The Rottweiler Lab mix is a crossbreed between a Rottweiler and a Labrador Retriever. This breed has gained popularity over the years as the overall popularity of mixed breeds has grown. Due to the popularity of both the Rottweiler and the Lab, this breed is common at shelters and rescues.
Unlike purebreds, the Rottweiler Lab mix does not have a set personality or appearance. They can inherit any trait from either of their parents. What they act or look like is like flipping a coin. You can end up with a dog that looks like a Lab but acts exactly like a Rottweiler, and vice versa. The unpredictability of this breed can make adopting more difficult. You never can tell what you’re getting in to.
However, by looking at the parent breeds’ genetics, we can get an idea of how the Rottweiler Lab mix might act. Like every dog, you should do plenty of research before taking the plunge and deciding to adopt. We’ve included everything you could possibly need to know about this dog breed in this handy guide.
- 1 Appearance
- 2 Temperament
- 3 Labrottie Health
- 4 Rottweiler Lab Mix Grooming
- 5 Activity Requirements
- 6 Final Thoughts
Because the Rottweiler Lab mix is not a purebred, the physical traits it inherits are random. No one can tell you what a particular Rottweiler Lab mix 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 just look like mutts.
While we cannot tell you exactly how this canine will look, we can take a quick glance at each parent breed to get some general idea.
The Rottweiler is a medium to large dog that was originally bred to herd livestock and pull carts. In many parts of the world, they are still used for their herding abilities. However, they are mostly companion animals now.
They weigh anywhere from 80 to 135 pounds. Males are always bigger than females. These canines are very muscular, as you would expect from a dog who was bred to pull a cart. They are very broad and solidly built.
The coloration of the Rottweiler is very distinctive. They are always black with well-defined rust-colored markings. These rusty markings do not take up more than 10 percent of the dog’s overall color in most cases. These markings are mostly on the dog’s face, chest, and legs. They do look similar to other dogs in the same family when compared to them, like the Doberman.
This coat is double-layered like most dog breeds. The outer coat is dense and flat, while the undercoat is softer. In some warmer clients, these dogs can acclimate and lose their inner layer, however.
The Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog in the United States, so you have likely seen one before. These distinctive dogs are considered to be medium to large in size. They usually weigh around 65 to 80 pounds. This makes them significantly smaller than the Rottweiler, though they are still quite large when compared to other breeds.
The Labrador Retriever only comes in three set colors: yellow, chocolate, and black. The exact tone of the coloration can vary from dog to dog. Some yellow retrievers are more cream colored while others have a reddish tone, for example.
Markings are uncommon on these dogs. Usually, they are one, solid color. However, white markings are possible on the stomach and chest. Rarely, these dogs will exhibit tan points as well, though this disqualifies them from participating in dog shows.
This breed was made for swimming. They have a thick, “otter-like” tail that helps propel them through the water as well as webbing in between their toes. This webbing can also help them walk in the snow as it serves as a “snowshoe.” Their coat is also very waterproof, which prevents them from getting sick when swimming in the winter.
Rottweiler Lab Appearance
The Rottweiler Lab Mix will likely look like a mashup of both parent breeds. These dogs will be quite large. They usually weigh between 70 to 130 pounds. However, smaller and larger dogs are not all that uncoAmmon, especially if the parents were unusually small or big.
This mixed breed will be muscular. Both parent breeds are working dogs, so you can expect this canine to come ready to work. They can either be slimmer like the Labrador or bulkier like the Rottweiler. Genetics and lifestyle both play a role in this.
Their coloration will depend on the color of their parents. They can inherit their coloring from either of their parent breeds. Markings are quite common of various colors are quite common.
The coat itself will be double-layered and at least somewhat weather-resistant. It will likely not be as waterproof as a Labrador, though it can come pretty close.
These dogs may or may not like water. They can inherit the webbed toes from their Labrador parent. It is not uncommon for dogs to have one or two webbed paws with the others un-webbed. Whether or not they are built for water, it is important to remember that dogs need to learn to swim just like people. They do not innately know how to swim well, so it is important to take things slow.
Genetics have a large impact on temperament. Some personality traits are linked to certain genes. In purebred dogs, you can predict how a dog will act because you know what genes they are going to inherit.
However, this is not the case in mixed breed dogs. Because you don’t know exactly what traits they are going to inherit from which parents, it can be difficult to predict how they might be predispositioned to act.
