Rottweiler vs. Pitbull – Understanding Their True Nature

pitbull vs rottweiler

Are you thinking about adding a four-legged friend to your family and can’t decide between a Rottweiler and a Pitbull? Both breeds might look tough on the outside, and you’ve probably heard some wild stories about them.

But let’s set the record straight: these dogs are not just about their brawny looks. In fact, those who know Rottweilers and Pitbulls well will tell you they’re incredibly loving and gentle at heart.

Yes, they’re popular, and yes, they’re often misunderstood. Before you make your choice, it’s important to dive into what makes each breed unique.

Let’s explore what sets these two apart and what they have in common, helping you find your perfect pet companion.

Rottweiler vs Pitbull

 rottweiler vs pitbull

Rottweilers are true all-rounders: smart, loyal, and perfect both as work dogs and family pets. They’ve been by our side for ages, helping out in many jobs, from guarding to helping the police and military.

Pit Bulls have a tough past, starting in bull baiting and fighting dogs, but have become loving family members. Their loyalty is unmatched, and despite a bad rap, they’re great with families.

Let’s dive into what makes each breed unique and how to choose the right one for you.


can a rottweiler kill a pitbull

Rottweilers are ancient dogs dating back to the Roman Empire, believed to come from Mastiff-type ancestors. They were first used to herd and protect cattle during military campaigns.

In Germany, their skills impressed butchers, who used them to guard money by tying purses around their necks. Over time, Rottweilers took on various roles, including farm work and police service, and today, they’re loved as family pets.

pitbull origin

Pitbulls, often called “nanny dogs” for their affectionate nature, aren’t a single breed but a group including American Pit Bull Terrier, American Bully, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Pit bulls are not recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club.

Initially bred for dog fighting, they shifted roles to become catch dogs, herders, and loyal family companions after dog fighting was banned. Despite a tough reputation, Pitbulls are not inherently vicious, a misconception we’ll explore more.

Overall Appearance

rottweilers vs pitbull

Pitbulls and Rottweilers look quite different despite both sometimes being seen as tough dogs. Rottweilers are taller, reaching 22 to 27 inches at the shoulder, while Pitbulls are shorter, at 17 to 21 inches.

Rottweilers are much heavier, going up to 135 pounds, more than double the weight of a Pitbull, which can weigh up to 60 pounds. Pitbulls have a leaner, more muscular appearance.

Rottweilers are recognized by their black and tan coats, with distinctive rust markings over their eyebrows, snout, chest, and legs. Pitbulls, however, can be many colors, except Merle, which isn’t accepted by major kennel clubs. Common Pitbull colors include blue, red, gray, white, and brindle.

Both breeds have short coats, but the Rottweiler’s is slightly longer and softer, while the Pitbull’s coat is so short that it feels stiff. Their coats are straight and shiny.


rottweiler vs pitbull who win

Rottweilers are usually calm and collected, but they spring into action if their family is in danger. They’re not just guard dogs; they’re also loving and loyal friends.

Thanks to their intellect and ability to learn, Rottweilers do well in various jobs and as service animals. With firm and consistent training from their owners, they learn quickly.

Pit Bulls, on the other hand, are full of energy and love and do great with families. It’s always important to teach kids how to safely interact with any dog.

Pit Bulls might show a stubborn streak due to their strong will, but their dedication to their humans makes them responsive to training.

Health Problems and Lifespan

Rottweilers typically live for 9-10 years, while Pit Bulls have a longer lifespan of 10-14 years. Each breed comes with its own health concerns that potential owners need to know about.

common Health Problems in Pitbulls

Rottweilers, being very popular, might face more inbreeding issues. They’re at risk for hip and elbow dysplasia, bloating, certain cancers, and heart valve narrowing. Choosing a responsible breeder who conducts genetic tests can help reduce these risks.

common Health Problems in rottweilers

Pit Bulls, covering several breeds, show varied health issues but commonly face hip dysplasia, leading to arthritis in their later years. They also tend to have skin problems and allergies, and their thin coats make them sensitive to extreme weather, increasing their risk of sunburn and skin cancer.

Exercise Needs and Nutrition

can a rottweiler beat a pitbull

Rottweilers are full of energy and need around 2 hours of exercise daily, loving activities like jogging, hiking, and playing games that challenge both their mind and body. They also enjoy dog sports such as tracking and obedience.

