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Rottweiler Vs German Shepherd: What Makes Them Apart?

Pack of Rottweiler and German Shepherd standing

Rottweilers and German Shepherds are two of the most popular breeds of working dogs, known for their intelligence, loyalty, and athleticism. These breeds are often used as service dogs, police dogs, and search and rescue dogs, and they make excellent companions for families and individuals alike. However, there are some key differences between Rottweilers and German Shepherds that potential owners should be aware of before making a decision on which breed is right for them..

German shepherds are also known for being good with children, making them an ideal choice if you have young kids in the house. 

On the other hand, Rottweilers are more aggressive than German shepherds and can be harder to train. However, both dogs are great guard dogs and are often used in police work. So which is the right breed for you? It all depends on your needs and preferences.

CategoryGerman ShepherdRottweiler
Life Span12 to 14 years8 to 10 years
Breed ColoursBlack, Black & Tan, Sable, Red & Black, Black & Silver, and GreyBlack, Tan, and Mahogany
EffortsRegular Grooming, Regular Exercise & Veterinary AttentionHeavy Exercise
Visits to GroomerMediumLow
Coat TypeDenseShort
Guide DogYesYes
Under CoatYesYes
Prone to ObesityNoYes
Veterinarian VisitsFrequentRare
Affinity to waterLowMedium
Complication in BreedingNoNo
Litter Size5 to 8 puppies (approximately)6 to 9 puppies (approximately)
Ear TypeErectFolded
Eyes Shape/TypeMedium and almondAlmond
Tail TypeSaberSickle
Wrinkles & FoldsNoNo
Adaptable to small apartments4/54/5
Kid Friendly5/53/5
Dog Friendly 3/53/5
Stranger Friendly3/53/5
Prey Drive4/52.5/5
Easy to train5/55/5
Exercise needs5/54/5
Easy to Groom5/55/5
General Health4/54/5
Good for novice owners4/54/5
Tolerates being alone3/53/5
Barking Level3/51/5
Drooling Level1/55/5

Ultimately, it’s important to consider all the factors involved in choosing a pet – including personality, size, energy level, and budget – to get the perfect animal for you and your family. To help make things easier, we’ve put together a comparison between the two most popular dog breeds – the Rottweiler and the German Shepherd.

Key Differences in Detail Between Rottweiler and German Shepherd

Origin and History

Both breeds originate from Germany, but their histories are strikingly different. Rottweilers have a long and storied history that dates back to the Roman Empire. Rottweilers were originally bred by farmers in the town of Rottweil, Germany, where people used them to drive cattle to the marketplace and protect the butcher’s offerings. 

These strong and intelligent canines were also used to pull carts filled with meat to deliver to clients. It is said that clients would often put their payment in purses that were strapped to the dogs’ necks for safekeeping, earning the Rottweiler the nickname “the butcher dog of Rottweil.” 

Today Rottweilers remain an iconic breed with a reputation for being courageous protectors. They are still commonly used as service dogs due to their intelligence, obedience and strength. However, they can also make excellent family pets if given proper training from an early age.

Although they are an ancient breed, Rottweilers were not introduced to India until the mid-1990s. Since then, they have become a popular breed in the country. 

The German Shepherd, also known as the Alsatian in some parts of the world, has a long and storied history that dates back to nineteenth-century Germany. In 1899, Captain Max von Stephanitz developed a breed standard for the German Shepherd based on his vision of an ideal working dog—one that was intelligent and had great herding abilities. He created this new breed by crossing farm dogs with wild wolves to create an animal with both strength and agility. 

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In the late 1960s, German Shepherds from England and Germany were introduced to India. The growth and popularity of the breed in the country were aided by individuals such as Nawab Ahmed Hussain, Nawab Nazeer Yar Jung, R. P. Mitter, Ashok Mukherjee, Rajasaheb Bhadri, the Maharaja of Baria, and L. C. Smith. These individuals contributed significantly to breeding and promoting German Shepherds in India. Today, German Shepherds are popular in India and are recognized by the Kennel Club of India. The German Shepherd’s intelligence, strength, courage and loyalty make them excellent guard dogs, police dogs or even therapy dogs – all traits which were carefully bred into them over generations.

German Shepherd and Rottweiler sitting together

Temperament: “Which breed is better at controlling their behavioral reactions?”

When it comes to loyal, devoted and protective canine companions, Rottweilers and German Shepherds are often at the top of the list. But what makes these two breeds so different?

The Rottweiler is known for its powerful size, protective nature, and courage. 

Although they may not need as much exercise, Rottweilers can be dominant and stubborn when it comes to training.

With a strong sense of loyalty towards their family, they are highly intelligent and devoted to providing safety and security in the home. While they may be aloof with strangers at first, they warm up quickly once they get to know someone. Rotties generally make excellent guard dogs, as they can be quite intimidating when necessary. 

