The Rottweiler Pitbull mix, also known as the Pitweiler or RottiePit, is a mix between a pedigree Rottweiler and a Pitbull of some description.
Since the term “Pitbull” covers a large variety of bloodlines and physical characteristics, predicting what a mix will be like can be somewhat challenging.
For the purposes of this description, we will assume that the Pitbull is an American Pitbull, and not one of the other Pitbull variants.
Although it can be tricky to pin down what a mixed breed dog will be like, certain similarities between Rottweilers and Pitbulls make it possible to make a few generalizations.
However, there will always be variations based not only parentage, but also on how you raise your Rottweiler Pitbull mix.
Rottweiler Pitbull Mix: Appearance And Size
Both Rottweilers and Pitbulls share a muscular build, a short coat, and a broad head with a wide mouth. It’s therefore safe to assume that the mixture of these breeds will result in these characteristics. But once we get past these points, predictions become more difficult.
For example, the Rottweiler coloring is very common in Rottweiler Pitbull mixes, but there are reports of Pitbull colors, which are very variable indeed, finding expression in Pitweilers.
The size can also vary quite a lot. As always, males will grow to be bigger than females.
Rottweilers are very large dogs and Pitbulls are medium-sized dogs, so you can expect your crossbreed dog to be somewhat smaller than a Rottweiler and somewhat larger than a Pitbull. But that still leaves a lot of scope!
Supposing that the Pitbull parent is an American Pitbull, you can expect a relatively long-legged dog with a height ranging between 18 to 26 inches at the shoulder, and a weight of anything between 45 and 100 pounds.
Knowing who the parents are can help you to develop some expectations and have a fairly good chance of seeing them fulfilled. All the same, mixed-breed puppies can “take after” either parent or be a lucky-dip of physical traits from either or both parents.
Rottweiler Pitbull Temperament
Many people who are looking for a companion or family dog will shy away from choosing a Rottweiler Pitbull mix based on the fierce reputation of the two parent breeds. However, this reputation is not always deserved.
Despite breed-specific bans on Pitbulls, Rottweilers, and mixtures between the two, seeming to confirm that a Rottweiler Pitbull mix will be a dangerous dog, many authorities are beginning to realize that this is an overly-simplistic approach.
In areas where these breeds are banned, there seems to be no reduction in dog bites or attacks. This points to nurture rather than nature as being the primary factor in determining dog aggression.
Despite this, however, you do need to be aware that both Rottweilers and Pitbulls were originally working dogs.
Without a “job” to do for their family, and plenty of exercise and stimulation, boredom and excess energy can lead to behavioral issues. We’ll discuss these needs in greater detail later on because if you fail to fulfill them, neither you nor your dog is likely to be happy.
Like many other highly-intelligent dog breeds, Rottweilers are especially known to seek to take the lead, and will “test” their owners to see what they can get away with.
Maintaining your position as “leader of the pack” will be important, and requires consistent training rather than force or heavy discipline.
Since these dogs have great physical strength, building habits of obedience from a young age and providing positive reinforcement will be important.
Both Rottweilers and Pitbulls are highly trainable, but might not always be trusted to remember their “manners” when you aren’t around or when they are off-leash.
For example, both breeds share a high prey drive and may instinctively chase, and even kill, smaller animals.
From the Pitbull side of the family, you may encounter the stubborn “Terrier” streak at times, while Rottweiler’s attempts to be assertive will test your skills as a pet parent and trainer.
With instinct sometimes taking over, and both breeds being inclined to underestimate their own strength, even in play, a combination of training and supervision is recommended. This breed is not for novice dog owners or for those with little time to spare for their pets!
Rottweiler Pitbull Mix And Children
A big, muscular dog that is often boisterous is likely to be too much for small children. Although some owners of a Rottweiler Pitbull mix say that their dogs are fine with kids, there is potential for “accidents.”
In this instance, it’s the Rottweiler side of the heritage that raises the red flag. Pitbulls are often very good with children.
Rottweilers generally have a better relationship with older, more responsible children who know how to behave around dogs and who can be trusted not to over-excite them.
Good socialization training for your dog and teaching children who are old enough to keep the line how to understand dogs can go a long way towards a happy family relationship.
Pitweilers And Other Dogs
Neither Rottweilers nor Pitbulls are particularly fond of other dogs. This can be overcome if you can introduce other household pets to them when they are still very young and, to a certain extent, with socialization training.
Nevertheless, it’s generally recommended that if you’re keeping a Rottweiler Pitbull mix with other dogs, they should be of the opposite sex and physically able to keep up with your Pitweiler.
As for trips to the doggie park, it may be best to keep your Rottweiler Pitbull mix firmly on the leash.
Even without aggression towards other dogs, which is a possibility you shouldn’t overlook, rough play with an extremely powerful dog may have unfortunate consequences for other dogs.
Rottweiler Pitbull Mix And Other People
It may surprise you to know that Pitbulls are actually much friendlier towards other people than Rottweilers are. In fact, many Pitbull owners even say that they’re almost overly friendly and outgoing towards strangers. However, the same isn’t true of Rottweilers.
