Rottweiler Pit Bull Mix: Your Complete Guide

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What happens when you mix a Rottweiler with a pit bull? Well, you get a Rottweiler pit bull mix! This crossbreed can be medium or large in size, and they go by a few different names, including the “pitweiler” and the pit bull Rottweiler mix.

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Rottweiler pit bull mixes. You’ll learn about their history, temperament, size, grooming needs, trainability, energy levels, health risks, and much much more. If you have a question about the pitweiler, you’ll likely find the answer in this article, so keep reading!

A Quick Look at Rottweiler Pit Bull Mixes

Here is a quick overview of the Rottweiler pit bull mix.

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Weight/Height Medium to Large
Coat Type Short or sleek hair, sometimes double-layered
Grooming Needs two out of five bones
Shedding three out of five bones
Temperament Playful, affectionate, courageous
Good With Kids two out of five bones
Good With Other Animals two out of five bones
Intelligence four out of five bones
Easy to Train three out of five bones
Energy Level four out of five bones
Barking Habits three out of five bones
Lifespan 10-13 years


What Is the History of Rottweiler Pit Bull Mixes?

Not much is known about how the Rottweiler pit bull mix came about, but we do know the history of the parent breeds.

The Rottweiler is believed to be descended from Asian mastiffs used by the Roman empire. After the Roman empire collapsed, the descendants of these dogs found themselves working as herders in Rottweil, Germany. As technology advanced and the need for herding breeds waned, Rottweilers took on new roles as police, guide, and search and rescue dogs.

The word “pit bull” does not actually refer to a specific breed but is instead an umbrella term for breeds such as the American Staffordshire terrier, the Staffordshire bull terrier, and the American pit bull terrier (the American Kennel Club does not recognize this final breed).

Pit bulls were originally bred to take part in blood sports such as bear-baiting, bull-baiting, and dog fights. They were bred to have a trait called “gameness.”

Most dogs do not want to fight and will settle their differences via body language and posturing alone. When fights do break out, it’s uncommon for most dogs to fight to kill — usually, one dog gives up, which ends the fight.

Gameness, on the other hand, was a desirable trait for these sports because dogs with such a trait were willing to fight and fight to the death. A dog with the gameness trait may be likely to kill their opponent even if the opponent surrenders.

This history is important to consider because we ultimately do not know how prevalent the gameness trait is amongst current pit bull-type dogs, including mixes. Responsible breeders will avoid breeding dogs with this trait, but unfortunately, not all breeders are responsible. Anyone who adopts a pit bull-type breed should take special care to socialize them with other dogs during puppyhood.
A rottweiler and pit bull sit side by side

What Do Rottweiler Pit Bull Mixes Look Like?

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Because this breed is a mix, there is no standard of how these dogs will look. Furthermore, pit bulls come in various sizes, though they do share some qualities such as being muscular and stocky and having a similar head shape and ear type.

Rottweilers are quite large and tend to have longer legs than pit bulls. A mix of the two may be large and muscular with long legs. Of course, size will vary depending on the parent dogs.

Rottweilers have V-shaped ears, whereas pit bulls tend to have rose ears. A mix could have either or. It is also not uncommon to see this mix take on the black and tan coloring of the Rottweiler, but it can come in various different shades.

What Size Is a Rottweiler Pit Bull Mix?

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Rottweiler pit bull mixes can vary in size depending on the parents. Rottweilers tend to be quite large, weighing between 80 and 135 lb and standing between 22 and 27 inches tall.

Of the pit bull breeds recognized by the AKC, the Staffordshire bull terrier is significantly smaller than the Rottweiler, weighing between 24 and 38 lb and standing between 14 and 16 inches tall.

The American Staffordshire terrier is often considered a medium to large breed, though it still does not compare to the Rottweiler’s size. AmStaffs weigh between 40 and 70 lb and stand between 17 and 19 inches tall.

As you can guess, a Rottweiler pit bull mix could be a medium to large-sized dog depending on the sizes of the parent dogs as well as which parent the mix takes after more.

What Is a Rottweiler Pit Bull Mix’s Coat Type?

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Rottweilers are considered a short-coated breed, whereas pit bulls tend to have what is referred to as a smooth coat. Both of these coat types have short hair, but the main difference between the two is that the smooth coat lies flat to the skin, looks shiny, and feels smooth.

The short coat is not as shiny or smooth and is considered “harsh.” However, harsh does not mean unpleasant to touch; it simply means the fur is more textured than a smooth coat. Rottweilers also have a double-layered coat, whereas pit bulls do not.

As you can guess, a mix could inherit either coat type and may or may not have an undercoat.