Much like their coloration, though, the personality of both parent breeds allows us to make an educated guess in how these dogs might act.
Rottweilers were bred to guard livestock and protect them from predators. Because of this history, they have innate guarding instincts. They also have some herding instincts, though they are not as prevalent as other herding breeds.
However, these guarding instincts do not mean that the Rottweiler is aggressive. Rottweilers are actually one of the least aggressive dog breeds out there. In fact, most Rottweilers are very obedient and good-natured. They are alert but even-tempered. They deal with stressful situations very well and are very devoted.
They can be somewhat aloof, but not necessarily because they are unfriendly. Instead, they just don’t need as much human attention as some other dogs. They are perfectly fine laying on their soft bed in the other room instead of trying to squeeze into your lap.
They are somewhat territorial and have a devotion to their family. Like all breeds, these dogs need proper socialization at a young age to be happy, adjusted dogs. It is important for these canines to understand that not all strangers are bad.
Labradors are well-known for their friendly, outgoing, playful personality. They are eager to please, intelligent, and people-lovers. They get along well with most other canines and pets. They are the stereotypical family dog and for a good reason.
They are not very aggressive and score similarly to the Rottweiler on aggression tests. These dogs are very athletic and fast. They were bred to retrieve waterfowl, so they have quite a bit of endurance. This endurance and athleticism can turn into overexcitement if they are not properly exercised. While these dogs are quite obedient, obedience training is still recommended to ensure that you can control this dog’s boisterousness.
Labradors also reach maturity later than some breeds. Their puppy-like energy does not start to wind down until they are around 3, so their owners must deal with the “puppy stage” for a long time. These dogs are quiet and do not tend to bark much. Like most dogs, they will bark when someone knocks on the door or if they hear an unusual noise. But they are not significantly yappy.
This breed is very intelligent. While this can be a good thing, it also means that they require a significant amount of mental stimuli. They are curious and bore easily if not given a task to set their mind to. Many Labrador Retrievers wander from home and become lost because of boredom.
Rottweiler Lab Temperament
This breed is likely to be very devoted to their family. They can be either friendly towards strangers or more aloof. Early socialization, as well as genetics, will play a part in this. By getting your dog signed up for class and taking them in public often, you can help them become used to the outside world and more trusting of strangers.
This dog will be more intelligent than average and will, therefore, require some mental stimulation. This can be accomplished quite easily with daily obedience training. Puzzle toys are also helpful, as are simple games like hide-and-seek.
This dog is very active and can be overexcited at times. The best way to avoid this is by keeping your dog well exercised and worn out. A tired dog is a good dog. We talk more about exercise and activity requirements later in this article to help you keep your dog under control and well behaved.
These dogs do tend to have at least some guarding instincts. This can make them wary of strangers and other animals entering the home. They are not outwardly aggressive when properly socialized, but they can be quite aloof at times.
This dog can be good with children as well as other animals as long as they are socialized with them from a young age. They are quite tolerant of children when they used to them.
It is extremely important to socialize this dog early on. Even the friendliest breed can be aloof towards strangers if they are not socialized when young.
In most cases, mixed breeds are healthier than their purebred counterparts. This is because they inherit a larger range of genes than purebreds, making them less likely to inherit genetic disorders.
The health problems many purebreds have are mostly the result of their very small gene pool. This makes them very predictable personality and appearance wise, but also make certain health problems more common.
Because the Rottweiler Lab mix is a mixed breed, it is healthier than most other dogs. However, there still are a few health problems it is prone to that are worth discussing.
Gastric Dilatation Volvulus
Also known as bloat and twisted stomach, this is a serious medical condition that can be deadly if not treated. It affects mostly larger dogs, but veterinarians are still unclear as to why it happens.
This disorder is characterized by the stomach twisting and filling up with gases. Because the gas cannot escape, the stomach begins to stretch. This can cut off blood flow to the surrounding tissue as well as the heart. The stomach will not untwist on its own, and therefore, the disorder will progress until it is treated.
If caught in time, this disorder is treated with surgery. A veterinarian will have to manually untwist the dog’s stomach and then secure it to the inside of the dog’s chest cavity to ensure that it does not twist again. This surgery is effective if performed soon enough.