Rottweilers are extremely protective of their territory and their owners, which is one of the reasons why people favor the Rottweiler Pitbull mix.
But protectiveness can lead a dog to see a threat where there is none, and act accordingly. Once again, socialization from a young age can be a help.
Many owners of Rottweiler Pitbull mixes say that their pet takes after the Rottweiler side of the family in the way it reacts to people.
Even when they are well-socialized, these dogs will tend to be somewhat more aloof. On the plus side, this self-sufficiency can mean that your dog is less prone to separation anxiety than a Pitbull would be.
But just because your dog isn’t crazy about strangers doesn’t mean that he won’t become very attached to you.
When there is a strong bond between a Pitweiler and his owner, the relationship is a loving one. Even the Rottweiler side of the family has its share of overgrown teddybears!
Pitbull-Rottweiler Nutritional Needs
Like all dogs, your Pitbull Rottweiler mix will need a life-stage appropriate diet. Puppies need the right nutrition for their growth and development.
Adults need to support their active lifestyles. Older dogs become less active and don’t need to get as much energy from their food.
However, this mixture usually results in a well-muscled, very active animal, and since size varies so much, getting the diet just right may be a bit of a balancing act.
Because of the high activity levels, your dog may need a little more nutrition than other dogs of a similar size and weight.
Your Pittweiler’s physical condition will help you to see whether you’re providing the right nutrition. Choose a high quality brand of pet food.
It should be nutrient dense. That often means a higher price, but a smaller serving size than cheaper dog foods recommend.
Begin by basing your dog’s portion sizes on his weight and the petfood manufacturer’s requirements. Divide the daily recommendation into two to three meals and adjust it if he or she seems to be getting too fat or too thin.
Because of size and build differences, we can’t give you an ideal weight for a Rottweiler Pitbull mix, but you can use your eyes and your fingertips to gauge how you’re doing.
Despite his heavy build, your dog should have a “waist” when you look at him from above. You shouldn’t be able to see the ribs, but when you stroke his sides, you should be able to feel them under the skin.
Ask your veterinarian for his or her opinion during routine health checkups too!
Training And Daily Exercise Are Essential
When it comes to a Rottweiler Pitbull mix, fulfilling their need for daily exercise and training will be extremely important in having a happy, well-adjusted dog who doesn’t develop behavioral issues.
This section is so important, that you should read it very carefully if considering a Rottweiler Pitbull mix, and if all sounds like too much for you, opt for another type of dog instead.
Obedience And Socialization Training
Obedience and socialization training are extremely important to any dog. When that dog is large, intelligent, and energetic, it becomes even more important.
While getting nipped by a poorly-socialized Pomenarian isn’t all that serious, a bite from a Rottweiler Pitbull mix will be another matter entirely! Preventing this comes down to obedience and socialization training.
Your Rottweiler Pitbull mix will be both physically strong and strong-willed, so starting training young will make it easier. Older dogs can be trained and socialized, but it’s a lot harder work to help your dog develop the right habits.
While some people say that obedience training should start at four months, you can begin even younger provided you’re patient and are willing to remember that your pup is just a baby.
Puppy school isn’t an absolute must, especially if you already know how to train your dog, but it helps with socialization and is therefore highly recommended!
Whatever you choose to do, remember that positive reinforcement is key and that physical punishment should be avoided.
If you hurt or frighten your dog during training, he can’t be blamed for developing negative associations to training as an activity and even to you as a dog owner. Keep it fun and rewarding for your dog!
Socialization begins from the time when a puppy begins to move about and explore his world, and continues after you adopt him.
Without going into too much detail, it involves exposing your dog to different situations, to people, to children, and even to other animals, but always under careful supervision.
Your aim is to make varied situations, sights, sounds, and social situations a matter of routine that neither overexcites nor frightens your dog.
Both types of training aren’t a matter of “teach once and expect to be remembered.” Practice means running through obedience exercises and continuing to take your dog into settings where it will meet other people and animals.
As previously noted, it’s probably best to assume that your Pitbull Rottweiler cross should be kept on a leash in public.
First and foremost, have a reasonably large, well-fenced yard! A Rottweiler Pitbull cross will need room to play, both with you, and with any toys you’ve provided.
This is not an apartment dog, and one should never allow dogs to roam alone, if only for their own safety!
But you can’t expect your dog to be content with the yard and a few (very sturdy) toys only. He needs much more than that.
While puppies shouldn’t be over-exercised since it can damage their bones, an adult dog will need about an hour of walking and running every day. And that’s just the start!
Luckily, you can split doggie-walks into two sessions before meals: one in the mornings, and one in the evenings. However, your dog needs some higher-intensity exercise and games too.
Add at least a half hour to an hour of daily play and training time to help take the edge off that energy.
Fetch and tug of war games are extremely popular with Rottweiler-Pitbulls, but if you’re opting for tug of war, you’ll need to be pretty strong.
Of course, you should let your dog “win” at times, but a sudden, sharp pull could send you flying. Flirt sticks are also popular, but if you’re using one, try to keep the lure well away from your body. Again, you could get knocked over by your excited playmate and shouldn’t blame him for it.
