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Rottaf (Rottweiler – Afghan Hound Mix)

Nicole Cosgrove

Height: 26–29 inches
Weight: 80–110 pounds
Lifespan: 9–13 years
Colors: Black, grey, brown
Suitable for: Families looking for a guard dog
Temperament: Aloof, protective, independent

The Rottaf is a mixed breed dog produced when you put a Rottweiler and an Afghan Hound together. As you might imagine, this produces a rather large and imposing canine.

Beyond that, it can be challenging to determine what these dogs will look like. They may have the short hair of the Rottweiler or the longer, silky hair of the Afghan. Often, they have something in-between. It isn’t odd for their fur to change over their lifespan, either.

Usually, these dogs are rather active. They require plenty of exercise, making them best for active families.

These dogs can vary substantially in temperament. Sometimes, they are quite aloof. Other times, they can be more affectionate. Usually, they are friendly with their family members but untrusting of strangers.divider-dog

Rottaf Puppies – Before You Buy…

Energy:
Trainability:
Health:
Lifespan:
Sociability:

What’s the Price of Rottaf Puppies?

Rottaf puppies are extremely rare. Breeders often do not actively produce this breed, as they are not very sought after or recognized by any major kennel club. Afghan hounds are also quite rare in the United States, so finding one to produce these mixed breed puppies is also quite difficult.

The price of a puppy is practically unknown, as they are not sold regularly. Depending on where you get a puppy from, it could be anywhere from $400 to $1,500.

Breeders typically charge more, but they put a lot more effort and money into their puppies. For instance, breeders often genetically test parents before breeding to ensure that they are not carrying any serious genetic illnesses. They also get the puppies their first vaccinations, which lowers your first-year vet costs.

Rescues and animal shelters are somewhere you might find this breed, as they are often produced by accident. Often, these puppies haven’t undergone any genetic testing or anything of that sort. However, the rescue usually provides them with their first vaccinations and other basic medical care.

When you purchase from a shelter, you at least know that you aren’t getting a sickly puppy.

We do not recommend purchasing puppies from backyard breeders or puppy mills. In many cases, these puppies are bred for profit – not with the puppy’s health in mind. To increase profits, females are often bred quickly, and puppies are weaned before they are ready. Typically, proper health care is not provided.

While these puppies may be cheaper, they may come with underlying medical conditions and not be terribly socialized.divider-dog

3 Little-Known Facts About Rottafs

1. These dogs are exceedingly rare.

For the most part, these dogs are quite rare. It is exceedingly difficult to find these dogs. Breeders do not produce them, and Afghan hounds are too rare for them to accidentally occur all that often. Therefore, you’ll likely be looking for these puppies for a rather long time.


2. They vary substantially.

These canines are a mixed breed, so their traits are not set in stone. They can inherit any trait from any parent. Therefore, they tend to vary substantially. You never really know how a puppy is going to end up until they are older. Even puppies within the same litter tend to vary substantially.


3. Rottafs are rather healthy.

Because they are a mixed breed, the odds of them inheriting genetic conditions are quite low. Therefore, they typically have fewer vet bills when cared for properly.

 

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Rottaf

The Rottaf does not have a set-in-stone temperament like purebreds. However, they do tend to be rather aloof and untrusting of strangers. This trait can make them good guard dogs in some situations. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all of them will be natural guard dogs.

As always, training is still required.

Despite their aloofness with strangers, these dogs are often very affectionate around their families. They love those that they have bonded with, and it shows. They are just a bit uncertain about people they don’t know.

Usually, these dogs completely ignore strangers.

With that said, socialization is required to ensure that they are accepting of strangers and not aggressive. You don’t want them being aggressive towards every unknown person that comes to your home!

Socialization works best if you start out when they are puppies. Puppy classes are highly recommended starting as soon as they receive their puppy shots.

Rottafs are not exceptionally easy to train. They tend to be independent thinkers – often coming up with their own course of action instead of listening to their owners. For this reason, you can’t expect them to be as obedient as German Shepherds. It just isn’t in their nature.

That doesn’t mean that you should completely give up on training, though. Even if they will never be the most obedient dogs, training is essential to avoid ending up with an aggressive and difficult-to-control dog.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Yes, these dogs tend to be rather good for families – as long as their training and socialization needs are taken care of.

They are extremely good with children. Their larger size allows them to put up with a lot from children and makes it less likely that the child will injure them. In many cases, these dogs are much too large for younger children to injure them, and the dog knows that. It is rare for a Rottaf to be scared of a child.

However, they will still consider strange children to be strangers. They will be very good with the children in their family, but that doesn’t mean that they will readily accept all children.

If you have a lot of house guests over, this breed may not be the right choice for you. However, they are very affectionate towards their owners and families.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

The Rottaf can be good with other dogs. However, it requires socialization to get them used to strange dogs. Without socialization, most Rottafs will assume that other dogs are a threat and react accordingly. If they are around dogs from puppyhood, they will learn that others aren’t always a threat and gain the social skills necessary to interact with them.

Rottafs are often fine with dogs they have grown up with. Many will interpret these dogs as part of their family and bond with them.

However, it’s the strange dogs that they often have a harder time getting along with.

This breed typically has a high prey drive, so they are not best for those with smaller animals. There isn’t much you can do to limit this prey drive, either. Socialization with cats isn’t often enough to make them quite chasing cats.

It’s simply in their blood to chase things.divider-dog

Things to Know When Owning a Rottaf:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

While these dogs will eat a lot, they typically don’t have many substantial dietary requirements. They thrive off of any high-quality, large-breed dog food.

