Rottweilers are well known for their natural abilities as herding, guarding, and protection dogs. This has made them a very popular pet dog choice for individuals and families.
The Pitbull has a very different perception in the public eye, unfortunately. Whereas Rottweilers are seen as noble and selflessly brave protectors, Pitbulls are seen as a dangerous menace to society.
This means lots of people have questions about whether a Rottweiler could get along with a Pitbull. The truth may just be stranger than any fiction that populates the internet today!
Do Rottweilers Get Along With Pitbulls?
Rottweilers are strong, confident protection dogs. So are Pitbulls. This means that sometimes extra care, training, and socialization is needed to help these dogs get along and enjoy each other’s company.
However, Rottweilers and Pitbulls can get along if that socialization and training is provided. The best time to introduce a Rottie and a Pittie is when both dogs are puppies.
Watch a Professional K-9 Trainer Socialize a Pitbull and Rottweiler
This helpful YouTube video shows you a good way to introduce and socialize a Rottweiler and a Pitbull.
In the video, you learn more about what can happen when you own a dog breed that is generally considered to be “dangerous” or “high risk.”
Sadly, both the Rottweiler and the Pitbull tend to fall into this category when it comes to housing restrictions and even homeowners’ insurance policies. But this video is proof that both breeds can be socialized to behave safely and appropriately.
Understanding the Bans Against Pitbulls
Pitbulls used to be a very popular pet dog as well until just in the last few decades.
In fact, the designation “pitbull” is actually a misnomer, as researchers at the University of Florida’s College of Veterinary Sciences points out.
Genetic studies have proven that a great many dogs that struggle under the polarizing breed label of “pitbull” do not even have any genetic relation to one another!
In fact, there is only one dog breed that could be considered a “true” pitbull, as the American Kennel Club points out, and that is the American Staffordshire Terrier.
But the nickname Pitbull was never meant to stick or to apply to a single dog breed. Rather, it was simply a term used to describe dogs that fought other dogs in a pit-type arena setting.
The Today Show highlights just how different these so-called Pitbulls can be from each other as well as how differently they can behave than the stereotypical attack machine pit bulls are rumored to be.
However, the label has stuck and is used nearly indiscriminately to discriminate against Pitbulls as more dangerous than other dog breeds, as National Geographic points out.
What is interesting is that the Rottweiler is said to have just as strong a bite force as the pitbull, but is not discriminated against to nearly so great a degree.
As Psychology Today points out, the Rottweiler and the Pitbull have very similar bite strengths, but the Rottweiler is the big winner in that contest with 328 pounds of bite force strength.
Because a Pitbull is not an actual dog breed and so many of the dogs that are mislabeled as Pitbulls simply share a common appearance, it is impossible to say how the pitbull compares with the Rottweiler in any other significant ways.
But the point can be made that a pitbull is inherently no more or less dangerous or difficult to socialize than a Rottweiler, as Animals 24-7 so aptly points out.
All guarding and protection dog breeds, whether purebred or mixed breed, need firm and positive handling, early and ongoing training and socialization, and a close bond with their handler to get along with other dogs as well as live safely in a community.
What About the Pitweiler?
In the wake of the ongoing debate about whether Pitbulls are truly dangerous or not, a new hybrid dog breed has arisen and is becoming more popular every day.
This hybrid dog breed has one Rottweiler parent dog and one Pitbull (American Staffordshire Terrier) parent dog and is called – not surprisingly – the Pitweiler.
As this YouTube video demonstrates, the Pitweiler can be a loving and loyal family companion just like any other well-bred, well-trained, and well-socialized dog breed.
The Pitweiler is living proof that a Rottweiler and a Pitbull (of any genetic lineage) can learn to get along and even live quite happily together.
The fact is, these two dogs share a lot of very complementary and similar traits, which can make them the worst of enemies under bad conditions and potentially the best of friends under good conditions.
Why Is It Vital to Socialize a Rottweiler and a Pitbull Together?
If you want to add a Rottweiler to your family and you already have a Pitbull (or vice versa), you will want to take the same basic steps you would take to introduce and socialize any two dogs that do not know each other.
The one area where you will need to exercise more caution is in the area of these dogs’ sheer size and strength.
In other words, it is one thing to introduce two small lap dogs to one another, but can be another matter indeed to introduce two strong and powerful guarding and protection dogs for the first time.
Some people think wrongly that socializing a guarding and protection dog will take all the protective instincts right out of the dog. King Rottweilers breeder says this is exactly the opposite of the truth.
In fact, guarding and protection dog breeds like the Rottweiler and the Pitbull need even more socialization and training than do other dog breeds.
This is to help these dogs learn to temper their natural instincts to not put innocent people and animals in danger.
Genetics Is Only One Piece of the Puzzle
As the ASCPA explains, more important than any issue of the breed is the background of the specific Rottweiler and pitbull you are working with.
While a dog breed’s genes may indicate the dog has been bred to do a specific kind of work, such as fighting, hunting, protection, or herding, how that dog is raised, socialized, trained, and handled will have as much impact if not more.
A dog that has been loved, handled gently, well trained, and socialized using positive reinforcement and included in family life is going to behave very differently from a puppy mill dog that has been fed a poor diet, ignored, mistreated, or abandoned.
So whenever you consider how two dogs might get along – or not – it is important to start by learning everything you can about each dog’s individual and unique history. This will tell you where problems may arise when socializing the two dogs together.
How to Introduce a Rottweiler and a Pitbull to Each Other Safely
The first thing to remember is that the Rottweiler and the Pitbull are both dogs with strong, dominant personalities.
Both dogs bond closely with “their” people and can be territorial with their home, food, toys, bedding, and yard, as Lane County points out.
This means the number one strategy to introduce two dogs with this type of personality is to pick a neutral setting for the first meeting. You don’t want either dog to have any personal attachment to the place of the meeting.
Before you meet, you will want to give each dog something that smells like the other dog. Just let each dog sniff the other dog’s scent and get familiar with it.
While this doesn’t always work, often it can help keep the dogs calmer when meeting for the first time because the scent of the other dog is recognized.
For the first meeting, each dog should be leashed and have a dedicated handler. The first meeting should be brief and filled with praise and treats for every friendly or even neutral gesture each dog makes towards the other, no matter how small.
If the first meeting goes well, you can plan a second meeting. Again, this meeting should take place on neutral territory. If this meeting also goes smoothly, it is time to try a meeting at your home.
Get Your Home Ready for Your Rottweiler and Pitbull to Meet
Before you have the meeting at your home, you will want to take some steps. Remove anything that could cause your Rottweiler (or Pitbull) to be defensive or territorial. Examples might include food or toys.
Start outside your home, preferably across the street or at a local park where the territory is neutral. Then you can walk the dogs home side by side, allowing your dog to get unleashed and enter the home first before unleashing the new dog.
Hiring a professional dog trainer can also help the two dogs get off to the best possible start.