German Rottweilers vs. American Rottweiler: Is there really any difference?

German Rottweilers vs. American Rottweiler: Is there really any difference?

German Rottweilers vs. American Rottweiler: Is there really any difference?

What is the difference between German and American Rottweilers and does such a thing exist? This is one of the most common questions we get as breeders. Usually, this is followed by another asking which of the two Rottweiler ‘breeds’ is the better one, or even just comments like the “I like the German look and not the American look as the heads are smaller and muzzles are thinner”.

These questions stem from a common misconception that American and German Rottweilers are fundamentally different breeds. So, we always clarify that technically as per official breed standards set out by the ADRK ( Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub, there is only one kind of Rottweiler: “A Correct One”.

Now, the confusion may have stemmed from the laxer implementing policies that American breeders are subjected to compared to their German counterparts which results in the prevalence of poorly bred dogs. We will discuss these differing policies in more detail later.

Another reason why people might be under the impression that American and German Rottweilers are different breeds is that they apply the concept of nationality to dog breeds.

If you want to get technical about it, all Rottweilers are German because the breed originated from Germany. Therefore, all Rottweilers you see, whether they were born in the US or Australia, are of German descent. And this could be traced back in their pedigree using online resources sites such as Pedigree Database or Working Dogs.

You see, Rottweilers (pronounced Rott-vile-er) are descendants of Roman cattle dogs that accompanied the Roman armies in what is now South Germany. The name Rottweiler itself was derived from the word ‘Rottweil’, which is a name of a southwestern German town where the first Rottweilers originated from.

The perils of backyard breeding

What is backyard breeding?  Briefly described, this is not the main focus of discussion.  This is generally an individual, who breeds dogs without any papers or without conducting any of the standard health testing required, they do not have the breed at heart and do not intend betting the breed in any way, shape, or form.  Let alone trying to breed better than the parents by using selective studs to produce better quality dogs than the parents. No pedigree researching etc, no importation of dogs or semen, no background knowledge on the breed including not knowing anything about the breed standard. All they are breeding their dogs for is profiteering.  By buying a dog from a backyard breeder you not only endorse the practice but you will never know, whether it is a full brother to a full sister being bred and or riddled with all sorts of genetic diseases, they are prone to as there is just no paperwork whatsoever.

See JLPP infected pups, to see what kind of pup you could be purchasing from a backyard breeder: Click Here

More information on JLPP: Click Here

See LEMP infected pups, to see what kind of pup you could be purchasing from a backyard breeder: Click Here

More information on LEMP: Click Here

As previously mentioned, there is a prevalence in poorly bred Rottweilers which then become the cause of people thinking that there are different types of the breed.

Such poorly bred dogs are usually the products of backyard breeders and puppy mills, which unethical practices, should be condemned. These breeders, although some are well-aware of the proper breed standards, as well as the health testing required, consciously choose to breed ‘faulty’ puppies for a fast profit.

Thus, Rottweilers with numerous physical and temperamental diversions from the breed standards are still made to breed with each other resulting to more ‘faulty’ dogs. So, you might see some ‘purebred Rottweilers’ which have white markings instead of rust-coloured ones or perpetually wrinkled foreheads instead of flat-skinned ones as an example.

These diversions to the breed standard are called faults. Faults in varying degrees could be anything from a minor fault, show disqualification fault to a major fault. Here are some of the most common Rottweiler breed faults to watch out for in your search for a good breeder.

  • In general appearance: lightness of bone and muscle structure, leggy appearance, docked tail
    • In foreface: a pale or spotted nose, long or pointed muzzle
    • In jaw structure: a noticeably narrower lower jaw
    • In eye structure: too full or rounded eyes, loose eyelids
    • In chest structure: a flat or barrel-shaped rib
    • In skin appearance: wrinkles on the forehead
    • In coat appearance: wavy coat or a lack of undercoat, markings of incorrect colors

These faults are identified and codified by the World Canine Organization (Federacion Cynologique Internationale) in their official breed standards for the Rottweiler. The World Canine Organization or FCI is an international organization that aims to ensure the protection of purebred dogs by upholding breed standards across countries.

Rottweiler Breed Standard could be found here: Click Here

You can find a more comprehensive list of Rottweiler breed faults in the FCI official website. Click Here

So, what does a correct Rottweiler look like?

To help maintain the integrity of the Rottweiler as a breed and to put unethical puppy mills and backyard breeders out of business, you should be aware of what a correct Rottweiler should look like and only buy puppies from reputable breeders.

