Part best friend, part guard dog, and part goofball, a Pitbull Rottweiler mix may just be the next four-legged pal you’ve been looking for. Also known as a Pitweiler, Rottbull, or, yes, even Rotten Pit, this is a relatively new mixed breed that comes from breeding a purebred Rottweiler with an American Pitbull (or other Pitbull breeds).
Unfortunately, due to a long history and bad publicity, both parent breeds, Rottweiler and Pitbull, have gotten a bad rap throughout the years. In truth, they are very loyal and loving dogs. Combine them together, and you get a delightful mixed breed that is great for the whole family.
Let’s change the perception around Pitbull Rottweiler mixes by learning a little bit more about their history, temperament, and the care that goes into owning one.
Origin of the Pitbull Rottweiler Mix
Like all mixed breeds, the Pitbull Rottweiler mix is new to the scene. While they may have accidentally been bred before, mixed breeds didn’t become popular until the 1990s and onwards.
Due to the similar nature of both of these dogs, they likely felt like an ideal fit and partners for breeding. To know more about the history behind this new dog, you can take a look at the parent breeds.
What we call a Pitbull actually can mean many different breeds of similar dogs. There is the:
- American Pitbull Terrier
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Bull Terrier
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
All of these are very similar and come from the crossbreeding of Bulldogs and Terriers.
In the 19th century, the English, Scottish, and Irish began breeding dogs with the intention of creating a strong, warrior-like dog. Originally, Pitbull breeds were bred in the UK for bear and bull baiting. Once this was deemed unlawful and inhumane, they turned to dogfighting instead.
The dogs were intentionally bred to be strong and more aggressive in order to win their fight. However, they were taught never to bite the trainer in case they needed to intervene. This made the dogs ideal for the terrible world of dogfighting.
Because of this history of being a fighting dog, Pitbulls to this day are subject to a bad reputation and a ton of breed-specified legislation. Many areas have either banned the breed or put restrictions on their care.
The American Pitbull Terrier is the most popular breed of pitbull in the US but is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. In reality, they are very similar to the American Staffordshire Terrier (though slightly smaller) and have been given this name likely to separate the dogs from their dogfighting past.
While very similar in temperament, rottweilers tend to have a better reputation. A working dog, Rottweilers were not bred to be inside the dogfighting pit, but instead out in the fields. They are considered the oldest herding dog, dating all the way back to Roman times.
Descending from the mastiff-like Roman drover dogs, they used Rottweilers to accompany soldiers as they traveled and conquered Europe. While traveling, the Romans used cattle as one of their main supplies for food. The drover helped corral the cattle, stop them from straying, and guard them against predators.
In Germany, they began to breed these dogs for farmers and butchers to move cattle and carts safely. Their natural talents included being strong, dedicated, and able to defend themselves from other animals, making them ideal for the job.
After WWI and WWII, where they served as messengers, ambulance dogs, and guard dogs, they turned into popular work dogs for the police, military, and other professions.
To this day, the Rottweiler remains one of the most desired breeds for search and rescue!
Their popularity dramatically increased in the 1990s. With popularity, you also have plenty of bad breeders trying to cash in, not caring about the health or temperament of their puppies. This helped to tamper with the good image of the Rottweiler, and their popularity began to diminish.
Rottweiler Pitbull Mix Appearance
Compared to most mixed breeds, you do have a better idea of the appearance of a Rottweiler Pitbull mix. As always, to get the best understanding of what your puppy could end up looking like, you will want to know all their potential traits from their parents.
Is it safe to say that Pitbulls are the stockiest dog around? Because of the different breeding from Bulldogs and Terriers, you can get an array of sizes and even builds for Pitbulls. Overall, they will be very muscular and lean.
This also means they come in all sorts of colors, including:
The coats are shiny and stiff to the touch!
Their heads are large compared to the rest of their body, with broad ears and a deep-set muzzle. You can also spot their set of chompers from a mile away!
The American Pitbull Terrier weighs from 30-85 pounds and stands 17-19 inches at the shoulder.
A bit larger than the Pitbull, the Rottweiler stands taller at 24-27 inches and weighs 95-130 pounds. Also a working dog, you will notice the muscles on the Rottweiler, although they are less stocky than a Pitbull.
Their coat is similar, being straight and coarse to the touch. They have a double coat that can be thick or thin, depending on the climate where they live.
Most Rottweilers have a similar appearance, always black in color with brown to rust-colored markings on the body. You can find markings over the eyes, cheeks, muzzle, chest, legs, and under the tail.
Pitbull Rottweiler Appearance
Combine a Pitbull and a Rottweiler, and what do you get? Well, you can expect a medium-sized dog that stands at 18-25 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 45-100 pounds.
