Have you finally decided that it is time for your Rottweiler to get another dog? Is there any dog breed that is even suitable to be a friend to a Rottweiler?
After all, your dog seems pretty attached to you and a little protective. Won’t he fight with anything you bring into your home?
What makes the best companion dog for Rottweiler? A couple of breeds may come to mind if you consider the temperament of a Rottie.
Despite their reputation, they are smart, well-rounded, potentially outgoing dogs. Rotties respond well to similarly bold and versatile dogs, especially working or sporting breeds like the Labrador Retriever and GSD.
We Cover four major breeds with a couple of honorable mentions that are most suitable as Rottie companions. We based our selections on temperament, approach to people and other animals, and size.
What kind of temperament is best for Rottweiler?
Your Rottweiler does not need a pal with the same temperament as her, but you both will appreciate compatibility.
Dogs, similarly to people, seem to gravitate to those that are like themselves. However, you usually do not want too much of a good thing, so you are not searching for a twin of your Rottie.
Rather, you want similar traits plus a few qualities that will compliment your dog. For example, if your dog is a little hyper, you can aim for a more laid-back soul.
Before you try to find the ideal companion dog for your Rottie, you will need to know the temperament of your dog.
The easiest way is to use a checklist of the most consistent Rottweiler traits.
- Reserved – No easy friendships
- Potentially dog aggressive, especially same-sex
A companion dog who will balance your Rottie and provide a lasting friendship should have a few standard traits of her own.
- Self-assured – Not easily intimidated
- High-energy to keep up
- Not overly outgoing – Must respect your Rottie’s slow acceptance of new animals
- Well-socialized with other dogs – Must know proper canine etiquette
- Dog friendly
- Easy going
Your new dog should be the same size as Rottie
Size is one of the most important considerations in your quest for a companion for your Rottweiler. No doubt you see many Rottweilers in households with much smaller dogs.
If you trust your Rottie 100% and you know her friendship with your miniature Poodle is rock solid, that is one thing.
Dogs that grow up together also tend to build bonds, and you can hopefully trust your Rottie will never harm his puppyhood friend.
As you search for a new dog pal for your Rottie, you should choose a breed that will be about the same size. For safety, the size difference of the two dogs when fully grown should be no more than 20%.
Even the best of friends can have disagreements, and small dogs are at significant risk of severe injury from their larger counterparts.
- Larger dogs can lift and shake smaller ones – Can cause the death of toy or miniature breeds
- Bite wounds – Lacerations and punctures deeper on smaller dos, fractures more likely
- Small dogs can be crushed by the weight of heavier breeds in roughhousing or when larger dog asserts dominance
- Tiny breeds are more likely to display inappropriate body language to other dogs out of fear or false bravado, “Napoleon syndrome” – Behavior can sometimes resemble a squeaky toy or wounded prey, stimulating aggressive attacks
- Large dogs will sometimes engage in pack behavior against fleeing small breeds
Does dog gender matter?
Dog owners commonly wonder if they can have two males in the same household. Of course, you can because it clearly happens all the time. But are dogs of the same sex more likely to engage in serious fights?
The answer is not straightforward because there are a lot of individual variances and it can depend on the dog’s breed.
Rottweilers can have gender-aggressive behavior against dogs of their same-sex. Moreover, female Rotties also exhibit untoward aggression against each other.
Not all Rotties will show any hostility against other dogs, but the tendency is more prevalent than in some other breeds.
It is worthwhile considering a new addition of the opposite sex as a companion for your Rottie. Neutering your pets also may help tremendously by lowering hormone-driven aggression.
With new studies on the possible ill effects of early spays and castrations on Rottweilers, consult with your veterinarian about the pros and cons of neutering your pet.
Determine an appropriate schedule that best benefits your pet’s health in balance with controlling his or her behavior.
What breeds make the best companions for Rottweilers?
Dogs are complex emotional creatures who have evolved quite a bit from their wolf ancestors. Pack dynamics have all but deteriorated in the domesticated canid.
Even feral dogs that form loose associations behave nothing like wild dog packs. Therefore, how any two dogs will get along, regardless of breed, is somewhat unpredictable.
What follows is a select few dog breeds that have the most compatible temperaments with Rottweilers and meet the size criteria.
