Let’s start with the number one question asked; What is the difference between the German Rottweiler and the American Rottweiler? Before I even start answering this, if there is a German Rottweiler breed and an American Rottweiler breed, I would assume there is a Chinese Rottweiler breed, a Spanish Rottweiler breed, an African Rottweiler breed… see where I am going here? The Rottweiler breed was originated in Germany, therefore, every Rottweiler in the entire world is of German descend, tracing back to a German ancestor.
If I purchase a Rottweiler from Germany today, people assume I own a “German” Rottweiler. Two years down the road, I breed this “German” Rottweiler to one of my Rottweiler males here in the USA. If keeping with this theory, my litter is now composed of all “American” Rottweilers because they were born in the USA. Did I just change the “German” breed to an “American” breed? Other breeders say, it takes more generations to turn a German Rottweiler into an American Rottweiler. So, let’s say I have produced 4 generations worth of Rottweilers here in the USA. According to this theory, my dogs are now “American” Rottweilers, because the “German” lines are now as far back as the great, great, grandparents. Okay. Ready for this…. Let’s say I now get stationed to Germany because I am in the military and I have to move my entire family, including my dog kennel, to Germany – stay with me here… Does this mean my next set of Rottweiler litters are now full “German” again?
Listen, there is only one Rottweiler breed: a correct Rottweiler. Some books write German Rottweiler because the breed originated in Germany. Let me say this again, there is only one Rottweiler breed! Every breed has a standard. A breed standard is kind of a map of a dog, stating every single detail and range the dog has to fit in, to be correct. This includes height, weight, measurements, angles, color, markings, etc. Every country has pretty much identical breed standards for the Rottweiler breed, with the exception of slight measurement variations due to the different metric units used, and of course, the Rottweiler tail. USA still allows tail docking, and many other countries do not. That is an article for another time.
If somebody wants to be technical and say an “American” Rottweiler because the dogs is a citizen of America, then I guess they call all Rottweilers in France, French Rottweilers; all Rottweilers in Peru, Peruvian Rottweilers; all Rottweilers in India, Indian Rottweilers… These are not different breed types, just different places of birth. Being born in a specific country does not change your appearance.
You might be asking yourself, if all of this is true, then why do some Rottweilers look so different then? Great question! Let me explain. Remember when I mentioned “breed standards” above? To be a correct Rottweiler, you need to be in the breed standards. Not under, not over, but in the standards to be correct. So, if the breed standard says the max height for a male is 68 cm and the max height for a female is 63 cm, and you breed a male Rottweiler who is 69 cm to a female Rottweiler who is 64 cm, because you love the look of a super large Rottweiler, then your offspring will more than likely all be over standard. Make sense, right? Now they might look like a Rottweiler and be impressive to many people because they are so extra large. But the Rottweiler is not an extra large breed, it’s a large breed. So this uneducated breeder, who just bred two incorrect Rottweilers, now produced a full litter of more incorrect Rottweilers. If this breeder now sells his pups to any Blow Joe, you can see how so many types of different looks are produced. Now understand, two perfect Rottweilers can produce a fault. Just like two parents with straight teeth can produce a child that needs braces as a teen. It happens. Or maybe two brown haired parents produce a child with red hair because of a great grandparent. Well, this happens too. One of the breeds that created the Rottweiler many, many years ago was a form of mountain dog who had a white patch on his chest. So even though it was over a hundred years long ago, it is in the DNA. So occasionally, you might have a litter with a pup who has a few white hairs on the chest. This is a fault and is not correct for the breed. But again, a backyard breeder might pluck those hairs out and let their buyer breed him. Now the next generation might have a larger white patch, and so on. The faults in the Rottweiler breed range from height to weight to markings to teeth to health problems, etc. It goes on and on. The cause of this variation is the irresponsible backyard breeder who has no regard for the breed and his ignorance of the breed standards. I have seen it over and over again. Someone might decide to purchase two good quality pups and decide to become a Rottweiler breeder. They think they are good breeders because they purchased good quality pups to start their breeding program with, but they don’t even know what a fault it. This is how it starts.
So, why does everyone say that Rottweilers from Germany are better? How come Rottweilers from German look more correct than the USA, or any country for that matter? Great question; let me answer that for you! Germany believes in protecting the Rottweiler breed standards by enforcing a strict breeding protocol, unlike the USA, and other countries around the world. What does this mean? In Germany, you cannot register a litter of Rottweiler puppies unless both parents pass a strict Ztp, which is a breed suitability test. This test evaluates the Rottweiler’s confirmation, temperament, and health of the Rottweiler…everything in the breed standard. This strict test allows only the best representatives of the breed to produce puppies, limiting the amount of incorrect Rottweilers produced in Germany. Makes sense, right? Remember, two perfect dogs can still produce an occasional pup with faults. However, if a pup was born with faults in Germany, he still would not go on to produce because he would have to pass his Ztp first. Here in the USA, you can have two Rottweilers breed together, who are full of breed standard faults, and AKC will still allow the litter to be registered. This is very unfortunate because it gives bad breeders the platform to promote their pups on lies without any verification. As a result, we have a large variation of the Rottweiler breed in our country and around the world. Rottweilers that a super tall, short, long, incorrect markings, big head, narrow head, different eye color, missing teeth, etc. This explains why people think Germany produces a different type of Rottweiler. They are not a different type of Rottweiler, but simply correct Rottweilers. If you want a correct Rottweiler, but don’t want to import from Germany, find a code of ethic breeder who wants to preserve the Rottweiler breed. One who breeds quality Rottweilers and follows the breed standards, as we do at DKV Rottweilers.
Believe me when I say, I have gotten calls requesting solid black Rottweilers, albino Rottweilers, extra large Rottweilers, red Rottweilers… I have heard it all. It makes me so frustrated but too many people do not take the time to educate themselves on the breed. If you don’t educate yourself about the breed, how do you know if the Rottweiler will even work in your family environment? A Rottweiler puppy purchase is a 8-12 year commitment. Unfortunately, customers who buy Rottweilers from backyard breeders might find out that the breed is not for them around 15 months, when the dog goes through his testing age, and guess where the dog ends up? The shelter. That is why it is so important for the customer to educate themselves about the breed so they know what to look for in a Rottweiler, and the breeder.
This is one of the main reasons why we have a website that is full of education about the breed. This is also why I write these articles, to share my knowledge with you, the customer. Tomorrow, it might be copied on another breeder’s website, like many other articles we have written. But as long as it educates someone, we have to be happy about that. We feel it is our responsibility to educate our buyers as much as possible. Too many people search for their new Rottweiler based on price alone and unfortunately, do not care enough about the quality they are receiving. We may not be the cheapest kennel but we provide high quality, correct Rottweilers. We get so many calls every day, and when I give my price, I hear, “we are not interested in a “show quality” pup, we just want a pet. We don’t have any interest in showing. Every puppy we sell is a family companion. All of our puppies are sold as superior pets for you and your children. Saying a pup is “show quality” simply means he has no disqualifying faults and is correct; it has nothing to do with shows. That is what everyone should want; a correct Rottweiler. If you are searching for a breeder who only sells “pet quality” Rottweilers, then you are looking for a backyard breeder who is uneducated about the breed and breeds incorrect dogs. That makes no sense.
I hope this article helped you understand a little more about the Rottweiler breed. So next time someone asks you what is the difference between a German Rottweiler and an American Rottweiler, you can smile and say, there is only one Rottweiler – a correct Rottweiler. It’s amazing that nobody gets this nutty about the German Shepherd breed. Ha ha.
Written by Liz Gutierrez