What Is a Rottweiler Pit Bull Mix’s Temperament?

Rottweiler pit bull mixes tend to be very affectionate toward their family members. They love cuddling but also have a silly, playful side. They’re very intelligent and, when they take after the Rottweiler, are eager to please.

Some pitweilers are friendly toward strangers, while others may be more aloof. There is a possibility of this breed showing aggression toward other dogs, so one must be cautious of this and work on socialization at an early age.
A black pitweiler holding a stick

Are Rottweiler Pit Bull Mixes Affectionate?

If you’ve seen videos of pit bulls on social media, then you’re probably already aware of how sweet and affectionate they can be toward their owners. Rottweilers are also considered a lovey-dovey breed who enjoy cuddling. Therefore, a Rottweiler pit bull mix is likely to be loving toward their family.

Some pit bull breeds are relatively friendly toward strangers, but Rottweilers can be a bit more reserved or aloof. Rottweiler pit bull mixes could be either-or, but you can foster friendliness by socializing them with many people during their puppyhood.

Are Rottweiler Pit Bull Mixes Good With Kids?

Although some pit bulls can be great with children, Rottweilers do better with older, more respectful children. Therefore, we would not recommend a Rottweiler pit bull mix to a family with young kids. It’s important to always supervise dogs and children when they are together to ensure the safety of both.

Are Rottweiler Pit Bull Mixes Good With Other Animals?

They have the potential to get along with other animals such as cats, Guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, and other small pets, provided that the dog is socialized at a young age.

However, it’s a bit of a coin toss when it comes to other dogs. While some pit bulls and Rottweilers get along with other dogs just fine, others are likely to become aggressive.

For the Rottweiler, aggression can stem from their territorial nature. For the pit bull, aggression can stem from a trait called gameness preserved from their history as fighting dogs. These traits could be passed down to a mix.

Socialization is key to helping the pit bull Rottweiler mix get along with other dogs. Even then, some of them may be picky about which dogs they’re cool with. For instance, your Rottweiler pit bull mix may be friendly with the dog it grew up with since puppyhood but may never warm up to other dogs, even with socialization.

Other pit bull Rottweiler mixes are the exact opposite and get along fine with all dogs. It’s important to keep a close eye on your dog’s behavior and take necessary precautions if your dog is reactive or threatening toward other dogs.

Are Rottweiler Pit Bull Mixes Aggressive?

Any breed can have problem dogs; unfortunately, both Rottweilers and pit bull-type dogs have killed both children and adults as well as other dogs. However, these breeds (and a mix of the two) are more likely to be aggressive toward other dogs than toward people.

Defenders of pit bull breeds have claimed that people who have been bitten do not always identify the breed that bit them accurately and may wrongfully accuse the pit bull-type breed, resulting in an unearned stigma about pit bulls. Even shelter workers cannot always correctly identify pit bull breeds.

Though there are many pit bulls and Rottweilers with lovely temperaments, it would be irresponsible to ignore the danger a mix of the two breeds could potentially pose. Instead, one should understand the possibilities of aggression when getting a Rottweiler pit bull mix and be dedicated to preventing aggression.

Preventing aggression involves socializing the dog during puppyhood with as many people and other dogs as possible. The puppy should have positive experiences with strangers and other dogs in order to grow up with more positive traits.

Furthermore, physical punishment or violence of any type should never ever be used against this breed as it could actually promote aggression. Physical punishment can make a dog fearful, leading to aggression; similarly, a Rottweiler pit bull mix may feel the need to lash out in defense if someone is being physically abusive.

If the dog ever shows signs of aggression, during puppyhood or adulthood, they should immediately be brought to see a certified applied animal behaviorist or a trainer experienced in working with aggressive dogs.

Do Rottweiler Pit Bull Mixes Bark a Lot?

All dogs bark, but some are more vocal than others. Luckily, the Rottweiler pit bull mix may not be that vocal; it depends on whether the mix takes after the Rottweiler or the pit bull.

Pit bulls are moderate barkers while Rottweilers tend to be on the quiet side, only barking to alert. If you can find an apartment that allows this breed, it probably would not be too noisy for your neighbors.
Close up of brown Rottweiler mix

Are Rottweiler Pit Bull Mixes Intelligent?

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Both pit bulls and Rottweilers are typically considered smart dogs. Therefore, a Rottweiler pit bull mix is likely to be intelligent as well. Pit bulls are well known for using their wits and athleticism to escape even fenced-in yards, so be sure to keep an eye on a pit bull Rottweiler mix while outdoors.

