In this article you will find:
- What is a Rottweiler Pitbull Mix?
- Rottweiler Pitbull Mix Breed Overview
- The Rottweiler Pitbull Mix’s Appearance
- The Rottweiler Pitbull Mix’s History
- The Rottweiler Pitbull Mix’s Personality
- Rottweiler Pitbull Mix’s Exercise Requirements
- Things That Will Help Bring Out the Best in your Rottweiler Pitbull Mix
- Grooming a Rottweiler Pitbull Mix
- The Rottweiler Pitbull Mix’s Health
- Breed-specific Legislation
A mix of two incredibly loyal breeds, the Rottweiler Pitbull mix is a muscular dog that is both powerful and sensitive. This sweet-natured mixed-breed dog is caring and affectionate to its family members.
For this reason, they can also be fiercely protective and make good guard dogs. Thinking of getting a Rottweiler Pitbull mix? Find out more about the breed as we discuss its history, appearance, temperament, and more.
What is a Rottweiler Pitbull Mix?
A Rottweiler Pitbull mix is a mixed breed dog that is a product of breeding purebred dogs Rottweiler and American Pitbull Terrier.
While other designer mixed breeds such as Labradoodles, Cavapoo, Goldendoodles, and many others have taken social media by storm globally, the Rottweiler Pitbull mix is slowly gaining popularity among those who prefer stockier, more intimidating-looking dogs. This designer dog is more common in the United States than in other places.
But don’t let the heavy-set, muscular body fool you. With proper socialization, obedience training, and positive reinforcement, these Pitweilers can be the sweetest, most patient, and loyal companion dogs you can have.
Other Names for the Rottweiler Pitbull Mixes
- Pit Rott
- Pitbull Rottweiler
- Rottie Pit
- Rotten Pit
- Rottweiler Pit
Rottweiler Pitbull Mix Breed Overview
- Pedigree: Mixed breed
- Parent Breeds: Rottweiler, American Pitbull Terrier
- Breed Group: Working/ Terrier group
- Breed size: Medium to large
- Height: 18 to 27 inches (male) ; 17 to 25 inches (female)
- Weight: 35 to 125 pounds (male) ; 30 to 90 pounds (female)
- Energy level: Active
- Lifespan: 9-16 years
The Rottweiler Pitbull Mix’s Appearance
As the Rottweiler is a large breed dog and the American Pit Bull Terrier is a medium-sized breed, a Rottweiler Pitbull mix can grow to be any size in between upon reaching adulthood.
Purebred male Rottweilers have an average height of 24-27 inches while females grow to about 22-25 inches. Pitbulls on the other hand are about 18-21 inches tall for males. Adult females are about 17 to 20 inches tall on average.
Both the Rottweiler and Pitbull breeds have solid, muscular bodies. The large dog Rottie can weigh between 95-135 lbs for males. Fully grown females can weigh around 80 to 100 lbs. The medium-sized male Pitbull weighs an average of 35 to 60 lbs. Females weigh between 30 to 50 lbs.
Just like their size, the Rottweiler Pitbull mix’s coat can swing either way. Both the Rottie and Pitties have glossy short and smooth coats. A Rottweiler Pitbull mix’s coat can be either single-layered just like a Pitbull’s, or double-layered like a Rottweiler’s.
Because of the Pitbull’s wide range of accepted coat colors, Rottweiler Pitbull mix puppies come in numerous coat color variations and patterns. All color variations are accepted as breed standard for the Pitbull, except for albinism or merle. If the Pitbull Rottweiler mix pups take after their Rottweiler parent, then they would likely be black with some mahogany, tan, or rust markings.
Purebred Rottweilers are known for their glossy black coats with mahogany, rust, or tan spots above the eyes, as well as markings on their cheeks and muzzle (but not on the bridge of the nose). The placement and number of their markings are very specific. Not having the markings in the right spot or quantity will constitute a disqualification as a registered purebred Rottweiler.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) official breed standard states that aside from the face markings, Rottweilers should also have rust, mahogany, or tan triangular mark on both sides of the prosternum; on forelegs from carpus downward to the toes; on the inside of rear legs showing down the front of the stifle and broadening out to front of rear legs from hock to toes, but not completely eliminating black from the rear of pasterns; under tail; black penciling on toes.
The Rottweiler Pitbull mix’s head is large and broad. Because they have well-muscled bodies, the large head is not disproportionate to the body. The Pitbull’s skull has a deep median furrow that is commonly seen in the Rottweiler Pitbull mix.
This designer mixed breed has a broad muzzle that is deep and shorter than the length of the skull.
