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3 Types of Rottweiler Dog Breeds: An Overview

Rottweiler dog on the grass

When some people think of the Rottweiler dogs, they picture an aggressive guard dog. However, Rottweiler breeds are surprisingly different from that. Every Rottweiler breed can be affectionate, calm, and good with kids.

So, what are the distinctions between German and American Rottweilers? What about Roman Rottweilers? Do they still exist?

Here is an overview of different types of Rottweilers, their appearance, and their temperament to give you a better understanding of this ancient breed.

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Are There Different Types of Rottweiler Dog Breeds?

Though the AKC only recognizes one Rottweiler dog breed, there are different types of Rottweilers. If that sounds confusing, keep reading!

Rottweilers from different countries may have different traits because breeding standards vary. There are three main types of Rottweilers because three main countries breed these dogs. Countries like Germany have stricter breed standards, including physical traits, temperament, and genetic health, so official German Rottweilers will look more like the original Roman breed. In the US, dogs bred from two Rottweiler parents can be certified as purebred, so there is more variation.

The bottom line? There aren’t officially different Rottweiler dog breeds, but there are different types depending on the countries of origin.


The 3 Types of Rottweiler Dog Breed Origins:

1. German Rottweiler

german rottweiler
Image Credit: Dolores Preciado, Shutterstock

The history of the German Rottweiler is a bit of an enigma. People believe they originated from one of the drover dogs, which are native to ancient Rome. Like Bernese, the Great Dane, Alaskan Malamute, and the Mountain Dog, the German Rottweiler dogs are known to be working dogs. They are very high-energy and cheerful when given a task to do.

The German Rottweilers are large-sized dogs. Their adult male weighs between 110 to 130 pounds, while females weigh between 77 to 110 pounds. A male German Rottweiler can grow up to 27 inches tall, while a female may get up to 25 inches tall.

The lifespan of a German Rottweiler is up to 10 years.


German Rottweilers appear more impressive than most American Rottweilers with thick bones, broader bodies, and blocky heads. This is because they are bred strictly following the standard of the ancient Rottweilers.

Their eyes are similar to their American cousin. The dog is almond-shaped and dark in color. They have broad and triangular ears, which resembles those of the American Rottweiler.

The body of German Rottweilers is a bit larger than the American Rottweilers. It features a muscular fore chest and well-formed ribs.

Their tail is often in natural condition. Tail docking is not allowed for German Rottweilers, which is one of the significant differences from other breeds. They feature a topcoat and an undercoat. The topcoat is medium-length and rough, while the undercoat is completely covered.


The German Rottweilers are known for their commitment and loyalty to their owners.

Their intelligence, patience, and eagerness to work make them ideal for service dogs, police dogs, and therapy dogs. If you train them properly, they get along well with kids and other dogs. However, they will be protective of their pack.

Having a German Rottweiler as a family companion needs a lot of endurance and responsibility. They are strong dogs that require consistent training, day-by-day exercise, and socialization to keep them well-behaved.

2. American Rottweiler

The American Rottweiler’s predecessors existed years back when the Roman Empire was still in power. The Roman legions used it as a herding dog.

The contemporary Rottweiler was bred in Germany and gotten into German stud books starting in 1901. The name Rottweiler comes from a town in Germany known as Rottweiler, where the breed originated.

In the modern world, American Rottweilers are used as working dogs to haul carts, police dogs for the rail lines, or even as herding dogs. Their muscular build and willingness to work help them to do a wide range of jobs.


The American Rottweiler is a medium-sized dog with a strong, muscular build. Their color is often black with clearly defined rust markings. Males are often larger than females, with larger frames and more robust born structures. Females are generally smaller, but they are still solid and muscular.

The American Rottweiler features a docked tail. The Rottweiler’s fur is straight and rough with a medium-height outer coat. The undercoat is only found on the thighs and neck. The Rottweiler occasionally sheds throughout the year.


The American Rottweiler is a loyal, affectionate, and protective dog who makes a good guardian. Contrary to some popular beliefs about Rottweilers, these dogs are intelligent and calm but not aggressive. They particularly want to protect their owners if necessary but will not go looking for fights.

At home, The American Rottweiler is affectionate and fun-loving. The dogs are considerate and loving towards everyone in the family, including kids. To strangers, however, part of the American Rottweiler’s nature is to be detached. This makes the breed an excellent guard dog.

3. Roman Rottweiler

roman rottweiler
Image Credit: Tami Freed, Shutterstock

The Roman Rottweiler is the giant breed of the Rottweiler. This breed requires a significant physical presence, and its height can either be large or oversized.

Roman Rottweiler can get extremely big as they grow and attain the considerable size of a giant dog. They are widely known to be one of the giant dog breeds existing on the planet.

The male Roman Rottweiler can get up to 23 inches tall, while some may grow up to the giant size of 30 inches. Contrary, the female Roman Rottweilers are not as big as the male ones. They have a height that ranges between 24 inches to a giant size of 29 inches.

On average, a typical Roman Rottweiler weighs 95 pounds. The female Rottweilers are often lighter than the males one. A male Roman Rottweiler can weigh between 95 to 130 pounds, while a female Rottweiler typically weighs 85 to 115 pounds.

The life expectancy of a Roman Rottweiler often ranges between 10 to 12 years on average. However, the female Roman Rottweiler can leave up to 14 years, much longer than their male equals.


Roman Rottweilers typically come in either black and tan or black and mahogany coat color. They are strong, muscular, and might appear wild depending on how they pose. They feature a broad and muscular head, including the lower and upper jaw.

Their eyes are well-set, rounded, deep, and dark brown. Their lower and upper jaws are large with scissor bite teeth. Their ears are long, broad, triangular, and well-shaped.

Their necks are strong and curved. Their body is muscular, and along with their straight forearm and stout hind legs, they feature a well-balanced posture.


Contrary to what some people believe, the Roman Rottweiler is an affectionate, loving, and protective dog who will do anything for its owner to be safe. These canines have been guard dogs from ancient times, and this ability brings other outstanding qualities for a Roman Rottweiler.

Like the typical Rottweiler breed, Roman Rottweiler is similarly brave and has remarkable intelligence and reasoning ability due to their well-developed brain.

The intellectual abilities of Roman Rottweilers make them willing to learn and so are relatively easy to train. They are eager, attentive, and highly submissive when learning. The attention and submission they display while learning is pretty remarkable, letting their owners know that they are willing to have new knowledge and learn new skills.

kid playing with rottweiler
Image Credit: Serova_Ekaterina, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

The main distinction between the German Rottweiler and the American Rottweiler is in their appearance. While the German Rottweiler’s tail is kept naturally long, the American Rottweiler has a docked tail. However, both breeds are known to be affectionate, calm, and get along well with kids.

The Roman Rottweiler is a type not highly recognized. It is a Rottweiler bred to be abnormally huge, making the dog prone to many health issues.

These Rottweilers are susceptible to joint and orthopedic problems due to their large size. In several cases, the Roman Rottweiler is typically a mix-breed dog of a Rottweiler and a Mastiff.

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Featured Image Credit: McCann Michelle, Shutterstock

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