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Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021
The Rotterman is a mix of the Rottweiler and the Doberman Pinscher. She is a large to giant cross or mixed breed dog with talents in fields such as military work, guarding, police work, agility and search and rescue. She has a life span of 9 to 12 years and is also known as a Doberweiler, Rottie Dobe, Doberott and Rottie Dobie. She is a powerful and alert dog with strong dominant tendencies.

The Rotterman is a very loyal dog, alert, protective and dominant so she needs an owner who can be more dominant and stay in control of her. Training and early socialization are important and should not be neglected. As long as she is well raised and given the physical and mental exercise she needs she will be a great dog for owners who are active themselves and have room for her!

Here is the Rotterman at a Glance
Average height 24 to 28 inches
Average weight 70 to 130 pounds
Coat type Flat, short, coarse
Hypoallergenic? No
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Moderate to high
Brushing Daily
Touchiness Very sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Low to moderate
Barking Occasional
Tolerance to Heat Good to very good
Tolerance to Cold Low to moderate
Good Family Pet? Very good
Good with Children? Good to very good with socialization
Good with other Dogs? Low – socialization and supervision are essential
Good with other Pets? Good but needs socialization
A roamer or Wanderer? Moderate
A Good Apartment Dweller? No, too large
Good Pet for new Owner? Low to moderate – should be owned by experienced dog owners
Trainability Moderately easy – can be stubborn
Exercise Needs Very active
Tendency to get Fat Average to high
Major Health Concerns Heart problems, Bone cancer, Bloat, Hypothyroidism, Von Willebrands, Eye problems, Wobbler’s syndrome, Albinoism, Narcolepsy,
Other Health Concerns Joint dysplasia, Pano, Allergies, Color Mutant Alopecia
Life Span 9 to 12 years
Average new Puppy Price $300 to $700
Average Annual Medical Expense $485 to $585
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $520 to $620

Where does the Rotterman come from?

The Rotterman is one of many designer dogs being bred and in all probability was first bred in the last 10 years, though designer dogs themselves have been around for about 30 years. The term designer dog refers specifically to deliberately bred first generation mixed breeds. A true designer dog is not something that happens from an accidental breeding. It is meant to be something a good breeder takes some care over, considering things like the lines of each purebred used. In most cases the designer dog has two purebred parents. A lot of them also have a name that blends the parents names or sounds together. When looking at designer dogs as a possibility for becoming a dog owner make sure you research the breeders you are considering. As well as there being a lot of backyard breeders there are also places to avoid like puppy mills, breeders who lie about the thought and time they put into their work and pet stores. Here is a look at the parents of the Rotterman to get a feel for what she is like.

The Rottweiler

In the South of Germany a red tiled villa’s remains were discovered during an excavation and led to a town being renamed das Rote Wil. For centuries dogs here were used to drove cattle, for protection and to pull carts of meat. When rail came the breed almost disappeared but they were saved. Over the years they have been used in police work and as a working dog. Unfortunately bad breeders jumped on that wagon and the breed got a bad reputation for temperament and health problems so demand decreased.

Thankfully today breeders are turning this around while fighting the prejudice people still have. He is calm and confident, brave but not aggressive unless he perceives a threat. He tends to be aloof with strangers, he is intelligent and he while he is trainable he can be stubborn. Females tend to be more affectionate and easier to control than males.

The Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman originates from Germany, bred in the 19th century by a tax collector who needed a dog who was loyal, a good companion, but also able to protect him from thieves. German breeders after this were most focused on function rather than looks wanting to have a dog who was strongest, smartest, quickest, and bravest. But for a while the breed was seen to be too independent and aggressive. In the late 19th century another breeder called Goeller reshaped the breed into something more useable. The Doberman came to America in 1908. While his numbers went down during the first world war in Europe he continued to do well in America and the same happened during World War II. The dog was called a Doberman in Germany and then Britain and breeders continued to develop the breed into something more suited for homes and families.

Today he is affectionate, very intelligent, extremely loyal and a a great protector. He is playful and energetic and loves to mes around with the family. He is not aggressive without reason. He likes to be busy and needs a lot of physical and mental stimulation. He trains easily though he sometimes thinks he knows how to do something better! Socialization and early training are important to get a well rounded dog.


