressive towards other animals or humans, especially children.
If you do not properly train and socialize your Rottweiler when he is a puppy, then he may become very territorial or even turn around and attack his owner. It just takes some dogs longer to warm up to new people. While some owners believe that their Rottweiler is a loving and friendly dog, others will tell you a different story.
As far as breeds go, the Rottweiler is considered a large breed. In fact, it is one of the largest in existence. These dogs typically weigh anywhere from 85 pounds to well over 100 pounds when fully grown.
The size alone is enough to make a person think twice about getting one because of the damage that they are capable of doing if they decide to attack you.
The jaws of these dogs are also quite strong. They have been known to bite down with nearly 1500 pounds of pressure. This is more than enough to crush a human bone or even break through some of the tougher hides of wild animals.
While they may not be as fast as other breeds, they more than make up for it in strength and endurance.
Many dogfights have been stopped before they could even begin because the other dogs were afraid of getting attacked by the Rottweiler. When they do get into a fight, they typically are not interested in stopping the fight until their opponent is dead or completely submissive.
As far as behavior goes, the Rottweiler is among the most protective of its owner. They are typically wary of strangers and may bark at them from a distance. If the stranger continues to press the issue, the Rottweiler may very well try to defend its territory by attacking the person.
Some Rottweilers are even smart enough to know when it’s time to stop fighting and back off. Others may continue attacking the person even if they have already surrendered or are clearly beaten. It all depends on their owner’s training techniques.
The Rottweiler is also a very active dog. If it does not get enough exercise, then it will most likely behave much like a ADHD child who has had too much sugar. They will probably get into everything and act much like a “loose cannon.”
If you do plan on owning one of these dogs, it is in your best interest that you have a very securely fenced in yard. If you do not, then you need to be willing to take him out on a leash on a regular basis. These dogs do not do well if they are cooped up inside a house all day long.
When you take him out for a walk, do not be surprised if he starts pulling you along the way. As a matter of fact, you should probably get a harness instead of a leash because these dogs have been known to break leashes very easily.
They also have a constant urge to wander off and do their own thing. If you do not keep a firm leash on this dog, then there is a possibility that he could run off and get lost. It would be very difficult to find him if this were to happen because of his dark coloring.
If you do decide to take the Rottweiler out in public, you need to be very careful. Some people may be frightened by the size and appearance of this breed. If you know that this might be a problem, you should start off by socializing him to various people while he is still a puppy.
Even with proper socialization, some people will still be frightened of his appearance. This is where the leash comes in handy because it can prevent him from attacking someone who is afraid of him. You may even have to muzzle him if the person seems especially scared.
If you have children, then you may need to be even more cautious. Rottweilers are not recommended to be around children under 6 because they are still impressionable. They do not understand that a child’s playful and innocent actions may be seen as a sign of aggression by the dog.
It would not be uncommon for the dog to react in defense of the child by actually attacking him. This could obviously lead to very serious injuries or even death.
The Rottweiler is also known to have a strong protective instinct. If they are protective of their owner, then they may lash out at someone who they believe is threatening you in some way.
In general most Rottweilers get along with children and other pets if they are introduced to them at a young age. It can take time for them to accept new people though.
These dogs tend to be very territorial and protective of their property and space. They are definitely not the best guard dogs for this reason. In fact, it would be very easy for them to mistake a person for an intruder and attack them.
They need to be trained extensively in order to learn proper behavior around other people and pets. They do respond very well to training though. It is just something that you need to keep working on in order to maintain their obedience.
Possible Health Problems
Just like any other breed of dog, the Rottweiler is prone to a few health problems. Most of these are hereditary and can be detected through testing and screening methods. If you know what to look for, you can easily prevent the spread of disease within the breed.
Some of the conditions that have been known to affect this breed are: Colon Cancer, Bone Cancer, hip dysplasia (can lead to arthritis), hypothyroidism, cataracts, osteochondrosis and eyelid problems.
A lot of these conditions can be detected while your Rottweiler is still a puppy. Screenings and tests can usually catch most of these problems before they become a serious issue. If you happen to get a puppy that is already an adult, then you need to be extremely cautious.
You need to make sure that the dog does not have any signs of health problems. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, you need to take him to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Some of these problems do not show up until the dog is older, but that does not mean that they will not affect them in old age.
Keeping your Rottweiler physically and mentally stimulated can drastically increase his lifespan. A bored dog will often find trouble of some sort. They will also be more likely to get sick because their immune system will be weaker.
Exercise and mental challenge will help keep them from getting bored and becoming destructive. Also, keeping them healthy means that their bodies can fight off disease and illness much easier.
Like with any other pet, you are going to have some costs involved in owning a Rottweiler. These dogs are definitely not the cheapest pets to have, but they are not the most expensive either. There are also some additional expenses that you may need to pay for as your pet gets older.
Initial Costs: $550 – $1,000
This price range would apply if you got your Rottweiler as a puppy. If you got it as an adult, then the price would be higher because you would have to pay for things like vaccinations, spaying or neutering and such.
