If you are searching for the perfect new pet and you want a purebred Rottweiler, then you need to be able to tell by its appearance if it is indeed purebred.
Dogs don’t have to be registered to be purebred, because one of the parent dogs may be the perfect size and shape of a Rottweiler without papers.
This means the puppies can’t be registered if one of the parents isn’t. Read on to find out all the different ways to tell if the puppy or adult dog you are considering is indeed a purebred Rottweiler.
How To Tell If an Adult Dog is a Purebred Rottweiler
Checking the dog’s appearance against the American Kennel Club (AKC) standards can tell you if a dog is purebred. Adult Rottweilers are versatile, gentle, and loving dogs with amazing strength, power, intelligence, and the ability to protect their family at all times. They have short, smooth coats that are shiny and very muscular bodies.
The Rottweiler’s General Appearance
A Rottie, as they are affectionately known, has a laid-back disposition and makes a great military or police dog due to its personality and qualities. They are considered a large breed of dog that is built solidly with a mellow demeanor.
The Rottweilers Body Size and Shape
An adult male Rottie will be about 95 to 135 pounds and will be 24 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder. An adult female is a bit smaller and weighs 80 to 100 pounds with a shoulder height of 22 to 25 inches tall. In general, the body is bulky-looking and compact and males will have a larger bone structure throughout the body than females.
Their height-to-length ratio is 9:10, meaning that they are almost square looking, with the length being only slightly longer from the chest to the beginning of the tail as compared to the shoulder height.
A Rottweiler’s depth of the chest to height ratio is 1:2. The depth of the chest is measured on the front of the dog from side to side on the chest and compared to the shoulder height.
The Rottweiler’s Coat and Markings
Rottweilers are double-coated with an undercoat and an outercoat. The outer coat is medium length and very dense. It is a course to the touch and it lies flat and straight. On the ears, head, and legs, the cost is shorter. The undercoat can’t be seen through the outer coat and it is straight and course.
A mixed-breed Rottie may have a longer coat and it may not be as short or lie flat. If this is what you are seeing on a prospective new family pet, it is most likely not purebred.
Rottweilers have distinctive markings on their coats. The body is primarily black with either tan or mahogany markings on the chest, legs, and face. You will also notice two markings of tan or mahogany right above the eyes, like eyebrows, that give this breed of dog a very intelligent appearance, which can also be playful at times.
The Rottweiler’s Head Shape
The head is boxy and square looking because it is about the same size in width as height. The spacing between the ears is broader than in other breeds of dogs.
The Rottweiler’s Eyes
Rottweilers have expressive eyes of a dark brown color and are medium-sized and almond-shaped. These are the only standards for the eyes. If you notice yellow eyes on a dog you are looking at to try to determine if it’s a purebred Rottweiler–this is a huge sign that it is not. Rottweilers also have hair on the rims of the eyes, which is another dead giveaway if they lack this trait and it means that they are a mixed breed.
The Rottweiliers Ears
A purebred Rottie has medium-sized ears that are set far apart from each other on the sides of its head. They are triangular in shape and they fold forward with the tip of the triangle downward.
The Rottweiler’s Tail
Some breeders dock Rottie puppies’ tails shortly after they are born. If the dog has a docked tail, it will be short and close to the body. The dog you are considering may not have had its tail docked. If not, the tail will be black with a slight curve in it and it hangs down to the rear hocks.
The Rottwielers Temperament
Rotties are loving and compassionate dogs that are usually very calm, although they can act quite goofy at times when they are young. You need to be the dominant pack leader in order to properly train this breed of dog because it can be a bit strong-willed at times.
In training, Rottweilers are very intelligent and they learn commands much quicker than other breeds of dogs. They are playful and gentle while being highly loyal to their families.
If you get a purebred Rottweiler puppy, make sure you start training it right away because it is a very powerful dog as an adult and you definitely don’t want to let it jump up on your or small family members.
