Have you ever considered acquiring a second or third dog for your household and pondered if you should prioritize the breed? Would a particular type of dog have a better chance of getting along with your established pets?
Perhaps you do not believe dogs can even decipher different breeds. But do similar breeds speak a nonverbal language that they can better share than dogs that are physically nothing alike?
Do Rottweilers prefer other Rotties? Do Rottweilers and Dobermans get along?
Rottweilers and Dobermans get along because they have similar personality traits, a few lineages in common, and are close in size.
Despite the physical similarities you can readily see, Rotties and Dobies are not as compatible as other pairings.
Some of their shared traits such as boldness, self-assuredness, protectiveness, and territorial aggression can cause friction in their interactions.
Moreover, complex factors besides breed similarities determine how well Rotties get along with other dogs.
We use several categories to determine how well Rottweilers and Dobermans get along. We discuss how some of their breed differences make these two dog types less compatible than others.
Moreover, for Rottweilers, gender preferences are much more important than breed similarities.
Further considerations are a fighting background in both breeds and differences in expression because of the ear and tail modifications.
Rottweilers and Dobermans have similar physical and behavioral traits.
Rottweilers and Dobermans have a good chance of getting along reasonably well because they are similar in size. They stand at the same eye level, making it easy to assess each other and read intention. Moreover, they can quickly detect facial expressions.
Rottweilers are 22 to 27 inches tall and weigh 80 to 135 pounds. Dobermans can be 26 to 28 inches tall and weigh 75 to 100 pounds.
For many dogs, size is one of the most important factors in determining psychological compatibility. A similar size starts two dogs on equal footing before personality and force of will take over.
Dogs close in weight and proportions make better playmates as they can perform maneuvers such as shoulder bumping and biting the neck without much risk of serious injury.
Social and Communication Skills
It seems safe to assume that dogs do not differentiate between breeds in the same way fanciers do. They would have no evolutionary reason to even care about different dog breeds.
However, they may gravitate towards the same breed because of a recognition of identical features and similar behaviors.
Dogs mostly care about how well they can communicate with others to establish trust and avoid stressful interactions.
Except in dogfighting, whereby dogs become conditioned against their instincts, canids tend to avoid confrontations that could result in serious injury to themselves. Body language and the establishment of strong social bonds are how dogs avoid fights, tension, and injury.
Since we selected dog breeds for specific traits, many of them related to purpose, their communication has subtle variations to reflect this.
Dobermans and Rottweilers are both working dogs often used for protection, guarding, and police work.
Their initial communication tends to be an upright head, alert forward-oriented stance, and watchful stare. Both dogs approach unfamiliarity boldly yet with restraint and caution.
Rottweilers do not seem to struggle to interpret signals from dogs with either cropped or hanging ears. The only problems in language come from ears that are cropped extremely short or amputated.
Docked tails, on the other hand, can inhibit the full expression and interpretation of aggression, fear, joy, and submission.
Luckily, a dog expresses her mental state and emotions through other means than her tail’s position.
However, Rotties and Dobies with full tails express themselves more effectively than those with almost no tails.
Rottweilers are upright and forceful communicators. As you can see with these challenging cattle, a Rottie assesses his adversary with calm and watchful appraisal, intimidates with an erect posture and challenging stare, and backs his intentions with a forceful charge and vocalization if necessary.
Rottweilers take this communication style with them when facing strangers or other dogs. Your hope with dogs is that the forceful charge will lead to chasing and vigorous play.
With its communication series, Rotties rarely must bite, but their charge will often lead to a strong shoulder bump if the target does not move.
Many dogs learn to modify their approach, so they do not make contact. Sheepherding is one area where this impulse control is imperative.
Dogs can find common grounds of communication through their play styles.
Rottweilers are wrestling dogs that are comfortable with a high degree of physical contact. While they enjoy bumping when running and charging, they do not necessarily like being knocked off their feet.
Dobermans are comfortable with running and chasing and with less contact than Rottweilers. This is understandable because they are faster and lighter on their feet.
They tend to reach in for a nip and dash away or establish contact from a loftier position than the Rottie.
Therefore, you will see Dobies stand on their hind legs and try to establish contact with their feet.
