German Rottweiler vs American Rottweiler – Spot the Differences!

German Rottweiler vs American Rottweiler

Rottweilers are one of the best all-around and most popular dog breeds, in my eyes. They are gorgeous, they have an amazing personality, and they are great watchdogs and family pets. But did you know there are actually two versions? 

That’s right! 

There’s the American Rottweiler and the German Rottweiler, and despite their origins — I think you can figure this one out — there are other differences, though slight, that the two Rotties have.

They might have gotten a bad rep and landed on the most dangerous dog breeds list a time or two, but this is more due to stigma than reality. 

If you’ve ever wanted to get a closer look at the Rottweiler dog breeds, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll take you deep into the world of the German and American Rottweiler dogs.

German vs American Rottweiler

German Rottweiler vs American Rottweiler

At first glance, there’s very little way to tell either German or American Rottweilers apart; it takes a practiced eye, and even then, sometimes people fail. That’s because the dogs don’t really vary that much.

They have a lot of the same physical appearance — especially in terms of their coat coloring — and their personalities are solid gold. Yet, they wouldn’t be two different breeds if they were exactly alike.

Physical Characteristics 

When it comes to their physical characteristics, there are a few notable differences that set the German Rottweiler and the American Rottweiler apart. One thing that doesn’t really vary, though, is their overall size.

Both the German and American Rottweiler tend to balance out in this department, weighing between 80 and 110 pounds and standing between 24″ and 27″ high. 

Additionally, the German Rottweiler and American Rottweiler both have the staple triangular ears and almond-shaped eyes that you can easily fall in love with. However, there are physical differences between the two that make it just a bit easier to tell them apart.

German Rottweiler

german vs american rottweiler

German Rotties are the stockier of the two and are a bit larger. They have a broader body shape and more muscle than their American counterparts. Even their noses are wider. One notable difference you might see right off the bat on a German Rottie is their tail.  

Where American breeders engage in tail docking that leaves the American Rotties with a nub, they’re more than happy to shake when they’re happy — which is all the time — in Germany, they don’t do tail docking. Having a docked tail can disqualify them from the Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub (ADRK).  

The coat colors of a German Rottweiler are the standard colors that you think of, such as combinations of black and brown, black and tan, or black and mahogany.

American Rottweiler 

american rot

American Rottweilers tend to be leaner but no less strong. In terms of their appearance, they look more athletic, and many have docked tails, which was once required by the American Kennel Club AKC, though it no longer is.  

Where the German Rottweiler has a broader nose, the American Rottweiler has a narrower one, but the space between the ears is broader. They also have a narrower ribcage and a broad chest.

Where the ADRK is stricter with coloring, the American Kennel Club has loosened its breed standard on acceptable coat colors in the last few years. They have added blue and red variations to the breed standard in this respect. 

Temperament and Behavior

If you were wondering if the two Rottweilers were the same in terms of their behavior and temperament, the answer is yes, but also no. There are many similarities.

For example, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Rottie who isn’t loyal, smart, and quick to pick up training. Both American and German Rottweilers carry these traits, and they bond very deeply with their human companions.  

But, just like with their physical differences, you’ll find some minor differences between the American variety and the German Rottweiler here, too.

types of rottweiler

German Rottweiler

German Rottweilers tend to be a bit more easygoing than the American Rottweilers. When comparing German vs. American Rottweiler, the former is definitely more laidback and easily connects with other animals, often forming deep bonds as they truly are sensitive souls. 

The German Rottie was bred to be the perfect companion dog. That was its purpose and still is. German Rottweilers love children, and they have the perfect nature — easygoing, calm, and playful — to be around them. 

American Rottweiler 

One of the main differences in the temperament of an American Rottweiler is that it tends to be reserved around people and animals it’s not familiar with. Not only that but where the German Rottweiler forms bonds with other pets, the American Rottweiler tends to be a bit more aggressive with dogs of the same sex.  

American Rottweilers are also fantastic with children and very eager to please their humans.  

Another noticeable similarity between the German Rottie and the American Rotty is that they’re highly intelligent dogs with sharp minds that do very well when you introduce early training — the earlier, the better!