The Rottweiler’s Lips and Mouth
To be a purebred Rottie, your dog or puppy should have black lips with a dark color of pigmentation in the mouth. If there are pink spots on the lips or inside of the mouth, the dog is not purebred.
The lips should close entirely at the corners and they shouldn’t hang down lower than the bottom jaw line. A dog with really large jowls is not a purebred dog.
Acceptable Deviations From The Rottweiler Standard
Just as you see in children, a litter of Rottweilers can have some that differ slightly from others in size and appearance. Some adults may be leaner, taller, or stockier than others and still be considered purebred Rottie.
How to Tell If a Puppy is a Purebred Rottweiler
If you are considering a Rottweiler puppy for your new family member and want to make sure it is purebred, you can examine all the characteristics in the breed standard to make your determination. Sometimes it’s harder to tell if a puppy is purebred because the cuteness just kinda gets in the way of your examination. Fortunately, there are other sure-fire ways to know if a dog or puppy is purebred.
Other Methods of Identifying a Purebred Rottweiler
Let’s say you are looking at a dog or puppy and you are told they are purebred but have no registration papers. You can easily look up the papers of the parent dogs online or simply ask the breeder to see their papers. If the breeder refuses, you should walk away from this scam.
If there are papers for a dog or puppy examine them closely and make sure they were registered with the correct organization to be purebred. In order to be purebred and registered, a dog’s papers should be through the AKC only.
The Continental Kennel Club (CKC) will allow the registration of mixed breed dogs and pure breeds. So if the papers are from CKC, you should look elsewhere.
You should be able to request health clearances from a reputable breeder on both parent dogs that were done before they were bred. This will alert you to any diseases or other items that may be inherited from either parent in the future. You should also request a health clearance for your puppy too and look at it closely.
DNA Testing Puppies and Dogs
A DNA test will definitely tell you if a dog or puppy is a purebred Rottweiler. You can easily use an at-home kit and follow the instructions to swab the inside of the cheeks. You then mail it off and get results back within a matter of weeks.
Your veterinarian can also perform a DNA test for you which usually requires a blood sample.
Your test results may say 100% Rottweiler or it may say a lower percentage of being a Rottie, which means it isn’t purebred–but depending on the estimated percentage, it could be very close.
Problems With Non-Purebred Dogs
Purebred Rotties are lovely family members that get along well with anyone of any age and they also get along well with other pets. If you get a dog or puppy that is not purebred, you can’t be certain of its temperament as it grows older. Other breeds can also have genetic or congenital problems and you may not be able to predict the size when your puppy or dog is full-grown.
How Much Does a Purebred Rottweiler Cost?
As in all dog breeds, a registered dog or puppy costs more than a purebred that is not registered. A Rottweiler puppy that is registered costs between $1,400 and $3,500. Females cost more than males and puppies cost more than adults. If the dog or puppy has champion bloodlines, then they will be on the high end of the spectrum in price, because the breeder expects your dog to be a show dog as well.
If you are unsure about a breeder and his credentials or if anything seems wrong, then step away from the dogs or puppies. Unethical breeders will charge you the same price for a champion dog that is actually not purebred.
If it’s a puppy you are looking at, ask to see the parent dogs make a determination if they are purebred puppies as well.
Mixed Genes May Not Be So Bad
If your dog or puppy has mixed genes from many generations ago and the newer generations have all been purebred or registered Rottweilers, then your dog or puppy might be very close in appearance and temperament to a purebred Rottie.
Your particular dog may have a pink or brown marking on the black nose or a slight underbite like a bulldog. These signs indicate it is a mixed breed from somewhere in the genetics.
If you purchase a puppy or dog on the assumption that it is purebred, do a DNA test, and find out it’s not purebred, you should consider some items. First, take your new pet to the vet to be checked over thoroughly for any defects that need attention. Don’t treat your dog any differently than if it were purebred and spay or neuter it so it doesn’t produce more puppies that are mixed breeds and not true to the breed standard.