A Rottweiler Pitbull mix’s eyes are either round or almond shape. The color is usually brown or dark brown. In Rottweilers, breed standard dictates dark brown eyes are desirable. A purebred Pitbull’s eyes can be any color, but blue or eyes not matching in color are considered serious faults.
A Pitbull Rottweiler mix’s natural, uncropped triangular ears may fold down the sides of the head, or set high on the head.
The Rottweiler Pitbull Mix’s History
Breeding designer dogs by cross-breeding different breeds have seen a rise in popularity over the last decade or so. While Poodle crosses are very popular everywhere for their low-shedding coat and high intelligence among other traits, the reason behind the creation of the Rottweiler Pitbull mix is not known.
More popular in the US than in other countries, mixing the two breeds makes sense for pet owners who may want a loving pup who is great with children while also getting a protective guard dog all in one big and cuddly package.
To understand more about the Pitbull Rottweiler mix, let’s take a brief look at their parent breeds’ histories.
History of the Rottweiler
The Rottweiler is a large, powerful dog breed that is descended from the great mastiffs of ancient Rome. During the Roman Empire’s conquests, their armies would bring herds of livestock with them as a source of food. They employed large-sized dog breeds like the Asian mastiff to move and guard the herd.
Used as breeding stock, these Asian mastiffs became the ancestor of the modern Rottweiler as well as other German dog breeds.
It was not long after the collapse of the Roman Empire that their Roman drover dogs found themselves working as cattle dogs in Rottweil, Germany. Protecting and moving livestock in the cattle town earned them the name Rottweiler Metzgerhund, or the Butcher’s Dog of Rottweil.
The intimidating large breed dogs not only guarded the herd but also the cattlemen’s money. Cattlemen would tie bags containing their money around Rottweilers' necks for safekeeping while on a journey. During those times, butchers would take their Rotties with them to the market to safeguard their money.
In the 1800s, cattle dogs like the Rottweiler were no longer in demand due to the use of railroad cattle cars. Eventually, the loyal companion and highly intelligent guard dog became a popular breed choice for the police force, as well as protectors of private properties.
Did you know that Rotties were one of the first breeds to be used as guide dogs or service dogs for the blind? Rottweilers are strong, devoted dogs that are smart, which makes them great therapy dogs, customs inspectors, service dogs, as well as drafting and carting dogs.
The Pitbull’s History
Like many other dog breeds, the Pitbull is a product of cross-breeding different breeds. In the Pitbull’s case, the now extinct Old English Terrier and Old English Bulldog were its parent breeds. They were bred to produce a dog that is athletic, agile, and has the eagerness to keep going or fighting despite the threat of injury.
This crossbred dog from the British Isles was called the bull and terrier dog. This breed made it to the US in the late 19th century, where they eventually became the direct ancestors of the American Pitbull Terrier.
The bull and terriers were used in bloodsports such as bull baiting, bear baiting, and dog fighting. While bloodsports involving dogs were outlawed in the United Kingdom in 1835 due to animal welfare laws, dog fighting still existed in underground organizations in certain areas of the UK.
A decade or so later, the fighting dogs made it to the US where dog fighting has continued to be a popular blood sport. Owners of this fighting breed wanted to register their dogs, but the AKC did not want to be associated with a dog breed that is associated with fighting pits.
In February 1898, the United Kennel Club officially recognized the American Pitbull Terrier as a breed. While the Pitbull has not been able to completely shed its reputation as a fierce fighting breed, these energetic dogs performed well as working dogs in other fields.
Pitbulls were popular as catch dogs in the US. Catch dogs are specially trained to catch large game in hunting, working livestock, or baiting.
Today, the athletic and loving Pitbulls make great companion dogs, sporting dogs, as well as police dogs, and therapy dogs.
The Rottweiler Pitbull Mix’s Personality
It may be hard to predict exactly what your pup’s personality will be like just based on their breed. While the Rottweiler and the Pitbull have many things in common, they do have a few differences when it comes to temperament. As such, your Rottweiler Pitbull puppy may turn out to have either of the breeds’ trademark traits or even a combination of both.
Taking the parent breeds’ trademark personality traits into consideration, we recommend the Pitweiler to more experienced dog owners. Taking them to a professional dog trainer can certainly help bring out the best in the dog's natural temperament and discourage bad behavior. Trainers can also teach owners how to train dogs using positive reinforcement.
The Rottweiler’s Temperament
Used as guard dogs and cattle dogs, the Rottweiler is protective of its family and home. They are also known to be aloof to strangers. They tend to take their guarding job seriously and will likely reserve their playfulness only for their owners and family members. Early socialization and obedience training are key to keeping their territorial instincts under control.
