Thinking of adopting a Rottweiler Lab mix? Often referred to as a Labrottie or a Rottwador, this mix is delightfully unpredictable. Unlike many other mixes, the pairing of these two breeds results in puppies of all shapes, sizes, and personalities!
Regardless of their individual characteristics, Labrador Rottweiler mixes are typically loyal, protective, and family-friendly. However, they’re also often energetic and social dogs that might not be the best fit for first-time owners.
Before adopting a Labrottie, it’s important to understand how they’ll fit into your home. Our complete guide has everything you need to know about this unique and lovable breed, including their general temperament, exercise needs, nutrition requirements, and more. Get ready to meet the Rottweiler Labrador Retriever mix!
This mixed breed is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get! With most mixed breeds, you’ll have a general idea of how the traits from each parent will merge. But not so with the Labrottie. They might have the loving personality of a Lab, the loyal protectiveness of a Rottweiler, a mix of the two, or something else entirely.
Also, their size and appearance can differ wildly, too. While it’s common to find a Rottwador with the head and face of a Lab and the body of a Rott, that’s far from the only potential look.
Perhaps more than any other mixed breed, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of the characteristics of both parent breeds, because your dog will likely display many traits from each.
Ranked as the most popular dog in the United States by the American Kennel Club, these friendly and exuberant dogs are practically bursting with love and loyalty. They’re medium to large-sized dogs. Males stand around 23 inches high and weigh between 65 and 80 pounds. Females are slightly smaller, with an average height of about 22 inches and a weight typically between 55 and 70 pounds.
They’re easy to recognize at a glance with a short, dense coat and a thick, tapered tail referred to as an “otter’s tail.” Their coats are black, chocolate, or yellow with white markings. But perhaps their most recognizable features are their intelligent, expressive eyes.
A Lab’s personality is one of their defining traits. Friendly, intelligent, and highly social, they’re comfortable around people and other dogs. They’re often excellent family dogs because they bond every member, including kids. They’re a sporting breed with a need for fairly intense exercise every day. They love to run, play chase, and swim. Although highly active, they do have a tendency to gain weight, especially as they age. Because of their popularity, they also are highly sought after as a parent for many other Labrador mixed breeds.
Rotties, as they’re often affectionately called, are another popular breed, ranking eighth on the American Kennel Club’s list of most popular breeds. Rottweilers are roughly the same height as Labradors, but just a bit heavier. The males stand about 24 to 27 inches tall with a weight range between 95 and 135 pounds. Females are slightly smaller, standing about 22 to 25 inches high and weighing around 80 to 100 pounds. They’re solid, muscular dogs with friendly faces and short, black coats.
Originally bred to herd livestock and pull carts, Rotties project self-confidence and even aloofness. Although they’re often thought of as tough dogs, they’re silly and playful around their family. Don’t be surprised if they hop into your lap! Loyal and protective, they’re often great household protectors. However, they need early training to keep those protective instincts under proper control.
The breed is active and athletic. They need daily exercise. Aside from walks, many Rotties also enjoy swimming. Training isn’t optional with this breed. Lessons are a must so these strong dogs learn proper behavior and socialization. Additionally, they love to spend time with the family and don’t thrive when left alone for long periods. They look similar to other dogs in the same family when compared to them, like the Doberman. Rotties also make great parents for other Rottie mixes.
Because the Rottweiler Lab mix is not a purebred, the physical traits it inherits are random. No one can tell you what a particular Labrottie will look like until it is already born. It’s always going to be a toss up when it comes to appearance as you enter the world of designer dog breeds. With that being said, often times a dog will take on more of the traits of either parent.
Some dogs that look similar will make them harder to tell apart, like when the labrador is crossed with an English Mastiff or when the lab is mixed with a dane. You’ll also see some pups also just look like mutts.
Both Rottweilers and Labradors make excellent companions. So, what is a Labrador Rottweiler crossbreed like as a pet? You’ll want to consider each parent’s appearance and personality, as they’ll mix-and-match in the offspring in a variety of novel ways. Here’s a closer look at their key traits:
Your dog’s personality is probably the most unpredictable element of their breeding. Now, that’s not to say your dog’s personality itself will be unpredictable. Instead, it’s hard to know which elements of their parents they’ll display. If their personality is primarily influenced by their Rottweiler parent, they’ll likely show protective tendencies. While they’ll act loving towards family, they’ll also show wariness towards strangers.
