If you’re looking for a dog that is devoted, intelligent, affectionate and people-oriented, then you’re right to be looking at the Rottweiler vs the Pitbull. Both of these breeds bring amazing qualities to the table, and they have a number of similarities that could make choosing between the two of them difficult.
Of course, they are also their own unique dogs, and one over the other may be a better fit for you and your family. But how do you choose between a Rottweiler vs the Pitbull? That’s what we’re here to help you decide!
The Rottweiler Vs Pitbull – What Are You Looking For In A Dog?
Rottweilers and Pitbulls don’t share many similarities as far as origin. Still, they are both considered controversial dogs.
No matter which kind of dog you’re looking for, it’s important to take your time and do your research. This is especially true when trying to make a choice between two dogs as dynamic as the Rottweiler vs the Pitbull. These two breeds require committed owners who understand their breed history and who are willing to ensure these dogs are raised properly.
Before you decide if the Rottweiler vs the Pitbull is right for you, we suggest having a good idea of what you want in a dog by asking yourself the following questions:
Am I Looking For A Dog to Raise With Children or Other Pets?
Perhaps one of the most important questions is deciding if you’re getting a dog to be a family dog or your closest companion. Many dogs make wonderful family dogs, but there are some that are better suited to be raised with children than others.
Furthermore, some dogs don’t always get along well with other pets, and especially other dogs. If you already have pets in the home and are trying to choose between a Rottweiler vs Pitbull, this is something you should consider.
Do I Have Plenty Of Time To Commit To Exercise, Training and Socialization?
No matter the breed of dog you choose, all dogs require time, commitment, exercise, training, socialization and love. Rottweilers and Pitbulls may just require more of your time than some other breeds.
Before choosing between a Rottweiler and a Pitbull, it’s important to consider your schedule and have a good understanding of the time it takes to care for one of these dogs properly.
Is My Home Equipped To Accommodate The Type of Dog I Am Interested in?
Once upon a time people used to leave dogs out all day and night and think they were happy. The more we learn about our canine counterparts, the more we understand that no dog is truly an “outdoor only” dog. In fact, dogs have evolved to live and thrive closely alongside humans.
This is true for both the Rottweiler and the Pitbull as well. If you are choosing to invest in a dog, especially a large dog like the Rottie or the Pitbull, be sure your home and yard is able to accommodate their needs.
What Am I Truly Hoping For Out Of My Relationship With My Dog?
It’s not only a good idea to ask yourself if the dog you’re interested in is a good fit for you, but also if you’re a good fit for that specific dog. Remember, not every dog is right for every owner and vice versa.
When trying to choose between a Rottweiler or a Pitbull, ask yourself what you’re truly hoping to get out of your relationship with your dog. Remember, both Rottweilers and Pitbull breeds are bred working dogs, and they have specific needs based on what they were bred for.
If you’re looking for a relaxed lap dog, for example, then neither the Pitbull or the Rottweiler is going to be right for you. However, if you’re looking for a dog that would make an intelligent, active and affectionate companion, you’re on the right track looking at a Rottweiler or a Pitbull.
Is The Type Of Dog I Want To Invest In Legal In My Region?
Last but not least, it’s important to remember that both the Rottweiler and the Pitbull have at one time or another been labeled as “dangerous dogs”. This is due to a number of factors, and whether or not you agree with these labels you should be aware that it has led to certain breed bans in specific cities throughout the United States.
While many breed bans are being lifted as of late, not all of them have been. Before deciding between a Rottweiler vs Pitbull, make sure you understand the laws in your area.
Breed Specific Legislation – What You Should Know
Breed bans prohibiting dogs like Rottweilers and Pitbulls are common in the United States, though many regions are working to remove them.
According to the ASPCA, over 700 American cities have adopted Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) in an effort to reduce the potential for dog attacks on humans and other pets.
These “breed bans”, as they are commonly called, have been met with heavy backlash in recent years, especially as studies emerge proving these bans do very little to reduce dog bites or attacks and enhance public safety.