You may see disagreements if the Rottweiler becomes frustrated when the Dobie darts in and out too much.
Also, more dominant Rotties do not like it when dogs land on top of them, such as when a Doberman is rearing up.
Nevertheless, the two breeds can coexist amiably because they enjoy a rough and vigorous playing style.
Lineage and Character
The Rottweiler is an ancient breed, its ancestors appearing with the Roman legions in Germany around 73 AD.
It likely came from a branch in the livestock guardian lines of the Greek and British Molossus dogs. Germany established the Rottweiler as a breed by 1901.
Rotties are more versatile than you would think. Their early jobs included herding cattle, pulling carts of supplies, guarding purses, and military and police duties.
Dobermans developed from many dogs, including the Rottweiler, in the late 1800s. Originally, the Dobie was a protection dog with later work in guard and police duties.
The background of a breed can give you clues as to how it will react to other dogs. Dobermans and Rottweilers are both guard and police, so you see similarities in character.
- Fearless and courageous
- Potentially aggressive
- Rough play with tackling and loud vocalization is highly possible
Unfortunately, both Dobermans and Rottweilers have been used for dogfighting. It is one similarity that can interfere with their chances of getting along.
Where do the Rottweiler and Doberman differ so greatly that they might not see eye to eye?
The Doberman is the only widely known breed that was created specifically as a personal bodyguard. Rottweilers are herding dogs of the drover type.
From this perspective, Dobermans stand against an adversary without backing down. Rottweilers try to get cattle and sheep to turn away from them.
In this manner, the dogs can drive livestock from behind. Intuitively, you can see how these canine goals are a bit counterproductive to each other.
Age – Puppies get along, dogs may not
Age is another factor to consider when deciding whether Rottweilers and Dobermans will get along. Puppies almost universally get along, no matter the breed, unless there has been abuse or a horrible experience.
Like children, puppies usually quickly find a common language and readily engage in play with one another. Their disagreements tend to be minor, but you have the occasional pup that does not like to share toys or bullies others.
Another tidbit is that dogs that grow up together often continue to get along as adults. However, do not let the fact that you have both a Rottweiler and a Doberman puppy give you a false sense of security.
Puppies may grow up to have serious disagreements and irreconcilable differences. Why is this, you wonder?
Puppies undergo significant changes during adolescence and then again at about 18 to 36 months. You see these changes prominently in many guard breeds.
German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Akitas love everyone when they are young. Many do not show much discrimination or guarding instincts until they are six months or older.
It is not uncommon for dogs to come into their own as guard dogs as late as two years of age. Similarly, puppies may not develop dog selectivity until they are two to three years old.
If a puppy or adult becomes dog selective, she will like the company of certain dogs and not others, according to the Animal Humane Society.
Rottweilers are prone to outgrow being dog social (love all dogs) and may develop a dislike for even a dog they grew up with based on personality differences.
For Rottweilers, gender is much more important than breed to determine whether they will get along with another dog.
Intact male dogs tend to be the most difficult to introduce to other dogs. Testosterone drives them to fight other dogs for territory and mating rights.
Some dogs are only hostile against other intact males. Others want to attack any dog that is not receptive to their courting advances.
Many dogs respond positively when you neuter them. The younger you neuter a dog, the quicker you can witness a change in hormonal reactivity and aggression.
Intact females are the second most aggressive group when encountering a dog of the same sex. However, even with fixed dogs, you usually will get better results if you match female dogs with males.
Neutered animals are not completely devoid of testosterone and estrogen. On the other hand, every dog is an individual, and some same-gender Rotties get along fine. Be aware of tendencies, though, and avoid taking risks.
You can influence how Rottweilers and Dobermans get along
Training and Socialization
Your Rottweiler is less likely to get along with any dog, Doberman or otherwise if you do not focus on socializing her when she is a puppy.
Your job becomes more challenging with breeders who are eager to sell their puppies by five to seven weeks of age. Rotties learn valuable skills from their littermates up until they are ten weeks old and beyond.
Your other challenge is exposing your Rottweiler puppy to deadly viruses like parvo before his vaccination series is complete. Speak with your veterinarian about appropriate canine interactions before your puppy is five months old.
The critical period for canine socialization ends around 12 to 16 weeks of age, after which it becomes more difficult to change your pet’s perception of other dogs.
