Last Updated on April 10, 2022 by Marco C.
Even though the German Rottweiler is the original, many owners wonder about the general types of Rottweiler breeds before buying their first Rottweiler. Today, we know of at least three different general types of dogs within this breed, and in today’s article, we’ll be taking a closer look at them.
German Rottweiler – The Standardized Rottweiler
Rottweilers, the dogs we know today, come from Germany. To be specific, the town of Rotweil (hence the name). Because of this, the highest quality Rottweilers in the world are usually bred in Germany and they’re sold all over the world.
These dogs are usually about 24 inches tall, often even taller, and they can weigh up to 130 pounds. They’re also very loyal, courageous, and intelligent, with incredible capacities for learning.
Learn more about: How Much Do German Rottweilers Cost?
This is the standardized Rottweiler, and all the kennel clubs around the world base their standardization of the Rottweiler on this one specific type. However, there are different subtypes of this breed that can be found all over the world, with some of them being so large in numbers that they’re almost a subfamily of this breed.
The most common subtypes are the American Rottweiler – just an Americanized subfamily of the Rottweiler – and the massive, so-called “Roman” Rottweiler.
American Rottweiler – The Smaller Variation
American Rottweilers aren’t an official breed. More than anything, they’re an unofficial version that’s only known to breeders. These dogs draw their roots from German Rottweiler that were imported into the United States.
For a long time, breeders only had a handful of dogs to choose from when breeding, so their options were very limited. That’s why many Rottweilers that were bred in the United States are quite different from Rottweilers from Europe.
These dogs are typically shorter and lighter than German Rottweilers. This, essentially, makes them ‘worse’ dogs – they won’t do well in shows and they’re generally Rottweilers of lesser quality, both regarding their health and their abilities. It’s also stipulated, at least by some owners, that original German Rottweilers are also smarter and easier to train.
One thing is certain – American Rottweilers definitely don’t follow the Rottweiler standard, which is why serious owners who don’t just want to compete in shows, but they also want a higher quality of the dog, often import their dogs from Germany – which is, clearly, much more expensive than buying locally.
Roman Rottweiler – The Larger Variation
Contrary to the American Rottweiler, there is also a larger variation of the Rottie. This is the Roman Rottweiler.
Firstly, we need to clear out one thing immediately – there is no such thing as a real subfamily, at least not when it comes to Rottweilers. American and Roman Rottweilers are just two groups of Rottweiler that are, by pure chance, much different from the standardized Rottweiler. Despite their differences in appearance, they’re still pureblood Rotties, they just have genetic predispositions to be larger or smaller.
There are some ‘breeders’ out there that will try to convince you that Roman Rottweilers exist as an official breed or subfamily – that’s a marketing scam that you should definitely avoid. These dogs are just regular Rottweilers that happen to be much larger than normal!
Roman Rotties are usually much heavier than 130 pounds and they’re also taller than regular Rottweilers. That’s it – that’s literally the only difference. This obviously appeals to people that love big dogs, but except for that, there’s no difference from the regular Rottweiler.
Just like the American Rottweiler – these dogs don’t do too well in shows because they’re clearly breaking standard, but that doesn’t mean that they’re any less deserving of our love.
Roman Rottweiler breeders will also try to convince you that these dogs are actually better home protectors than the regular Rottweiler – this might be plausible, given just how massive they are, but there’s no citable work that proves that these dogs are in any way superior to regular Rottweilers.
One thing is for certain, though, and that’s the fact that they eat much more than your everyday German Rottweiler. This, however, can cause problems down the road as Rotties can develop problems with their hips – and carrying too much weight is only going to enhance those problems.
You might be wondering why are they called “Roman” Rottweilers. That’s because the Romans were the first to domesticate the Rottweiler, and back then (2000 years ago), these dogs were much, much larger than what we know today, not to mention that they were used as vicious war dogs.
How do I know what kind of Rottweiler I have?
It's best to take a look at all the documentation from your breeder before buying the dog. However, if you don't have that, your Rottweiler's exact type can be determined by their size and appearance. Remember that Rottweilers in the USA are often different to German Rotties.
What breed of Rottweiler is the biggest?
There are three different types of Rottweilers and the so-called Roman Rottweiler is usually the largest of the three, with the American Rottweiler being the smallest. A regular male Rottie is about 25 inches tall and it can weigh up to 160 pounds.
How can you tell if a Rottweiler is purebred?
Once again - take a look at the pedigree and the documentation from your breeder. You can mostly determine this by appearance - if there's something off about your dog physically, it'll be easy to notice.
Rottweilers are some of the most popular dogs on the planet, so it’s normal that in regard to all the breeding – there have been a few types of the breed popping up. If you live in the States, it’s likely that you’ve come across the American Rottweiler without even knowing it.
These dogs are usually a bit smaller and a bit lighter than the regular German Rottweiler, and they’re the result of breeders in the USA breeding smaller Rotties together.
The opposite of that is the “Roman Rottweiler”, which is a massive subfamily of Rottweiler that weighs much more and is taller than the regular German Rottweiler.