Differences Between an American and German Rottweiler

Among the most notable differences between the American and German Rottweilers, the shape of their head and muzzle stand out. Read on and find out more about it.
Differences Between an American and German Rottweiler

Last update: 15 August, 2021

If you like Rottweilers and have wondered about the differences between an American and German Rottweiler, then in this article we’ll tell you all about them.

We must begin by pointing out that this dog is originally from Germany, but has Roman descent. It was trained for many years to be a guard dog and protector of sheep.

According to the International Cynological Federation (FCI), this is one of the oldest breeds around. In fact, its name comes from the ancient city of Rottweil. Its robust and imposing appearance led it to be one of the dogs trained to serve the police, and, in 1910, it was officially named as a police dog.

Keep reading, as, in the following lines, we’ll carry out a brief review of this breed’s general characteristics, and then delve into the differences between the American and German Rottweiler. You’ll see that it isn’t so difficult to distinguish them.

Rottweiler characteristics

The Rottweiler is a large dog. It is robust and powerful-looking, and has long been bred as a protection animal. Regarding its character, this breed is characterized by being devoted and obedient, docile, hard-working, and affable.

In addition, its a brave dog that acts naturally, without showing ány fear. Although its considered one of the potentially dangerous dogs, aggressiveness isn’t  constant behavior and it rather depends on the way each dog is trained.

Its stocky appearance doesn’t interfere with its agility at all. In addition, you can start training it from a puppy, as they’re resistant, agile, and energetic. Mental stimulation shouldn’t be neglected and they can be taught different tricks, as they’re very intelligent.

Considering that the Rottweiler is one of the breeds susceptible to obesity, according to studies, diet is important. Their diet must be of very good quality, whether commercial or homemade. In addition to maintaining weight, providing good food keeps the dog in optimal physical condition related to its coat, for example.


Differences between an American and German Rottweiler

Now that you have an overview of the Rottweiler breed, it’s time to talk about the differences between American and German Rottweiler. Although at first glance they look the same, there are some aspects that, despite being obvious, you’ll think about if you’re thinking of adopting one.

1. Country of birth

The first of the differences between the American and German Rottweilers is their origin. At this point, we need to emphasize that the Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub (ADRK) is the organization that is in charge of preserving the purity of this breed and has very demanding standards.

In Germany, mating is only allowed between parents who have an approved family tree and who meet all the requirements, thus avoiding unnecessary breed variations. The breeding parameters established by the ADRK should be met in all countries where this canid breeds.

In theory, these types of dogs were reproduced under these standards outside of Germany, there would be no distinction between lineages. As this isn’t always true, read on to identify how else the German Rottweiler differs from the American.

2. Size and weight

If you compare a German Rottweiler with an American one, you’ll most likely notice differences in size and weight. The American may have a slimmer appearance than the German, revealing longer legs.

The American Rottweiler is between 68 and 69 centimeters tall and in adulthood weighs up to 80 kilograms, as long as it’s well fed and not overweight. For its part, the German Rottweiler should measure between 61 and 68 centimeters, with an ideal weight of 50 kilograms.

There are differences between the males and females of both varieties.

3. Length of muzzle and tail

Although you need to look a bit closer to observe this difference, the most expert tutors will notice it. The American Rottweiler has a long snout and a short tail, while the German version has a snout that is shorter and somewhat broad.

Although it’s a practice that has been banned in several countries, it’s common to find that American specimens have a minimum size tail, which is mutilated by breeders shortly after birth. Germans have a long tail, especially younger specimens. This is due to the fact that several years ago the practice of this surgery was prohibited in Europe.

4. Head size

Another difference between American and German Rottweilers has to do with the size of their head. Germans have a wider head, due to their thicker bones, which impacts on the general body appearance. The American dog, being more slender, has a smaller head.

5. The way they are raised

Officially, there should be no differences between the German and American Rottweilers, as the reproduction of this breed should follow the standards established by the German club. This means that the variations that we have described can occur due to the way they’re raised, not due to the genetic load per se of the animal’s lineage.

As there’s no club or association that can verify the reproduction specifications in the United States, it’s common for there to be differences in dogs with respect to the German standard. However, this doesn’t mean that this is always the case. There may be breeders who do adhere to the certification conditions, regardless of whether they’re in Germany or not, where the process is much stricter.

Are there differences between the American and German Rottweilers or not?

In Germany, a dog that doesn’t meet the club’s standards won’t be recognized as a pure Rottweiler, as there will be flaws or a lack of control in the breeding process. In this sense, as far as strict breeders are concerned, there are no official differences between the American Rottweiler and ones from Germany or any other country.

A Rottweiler should exhibit the same standardized characteristics, regardless of the country it’s raised in.

A rottweiler with a pink collar.

The varieties that some breeders offer for large sums of money for their rare characteristics (such as the long-haired, albino, or blue-eyed Rottweiler) aren’t recognized as part of this breed. As you can see, the standard in this type of canid is very fixed and big variations aren’t allowed.

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