Professionals can often get two dogs to get along regardless of gender. A trainer, handler, or owner will establish a social hierarchy and thus choose which dog will be dominant. This method comes with its problems.
- Novice and unknowledgeable owners cannot effectively appoint a dominant dog
- A few dogs have dominant aggression, and if you choose the wrong one, they can have simmering resentment and hostility that will inevitably come out later
- Dogs may not respect the social hierarchy when you are gone
Dobermans and Rottweilers both require about 1.5 to 2 hours of exercise every day. A portion of their activities must be rigorous.
Most owners realize at some point that dogs, especially those in the working group, behave better and are more mentally balanced if they receive sufficient exercise. Furthermore, they will get along more healthily with other dogs.
Rotties and Dobies are not only active working dogs, but they have a drive and intensity that can make them competitive.
Exercising them together may increase their bond and help you manage their prey drives and quell antagonistic rivalries in the making.
According to renowned canine psychologists’ list in Dobermansden.com, Dobermans rank No.5 and Rottweilers No. 9 in working intelligence.
With such high cleverness, both breeds require varied training and frequent interaction with their owners to prevent boredom.
Dogs with insufficient mental stimulation can show the same behavioral problems as a lack of physical exercise. Moreover, they can suffer from neurosis and anxiety.
Some breeds appear more compatible with Rottweilers than Dobermans
It can be difficult to accurately assess the compatibility of dogs. You may think Rottweilers are more compatible with German Shepherds than Dobermans.
However, the GSD is the second most common dog in the US as of 2021, so it could be you see them interact more. Nevertheless, a few breeds seem to get along better with Rotties than Dobies do.
- Australian Shepherd – Smaller in size but similar herding style and body proportions; Face and tail are very similar if Rottie’s tail is docked
- Australian Cattle Dog – Even more similar in personality and purpose to Rottie than Australian Shepherd
- German Shepherd Dog – Both breeds are herding and guarding dogs
- Labrador Retrievers – Labradors are social with just about everyone, have a laidback personality, are fine not challenging other dogs, and are similar in size and conformation to Rottweilers; they are fit and active, able to sustain roughhousing
This video illustrates several noteworthy observations.
- The social makeup of the GSD puppy
- This Rottweiler is socialized, but the fact this is a female GSD and a male Rottie makes a difference
- The size gap is not too large
- Rottweiler exercises restraint in using his body
These dogs have established a chase routine that will mark a beautiful friendship even when the GSD reaches adulthood.
The Jack Russell type running the fence might be able to keep up with the Rottie but is too small for unsupervised play.
Summary – Do Rottweilers and Dobermans get along?
Reasons They May Not Get Along
- With dog selectivity, they may have a personality clash
- Neither breed backs down because of personality traits selected for guarding and protection
- Subtle differences in play style – Dobie too light and quick, Rottie too physical
- Same-gender aggression
- Dogfighting history
- Training and socializing needs not met
- Not enough exercise or mental stimulation
Reasons They May Get Along
- Close in size
- Similar play styles that are sometimes complementary
- Personality traits are similar
- Share some common ancestors
- Familiarity – If they grow up together, chances increase they will get along as adults
This video shows a Rottweiler and Doberman meeting. It illustrates the boldness of the Dobie and the watchfulness of the Rottie. You can see the Doberman’s tendency to explode upwards, putting its head over the Rottie’s neck and paws over the rottweiler’s back.
These dogs may get along as they both are very well-socialized. However, some Rotties may not like the dominant behaviors of the Dobie. Meetings between dogs should never occur with a tight leash.
This video is a great example of a harmonious relationship between a Rottweiler and a Doberman. We are not sure of their age, so they may still be quite young. This could affect their social acceptance of one another.
Also, their owners may have acquired them at the same time, and they grew up together. However, the tug of war game gives them a competitive and mentally stimulating exercise they can perform together.
They both receive their owner’s attention at the same time. Other helpful elements that make this pairing work are as follows:
- Doberman appears to be a male, and the Rottie is a female
- The Rottweiler defers to the Doberman
- The two dogs are very close in size
- The owner has established respect and obedience; notice the Rottie is not quite as responsive as the Dobie