The unique combination of German Shepherd and the Rottweiler creates the furry companion known as the “Shepweiler.” They have gone by other names, such as “Rottweiler Shepard,” “Rotten Shepard,” and even “Shottie,” but none of these names have stuck since Shepweilers are not recognized by any Kennel Clubs.
Both parents are of German heritage, and both are strong and loyal companions. They are also considered great working and herding dogs. The German Shepherd and Rottweiler mix combines parents that are both so similar that they compliment each other in all aspects. While these breeds are very different, they also have some striking similarities.
Before you take on this companion, know that they aren’t for first-time dog owners as the Shepweiler is “too smart for their own good” and have the size to boss you around. They’ll thrive in homes that are experienced in socializing big dogs. Patience with a Shepweiler will be worth it when you have a calm, good-natured, and loving companion.
This guide will introduce you to this beautiful mixed breed. Take a look at the information we’ve gathered below to see if the Shepweiler will be a good fit for your family.
Both the German Shepherd and Rottweiler have long histories as working dogs. They both make fantastic service dogs, therapy dogs, and guard dogs.
The German Shepherd has an intelligence that surpasses most other dogs. This makes them perfect for police work. They’re great detection dogs that can find explosives, illegal drugs, currency, blood, contraband, scat, and electronics. These traits also make them great rescue dogs.
The Rottweiler has been used for shed pulling in the past, making them incredibly durable. They are best used for their working capabilities and strength.
Combining both together will make a prime working dog so, if this is what you had in mind while scoping out a new pup, look no further.
German Shepherd Overview
The German Shepherd was originally bred to herd sheep in Germany. They are now associated with military and police work. Both professions required intelligence, agility, stealth, strength and an air of authority that this pup most definitely has.
Shepherds popularity has increased steadily in the US since 1908 when they were first inducted by the American Kennel Club. They frequently rank in the top five all over the world.
They are of average size and weigh an average of 67 pounds at adulthood. They require a high amount of social interaction, but are incredibly affectionate and loved to be pet and played with. Shepherds want to be an active member of your family. They have an average life expectancy of 10-13 years.
The Rottweiler is one of the hardest working breeds you’ll come across. They were originally referred to as butchers’ dogs as they were used to pull meat carts to the market. Their strength is their biggest selling point as a breed. Decades of training in transportation has made this their innate skill.
Their tough exterior hides an affectionate dog that requires your attention. They are quiet, well-behaved dogs that are incredibly protective of you and their household. They need a significant amount of social interaction and will suffer from separation anxiety if left alone too long.
Rottweilers are considered large dogs and will weigh an average of 100 pounds. Although not as popular as the Shepherd, they still rank in the top 10 and continues to grow. They have an average life expectancy of 8-11 years.
German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix (Shepweiler)
The Shepweiler brings together the best of both worlds. They are strong, intelligent, easily trainable, and loving. If both parents have a similar character, they’ll develop the strong personality displayed in both breeds. With hybrid dogs, you can’t be sure if a quality will be inherited, but because both breeds are so similar, they’ll likely receive their core attributes.
If your Shepweiler puppy is from a reputable breeder, and the puppy is socialized early with on-going training, you’ll have an energetic and loving companion. They are suited for all families as long as someone in the home has experience with large dogs with territorial temperaments.
When raised alongside children, adults, and pets, Shepweilers are tolerant, loving, and comfortable. Squirrels and other rodents are another story. Both the German Shepherd and Rottweiler have high prey drives, and this will likely pass to their hybrid.
Working dogs require ample amounts of energy to do their jobs, so expect a high energy puppy that will continue into adulthood. They aren’t boundless though, once they hit their exercise quota they’ll love nothing more than to relax with you.
Appearance & Grooming
Hybrid breeds will take their looks from their parents. The German Shepherd is commonly seen in duel color of either black and brown or black and white. Rottweilers are often black, but sometimes have specs of brown in their coat.
Your Shepweiler will likely be black rather than brown and will sport a medium, dense coat. If your German Shepherd parent had long hair, the Shepweiler would inherit that.
Sheweilers shed – a lot. Get ready to vacuum your home once a day! Regular brushing to keep their coat from getting matted or dirty is necessary. A bath 3-4 times a year may be required if they like to get messy. It’s also recommended to brush their teeth multiple times a week, and check behind their ears.
Both German Shepherds and Rottweilers are intelligent breeds that are easy to train and learn quickly but, because of their size, it’s essential to socialize them young. As they get older, Shepweilers may not know their own strength and will jump on smaller children because they want to play.
Bring your Shepweiler around multiple people in different places. Bring over your friend and family, so they get used to strangers in the house. You’ll want to reduce their need to guard you and your property if you’re keeping them as pets.
Positive training techniques will benefit your new pet. Punishment based training for guard dogs will make them aggressive and fearful of other dogs and may cause them to bite without warning.