As one of the most intelligent and eager-to-please dog breeds, Rotties are highly trainable. This makes them suitable for various types of work, as well as a cuddly yet protective family dog. As aloof as they can be with strangers, these large pups love to be lapdogs for their owners.
Not known as a particularly chatty breed, Rotties only bark to alert. However, as they are very smart dogs, Rotties and Rottweiler mix dogs require a good deal of mental stimulation or they will get bored. Any bored dog can develop behavioral issues or display destructive behavior when left alone for too long.
These calm, confident, and brave dogs can be easily trained to be gentle with children. Training is very important as due to their size, rough play could be hazardous to small children.
The Pitbull’s Temperament
In contrast to the Rottweiler’s aloof demeanor towards people other than its family members, the Pitbull is a fun-loving breed that is gentle and patient. This enthusiastic breed is known for being patient with children. As with any dog breed, early socialization and obedience training is vital in discouraging behavioral issues such as aggression and destructive habits.
It is quite common for Pitbulls to be incredibly sweet and loving dogs. They crave human attention and enjoy snuggles with their owners.
This breed has a tendency to be aggressive towards stranger dogs if not given proper training and early socialization. Because they are bred to be game, this means that it can be hard to stop them from doing what they are doing even when faced with the threat of injury or pain. They should be kept on a leash when around other dogs such as in a dog park.
As such, this hybrid dog or other pitbull mix dogs should also be kept on a leash in areas where unfamiliar dogs or pets are present. For this reason, they are more suited to more experienced dog owners.
Rottweiler Pitbull Mix’s Exercise Requirements
This designer dog has a lot of energy and enthusiasm for activities and even work. Rottweiler Pitbull mixes require a good amount of daily exercise to keep them fit and stimulated.
Rottweiler Pitbull dogs love walking, running, and playtime with their family. Swimming is one of the activities that Rotties love, so if your Rottweiler Pitbull mix puppy takes after the Rottweiler in her, she may enjoy swimming on a warm day. Rotties will take to carting quite easily. This is one of the traits that make the breed a great farm/ herding dog.
Pitbulls are not built for the cold. When taking your Rottweiler Pitbull mix outside during the colder months, protect him or her from the elements by putting a jacket on them before heading out.
Exercise and training can not only help prevent excess weight gain which non-working Rotties can be prone to, but it also helps fight boredom and prevent an energetic dog from developing bad habits associated with boredom or anxiety.
The recommended daily exercise for Rottweiler Pitbull mixes is about 60 minutes per day. If going for a run or more strenuous activities, you can shorten their exercise time to avoid overfatigue.
Things That Will Help Bring Out the Best in your Rottweiler Pitbull Mix
1. Nutritious Food
Select a good quality dog food that is appropriate for your dog’s age, breed size, activity level, and other dietary needs
2. Early Socialization
The best way to help a young puppy grow up to be a friendly dog who does not cause trouble at the dog park is to start socializing them at an early age.
3. Obedience Training
Having a headstrong dog like a Rottweiler Pitbull mix, not to mention a very physically strong one requires them to be properly trained. This will teach them not to be territorial at all times. It will also keep them mentally stimulated. An untrained Rottie Pit mix or any untrained dog can be a danger to themselves and others in certain situations.
Early leash training will help them get used to being on a leash, which will help keep them safe and secure when not at home.
With the right training, this playful dog breed makes excellent family dogs.
4. Positive Reinforcement
Using positive reinforcement to train dogs has been proven effective for most dog breeds. The dogs learn, have fun, and get to enjoy treats or extra bonding time with their owners.
As active dogs, Pitweilers need a lot of exercise to keep fit. It also prevents dogs from having pent-up energies that can cause them to be troublemakers when bored.
Grooming a Rottweiler Pitbull Mix
Grooming a Rottweiler Pitbull mix is very easy. Just like purebred Pitbulls and Rottweilers, their short, smooth coats require very little maintenance. However, they do shed moderately year-round and may shed more than usual about twice per year. The shedding season is usually during spring and fall.
The Rottweiler Pitbull mix requires just a once-weekly brushing to keep shedding at a minimum. They don’t need bathing often but should be given a bath at least once every three months. They can be given baths once a month if needed. Weekly baths could strip their skin of natural oils which could lead to dry, itchy skin.
If it gets dirty in between baths, you can spot clean a Pitbull Rottweiler mix with a washcloth or dog wipes. You can also wash just the dirty areas.