On the other hand, German Shepherds are often described as alert and fearless. They love being part of a pack – whether that’s a human family or other furry friends. They are very energetic and need a lot of physical and mental stimulation. They’re also very protective of their family and will alert them if there is an intruder or danger in the vicinity.

Both Rottweilers and German Shepherds require a confident and involved owner who will spend time with them and provide them with the tasks and activities that they were bred for in order to maintain their true nature. 

Appearance and Coat

The Rottweiler is a powerful, robust, and majestic-looking dog with an average weight of 36 to 54 kg and a height of 24-27 inches. They can easily be spotted amongst other breeds. With their broad chest and black nose on top of a large head, these dogs look as strong as they really are! The most striking feature about this breed is their eyes – often dark and soulful – it’s easy to tell they’re full of wisdom and intelligence.

A Rottweiler’s coat is always black with distinct tan markings on its face, chest and legs. This colouring gives them a unique look that makes them easily recognizable among other breeds of dogs. Additionally, this breed has a double coat which consists of a soft undercoat and a hard outer coat that offers protection against the elements and keeps them dry in wet conditions. The outer layer is especially dense around the neck area to protect vital organs in case of attack by predators or other animals.

The majestic German Shepherd, with its strong, muscular build and proud stance, is often seen as an impressive sight. Standing tall at an average height between 22 – 26 inches with a weight ranging from 32 to 39 kg, these large dogs can certainly command attention.

Their bodies are well-proportioned and muscular, with their coat being one of the defining features — typically have a thick double coat comprising a wiry outer layer and a soft undercoat. Colours may vary, but they often have black masks with shades ranging from tan to grey or red to cream.

The fur can be smooth or coarse with an undercoat that provides extra insulation against cold weather. Their ears usually stand erect, making them look even more alert than they already are! Whether patrolling around your home or just lounging outside, this majestic breed’s good looks will surely never let you down!

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Intelligence and Training: Who’s the Smartest Pup in the Pack?

Both Rottweilers and German Shepherds are intelligent breeds, but according to a study by canine psychologist Dr. Stanley Coren, German Shepherds rank as the third most intelligent breed in terms of work intelligence and obedience, after Border Collies and Poodles. In the study, German Shepherds were able to learn a new command after only five repetitions and responded to commands 95% of the time on the first try. 

Rottweilers ranked ninth on the list, indicating that while they are also intelligent, they may not learn as quickly as German Shepherds. Overall, both breeds are smart, but German Shepherds tend to excel in terms of obedience and learning speed.

German Shepherds have long been renowned for their intelligence and training aptitude. This breed of dog has become the go-to choice for K9 units, police departments, military operations and search-and-rescue teams around the world. 

Exercise Needs: Which breed is more energetic and ready to hit the trails?

When it comes to physical activity, both the Rottweiler and German Shepherd can benefit from high levels of exercise.

A Rottweiler is an energetic breed that requires regular physical activity of at least 2 hours to stay healthy and prevent boredom-related behaviour issues from emerging. This doesn’t mean every day has to be an Olympic event. In fact, shorter bursts of energy like a romp around the park or a game of fetch are great options. However, Rottweilers need daily mental stimulation and structured obedience training to keep them sharp. 

On the other hand, according to the American Kennel Club, German Shepherds will require two hours of exercise every day. Given their energetic nature, German Shepherds also need plenty of physical activity to prevent them from getting bored or developing behavioural problems. To meet the needs of this breed, owners should plan activities such as walks, runs, hikes, or fetch sessions. Mental stimulation, such as playing with toys and participating in agility classes, can also provide a stimulating environment for this breed to thrive. 

The Rottweiler’s hulking size makes it a great fit for long runs or hikes in the park, whereas the German Shepherd is better suited to agility training or fast-paced backyard games like frisbee or soccer.

Diet Requirements: Who Eats More?

While the two breeds share similar sizes and stature, there are a few differences when it comes to how much they eat.

On average, the Rottie eats slightly more than the German Shepherd – but not by all that much! A full-grown Rottweiler usually consumes 4 to 5 cups of kibble per day, depending on their size, whereas a German Shepherd typically pigs out on 2.5 to 3.5 cups of high-quality kibble daily – also depending on their size, gender, growth needs and other factors. So no matter which pup you have at home – rest assured your pooch isn’t going hungry!

Common Health Issues: Which breed is more prone to diseases?

The average life expectancy of a Rottweiler is between 8-12 years, while German Shepherds can live up to 12-15 years. As large-breed dogs, both are predisposed to certain conditions that can affect their quality of life and longevity.

The main concern that affects Rotties is hip and elbow dysplasia, which leads to joint pain and lameness if not addressed early on with proper veterinary care. They are also at risk of cardiac concerns like cardiomyopathy and subaortic stenosis, so regular check-ups with your vet are recommended to monitor any changes in heart function.

The German Shepherd also faces risks for hip and elbow dysplasia. However, other common concerns include digestive issues like bloat from eating too quickly or deep-chested diseases due to their larger frame.