Is Your Rottweiler German or American? 

Is Your Rottweiler German or American

As you’ve noticed, there are a few slight but important distinctions between the German and American varieties. This question can be boiled down to its origins, where the pup was born. This information should be available in the pup’s adoption paperwork.  

Additionally, if you don’t have that information handy, you can take note of their features, such as if their breeder engaged in tail docking, and try to discern if your pup is a German or American Rottweiler this way.

German vs. American Rottweilers: Which is the Best for You?

american rottweiler

Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of the differences between the two dogs, it might be easier to decide which is the better option for you: German or American. But first, let’s cover a few more details.  

In terms of health, German Rottweilers tend to win. As they are carefully bred, they are far less likely to have health issues that are often seen in larger breeds, such as elbow dysplasia or hip dysplasia. The Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub does not allow the sale of a Rottweiler puppy with genetic issues.  

The AKC is a bit more relaxed in this respect. For that reason, you might find a higher price tag on the German Rottweiler, but you’ll likely spend less over the course of its life on healthcare. Be aware that this is just a generality, and sometimes, even healthy dogs end up sick, and German Rotties are no exception. It’s the nature of life.  

The other considerations to keep in mind are the personality, temperament, and body build of the American Rottie and German Rottweiler. These are just preferential traits, though, so whichever appeals to you the most is the best one for you.  

Just be careful and do your research to make sure you’re purchasing these dog breeds from a reputable breeder, whether it’s for a German Rottweiler or an American Rottweiler breed, who has the pups’ best interests in mind. 

FAQs 

How Does a German Rottweiler Differ From a Roman Rottweiler?

Are you surprised that there’s a third type of Rottweiler? Roman Rottweilers aren’t actually a true breed. Instead, it’s usually a crossbreed of a Mastiff with a Rottweiler. However, it also comes from Germany, like the German Rottweiler.  

The main difference between these two dogs, besides the breeding, and that they’re German dog breeds. is Roman Rottweilers are bigger, usually by 3″ or so, but they’re lighter, typically capping at 95 pounds.

The coat colors on a Roman Rottweiler are also different in that there are black, red, and blue options, and its undercoat is also more prominent, showing through its outer coat.  

Are Rottweilers More Powerful Than German Shepherds?

First, there’s no doubting that both of these dogs are strong and powerful. It’s very clear that they excel in what they do as working dogs, and the German Shepherd is often touted as one of the most powerful military dog breeds.  

Strength-wise, the Rottweiler wins out — but barely. You can attribute this win to Rottie’s more muscular body built to haul and carry weight. Additionally, Rottweilers also have the strongest bite force, 328 PSI, compared to the German Shepherd’s 291 PSI.  

How Big Do German Rottweilers Get?

German Rottweilers end up around the same size as the Americans. So they fall between 24″ and 27″ tall and can weigh 85 to 110 pounds, give or take a few.  

Which Type of Rottweiler Is Best?

To be honest with you, this is a very subjective question. What is best for me might not be favorable for you, so take this with a grain of salt. All of the Rottweilers mentioned in this article are amazing dogs through and through.  

However, if you want puppies that are slightly larger, stockier, and more easygoing, that would be the German Rottweiler. If you don’t mind a leaner build and a slightly more standoffish nature when it comes to strangers, you’ll appreciate everything the American Rottweiler brings to the table. 

Final Thoughts  

Rottweilers really do make one of the best family dogs and a perfect companion, whether it’s just you and you’re looking for companionship or you’re shopping for a dog that will love your children as much as you do.

Both the German Rottweilers and American Rottweilers are wonderful dogs that will literally devote their lives to you, and you won’t regret adopting one.

Christina Drury
Meet Christina Drury, a dedicated animal enthusiast, and proud pet parent. She has a deep-rooted affection for all creatures, and Christina has called the Buckeye State home for the past four years. As a seasoned writer, she possesses a versatile writing style that spans various niches, yet her heart truly belongs to animals. With her innate connection and expertise, Christina is committed to crafting engaging and insightful content for animal-related issues.

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