On the other hand, a dog mainly influenced by Lab traits will display far more friendliness. They’ll greet family and friends with tail-wagging affection. Plus, they’re incredibly loyal, which helps increase their trainability. While specific will vary, most lab-rott mixes will display the following general traits:
- Easy Socialization
Ideally, your dog will have the best traits of both parent breeds. They’ll show a strong desire to watch over the household and alert you to the presence of strangers. Yet they’ll remain friendly, social, and eager to play with the family.
Size & Appearance
Generally, they’ll have a body similar to a Rottweiler, with a head more closely resembling a Retriever. Their bodies are almost always very muscular. From a distance, many are often mistaken for Rottweilers, especially if they have a black coat. However, up close, the small face, long muzzle, and floppy ears signal their Lab ancestry.
Regardless of their specific appearance, these are almost always large dogs. Their weight ranges from 70 to over 100 pounds. Weight distribution does vary. They might have the relatively sleek and svelte appearance of a Labrador, or the bulky, more muscular look of a Rottweiler.
They’re one of the largest crossbreed dogs to exist. If you don’t want a large dog, it’s best to stay away from Lab-Rott puppies, as they can potentially grow to the size of a large Rottweiler.
Coat & Colors
Both parent breeds have fairly similar coats, so predicting coat appearance is fairly straightforward for this breed. They typically have a shiny, double-layered coat. It’ll have waterproof properties, although less so than a purebred Lab. Hair is often short and dense, like a Rottweiler, but medium-length hair, more like a Labrador Retriever, is also possible. Coat appearance for a Rottador is either straight or slightly longer and wavy.
With their dense, waterproof coats, this mixed breed is quite comfortable in cold, wet, and snowy weather. Even when the weather might make you miserable, your pooch will likely enjoy a romp outdoors, which is something to keep in mind when considering a life with this breed.
Coloration derives from either parent, but they typically resemble Rottweilers more than Retrievers. They have four color combinations. You’ll likely end up with Black, Black and Tan, Chocloate Brown, or Gray.
The two most common colors are chocolate and black and tan. Black is slightly less common, while gray is the rarest. When a dog inherits the muscular body of a Rott, plus the black-and-tan coloring, they’re often mistaken for a purebred Rottweiler (even if their personality might be heavily skewed towards Lab).
Exercise and Living Conditions
Both Rottweilers and Labradors are highly active breeds. When put together, mixed offspring can seem like they have a double dose of energy! Their activity needs are substantial. They’ll need at least one hour of exercise every day to feel comfortable.
Typically, they’ll need at least a half-hour of exercise in the morning, and another 30 minutes in the evening, although younger adults often benefit from even more time to run and play. With their warm, weather-resistant coats, they won’t mind playing in cold weather, regardless of how you feel about it.
They should walk about 10 miles during a week, which works out to over a mile each day. Keep in mind that their warm, dense coats do mean they tend to get hot relatively easily. You don’t want to take them out to play in the midday sun. If you live in a warmer climate, the best times for exercise might be in the early morning and evening.
Rotties and Labs are both well-known for their great grip and mighty jaw strength. No matter which traits your dog inherits, he’ll likely love a game of tug-of-war. You’ll need tough, rugged toys from manufacturers such as Kong. Look for ropes with rubberized end pieces, so you and your dog can both grip the toy comfortably.
As we mentioned earlier with Rottweilers, training is also a must with crossbred offspring. If this mix is never trained to harness their natural protective instincts, they can become overly aggressive, especially around strangers. They also need training to help them resist their natural urge to chase small animals.
Fortunately, they’re intelligent dogs with an innate nature to please. Training them usually isn’t difficult. They respond well to positive reinforcement, where you reward them with treats and praise when they perform the desired action.
You can start training your dog as early as eight weeks. They typically can understand how to sit, stay, and perform other basic actions. When training a young dog, keep your sessions short, usually no more than 15 minutes at a time. Also, train them in a quiet, familiar area without distractions.
A key aspect of training should involve socialization. They need to understand that not every stranger is a threat, and not every small animal exists for chasing. Developing these early social skills is extremely important.