Sadly, dogs like Pitbulls, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinscher dogs, Mastiffs, and even Chow Chows have been affected by these laws, which state certain breeds are not permitted within city limits.
Other forms of breed bans may include private property breed bans, such as apartment complexes or rental properties prohibiting certain breeds from entering or living in their vicinity.
Though the installment of breed bans likely began with good intentions, many experts agree that the bans have actually caused harm not only to a number of breeds, but also their owners and even the cities in which these bans were implemented in an effort to protect.
For this reason, many states including Illinois, New York, and Texas have adopted dog specific regulations that target and monitor dogs based on their past behavior as opposed to their breed.
The Rottweiler Vs Pitbull – Breed Specific Legislation That Could Impact Your Choice
Breed specific legislation can target a number of breeds, as we discussed above, but some of the most common breeds banned tend to be Pitbull type dogs and Rottweilers.
This could be due to a number of factors, but one of the most common reasons Pitbulls suffer under BSL is due to their history as fighting breeds.
Other dogs with large heads and jaws, like the Rottweiler, are known to have a powerful bite force, which could make them more lethal should they attack.
So, Are Pitbulls and Rottweilers Dangerous Dogs?
How safe are Rottweilers and Pitbulls if they are some of the top dogs under the Breed Specific Legislation? If you’re trying to decide between a Rottweiler vs Pitbull, you’re likely asking yourself this very question.
The truth is, any dog in the wrong hands can be dangerous, and many studies have shown that both Pitbulls and Rottweilers are no more aggressive when compared to many other dogs.
What we do know about both of these breeds, however, is that they have very powerful jaw strength. So, while they may not be the most likely to bite, if they do bite then this bite is more likely to be serious or even lethal.
And this is certainly something to consider when trying to choose between a Rottweiler vs Pitbull.
With all of that being said, you can greatly reduce your chances of a dog bite by understanding the type of dog you are investing in and by making sure you are the right owner for that specific dog.
So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the Rottweiler vs Pitbull!
Meet The Rottweiler
The Rottweiler is an intelligent German dog originally bred for guarding and cart pulling.
Rottweiler Height: 22 to 27 Inches
Rottweiler Weight: 77 to 130 Pounds
Rottweiler Temperament: Devoted, Friendly, Happy, Intelligent, Confident, Courageous
Rottweiler Lifespan: 8 to 10 Years
Rottweiler Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Entropion, Subaortic Stenosis, Osteochondrosis of the Shoulder, Osteochondrosis of the Ankle, Osteochondrosis of the Spine, Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (AKA Bloat) and cancer.
Rottweiler Coat Type: Short, Smooth, Shedding
Rottweiler Coat Colors: Black Bodies With Brown Markings
Best Suited For: Active and More Experienced Dog Owners
Rottweiler Breed Overview:
Are you considering a Rottweiler? When it comes to picking a beautiful and loving four-legged friend, this dog is a winner.
Also affectionately known as a Rottie, the Rottweiler is famous for being one of the most devoted dogs in the canine kingdom.
Originally bred as a butcher’s dog, guard dog and cart-pulling dog, the Rottweiler is considered powerful, muscular, clever and trainable.
This is a breed that generally does well with children and other pets when well trained and socialized, but he is a working dog at heart and is going to be happiest when both his mind and body are kept active.
Meet The Pitbull
A Pitbull is not a breed, but instead an umbrella term to describe several types of bulldog and terrier types.
Pitbull Height: 14 to 21 Inches
Pitbull Weight: 29 to 65 Pounds
Pitbull Temperament: Devoted, People-Oriented, Affectionate, Goofy, Stubborn
Pitbull Lifespan: 8 to 15 Years
Pitbull Health Issues: Hip Dysplasia, Skin Issues, Allergies, Thyroid Issues, Congenital Heart Defects, Kneecap Dislocation, Degenerative Myelopathy, Mange, and Gastric Dilation Volvulus (AKA Bloat)
Pitbull Coat Type: Short, Smooth, Shedding
Pitbull Coat Colors: A Wide Variety of Colors and Patterns
Best Suited For: Active, Experienced Dog Owners
The Pitbull is not a breed of dog but instead a term used to describe several different types of dogs under the Pitbull category.
