Dogs are the most popular companion animals on our planet. They are so wonderful, loving, and loyal. But some dog breeds just seem to be more popular than all the rest. This definitely describes both the Golden Retriever and the Rottweiler dog breeds.
When you are choosing between two such universally beloved dog breeds, this can make your decision feel all the harder!
The Rottweiler is well known for its protective instincts and unstoppable courage. The Golden Retriever, on the other hand, is so famously friendly these dogs can seem like the social coordinator for your family.
Which dog breed is the right pick for you? Let’s find out now!
Rottweiler vs Golden Retriever
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Rottweiler is a large dog breed that belongs to the AKC’s working dog group.
The Golden Retriever, on the other hand, is a medium to the large dog breed that belongs to the AKC’s sporting dog group.
Working dogs can have very different temperaments and needs than sporting dogs. You will also face different training and socialization challenges with the Rottweiler vs Golden Retriever that are important to think through in advance.
Learn About the Golden Retriever vs Rottweiler
This short and focused YouTube video gives you a helpful comparison of these two popular dog breeds.
You can see the two different breeds side by side, learn about their unique temperament and personality differences, discover which breed is best with kids, and consider important facts about health and life expectancy.
Rottweiler vs Golden Retriever – a History Comparison
Learning about the Rottweiler’s and Golden Retriever’s breed background and history can help you understand how two different dog breeds can have such different personalities, training needs, and health issues.
In this section, we help you get better acquainted with the historical Rottweiler and Golden Retriever.
Rottweiler brief history
Long before the Rottweiler became the eighth most popular purebred dog breed in America, the Rottweiler was a drover dog for the ancient Roman legions.
According to Britannica, the Rottweiler even takes their breed name from the German town of Rottweil, where the ancient Romans used to stop while driving cattle across the countryside.
Rottweiler dogs were multi-purpose canines for the ancient Romans, hauling heavy carts, driving livestock, and fighting alongside the human soldiers. They are famously brave, strong, and loyal dogs to this day.
Golden Retriever brief history
According to the Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA), Golden Retrievers originally came from Scotland.
A dog enthusiast named Lord Tweedmouth is credited with the development of the breed from a now-extinct dog breed called the Tweed Water Spaniel. The first puppies from early breedings were all yellow and were called yellow retrievers.
As the breed evolved, the Golden Retriever became known as a gun dog and hunting dog to the gentry. Today, Golden Retrievers still make great hunting dogs, but they are best known as unfailingly friendly family dogs.
Rottweiler vs Golden Retriever – a Size and Weight Comparison
Whenever you are considering adding a dog to your family, it is always smart to think beyond the very temporary puppyhood phase to when your little pup grows up.
How big can an adult Rottweiler get? What about the adult size and weight for a Golden Retriever? In this section, we compare size, height, and weight side by side.
Rottweiler size, weight, height
As Canine Journal explains, the Rottweiler doesn’t stay little for long!
An adult female Rottweiler may weigh anywhere from 77 to 110 pounds and stand 22 to 25 inches tall (paw pads to shoulder tops).
An adult male Rottweiler could weigh 110 to 130 pounds and stand 24 to 27 inches tall.
These dogs are stocky and lean – they are all muscle and very, very strong as adults.
Golden Retriever size, weight, height
Vetstreet explains that the Golden Retriever sits right in between the medium and large dog category with adult weights from 55 to 75 pounds.
An adult Golden Retriever typically stands 21.5 to 24 inches tall (paw pads to shoulder tops).
These dogs are less lean in appearance due to the signature long wavy Golden Retriever coat.
Rottweiler vs Golden Retriever – a Personality and Temperament Comparison
One of the most vital aspects of dog ownership to consider when picking out a new companion canine is personality and temperament.
As you already learned in the history section here earlier, the Rottweiler and the Golden Retriever have very different breed histories and were bred for significantly different roles.
The Rottweiler is a protection and guards dog through and through, while the Golden Retriever was bred to be a hunting companion to people.
So what differences can you expect to see in terms of personality and temperament between the Rottweiler vs Golden Retriever? We will explore this question now.
Rottweiler temperament and personality
Rottweiler people are extremely loyal to the breed. In fact, Rottweilers are often considered to be insanely goofy and playful with “their” people.
However, the Rottie personality can change in a split second if your Rottweiler thinks that another person or animal poses a threat to you.
Proper training and socialization can go a long way to minimize the potential for tragedy when handling these strong, loyal, and protective dogs (we will discuss this further in a later section in this article).
However, in some states, state law has also implemented protections that may or may not interfere with your desire to own a Rottweiler.
The ASPCA points out that the Rottweiler dog breed is included in many states’ lists of dangerous dogs.
These dangerous dog laws can impact whether you are allowed to keep a Rottweiler in certain areas as well as the type of license you may have to buy to keep a Rottweiler.
