You might be thinking about getting one of these two dog breeds and in the process, the thought of combining these two astonishing breeds crossed your mind.
The Rottweiler German Shepherd mix could make for a great and agile family companion with very sharp instincts.
Or so people think.
That plan can also go backwards and you’ll end up with the worst qualities of both dogs and find yourself in the midst of managing a pretty large and powerful dog.
To be fair, if you’re buying a puppy, I’d almost always recommend going with a purebred and deciding on the qualities you’re seeking in a dog upfront (rescues are a different story).
Crossbreeds are exposed to both breeds’ health issues and offer absolutely no advantage. Combining two breeds just leaves you with a gamble in terms of temperament and character.
However, some people just seek some information on mixed breed dogs or they just want to know more about that awesome little Rottweiler German Shepherd mix at their local shelter.
Well, I’m here to shed some light on this, with the help of my assistant Amalia the Rottweiler (aka the 100-pound lovebug).
At the end of this post, you’ll know exactly whether or not a rescued Rottie GSD mix is a good fit for you.
We’ll cover the following topics:
- Health & Lifespan
- Size and Weight
How To Train a Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix
While many people argue that the Rottweiler can be very stubborn to train, the AKC labels the breed as “agreeable” and I’d even go as far as to say that the Rottweiler is very eager to please.
Well, eager to please doesn’t mean they’re never stubborn.
My Rottie wants to please most of the time, but if there’s something interesting she has to check out on walks, she’s very inclined to check that out.
Be mad at her for just a second and she’ll notice and try to do everything to get you to stop piercing her with the faintest glimmer of anger or disappointment in your eyes.
The German Shepherd? Well, they’re known for their eagerness to please.
There’s a little caveat though.
German Shepherd Rottweiler mixes can be very intelligent dogs and even though they might be easy to train for experienced dog owners, beginners might find themselves struggling.
While the German Shepherd has a strong competitor in police work with the Malinois, they’re still a go-to choice for forces around the world.
These dogs are not as sensitive to the handler and have a high drive while being an all-rounder.
While the Rottie can be equipped with a high drive, they’re very sensitive which means fairness is key when training your Rottweiler German Shepherd pup.
In terms of working capability, they’re just as suitable for nearly every work: Tracking, obedience, herding but most commonly seen, protection services like Schutzhund training.
Of course, all of the above depend on your exact breeding line.
While a working line dog can be highly driven, you’ll find many couch potatoes, especially among larger breeds like the Rottweiler.
Make sure the dog you’re thinking about getting actually fits your experience level and lifestyle.
Rottweiler German Shepherd Health & Lifespan
As many of you probably know, the Rottweiler and German Shepherd are both prone to diseases like hip dysplasia.
You can control this by choosing the right breeder.
A reputable breeder that tests all dogs for health will make sure that everything checks out, from the hips to the heart and eyes.
Do not fall into the trap of mixing the biggest Rottie with the German Shepherd that wins the prize in every sloped back competition.
Sloping backs are a real issue with the German Shepherd while the Rottie mainly has to fight with too much weight gain, especially during puppyhood. Don’t contribute to this issue and make sure your future dog is healthy and well.
While many sources only mention up to 8 years of age for the Rottie, I actually believe that due to proper breeding, a healthy diet and environment as well as exercise, your Rottie can live well beyond that age.
I actually have a resource on how to extend your German Shepherd’s lifespan and mixing them with the Rottweiler can give you a dog that easily lives 10-14 years.
The exact lifespan depends heavily on various factors, of course.
Are Rottweiler German Shepherds Good Family Dogs?
What most people are asking with this question is how even-tempered the Rottweiler German Shepherd mix can be.
It’s hard to say since many people that use their dog for working capabilities mention that a GSD doesn’t have an off-switch like the Rottweiler does.
That may look surprising but the Rottweiler is actually very good with kids.
Of course, you’re mixing two breeds that can both be highly suspicious of strangers and the German Shepherd Rottweiler mix has the power to back that up.