Sadly, the symptoms of this disease are quite vague, and it tends to progress very quickly. These factors cause many pet owners to miss the signs of this disorder, which causes them not to seek out help until it is too late.
The most common symptom of this disorder is general distress. The dog might pant, act restless, and seem uncomfortable for no reason. Their stomach might visibly bloat, but this is usually too minor to be noticed.
Risk factors for this disease include eating out of a raised food bowl, eating large meals, and consuming food with small pieces. Foods with added fats and oils increase the risk, but the amount of grain, soy, or protein does not play a role.
Canine Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is a common genetic disorder in larger dogs that involves the improper formation of the hip socket. This defect causes that leg bone to not fit properly into the socket, leading to unusual wear-and-tear. (https://europepmc.org/abstract/med/9154200)
Over time, this wear-and-tear can lead to arthritis and spinal injury. Because moving the hip is often painful, the dog will often attempt to keep their leg as still as possible. This can lead to a strange gait and “bunny-like” walk, where both back legs move together.
Sometimes, the body will try to adapt to the unworking hip joint, which can cause spinal, knee, and tissue injuries.
Because this disease causes so many issues for dogs, you would expect it to be easy to notice. However, this is not the case. Dogs are typically born with this disorder and therefore get used to the pain that comes with it. Many dogs do not express acute pain, which can make it extremely difficult for pet owners to notice the problem.
The most obvious symptom of this disorder is a strange, unusual gait. The canine will often not walk appropriately and might avoid running or jumping. Stiffness and lameness can also occur. Typically, though, the dog just acts like something isn’t right. They don’t move around as they should.
Rottweiler Lab Mix Grooming
These dogs have short hair, so they will not require haircuts or many visits to the groomers. They do shed and will, therefore, need to be brushed regularly, however. Once a week is often enough for most dogs. Still, some dogs will need more depending on the exact genetics they inherited.
Seasonal shedding is often common in these dogs, where they begin shedding more as the temperature shifts. The genetics of the dog, as well as your climate, will affect this. Be prepared to brush your dog more frequently at certain times of the year.
Bathing for these canines can be kept to a minimum. They only need to be bathed after they get visibly dirty, such as when they roll in mud or something of that sort. Because of their weather-resistant coat, these canines can feel oily. But, this is normal and does not mean you should try to give them a bath.
Like all dogs, the Rottweiler Lab mix will need regular maintenance performed on its teeth, claws, and ears. Their teeth should be brushed at least a few times a week with a toothpaste formulated for dogs. While most dogs do not like having their teeth brushed, choosing a toothpaste flavor they like can make the whole process easier.
You should also clean their ears and keep an eye out for any possible infections. Their nails should be clipped. If you can hear them clinging against the floor, they are too long. If you don’t feel comfortable doing these things yourself, you can have a local groomer do it. Many will perform these basic grooming tasks for very cheap.
This dog is not suited for apartment living. They require quite a bit of exercise to keep them fit and satisfied. You should expect to take them on at least a long, brisk walk daily. Regularly, intense playtimes are also suitable.
This dog is best in a home with a fenced-in yard. They act best when they have plenty of room to roam and run. However, just because these dogs have access to a fenced-in backyard does not mean they don’t need walks or play time.
Because of their intelligence, they will need mental stimulation as well. This can be accomplished easily (and cheaply) with obedience training. A couple of 15-minute sessions a day is all you really need to keep these dogs from getting bored. Interactive puzzle toys can also be helpful as well but are usually not necessary on top of obedience training.
Of course, whenever you’re exercising a Rottweiler Lab mix, you should take into account your climate. These dogs do have thick coats, which can cause them to overheat if you live somewhere particularly warm. At the same time, they are not built for extreme cold. They are not an arctic breed.
The Rottweiler Lab mix can make a great family dog in the right situation. They are loyal and devoted to their family but can be aloof towards strangers.
They are very intelligent and respond well to training. However, they are not always people-pleasing, which can make it difficult to get their attention. Luckily, with early training, they can be very well-behaved dogs.
Their high intelligence also means they will need plenty of mental stimulation. They also have high physical exercise needs. Combined, these two factors can make them a handful. You need a lot of time to devote to these dogs in order for them to be healthy and happy.
We recommend this dog for families with plenty of time to give. They aren’t necessarily good for apartment living, and a fenced-in yard is recommended.