Sounds like quite the range, doesn’t it? Since most Rottweilers are similar in size, the Pitbull parents will be able to tell you more about the potential size of a puppy. Females also tend to be smaller than males.
The puppy is bound to inherit the muscles of both parents, having a stocky build of the Pitbull except with the long legs of a Rottweiler. While it may be a medium-sized dog, the dog’s build is still best for those with experience working with larger breeds.
For the coat, also look to the Pitbull. With Rottweilers being one color, you will get more variations depending on the color of the other parent. They can come in shades of brown, gold, white, blue, brindle, and merle coats. However, they will be sure to have short, smooth hair.
Markings may also appear on the face like the Rottweiler. Both breeds have a short and broad head with a deep-set muzzle. Your mixed breed puppy may inherit the looser jowls of Rottweilers and drool.
Either way, strong teeth are a sure thing!
Temperament of a Pitbull Rottweiler Mix
Even though a Pitbull and Rottweiler have similar temperaments, it’s still difficult to know exactly what the puppy’s personality may be like. The best bet is to look at the parents. If possible, see if you can meet both parents of the puppy and pay close attention to their behavior. Especially look for any signs of aggression!
Always ask the breeder tons of questions as every puppy will be different, even from its own litter. For the best personality and behavior, socialize them as early as possible.
Ignore any preconceptions about Pitbulls. Because of their fighting history, they earned a reputation for being very aggressive and territorial dogs. In fact, they are really one of the most fun and loving dog breeds out there. Some are even used as service dogs!
Pitbulls love people, especially their owners. They may alert you to strangers but are really eager to greet them. Therefore, they may not make for the best guard dogs unless trained to be. Pitbulls can defend their family with their life!
Alert and intelligent, they like lots of stimulation to keep busy. But, at the end of the day, you are just as likely to find them cuddled up on the couch.
Pitbulls don’t understand that they’re too big to be a lapdog!
Just like Pitbulls, Rottweilers must think they are small dogs, only living in a big body. Completely unaware of their size, they will bump into things and quickly interrupt your personal space. Around family, they can get very silly and affectionate.
With new people, they tend to be more aloof. If they ignore you at first, don’t take it personally as it’s normal Rottweiler behavior. Instead of making friends with everyone, they tend to wait things out and get to know you a little bit first.
As confident dogs due to their nature, they don’t get aggressive. That being said, you need to be the leader in the family and never give up on your assertive attitude while training them. And while they do like a fair amount of exercise, they don’t get highly excitable. Overall, they’re smart, adaptable, and loyal dogs to have in the family.
Pitbull Rottweiler Mix Personality
You’re in for a treat when it comes to adopting a Pitbull Rottweiler mix. This dog is sure to make you giggle and see the brighter side of life. If you’re looking for a companion dog, you will find a very loyal and affectionate friend in a Pitbull Rottweiler mix.
Since both parents are working dogs, the Pitbull Rottweiler mix likes to keep busy and enjoy lots of playtime. Their energy makes them excellent family dogs for playful children and active adults.
While friendly with most, their guard dog and protective tendencies can come out. They aren’t very big barkers and usually only do if they want to notify you of something. Pitbull Rottweiler mixes prefer the company of other humans but can do well with other dogs (preferably one of the opposite sex). Their “aggressive” behavior that many people associate with a Pitbull Rottweiler mix really comes down to poor training and not natural instincts.
Inheriting a difficult legacy from both sides of its breeding, people tend to be more fearful of these dogs, and you can expect some misconceptions and stigmatization from strangers who don’t know your loving pup as you do. With strong jaws for biting, a fighting and aggressive background, and strong bodies, it will take many years to alter their reputation.
Caring for a Rottweiler Pitbull Mix
Hopefully, by now, you know a little bit more about what to expect in terms of appearance and personality before adopting a Rottweiler Pitbull mix. But, how much work goes into taking care of them?
Luckily, the Pitbull Rottweiler mix is sure to have a relatively low-maintenance coat. Since both parents have similar short and coarse hair, you can expect that for your mix. One brushing a week should be enough to keep their coat looking shiny and healthy.
Rottweiler hair can be a tad bit thicker and may have more shedding. If you notice your Pitbull Rottweiler mix leans towards their Rottweiler genes, you may notice more shedding in the spring and fall when it’s time to change coats.
Beyond brushing, bathing your dog a few times a year ensures they stay looking clean but also doesn’t dry out their skin from too frequent washings. You will also want to get them used to regular teeth brushing, nail clippings, and eye and ear inspections.
Tip: Start these habits early, so your dog gets used to you touching their face, paws, and body to care for them.
