Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix – Dog Breed Guide for 2020

If there was ever a dog that was both super strong and super smart, the  German Shepherd  Rottweiler Mix would definitely take the number one spot.

Commonly known as a German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix,  they are also known by nicknames such as “Shottie”, “Rottie Shepherd”, “Rotten Shepherd”, “Rottweiler Shephard” and “Shepweiler”.

As always, Feedfond is here to help you understand what is so special about this dog. We will be covering the origins, health conditions along with the behavior of the dog.

You can use our information to help in making your decision in regards to whether or not you’re ready to bring a Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix dog into your home.

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What Is Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix?

what is a german shepherd rottweiler mix - Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix details

As the name suggests, the Rottweiler Shepherd mix is a designer breed. It’s a combination of two purebred dogs, a Rottweiler, and a German Shepherd. Both purebred dogs are one amongst the most common breeds in the world, ranked 2nd and 8th in AKC ranking.

But where do both breeds come from? The answer lies in their ancestry.

The Origins of Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix

The Origins of Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix - Origins of the breed

A  German Shepherd and Rottweiler Mix comes from two dog breeds with a long history. German Shepherds and Rottweilers are from different working classes with their own strengths and features.

Rottweilers are loyal, loving, confident guardian-type dogs and German Shepherds are more of a confident, courageous, smart type.

Let’s check out the origins of the breed Rottweiler Shepherd Mix come from, historically.

Rottweiler Origin

origins of rottweiler breed - Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix

The Roman Empire pursued dog breeding as a part of guarding their army’s livestock. They used Asian Mastiff-type dogs as breeding stock which became the foundation breed of many German breeds, including the Rottweiler.

However, these herding dogs—after the fall of the empire—found work in the town of Rottweil. They protected the herd from bandits and rustlers while on the way to the market, earning them the name “Rottweiler Metzgerhund” or “Butcher’s Dog of Rottweil”.

Unfortunately, with the advancement of railways in the 1800s, their livestock protection career ended. But they became personal protectors, police K9, and all-around heavy-duty blue-collar dogs. Rottweilers were perfect for the job of being “protection dogs” because it was in their blood.

They were also the first ones to act as guide dogs for the blind; they can be excellent to help in search and rescues.

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German Shepherd Origin

origins of german shepherd breed - Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix

German Shepherds or Deutsche Schäferhunds in their native tongue, are a herding dog. In the late 1800s, a German cavalry officer—Captain Max von Stephanitz—took it upon himself to breed the ideal German herd dog.

With 35 years of hard work, the breed you know today is the refined excellence of  German Shepherds. Mind you, the versatility, intelligence and other famous qualities which German Shepherds are famous for,  were forged as a result of herding sheep and other livestock.

German Shepherds have a relatively short history simply because they are a  relatively new breed. Did you know that they were once known as Alsatian?

The breed became famous in the US at the start of the 19th century mainly due to canine Hollywood stars like Rin-Tin-Tin and Strongheart.

Their herding use declined as modern livestock management took over; however, their intelligence and cunning nature remained. They are now the first choice for police and military canine units all over the world.

Physical Characteristics of a Rottweiler-German Shepherd Mix

Physical Characteristics of a Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix - German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix guide

Descending from different breeds, it’s only natural that the puppies’ characteristics can be difficult to foresee. A Rottweiler German Shepherd puppy can lean towards any one of the parent dogs or become a mix of both.

Size and Weight

Size and weight of a Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix

One of the most common questions asked by potential future German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix owners is: will the dog grow up to be large?

The answer is, yes! As both the parent breeds are large, it’s only natural that the mixed breed will grow to be large as well. A full-grown German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix can reach 22-27 inches in height. As a large dog, their approximate weight range comes in at around 77-115 pounds.


Color variations of a rottweiler german shepherd mix - German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix guide

The coloring of a Rottweiler Shepherd can vary from solids to mixes of black, cream, grey sable and white. They may also come into a Rottweiler’s mahogany leg and facial marks or a German Shepherd’s black face and leg markings.


Coat and fur of a rottweiler german shepherd mix

Since both parents are known to have a thick coat, you can be sure that a Rottweiler German Shepherd puppy will also inherit this trait; however, the length of the coat may vary. A German Shepherd has a medium-length coat while a Rottweiler’s coat is short.

Personality and Temperament of a Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix

Another one of the most important concerns among potential buyers is the temperament of a hybrid dog. With a  Rottie Shepherd , it’s important to know that crossbreeding can’t guarantee the temperament of a puppy. To understand it’s temperament you have to know both of the parent breeds.

A Rottweiler is an aggressive breed and they have a bad reputation among parents; however, many don’t know or understand the reason behind their aggressiveness. Rottweilers are bred to be guard dogs, so it’s in their nature to protect what they think is theirs.

