Are you looking for a unique dog to join your family that’s intelligent, powerful, and protective? The German Shepherd Rottweiler mix might be just the dog for you.
This hybrid dog breed is also known as a Rottweiler Shepherd, Shepweiler, Rottie Shepherd, Rotten Shepherd, or Schottie.
It’s a mix of two smart dog breeds that were bred to work all day long. As a result, it’s smart, loyal, and needs a lot of exercise.
Let’s learn more about this energetic dog so you can decide if it’s the right breed to join your family.
About the German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix
German Shepherds and Rottweilers are both hardworking, loyal, and intelligent dog breeds. The two dog breeds do have some differences, though.
Let’s take a closer look at German Shepherds and Rottweilers. That will give you a better idea of what to expect from this designer breed.
The German Shepherd is the second-most-popular dog breed in the United States. They make loyal family dogs who will do anything you ask. They need a lot of exercise, but they’re easy to train.
The German Shepherd has an easy to recognize profile with erect ears, a pointy snout, and a fluffy, straight tail. They usually have short, thick fur with an undercoat that sheds seasonally. However, there are also long-haired German Shepherds.
German Shepherds stand 22-26” tall and weigh 50-90 pounds.
While the most common color of a German Shepherd is black and tan, they also come in these colors:
- Black and cream
- Black and silver
- Black and red
The German Shepherd was created by German cavalry officer Captain Max von Stephanitz in the late 19th century. He wanted to take the best of all the various local sheepdogs to create superior sheepdog.
As technology reduced the need for sheepdogs, von Stephanitz convinced the military to start using his dogs. The breed was refined during the early part of the 20th century. During World War I, German Shepherds worked as Red Cross dogs, guards, rescuers, messengers, sentries, and supply carriers.
At the end of WWI, an American soldier brought home a German Shepherd puppy who would become Rin Tin Tin, which became a famous movie star and popularized the breed in the United States.
The Rottweiler is the 8th-most-popular dog breed in the United States. They’ve had a variety of purposes over the years, but their favorite job is as an oversized lap dog.
The Rottweiler is a stocky, sturdy dog. It stands 22-27” tall and can weigh up to 135 pounds. Their short fur is always black with markings that are mahogany, rust, or tan.
The ancestors of the Rottweiler were used to guard livestock as the Romans conquered the world. The German town of Rottweil took these dogs and refined them to herd cattle and pull carts to the market. Along the way, they protected their cattle and people and became known as the Butcher’s Dog of Rottweil.
When cattle cars reduced the need for livestock droving, Rottweilers became personal protectors, police dogs, and all-around workers. Now, they’re used in roles like search and rescue and guide dogs for the blind.
German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix Appearance
A German Shepherd Rottweiler mix could be long and lean like a German Shepherd or stocky like a Rottweiler. It could have short hair like a Rottie or thick fur like a German Shepherd. One thing is for sure, though: it’s likely going to be black with markings that are some shade of brown.
Rottweiler Shepherd Temperament
German Shepherds and Rottweilers are both working dogs and are loyal and intelligent. Both breeds can be wary of strangers and make good guard dogs. However, they need lots of socialization to prevent unwarranted aggression.
Feeding A German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix
Rottweilers are prone to obesity, and German Shepherds can be, too. That’s why it’s crucial to feed your Shepherd Rottweiler mix an appropriate amount of quality food. Avoid food with fillers, by-products, or artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
A German Shepherd Rottweiler mix puppy should get a food that contains 22% protein and 8% fat. Adults need food that is 18% protein and 5% fat.
You can learn more about the best foods for German Shepherds here.
Your Shepweiler will need plenty of exercise. Both parent breeds were bred to work all day long, so your dog will have a ton of energy. Plan on giving your German Shepherd Rottweiler mix at least 1-2 hours of exercise every day.
German Shepherds and Rottweilers are intelligent and easy to train. It’s important to use positive reinforcement training, however. Using force or dominance training can lead to aggression.
Rottweiler Shepherd Mix Health
Both German Shepherds and Rottweilers are prone to a variety of health problems. In fact, the average lifespan for either breed doesn’t extend past the age of 10.
German Shepherd Health
Sadly, German Shepherds are one of the breeds most likely to develop hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a painful condition where the back leg doesn’t fit properly in the hip joint. Other health problems GSDs are prone to include:
- Elbow dysplasia – a malformation of the elbow joint
- Degenerative Myelopathy – a condition that causes progressive loss of function of the back legs
- Bloat – a life-threatening condition where the stomach rotates and cuts off blood supply to the intestines
- Allergies – including environmental and food
- Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EP) – a condition that prevents dogs from digesting their food
Rottweilers are highly prone to cancer, especially bone cancer. Luckily, bone cancer is more treatable than some types of cancer, with leg amputation chemotherapy buying up to two years. Other health conditions that Rottweilers are prone to include:
- Hip dysplasia – a malformation of the hip joint
- Elbow dysplasia – malformation of the elbow
- Bloat – a deadly condition where the stomach fills with air and rotates
- Aortic Stenosis/Sub-aortic Stenosis (AS/SAS) – a deadly genetic heart defect
- Hypothyroidism – reduced thyroid gland function
- Panosteitis (Pano) – also known as growing pains
- Allergies – food or environmental
Rottweiler Shepherd Grooming
Rottweiler Shepherd mixes will usually have short hair that may be thick. They will shed – A LOT. If their fur is more like a Rottweiler, they’ll shed more year-round. If it’s more like a German Shepherd, they will blow their coat more when the seasons change.