Round that off with a little obedience training practice, and be sure to have rewards handy when you do.
With enough play, exercise, and attention, your Rottweiler Pitbull mix should be feeling happy and relaxed enough not to be destructive if left alone for a couple of hours.
In fact, he’s quite likely to eat his meal and then go off to sleep for a while. Still acting out? Chances are, you need to try a little harder. A dog that gets enough stimulation and exercise should be pretty relaxed and easy to live with.
Taking Care Of Your Pitweiler’s Health
There are three main things to do to take care of your dog’s health, regardless of his heritage.
Proper feeding and access to fresh water, plenty of exercise, plus regular visits to the veterinarian for vaccinations and an overall health check are musts. But are Rottweiler Pitbull mixes susceptible to specific health issues?
As hybrids, you’ll be happy to know that they usually aren’t as prone to health issues as purebred dogs might be. All the same, they may inherit certain weaknesses from their parents, or experience conditions that develop over time as they age. Here are a few things to look out for.
Hip And Elbow Dysplasia
Big, heavy dogs are more prone to hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia than smaller ones. In hip dysplasia, it can begin in puppyhood, or become part of osteoarthritis as they become old.
The hip joint becomes worn, arthritis sets in, and the dog experiences pain and difficulty moving about. Apart from major surgery that may not always be appropriate, there is no cure.
Most dogs with hip dysplasia are simply given pain relief medications. Puppies can be screened for hip dysplasia and you can help to keep your dog healthy by not overfeeding it, especially while it is growing. Exercise also helps!
Both of your Rottweiler Pitbull mix’s parents are breeds that are prone to eye issues. Cataracts are the commonest, and they’re easy enough for your Veterinarian to treat.
From eye injuries to treatable eye disorders and the rare but unpleasant and untreatable retinal atrophy, there are several eye issues to look out for.
If your dog seems to have inflamed eyes, is pawing at his eyes, or the eyes look “strange,” it’s best to visit the veterinarian to have it checked out.
In case you were wondering why we said that your dog’s exercise period should occur before meals, here’s the reason. Any dog who eats and drinks a lot before exercising can develop bloat.
It’s more than just a matter of seeming “blown up,” with gas. The entire stomach can twist out of position. It can be fatal.
The Rottweiler Pitbull mix isn’t necessarily more prone to bloat than other dogs are, but they usually have good appetites for both food and exercise. Keep it healthy.
Allergies And Skin Problems
Just as some people have allergies, so do some dogs. Unfortunately, both Rottweilers and Pitbulls are somewhat prone to allergies and skin issues.
While food allergies are pretty common and represent a good place to start if your dog is allergic to something, inhalants like pollen and contact allergies are also possible.
Some skin issues come from infections too, and they need to be treated before the infection can spread.
So, if your dog has open sores that he licks, seems to be extra itchy, has a skin and coat that seem too dry or too oily, or inflamed-looking skin, it’s time to visit your veterinarian for advice.
Is A Rottweiler Pitbull Mix Right For You?
Adopt a Rottweiler Pitbull mix if you want a good watchdog but are also very willing to treat your dog as a companion. If you aren’t, you are likely to end up with a “problem-child” who acts out because he’s bored, restless, and neglected.
You should be a healthy, active person who is able to meet your dog’s requirements for play and exercise head-on.
On occasion, physical strength will also be important in controlling your pet when something “exciting” is happening. As a related point, this dog is not ideal to keep as a pet in homes with small children, elderly people, or smaller pets.
A spacious home and yard will best suit your Rottweiler Pitbull mix’s needs for activity and stimulation, but you will also need 90 minutes to 2 hours of time to spend in exercise, play, and training with your dog.
If you have the time, you’re bound to find the experience a great way to bond with your dog and de-stress. If you don’t, it would be better to choose a less active breed or mixed breed.
Finally, you should be sure that there are no laws against Rottweilers or Pitbulls in the area where you live.
Where To Get A Rottweiler Pitbull Mix
We love the idea of rescuing dogs from shelters, but there are some things to consider. First of all, the dog may not be a Rottweiler Pitbull mix at all. At best, you have an educated guess from the shelter’s veterinary staff.
Secondly, you need to know under what circumstances the dog was acquired by the shelter. You may be inheriting a dog with traumas of his own that can make your efforts towards raising a good family dog more difficult.
Regular people sometimes advertise mixed breed puppies for sale, but this can be even more hit and miss if the puppy’s heritage is important to you.
They’ll surely know who the female is, but identifying the male might be a whole lot more difficult. Even if they saw a coupling, they can’t be sure who the dad is unless they kept the mom dog under very careful supervision!
Finally, we have breeders of so-called “designer dogs.” They’ve spotted a mix they like, and they deliberately breed selected parents to achieve that mix.
However, they can be pretty rare. What little money there is to be made in dog breeding usually comes from pedigreed dogs which fetch higher prices.
But don’t despair! Keep your eyes and ears open, ask questions, inspect puppies, and settle for one that you think is perfect for you. At worst, you’ll get a dog with only one identifiable parent, and that’s OK too.