With proper socialisation and training, you’ll get a very loyal family companion.
Are Rottweiler German Shepherds First Time Owner Dogs?
Many experience dog owners would advise against owning these two sometimes difficult breeds as it’s hard to say how your mix turned out exactly in terms of behavior.
However, my first dog was a Rottweiler and I truly believe that you can get this dog… if you’re putting in the effort.
Countless hours of research, watching videos, interacting with them live – all these things will help with determining if the German Shepherd Rottweiler mixed breed dog is the right choice for you.
Be prepared to take on the leadership and treat your furry buddy with respect and sensitivity and they can be the most loving companion.
The Rottweiler is known for not being one that forgives any serious mistakes, so make sure you have the experience and knowledge that is required.
German Shepherd Rottweiler Grooming
While the Rottie is relatively easy to groom, the German Shepherd can have quite long fur.
No matter what the exact fur will look like, get ready for serious shedding twice a year.
Apart from shedding season, regular brushing should suffice.
The Rottie has a striking black and tan (or mahogany/rust, depending on your Rottie’s colors) coat which can make for an interesting mix with the similar coat color of the GSD.
Both dog breeds have an undercoat which makes them suitable pets for colder climates.
Rottweiler German Shepherd Mix Height & Weight
Let’s dive into the numbers of these mixes. How big do Shepweilers actually get?
Male German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix Height: 24 – 27 inches (60–69 cm)
Male German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix Weight: 85 – 110 lbs (40-50 kg)
As you probably suspected, females are smaller and lighter, even very tall females are roughly the same height as a small male Rottweiler, for example.
However, I find the max weight of 48kg for female Rottweilers as per AKC standard very high as it is and have never encountered a health-looking female with that weight, that’s why I corrected the weight a bit to properly reflect reality (or rather: reflect most cases).
Female German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix Height: 22 – 24 inches (55–61 cm)
Female German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix Weight: 65 – 95 lbs (29-43 kg)
Please keep in mind that these numbers very rough estimates. Your individual dog can have entirely different stats and still be healthy (or have the mentioned stats and be under-/overweight.
Weight and height prognosis are hard enough as is, giving these numbers for mixed breeds is a lot more unpredictable.
How Much Are Shepweilers?
As is the case most often, mixed breeds are not as expensive as purebred dogs and if you have the possibility, I’d always recommend a properly health-tested purebred dog.
Papers may not be your focus, but the fact that purebred dogs can be health tested a lot easier since the pool of genetic diseases is smaller, makes searching a proper breeder easier.
There’s also the fact that most reputable breeders to specialise one specific breed.
However, if you’re getting a Shepweiler from a rescue, they’ll gladly tell you how much they cost and adoption fees are often in the low hundreds.
For a healthy dog from a breeder, you can often expect to pay $1,500+ for a puppy, even mixed breeds. Health testing and organising a breeding program is (and has to be) quite expensive and you shouldn’t skimp on the buying price.
Purebreds or very popular mixed breeds can cost as much as $3,000-$5,000.
Of course, you’ll see different numbers depending on where you live.
If you’re struggling to afford this, keep in mind that a mix like this can get quite big and is very expensive to own over the span of 10-15 years.
Check our lifetime cost article for more (hint: the cost of my Rottie runs in the tens of thousands of dollars).
It’s worth every penny but if you want to spend that cash on your dog’s health rather than the purchase, your only and best option is a reputable rescue. Don’t go with cheaper breeders since these often don’t fulfill health requirements.
German Shepherd Rottweilers mixes can be great family dogs if you know what you’re in for. Both breeds can have great obedience skills and excellent drive, just make sure you get a healthy dog that fits to your lifestyle.
Disclaimer: I’m opposed to deliberate cross-breeding of any glorified designer dog breed. The resulting dog is a genetic gamble in terms of health and temperament and offers no advantage to a health-tested, properly selected purebred puppy.