The Rotterman is an intelligent dog and while she is large and powerful in fact she is not aggressive unless she feels she needs to protect herself or you. She is generally quite calm, very loyal and also friendly and affectionate. She can become very attached and when you are home she may follow you around to be close to you. Some can handle some time alone but most prefer to have company all the time. She likes to cuddle and be a part of the family, preferring to be at the center of all family activity. She needs a lot of attention and affection as well as physical activity. When not getting enough attention or exercise she can act out, be anxious and have destructive behavior. She is independent though and dominant so her owner needs to be more so.

What does the Rotterman look like

She is a large to giant sized dog weighing 70 to 130 pounds and standing 24 to 28 inches tall. Some will look more like the Rottweiler and some will look more like the Doberman Pinscher. Often there is a mix of long legs and a certain leanness but with a heavy chest and muscular body. Her coat is short, coarse and thick and common colors are tan, brown and black. The hair can be thicker around the beck and its head tends to look more like the Rottie. She has dark brown eyes, a black nose, short ears that turn over at the tip and a thick, heavy tail.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Rotterman need to be?

There is no doubt about it this is a very active dog and she needs owners who are also very active to ensure she gets the physical and mental stimulation she needs. She is not a dog to keep in an apartment, she is too big. She needs a home with space where she can move around without knocking things over and a yard that is large enough to offer her space to sniff around and play. She also needs a couple of long and vigorous walks a day along with regular trips to a dog park or safe space where she can run free and play. She would happily join you on runs, hikes, cycling and so on when well trained on the leash.

Does she train quickly?

With owners who are experienced in training or when with a professional trainer or school she is fairly easy to train. She needs you to be very firm, she will test your dominance and you have to make it clear without being negative that you are the pack leader. She is very responsive to such training methods which is why she does so well in other fields like the military and the police. Training and early socialization will ensure she is more stable, more trustworthy and less likely to be aggressive. It means you will be able to control her when you need to, as she is physically stronger than you so you cannot just pick her up or pull her away from trouble.

Living with a Rotterman

How much grooming is needed?

Some may to try to persuade you that this a low shedder as it has a short coat but this is usually not the case. In fact while she may have a short coat she is a moderate to heavy shedding dog so there will be clean up to do every day around the home and she will need daily brushing. As well as removing loose hair the brushing will get the natural oils in her skin moving around and keep her coat and skin healthy. Bath time with large dogs like this is a little tricky if you do not have a larger bathroom. Check out professional grooming places near you and they may have dog bathing stations you can use. Only bathe when she needs it though, too often will damage those oils and cause skin problems.

Other grooming needs will have to be taken care of as well as her coat. She will need her teeth brushed at least two to three times a week. Her nails clipped if they are not worn down naturally and her ears wiped clean and checked for infection once a week.

What is she like with children and other animals?

This is a great dog with children, she is friendly and protective and affectionate with them. Being raised with them really helps, and early socialization is also key though. This is also true in helping it get along with other pets like cats. She tends to need a lot of work when it comes to getting along with other dogs though. It is vital she is well socialized so that she can be less aggressive and territorial when other dogs are around.

General information

This is certainly a great dog to get if you want a watchdog and guard dog. She will alert you to any intruder and she will protect you too. She is quite happy in most weather conditions and while she will occasionally bark when playing she is not too loud. She will need to be fed 4 to 6 cups of good quality dry dog food a day, split into two meals. It is possible that amount may be more if she is especially active or has a fast metabolism.

Health Concerns

The Rotterman is a healthy dog for the most part though they can be more prone to cancer in their later years than some other dogs. Health issues they may be at risk of including ones they might inherit from their parents include Heart problems, Bone cancer, Bloat, Hypothyroidism, Von Willebrands, Eye problems, Wobbler’s syndrome, Albinoism, Narcolepsy, Joint dysplasia, Pano, Allergies and Color Mutant Alopecia.

Costs involved in owning a Rotterman

A Rotterman puppy can cost between $300 to $700. Initial costs for things you need like a collar and leash and crate are around $160 to $200. Medical initial costs like vaccinations, examination, blood tests, spaying, micro chipping and deworming will be $290 to $330. There will also be yearly medical basic expenses such as more shots, flea and tick prevention, check ups and pet insurance for $485 to $585. Yearly non-medical costs for things like toys, food, treats, license and training will be somewhere between $520 to $620.


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Featured Image Credit: Gregory Culley, 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.

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