The temperament of a hybrid dog is inherited from their parents. It’s more likely they’ll take from one of their parents rather than both. Mixed breeds have temperaments that are hard to predict, so ask your breeder if possible to see their parents.
Exercise & Living Conditions
German Shepherds and Rottweilers are high energy, playful breeds that love to stay active. Make sure your Shepweiler gets plenty of excessive to exert their pent up energy. If you don’t, you run the risk of your pup damaging your property or getting aggressive – so take them out regularly.
A minimum of an hour a day is perfect for the Shepweiler! After they’ve exhausted all their energy, they’ll be sweet little lap dogs.
Due to the Shepweiler having a predisposition to joint problems, frequent exercise isn’t just a suggestion; it’s a must to keep them healthy. Maintaining healthy joints is vital for any large dog to minimize the risk of hip dysplasia.
Keep your Shepweiler as inside pets overnight. Although they do make excellent guard dogs, they don’t fair well staying outside by themselves for long periods. Shepweilers suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long.
Common health issues across all breeds are hip problems, allergies, skin irritations, and eye diseases.
The German Shepherd and the Rottweiler are unfortunately prone to joint degeneration like most large dogs, but the Shepweiler is especially prone to them. Almost 70% of large-breed dogs develop hip and elbow dysplasia, so it’s essential to use preventative care.
Keeping your pup at a healthy weight will significantly reduce the risk of dysplasia developing. Watch their food intake to make sure they don’t become overweight or obese.
In addition to elbow and hip dysplasia, Shepweilers are prone to cancer, hypothyroidism, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases.
Ensure your German Shepherd Rottweiler mix gets the right amount of high-quality food that meets their nutritional requirements. 22% of a puppies diet should be protein, while 8% should be fat. Once your puppy matures, 18% should be protein, while 5% is fat.
Read the food labels on your food to ensure that they contain the right amount of protein to fat count as you don’t want their diet to be too high in carbohydrates.
Puppies need to be fed more often at 4 meals per day. Don’t just leave food out in the open or they’ll be taught poor eating habits that could lead to a stretched stomach. Reduce this to 2 meals per day once they’re grown and continue for the duration of their life.
Large breeds have a risk of bloat, so watch your puppy eat to make sure they don’t chow down too fast. Small, frequent meals will reduce the chance of bloat as well as maintain their weight.
As Family Pets
Shepweilers are a large bundle of energy that needs your love and attention, but would one of these rambunctious cuties be the right choice for your family?
- The Shepweiler is a friendly, fun-loving large dog that gets along with children
- They get along with other pets as long as they’re properly socialized.
- They are large and in charge and require a lot of room.
- Grooming requirements are high.
- They need frequent grooming multiple times per week and need to be bathed three times a year.
- Shepweilers are avid shedders and won’t fair well in homes that have allergies.
- Running around and jumping is a Shepweilers favorite activity!
- Make sure they get at least 1 hour of exercise per day.
- Lazing around the house will be preferred once they get enough exercise.
- Quite the personality! They’re very likely to inherit their hearing and intelligent nature from their parents.
- Health problems are an issue with this breed.
- Their large statue can make them develop joint issues.
- Asking the breeder for a health-screening certification will benefit your pet and their overall health.
- Nothing is ever guaranteed with any mutt or mixed pup.
If this all sounds like a definite yes, keep reading below on how to find one!
Breeders & Puppy Prices
Due to the popularity of the breed, it’ll be easy for you to find a breeder but, that also means their going to be more expensive than other hybrids.
A well-bred Shepweiler can be anywhere from $500 to $1000. Prices determine on the breeders’ location, whether or not they have records, or if the parents were successful show dogs.
Always search for a reputable breeder if you’ll looking to get a mixed breed. You’ll want your pup to get the best start in life possible. Your local German Shepherd and Rottweiler club can give you information on local breeders and rescues.
It’s possible to find an adult Shepweiler at the shelter. Due to the popularity of both Shepherds and Rottweilers, you’ll likely run into one. German Shepherds, in general, are known for being seized at shelters due to new owners not knowing how to handle such a large dog.
Although the option is a lot cheaper, the only negative is that you won’t know any history of the dog. However, they will still need loving homes with attention!
Check out these websites for great pet rescues:
If you want a large working dog with a heart of gold, the Shepweiler is for you. Consider them especially if you have the room for them, maybe a large backyard, and experience with territorial dogs.
They are friendly, smart, loyal, and easy to train. They make great family dogs, guard dogs, working dogs, and therapy dogs. Anything that you can think of they’re probably great at! Shepweilers receive gold stars in all subjects!
Just be aware that they have the potential of having crippling health problems if preventative action isn’t taken. They could also develop behavioral issues if they aren’t socialized properly. Don’t forget about the shedding!
If you want to add these adorable pups to your family, start search rescues first! You’ll never know what you’ll find!