Grooming this breed involves daily toothbrushing, weekly brushing, monthly nail trimming, and occasional baths.
Rescuing a German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix
Rottweiler German Shepherd mixes are often the result of accidental breeding. That means you are likely to find one in a shelter or at a rescue. Rescue dogs can make wonderful additions to your family, especially if they have passed temperament testing.
There is no rescue group for German Shepherd Rottweiler mixes, so you should check out breed rescues like these:
- German Shepherd Rescue, Inc
- Mid-America Rottweiler Rescue
- German Shepherd Rescue and Adoptions
- Southern States Rescued Rottweilers
- Mid-Atlantic German Shepherd Rescue
- Big Sky Rottweiler Rescue
Buying a German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix Puppy
Not many people are intentionally breeding this designer breed. That makes it difficult to find a Rottweiler German Shepherd mix puppy. If anything, you’re most likely to find one at a pet store.
No matter how much you want one of these dogs, you should avoid buying a puppy from a pet store. That’s because most pet stores get their puppies from puppy mills.
What’s Wrong with Pet Stores and Puppy Mills?
Puppy mills mass-produce puppies without any care for the welfare of the dogs. The breeding dogs and young puppies live in terrible conditions. They are often covered in their own filth and never see grass or the sun.
Dogs that come from puppy mills are more likely to have genetic health problems. That’s because puppy mills don’t do any genetic testing. They are only concerned with money, not the overall health of the breed.
Due to the unsanitary conditions, puppies from puppy mills tend to be sick when they reach a pet store. That cute puppy in the window may die from parvo within a few days of joining your family.
If you’re looking for a puppy, make sure you look for a breeder who does health testing on breeding dogs. They are more likely to have healthy puppies.
One final thought: When you buy a puppy from a puppy mill, you may think you’re saving that puppy. The truth is that you are sentencing that puppy’s parents and siblings to a life of hell.
Pros and Cons of Getting a Rottweiler Shepherd Mix
The Shepherd Rottweiler mix is a great dog, but it isn’t right for everybody. Here are some of the pros and cons to consider before bringing one home.
- Needs a lot of exercise
- Sheds a lot
- May become aggressive without proper socialization and training
Here are answers to some of the most common questions people ask about the German Shepherd Rottweiler mix.
Are They Good with Kids?
Yes, German Shepherd Rottweiler mixes are good with kids. However, they need good socialization as a puppy and positive reinforcement training. Their large size and need for plenty of exercise means they can knock over small kids.
Do They Need a Lot of Exercise?
Yes, Shepweilers need at least one to two hours of exercise per day. Puppies shouldn’t get much vigorous exercise because it can affect their skeletal development. However, adult Shepherd Rottweiler mixes benefit from a long run around the dog park or doggy daycare.
How Long Does This Breed Live?
German Shepherds live an average of 7-10 years, while Rottweilers live an average of 9-10 years. Therefore, a German Shepherd Rottweiler mix may not live much longer than 10 years. However, feeding your dog good food and maintaining their weight can help improve their lifespan.
How Big Does a Shepweiler Get?
The German Shepherd weighs 50-90 pounds, and the Rottweiler weighs 80-135 pounds. That means a German Shepherd Rottweiler mix is likely to weigh anywhere from 50 to 135 pounds.
Does a German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix Like to Bark?
Neither German Shepherds nor Rottweilers tend to bark much. One exception is that their guarding instincts may cause them to bark at strangers. They may also develop separation anxiety that could cause it to bark.
Do They Make a Good Family Pet?
Yes, the German Shepherd Rottweiler mix can be a good family pet, but it isn’t right for every family. The dog will need lots of exercise and training. This breed will do best with an experienced dog owner.
A Word About Hybrid Dog Breeds
You might think that hybrid dogs like the German Shepherd Rottweiler mix are a perfect blend of the parent breeds. The truth is that they might get more traits from one parent or the other.
That makes it impossible to know exactly which traits a hybrid dog will have. Still, we can learn a lot about what to expect from the parent breeds.
German Shepherds and Rottweilers have a lot in common. That means we can get a pretty good idea about what physical and personality traits a mix might have.
If you’re looking for a smart, loyal dog, the Rottweiler German Shepherd mix may be just what you’re looking for. It’s not the right choice for every home, but it could be the perfect dog for your home.
As long as you have the time and energy to give them the exercise they need, a Shepweiler might be your new best friend.