Mixed breeds are becoming all the rage. While they were once looked down upon as “mutts,” many pet owners are now opting to adopt from shelters and purchase “designer dogs” from breeders.
With the rise of mix breeds (especially APBT mixes), the Rottweiler Pitbull mix has become more popular as well. This mix is pretty common at shelters due to its Pitbull heritage. Many owners might stray away from this mixed breed because of the negative connotations surrounding Pitbulls and Rottweilers. However, there is more to this breed than meets the eye.
These breeds are very different but also have some striking similarities. In this article, we’ll delve into the truth behind the Rottweiler Pitbull mix and help you decide if this is the right dog for your family.
Unlike purebred dogs, mixed breeds do not have set physical features. Purebreds come from a very small gene pool, which makes them only inherit very specific genes.
However, this is not the case for mixed breeds. They can inherit traits from either of their parents. This larger gene pool leads to greater variance between dogs. One Rottweiler Pitbull mix might look completely different from another.
Still, there are some common traits in this mixed breed. To get a better understanding as to what this mixed breed might look like, let’s take a look at each parent breed in turn. Another common rottweiler mixed breed is the rottie/lab mix.
The Rottweiler is a large dog. Males can weigh up to 135 pounds, while females are significantly smaller at 100 pounds. These dogs are also very muscular and solidly built. They have abundant strength and the build of a working dog.
All Rottweilers have the same distinctive colorations. The majority of their coat is black, but they do have rust-colored markings on their face, chest, and legs.
The coat itself is double-layered like most dog breeds. The outer coat is designed to protect them from the weather and is therefore quite rough. The inner coat is softer and does not show through the upper layer. The coat is always short and straight.
The pitbull is actually not a single breed of dog, but a group of dogs that includes a few different breeds. All Pitbull breeds are genetically linked and are descended from bulldogs and terriers.
All Pitbull breeds share similar characteristics. In many cases, it is difficult for even experts to visually differentiate between Pitbull breeds. At shelters, many mixed breeds and even unrelated dogs are commonly identified as Pitbulls. Just because a dog is labeled as a Pitbull does not necessarily make it so.
Some common traits shared between all Pitbull breeds include their bulky body and square head. Pitbulls vary in coloration a lot, especially since most dogs labeled as “Pitbull” are not purebred Pitbulls.
These dogs are short-nosed or brachycephalic. This can make it difficult for them to breath correctly and makes them prone to a few different health conditions, such as heat exhaustion. We will discuss these health implications further into the article.
Pitbulls are generally considered to be medium-sized, though the exact height and weight can vary widely depending on the exact Pitbull strain.
With this mixed breed, nothing is for certain. The coloration of this breed can vary widely. They can be a huge variety of colors and have any number of markings. Their coat nearly always double-layered and sheds regularly. It is not particularly weather-resistant.
This mixed breed can be medium or large. They can be anywhere between 60 to 130 pounds. Puppies in the same litter can vary in size. You really don’t know what size a particular dog will be until they are grown, so we only recommend this breed if you can handle a larger canine.
These dogs can have shorter snouts than other breeds, but it is usually not significant enough to cause problems. However, this is not always the case. We have a long discussion of the possible health effects of a shorter nose in our health section below.
The Rottweiler Pitbull mix will likely have a square, broad head. To an untrained eye, they can just look like extra-bulky Pitbulls.
When most people consider adopting a Rottweiler Pitbull mix, they have plenty of questions regarding the breed’s temperament. There is a lot of misinformation out there about both the Rottweiler’s and Pitbull’s temperament, so it makes sense that a potential owner would have some concerns.
The Rottweiler Pitbull mix will inherit its temperament from both its parents. A decent portion of temperament is genetic. Some dogs have guarding instincts, while others just don’t.
However, an equally large portion is in how the dog is raised. A well-socialized dog will likely be friendly and accepting of everyone, no matter how strong their territorial instincts might be. If you want a friendly dog, take them out in public when they are little and introduce them to all sorts of people, places, and other animals.
A large portion of aggressive behaviors are fear-driven. If you introduce your dog to the outside world, they will not fear it.
To see how this dog might be predispositioned to act, let’s take a quick look at each parent breed.
The Rottweiler was bred to be a herding, cart-pulling, and guard dog. They performed lots of different functions for those who bred and transported cattle. They were even known as the “Butcher’s Dog” because of this.