Are Rottweiler Pit Bull Mixes Easy to Train?

Rottweilers are known for being eager to please, and some pit bull breeds, like the Staffordshire bull terrier, are as well. Other pit bull breeds, like the American Staffordshire terrier, can be a bit more stubborn. Whether or not your Rottweiler pit bull mix is easy to train will largely have to do with the parent dogs.

Regardless, we always think it is a good idea for people to take group classes while their dogs are puppies so that the puppies can learn in a distracting environment. Group classes are also great for socialization. If you’re interested in pursuing complex training or dog sports like agility, fly ball, or scent work, the pitweiler would likely be a willing and able participant.

Because the Rottweiler pit bull mix can be a dangerous dog if improperly trained, we recommend owners err on the side of caution and invest in professional training. Just make sure that the trainer is using positive reinforcement techniques.

Are Rottweiler Pit Bulls Energetic?

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A Rottweiler pit bull mix will be a moderate to high-energy dog. As such, they will need at least an hour of exercise per day. You can tell your dog needs more exercise if they are being naughty. Dogs often steal and chew on things simply out of boredom. When this happens, it is often a sign that your dog is not getting enough physical or mental enrichment.

Are Rottweiler Pit Bull Mixes Good Apartment Dogs?

Unfortunately, Rottweiler pit bull mixes are not a good choice for apartment living. Although a dedicated owner could make things work in terms of exercise, it is not uncommon to see pit bull mixes on restricted breed lists.

Are Rottweiler Pit Bull Mixes Good Watchdogs?

If you’re looking for a dog that will help you feel safe and protected, the Rottweiler pit bull mix may be a good choice. Purebred Rottweilers are considered to be brave, courageous, and protective, and it is possible for these traits to be inherited by a Rottweiler pit bull mix.

Pit bulls, on the other hand, tend to be a bit more friendly. Some are even so friendly that they would be more likely to lick a  stranger to death than anything else. Regardless of the disposition a Rottweiler pit bull mix inherits, the breed can look intimidating, which is often enough to keep suspicious people away.

Close up of a black and tan pitweiler

Are Rottweiler Pit Bull Mixes Good Service Dogs?

Rottweiler pit bull mixes can make good service dogs, but it depends on their disposition. For example, a mix of these breeds that takes after the Rottweiler and tends to be aloof toward strangers may be a good fit for service work that requires focus on their handler but would make them unsuited to therapy work.

Therapy dogs visit different places like nursing homes and hospitals to provide comfort and joy to the residents. Therefore, therapy dogs must be very friendly. Because the Rottweiler pit bull mix is bound to be intelligent, they would make great psychiatric service dogs (PSDs) as they are more than capable of learning service tasks.

Because of their lovey, cuddly nature, this crossbreed would also be good as emotional support animals (ESAs). ESAs don’t need any formal training, but the pit bull Rottweiler mix can be quite obedient when trained well.

How to Care for a Rottweiler Pit Bull Mix

The Rottweiler pit bull mix is a low-maintenance breed that does not require any professional grooming. Brushing once per week is recommended to keep the coat shiny and free of dirt, but as the hair is short, you could go longer without brushing this breed.

Baths can be given as needed, but if the dog takes after the Rottweiler, it may develop that doggy smell sooner than later. Like all dogs, pitweilers need their teeth brushed daily, ears checked often for infection, and nails trimmed regularly.

Do You Need to Groom a Rottweiler Pit Bull Mix?

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Grooming a Rottweiler pit bull mix is pretty easy. They are low-maintenance dogs because they have short fur that won’t get tangled. A quick brush once per week is enough to get any dirt out of the coat and keep it looking sleek.

Rottweilers can sometimes have a bit of a doggy smell, so if your pitweiler takes after their Rottweiler lineage, you’ll either want to bathe the dog more often or invest in deodorizing products such as wipes or sprays.

Do Rottweiler Pit Bull Mixes Shed?

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The Rottweiler pit bull mix sheds a low to moderate amount. Like most dogs, they technically shed all year round, but you’ll see the most hair loss in the spring and fall.

This breed wouldn’t be considered hypoallergenic and wouldn’t work for anyone with severe allergies. However, if you’re simply looking for a dog that isn’t shedding profusely like a Labrador all year round, then you may be satisfied with the pitweiler’s level of shedding.

What Should a Rottweiler Pit Bull Mix Eat?

Rottweiler pit bull mixes should eat the highest quality food you can afford. The best foods follow AAFCO guidelines, are formulated by a veterinary nutritionist, and have undergone feeding trials.

