German Rottweiler vs American Rottweiler: Unveiling the Differences and Similarities

german rottweiler vs american rottweiler

Introduction:German Rottweiler vs American Rottweilergerman rottweiler vs american rottweiler

Have you ever wondered about the differences between German and American Rottweilers? Are they simply the same breed separated by an ocean, or are there substantial differences between these two types of dogs? Let’s dive deep into the comparison and put the rumors to rest.

History of the Rottweiler

The German Rottweiler’s roots can be traced back to the Roman Empire. The Roman army used them as herding dogs, responsible for driving cattle that fed the soldiers. After the fall of the Roman Empire, these dogs remained in the region now known as Germany, and continued their herding jobs, particularly in Rottweil. Hence, the breed got its name – Rottweiler.

American Rottweiler

On the other hand, American Rottweilers descend from the same lineage but started to be selectively bred in the United States around the mid-20th century. Their lineage is less controlled than the German Rottweilers, reflected in their physical and temperamental differences.

Physical Differences

The German Rottweiler is usually larger and has more muscle mass than its American counterpart. On average, male German Rottweilers weigh between 95-135 pounds and stand 24-27 inches tall, while female German Rottweilers typically weigh between 80-100 pounds and stand 22-25 inches tall.

In contrast, American Rottweilers are usually lighter, with males weighing 85-128 pounds and standing 24-27 inches tall and females weighing between 80-100 pounds and standing 22-25 inches tall.


Although they may appear similar to the untrained eye, there are subtle differences in appearance between these two. German Rottweilers usually have a shorter, broader head and a well-defined stop between the forehead and muzzle. They also have a more robust and muscular body than the American Rottweiler.

Temperamental Differences

German Rottweilers are often perceived as more work-oriented. Thanks to their strong herding and guarding heritage, they are typically more serious, focused, and disciplined.

American Rottweiler Temperament

Conversely, American Rottweilers are often described as more laid-back and companion-oriented. They might not have the same working drive as their German counterparts, but they are generally known for their gentle, friendly demeanor.

Training and Exercise Needs

With its high working drive, the German Rottweiler requires a substantial amount of physical and mental stimulation. Regular exercise and training are essential to keep this breed healthy and happy.

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American Rottweiler Training Needs

While the American Rottweiler also requires regular exercise, their needs might be slightly less intense than the German Rottweiler. They still need mental and physical stimulation but may be more relaxed overall.

Health and Lifespan

German Rottweilers are prone to specific health issues like hip and elbow dysplasia, heart problems, and certain cancers. With proper care, their average lifespan is around 8-10 years.

American Rottweiler Health Issues

American Rottweilers can also suffer from similar health issues, but their gene pool’s broadness may contribute to a slightly longer lifespan of 8-12 years.

german rottweiler vs american rottweiler

Choosing the Right Rottweiler for You

When choosing between a German or American Rottweiler, consider your lifestyle, living situation, and your expectations from a pet. Both breeds have unique characteristics and charm; either could make a wonderful pet with the proper care and training.


German Rottweilers and American Rottweilers are two sides of the same coin. Each has unique qualities, yet they share a strong bond with their human families. Choosing between the two ultimately comes down to personal preference and suitability for your lifestyle.

Is the German Rottweiler more aggressive than the American Rottweiler? 

Not necessarily. The temperament of a Rottweiler depends more on its upbringing and training than its origin.

Is there a significant difference in the lifespan of German and American Rottweilers? 

Not significantly, but American Rottweilers might have a slightly longer average lifespan due to their broader gene pool.

Are German Rottweilers larger than American Rottweilers? 

Yes, German Rottweilers are typically more muscular and more extensive than American Rottweilers.

Can both German and American Rottweilers make good family pets? 

Absolutely! Both breeds can make excellent family pets, provided they receive proper training, socialization, and care.

Which Rottweiler is easier to train, German or American? 

Both breeds are intelligent and trainable. However, German Rottweilers may require a more structured training regime due to their strong working drive.