Pitbulls get their name from their early days as bull baiting dogs. They are often a mix of bulldogs and terrier types, bred for their large jaws, stocky bodies and incredible devotion to their human family.
In Spite of being famous fighting dogs, Pitbulls have made a name for themselves as incredible working dogs, serving people and other canines alike in work as police dogs, military dogs, search and rescue dogs, guide dogs and therapy dogs.
When well trained and socialized, Pitbulls are known to do well with children and other pets, though some types of Pitbulls may have dog-on-dog aggression if not properly raised, trained and socialized.
The Rottweiler Vs Pitbull Temperament and Personality Traits
Both Pitbulls and Rottweilers can make good companions for the right family, but they’re best suited for experienced dog owners.
When it comes to choosing between the Rottweiler vs Pitbull, you’ll have your work cut out for you if you’re going by temperament and personality alone. Both of these dogs have winning dispositions, with the Rottweiler being highly intelligent and devoted while the Pitbull is goofy, affectionate and outgoing.
If you’re looking for a more laid back and mild-mannered dog when it comes to the Rottweiler vs Pitbull, you may want to lean towards the Rottweiler. While athletic and playful, these dogs are a bit more relaxed than their Pitbull counterparts. They also tend to listen a little bit better, as Pitbulls are known for their somewhat stubborn nature and hard headedness.
Rottweilers may also get along better in homes with other dogs, though Pitbull shouldn’t be overlooked for this reason alone.
While some Pitbulls may struggle to get along with other dogs, well trained and socialized Pitbulls can do excellent with other canine siblings. They have also been known to do wonderfully with children, and there was even a time that Pitbulls were considered “nanny dogs” for their devotion and protectiveness over youngsters in the home.
They are gentle yet playful, and enjoy being with their family. Pitbulls are quite active, and they’ll enjoy an active owner who is out and about often and can bring them along for adventures.
The Rottweiler Vs Pitbull Training, Socialization and Exercise
The right exercise equipment will make all the difference in how successful your exercise routine is with your dog.
All dogs require consistent care, which means it’s time to talk about training, socialization and exercise when it comes to the Rottweiler vs Pitbul.
Training A Rottweiler vs Pitbull
When it comes to the Rottweiler and the Pitbull, training is relatively similar. Both breeds are intelligent, devoted and motivated by positive reinforcement, though the Pitbull especially can be prone to getting bored easily if training sessions are not kept fun and gamelike.
Both Pitbulls and Rottweilers are generally food motivated, so it’s a good idea to have high quality treats on hand when you’re training either one of these breeds.
And even though the Pitbull may struggle with “selective hearing” during long-winded training sessions, it’s very important not to use aversive training methods with either of these dogs.
Avoid harsh punishments like scolding or fear, and instead stick with positive reinforcement training that utilizes treats and praise.
Socializing A Rottweiler vs Pitbull
Regardless of if you have a Rottweiler or a Pitbull, you’re going to want to spend a good amount of time socializing with your dog.
Socializing a dog requires you to introduce your dog to as many new experiences, sights, sounds, people, places and things as possible as early as possible. It’s also important to try and make sure these new experiences and first impressions are positive for your dog.
Doing so can help reduce a number of behavioral issues that could stem from anxiety, and proper socialization also helps lead to a happier, healthier dog overall both mentally and physically.
When it comes to socializing a Rottweiler and a Pitbull, the steps will be the same. If you have a young puppy, it’s important to ensure he is properly vaccinated and protected against potential illnesses before introducing him to strangers and other dogs.
Before your puppy is protected, you can begin socializing him by taking him on car rides or introducing him to loud sounds like trucks, horns, the vacuum, slamming doors, and even dogs barking on the TV or outside. You should also get your dog used to being handled and having his paws, ears, tail and nose touched.