Because of their guarding instincts, they can be aloof and untrusting of strangers. They are not overly friendly or people-pleasers. Instead, they bond tightly to their own family and really don’t care about anyone else. Still, this does not make them innately aggressive.
They were also bred to spend lots of time alone without the direct guidance of a human companion. Bred to guard and herd cattle by themselves, they do not crave as much attention as some other dogs. They love their family, that is for certain, but they are perfectly fine laying across the room.
These dogs are very alert and patient “watchers” of their environment. They are not as hyper as other dogs and do not try to be the center of attention. They have a wait-and-see attitude that is perfect for calmer homes.
They are also quite intelligent, which makes training a little easier. Still, their independent nature means that they don’t always look to their human owners for guidance. These dogs thrive on attention training and will need to be taught to pay attention to their trainer.
Pitbulls are often portrayed as aggressive and independent. However, this is not the case in the slightest. These dogs are extremely well-adapted to family life and make great family dogs. They are very people oriented and love spending time with their family.
They can be somewhat aloof towards strangers and do not warm up as fast as some other breeds. But they are not nearly as aloof as dogs with guarding instincts, like the Rottweiler. They are simply just more interested in their family than they are other people.
This dog has a great work ethic and prefers to have some sort of job to do. They are highly adaptable and do well in all sorts of family situations. They have a zest for life and just love living. While they can be somewhat hyper, they are very laid back and deal with stressful situations well.
They are basically over-grown lap dogs. Despite some misconceptions, these dogs are not aggressive in the least. A large number of dog attacks contributed to this breed is likely due to false identification. Furthermore, studies have shown that breed is a poor indicator of aggression level overall.
In temperament tests, Pitbulls do not score significantly different than other dogs. In places that require Pitbulls to be temperament tested, Pitbulls do just as well on the tests as the friendliest dogs do.
As long as you socialize this breed, they are not prone to aggression and are often the targets of other pitbull mixed breed variants like the pittie labrador cross.
This canine will be very devoted to their family. They are laid back and deal with new situations well. They do not get stressed or anxious easily, nor are they prone to separation anxiety problems.
It is likely that this mixed breed will be independent and is therefore suitable for a family that is not home during the day.
Despite some misconceptions, they are not particularly prone to aggression. In fact, they are one of the least aggressive breeds out there. While they can be aloof with strangers, this does not mean they are aggressive towards them. They just don’t care much about humans that are not in their family.
As a rule, mixed breeds are healthier than purebreds. They have a larger gene pool and are therefore less likely to be affected by the genetic disorders that plague many purebreds. However, this does not mean that mixed breeds never have their problems.
The Rottweiler Pitbull mix is a healthy dog. You can expect them to live between 10-15 years, depending on the exact traits they inherit and their overall lifestyle. They are prone to a few genetic health problems that are important to be aware of before deciding to adopt.
As with most larger breeds, the Rottweiler Pitbull mix is prone to hip dysplasia. In short, hip dysplasia occurs when a dog’s hip joint does not form properly. This makes it impossible for the leg bone to fit properly in the joint like it is supposed to.
Because the leg bone is not correctly positioned, unusual wear-and-tear occurs. This leads to arthritis, pain, stiffness, and even lameness in some severe cases.
This disorder is difficult to diagnose. The symptoms are often vague and easy to miss. Dogs are born with this disorder and become very good at hiding their pain. Many dogs do not show signs of acute pain, and might not act like their leg is bothering them at all. Because of this, many dog owners do not seek medical attention for their canine.
The most revealing symptom of this disorder is a dog’s gait. The hip joint and leg bone are not properly connected, which causes the dog to walk strangely. In some dogs, this might be nearly unnoticeable, but in others, it can be extremely pronounced. Some dogs even develop a “bunny hop.”
This is a lifelong, genetic disorder. There is no cure for it. Instead, the focus is on managing the dog’s symptoms so that it can live as full of a life as possible. Pain medication is used to reduce pain, and various lifestyle adjustments are often suggested. If a dog is obese, it is recommended that they lose weight, as this has been shown to significantly reduce symptoms.
Parvovirus is a very serious canine disease. It is a highly infectious virus that both the Pitbull and Rottweiler are prone to getting.
There are two major forms of this virus. The most common form is intestinal. When presented in this manner, the virus causes the dog intestinal discomfort, which can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, and weight loss.