If you are currently renting your space, be sure to check with your landlord to make sure you are legally allowed to keep a Rottweiler. Laws are different in different areas.
Golden Retriever temperament and personality
The Golden Retriever is never going to make anyone’s list of top guard dogs. They are just too friendly!
This is what has made the Rottweiler the fourth most popular dog breed in the United States (out of nearly 200 breeds).
But this doesn’t mean that Golden Retrievers are easy dogs – a Golden Retriever puppy can be a serious handful, especially in the hands of an inexperienced dog owner.
As gun dogs and hunting dogs, Golden Retrievers have a strong prey drive and chase drive and may find the sight of a squirrel or bird too irresistible not to chase.
You will need to work with your Golden Retriever to temper their exuberance since not everyone will appreciate a 55+ pound dog who wants to jump up to greet them, muddy paws, wet coat and all.
Rottweiler vs Golden Retriever – a Training and Exercise Comparison
So now let’s take a closer look at how much training and exercise a Rottweiler will need and compare that with the requirements for a Golden Retriever.
There is one thing that will be your key to success with both breeds, however, and that is positive reinforcement training methods.
Rottweiler exercise and training
The number one needs your Rottweiler puppy will have when it comes to training is to temper their protective instincts to react appropriately to different situations.
This is especially vital as your puppy gets older and stronger and there is the potential for your Rottie to cause harm without even realizing it.
You will need to work first with your Rottweiler to master basic commands and then move on to protection dog training. If you are less experienced with dog training, it can be beneficial to work with an experienced canine trainer.
While your Rottweiler puppy is little, you will need to restrict activity to protect the still-growing skeletal system.
Ready to Go Veterinary Rehab states that you will need to have your canine vet do X-rays of the growth plates in the leg bones to see when they are closed.
After that time, PDSA pets charity recommends up to two hours per day of exercise for your Rottweiler.
Golden Retriever exercise and training
Golden Retriever puppies might be as cute as can be, but they don’t stay little for long and they also get stronger quickly.
As with Rottweilers, you will want to wait until you have X-ray confirmation that your dog is finished growing before you allow vigorous, sustained exercise.
But you can start teaching your puppy basic obedience skills and common commands as soon as day one. Your Golden Retriever will need to learn to temper their enthusiasm for chasing and exploring and learn how to greet other people and pets appropriately.
Once the growth plates in the leg bones have closed, Golden Retriever Rescue of Mid-Florida states that your dog will benefit from at least two 20 to 30-minute exercise sessions per day.
The more exercise you can provide to your Golden, the calmer and happier your at-home time will be with your dog.
Rottweiler vs Golden Retriever – a Grooming and Coat Care Comparison
Another significant time commitment that comes with owning a dog is grooming and coat care. Luckily, neither the Rottweiler nor Golden Retriever requires professional grooming.
However, both are shedding dog breeds, which means you can expect dog hair to be a daily part of your life. So let’s take a look at the coat care requirements for the Rottweiler vs Golden Retriever now.
Rottweiler coat care and grooming
As a true working dog breed that was bred to live and work in colder climates, the Rottweiler has a double layer coat.
This means your Rottie’s coat is like a winter jacket that is warm and cozy in the winter and way too hot in the summer. So when the seasons change, Rottweilers do something owners call a “coat blow.”
This means they shed most of the undercoat out so your dog stays cool in summer. The best way to cope with these seasonal sheds is to brush your dog daily to minimize shed hair cleanup.
Otherwise, Rottweilers only need baths occasionally and weekly brushing.
Golden Retriever coat care and grooming
The famous Golden Retriever coat may be gorgeous to look at and wonderful to pet, but it can be a lot of work to care for!
Even though Goldens are not classified as working dogs, as sporting dogs they also have the same double-layer coat. This means they also go through the same type of seasonal coat blow.
You will want to invest in a de-shedding rake and use it daily to control dead, shed hair covering everything you own.
Rottweiler vs Golden Retriever – a Health and Life Expectancy Comparison
Many purebred dog breeds now suffer from serious heritable (genetic) health issues as a result of intense breeding to a show ring appearance-based dog breed standard.
This means breed health is one of the most important parts of your research before committing to a puppy.
Rottweiler breed health and lifespan
The Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) keeps records of serious health concerns. For the Rottweiler, these are the genetic health issues to watch out for:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia.
- Eye and heart issues.
- Juvenile Laryngeal Paralysis & Polyneuropathy.
Overall, Rottweilers have a lifespan of seven to 10 years, although some can and do live longer.
Golden Retriever breed health and lifespan
Golden Retrievers have the following health issues as noted by CHIC:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia.
- Eye and heart issues.
Rottweiler vs Golden Retriever – Which Dog Is For You
Now you have the information to make an informed choice between the Rottweiler and the Golden Retriever. Which dog breed will you choose?