German Shepherd Or Rottweiler For Family Dog

Last Updated on March 6, 2022 by Marco C.

With both of these breeds being immensely popular, many families wonder what’s better – German Shepherd or Rottweiler for family. Even though they’re very similar in many ways, there are important differences to these breeds. In today’s article, we’ll be comparing the German Shepherd with the Rottweiler to determine which breed is a better fit for a family dog.

Comparing The German Shepherd With The Rottweiler


This is the most obvious difference between these two breeds. Firstly, Rottweilers traditionally have a shorter coat and they’re almost entirely black with only a few brown-rust spots. German Shepherds, on the other hand, have long hair and they’re almost 50/50 black and brown-rust. There are also variations of German Shepherds that are entirely black!

Rottweilers are also bulkier – they’re heavier and stronger, while German Shepherds are typically lighter and more agile. German Shepherds also have ears pointing upwards, while Rottweiler ears just hang. Regarding their height, they’re usually the same size, with some male German Shepherds being a bit taller.

Physical and Mental Capabilities

German Shepherds are the third most intelligent dogs on the planet, while Rottweilers aren’t far behind. In that regard, both of these breeds are incredibly intelligent and trainable. You can essentially teach them anything, and they even require constant mental motivation – German Shepherds and Rottweilers that don’t get constant training will start acting out as they feel unstimulated.

German Shepherds are the third most intelligent dogs on the planet

Learn more about: How Smart Are Rottweilers: Jobs They Can Do

It’s not without reason that both of these breeds are often used as official working dogs by the police, army, etc. They’re also both ‘bodyguard’ dogs. They have incredible protective instincts, and they’re going to see every member of your family as members of their pack – meaning that they’ll feel protective over you and your family.

They’re quite territorial, so they won’t be letting anyone get into your yard unless you let them. Simply put, both of these breeds were made to be protectors of the home and of the family.

Regarding their physical qualities, Rottweilers are stronger, while German Shepherds have more stamina and agility. Both of these breeds are very physically active and they’ll definitely enjoy their time with you if you regularly take them running or biking. German Shepherds are also noticeably lighter, so you’ll be spending less money on dog food (however, they still eat much more than the regular dog).

Health, Environmental and Societal Requirements

Since both of these breeds are so active, they prefer living in large yards much more to living in closed apartments. This, however, makes them perfect for families. They get along with children just fine, and they can also get along well with other dogs once they get acquainted with them.

Since they’re both so disciplined, there’s very little fear of them harming a child. It can happen by accident, of course, these dogs are after all large and they can accidentally knock a child over during playtime. However, there’s very little reason to worry that either one of these breeds will harm a child on purpose by biting.

Both of these breeds can get easily irritated if they don’t have enough space – this is why experts recommend that you keep them in yards, instead of buying a large dog and keeping it in an apartment. Larger dogs need larger open spaces! Both of these breeds are also hardened when it comes to weather – they don’t have a problem staying outside during the winter as long as they have a quality doggie house!

When it comes to health, both of these breeds are large dogs, and large dogs typically have more problems with their joints. This is equally prominent with both of these breeds, but German Shepherds often have trouble with their back legs, as breeders have with time lowered their back into an unhealthy position.

On the other hand, Rottweilers are more prone to skin diseases and other skin problems.

Fitting Into The Family

As we already explained, these breeds are great family dogs and they’re immense protectors of the family and the home. However, it would be best to introduce them to the family as puppies. This way, they’ll learn early on that every single member of the family is someone they have to obey and listen to.

If it’s done the other way around – by introducing a baby to an adult dog – that process will last much longer. Even though an adult dogs will soon learn that they have to protect the baby, they won’t be able to play with one another and enjoy time together for a few years since the child is too small and an accident with the dog could easily occur.

This has absolutely nothing to do with any form of aggression, just with the fact that these large dogs could accidentally hurt a small child without any intention.

Read more about: How Much Is a German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix?


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In Summary

To end, remember that German Shepherds and Rottweilers are two very similar breeds and they both fit into families very well. It’s important to note that while there are vast physical differences between these dogs, they’re very similar mentally. It’s important to train and exercise both of these breeds and they’ll fit into any family just fine.