As per official Rottweiler breed standards followed by organizations such as the National Rottweiler Council of Australia (NRCA) or your state breed clubs like Rottweiler Club of New South Wales (RCNSW) as well as Australian National Kennel Council (AKNC) and state bodied affiliates like Dogs NSW, Dogs Victoria, etc. all of which encourages which promotes ethical breed ethics and encourages responsible pet ownership and maintain the breed characteristics of a correct Rottweiler taken from their approved breed standards:

  • In general appearance: medium-large body, pure black coat with clear and defined rust-colored markings
    • In size and proportion: Male dogs: 61 to 68 cm, Bitches: 56 to 63 cm (those in the mid-range (both sexes) are more preferred), proportions: depth of the chest should be about 50% of the height of the dog.
    • In head appearance: broad between the ears, forehead line appears moderately arched when viewed in profile, strong and broad upper and lower jaws, the forehead should only wrinkle when the dog is alerted, the expression should be self-assured, noble and alert
    • In bite and dental appearance: 42 teeth with 20 upper and 22 lower teeth, should have a scissors bite meaning lower incisors should be touching the inside of the upper incisors
    • In neck appearance: well-muscled, moderate in length, without loose skin and slightly arched
    • In tail placement and length: should be docked short and close to the body only leaving one to two tail vertebrae
    • *In coat hair and colors: outer coat should be straight, dense, medium in length, coarse and flat while the undercoat is only present in neck and thighs, and not show through the outer coat. Hair should always be black with some rust-colored markings. Some of the markings are located as follows: (a) cheeks, (b) black penciling on toes, (c) under the tail, (d) strip on each side of the muzzle, (e) on the throat, (d) inside of rear legs.

*Note that the presence of other hair colors such as white on the chest automatically counts as a show disqualification fault and is not to be considered as breeding stock. Some of the breeds from which the Rottweiler was derived from had white markings on their chest which has been almost eliminated from the Rottweiler breed.

  • In temperament: calm but confident and courageous, self-assured yet aloof, has a wait-and-see attitude when faced with stimuli, has inherent desire to protect owner or family, adaptable and intelligent, has a strong willingness for work, should not be aggressive towards other dogs

So, if a dog meets all of these standards, then it won’t matter if it was born in China or South Africa, that dog would be a Rottweiler period.

Why Rottweilers bred in Australia/America and Germany look different?

Still, you might ask, “Then why do Rottweilers in Germany look different from Rottweilers bred in Australia or other countries in the world?”.

Well, for one, it is because of the stricter implementation of breeding standards in Germany amongst other things.

German breeders are barred from registering their litter of puppies if its parents failed to pass a strict breed suitability test which evaluates a Rottweiler’s compliance to the official breed standards. This prerequisite ensures that only the best dogs of the breed get to reproduce and birth puppies. This also limits the number of Rottweilers with breed faults in Germany and effectively prevents breed faults to reproduce further.

Meanwhile here in the AUS, some state governments even went and provided a state breeder number and will allow the puppies produced by two faulty Rottweilers to be registered which could easily confuse consumers and be sold as “purebreds”. This then gives bad breeders the opportunity and platform to sell their puppies. This results in some very noticeable variations in the Rottweilers found here in Australia, which then leads to some thinking that Rottweilers bred in Germany are a different and better kind of Rottweiler than those bred here.

Again, there is only one kind of Rottweiler, a correct one that meets breed standards. Though importing a Rottweiler puppy from Germany might seem like a great way to ensure that you’re getting a correct Rottweiler, you can still find good and reputable breeders here in Australia.  Dogzonline is a directory for all ANKC registered breeders.  A quick call to your local ANKC affiliate offices like Dogs NSW or Dogs VIC, or Dogs QLD or Dogs West, etc. could easily advise you on where the breeder is registered or not.

The importance of finding a good breeder

Selecting a good breeder is one of the best and easiest ways to find a healthy and purebred Rottweiler puppy. It is also a way for you to support responsible dog breeding and put the cruel puppy mill breeders out of business by not giving them your money.

Not to mention, good breeders will not only supply you with a healthy puppy. They will also supply you with some vital information and benefits as well. And this is where we have our edge over other breeders.

What we offer

Here at Vanaheim Rottweilers, we offer lifetime support and provide all confirmation of health testing/scoring certificates for our breeding stock as part of your puppy pack.

We do extensive health testing in line with NRCA as well as ANKC,  DNA testing, and more on all of our breeding stock to ensure all our puppies are healthy puppies.

Why choose us

With our selective breeding process with World Champion Pedigrees we can guarantee that our Rottweiler Puppies are healthy, proper temperament, and confirmation correct.

Vanaheim Rottweilers produces / imports first and foremost for health and temperament; while maintaining Rottweiler breed standards using World Famous European pedigrees. Thus, we produce some of the highly sought-after Rottweiler puppies in Australia.

We hope this article answered your question(s) regarding the Rottweiler as a breed. Should you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.  Contact Us Here We also hope that the above information convinced you to only patronize reputable breeders to avoid encouraging puppy farming and backyard breeding so we can maintain the integrity of this majestic breed we love so much.