To determine how much you should feed your dog, you can follow the guidelines on your preferred package of dog food. Alternatively, you can calculate the amount yourself or use an online calculator. Usually, calculating the amount yourself is the most accurate way to determine how much your pup should be eating.

Rottweiler mix sits with its head tilted

What Health Problems Do Rottweiler Pit Bull Mixes Have?

Rottweiler pit bull mixes are at risk for the following health issues: hip and elbow dysplasia, arthritis, Addison’s disease, cardiac disease, aortic stenosis, bloat, cataracts, skin and coat allergies, and cerebellar ataxia.

The best way to prevent your puppy from getting one of these diseases is to purchase from a responsible breeder who uses health tests. Many diseases can be tested for, so dogs should be tested before being bred to ensure they do not pass on any of these conditions.

How Long Do Rottweiler Pit Bull Mixes Live?

Rottweiler pit bull mixes live about 10-13 years on average.

Are Rottweiler Pit Bull Mixes Expensive?

Rottweiler pit bull mixes can be expensive to purchase from breeders, but their daily maintenance won’t cost more than other breeds in similar size categories. They will cost more than small breeds when it comes to food and veterinary expenses, and you may decide to invest in a fence.

However, pit bulls are known to be escape artists and pitweilers may inherit this trait, so a fence, while useful to let these dogs enjoy a run, is not reliable without supervision. Luckily, this breed does not require professional grooming. You should budget for a trainer, though.

How to Find a Rottweiler Pit Bull Mix Breeder?

We know you already know how to use Google to search for puppies. Instead, we’d like to share a list of questions you should be asking any breeders you’re interested in purchasing a puppy from. These questions will help ensure that you’re getting a healthy puppy from an ethical source.

  • What are your credentials? You should learn about how long the breeder has been in business as well as how familiar they are with Rottweiler pit bull mixes.
  • Have the parent animals undergone health testing? Ask to see these tests.
  • Can I see where the dogs are kept? A respectable breeder should be happy to show you the dogs’ living conditions.
  • Can I meet the parent? This will give you a sense of the parent dogs’ temperaments and the potential temperaments of the puppies.
  • How do you socialize your puppies? Socialization is important for puppies to become friendly and confident.
  • Are the puppies up-to-date on vaccination? You need to know your puppy’s health history so that you know which shots are still needed.
  • Do you offer a health guarantee with a contract? Some breeders guarantee the health of their puppies: should your puppy come down with a serious illness early on, the breeder may offer to reimburse the purchase price of the dog or even take the puppy back. This will also help you avoid purchasing from breeders who are irresponsible.
  • What do you require of potential adopters? Many breeders want to make sure their puppies are going to homes where they will be treated well and kept for life. Therefore, breeders may ask a number of questions about you, your situation, and your experience as a dog owner.

Can You Adopt a Rottweiler Pit Bull mix?

Unfortunately, it is not that easy to find Rottweiler pit bull mixes at shelters, and state-run shelters often mislabel pit bull mixes. If you’re interested in adopting, we would suggest searching for pit bull or Rottweiler rescues. Dedicated rescues tend to also bring in mixes of the breeds.

Are Rottweiler Pit Bull Mixes Purebred?

Rottweiler pit bull mixes are not purebred. Though the Rottweiler is purebred by AKC standards, not all pit bulls are considered purebred by the AKC. Even if pit bulls were purebred, the pit bull Rottweiler mix being a cross of the two makes it a crossbreed rather than a purebreed.

Rottweiler and pit bull together with tongues out

Are Rottweiler Pit Bull Mixes Good for New Dog Owners?

We would not recommend the Rottweiler pit bull mix to first-time dog owners. This breed can be dangerous if not properly trained, and inexperienced dog owners are more likely to make mistakes.

When you have a breed that can potentially become aggressive toward other dogs or even people, then it’s much more important that the owner be knowledgeable and experienced with socialization, training, and dog ownership.

Is a Rottweiler Pit Bull Mix the Right Dog for Me?

By now, you’ve likely got a good sense of whether or not the Rottweiler pit bull mix would be a good fit for you. Still, let’s take a quick look at what makes this dog suitable for some people but unsuitable for others.

The Rottweiler pit bull mix may be right for you if:

  • You want a dog that likes to cuddle
  • You’re an experienced dog owner
  • You want a watchdog or a dog that can protect you
  • You’re willing to supervise the dog whenever they are outside to prevent escapes

The Rottweiler pit bull mix may NOT be right for you if:

  • You’ve never owned a dog or are an inexperienced owner
  • You’re a renter
  • You have young children
  • You need a hypoallergenic breed
  • You want a dog that is friendly with other dogs