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Pitbull Rottweiler Mix Breed Info

It goes without saying that a Pit bull/ Rottweiler mix is a cross breed between a Rottweiler and a Pit bull-type dog.

This mixed breed dog is commonly referred to as a Rottie or a Pitweiler.

As with all mixed breeds, Rotties have characteristics of both parent breeds, so it’s important to first understand the history and traits of the parent breeds prior to learning about this amazing dog breed.

While it is unknown exactly when Rottweilers and pit-bulls first began being cross-bred, the mixture of the two breeds resulted in the creation of the perfect guard dog and companion. 

The History of Pure-bred Rottweilers

Rottweilers were originally bred in Europe for the purpose of herding and protecting cattle.

They once traveled alongside Roman soldiers as guard dogs and are believed to be the original herding dogs, likely having descended from Roman Drovers.

Later on, Rottweilers provided assistance to soldiers throughout the World Wars.

Rottweilers are known to be highly alert, strong, and intelligent.

They possess high levels of energy and are extremely disciplined. Rottweilers continue to be used as search and rescue dogs due to these characteristics.

The History of Pit-Bull Type Dogs

Actually, the term pit-bull doesn’t refer to a breed of dog, but encompasses a few mixed breeds that are commonly known as pit-bull-type dogs: the American Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and the American Bully.

These dogs were bred for the purpose of baiting bears and bulls, and participating in aggressive sports, such as dog fighting.

Pit-bull-type dogs are the result of cross-breeding English Bulldogs and Terriers, which are now extinct.

The combination of bulldog and terrier characteristics made pit-bulls the perfect dog for fighting.

While Pit-bull-type dogs are well-known for their aggression, they are also extremely loyal dogs that are active and loving, provided they are properly socialized and raised by responsible owners.

Since dog fighting has now been banned in the U.S. and parts of Europe, pit-bull type dogs are now often used as family pets and guard dogs.

The Characteristics of a Pit-bull / Rottweiler Mix

Pitbull-Rottweiler mix
image: Tony Alter, Flickr

The characteristics of a Rottie may not necessarily be split evenly between the two parent breeds.

Some Rotties may possess more Pit-bull type characteristics, while others may closely resemble a Rottweiler.

However, they all carry traits of both parent breeds, which makes Rotties a very strong, loyal, and determined breed of dog.

Physical Characteristics

While Rotties are typically a large breed of dog, they can be medium-sized and stocky if they are mixed with the American Bully.

Their height is usually between 20- 25 inches and they can weigh anywhere between 40- 100 pounds.

Their lifespan ranges from 12- 15 years and they produce an average of 8 puppies per litter.

Their physical appearance may vary depending upon the parent dogs and genetics.

While the coloring of their coats is often black and tan like a Rottweiler, it may also be brown or brindle.

Although Rotties don’t shed a lot, generally speaking, they may be short-haired like a pit-bull or have a thicker coat, similar to that of a Rottweiler.

Temperament and Behavior

Rotties are extremely strong-willed and powerful dogs that have the ability to destroy your entire home if they aren’t trained at a very young age.

However, any large dog can become destructive.

The main challenge with Rotties is their stubbornness, which can make training these dogs a difficult task to take on.

While these dogs are known for their protective nature, both parent breeds are classified as being aggressive dogs, which is why you need to be very cautious about leaving children unattended around Rotties, and teach your children to be respectful of the dog.

Personality Traits

Rotties are highly active dogs, as both parent breeds are known to have an abundance of energy.

They need to be exercised frequently, so a fenced-in yard would be a wise investment.

These dogs are extremely loyal and protective of their owners, but they do have the capacity to become aggressive.

The likelihood of a Rottie becoming aggressive depends on the temperament of their parents, and whether or not they were properly socialized and raised by responsible owners.

Recommended Socialization and Training

Any dog that is cross-bred with a Pit-bull type dog will need to be exposed to other dogs and children at a young age in order to adapt to a family environment.

Failure to properly socialize this kind of dog increases the likelihood that they will become aggressive later on, simply because they haven’t learned to behave differently around people and pets.

Training also needs to begin while the Rottie is still a pup, or else you will eventually have a large, stubborn dog on your hands that is determined to do exactly as they please.

Since Rotties are so full of energy, you will need to keep training hours to a minimum and provide rewards for good behavior.

However, you should never attempt to physically punish a Rottie, as doing so could contribute to future aggression.

Reputation and Popularity

Rotties are increasingly gaining popularity, but since they are a mixed breed, they aren’t recognized by major organizations such as the American Kennel Club.

However, purebred Rottweilers and Bulldogs are both extremely popular dogs worldwide.

Despite their popularity, Rotties are considered to be extremely dangerous dogs due to their physical appearance and the Pit-bull’s roots in dog-fighting.

While it is true that Rotties are potentially aggressive, they do possess the positive traits of being loyal, caring, and protective dogs.

Health Issues

As with all mixed breeds, Rotties have an increased risk of developing health conditions including hip dysplasia, cataracts, and built-up gas in their intestinal tracts.

Although these conditions are common with larger breeds of dogs, you will need to take your Rottie to the veterinarian for periodic eye examinations and monitor their physical activity.

While you should always take precautions when handling dog breeds that are known for aggressive tendencies, the Pit-bull/ Rottweiler mix can be an excellent guard dog and companion, especially if you adopt one while they are still young, so that you can train and socialize them.

Remember that Rottweilers were bred for herding and protection, and that pit-bulls are known as being both lovers and fighters.

You can bring out the best in Rotties by offering them a good home with caring and responsible owners.

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National Canine Research Association of America