Regular brushing of the teeth is important in keeping any dog healthy and happy, and the Rottweiler Pitbull is no exception. Vets recommend twice daily brushings or brushing three times a week at a minimum.
You can also use pet toothpaste that doesn’t require brushing to help reduce plaque and tartar buildup in between brushes. Simply squirt the no-brush dog toothpaste into your dog’s mouth and he or she will do the rest.
Grooming Tools for the Rottweiler Pitbull Mix
- Slicker brush
- Pin brush
- Nail clippers or Dremel grinder
- Toothbrush, dog toothpaste
The Rottweiler Pitbull Mix’s Health
Feeding dogs high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their breed size, age, and activity levels can help keep health problems at bay and even add more years to the dog’s life.
Certain conditions are observed to affect certain breeds more than others. The strong and athletic Rottweiler Pitbull mix can be prone to certain health issues that commonly affect Pitbulls and Rottweilers.
Cancer is caused by multiple factors and not all of them are known to us at this time. Genetics is said to play a role in the likelihood of getting cancer. Rottweilers happen to belong to the list of dog breeds that have a higher incidence of cancer, along with breeds like the German Shepherd, Bernese Mountain Dog, Great Dane, and other dogs.
Forms of cancer commonly seen in dogs are lymphoma, mast cell tumors, soft tissue sarcomas, osteosarcoma, transitional cell carcinomas (or bladder cancer), and hemangiosarcomas (or cancer of the blood vessels).
According to the AKC, Dr. David Waters of the Gerald P. Murphy Cancer Foundation has discovered that cancer and longevity are linked to a careful vaccination regimen as it strengthens the immune system, as well as keeping males and females intact until at least six years of age.
Other conditions that are known to affect Rotties are hip and elbow dysplasia, osteosarcoma (or bone cancer), and gastric torsion. Hip dysplasia is a condition that is common among large dog breeds as well as medium ones.
The Pitbull does not belong to the list of breeds that have a higher risk of getting cancer. However, certain conditions are known to affect the breed. Due to their short coat, Pitbulls are prone to skin conditions such as skin allergies and mange.
Genetic diseases and bone diseases are also among the conditions that commonly affect Pitties. Among these are hip dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, kneecap dislocation, as well as thyroid and congenital heart defects.
If you wish to own a Rottweiler Pitbull mix dog, you might want to check if the city or state where you live has enacted laws restricting the possession of certain dog breeds. Owing to the Pitweiler’s Pitbull and Rottweiler heritage, it is covered by breed-specific legislation (BSL) in many states in the US, as well as other countries.
BSL is a type of law that prohibits or restricts ownership of certain breeds or types of dogs. These laws have been put in place due to the number of mauling incidents that involved “pitbull-type” dogs or other breeds/ mixed breed dogs commonly used in dog fighting.
In 2000, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a study that concluded that fatal attacks on humans appeared to be a breed-specific problem. The study claims that pit bull–type dogs and Rottweilers accounted for half of all fatal dog attacks on humans between 1979 and 1998.
However, the CDC also concluded that fatal attacks represent only a small proportion of dog bite injuries to humans. They suggested that there may be better alternatives for the prevention of dog bites than bans against certain types, breeds, or hybrid dog breeds.
According to a literary review by the American Veterinary Medical Association, “controlled studies have not identified this breed group as disproportionately dangerous”. They also said that “it has not been demonstrated that introducing a breed-specific ban will reduce the rate or severity of bite injuries occurring in the community”.
However, as of 2018, BSL still exists in 37 states in the US, as well as 51 other countries around the world.
Despite their size, strength, and reputation, the Rottweiler Pitbull makes a good family dog that is loyal, devoted, and eager to please. However, this hybrid dog is not recommended for first-time dog owners or those who are not experienced with obedience training.
Affectionate and sweet at heart, these Rottweiler Pitbull mix dogs are protective of their families and territories. Without proper socialization and training, being protective, incredibly strong, and determined to the point of not noticing pain or injury could be a recipe for disaster.
Many Pit mix dogs and other large dogs end up in shelters or worse, especially when they get into trouble such as attacking other pets or causing injury during play due to their size. We encourage our readers to adopt from shelters and rescue groups instead of going to backyard breeders or puppy mills that don’t practice ethical or responsible methods.
Understanding both the parent breeds Rottweilers and Pitbulls is important in owning such dogs. Owning a well-trained Rottweiler Pitbull mix whether it is a rescue dog or purchased from a breeder, is incredibly rewarding not just because of their instinct to protect when necessary, but also because they are gentle, sensitive dogs that have a lot to offer.