There are many breeds that we do not mention that may get along famously with your Rottie. On the other hand, you may find a representative from one of the featured breeds only to see your Rottie take an instant dislike to her.
However, since most dogs are innately social, they usually learn to tolerate each other in the same household. Use practical considerations to avoid fights any time you can.
- Feed dogs separately – This is wise as Rotties are a guarding breed and can be food aggressive
- Dogs in heat – If you have an intact male, watch for sexual aggression related to competition for mating rights
- History of dogfighting – Intuitively not a good match for your Rottie
- Fighting over you or another family member – You may need a professional trainer
- Territorial aggression – Rooms in the house, bed
- Dominance aggression – Some dogs do not have a dominance relationship (they are completely equal), but in many cases, one dog must be willing to back down
Finally, there are personality quirks or certain backgrounds that may disrupt any breed compatibility projections.
- Puppies raised together – Often inseparable bond regardless of the breed but rarely will develop a bitter rivalry
- Socialization – You cannot overestimate the importance of socialization of both dogs and learning appropriate canine communication
- Owner’s leadership skills – If your dogs respect you they will modify their behavior to please you; i.e. if you accept a new dog into the household then so must they
- Obedience – Will your dog listen if you give a command not to fight, for example?
- Chemistry – Similarly to people, certain dogs will inexplicably dislike each other; If two animals must live together, they can usually tolerate each other but it is best never to leave them completely alone together
If you had to come up with one word for the Labrador it would probably be unflappable.
The ultimate gundog and companion, No.1 in popularity according to the AKC, the Labrador Retriever is unsurprisingly one of the best companions for Rotties.
Easy-going without being pushovers, Labs are happy. They go through life as if nothing phases them.
Labradors are 21 to 25 inches tall and weigh 55 to 85 pounds. Many breeds in the retriever group would be suitable companions for Rotties. Some retriever lines, even Goldens, produce dog aggression.
Trained to work in teams, Siberian Huskies are no strangers to cooperating with other dogs. And if anyone knows how to coax a reluctant playmate, it is a Husky.
The Siberian Husky is jovial like a Lab but with much higher intensity and energy. You may not want to acquire a Husky if you have a high-energy working Rottie.
Either the two dogs will tire each other out, which would be great, or they will they could prove unmanageable.
- Outgoing – Social with people and other dogs
- Tremendous stamina and energy
The Siberian Husky is 20 to 24 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 35 to 70 pounds. A husky toward the larger end of the size spectrum is a better match for a Rottweiler.
Alaskan Malamutes, albeit similar, are more solitary and dog aggressive in general than Siberian Huskies.
So much variation exists in the German Shepherd that you will have to do your homework to find a good match for your Rottie.
However, of the herding breeds, the Shepherd is an ideal size. With ethical breeding and conscientious training, the GSD possesses all the personality traits that would be compatible with a Rottie.
The pair can work especially well together if you mix the genders.
- Bold and courageous
- Dominant – Males more so than females; Male Rottie with female GSD should mesh well
- Work oriented – Working lines extremely driven
You may think Shepherds are too intense to pair with Rotties. However, the Rottweiler can be a source of stability for the GSD and encourage play in a breed that can be rather serious.
Moreover, when German Shepherds herded, they often worked a perimeter with another dog. German Shepherds are 22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulders and weigh 55 to 95 pounds.
Scotch Collies are another herding dog that can associate successfully with Rotties but some of them are little on the small size at 40 pounds.
Australian Shepherds and Heelers often occupy households with Rottweilers, but again, they are medium-sized dogs and thus a bit on the small side of ideal.
However, all three of these related breeds are active, intelligent, friendly, and confident.
German Short-Haired Pointer
The Pointer’s rise in popularity makes it an easy choice for a Rottweiler companion. Many seem to roll the traits of a Labrador retriever and Rottweiler into one dog.
Active bird dogs, young dogs of both breeds in a home at the same time may be hard to handle. Like the Rottie, the German Short-Hair is needy and requires plenty of exercises.
- High-energy – Boisterous, exuberant
The German Short-haired Pointer is a powerful dog that stands 21 to 25 inches tall and weighs 55 to 80 pounds.
This is a good visual of how a lazier Rottie can compliment an extremely active GSD. The other aspect to note is that the dogs are of opposite genders.