As big dogs, you can bet on your Pitbull Rottweiler mix to have a fair appetite. Since the breed can get up to 100 pounds, you likely will need to serve your dog larger portions than many smaller breeds. Since Rottweilers are prone to bloat (more on this issue below), you will want to separate all meals into smaller sizes rather than have free feedings.
For puppies, aim to have 4 small and even portions throughout the day. Once full-grown, shift from 2-3 meals a day depending on your dog’s preference. To avoid bloat, don’t feed an hour before or after any form of exercise.
These practices also help avoid weight gain, which can be a common side effect for some conditions with this breed.
When shopping for dog food, always consult your vet about what they think is best for your dog based on their size and activity level. Usually, you want something designed for a large and strong breed. The food will need to contain high-quality protein to feed their muscular bodies and carbohydrates to fuel their energy.
A Pitbull Rottweiler mix falls towards the high maintenance side in terms of exercise needs. Bred to be working dogs, the dogs are used to being out and about often and don’t like to sit still until they’re all tuckered out. 60 minutes should be the absolute minimum amount of exercise your dog receives every day.
Preferably, they need 60 minutes of running and high-speed exercise in addition to playtime. The extra time in-between can be spent on training and games that stimulate the brain. This breed absolutely loves to play and will likely take out every toy from the bin and bring it to you.
Make sure you spend money on strong toys; otherwise, they will quickly rip them into tatters.
Having a yard will be very handy in helping to get out their excess energy. A Pitbull Rottweiler mix enjoys spending some time running around off-leash. If you have a large enough yard, this is ideal. Otherwise, you can take them to a dog park as long as they have good recall skills. Their strong prey drive means they may get distracted by any small animals outside. Rottweilers’ aloof nature also can make it challenging to get their attention back to you.
If you want an active pup to go along with you on runs or on the trail, this breed will happily accompany you. However, at the end of the day, they are happy to join you in relaxing on the couch and perhaps even in your lap.
Very smart dogs, the Pitbull Rottweiler mix needs training in order to reach their full potential. Left to their own devices, their quick wits will instead pick up on naughty behaviors rather than good ones.
Any owners of this breed need to commit heavily to training to ensure none of these bad behaviors are taught and that a lack of proper training doesn’t further damages their reputation.
When training, always stay positive! Dogs will react much better to positive reinforcement. If they are not listening or exhibiting bad behavior, switch the activity to something you know they excel at so it always ends on a positive note. Everyone in the house must follow the same training rules to be consistent. This means no table scraps when mom isn’t looking!
A minimum of 30 minutes of training a day is needed for puppies. This can be split into 3 10-minute segments to keep up with their short attention span. Rottweilers, in particular, have a streak of stubbornness to them and may prove difficult in training. If your mix inherits this trait, don’t take it personally. Instead, try to focus their attention somewhere where they can exceed.
Pitbull Rottweiler mixes don’t like to be left alone. If left alone, they get extremely destructive behavior such as chewing, digging, pacing, panting, trying to escape, going to the bathroom inside, and they can get vocal. To avoid this, consider crate training for when you have to leave the house. You also want to ensure they never get bored and have plenty of brain exercises to keep them stimulated.
Arguably the most important thing you need to teach your Pitbull Rottweiler mix is how to socialize with other people and animals properly. This is the key to prevent any aggressive or protective behavior in your mix. If they learn to fear new people and places, they will respond reactively.
From a very young age, introduce your pup to as many new places, people, and experiences as possible. They need to learn how to properly approach other dogs and strangers. Remember, some people fear this breed of dog, and so they should learn to never go up to other dogs and people without permission.
Their instinctive prey drive also stops with help from socialization. If you have a home with small kids or other pets, this is a must. Otherwise, they can be alert and wary of all people and animals.
Life Span and Health Issues
The average lifespan for a Pitbull Rottweiler mix is 12-15 years. At around 18 months, you can expect them to reach full maturity. A fairly healthy breed, the goal of mix-breeds is to avoid the health concerns that occur with inbreeding among purebreds. Instead, mixed breeds get an increased vigor and health.
Of course, this all depends on the health of the parents and what the puppy can potentially inherit. Here are some of the most common concerns for adopting a Pitbull Rottweiler mix.
In the dog’s hip joint, sometimes the ball and socket do not properly develop or fit together. This can cause painful grinding of the joint and can lead to further issues for the dog.
Similar to the hip, the three joints in the elbow don’t fit together properly, and the uneven weight distribution on the joint can result in pain and further complications.
Similar to humans, dogs can develop cataracts as they age. This appears as a cloudy film over the eye and prevents light from entering. The condition can result in vision loss and often complete blindness.
Bloat is a serious condition that occurs when a dog’s stomach fills with air, and the pressure stops blood from returning to the heart. A dog goes into shock and immediately needs medical attention. Bloat symptoms include a swollen stomach, retching, saliva, restlessness, and whining when their belly is touched.