Labrotties have an average lifespan ranging from nine to 12 years. While generally healthy dogs, they are susceptible to Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, Obesity, Diabetes, and Bloat. Unfortunately, hip dysplasia is a common problem found in both Labs and Rotties, so the risk of problems is most commonly passed on to their mixed offspring.
Hip dysplasia is a skeletal condition where the ball of the hip joint grinds against the socket instead of sliding. Although it typically starts slowly, it eventually leads to mobility impairment and pain. The most common cause of hip dysplasia is genetics, but obesity is also a significant factor.
Both parent breeds, but especially labs, tend to eat voraciously. Many Labrador Rottweiler mixes are also prone to obesity, especially if they’re not getting suitable levels of exercise. Obesity tends to have a snowball effect, where the animal exercises less and eats more frequently. Additionally, an obese dog is at risk of developing diabetes.
Preventing obesity is as simple as giving your dog a regulated diet and plenty of exercise. Also, avoid feeding your dog “people food,” as it’s a quick way for them to gain weight.
You’ll want food formulated for large dogs. Follow the manufacturer’s portion instructions precisely. As part of feeding your dog the correct amount of food, you’ll need to know his exact weight. A visit to your vet is usually the easiest option for weighing a large dog, as holding him in your arms while you stand on the bathroom scale is typically difficult.
Look for food where the primary ingredient is a whole protein. Only protein provides the essential amino acids your dog needs for healthy muscle and skin development. Avoid foods where the primary ingredient is a meal product, such as chicken meal, as it contains filler ingredients.
When feeding a large-breed dog, you want to give them two or three meals throughout the day. Smaller meals help prevent bloat. Typically, you’ll want to feed your dog in the morning and evening, although some people also give their dog lunch.
Remember, you’ll have to wait for one hour after eating before allowing your dog to run and play. Considering they need at least two feedings, and two exercise periods, each day, you’ll need to stay on top of the logistics of your dog’s daily schedule. Finally, you’ll want to add Cosequin and other supplements to help improve joint health, as the breed has an increased risk of dysplasia.
Rottweiler Labrador mixes typically have minimal grooming needs. As discussed earlier, both parent breeds have short, dense coats. Brushing them once a week is typically enough to keep their coats shiny and healthy.
Some mixes have a double coat inherited from their Lab parent. During the warmer months, dogs with a double coat tend to shed more than during the rest of the year. In some cases, they can shed quite excessively in the summer, although it’s not common.
Because they spend a fair amount of time running and playing outdoors, they do tend to get dirtier than more housebound dogs. You’ll probably want to give your Labrottie a bath about once a month, although more frequent bathing might be necessary depending on the weather in your area.
Breeders & Puppy Costs
Although prices can vary considerably, expect to pay at least $800 for a Rottador. Prices can easily exceed $1,000 or more. However, there are advantages to paying a bit more for a puppy raised by a reputable designer dog breeder. They’ll provide a variety of certifications, including hip scores, parental health history, and other important information.
Rescues & Shelters
Rottweiler Labradors are often surprisingly easy to find in rescues and shelters, especially adult dogs. Unfortunately, many people adopt these dogs as puppies without truly understanding their activity needs and size. Additionally, you should look for any Rottweiler Labrador rescue organizations near you. For the same reasons you’ll find this breed in shelters, specialized organizations exist across the country to help find these dogs appropriate homes.
As Family Pets
- The Labrottie is a loyal family protector with a loving, playful personality
- He requires lots of time spent around people
- He’s an energetic dog that needs two 30-minute exercise sessions each day
- He’s intelligent and easy-to-train using positive reinforcement
- They’re large, exuberant dogs that don’t always know their own strength
Is a Labweiller the perfect pet for you and your family? First, consider their potential exercise requirements. You’ll need to take them outside twice a day, every day, regardless of the weather. They’re not the ideal pet if you can’t commit to at least one hour of daily outdoor play.
Also, they need training. Otherwise, your Labrottie is liable to run wild in your house, barking wildly at any stranger they see. Fortunately, they’re usually easy to train, especially if you start when they’re young.
Ultimately, a Rottweiler Lab mix is big in size, but also big in spirit. Loyal and loving, they’re excellent guard dogs, enthusiastic exercise partners, and caring companions. If you’re willing to provide the care they need to thrive, you won’t find a better friend.