One way to keep your German Shepherd’s body in tip-top shape is by giving them glucosamine supplements. These supplements can help to reduce inflammation around the hips and joints, keeping them more comfortable during periods of activity. Additionally, it’s important to ensure your pup has a soft but firm dog bed they can rest on at night or during naps, so they aren’t putting too much strain on their bones when they settle for a snooze.

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Puppy Price and Maintenance Cost

From initial purchase price to overall maintenance costs, Rottweilers and German Shepherds vary significantly in terms of their financial value. When buying from a reputable breeder, Rottweiler puppies can be between ₹8,400 to ₹61,800, while German Shepherd puppies can range from ₹20,000 to ₹72,800. 

In addition to the initial cost of buying a dog, you should also consider the ongoing expenses of caring for a Rottweiler or German Shepherd, including regular veterinary checkups, food, and grooming etc.

Grooming and Shedding

Both breeds are known for their thick coats, but the Rottweiler sheds significantly more than its German counterpart. Both breeds require an equal level of attention when it comes to regular brushing and bathing. You should brush the heavy double coats on both dogs at least once a week to avoid mats and tangles. However, depending on their climate, they may need to brush more frequently. 

Regular bathing is also important for both breeds. However, due to their short coat, a Rottweiler needs fewer baths than a German Shepherd who needs his coat washed every few weeks or so. Regular trimming around the paws and butt areas might also be necessary for optimal fur health.

Similarities between a Rottweiler and a German Shepherd

When it comes to these two furry friends, many people are unaware of the similarities between a Rottweiler and a German Shepherd. These two breeds share more than just their common roots in Germany. Both canine companions may even look alike to the untrained eye! 

Nature: Both Rottweilers and German Shepherds are renowned for their intelligence, with the ability to learn quickly and follow commands efficiently.

Muscular Build: Both breeds have large frames with muscular builds, though the Rottweiler has shorter fur than the German Shepherd’s long coat. Both dogs require regular exercise and stimulation. If left idle for too long, they can easily become destructive due to boredom or lack of activity.

Guard Dogs: For starters, both breeds were bred for similar purposes: guard dogs. While they both have an intimidating presence and may be more territorial than other canines, they can also be incredibly loyal and loving to their families.

Appearance: Both breeds boast a thick double coat that is almost identical in appearance, though the colour of each breed varies slightly, with Rottweilers typically having a darker hue. 

Personalities: The personalities of these two pups are similarly courageous, alert and confident. However, thanks to their strong bond with humans, they can be gentle giants if properly trained.

Conclusion: Rottweiler and German Shepherd: Which One is Better for you?

It all comes down to personal preference and lifestyle. From their loyal, self-assured personalities to their impressive athletic abilities, both breeds have a lot to offer owners seeking an intelligent, active companion. The Rottweiler is known for its strength and striking appearance, while the German Shepherd boasts exceptional trainability and intelligence.

Rottweilers and German Shepherds are intelligent and loyal, making them excellent guard dogs that will protect their families with fierce loyalty. However, they also have some important differences when it comes to temperament and exercise needs. Rottweilers are more laid back and require an adequate amount of exercise, whereas German Shepherds tend to be higher energy and more active and hence require a high amount of exercise. 

Ultimately the decision on which breed is better for you depends on your lifestyle and the amount of activity you can provide for your pet. Both need regular exercise and stimulation to stay healthy – so if you’ve got the space in your home (and heart) for either one, any of these two breeds would make a wonderful addition to your family!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which dog is better for families with small children?

These two breeds have a lot in common- they are loyal, protective, and intelligent. They can both provide companionship, love and protection to their families. However, they may become unruly or aggressive if you’re not willing to invest time into training them properly and socializing them from a young age. 

Which makes for a better therapy dog?

These iconic breeds boast an impressive list of qualities that make them excellent companions and guardians. But, if you’re looking to train your pup all by yourself, there’s one clear winner in this battle: The Rottweiler. 

Because Rottweilers may be easier to train due to their laid-back nature, the average Rottie is known for its calm demeanour, making them less likely to have an overabundance of enthusiasm that can be hard to control during training sessions.

Which breed drools more?

If slobbering isn’t your favourite thing, you’ll want to go with a German Shepherd. They don’t drool as much and aren’t especially prone to licking faces or sneaking in puppy kisses.

But if getting some sweet doggy smooches is part of why you’re looking for a pup in the first place, then Rottweilers are definitely the way to go! These cuddly canines will slobber all over you – so prepare yourself for some damp hugs!

Are German Shepherds more aggressive than Rottweilers?

Both Rottweilers and German Shepherds have the potential to be aggressive if they are not raised and trained in a responsible and positive manner. Proper socialization and training can help reduce the risk of aggression in any breed of dog.

Why do police use German Shepherds instead of Rottweilers?

German Shepherds are often preferred by police forces due to their intelligence, agility, adaptability, and size. They are generally considered to be easier to train and more adaptable to different situations than Rottweilers, making them well-suited for tasks such as tracking and pursuit.

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