It is also possible that you may need to pay a little more for health tests if you are getting an adult dog from a private owner. There is also the cost of a crate, food bowls and other miscellaneous items that you will need to buy.
Annual Costs: $460 – $580
After your initial costs, everything else is going to be annual costs. Food and treats for your pet are obviously a necessity. This will cost you about $400 – $500 a year.
There is also the cost of routine checkups and inoculations which should be around $60 – $70 a year. Heartworm prevention will cost you around $100 – $120 a year as well. This may seem like a lot, but it is definitely necessary if you want to keep your dog healthy.
There are also the miscellaneous costs that you may have to pay throughout the year for things like licenses, toys and other items that your pet may need. These will typically not be more than $200 – $300 a year though.
Medical conditions and other problems
As with any dog breed, there are some conditions and ailments that are more common with the Rottweiler. As long as you get your pet from a reliable breeder and you take it to the vet regularly, then your dog should be fine. However, some conditions just affect this breed more often.
Bloat is a condition that involves the stomach expanding rapidly and then twisting. This blocks the flow of oxygen to the dog’s organs and can be life-threatening if not treated immediately.
This is more common in larger, deep-chested breeds and the Rottweiler is definitely included in this category. Obesity can cause bloat, as can exercise just before or after eating, especially running or jogging.
Treatment involves making sure that the dog’s stomach is not twisted and that it has room to expand. This is done by placing the dog on its side or even standing it up if necessary. Next, you need to make sure that anything in the stomach does not block the airway.
This means cutting open the stomach to make sure that it can expand properly.
This would be done by making a cut down the middle which will cause contents to spill out. If your pet does not improve after this, it may need to have parts of its stomach and intestines removed. Even with treatment, the dog may still die.
Like with humans, obesity can also lead to heart problems in dogs. As your Rottweiler gets older, it may start to show signs of heart issues such as shortness of breath when it exerts itself or fatigue.
As with people, dogs can have various types of heart disease. While not common in this breed, older dogs can start having heart attacks and may need to be on medication or even have surgery.
The Rottweiler is a stocky dog that was originally bred to pull carts. Naturally, it has a very muscular body. Even so, this dog can gain weight easily and this is almost always due to overeating.
If you overfeed your pet, it will gain weight and this can lead to a whole host of health problems. The joints will become strained, the heart will have to work harder and the dog may develop arthritis.
Feeding your Rottie should be done with moderation. You can measure out regular meals for it or simply watch its diet. If you choose the latter option, then make sure you do not overfeed it just because it is acting hungry.
If you want to know exactly what is the right amount to feed your pet, you should get in the habit of weighing its food out. There are many cheap food scales that you can get for this purpose. Typically a Rottweiler will eat between 1/4 and 1/3 of its body weight in kgs each day.
If you decide that a Rottweiler is right for you, then you may want to consider getting a puppy rather than an older dog. While adult dogs often know some basic commands and at least have some idea about how to behave around humans, puppies are a lot more fun.
They are also a lot more work, which is why a lot of people don’t like them. This is especially true if you work all day as you will need to make arrangements for someone to look after your pet.
However, if you do choose to get a Rottweiler puppy, it is important that you socialize it properly. This means taking it to meet lots of people so that it grows up friendly and not afraid of new situations. It also means taking it out in public from an early age so that it does not become afraid of crowds or the outside world.
If you want a dog that…
Is large and imposing yet beautiful
Will protect you and your property
Is good with children A Rottweiler may be right for you
If you want a dog that…
Is active and needs lots of exercise
Does not suffer from Allergies
Doesn’t mind a little ferocity A Rottweiler may be right for you
If you want a dog that…
Will scare off intruders and attack if necessary
Is not vocal
Is calm and dignified A Rottweiler may be right for you
If you want a dog that…
Is medium sized and energetic
Is playful and loves to run around
Has long eyelashes A Bulldog may be right for you
If you want a dog that…
Sources & references used in this article:
… of risk factors for degenerative joint disease associated with hip dysplasia in German Shepherd Dogs, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and Rottweilers by GK Smith, PD Mayhew, AS Kapatkin… – Journal of the …, 2001 – Am Vet Med Assoc
Comparison of susceptibility for hip dysplasia between Rottweilers and German shepherd dogs. by CA Popovitch, GK Smith, TP Gregor… – Journal of the American …, 1995 – europepmc.org
Electrocardiophysiological parameters of the Cocker Spaniel Rottweiler and German Shepherd dogs by D Upeniece – Summary of Doctoral Thesis, Latvia University of …, 2004 – opengrey.eu
Factors affecting hip dysplasia in German shepherd dogs in Finland: efficacy of the current improvement programme by M Leppänen, K Mäki, J Juga… – Journal of Small Animal …, 2000 – Wiley Online Library
Genetic analysis of three different classification protocols for the evaluation of elbow dysplasia in German shepherd dogs by V Janutta, H Hamann, S Klein… – Journal of Small …, 2006 – Wiley Online Library