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German shepherd vs Rottweiler: One Breed Wins

The German shepherd and the Rottweiler are two of the most popular dog breeds in the world and both breeds have a great reputation in the dog world. In this article we place these two wonderful but fierce some breeds side by side – It’s the German shepherd vs the Rottweiler.

Brief history of the German shepherd

Cute German shepherd puppies.
A fully grown, good looking adult German shepherd dog.

The German shepherd is a large sized working dog that was bred primarily for herding and guarding the flocks. Even though this breed has an outward appearance that looks like that of the wolf it is not any closer to the wolf than any other breed. The German shepherd also known as Alsatian has its origin in Germany.

The German shepherd was bred to excel in intelligence, courage, strength and athleticism. These qualities were essential for the ideal shepherd dog but over the years this breed has proved its worth as an excellent working dog. A versatile breed that has excelled as a police dog, guide dog, guard dog, war dog, explosive and/or narcotics sniffing dog, a show dog and as a pet.

Brief history of the Rottweiler

Rottweiler puppies.
An elegant looking rottweiler with a glossy black coat.

The Rottweiler also referred to as Rottie is a medium to large sized dog breed. Like the German shepherd, the Rottweiler has its origin in Germany and it is believed to have descended from the Roman drover dogs. The drover dogs were primarily responsible for guarding and driving herds as they accompany the Roman troops. Over time, these dogs became prominent cattle drovers around a town that became known as Rottweil.

Until dog carting was outlawed in Germany, the Rottweiler was employed to pull carts loaded with butchered meat to the market and for this reason they were also known as the Rottweil butchers dogs.

However in recent times the Rottweiler is now used as police dogs, guide dogs, guard dogs, search and rescue dogs.

German shepherd with rottweiler.

General breed info of the German shepherd vs Rottweiler

 German shepherdRottweilerWho Won
American kennel club ranking- most popular2nd10th

German shepherd wins the popularity contest.
Familyherding, workingherding, workingBoth are winners: evenly matched.
Original functionSheep herding, guardingCattle drovers, guarding, cartingBoth are winners: they fully lived up to their responsibility.
Present functionPolice, guide, guarding, contraband detection, petPolice, guide, guardingAlmost evenly matched but the German shepherd has richer history in this business.
Energy levelMediumMediumBoth are winner.
Level of exercise neededHighMediumRottweiler wins in the game of exercise. Less exercise to achieve the same result is the winner.
Level of playfulnessmoderateModerateBoth are winners.
As a watch dogExcellentExcellentBoth are winners.
ProtectivenessVery highVery highBoth are winners.
Easy to trainVery easyAbove averageGerman shepherd wins.
Kid friendlyExcellentBelow averageGerman shepherd wins.
Dog friendlyBelow averagePoorGerman shepherd wins even though both are poor.
Stranger friendlyAloof- 2 out of 5Poor- 1 out of 5German shepherd wins even though both are poor.
Ability to adaptExcellentAbove averageGerman shepherd wins.
IntelligenceRanked No.3Ranked No.9German shepherd wins.
Good looks5 out of 53 out of 5German shepherd wins.
A cute looking rottweiler.
Cute German shepherd dog.

German shepherd vs Rottweiler coat related info

 German shepherdRottweilerWho Won
Coat typeDouble coated consisting of an under coat and a dense outer coat with straight hairDouble coated consisting of a coarse, dense short outer coat that extends to the neck and thigh with a thick under coatWith a double coat both are winners.
Coat colors and patternsBlack & tan, black & red, black & cream, black & silver, solid blacks, solid white, sable, blue (rare) and liver(rare)Popularly in black & rust , black & tan, black & mahogany, black & dark rust and sometimes in red & tan, blue& tan or blackEven though both breed come in a variety of coat colors, the German shepherd’s range of coat colors are more appealing therefore the German shepherd is the winner of the coat contest.
SheddingHeavy sheddingModerate sheddingRottweiler is not only the winner in the shedding contest but the German shepherd is a big loser.
GroomingRegular groomingLowRottweiler wins
Average sizeMale- Height: 24-26 inches Weight: 75-95 pounds
Female- Height: 22-24 inches Weight: 75-95 pounds
Male- Height: 24-27 inches, Weight: 85-135 pounds
Female- Height: 22-25 inches, Weight: 80-100 pounds
Evenly matched though the Rottweiler is a little bigger.
A well trained German shepherd dog will be less aggressive.
An untrained rottweiler can be very dangerous.

