The Rottweiler routinely ranks in the top 10 most popular purebred dogs in America today.
Right now, the Rottweiler dog breed sits at number eight out of 196 registered purebred dog breeds on the American Kennel Club’s annual dog breed popularity list.
The Serbian Rottweiler is still, first and foremost, a Rottweiler. But this is a separate breed line with interesting differences and distinguishing characteristics. Read on to learn more about what makes the Serbian Rottweiler dog unique.
The Serbian Rottweiler is often discussed as a different breed of Rottweiler dog than either the German Rottweiler or the American Rottweiler.
More accurately, the Serbian Rottweiler is a different breed lineage or breed line of Rottweiler dogs. Purebred Serbian Rottweilers can trace their lineage all the way back to a dog that was bred and born in Serbia.
In the same way, American Rottweilers have an American breed lineage, and German Rottweilers have a German breed lineage.
This is the most accurate way to understand the differences between these three distinct lines of one single breed of dog called the Rottweiler. If you want to know more about different rottweiler types, I wrote a complete article; click here to read more.
See a Serbian Rottweiler Up Close
If you have never seen a true purebred Serbian Rottweiler before now, you will enjoy this short video that showcases the unique looks of this lineage of Rottweiler dogs.
As you may notice, the Serbian lineage of Rottweilers tends to have a blockier, stockier, and more muscular appearance, particularly in the head, neck, chest, and shoulders region.
Why Is There a Controversy About Serbian Rottweilers?
If you are someone who is involved in the complicated world of purebred dog breeding, you might already be familiar with the kinds of debates that frequently arise around the topic of breed standards.
These debates are quite common on both the national and the international level, as often different countries develop different breed standards for the same dog breed.
One area where debate and disagreement can become particularly intense is around different preferences for appearance and temperament traits in a specific dog breed.
For example, some breeders and Rottweiler fans prefer the thinner, leaner build of the German or American Rottweiler. Other breeders and fans prefer the stockier, thicker, blockier, bigger appearance of the Serbian Rottweiler.
As this article from King Rottweilers breeders showcases, this ongoing debate has produced breeders who breed preferentially (deliberately) for different appearance traits.
Here again, for many people who love the Rottweiler breeder, they don’t care too much whether their pup looks exactly like what groups of Rottweiler breeders from different countries think the “perfect” Rottweiler appearance may be.
They just want a healthy pet Rottweiler dog.
Here, it is so important to remember that all “breed standard” articles are developed by people for people. The intention is always good: to make sure breeders are breeding the healthiest possible dog with the best personality and temperament.
But over time, sometimes there can be such an intense focus on specific appearance or temperament traits that this can take away from the overall healthy balance of the dog breed itself.
Sometimes, canine genetics being the complex and still new field that they are, breeding preferentially for one set of genes can accidentally enhance other less desirable genes as well.
Without a very careful study of the canine genome within each dog breed, you can even start to see heritable health issues, temperament problems, and conformation (appearance) faults begin to arise.
At its core, this is where the debate over the “newer” Serbian Rottweiler breeding programs comes from. This is not to say that Serbian Rottweilers will always be less ideal or less healthy than their German or American counterparts.
Make sure the breeder can provide you with purebred dog papers, genetic health test results, proof that all required puppy vaccinations and pest control treatments have been completed, and an initial guarantee of the puppy’s good health.
If the breeder cannot or will not provide you with these things, do not buy your Rottweiler puppy from that breeder.
Appearance and Temperament Differences In Serbian Rottweiler
It won’t take you much time searching for a Rottweiler puppy or rescue dog to learn that there is lots of confusing terminology being used about Rottweilers today!
In addition to German, American, and Serbian Rottweiler breeders, you will find European, Australian, and Russian Rottweiler breeders.
This can be a rather heated issue for some breeders, as this open letter in the Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler-Klub e.V. dog club highlights.
There are also breeders that specialize in hybrid dog breeding, such as the Serbian-cross-German Rottweiler dog or the Serbian Rottweiler cross-German Shepherd dog.
How will you ever figure out which Rottweiler to choose?
This article will make it much easier to figure out what everyone is talking about.
There are two main differences that distinguish the three top breed lines – American, German, and Serbian – within the Rottweiler breed.
These two main differences can be summed up as “appearance” and “temperament.” The first difference relates to how the Rottweiler dog looks. The second difference relates to how the Rottweiler dog acts.
In both cases, the ideal or most desirable appearance and temperament traits are dictated by something called the “breed standard.”
The breed standard for American Rottweilers is dictated by the American Kennel Club or AKC.
The breed standard for the German Rottweiler is dictated by the Verband für das Deutsche Hundewesen, or VDH e.V, the German equivalent of the American Kennel Club.
Currently, there is no set breed standard for Serbian Rottweilers, which can make defining the appearance and temperament differences between Serbian Rottweilers, German and American Rottweilers a little harder to pin down.
So let’s take a much closer look at the differences in each of these two key areas now.
Serbian Rottweiler Appearance Differences
Knowing that the birthplace of the founding dog determines whether a Rottweiler is called Serbian, German or American, it becomes easier to understand how a Rottweiler can be “Serbian” even when it looks like all the other Rottweiler dogs!
However, over time and with a continued selective breeder, Serbian Rottweiler dogs have begun to develop some distinct appearance differences to set them apart from American and German Rottweiler breed lines.
These are the main appearance or conformation differences that have been highlighted by Rottweiler dog breed experts, breeders, and owners:
- Serbian Rottweilers tend to be larger in both their head and their body.
- Serbian Rottweilers will have tails (it is illegal to dock tails outside the USA).
- Serbian Rottweilers have the “blockhead” that some breeders favor.
- Serbian Rottweilers are often characterized as having a “ferocious” appearance.
Serbian Rottweiler Temperament Differences
In many ways, rather than calling this dog the Serbian Rottweiler, it might be more accurate to simply say this is a Rottweiler that was bred and born in Serbia.
However, as we mentioned here earlier, sometimes, when a breeding program decides to focus heavily on any certain set of genes, whether appearance or temperament or something else, this can inadvertently boost the influence of related genes.
For this reason, some Rottweiler breeders believe that Rottweilers bred for the Serbian appearance traits you just read about in the previous section here can also be more aggressive and less trainable.
This is a matter of intense debate in the worldwide Rottweiler breeding and shows the dog community.
Of course, breeders who focus on breeding Serbian Rottweilers do not believe their dogs have a less favorable temperament than Rottweilers that favor the German or American breed standard.
When you are viewing these types of breeding debates from the outside looking in, it can be difficult to assess how valid each argument is or exactly where the concern is arising from.
Is It Safe to Buy a Serbian Rottweiler?
If you want to add a Rottweiler to your family and you have young children or other vulnerable prey-type family pets, a Rottweiler may not be the ideal choice, but not because of which breed line the dog comes from or what country the dog’s parents are from.
Rather, the main concern would be that a big dog might inadvertently sit down on a small child or chase another family pet and cause harm – even if the dog didn’t mean to.
The most important thing you can do when choosing your new pet Rottweiler is to meet the parent dogs and see the breeder’s kennel to ensure it is a clean, safe, health-focused breeding operation and that the parent dogs have good personalities.
This will help you choose a puppy that will grow up as a great pet Rottweiler for your family.