This disease occurs when the adrenal glands can’t produce hormones, including aldosterone and cortisol. These steroids help to regulate the dog’s organs and body systems. There are many symptoms, including:
- Weight loss
- Hair loss
The Best Home for a Pitbull Rottweiler Mix
So… you’re interested in adopting a Pitbull Rottweiler mix? While this breed is loyal and a joy to have around, not every household is a good fit for this dog.
Since they require consistent training, people who have experience with training and raising dogs is preferable. Those who also have experience handling large, strong breeds will also be more likely to know how to control this breed.
All owners must be willing to commit and be consistent with training and socializing. (New owners are encouraged to find a more mild-mannered and less demanding dog.)
These big bodies also may not be meant for apartment living. A yard is ideal as their exercise needs are high, and space to run around and play will make both you and your dog’s life that much easier. Families with children will enjoy having this dog around.
Due to their prey drive, those with smaller animals may want to provide caution at introducing a Pitbull Rottweiler into the mix.
Lastly, pay attention to any building or municipality rules surrounding Pitbulls and their mixes in your area. Unfortunately, many believe this breed to be dangerous and aggressive, and there may be bans or regulations regarding the breed in your area.
A Quick Breed Overview
Phew, that was a lot of info to take in. Here’s a quick recap about all things Pitbull Rottweiler.
A medium-sized dog, Pitbull Rottweiler mixes have muscular builds and are best suited for those with experience handling large dogs. They stand at 18-25 inches at the shoulder. Look to the size of the pitbull parent for a better indication of size potential. Females tend to be smaller.
Pitbull Rottweiler mixes weigh between 45-100 pounds.
Both parent breeds have short and straight hair that is coarse to the touch.
This mixed breed may inherit some of the colors of the Pitbull parent, including black, white, grey, brown, brindle, blue, and merle. They can also have similar black and brown markings to a Rottweiler around the face and body.
The Pitbull Rottweiler mix sheds very little. You may see seasonal shedding in fall and spring, but weekly brushing is all that is needed in order to maintain the coat.
Socialization is very important to ensure a well-behaved and happy dog. Begin at a very early age to get the breed used to meeting new people and dogs. This will help to avoid any aggressive or protective behavior that can arise if left untrained.
Very smart dogs, a Pitbull Rottweiler mix will do well with obedience training. To establish control over a strong dog, make sure you practice training for at least 30 minutes every day. If left without training, their intelligence is spent learning bad habits instead of good ones.
This mix may initially have caution over meeting new people and other dogs, but they are not instinctually aggressive. With proper training, they will happily spend all their time meeting new people and going on adventures.
Good With Children
With high energy, this breed does well with children who can help to keep the dog busy while the parents rest their feet! A Pitbull Rottweiler mix will adore their family and may have a hint of protectiveness around the children.
A very energetic dog, this mixed breed requires at least 60 minutes of exercise every day. A house with a yard, lots of toys, and daily walks or runs will keep the dog healthy and happy. They are an ideal partner for those who live an active lifestyle.
Loyal and loving, there are few dogs as affectionate as those with Pitbull genes. They are very active and smart and like to be kept on their toes. Family is the most important thing for them, and they don’t like to be left alone. They would rather hang with you!
All Rottweiler Pitbull mixes will have destructive qualities, inside and outside the home. To avoid any damage, crate-train your dog for whenever you have to leave the house. Keep them entertained with games that stimulate the brain.
Fun Facts about the Pitbull Rottweiler Mix
- Compared to most other breeds, this mixed breed is a fairly inexpensive dog to buy. You can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $800 for a puppy from a respectable breeder.
- While considered a tough breed, the Pitbull Rottweiler is actually very sensitive. They respond best to positive reinforcement, hate to be alone, and are very affectionate to their family.
- The original Old English Bulldogs and Old English Terriers that were used for breeding Pitbulls are now extinct.
- In 1835, the United Kingdom banned bull-baiting and bear-baiting as animal welfare laws came into effect. This is the same time that illegal dogfighting also started to rise in popularity.
- Not all mixed-breed dogs will inherit equal traits from both parents. In reality, many dogs can lean heavily towards one breed in appearance or personality.
- The brindle coat you can find in Pitbull breeds is a way of describing a unique coat that resembles a tiger stripe pattern. The main coat color is a light or dark brown with other hairs sprinkled throughout.
List of Pitbull Rottweiler Mix Instagram Accounts
Can’t get enough of this breed? Follow some of these cute and fun Pitbull Rottweiler Instagram accounts to get your daily dose of the breed. Plus, you can get an idea of their personality and all the care that goes into owning one before you make the leap yourself!