Once your Rottweiler or Pitbull puppy is vaccinated, it’s time to introduce him to other dogs, people, and children as often as possible.
Remember, even if you’ve done a great job of socializing your Rottweiler vs Pitbull at an early age, socialization is a long-term practice that should continue throughout your dog’s life.
Exercising A Rottweiler vs Pitbull
When it comes to exercise and the Rottweiler vs Pitbull, both of these breeds will require about the same amount of time and commitment.
These are both athletic working breeds and they are used to being active both mentally and physically, which is why both breeds are ideally suited for more active and committed dog owners.
When it comes to the Rottweiler vs Pitbull, both breeds will need about an hour or so of committed exercise each and every day as well as mental stimulation.
Exercise could include brisk walks, light jogs or runs, long games of fetch in a securely fenced yard, hikes, and even swimming.
When you do walk or exercise your dog outside of your home, regardless of if you have a Rottweiler vs Pitbull, it’s important to walk them on a quality leash and harness. We also suggest ensuring your backyard is fenced with a fence that is reinforced and at least six feet in height.
Pitbulls especially are known escape artists, and they can have a high prey drive due to their Terrier temperament.
The Rottweiler Vs Pitbull Grooming And Care Requirements
Both Rottweilers and Pitbulls have similar grooming requirements, though Pitbulls can be more prone to suffering from skin issues and allergies than Rottweilers.
Because the Rottweiler and the Pitbull have similar coat types, grooming should be relatively low maintenance for both of them.
Both of these breeds are shedding dogs with short, smooth coats. As such, they will require routine brushing a few times a week, and possibly more brushing during the shedding season in spring and fall.
Outside of brushing, Rottweiler and Pitbull dogs will require bathing at least once every six weeks or so.
The Pitbull can be prone to suffering from skin issues and allergies, and may be more sensitive than the Rottweiler when it comes to certain dog shampoos or soaps. Of course, Rottweilers can also be sensitive or struggle with allergies, so we suggest investing in a high quality hypoallergenic shampoo specified for dogs.
The best shampoo for dogs will be free of parabens, alcohols, scents or dyes that could strip your dog’s coat of the oils he produces that help to keep his fur healthy.
When it comes to the Rottweiler vs Pitbull, it’s also important not to overbathe these dogs. Doing so can cause damage to their fur and increase their risk of allergies, hot spots and skin issues.
Outside of bathing, both the Rottweiler and the Pitbull can be prone to ear infections. Their ears should be kept clean and free of any waxy buildup, debris or moisture, and you may want to invest in a quality dog ear cleaning solution from time to time.
Playful and outgoing, both the Rottweiler vs Pitbull will need to have their nails trimmed regularly to keep them from cracking or splitting during activities. They should also have their teeth brushed every day using a toothbrush and toothpaste specifically made for dogs, or you can use dental wipes or dental chews to help ensure your dog’s gums and teeth are healthy.
And speaking of health, let’s take a look now at health issues and lifespan when it comes to the Rottweiler vs Pitbull.
Rottweiler Vs Pitbull Health Issues And Lifespan
Both Rottweilers and Pitbulls can be prone to suffering from genetic health issues.
We’ll be honest – trying to compare the Rottweiler vs Pitbull is a difficult task. Both of these breeds are somewhat similar when it comes to size, weight, temperament and even coat type. However, health and lifespan are going to be two areas where these breeds differ greatly.
The Rottweiler Health and Lifespan
When comparing the Rottweiler vs Pitbull when it comes to lifespan and health, the Rottie seems to get the short end of the stick here.
This dog has a shorter lifespan of between 8 and 10 years. He can struggle with a number of serious and minor health issues including but not limited to:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Subaortic Stenosis
- Osteochondrosis of the Shoulder
- Osteochondrosis of the Ankle
- Osteochondrosis of the Spine
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (AKA Bloat)
- And Different Types of Cancers
The Pitbull Health and Lifespan
Pitbulls can be longer lived than their Rottweiler counterparts, but keep in mind that the term Pitbull is an umbrella term used to describe a few types of dogs, not a specific breed.