With that said, it is vital that these dogs are fed quality large-breed puppy food when they are growing. Large breed puppies require different nutrition than puppies from smaller breeds. For instance, too much calcium can cause joint issues later on.

Even though they are rather large, you should be very cautious not to over-feed these canines. Otherwise, they can grow too quickly, causing joint and skeletal problems later on. You should carefully feed them only the amount they need – even if they seem to be hungry all the time.

Speak with your vet about the appropriate amount to feed your puppy and keep an eye on their body condition. If they begin to gain too much fat or overshoot their growth curve, then they are probably consuming too many calories.

The correct caloric density is essential to achieve if you want a healthy dog later on.

Once they are grown, these dogs do well on food designed for large-breed canines. They often develop joint problems due to their larger size, so increased amounts of omega fatty acids are always a solid option.

Most dog foods designed for larger breeds have these added nutrients in them.

Exercise 🐕

The Rottaf is a decently active dog. They aren’t quite as active as some other breeds out there, but they do require some activity. Due to their large size, obesity can cause serious problems. They are already prone to joint problems, and obesity will only make these issues more significant.

These dogs do best with a fenced-in yard. However, the fence needs to be at least 6 feet tall. They are known for scaling fences with ease, thanks to their great jumping abilities. However, you can’t just let this dog go into a yard and expect them to meet their exercise needs.

Instead, you should plan on taking your Rottaf on regular walks around the neighborhood. Factor in plenty of time for sniffing to give them some mental stimulation as well.

Games like fetch inside an enclosed area often work well too. Due to their high prey drive, these dogs love chasing just about anything. Coursing can be great fun for Rottafs and their owners.

We don’t necessarily recommend the dog park for these dogs. Their personality often causes them stress if they are around many strange dogs at once. It is best to exercise them alone or with one or two dogs that they know.

Training 🎾

Training these dogs is often somewhat difficult. They don’t take well to training and often require regular sessions to stay fresh – even after they have “mastered” a command. Neither parent breed was bred to listen to their owners, so these dogs often don’t, either.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid training these dogs completely. They do require some training to stay manageable, especially given their protective nature and large size.

We recommend training classes as soon as the dog is old enough. Typically, this is around two months. Most training facilities require the puppy to receive their first shots before they can be trained.

Many quality breeders will start their puppy’s training at home. In these cases, the puppies are often much easier to handle and take quickly to other training. However, we still recommend taking them to puppy classes for both the training experience and socialization.

Continue with training classes until your dog has completed most of the advanced classes. You should still continue with training practice throughout your dog’s lifespan to keep them fresh and well-behaved.

Grooming ✂️

Sometimes, these dogs require daily grooming. Other times, they only require weekly grooming. It depends on their coat type. Plus, these dogs tend to shed more heavily a few times a year, during which time they will need more grooming than usual.

Brushing your dog doesn’t just remove excess fur; it also helps keep your canine’s coat clean by removing dirt and debris. Your dog will go much longer between baths if they are groomed regularly. When in doubt, aim for more brushing instead of less brushing.

Start a grooming routine when the puppy is very young. Even though young puppies usually need very little grooming, this will get the dog accustomed to grooming, which will make your job much easier.

Brushing their teeth a few times a week is required. Their nails will also need to be trimmed every few weeks. You can do this at home or take them to a professional.

Health and Conditions 🏥

For the most part, this breed is quite healthy. They are unlikely to inherit any genetic problems from either of their parent breeds since they are inheriting from a larger gene pool.

With that said, their larger size often puts quite a bit of strain on their joints. If they are fed improperly as puppies, they may also be more prone to hip and elbow dysplasia. Both of these conditions affect the joint’s ability to work properly, leading to arthritis-like symptoms when the puppy is rather young.

They may also be prone to bloat, which is a life-threatening condition where the stomach expands with air. No one exactly knows why bloat occurs, but it does seem to happen more in large breeds. Therefore, larger Rottafs may be more likely to develop this condition than smaller ones.

However, because we don’t know exactly what causes it, it is impossible to know what will lower your dog’s chance of developing it.

Besides that, these dogs are relatively healthy. They can develop other conditions, like skin irritation and obesity, if they aren’t cared for correctly. They should be vaccinated against the typical canine diseases as well.

Minor Conditions
  • Eye problems
  • Allergies
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Bloat, panosteitis

Male vs. Female

Because they are a mixed breed, there are no known differences between males and females. This breed varies so widely anyway that it is impossible to determine what differences are caused by gender and which are caused by genetic differences.

Most size differences can likely be attributed to genetic differences rather than gender.divider-dog

Final Thoughts

We recommend this breed for somewhat active families who don’t mind contributing plenty of time to their socialization and training. They can make great protection dogs when trained and socialized properly, though this does require quite a bit of work and time on their owner’s part.

These dogs bond readily with their family, but they may be a bit aloof around strangers. They are often untrusting of those they don’t know – including people and other dogs alike.

Their strong prey drive also makes them a poor choice for homes with cats and other small animals.

Luckily, their grooming needs are often quite low. They do often shed, so they will need to be brushed regularly to control this shedding. However, beyond this, they require little beyond the typical grooming all breeds need, such as teeth brushing and nail trimming.

Of course, the biggest problem with this breed is finding them! They are quite rare. Breeders often don’t produce them, and accidental litters rarely occur.


Featured Image Credit: Left – David Raihelgauz, Shutterstock; Right – Dolores Preciado, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.