Being able to live in a smaller space and having more cash to pay your other bills at the end of each month sounds great to you?
You still want the big dog character and spirit? That’s where the Miniature Rottweiler enters the discussion.
It’s true, they don’t require as much space and it’s not as expensive to own them.
While it’s a myth that large dogs require tons of space (even regular Rotties can be apartment dogs), it sure comes in handy if you’re good to go with a smaller dog bed and don’t have to give up the majority of your couch.
When it comes to cost, I’m paying $150+ per month for my 100-pound (45kg) Rottweiler, not to mention other costs, equipment, and more expensive vet visits.
Plus, travelling with miniature Rottweilers is easier. The same goes for handling training and everything associated with owning this breed.
Well, but is it all good and jolly with these fun-sized fellas?
The recent surge in demand sparks the question of whether or not it’s actually a good idea to breed miniature Rottweilers.
There are three ways to achieve a smaller Rottweiler and some can come with dramatic health risks.
Miniature Rottweilers are created by breeding litter runts thus decreasing the size over generations, breeding Rottweilers with dwarfism, or cross-breeding with small breeds.
1. Breeding litter runts
While breeding litter runts is a natural way, it’ll probably take a few generations and will only produce slightly smaller dogs.
For example, you’d take a female at or below 22 inches (56cm) or a male at or below 24 inches (61cm) which is the lower end of the breed standard and start breeding them.
Over time, you might get smaller and smaller individuals which you would, in turn, breed again.
With this method, you need to be mindful of the very small gene pool and avoid any form of inbreeding.
Another option to get miniature Rottweilers is by breeding only those with dwarfism
Many backyard breeders utilize this to score a quick buck.
Essentially, they’re marketing health issues as rare and desirable.
Crossbreeding produces miniature Rottweilers but might take a few failed attempts if the typical Rottweiler appearance is altered unintentionally.
Breeds that are often used for this include Beagles, but also Pugs, Chihuahuas, smaller Poodles, and other small dogs.
Many issues can arise when crossbreeding and the question remains of whether or not a miniature Rottweiler is actually needed.
I’ll go into more detail below on their size, breeders, price, as well as temperament, level of affection, and appearance.
In case you’re willing to research other breeds too, I have some fitting alternatives.
Miniature Rottweiler Size
Miniature Rottweilers usually weigh around 30 pounds (14kg) but can go up to 40-60 pounds (18-27kg) which puts the miniature Rottweiler size at 1/3 to 1/2 of the fully grown standard Rottweiler size.
As you can see in my Rottweiler growth chart, regular-sized Rotties weigh approximately 13-16 pounds (6-7kg) when you get them as a puppy with a height of around 13 inches (34cm).
It’s reasonable to anticipate that a miniature Rottie would be given to you somewhat smaller but it’s unclear how exactly the growth trajectory should be.
As there is no real breed standard, it’s definitely a disadvantage to not be able to tell whether or not your miniature Rottweiler is growing appropriately.
Size is the main factor why people look into miniature Rottweilers so let’s determine what you want from your dog.
If you desire a small dog with the Rottweiler’s character but fail to find a miniature Rottie to adopt, you might be surprised that there are other breeds out there that fit the bill.
Since Rottweilers are often used as guard dogs, that aspect would fall flat if you decide to bring home a miniature Rottweiler.
Not only is their physique not as intimidating, but their power is dramatically decreased as is their bite force should push come to shove.
Sure, a miniature Rottweiler can still bark but Rottweilers are not known to be crazy barkers.
Instead, a regular Rottweiler’s bark is very deep and intimidating, partly due to their physique which, again, miniature Rottweilers lack that.
If you’re searching for a breed to ward off intruders by sound only, there may be other choices you should look into instead of the miniature Rottie.
Miniature Rottweiler Full Grown
Full-grown miniature Rottweilers can be compared to a range of breeds such as the French Bulldog, Beagle, or Border Collie and Australian Shepherd for larger but still miniature individuals.
The larger individuals is usually what you’d get upon breeding only the runts of the litter.
Even by cross-breeding, you will not achieve dogs that are exactly the size of a very small dog, it’ll always be a mix between the large Rottie and the small breed, thus falling somewhere in the middle.
Only if you stick to cross-breeding or you pair very small individuals (i.e. runts of the litter) to begin with, you might get a truly small dog.
As there is absolutely no breed standard for this, it’s hard to tell how a miniature Rottweiler pup will look when fully grown and their weight can be anywhere from 30 to 60 pounds (14-27kg).
Miniature Rottweiler Breeders
Miniature Rottweiler breeders are rare when compared to those breeding standard sizes and there are absolutely no regulations for ethical miniature Rottweiler breeding.
In Germany (the Rottie’s country of origin), I could not find any breeders for miniature Rottweiler puppies.
However, as always it’s best to follow my article on questions to ask your breeder.
It may even be impossible to ethically breeder miniature Rottweiler puppies even if you put dwarfism and cross-breeding aside.
Even by breeding runts of the litter, you may breed dogs that don’t have prime genetics.
If your breeder is not careful, runts of the litter may suffer from behavioral issues (i.e. resource guarding, food aggression, etc.) due to them always having to “fight” or being bullied during play.
Miniature Rottweiler Price
A rescued miniature Rottweiler or similar crossbreed can cost as little as $150-$300 while a poorly-bred miniature Rottweiler may come at an increased cost of $750-$1,500.
Shelters have many options that may not be labelled as “miniature Rottweiler” but you can still get their fun size and temperament in the form of a smaller crossbreed.
As per the breed standard (AKC and the ADRK in Germany, their hometown), dwarfism is not at all desired and should thus not be marketed by breeders as such.
Breeding the runt of the litter is definitely possible but you will not get a toy-sized dog and overall health may be poorer compared to regular-sized Rotties.
While a small gene pool can mean inbreeding which should be avoided, it can also mean increased costs due to the limited availability.
This means, that a miniature Rottweiler created by breeding runts of the litters for generations can come at an increased cost of up to $2,500 per pup.
I live in Germany, the Rottweiler’s birthplace, and there are absolutely no miniature Rottweiler puppies sold at these prices.
While we’re not immune to trends or designer dog breeds, it is not as common of an occurrence and the wish of owning a fun-sized Rottie is probably most common in the US.
Breeds Similar to Miniature Rottweilers
Alternative to the miniature Rottweiler, you could bring home a Manchester Terrier, Black and Tan Coonhound, Miniature Pinscher, or a Beagle.
All these breeds can turn from quite affectionate to fierce barkers and all have short and smooth black and tan coats (except for the Beagle).