Personality and Temperament of a Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix - German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix guide

German Shepherds also fall into the “dogs with an aggressive nature” category, but they are also intelligent and adaptable. That is why German Shepherds are a preferred dog breed for the military and law enforcement. With proper training, they can be an excellent, well-mannered household companion.

You have to remember that both dog breeds are large and have a defense-based, aggressive personality. It’s also considered the strongest dog breed in the world. So, previous experience with dogs is highly recommended if you want to have a Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix. They need proper training from an early age to be neighborhood-friendly.

Related: Can Dogs Eat This? Foods You Can and Can’t Share With Your Dog

The Trainability of a Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix

Trainability of a Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix - German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix guide

Both German Shepherds and Rottweilers are intelligent and learn quickly. But given that they’re a large breed with an alpha nature, it’s essential to start training early with puppies if you want to keep your dog out of trouble.

It’s in the nature of both parent breeds to be loyal and very family-oriented. With proper obedience training, they can be excellent with children and even other pets; however, without training, a Rottweiler Shepherd Mix will not respect any rules you set—their protective nature may go to the extreme. While they won’t turn feral, they will act very, very aggressive towards any outsiders.

Another important factor to keep in mind is that despite all the training, a  German Rottweiler Shepherd Mix will get bored if left alone. They will mess up your house and bark unnecessarily. It can be stressful and annoying to not only you but your neighbors.

So, if you stay away from your house for extended periods of time, make sure you start crate-training your Rottweiler Shepherd Mix, in addition to any obedience training.

Health Concerns of a Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix

Health Concerns of a Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix

Rottweiler German Shepherd dogs are undoubtedly impressive to look at. They have great physique and are aware of how to use it. That doesn’t stop them from common dog ailments like hip dysplasia, allergies, eye diseases, and skin irritations.

As a large breed dog, they are also prone to health problems specific to large breed dogs. Look out for:

  • Hip Dysplasia (abnormal hip growth)
  • Elbow Dysplasia (abnormal elbow growth
  • Panosteitis (bone inflammation)
  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (bloat & torsion)
  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy (heart condition)
  • Aortic Stenosis (heart disease)
  • Spondylolisthesis (vertebrae malformation)
  • Cruciate Ligament Tears (tearing of the ligaments)
  • Cherry Eye (the third eyelid protrudes from the eye)

Before getting a Rottweiler German Shepherd puppy, we suggest you do a DNA test to scan for inherited diseases. A hybrid dog can inherit many diseases from their parents such as cancer, heart disease, hypothyroidism, allergies, autoimmune diseases, etc.

It’s best to follow your vet’s suggestions regarding vaccination and treatment for any disorders. Also, make sure to give your dog a balanced diet catered to his size and age.

A mixed breed dog, such as a Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix can live up to 10-13 years with proper care and all the love you can give.

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Grooming Needs of a Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix

Grooming Needs of a Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix - German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix guide

A Rottweiler German Shepherd is, as mentioned above, likely to have a thick coat, but their grooming needs will depend on which of the parents they take a liking to.

If the dog inherits the medium shaggy coat of his German Shepard parent, they’ll need brushing 3-4 times a week. During shedding season, grooming must be done daily.

If the dog follows his Rottweiler parent’s characteristics, once a week brushing is more than enough.

It’s a good practice to groom a dog regularly, regardless because even for ones that don’t shed much, the grooming helps remove the excess hair and dead skin, not to mention it makes the dog look clean and tidy!

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Exercise Needs of a Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix

Exercise Needs of a Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix

Large, active dogs are generally not well-suited for people with small houses/apartments. They need a yard to run around. Yet, if you are a hiker or like to go for runs and biking, it could work—a Rottweiler Mix German Shepherd could be perfect for you.

Since both Rottweilers and German Shepherds are active breeds, it’s only natural that a Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix will display excess levels of energy.

Dogs such as these needs regular time outside to play. They also need a nutritious diet to support their level of activity.

Just remember, don’t leave them alone without proper exercise because again, they’ll become destructive out of sheer boredom. Proper toys are highly recommended.

Buying a Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix Puppy

Buying a Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix Puppy - German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix guide

It’s always best to consult a reputable breeder and buy from them. That way, you’ll have access to a lot of information such as the parent’s health conditions and temperaments.

Be sure to avoid any puppy if:

  • The parent Rottweiler had/has a history of aggression
  • The breeder fails to produce certification from the Orthopaedic Foundation for Animals for both parents
  • Too many hereditary diseases in the family history


Rottweiler Shepherd Mix dogs are special and will be a great addition to an active family. Their loyal, protective nature stands out more than anything. In addition to being great watchdogs, they are also playful and good with kids.

However, a dog—no matter what the breed—is a big responsibility. And large breed such as a Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix may require special care when they age.

Are you a Rottweiler Shepherd Mix owner? Share your experience with us!

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