With that noted, specific Pitbull types can struggle with different kinds of illnesses and may have varying lifespans.
However, on average, a Pitbull can live between 8 to 15 Years and can struggle with the following health problems:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Skin Issues
- Thyroid Issues
- Congenital Heart Defects
- Kneecap Dislocation
- Degenerative Myelopathy
- And Gastric Dilation Volvulus (AKA Bloat)
Tips On Keeping Your Dog Healthy, Regardless Of If It’s A Rottweiler Vs Pitbull
Keeping your dog healthy requires diligence and commitment, regardless of if you’re investing in a Rottweiler vs Pitbull.
In fact, while they may have different health issues and varying lifespans, similar measures can be taken to ensure both the rottweiler and the Pitbull live their longest, healthiest lives.
Some steps you can take to increase your Rottweiler vs Pitbull dog’s quality of life are listed below:
- Make sure you get your Rottweiler or your Pitbull from a reputable breeder or shelter
- Ensure your dog eats a quality dog food specified for his age, weight and activity level
- Keep up with yearly vet visits and wellness exams
- Consider having your dog health screened at an early age
- Stay on top of your grooming practices
- Keep consistent and healthy exercise routines
- And last, make sure you provide your dog with plenty of mental stimulation
The Rottweiler Vs Pitbull – The Ideal Home Type For Each Dog
Both Rottweilers and Pitbulls require homes that have enough space to accommodate them.
When it comes to choosing between the Rottweiler vs Pitbull, you should prepare yourself for a large, active dog regardless.
The ideal home type for either one of these breeds is going to be a home that is large enough to accommodate them. The ideal home will also have a securely fenced yard with fencing that is at least six feet tall and reinforced below the surface to keep digging dogs from escaping.
We should also note here that when it comes to the Rottweiler vs Pitbull, neither makes an ideal apartment dog.
These are also both going to be dogs that are better suited for more experienced dog owners, though committed novice dog owners can make great owners so long as they are prepared and willing to learn.
And while we would not constitute the Rottweiler vs Pitbull as dangerous, do remember that there are certain breed laws in specific cities throughout the United States that may ban one or both of these breeds.
Do your best to consider these laws before investing in a dog you may be forced to get rid of or pay a fine for down the road.
So, Which Dog Is Right For You When It Comes To The Rottweiler Vs Pitbull?
Pitbulls and Rottweilers do have a lot in common when it comes to temperament and maintenance.
If you’re still on the fence trying to decide between the Rottweiler vs Pitbull, the next thing you can do is consider your home type, family and lifestyle.
Let’s sum it up!
Rottweilers make excellent guard dogs and are often more laid back, mild-mannered and easy going than Pitbulls. They have a friendly nature with their family but are protective over what they deem as theirs, so they do make great additions to families who are looking for a dog that will not only love them but also help keep them safe.
Pitbulls are also protective, but they tend to be more active and playful than Rottweilers. Pitbulls may do well in homes with active children or homes with outgoing adults with large yards.
When it comes to the Rottweiler vs Pitbull, both dogs have great temperaments and require about the same amount of training, exercise and socialization.
They also both have short, shedding coats which means neither would be an ideal dog for those who suffer from allergies.
If health is your number one concern, the Pitbull tends to be healthier than the Rottweiler overall and may even have a longer lifespan. However, this is not guaranteed and it’s important to remember that health and lifespan has a lot to do with not only genetics but also lifestyle, breeding practices, diet and overall care.
Regardless of the dog you choose when it comes to the Rottweiler vs Pitbull, we know that both of these dogs can make excellent additions to the right owner or family, especially when that owner or family understands their specific dog.
So, which dog is right for you? Tell us what you think when it comes to choosing between the Rottweiler vs Pitbull in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading!
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.