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Everything you need to know about the Rottweiler cross

Black rottweiler dog advice
© Pixabay

The Rottweiler's breeding makes it one of the most loyal and affectionate animals of the Working Group.

By Nick Whittle

The breed began over 2,000 years ago and the dog has since been used to guard, to drove and to support the military. Immerse the Rottweiler 'cross' in love and affection and you will make a loyal friend, but treat her with meanness and anger and you will rear a monster.

Good to know

‘Rotties’ which are well-brought up are generally good-natured, placid and eager to please the pack. However, they require their owner to show dominance and confidence otherwise they will assume the position of top dog. They do not respond well to living a solitary existence.

Their bad press stems from the propensity of some people to use their dogs as weapons against other dogs or people. However, if their instinctive nobility and strength are channelled appropriately they can make a very good family pet.

What is a Rottweiler?

Roman armies, it is said, employed the use of pre-Rottweiler dogs in their marches across Europe. The dogs were used to herd cattle behind the advancing Aquila in order for the armies to have a plentiful and immediate supply of food and not be reliant on local produce.

The dogs were also used by the Romans as guard dogs and were more than likely tasked with duties amid battles. It was primarily the Germans who continued the breed throughout the middle ages and put the Rottweiler to use on farms to herd livestock and pull carts.

What is the Rottweiler cross temperament?

If we are to learn all there is to know about a crossbreed born of a Rottweiler parent (a Rottweiler ‘cross’ or a Rottweiler ‘mix’) we must know first what are the purebred’s characteristics. Here follow some of the positive characteristics for which the Rottie is best known:

  • Intelligent and trainable
  • Enjoys a moderate amount of exercise
  • Affectionate with people they know
  • Alert and watchful
  • Protective
  • Confident (within reason)

And here are some of the negatives:

  • Territorial (if confined)
  • Do not socialise well
  •  Reserved when meeting strangers
  • Overly protective

There is often bad press about the breed. Fatal and near fatal dog attacks in the UK will often be caused by Rottweilers. However, this fact should not be taken as a sorry reflection of the breed, nor of Rottweiler cross breeds. No well-adapted dog will attack a person without reason but, conversely, every dog is capable of being trained to kill.

The protectiveness and loyalty of the Rottweiler are sometimes abused and her intelligence is often overshadowed by such traits that have been encouraged with malicious intent. In addition, Rottweilers are often kept in homes and spaces that are too small for them, which will lead them to become restless and overly aggressive.

A Rottweiler cross may have the dominance and the strength of the Rottie parent but she will not necessarily exhibit any of the nastiness of one that has been poorly trained or maltreated.

A useful video by Animal Planet explains what some see as the contradictions of the Rottweiler breed.

Is a Rottweiler mix prone to Rottweiler illness?

Cross breed dogs tend to inherit some of the physical complaints and abnormalities of one or other of their parents. The Rottweiler is a breed prone of the following illnesses and conditions:  

  • Bone cancer (osteosarcoma) is exceptionally common to Rottweilers. The disease kills one in every two dogs.
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia and osteochondritis are common of Rottweilers.
  • Eye disease leading to blindness is another feature of the breed.
  • Heart disease is a common cause of death among Rotties.
  • Gastric volvulus (bloat) is a serious ailment of many large breeds of dog. Rottweilers are no exception.

Rottweiler puppies are particular susceptible to viral infections such as Parvo. This is due to their exceptionally weak immune systems. It can be safely assumed that the puppy of a Rottweiler cross will be as prone to viruses as the puppy of the purebred.

What are the characteristics of a Rottweiler cross?

It is difficult to know whether your dog will inherit the emotional traits of the Rottweiler or the other parent. Such traits tend only to appear as the dog grows up and begins interacting with people and other animals. For this reason Rottweilers are not recommended for families that have had no experience whatsoever of owning a dog.

Some of the more popular Rottweiler crossbreeds follow:


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The Rottweiler’s love of learning (and her speed of doing so) is well-documented in cross breeds. It is important however that you train her consistently and regularly otherwise she will have a tendency to get bored, and a bored dog can be both destructive and aggressive. Positive reinforcement is the preferred way to train a Rottweiler cross puppy and it is recommended that you start her training when she is just six weeks old.

A well-trained Rottweiler cross puppy will be a happy one.
Positive reinforcement is the preferred way to train a Rottweiler cross puppy.   © Pixabay


Some Rottweiler crossbreeds will inherit the short coat of the Rottie parent. However, there is no guarantee that a puppy born of such a cross will have an easily manageable coat of fur. The genetic outcome of the cross will determine what type of coat the puppy has, and a new owner should be prepared to care for a coat of any type.


The facial appearance of the Rottweiler mix breed is also determined by genetic code. It is often the case that a puppy born of a Rottweiler cross will inherit the facial characteristics of the pure bred parent but again there is no guarantee of this. In fact, even among litters of a cross breed there will be noticeable differences of one pup from another.

No dog will react well to maltreatment or to being consistently kept indoors. Your responsibility as an owner of a Rottweiler cross is to ensure that your dog grows up to be a happy and well-rounded individual. Your treatment of her should be full of confidence and kindness and you must be prepared to make allowances for her in respect of your living arrangements. Rottweilers have their own way of telling you when they are unhappy.

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