The rottsky: a generous combination between the Rottweiler's nobility and the soft husky fur. Born of two dogs from worlds apart the Rottweiler x husky is loyal, loving, strong and intelligent.
It is a popular cross breed of those looking to own a dog that is on one hand beautiful and on the other a staunch and faithful ally. But beware, for the Rottweiler-husky-mix needs a lot of looking after.
What is a rottsky?
The Rottweiler-cross-husky is unique. It is a crossbreed that absorbs the individuality and strength of both of her parents. A cross between the German pedigree Rottweiler and the Siberian husky, this dog is the epitome of the Working Group: strong, dependable, athletic and fiercely loyal.
The German pedigree Rottweiler is an imposing dog but its breeding makes it one of the most loyal and sociable animals of the Working Group. The breed was established over 2,000 years old and has since been used as a guard dog, cattle drover and Service dog (for use with the armed forces).
The Siberian husky on the other hand is the Working Group! For centuries, the mainstay of Arctic canine labour. It is a ‘landrace’ breed, which means that is has been altered over time by its interaction with the environment and people, in isolation from other breeds. As such the husky is an exceptionally athletic animal born and bred for relentless outdoor work, and with an endurance to match. It is still used by Arctic peoples as a sled dog and as a herder.
At first glance, the rottsky appears to take its genetic code mostly from the Rottweiler parent: a large and powerful dog with the same black base coat and tan markings across its chest, legs and face. However, from the husky parent it takes athleticism, dense fur and, on occasion, the famous heterochromia.
The rottsky may be a stunning dog to look at but it is one that needs a considerable amount of exercise and engagement. It can reach up to 26 inches at the shoulder but is more often seen at 23 inches. Both parents can be heavy dogs, which can lead the adult rottsky to weigh as much as 100 lbs (7 stones). Their life expectancy is between 10 and 14 years.
The temperament of the rottsky
The Rottweiler-cross-husky tends to inherit the personalities of both parents in equal measure. For those who are wary of the Rottweiler’s reputation as a ‘danger dog’ this may seem like the ideal way to dilute such a trait, but Nature can offer no such guarantee. In fact, the traits of the Rottweiler are considered to be dominant in most crosses.
It is though extremely hard to pinpoint which characteristics will shine through in a mix of this kind (and of course the dog’s rearing has a huge part to play in this). To simplify things, here are just some of the traits of the rottsky. The parent from which the trait is strongest is noted in brackets:
- Extremely active and social (Rottweiler and husky)
- Fiercely loyal (Rottweiler): Your rottsky is likely to be wary around strangers and to want to keep a look out for threats to your safety.
- Independence (husky): Your rottsky can at times be rebellious and may decide to do something (or not) only when it suits her.
- Fast learning (Rottweiler and husky): Both parents of a rottsky love to learn, but if a rottsky’s training is inconsistent, irregular or short-lived she will fall into bad and antisocial habits very quickly.
- Curious (husky): This trait manifests in her testing of the physical boundaries of the home; doing so can sometimes lead the rottsky into danger.
Rottsky traits to be aware of
The stubbornness of a Rottweiler-cross-husky has not gone undocumented by owners. You will need to do a great deal of training to ward off extreme independence, but even if you are successful in doing so you will very quickly realise that it has never really gone away. If moments of stubbornness are not swiftly dealt with by retraining, things are liable to get out of hand.
The rottsky is not suitable for a family that lives in a confined space or that is rarely at home. Without sufficient exercise and adequate mental stimulation she becomes destructive.
Both parents of the rottsky have in the past given cause for human concern about aggression. Whereas the Rottweiler is not a naturally aggressive dog the husky’s heritage is of herding livestock and protecting the herd from predators. Thus, the rottsky has the potential to exhibit aggression; a fact that should lead families with small children to carefully re-consider the appropriateness of the breed.
Unfortunately, dogs born of Rottweiler cross husky breeding seem to have inherited some of the afflictions commonly seen of their parents. These include:
Chronic superficial keratitis: An inflammation of the eye. This condition is managed by life-long administration of the dog’s eye drop medication.
Hip dysplasia: Although hip dysplasia is not known to be a hereditary ailment, large breeds of dog and older dogs are susceptible to it. If hip dysplasia is left untreated it leads to chronic inflammation of the joints and irreversible lameness.
Progressive retinal atrophy: Another disease of the eye, most often seen of huskies. Retinal atrophy is irreversible and incurable, and results in complete blindness. A dog that suffers with this ailment requires a great deal of care and support.
Before you choose to buy a rottsky you should discuss the pros of cons of ownership with the breeder. The breeder should be able to show you a bill of health of both parents and can advise you on how best to train the dog to avoid unwanted behaviour. It is most important that you only visit a reputable breeder to purchase a rottsky and avoid breeders who are only contactable on line. The breed is ‘of the moment’ and as such these dogs are sold at a premium. Consequently, some breeders may not have the best interests of the dog at heart.