This form of parvovirus affects a dog’s ability to absorb nutrients, as well. If left untreated, dogs will starve even if they continue eating. Dehydration is common, as is general weakness.
The second form only affects small puppies and attacks the dog’s heart muscles. This form often leads to death. It progresses very quickly, and the puppies usually do not get treatment.
There is no cure for this disease. The only thing to do is let it run its course. Treatment is aimed to keep the dog alive until the virus dissipates. This is done through the administration of fluids, medications to prevent nausea, and other supportive therapies.
Dogs do not die from parvovirus itself, but from the symptoms. If the symptoms can be properly managed, the canine has a decent chance of pulling through.
Luckily, there is a vaccine for this disease that is very effective. It is recommended that every canine gets this vaccine when they are puppies. It is particularly important that this mixed breed receives the vaccine due to their higher probability of contracting parvovirus.
These dogs have short hair and therefore, do not require much grooming. They do shed, though the amount depends on the coat type. If they get the longer, medium-length coat of the Rottweiler, they will need more brushing than if they have the shorter coat of the Pitbull.
Either way, you should plan on brushing this canine at least weekly. They are known to increase their shedding amount seasonally, so you will likely need to amp up your brushing during this time.
These dogs do not need to be bathed often, but you should plan on giving them a bath at least once every few months. Their coats are not weather-resistant, and they tend to pick up a lot of dirt. When they begin to get a “doggy smell,” it is likely time to give them a quick bath.
This mixed breed will need their nails clipped just like every other breed. This should be done approximately every month, though the timeline can differ depending on your dog’s lifestyle. Long nails can be painful, so it is important to check their length regularly.
They will also need their teeth brushed 3-4 times a week. Invest in an enzymatic, tasty toothpaste formulated for dogs. Even if you find it difficult to brush your dog’s teeth, simply rubbing an enzymatic toothpaste onto their teeth can help keep them clean.
A Rottweiler Pitbull mix will also need their ears cleaned regularly, especially if they are floppy. Floppy ears can trap dirt inside them and produce a warm, damp environment for bacteria to thrive in. A quick wipe down with a damp cotton once a week should be plenty to keep the ear canals healthy.
In most cases, these dogs will not need to visit a groomer’s regularly or even at all. They can live healthy lives without being professionally groomed. However, many owners opt to get them professionally groomed when they are shedding particularly bad to remove the excess hair. If you are uncomfortable clipping your dog’s nails, you might also want to take them to the groomers for this.
Rottweiler Pitbull Mix Activity Needs
These athletic dogs require regular, consistent exercise. They are very energetic and can get overexcited and hyper if not exercised properly. You should expect to walk them at least once a day but twice is often better for everyone.
Like all dogs, this mixed breed will have significantly more energy as a puppy. Luckily though, puppies often wear out faster than adults. They are little after all and have to exert more energy during walks to keep up. It is not recommended that you walk your puppy long distance, however, because this can lead to joint problems. Instead, vigorous play sessions in the backyard are often better.
A fenced-in backyard is preferred for this breed. However, it is by no means necessary as long as you keep them exercised. When worn out, these dogs are very laid back indoors and do not cause many problems. It is when they are not exercised that they can become hyper and destructive.
These dogs are on the more intelligent side, so it also helps to wear them out mentally. This can be done easily through a quick obedience training session. Even just one 15-minute session a day is often enough to keep these dogs from getting bored.
If you don’t have time for a quick session, puzzle toys can also be helpful. There are many commercially available, though it is possible to DIY your own at home. Just be sure you get one that is strong enough to withstand this dog. The last thing you want is for your dog to destroy the toy to get to the treats.
If you are looking for a pit mix that’s a little lazier, the pit-mastiff is a good choice.
Getting a Rottweiler Pitbull Mix?
The Rottweiler Pitbull mix can be a good family dog if you have the time to care for them properly. They need to be socialized early and often and have a high exercise need. However, they require little grooming and are not aggressive, despite some of the misconceptions surrounding them. They can actually be one of the least aggressive dogs due to their laidback nature and high level of devotion.
If you have enough time to devote to this canine’s exercise and training, then this dog might be perfect for your family. They do well in many different family situations, and they are good with children and other animals. They do not have a high prey drive, which means they will not chase cats as bad as some other dogs. Of course, socialization is important here as well. A dog that has never seen a cat before isn’t going to know what to do with it.