Pit Bulls are playful and need about an hour of exercise every day. They enjoy being active with their owners, preferring long walks or jogs. Be mindful of the weather since Pit Bulls are sensitive to extreme heat or cold. Always keep them on a leash during walks, especially around other dogs.

Rottweilers typically eat three cups of food a day, while Pit Bulls eat a bit less, around 2 ½ cups. Both breeds need food suitable for their age. Watch the Rottweiler’s food intake to prevent obesity. Pit Bulls, having a higher metabolism, are less likely to gain excess weight with regular treats.


pitbull or rottweiler

The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) is super easy to groom. A quick brush once a week is enough to keep its short coat shiny and remove dead hairs.

Bathing is only needed every two to three months unless they get muddy, which they love to do. If your APBT has skin allergies, you might need to give baths more often with special shampoo.

Rottweilers need a bit more grooming, but not by much. Brushing them once or twice a week keeps their coat in good condition. They should have a bath every 6 weeks to stay clean and healthy.


Pitbulls can be a bit stubborn, so training them requires a calm yet assertive approach. They have a short attention span, similar to a playful toddler, so keep training sessions brief and engaging with treats to maintain their interest. They might try to assert dominance, so it’s crucial for you to establish yourself as the pack leader.

Starting with a Pit bull puppy is best for early socialization, especially with children and other people, to help them become well-adjusted adults. To further support your training journey, you can also opt for the Puppy Essential Bundle course. This course provides you with the correct tools and techniques to stop and prevent common puppy issues, paving the way for a well-behaved and happy adult dog.

are pitbull dog with kids

Rottweilers can also be stubborn and may try to dominate, which can be challenging for first-time dog owners. The key is to be firm and consistent in your training.

Avoid shouting, as this can upset them. Consistency is vital; relaxing the rules can lead them to push boundaries further. You can get professional help with the Perfect Focus Bundle. This bundle addresses all common focus issues at once – whether they stem from over-arousal, reactivity, or being highly distracted.

Child/Pet Friendly 

are pitbull dog with kids

Pit Bulls tend to be friendlier towards strangers and children, while Rottweilers are usually better with cats. Both breeds aren’t particularly known for being dog-friendly, but Pit Bulls generally are more open to people and other pets than Rottweilers. With the right training and socialization, both can become wonderful family pets.

If you’re searching for a dog that balances friendliness towards family and alertness towards strangers, Rottweilers might be the better choice. They are known for their strong protective instincts, high obedience, good temperament with kids, and deep affection for their owners.


To avoid health issues common in purebreds, it’s wise to get a Rottweiler from a reputable breeder. Prices for these dogs usually range from $1500 to $3000. Rottweilers are less common in shelters, partly because of misconceptions about aggression.

Pit Bulls, with their various types, also cost about $2000 to $3000 from trustworthy breeders. It’s important to avoid backyard breeders and puppy mills, as they often contribute to the breed’s negative reputation through unethical practices.

If buying a purebred is too expensive, consider adopting from a shelter. Pit Bulls are often abandoned more than other breeds, usually due to stigma or misunderstanding of their needs. Though they may require extra effort, they make just as wonderful companions.


Both the Rottweiler and Pit Bull dogs, popular and sometimes seen as aggressive dog breeds, require dedicated owners ready to commit time and effort. For those needing a reliable guard dog breed with a strong bite force, Rottweilers stand out for their loyalty and protective instincts. They’re among the most popular dog breeds for guard and working roles.

American Pit Bull Terriers, known for their friendly nature, thrive on companionship, making them excellent pets for those who value a devoted friend over a guard dog. Despite misconceptions, both Pit Bulls and Rottweilers can be gentle and well-behaved with proper training and socialization.

Choosing either breed means taking responsibility to counter breed stigma with positive experiences, whether at home or the dog park. It’s crucial to provide a loving environment where Rottweilers and Pit Bulls can become the best versions of themselves.

Mahvash Kazmi
Mahvash Kazmi, with a rich academic background in English Literature and Journalism, is not just a master of words but also a passionate advocate for the voiceless. Her vast experience, from teaching to insightful content creation, is underpinned by a profound love for animals and an unwavering commitment to conservation. An ardent animal lover, she often finds solace in nature's tales and the gentle purrs of her beloved Persian cat, Gracie. Her dedication to the environment and the written word combine to create truly compelling writing. With a heart that beats for the wild and the written word, she crafts compelling stories on animal issues, urging readers to coalesce for a cause.

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