German shepherd vs Rottweiler health and temperament related info

 German shepherdRottweilerWho Won
TemperamentAlert
Fearless
Direct
Not hostile
Keen
Courageous
Obedient
Eager to learn
Brave
Extremely faithful and loyal
Intelligent
Confident
Calm
Courageous
Never shy
Intelligent
Trainable
Loyal
Protective
Brave
German shepherd has the edge with an overall better temperament.
Health issuesHip Dysplasia: hereditary condition in which the thighbone does not fit well into the hip joint.

Elbow Dysplasia: hereditary condition caused by the different growth rate of the dog’s elbow resulting in elbow joint laxity.

Gastric Dilatation-volvulus (GDV): a potentially fatal condition in which the dog’s stomach is distended with gas causing it to twist.

Degenerative Myelopathy: this is a spinal cord disease that makes it difficult for the dog to move its hind legs and may ultimately progress to the point where the dog cannot walk at all.

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency: a genetic disease that makes it difficult for the dog to digest and absorb food.

Allergies: German shepherd may suffer from allergies that may result in excessive scratching.
Hip Dysplasia: hereditary condition in which the thighbone does not fit well into the hip joint.

Elbow Dysplasia: hereditary condition that results in a malformed elbow joint

Aortic Stenosis: a common hereditary heart defect that results in an abnormal narrowing of the aorta which makes the heart work harder in order to supply blood to the body. May cause fainting or even sudden death.

Osteosarcoma: malignant bone tumor.

Gastric Dilatation-volvulus (GDV): a potentially fatal condition in which the dog’s stomach is distended with gas causing it to twist.

Panosteitis: a painful condition that is common in young age (puppies) and usually results in limping and lameness.

Hypothyroidism: is caused by the deficiency of the thyroid hormone which may results in loss of hair, obesity and infertility.

Skin disease such as allergies -causes itchy skin, bacteria skin infection, non-tumors growths, demodectic mange and occasionally vitiligo.

Prone to obesity
Both have a rather long list of health issues and seriously, it is difficult to choose between the two breeds. Reluctantly my pick as the winner is the German shepherd in this difficult health contest.
Tendency to droolmoderatelyHighGerman shepherd wins.
Life span10-12 years8-11 yearsGerman shepherd wins.
FeedingThese high energy dogs require a power packed diet that is rich in protein in order to meet their dietary needs. Feeding pure protein is better than poor quality commercial dog foodSame feeding requirement for the GSD holds for the Rottweiler. It should be feed on high quality food that is rich in meat (good source of protein) and avoid food containing byproductsNo contest
Litter size4 to 9 puppies8 to 12 puppiesRottweiler wins.
The German shepherd has a bite force of 238 pounds.
Rottweiler has a bite force of 328 pounds.

 

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German shepherd vs Rottweiler bite force and speed related info

 German shepherdRottweilerWho Won
Bite force238 pounds328 poundsThe Rottweiler is the clear winner.
Fatality biteRanked no 18Ranked no 3German shepherd is the winner; it kills fewer people than the Rottweiler.
SpeedAround 30mphAround 25mphGerman shepherd wins the contest of speed.
If bored, not socialized and obedience trained from puppyVery destructive when bored and very suspicious of people when it is not properly socialized which may lead to unnecessary aggression.Very difficult to handle, unreliable and aggressiveGerman shepherd wins; even though both breeds can be dangerous if not well trained and socialized but you’d better keep a greater distance from an untrained Rottweiler while also keeping your distance from the untrained German shepherd.
Suitable for indoor or outdoor lifestyle?Indoor +outdoor :yes
Indoor only : no
Outdoor only: yes
Indoor +outdoor :yes
Indoor only : no
Outdoor only: yes
Both are winners.
The German shepherd has a speed of about 30mph
Rottweiler has a speed of about 25mph.